Thirteen

What makes an honor crime unique as a story is the shock value and that consists of three main elements. Firstly the initial impact of the story where we discover a brother or a father taking the life of a sister or a daughter with such unbridled and incomprehensible savagery. Then the second impact of learning why they did it. This is followed by the third impact: they spend very little time in jail for their crime. The shock value can be measured based on these three elements and their varying quantity; like ingredients to a recipe of viciousness. Every one of these crimes carries its own shock value and every one of them is a unique tale of the (in)human capacity to commit a crime that is so abominable.

I know four posts ago I told the story of the Kingdom’s 12th victim of this crime this year, so I guess it’s a sad sign of the times that so soon comes the story of the 13th…

Two brothers drive their sister from Irbid to a deserted area near Queen Alia Airport in Amman. They beat her and then strangled her to death. Then they put her back in the car and drive south to Kerak, dump her body in a canal, pour gasoline on her and try and burn her. Why did they do all this? Because she left the house without their permission and thus disgraced their family.

Can this story get worse? Three months ago this young woman was beaten by her two brothers and her father, tried to report them and was referred to the administrative governor, which is code for nothing came of it.

Three months later she becomes a statistic, a number: the 13th victim this year, the second in the last fourteen days.

Thought Is Free...

23 Comments

  1. Asalaamualaikum,

    This is incredibly sickening. Is it lack of education, forced cultural norms? what? It needs to be stopped, some education needs to go out somehow.

    May Allah grant us all guidance.

    Peace,

    M.

  2. Hello,

    I will address two related issues, which in my opinion will lead to more fairness in dealing with the subject matter.

    First, STOP discussing this with relation to Jordan, Because you are giving the impression that this is a Jordanian type of crime or issue, while this problem really exists in other countries: Egypt, Syria, Iraq and others. I know this problem does exist in Jordan and need to be resolved but please stop giving it this Jordan context, if you care about Jordan.

    Second, in all the crimes the victims (women and girls) are being referred to as pure angels or white pigeons, while this is not the case but we used to deal with this topic with extreme passion and sensitivity instead of thinking a bit and imagining the situation in the houses of those ladies prior to the crime, try and imagine that if you want to be fair. Face it. Major part of those crimes are caused by them. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE TOO.

    13 crime, it is a way far below car accidents, for example. Please direct your thoughts, energy and speach to the ladies instead of directing it to men. The Jordanian man is a good father and a good brother.

    Ready for discussing your views.

    D. Purple

  3. “First, STOP discussing this with relation to Jordan Because you are giving the impression that this is a Jordanian type of crime or issue, while this problem really exists in other countries: Egypt, Syria, Iraq and others. I know this problem does exist in Jordan and need to be resolved but please stop giving it this Jordan context, if you care about Jordan.”

    so let me get this straight, if i care about jordan and the issues that effect jordan i should therefore ignore those issues and pretend they don’t exist? i dont care if it happens on Mars…the fact that it happens in Jordan is what concerns me as Jordan concerns me.

    Second, in all the crimes the victims (women and girls) are being referred to as pure angels or white pigeons, while this is not the case but we used to deal with this topic with extreme passion and sensitivity instead of thinking a bit and imagining the situation in the houses of those ladies prior to the crime, try and imagine that if you want to be fair. Face it. Major part of those crimes are caused by them. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE TOO.

    In most cases the woman is simply accused or suspected of doing something relatively inane in the context of everything, such as having an affair. and in most of those cases she tends to be innocent. this is one aspect. the other aspect is that she is very guilty and in that case i don’t care if she robbed a bank, whored around, or killed a cat…justice is not carried out by the individual it is carried out by the judicial system, it’s why they call it “a system”, it’s why we have “a system”. There are laws in this country and there is punishment for breaking them, but by being citizens of this country we agree to a social pact that it is the state that maintains the law and carries out the punishment. the alternative to this system would be that the people carry out the punishment…in most circles of thought this is also known as anarchy.

    13 crime, it is a way far below car accidents,

    first of all one honor crime is one too many. second of all you’re comparing a car accident with the deliberte taking of another human being’s life. there’s a reason why they call it “an accident”. when people start driving their cars as weapons, driving around with an intent to kill, then we’ve got a problem. until then the best solution is for one to drive more carefully and avoid killing one’s sister if humanly possible.

