Another senseless honor killing in Jordan

Every time I hear about a girl getting killed by her own family, it sends a chill down my spine. It seems inconceivable that anyone would put their loved ones in danger, and even more so that they would be their killers. Such is the reality of conservative Muslims in Jordan, where an average of 20 women a year are slain in ‘honor killings’. This week, it’s a 19 year old girl who was beaten to death by her father and brothers for simply talking to a stranger.

There’s a long tradition of honor killings that, unsurprisingly, date back to the Bronze Age. In powerful, patriarchal societies, the reputation of a family was its most valuable asset, and anyone who would threaten it was summarily executed. It’s now used as a way of threatening women into subservience. Each death is a cruel reminder there are some parts of the world that reject the idea of human rights.

The father and his sons are facing prosecution, but it isn’t for the reason you might think. The problem was there was no infidelity going on, but if it was, this law would have set them free:

he who discovers his wife or one of his female relatives committing adultery and kills, wounds, or injures one of them, is exempted from any penalty.”

Is your stomach turning yet?

Comments (4)

  • avatar


    You wonder if they just put no value on female life. As a brother the idea of killing my sister for wearing makeup blows me away. She is gay so I suppose she would be long dead by now any way. Hard to believe this happens on earth. And when you tell other people about this they hardly think about it. A bit like what you were saying in your last podcast. People need to have a thought out stance on religion to think about these issues.

  • avatar


    Richard, they do put a value on female life. A woman’s life is worth exactly half that of a man in most interpretations Islamic law. I guess that’s really the root of the problem. They see their daughters as objects of purity, anything that is perceived to sully that makes them worthless to the family.

    Look this kind of crap can’t go on forever. I think it’s important to remember that none of the “great” religions has been particularly good for women’ rights.

    It took Christianity two millenia to begin their slow march into the night and it may take another few centuries for Islam to follow suit (they got a late start after all).

    You can’t stop progress.

  • avatar

    Bastard Soap

    Well at least it’s only relatives that can do the killing, they got that going on for them.

  • avatar


    “…Such is the reality of conservative Muslims in Jordan…”

    Ha “conservative muslims”, you mean like 99% of them. Sure maybe Jordan is slightly more “moderate” than most Islamic nations, (and their queen is hot too) but for the most part, the muslim people living there would be considered far right-wingers in any democratic society.

    On the flip slide, those “far right-wingers” of the democratic society would be considered liberal infidels in any Islamic society.

    For example, a right winger of Canada may be completely against gay marriage, but as far as I know, there’s no right winger pol pushing for legislation to HANG a homosexual just for being gay, but I digress.

    “…where an average of 20 women a year are slain in “honor killings”….”

    And I don’t even trust the numbers coming from my govt., let alone some Islamic Monarchy, you could go ahead and atleast quadruple that number of “20 honor killings”.

    I would bet most “honor killings” don’t even get reported anyway. 20 is just the tip of the iceberg.

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