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January 30th, 2012
01:30 PM ET

Islam doesn't justify 'honor murders,' experts insist

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Zainab Shafia's crime was to run off to marry a man her parents hated. Middle sister Sahar's crime was to wear revealing clothes and have secret boyfriends. Youngest sister Geeti's crime was to do badly in school and call social workers for help dealing with a family home in turmoil.

The punishment for all three teenage Canadian sisters was the same: death.

Their executioner: their brother, acting on instructions from the father to run their car off the road.

Another family member, their father's first wife in a polygamous marriage, was also killed.

Hamed Shafia, his father, Mohammed, and his mother, Tooba Mohammed Yahya, were sentenced to life in prison for murder, with Judge Robert Maranger excoriating their "twisted notion of honor, a notion of honor that is founded upon the domination and control of women, a sick notion of honor that has absolutely no place in any civilized society."

Leading Muslim thinkers wholeheartedly endorsed the Canadian judge's verdict, insisting that "honor murders" had no place and no support in Islam.

"There is nothing in the Quran that justifies honor killings. There is nothing that says you should kill for the honor of the family," said Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford in England.

"This idea that 'somehow a girl has besmirched our honor and therefore the thing to do is kill her' is bizarre, and Muslims should stop using this defense," he said, arguing that the practice is cultural, not religious in origin.

"You cannot say this is what Islam approves of. You can say this is what their culture approves of," he said.

The Shafia family is originally from Afghanistan.

Experts say honor murders take place in many parts of the world.

"It's definitely a problem that happens in many different places: the Middle East, Pakistan, Bangladesh and among immigrant communities in North America," said Nadya Khalife, a researcher on women's rights in the Arab world for Human Rights Watch.

Several Arab countries and territories, including Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, have laws providing lesser sentences for honor murders than for other murders, Human Rights Watch says.

Egypt and Jordan also have laws that have been interpreted to allow reduced sentences for honor crimes, the group says.

Reliable figures of the number of honor murders are hard to come by, Khalife said, but she pointed to a United Nations Population Fund estimate of 5,000 per year.

Khalife agreed that the practice should not be blamed on Islam.

"It's not linked to religion; it's more cultural," she said. "There have been several Islamic scholars who have issued fatwas against honor killing."

Mohammed Shafia, who denied murder, said himself in court that Islam did not justify honor murders.

"In our religion, a person who kills his wife or daughter, there is nothing more dishonorable," he testified.

But Shafia was heard condemning his dead children in wiretapped conversations played in court.

"May the devil defecate on their graves! This is what a daughter should be? Would a daughter be such a whore?" he said.

Hargey, the director of the Muslim Educational Centre, said violence was sometimes the result of painful transition.

"Muslims are in a state of flux," he said.

"They are between two worlds: the ancient world and the new technological age," he said. "Women are getting rights and the ability to choose their own spouses. The family in Canada didn't know how to respond to this: the conflict between the discipline of children and the new reality."

Irshad Manji, the author of "Allah, Liberty and Love: Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom," said there was another conflict at work in honor murders, a term CNN uses in preference to "honor killings" because the latter phrase does not properly describe the crime.

It is "a tribal tradition that emphasizes the family or the tribe or the community over the individual," she said.

Although the practice may not be Islamic, she said, not all Muslims understand the distinction.

"It is a problem within Islam because of how Muslims often confuse culture and religion," she said. "It's Muslims who have to learn to separate culture and religion. If we don't, Islam will continue to get the bad name that it gets."

But one vocal British campaigner against honor violence points out that not all the crimes are perpetrated by Muslims.

Jasvinder Sanghera, who was the victim of a forced marriage, is not Muslim; she is Sikh.

"Significant cases are happening within South Asian communities, be it Pakistani, Indian, Sikh, Muslim, Kurdish, Iranian, Middle Eastern communities," she said.

"And we have to recognize that because the statistics don't lie. I am not standing here trying to embarrass those communities. But equally, those communities should be ashamed because this is happening in their community and they are not taking a stand," she said.

On the other hand, honor murders are not a problem in Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population.

