A pregnant woman was stoned to death by her own family in front of a Pakistani high court on Tuesday for marrying the man she loved.
Nearly 20 members of the woman’s family, including her father and brothers, attacked her and her husband with batons and bricks in broad daylight before a crowd of onlookers in front of the high court of Lahore, the police investigator Rana Mujahid said.
Hundreds of women are murdered every year in Muslim-majority Pakistan in so-called ” honour killings” – carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behaviour – but public stoning is extremely rare.
Mujahid said the woman’s father has been arrested for murder and that police were working to apprehend all those who participated in the “heinous crime”.
Another police officer, Naseem Butt, identified the slain woman as Farzana Parveen, 25, and said she had married Mohammad Iqbal against her family’s wishes after being engaged to him for years.
Her father, Mohammad Azeem, had filed an abduction case against Iqbal, which the couple was contesting, her lawyer Mustafa Kharal said. He confirmed that she was three months pregnant.
Arranged marriages are the norm among conservative Pakistanis, who view marriage for love as a transgression.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a private group, said in a report last month that some 869 women were murdered in “honour killings” in 2013.
But even Pakistanis who have tracked violence against women expressed shock at the brutal and public nature of Tuesday’s killing.
“I have not heard of any such case in which a woman was stoned to death, and the most shameful and worrying thing is that this woman was killed in front of a court,” said Zia Awan, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist.
He said Pakistanis who commit violence against women are often acquitted or handed light sentences because of poor police work and faulty prosecutions.
“Either the family does not pursue such cases or police don’t properly investigate. As a result, the courts either award light sentences to the attackers, or they are acquitted,” he said.
Parveen’s relatives had waited outside the court, which is located on a main downtown thoroughfare. As the couple walked up to the main gate, the family members fired shots in the air and tried to snatch her from Iqbal, her lawyer said.
When she resisted, her father, brothers and other relatives started beating her, eventually pelting her with bricks from a nearby construction site, Iqbal said.
Iqbal, 45, said he started seeing Parveen after the death of his first wife, with whom he had five children.
“We were in love,” he told the Associated Press. He alleged that the woman’s family wanted to swindle money from him before marrying her off.
“I simply took her to court and registered a marriage,” infuriating the family, he said.
Parveen’s father surrendered after the incident and called the murder an “honour killing”, Butt said.
“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,” Mujahid, the police investigator, quoted the father as saying.
Mujahid said the woman’s body had been handed over to her husband for burial.
At 3:26 Princess Sahar says “This is 21st century, Jahiliya committed right in front of the world”…. Princess Jawaher “The world is also responsible and complicit…”
Muslims would consider Jahiliya either a thing of the past Mekkan tradition or referring to idol worship and non-Islamic practise. I am writing this as an appeal to fair minded people who follow a path they regard as the only truth and humbly ask them to search in their heart.
Is it true, Jahiliya today in #Saudi. How many of you tolerate it and why?
I’ve heard of Jahiliya before but never paid any attention, flippantly dismissing it as “Oh Yeah! Things they did in days of yore” It was only while watching a video [linked below] when I heard it in a context that just did not sit comfortably. The only way I can describe it – like a grain of sand in your shoe.
This video is part of a story in itself. About the four adult daughters of the King of Saudi Arabia, the custodian of the holiest place for global Islam. In case you are not aware of Jahiliya I’ve copied a little from HubPages [link]
What is Jahiliyya?
The Tribes of Pre-Islamic Arabia
Jahiliyya- The Days of Ignorance
Jahiliyya is the Arabic term used to refer to the period of time before Muhammad received his first revelation of the Qur’an. It literally means the Days of Ignorance since Makkan society in pre-Islamic Arabia was morally bankrupt and ignorant of the one true god Allah.
The Main Features of Jahiliyya
The period of Jahiliyya was marked by a distinct lack of morals- people practised polytheism and worshipped idols and statues housed in the Kab’ah. The status of women was very poor and women were treated as second class citizens. Unlimited polygamy was practised as well as female infanticide. Gambling, the charging of interest (usury) and the consumption of alcohol was also commonplace………
At 3:26 Princess Sahar says “This is 21st century, Jahiliya committed right in front of the world”
Why would she use the word Jahiliya? When she describes her father the King of Saudi Arabia and the male guardians of her family. [Please also familiarise yourself on Male Guardianship] or here [jump to link] sorry it’s only wikipedia.
In case you are wondering why on earth am I writing about one tiny little word. Please read on, but first, may I suggest that you watch this video. They need help and who knows, you, might be the person that unlocks this conundrum.
Islamic Insights has this to say on Jahiliya [please read the full article linked here]
The era preceding the message of Islam was one of the most important eras to study. It is that era that Islam fought first and aimed to change. That era is known as the Age of Jahiliyya (Ignorance).
At first look, one might say that Islam fought and changed the people during Jahiliyya, but given our current technological and scientific era, things are different. Upon examining Jahiliyya deeper, it will be very evident how our world today is very different from the world back then on the surface, but at their cores they are exactly the same. Understanding these similarities is key if we are to follow the right path, enjoin the good, and forbid the evil.
Tribalism and Nationalism
During Jahiliyya, people used to take pride in belonging to a specific tribe. This strong sense of belonging was translated into belittling those who belonged to other tribes. Each tribe started seeing itself as the best for whatever reason. These reasons can include pedigree, wealth, power, army force, trade, recognition, and so on.