About three times a day, and maybe more, a Pakistani woman is killed for “dishonoring” her family. But to whom does the dishonor really go? How does a sentient human being, with malice aforethought, brutally murder anyone, much less his or her own child or sister? What are we to do with people so threatened and upset by love that they douse their kin in kerosene and light the fateful match?
A woman in Pakistan burned her 17-year-old daughter alive on Wednesday to punish her for marrying against the family’s wishes, the latest in a series of so-called “honor killings” that claim the lives of nearly 1,000 women every year in the conservative Muslim country.
Police say Zeenat Rafiq’s mother, Parveen, tied her to a cot and drenched her with kerosene before lighting her on fire. Neighbors in the congested, working-class neighborhood in the eastern city of Lahore came running when they heard the screams, but family members kept them from entering the house, said Nighat Bibi, who lives nearby.