"No such a practice can be found among Indonesian Muslims," said Azyumardi Azra, the director of the graduate school at the State Islamic University in Jakarta, Indonesia.

" 'Honor killing' is, I believe, a cultural problem among Arab and South Asian Muslims. I don't think that kind of practice has an Islamic basis," he said.

Although women and girls make up the overwhelming number of victims, there have been at least some male victims, including Ahmet Yildiz, a gay Turkish man whose fugitive father is the main suspect in his 2008 shooting death.

Britain has had about a dozen honor murders per year for the past several years, said Ghayasuddin Siddiqui of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain.

He, too, said the crimes were not justified by Islam.

"This comes from tribal customs where the father - not both parents - see children as their property. A girl decides to marry somebody of whom their parents do not approve, and they conspire and find some way to kill and dispose of this body," he said. "This is a kind of misplaced shame that parents feel that their daughter has decided to marry somebody of her choosing, not theirs."

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service has an expert devoted to prosecuting honor-based violence, Nazir Afzal.

Convicting perpetrators can be difficult, he said.

"There is a wall of silence around this, and people are not prepared to talk," he said.

But Afzal insisted that it was "absolutely important that you bring every single person to justice because you want to deter other people from doing it."

And along with the Islamic scholars and human rights advocates, he rejected out of hand the idea that religion justified it.

"At the end of the day, murder is murder. There is no faith on Earth, no community on Earth that justifies this," he said.

"Abrahamic faiths say 'Thou shalt not kill,' " he pointed out. "At the end of the day, nobody should die for this."

CNN's Paula Newton, Atika Shubert, Bharati Naik, Ashley Hayes, Ivan Watson and Becky Anderson contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Canada • Islam • Violence

soundoff (2,115 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Why are religious people(Yes Christians included) so insane...why do you have to mess with everyone else. I don't care what you believe, but repeal all religious laws in effect and stop telling me what I can and can't do.

    January 31, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • ac

      I honestly don't believe the family in this story were religious. They were maybe insane, but not religious!

      January 31, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • ac

      and here is the law:
      http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=776d261aa55722563c2b425b929a0076

      January 31, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • SMA

      When someone, who does not follow a particular religion,commits a crime, they are charged as an individual. When someone who claims to be affiliated with a particular religion commits a crime, even though it goes against the religion, the religion and the majority of people who are associated with it are blamed. The thing with people, is that when they want to do something, nothing will stop them, and they will use distort anything to justify their actions. It's time we stop looking at the majority based on the actions of a minority. This is not a blame game.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  2. Jerry

    It's a cultural thing and not islamic? Really? But only folks of the islamic faith do it.... Come on guys, we can come up with something better than that answer.

    January 31, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      You are right!

      I bet you can't get that answer from even educated Muslim elite like CNN's own Mr. Fareed Zakaria! They will always dilute the issue by saying you can't blame the Muslim community alone, and pick up some random case in some other community and quote it a million times over!

      Mr. Zakaria gas become an expert in protecting the Muslim commuinity against charges of religious terror by highligting cases such as the Norwegian aethiest killer Breivik.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Carla

      Culture is not religion. Most cultures who carry out honor killings just happen to be of the Muslim religion. They pointed that out in the article.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • A.J.

      Did you not read the article? These crimes take place in muslim, hindu, sihk and even christian families in this part of the world. It is cultural not religious and needs to stop. It is important that they understand the difference. It is not their faith that dictates taht they do this, but millenia old cultural traditions that have no place in the modern world.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • ac

      You are incorrect. In fact it's practice in many regions of the world. And then you have people in the West killing their entire families over other issues like financial crisis and just plain insanity. It's not about religion but rather it's about psychosocial and economic issues.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • SMA

      Everyday in the news, we see people kill others, and frankly, for no legitimate reason. The idea of honor killings is not Islamic, and considering there are over a billion Muslims in the world, a small group of people who affiliate themselves with Islam are not representative of the majority. It's rather ignorant to even say that. The practice of honor killings is cultural, and has no connection with Islam whatsoever. Just because a person calls himself Muslim, that does not mean his/her actions are representative of Islam. If you think that Islam allows "honor killings" then bring your proof, and by proof I mean from legitimate sources, like the Quran. To learn about Islam, you go to the correct sources, you don't view the actions of certain Muslims and consider yourself a scholar. Far from it, actually.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  3. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    Nadiya Khalife says

    "Jasvinder Sanghera, who was the victim of a forced marriage, is not Muslim; she is Sikh.
    I am not standing here trying to embarrass those communities. But equally, those communities should be ashamed because this is happening in their community and they are not taking a stand," she said.