    Please direct your thoughts, energy and speach to the ladies instead of directing it to men. .

    i direct my thoughts to everyone and anyone who reads or who listens; this is a social dilemma. if however you mean for me to direct my energies in terms of blame, then the blame is obvious: you blame the culprit not the victim. moreover a great deal of my “blame” is directed towards the government, and more specifically the lower house of parliament which refuses to override legislation that protects the culprits of honor crimes and does not deal out the appropriate punishment.

    The Jordanian man is a good father and a good brother

    being the latter and being related to the former, I’m fully aware of this fact. in general every society has good fathers, brothers, sisters, mothers, men and women…but some of those same people that carry those same titles will be downright rotten. this is why we tend to have a judicial system, to protect the good and punish the bad for the overall benefit and support of a social system.

  4. Muhammad,

    This is incredibly sickening. Is it lack of education, forced cultural norms? what? It needs to be stopped, some education needs to go out somehow.

    the issue of family honor is somewhat cultural but this is relative since culture tends to vary in different parts of the same country. it is more specifically a mindset which is dependent on demographics, standards of living, education or lack thereof and other such factors that tend to tip the scales.

    in some cases however it can be more accuratly describe as downright stupidity and/or ignorance.

  5. Awful. How much of this is a cultural issue and how much of it is a religious issue? In the Middle East the two seem to get mixed up and it is hard to seperate them.

    I think this is more of a cultural issue given a religious texture to try to legitimize it.

  6. No one in his sane mind would say “Jordanian men (or sysriams or danish) are good brothers and fathers. This is is stupid generalization by you Dead Purple. From what I know as a Jordanian man, a majority Jordanian brothersm in particular are pigs. They would allow themselves to speak with and sleep with many girls who are the sisters and daughters of other Jordanians and then kill their sisters if they speak with a man on the phone. Education will have no impact. The only solution is PUNISHMENT and HUMILIATIOn of the murderers and letting them rot in prison cells and not go out as heros in few weeks.
    I care about Jordan, and I love Jordan and I would die for Jordan. Jonor crimes and corruption are the only two things that sometimes make me ashamed to be Jordanian.

  7. It’s not stupidity, men with Phds can still have that mindset. It’s our culture, that says people will talk if a girl goes out with a guy, that people will question the honor of a man if they only suspected that a female member in his family has any kind of relationship with some guy. Now that’s not true for everybody, or lets say not as true to everybody.

    Another reason is the man’s ego! his sister fooled them all, she thought she’s smart, she thought she can and she’s free to do something as small as talking to a guy or just exchange glances, how dare she? Oh, and it’s also a good chance to win the parents sometimes. Yes we, humans can be worse than the devil himself.

    I find it ironic that it has nothing to do with the girl at all. It’s not that she can’t live with it even if she actually lost her virginity. It’s funny.

    I don’t know, I can’t comprehend the idea of playing God here, we’re all humans, we all make mistakes wether little or big and I don’t think we owe it to ourselves for not screwing.

  8. Awesome rebuttal Nas.

    “They would allow themselves to speak with and sleep with many girls who are the sisters and daughters of other Jordanians and then kill their sisters if they speak with a man on the phone.”

    A painful reality. Gotta love the double standards on that one, huh?

  9. Zealous Guys, I want to be clear on this and I will not mention much of your names or quote your words …

    No ONE is denying the fact that a brutal crime had took place and I have not defended the few months jail punishment the murderers have, after all they are killers must be sentenced like any other killer, they have took lives. So I am not denying the issue, I am not defending their acts, and I am not defending the judicial system in this regard, BUT ….

    Again, we are living in a society with its culture, norms and traditions. Some of these norms are rotten I know, and people are tortured between going free and modern and between these rotten roots. Implying a new style of living upon an unprepared society and unsuitable culture will cause such issues. Mostly, the crimes occured due to the clash between the two trends. People want to be free but they cannot, maybe the killer never careless about his daughter ot sister, but society would. the culture is the killer here, when you are talking major issue look at the macro level and emphasize that the rotten culture of our society did it, don’t discuss it at the micro level.

