At least 40 clerics of the Barelvi school of thought in Pakistan have issued a fatwa against honour killing, declaring it ‘un-Islamic and unpardonable sin’ amidst a series of such incidents.
The clerics under the banner of Sunni Itehad Council (SIC) told a news conference in Lahore on Sunday that honour killing is kufr (infidelity).
“Burning women alive for marrying of their own choice is against Islamic injunctions,” the fatwa (religious decree) said. It condemned recent honour killings in Lahore, Abbottabad and Murree, saying such incidents have shaken the whole society as we are moving towards social and societal degradation.
It said killing in the name of family honour is based on ignorance and waywardness. The fatwa urged the government to implement proper legislation to curb such crimes, and declare heinous acts such as burning or killing of woman as an unpardonable crime as it is an Islamic government’s responsibility to protect women rights.
At least 1,100 women were killed in the name of honour in Pakistan last year by their relatives on the pretext of defending what is seen as family honour.
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” – a film based on the story of a rare survivor of an attempted honour killing had won an Oscar for best documentary short subject at the 2016 Academy Awards. Following this, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had pledged to eradicate the “evil” of honour killings.