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01-Sep-2019 05:48

Honor killing is the premeditated murder of a relative (usually a young woman) who has allegedly impugned the honor of her family.

It tends to predominate in societies where individual rights are circumscribed by communal solidarities, patriarchal authority structures, and intolerant religious and tribal beliefs.

Overwhelmingly, it was the women's families that committed the honor killings even in cases in which there were male victims.

The democratically elected government of India has taken important, if long overdue, steps to combat the practice of honor killing, and some progress has been made.

Over the last few years, however, the media has published a flurry of articles about Hindu honor killings in India, the only non-Muslim-majority country where these murders are still rampant.[2] Apologists for Muslim culture and civilization rushed to herald the upsurge in Hindu (and Sikh) honor killings as evidence that the practice is "a universal problem, not an Islamic issue."[3] While India is indeed a striking exception to Islam's near monopoly on contemporary honor killings, the following preliminary statistical survey shows Hindu honor killings in India to be different in form and commission from those of Muslims in neighboring Pakistan.

Though no less gruesome, the Hindu honor killings seem largely confined to the north of India and are perpetuated by sociocultural factors largely specific to India.

Not even celebrity status can shield Muslim women from punishments related to honor crimes.

Actress Afshan Azad (left), seen here with Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint, was beaten and threatened with death in 2010 by her father and brother for dating a non-Muslim.

The democratically elected government of India has taken important, if long overdue, steps to combat the practice of honor killing, and some progress has been made.Over the last few years, however, the media has published a flurry of articles about Hindu honor killings in India, the only non-Muslim-majority country where these murders are still rampant.[2] Apologists for Muslim culture and civilization rushed to herald the upsurge in Hindu (and Sikh) honor killings as evidence that the practice is "a universal problem, not an Islamic issue."[3] While India is indeed a striking exception to Islam's near monopoly on contemporary honor killings, the following preliminary statistical survey shows Hindu honor killings in India to be different in form and commission from those of Muslims in neighboring Pakistan.Though no less gruesome, the Hindu honor killings seem largely confined to the north of India and are perpetuated by sociocultural factors largely specific to India.Not even celebrity status can shield Muslim women from punishments related to honor crimes.Actress Afshan Azad (left), seen here with Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint, was beaten and threatened with death in 2010 by her father and brother for dating a non-Muslim.Not so in Pakistan where officials at all levels of government are either unable or unwilling to cope with honor killings.