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Women in the CrossfireUnderstanding and Ending Honor Killing$
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Robert Paul Churchill

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190468569

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190468569.001.0001

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First Steps Toward Understanding Honor Killing

First Steps Toward Understanding Honor Killing

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 First Steps Toward Understanding Honor Killing
Source:
Women in the Crossfire
Author(s):

Robert Paul Churchill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190468569.003.0001

This chapter explores the oddity and complexity of honor killing. Sample incidents are discussed to reveal the general features of honor killing as a traditional practice significantly different from other forms of femicide. Adopting the Human Rights Watch definition of honor killing as a neutral and provisional guide, the chapter argues that honor killing should be distinguished from crimes of passion, domestic violence, and crimes of violence. Honor killings uniquely involve perceived obligations to execute a dishonored female where male blood relatives serve as killers and killing is a means of restoring family honor. Although most common in Muslim-majority countries, this practice occurs globally and apparently at an increasing rate. There is continuing public support for honor killing in some countries where it has been traditional despite increased official efforts to criminalize the practice. There is no special connection between Islam and honor killing. No religion endorses honor killing.

Keywords:   crimes of passion, duty to kill, family honor, femicide, gender violence, honor crimes, honor killing, human rights, Islamic culture, Sharia law

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