    WONDER WHERE SHE GOT THAT INTERPRETATION FROM?

    What Nadiya Khalife says is NOTHING surprising given that even educated Muslim elite like CNN’s own Mr. FAREED ZAKARIA rarely ever address any issue within the Muslim community, without trying to tarnish other religious groups by painting them with the same brush!

    With such so-called educated elite like Ms. Khalife, and Mr. Zakaria it's only Muslim community who will pay a huge price!

    January 31, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      The fact is honor killings amongst educated Hindus and Sikhs living in the west is almost unknown, even as it's RAMPANT in the Muslim community. Even in the rarest of rare cases when this Sikh girl was killed by her relatives, the entire Sikh community condemned the perpetuators, and nobody from the community has ever defended them in the name of their religion!.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  4. James

    No one else seems to be doing it....only the muz3lims

    January 31, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Just claryifying

      Not completely true. It happens in many faiths in that part of the world. It's cultural, not religious.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • Patrick

      @ Just claryifying
      Okay… I’m open and listening. Could you post a few cases with a reasonable source?

      January 31, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Aaron

      Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world. My wife is from there and we visit that country occasionally. You don't hear about that kind of thing coming from Indonesia. This isn't a Muslim issue. It is a cultural one. Are you really stating that there are no occurrences of Christians killing their Children? Just look at the news.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Jerry

      I'm also waiting for the answer.... I'll bet it's a doozie.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Al

      Google " FLDS blood atonement "

      January 31, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • ac

      Ok, take a look at this article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/02/18/better-off-dead.html

      It's about control. Why do men batter their wives and children? Control. Why do they kill them? It's about control. They all have their own reasons such as money and family issues..____ fill in the blank. They feel hopeless, helpless, delusional/deranged thinking and that makes up their final resort to kill their family. So it's really all the same but we are biased in how we view our own country's killing.

      January 31, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Just claryifying

      @ Patrick... sure thing, in Canada a Sikh honour killing has made the news:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaswinder_Kaur_Sidhu

      Also:

      Every year in the United Kingdom (UK), officials estimate that at least a dozen women are victims of honor killings, almost exclusively within Asian and Middle Eastern families.[47] Often cases cannot be resolved due to the unwillingness of family, relatives and communities to testify. A 2006 BBC poll for the Asian network in the UK found that one in ten of the 500 young Asians polled said that they could condone the killing of someone who dishonored their family.[48] In the UK, in December 2005, Nazir Afzal, Director, west London, of Britain's Crown Prosecution Service, stated that the United Kingdom has seen "at least a dozen honour killings" between 2004 and 2005.[49] While precise figures do not exist for the perpetrators' cultural backgrounds, Diana Nammi of the UK's Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation is reported to have said: "about two-thirds are Muslim. Yet they can also be Hindu and Sikh"

      January 31, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  5. JustPlainJoe

    Of course "reasonable" muslins cannot condone this hideous act. However, it is the religious culture of inequality and self-righteousness that encouraged such inhuman behavior. ANY religion or social construct that subjugates women will risk some percentage of its adherents to do horrible things in the name of righteousness.

