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Kill Me, Father, For I Have Sinned

A couple of days ago, a pregnant woman was clubbed down with bricks by her own father and family in broad daylight, in front of a court house in Lahore.

I have been since reading this same sentence in the news in one order or another, and it still leaves me crying in a state of disbelief.

Where do i begin with that statement?

A three months pregnant woman was clubbed down -with bricks- by an angry mob of her father and family- in a public place during day time, in front of a gathering crowd.

My mind implodes with questions: How long did it take her to die, was it not enough time for anyone to step in and break up the fight? Did any bystander try to save her? Or call the police? Did any one care? Did any one even flinch?

Ok, perhaps we're so used to hearing about women and violence that we might shrug this off at first glance. But if we have some sense of humanity in our beings and do consider women as part of mankind and not just a go-between from humans to animals and back, just maybe, we will see what is wrong. And I'm not even talking about the fact that she was three months pregnant.

There were gunshots heard as the family approached while she walked to court with her husband. After a scuffle and her protests, the poor woman was attacked with blows and hit enough times in the head with bricks, for her to eventually succumb and die. So now, humans in Pakistan, find it easy to just pick anything within reach and hit any human being, let alone a helpless pregnant woman.


I had an episode of going down the street without having asked for permission when I was a kid once, and what followed was a memorable beating session when I got back home. My side of the story is that I really wanted to go buy my mother a present from the nearby shop with my saved up eidi money. Since no one heard me out, I decided to just venture out by my own little self. When I got back, I was spanked, I was scolded and I was terrified. Later when I apologized I was hugged and told to never do that again, and I never did. As a parent now, I feel there is a better way to handle such scenarios. The parents could listen to the child and either placate her/him with a promise for later or come up with a better idea to replace the original. What ensued in my case was not just a disciplinary measure, but it was more for their ego. The parent felt threatened to have a child cross her/his set limits- and decided to let the child know who is boss.

So here we have Farzana's father, or excuse of a father, who found a brick. It was an honor killing is what he said to acquit himself. It was easy for him to have killed his own daughter, than to stand up to his own ego and society. The questions that arise are: What kind of sickening norms do prevail in this society, where it is acceptable to take a life, than to forgive. When Islamic laws are misused to satisfy cultural discrepancies, the true spirit of tolerance and forgiveness in Islam is distorted. Islamic law states stoning of the adultrer/adultress and not of the person who got legally married, surely? So what makes parents declare their own child an adultress when she is legally married to her person of choice? Regardless of the fact that marriage was love based and not arranged, it was a marriage still. An honorable bond. What makes it so easy for anyone to call it one of dishonor?

What that parent – and other karo kari murderers- killed, or wanted to kill was his illustrated version of bad parenting. To see her married to a person out of his choice was a reminder of how he did not raise his daughter up to the standards he wanted, the fault does not lie with the girl, the fault lies with the parent. Was he there for her when she needed him? Did he listen to her when she did not want to marry the one he chose for her? Why was it ok for him to not take her consent in her marriage? Islam does not allow marriage without consent, especially that of the woman.

Honor killing seems to be like those times, when in a social setting, you would call out your own fault so everyone else, before anyone has a chance to point them out. By killing a daughter who married against her parents’ will, the parent is satisfying that norm, so they don’t have to answer or feel a false sense of shame in front of their social network. A father would rather go kill his own child than face this crazy society where it is easy for law enforcement agencies to (ab)use Islam in the instance of domestic violence and not to uphold a woman's right to consent to her own marriage. With the misuse of this law, anyone and everyone has become a god, the mightier he is, the worse the crime and the more easily he may weasel out of it.


Norms. That's why.

Which leads one to wonder, if the social norms of the country are not Islamic, and the people are not following Islam in the true spirit but are jesting fatally with loopholes, then why to give them powers in the name of Islamic rights? It is as if the Urdu Muhawra  (phrase) "bandar ke haath main naaryal dena" comes into play.

But this time around, since there are already hundreds of karo kari murders taking place yearly thanks to poor follow up in police work and half hearted prosecutions, let’s just get used to it all and re-coin the Urdu Muhawra to "baap ke haath main eent."

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