    Someone said that Jordanian brothers are PIGS, I am not sure if he is talking about his own experience or a majority of his relatives and friends act like this, like PIGS. Hey, find some better people to live among. Why do you attack my generalization with another?

    Each one of you must ask himself, and must be honest with himself, would you be just comfortable knowing that your sister or daughter spending some time with a ‘Pig’ – I am not talking about a crime here, just being comfortable. See, it is your culture answering through your mind, we still not in the states – in the modern world, we are still in Jordan, just twenty years ago people switched from B&W tv sets to colored. Wake up, YOU guards of modernism and heroes of human rights.

    The simple question behind all this discussion, was the right of women having friends and sleeping with them whenever they want – was it discussed at the wider level? Let’s discuss it, let the country be totally free. and there will be no such crimes. Otherwise, we will have to wait 50 years until couple of generations pass and the mentality will change in the end.

    D.Purple

  10. While we are still on the subject, honor killings will not go away anytime soon, to the arab man, honor is everything. I condemn any acts of violence on women and sometimes i find myself cringing when they show this
    in America. we look like freaken barbarians. Onto a totally unrelated issue, what is up with Jordans youth. When i lived in Amman there were hardly any tubetops and belly shirts,etc. Im surprised some muslims dress like that, Funny how the satellite dish can influence a persons wardrobe (Lebanese channel) .

  11. The simple question behind all this discussion, was the right of women having friends and sleeping with them whenever they want

    Having friends of the opposite sex does NOT in anyway suggest that it’s a sexual relationship and should NOT suggest that it is bound to be one either.

    We live in a society of double standards! It could, very well, be true that these brothers who kill their sisters in the name of ‘honor’ are not so ‘honorable’ themselves …But that’s okay since honor to so many seems to mean being greeted with the Japanese flag the morning after their daughter’s wedding! and who cares if these brothers were the cause of someone else’s sister ‘tarnishing’ their family ‘honor.’ And what’s even more appalling is these vicious murders are protected by the law!

  12. D. Purple, the honest answer to the honest question: my comfort level should be completely disconnected from my ability to take a human being’s life.

    this isn’t about changing a culture, this is much simpler than that: punish those who committ murder.

    as for double standards, they exist in every society but even in ours a man who sleeps around does bring shame upon his family, not as much as the woman but still.

    so another honest question would be: if his sister found out and then killed him for bringing shame on the family, should she be given a small sentence for having defended the family’s honor?

  13. Abu Sinan, this has very little to do with religion, even those who condone it or participate in it don’t mention religion. it is a matter of honor and pride and that is directly related to society and a certain culture. it’s not a set standard culturally or religiously.

  14. I have always been baffled by the viciousness of the crime. Not just that exists in our country, but the viciousness of it. I never had sex before i married because I CHOSE to, not because i was worried my dad or brother will kill me, they probably wouldn’t have, if anything they would’ve been disappointed, and that takes me to my point, we teach people things by scaring them. Tarheeb. I will kill you if you do this, so disappointment has little effect. Maybe if we treat people like adults with an actual grip on their lives we’d move forward.

    Another thing that bothers me is our god-like need to control everyone’s sexual actions. The plumber can come to my house, do the plumbing, cite some Qura’an, rip me off and leave, and that’s not a lack of honor, but my sister’s friend’s neighbor’s niece slept with someone and she is a whore. People need to set new values to the word honor. Like working when you’re being paid for it instead of gossiping and drinking tea. That’s honor.

    One thing that’s beyond me and will always be, is the deafening silence on the Jordanian side about the brutality and savagery of the murders. If a man is “surprised” with his woman in bed with another man and “shoots her” and that’s ok with the law, that is one thing. But for brothers to premeditate torture and murder and carry it out so cold bloodedly with no outcry from anyone, is just so freaking scary. If they have it in them to do that to their sister, how do i know they won’t do it to someone else? How do we let murders of such evilness just go ahead and walk among us and welcome them like heroes?
    When will we learn forgiveness? It’s so sad to know that we rather kill our children than forgive them the sin of having had sex. It’s really really really heartbreaking.