    January 31, 2012 at 8:12 am |
    • Al

      ANY religion or social construct that subjugates women

      That seems to be one of the standard substances that is part of all religions.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Michael Reilly

      The main problem is that this has little to do with religion and more to do with control. The individual in question is a controlling, manipulating person, this is shown by the fact that he had his son do the dirty work for him rather than commit the crime himself. He had little or no love for his children or wife and thought only of himself. He was worried about his own image and little else. This had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with his own selfish pride; that they were slipping from his complete control and his reaction to it shows that he thought of them as little more than cattle.
      Religion only came into the picture when he was caught and had to justify his actions. Westerners from Christian religions have tried to use the same excuse and have seen their arguments given little or no credence, why is this case being treated differently? Why isn't it being treated like any other murder perpetrated by a controlling, prideful, self centered slimeball? Murder plain and simple, leave the excuses for the defense lawyers to create.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • Pardeep

      Jana – I was thinking of you all yedsertay when I realized the date. Two years went quickly but I am sure the sadness is still very raw. My love and thoughts to Catherine and all of your family.January 31, 2007 5:55 PM

      October 8, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  6. John Spurlock

    First, lets clear up one glaring error... The words "Honor", and "Islam", do not belong on the same page.
    No one who kills, especially a family member, over so questionable a set of standards, has any honor at all.
    What we are talking about here are simple minded animals, achieving gratification thru murder, there is no 'honor' involved.

    January 31, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  7. Amadea

    There is so much mis- and dis-information in these postings, including full lies, half-truths, and confused and confusing interpretations of Holy Scripture. If the world is in doubt that we are living the End Times, you have just to read the vitriol and drivel that arises from any story concerning religion. Most of you have no idea what is coming. How very sad.

    January 31, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Mirosal

      nothing is coming .. no end times .. no revelation .. nothing nada zip zilch zero. No 'god' either, no second coming, because ther ewas NEVER a first coming.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • Al

      It's the end of the world! Run for your lives!!!

      January 31, 2012 at 8:06 am |
    • NickZadick

      Why don't you try to guess a date like all the religious nutjobs in the past? People have been waiting for the end times since 100 AD... we are still waiting.... but it won't happen because fairy tales are not real!!!!! try to get rid of your programmed brainwashing... you will feel liberated!!

      January 31, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Patrick

      @Amadea
      Your logic for the evidence of ‘the end times’ shows your lack of history education. This however is not unexpected or surprising.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  8. ruemorgue

    *honor killings* – only in the minds of religious fanatics.

    January 31, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • Al

      The FLDS call it "blood atonement ".

      January 31, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • ac

      These people are not religious or were you referring to some other religious fanatics?

      January 31, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  9. wakeupcall

    Wow! Isn't religion great. The biggest crime of all is indoctrinating children.

    January 31, 2012 at 7:33 am |
    • Just claryifying

      Just to clarify... this has NOTHING to do with religion (as the article pointed out) - it's CULTURAL, and if you want to take a look at some Western cultures that treat women like crap, take a look at "The Travelers" who are Irish.

      True, they don't commit "honour" killings, but at the same time, girls are married off in their teens and aren't allowed to work... and they're Catholic!!

      This is about culture, not religion.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • doughnuts

      The article misleading. Sharia law condones honor-killings. It may not be in the Qur'an, but it is certainly a part of Islam.
      There is no real separation between Islam and Muslim culture. Just as there is no separation between Islam and politics in Muslim nations.
      Without the Islamic equivalent of the Reformation, there will be no changes, and the rest of the world will continue to see Islam as barbarism, and will treat it accordingly.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Patrick

      @wakeupcall
      I completely agree. The sheeple below can twist it all he likes with pathetic comparisons (most Irish are catholic btw) but history as proven religion is a disease on the human mind.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • ac

      http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=776d261aa55722563c2b425b929a0076

      January 31, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  10. BigAl

    wow, what a shock intolerant Muslims, thats a first

    January 31, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • Just claryifying

      And Sikhs, and Hindus and Christians... This is about old world culture, not religion.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • Patrick

      @Just claryifying
      Pointing fingers at another group (or person) as a defense for poor behavior is a five year olds tactic.

      p.s. Using other religions as examples of it NOT being a religious issue is hilarious if not outright moronic.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • SMA

      @Patrick Pointing at Islam based on the actions of a minority who happen to call themselves Muslim is a childish tactic as well. Maybe it's time we stop looking at others, and try to fix what's in ourselves.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  11. Rocks

    Do you have enough evidence to write Sikh community in your article. You may have seen 1 or 2 cases here and there which you can find in every community no matter what. I'll appreciate if article writer can let me know. Thanks!

