Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Honor killings in Pakistan; "Even in death, the punishment continues."

In the town of Sukkur there is a graveyard.  One area is reserved for those women murdered to maintain the family honor.  There were no last rights for them at burial, no loved ones allowed to attend, and guards prevent anyone from placing flowers or praying over them.  They lie forgotten, shunned from the society they were forced into.  These women are a symptom, Islam is the disease.

Pray for their souls.

From The Express Tribune January 3 by Sarfaraz Memon

In Sukkur, a separate graveyard for the ‘dishonourable’ ones 

For some of the deceased in Sindh, there are no prayers for a peaceful afterlife and no on comes to put flowers on their graves. Those slain for honour are not spared even in death.
There is a separate graveyard for those killed under the pretext of karo-kari (honour killing) called ‘karan jo qabrustan’ (graveyard for the dishonoured) near Daharki. At this graveyard, built by the Shar clan, people are buried without last rites and men guard the graves so nobody can visit them and offer Fateha. Even in death, the punishment continues.
While the custom of karo-kari prevails throughout Sindh, some clans as Shar Bozdar, Pitafi and Jakhrani are particularly notorious for killing people under the custom.
Shar Bozdar and Pitafi clans are concentrated mainly in Ghotki and Kashmore, while the Jakhrani tribe is spread in areas over Jacobabad and Kashmore.
In these tribes, the custom of killing in the name of honour flourishes to serve many other ulterior motives. According to dictates of people from the tribes and other smaller communities, men manipulate this atrocious custom to get rid of their wives and marry a lover, to get monetary benefit or share in property among other things.
According to a Sindh-based, women’s rights NGO, Samaj Foundation, the number of women killed in Sindh was 284 in 2009, while in 2010 it fell to 266. The foundation has statistics until June 30 this year, where a total of 155 cases were recorded.
However, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan,675 women and girls were murdered during the first nine months of the year for allegedly defaming their family’s honour.
Kiran Daudpoto, director of Samaj Foundation, has too many unfortunate stories to share.  In June 2011, Arzana, a young widow, was killed and buried in her courtyard by her father-in-law and brother-in -law who wanted to sell her to an elderly man.
In another incident four years ago, 82-year-old Mai Bhagul was branded kari by her son who had used up her savings for Hajj instead of making arrangements for the pilgrimage. Such stories are many, some more brutal than the rest.
There are various explanations as to how this custom found its way in Sindh. Accounts of historians relate it to the pre-Islamic era.
They say the custom reached the sub-continent in the 17th century when some Arab descendants, who used to bury their daughters alive, came to settle in Balochistan. Killing young and old women in the name of honour was common practice for them. Later, when the British tried to prohibit the custom by announcing the death penalty for the perpetrators, people started throwing women in wells and claiming they were suicide cases. When the authorities discovered that this tactic was being used, poisonous snakes used to kill women instead.
Human rights activist Samar Minallah says the Sardars, elected representatives and influential people are to blame for the practice. “These people can stop such incidents as the decision of declaring people Kari or to barter girls and equal scores rests in the Jirga. But they don’t stand for justice so their voters don’t get angry.”
However, the Sardars of the notorious tribes deny the allegation of their unjust behaviour with women and claim there is a lot of respect for women in their community. MPA Sardar Ahmed Ali of the Pitafi tribe said that if ‘Niayani Mair’ (a group of girls) are taken to warring tribes, the elders cover their heads with Ajrak and immediately agree to burry the hatchet. MPA Sardar Rahim Bux from the Bozdar clan also added that women are always kept out of the way of harm even during tribal feuds. Sardar Himmat Ali Kamariyo representing his communities in Kamariyo, Abro, Jeho and Phul Poto communities also defended Sindhi men.  “It is wrong to say that the entire Sindhi community is cruel and involved in crimes against women, there are very few such people giving a bad name to all.”
And are you and your friends cooperating with authorities to root out these few misunderstanders of Islam?  Why not?
There is more, read it all

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