  15. Dear Purple,

    Speaking as a Jordanian woman and to be very frank, there are many honor killings that are not that at all. let me explain this slowly so that you can wrap your mind around it…pleading to having committed an honor killing is that same as the temporary insanity plea in the US. basically, you want to kill someone for any reason you see fit. You commit the crime with foreknowledge and much planning. Then when the cops arrest you, you tell them you blanked out and you dint remember a thing. Total time served…a few months at the state mental institution where you miraculously stop blanking out.

    VICTIM: still dead
    Murderer: set free

    My last words for you Purple are that i pity your mother for having brought into the world a being that canâ??t see black from white. and if you have sisters, i blame them for not having made the plight of women clearer to you.

    Nas,

    Problem is actually not just with the lower house. what we need is daily riots in front of their houses, work and get public support from removing them from office…full term or no full term.

    can we impeach these parliament members for the acts committed because they refuse to pass the referendum?

    can we arrest them as accomplices to these crimes?

  16. Fad, lol no you/we can’t impeach them for refusing to pass legislation or as accomplices. as for riots, the matter is as someone pointed out earlier that many people in Jordan are against any honor crime legislation, and it would be safe to say it’s a majority so technically MPs are actually, on this rare occassion, doing the people’s bidding.

    in any case laws don’t work like that, we don’t ask for a show of hands. otherwise the majority of people would want a law for free ice cream on tuesdays.

    the only way you’ll see any change is if power is exerted from on top or there’s a complete change in the house. the former has been growing more intense in recent years and the latter won’t happen for a while and even then will probably yield very little; elections are still tag team wrestling.

    and even with free democratic elections we still wouldn’t get anything because of the majority.

    so we’re basically left with a formula of the King, luck, and hope.

  17. Yes that’s me again ….
    I hesitated a lot before posting here again but something is telling to complete this …
    It seems that most of the contributors here are mainly of frustrated people who want to change the world to a better place just by setting at the convenience of their homes, drinking whatever and connect to the net. PEOPLE, what have you done to help to fix this issue? The best thing you did (to yourselves) is to attack my comments, just convincing your brains that I represent the opposite side (while I am not) and show your muscles in your words (some were insults, while I have not attack anybody – I will be polite enough not to respond back – Ok Fad?).
    For God sake, where in the hell of my two posts above, I encouraged honor crimes, or the funny sentence of these crimes? This is funny, Jordanians who like to show off speaking English were always making me crack, but all contributors here (as it seems) are unable to read English (or to understand what they read)!!!!
    The subject matter will be resolved in two ways:
    1- The word ‘honor crime’ should not be present in our courts, and be treated as any other crime …. AND
    2- Working on changing the mentality of the society.
    The two solutions need to be present altogether. Because I bit you that the “honor”-killer will still commit this act even if he will be sentenced to death, unless his mentality and views were changed.
    Otherwise, all of this will be BS, unless you consider it as a form of contribution in changing-the-mentality-of-the-society project, It depends on your audience Mr. Nas.

    Dead Purple

  18. And it’s me again. Talk about yourself, but for the last 4 years i’ve been working on-among other things- amending the law. And you know what one of Jordan’s biggest lawyers said just this last april to me? Ma khalas yah, itdogoush ktheer 3l qanoun. Respondin back to a comment i made at a seminar he was giving about women’s rights and the new addition to the one of the articles that gives the woman who shoots her husband cheating on her in “HER MARITAL BED” the right to a reduced sentence. Make what you want of the above story. One thing it taught me, I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO!

    The bottom line here isn’t who’s doing what and what we should call these crimes. The bottom line is these ARE crimes, brutal, ugly and uncalled for crimes. Very unfair to women. But it’s really unfair to our society when we let guys who drive over their sisters with a mad7aleh just get away with it. What does that say about us? About our morals that we brag about every day? About our God and our religion?

  19. Mr. Deep Purple, read the two recommendations in your last post starting with “will be resolve in two ways” (which I agree with) and then read your very first comment. did i miss something or did you miss something? or was something lost in the translation, eventually?

  20. So what needs to be done with the legistlative system to affect this? What can we, the people, do? Because this is outrageous.

  21. amin, a law needs to be passed to override current legislation that protects these criminals by offering them a smaller punishment for their crime. as for the people, while i could say ‘educating ourselves’ and ‘awareness’, both would yield little to no results.

    the fact is, this is one of those issues that is completely in the hands of the government and parliament.

Leave a Comment.