    January 31, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • hassan

      I am completely agree with you Rocks. That is the point i was trying to make when they mentioned Bangladesh in the article. Just a few isolated incidents that have been reported, when the fact is not even sure whether they are because of family violence or honor killings one can not write a community or a country.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Just claryifying

      There have been honour killings in Canada with the Sikh community - look up "Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu"

      January 31, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • SMA

      It's cultural, not religious.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  12. Osarenren

    This honour killing is insane. Who are we to play God? We do not have the right to decide who lives or dies.

    January 31, 2012 at 6:49 am |
    • Mirosal

      Actors play fictional characters all the time. Playing 'god' is just another character from a book that people like to portray.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • ladydi

      ANIMALS. PURE AND SIMPLE..............MAY THEY BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Al

      God speaks in mysterious ways. This honor killing is all part of his plan so don't worry about it. He is in control.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Mirosal

      oh... so 'god' WANTED those women murdered?? Gee what a nice deity you have there.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "God speaks in mysterious ways. This honor killing is all part of his plan so don't worry about it. He is in control."

      So by that reasoning there should be absolutely no issue with regards to abortion. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Al

      Yes it's all part of the plan. God is good.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:15 am |
    • Mirosal

      there is no plan .. god is a myth, just like the thousands of 'gods' before this one.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • Al

      Yes abortion is part of his plan. It's not hard to rationalize. Just go with it.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Then my atheism is also part of his plan. From the outset my fate was sealed according to your theory. Then God is an complete jerk.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:28 am |
    • Al

      Then God is an complete jerk.

      Yes. I know it sounds strange but for some unknown reason God does come across as a jerk and complete lunatic, but you just have to believe that this complete lunatic is in control and does these things for a reason.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Mirosal

      How can something that doesn't exist be in control of anything?

      January 31, 2012 at 7:42 am |
    • Al

      Mirosal

      That's the mysterious part of all of this. Get some pot from Hippiepoet and then sing Kumbaya and it will all start to make sense to you.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The grammar error of 'an' instead of 'a' was left in when I couldn't get a-whole to post and I didn't catch it in time.
      But as far as God being a complete dick it's far easier to believe that such a malevolent creature doesn't exist at all. Whatever we find mysterious is just that...mysterious...or more commonly 'unknown'. To assert anything at all about an unknown is intellectually dishonest.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      Sorry to disillusion you, I do not smoke the wacky-tobacky. Too much to lose with that stuff. There never was a 'god', and your god is but one of thousands created throughout history. So what makes your 'god' any better than the ones that have come and gone throughout time?

      January 31, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • bigot

      "Sorry to disillusion you, I do not smoke the wacky-tobacky. Too much to lose with that stuff. "

      LOL keep feeding yourself 1930's propaganda. RA......TARD #youignant

      January 31, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Mike from CT

      What is intellectually dishonest, is it is not ok to assume that my car was assembled by random chance,
      that if I come across a sign that says Steve loves Atheism was random chance

      But it is ok to assume the workings of the circulatory system and how when a baby is born, the flap protecting the lungs closes and blood is rerouted trough the heart is random chance

      Design points to a designer.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • bigot

      "There never was a 'god', and your god is but one of thousands created throughout history. So what makes your 'god' any better than the ones that have come and gone throughout time?"

      Let me ask you this.....How do you KNOW, without a doubt, that there is no god? The answer is, you don't. You can only speculate. You are just as bad as any person of faith when they say they KNOW god exists. Ignorance is a 2-way street, and it seems you have both north and southbound lanes jammed. #youignant

      January 31, 2012 at 8:37 am |
    • Al

      Mirosal,

      I was kidding. For God to make sense to you, you would probably need some "Maui Wowie" as would any rational free thinker. I agree with you.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      And yet biology is replete with examples of bad design. A giraffe's neck has a nerve which descends all the way down to the loop around the heart and back up to the head. The most efficient design would have it simply traverse the short distance from brain to jaw. Not a problem for animals with short necks but in the giraffe it is both costly in a material sense and increases the likelihood of damage. Yet this is easily explained by the slow evolutionary lengthening of the neck. Just because you find the random undirected process of evolution unpalatable is no excuse to claim design with intent. The human eye has a blind spot but the squid eye does not. Why do we..the pinnacle of God's creation have such a poorly designed eye? 98% of everything that has ever lived is extinct because it could not adapt to change. The argument from design is like hindsight. Like if a puddle suddenly became sentient and could marvel at how 'perfectly' the terrain was designed to accommodate it.

      January 31, 2012 at 9:06 am |
    • Mike from CT

      The "well I would have done it different" is not an argument against existence of a designer everyone agrees that something has gone wrong with the world. well the Christian belief is sin and the fall, and everything has been subjected to futility in the hope of restoration through the return of Jesus Christ.... I would be interested in hearing your explanation as to the why the world is filled with "wrongs"?

      "98% of everything that has ever lived is extinct because it could not adapt to change."
      Where did you get the numerator and denominator for this percentage.

      January 31, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Welcome the joy of prayer in the morning

    January 31, 2012 at 6:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      the above fool is the perfect case for being brainwashed

      January 31, 2012 at 6:36 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer above is always received
      Prayer confounds the wise
      And rewards the foolish
      Prayer changes things

      January 31, 2012 at 6:42 am |
    • Dana

      Prayer here IS the problem.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • Mirosal

      Prayer is a placebo.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer brings the answer
      Find a prayer place Bo
      Prayer changes things

      January 31, 2012 at 6:51 am |
    • Mirosal

      ready to set that wager?

      January 31, 2012 at 6:53 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Prayer is a bet ter way to know God

      January 31, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Mirosal

      I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul as to think I'm better than you .. or so sayeth the classic song

      January 31, 2012 at 7:16 am |
    • just sayin

      You have lost your fiddle

      January 31, 2012 at 7:18 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Prayer is a total cop-out.
      Fooling yourself into believing your incantations can affect anything.
      Hands that help ease others pain.
      Hands clasped in prayer ease only a deluded fools conscience.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • Mirosal

      ok Spewin' .... ready for one question?

      January 31, 2012 at 7:19 am |
    • just sayin

      i know mirosal can be insulting when he doesn't get his own way but i am not sure if the vulgar foul mouthed posts are his or not. What has been posted on another story reflects a man without respect and unworthy of the same Please clarify if the vulgar unneeded posts are yours before proceeding.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • doughnuts

      In scientific studies on the effect of prayer, recovering surgical patients who were being prayed for, and knew it, fared worse that patients whe were not being prayed for.

      Proof that prayer is harmful!

      (not really)

      January 31, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • ac

      If you cite studies, you should include your reference to those studies otherwise there is no credit in them. No one can say anyone fares worse or better due to prayers in a study. There are many, many other variables.

      January 31, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  14. Aisha W

    Muslims , why are you wasting your time with people that are obviously against Islam ? Just let them me , it's pointless arguing with people that have been brainwashed !

    January 31, 2012 at 6:29 am |
    • Rob

      Same could be said for Christianity. Stop eating the magic zombie, dooshtard.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • Mirosal

      the "brainwashed" would be the Qu'ran and bible toting sheep. THEY are brainwashed. The people of reason see through it.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • ladydi

      WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE AGAINST MUSLIMS....REMEMBER 9/11? OR DID YOU HAPPEN TO FORGET.....THAT FIGURES.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:20 am |
    • doughnuts

      Aisha, do you enjoy knowing that your namesake was molested by Mohammad when she was just nine years old?

      January 31, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  15. ac

    I am a Muslim and I fully support the conviction for this heinous crime. There is absolutely nothing in Islam which supports honor killings. The people who did this themselves have serious issues, but Islam is really the furthest aspect from their lives.

    January 31, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • Mirosal

      They probably thought that the girls and the first wife were guilty of apostasy by "westernizing" themselves.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • ac

      I can't say what they thought nor can I begin to guess. Insanity has no basis.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • doughnuts

      AC, you may want to check out Umdat al-Salik, or The Reliance of the Traveler, a manual of Islamic jurisprudence certified as "reliable" by Egypt's very own Al-Azhar University, that states that parents who kill their own children for disobediance should suffer no peanlty.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:33 am |
    • ac

      doughnuts, please site the page number. In fact all of the scholars agree that honor killings are prohibited:
      http://www.askimam.org/fatwa/fatwa.php?askid=776d261aa55722563c2b425b929a0076 This scholar is one of the most respected scholars in the world and his view is accepted.

      January 31, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  16. jesus

    why do you always broadcast bad news which include islamic objects. we belive in that jesus is the prophet mosas is the prophet and you believe in that islam is the last religion which sent by god as he sent mosas jesus

    January 31, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • M. DaSilva

      Then why, in countries were Islam is the predominant religion, do you persecute His followers?

      January 31, 2012 at 6:23 am |
  17. grahame rhodes

    Yes it is true and you trying to justify it is a lie pure and simple. The Koran states that anyone who is a "None Believer" is to be killed. That's what the Koran and your twisted moronically labeled killer of a prophet Mohammed says. Now that I have said that you are obliged to have me killed or threatened just like Salman Rushdie or the Dutch cartoonist who drew Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. Don't push the Christinan West too far because numbers don't count in a fire fight.

    January 31, 2012 at 6:02 am |
    • jesus

      ı wish read more about islam

      January 31, 2012 at 6:09 am |
    • ac

      It doesn't state to go out and kill anyone who is a non believer. There is a reference to kill the people who were badly terrorizing them at a particular point in time and that is only in one point at a particular period of time. The tortures of Muslims by Christians and pagans were horrendous. So they were given permission to fight back and they were also given admonition to not do MORE than what was being done to them and that if they did more than what was being done, then they would be called to account for all of their injustices they inflict on others. The same idea if Christianity that an 'eye for an eye' and not more than that, and in fact, we're encouraged to forgive it at all possible rather than punish because forgiving is much better.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • Rob

      The Christian bible contains many passages in which people are to be killed for many reasons. You are supposed to kill your neighbor if he works his field on the sabbath, and if your wife is not a virgin when you marry? Kill her.
      Christianity is a horrible horrible religion, far more violent and hate filled than any other. And...on top of it all....you worship a zombie.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • ac

      @rob: Christianity was not a horrible religion, but rather the issue is that the texts have been change to suit coming and going rulers e.g. King James is a perfect example of how texts have been change to suit the time of the rulers. So throughout a long history of changing text and implied meanings, the religion ultimately looks terrible if you read it straight out of the Bible. And there is no original available to go back and regroup intention and such. And this is one of the reasons Islam was given: to correct the wrong practices that had taken over such as killing and burying children, namely female children. So Islam corrected the horrendous acts that were going on. What people have decided to do, Christians and Muslims etc all the same, is a different story. People practice what they want, when they want, and how they want...which doesn't go according to the religion as such but their own brand of religion. People of all religions are guilty of this.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:59 am |
    • jesus

      Actually, Islam never denies any of the prophets before it, including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. The prophet Mohammad affirmed the teachings of Jesus, while correcting the mistakes that were made by Christians as to the person of Jesus. Abrahamic religions are monotheistic! God does not have a son, a family, or parents. God is not like any of his creation. I once asked my history teacher, a nice christian lady, why did Jesus pray if he was God? She had no answer. Jesus was a prophet like all others. He is one of the five great prophets of Islam that are closest to God. Islam also does believe that he was never crucified but was raised up by Allah, who refused to allow him to be shamed like that in public. A lot of Muslims also believe that in the end times he will come back to kill the anti-christ or as known in Islam as dajjal. If you google Muhammad in the bible, you will find an interesting mention of his name in the "Original Hebrew Text" in the torah, song of Soloman, chapter 5 verse 16. Good luck.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • TS

      @grahame rhodes: if lines are taken out of context then you can make any PERSON say ANYTHING you want. Quran condemns innocent killings…where you read or heard about killing ‘non-believer’ was only mentioned during a time when Muslims were tortured horrendously by non muslims. So they were instructed to fight back. This has nothing to do with the religion for the whole of mankind. Now, if that makes Islam a religion of “hatred and killing” then what do you call Americans when they bomb innocents? Just Google how many country America has invaded and how many innocent were killed.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • bigot

      "God is not like any of his creation"

      So if god is not like any of his creation, why did he create man in his own image? (Genesis 1:27)

      January 31, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  18. Homer

    In spite of all the information available these days that shows the evil nature of Islam, Greene is among those journalists who remain incredibly naive vis-a-vis Islam.
    Islam does command the killing of apostates. Muhammad said " Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.” (Sahih Bukhari 9.84.57). So, when parents are convinced that their children have become apostates either in belief or in behavior, they should kill them. According to the "Reliance of the traveller and Tools for the Worshipper", an Al-Azhar approved manual of Shari'a Law, parents may kill their children anyway without being punished:
    "o1.1 Retaliation is obligatory (...) against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right. (…)
    o1.2 The following are not subject to retaliation:
    (…)
    4. a father or mother (or their fathers of mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring;

    January 31, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • ac

      No, inspite of all of the information available these days people still have their own way of interpreting as they wish, Muslims and non Muslims alike.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:29 am |
  19. NTI

    Are honor killings and domestic violence the same?

    http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Honor_Related_Violence#Differing_Characteristics_of_Honor_Violence_and_Domestic_Violence

    The media and the 'experts' are working overtime to confuse people. Don't trust them to give you the truth. Read for yourself and use your own brain!

    Copy paste this link and pass this on! Knowledge is power!!!

    January 31, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  20. Stan

    The Koran most definitely supports the concept of honor killings and the abuse of women in general should they be found guilty of "lewdness." There may indeed be a difference between the "culture" of honor killings and whether or not the Koran and Islam SPECIFICALLY says you should commit honor killings, but this is a dumb splitting of hairs and an attempt by Muslims to rationalize the massive contradictions their religion presents them with. In fact, the rules for the treatment of women in the Koran are almost identical to those found in the bible (which isn't surprising since the Koran is roughly 80% copied from the Bible) Justifications for the abuse and murder of women are easily apparent in both books when they are interpreted in a very literal fashion which is PRECISELY what religious fanatics do, which they then pass on to their followers as doctrine. You can say that Islam doesn't condone this sort of thing all you want, but it is an established, scholarly fact that IT DOES. There is no escaping it. Either you believe the texts are holy word that cannot be contradicted (which is required by Islam) or you are making a conscious decision to be more of a moral person than your holy book orders you to be and you are making a morally superior decision to your god which means you cannot be Muslim. You cannot have it both ways and expect your religion to not tear itself apart with fanatics and zealots.

    January 31, 2012 at 3:58 am |
    • NTI

      Not true

      http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Jesus-Muhammad.htm

      January 31, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • Flex

      ...good analogy.

      January 31, 2012 at 4:49 am |
    • mcp123

      From the bible:

      If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. - Deuteronomy 21:18-21
      The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. - Proverbs 30:17
      And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and ... offer him there for a burnt offering.... And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. - Genesis 22:2,10
      The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon.... And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. - Exodus 12:29-30
      Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. - Psalm 137:9

      January 31, 2012 at 7:02 am |
    • just sayin

      mcp123 cherry picking the Bible shows your ignorance of Truth.Show the full passages and proper meanings or be regarded as a liar

      January 31, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • hmmmm...ok

      o Just sayin…have you admonished those “cherry-picking” the Qur`an for their intents and purposes as well? Have you instructed them to “Show the full passages and proper meanings or be regarded as a liar” as well? I highly doubt it….pompous hipcrocrite.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • SMA

      Well your "argument" is based purely on your opinion. You bring forth no proof whatsoever, you are just ranting. I highly doubt you are a scholar of Islam or Christianity, so please, either say what is good, or don't say anything at all. While you're at it, go out and seek knowledge from legitimate sources, your local news channel just doesn't cut it anymore.

      February 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.