Honor killings are committed an estimated thousand times a year in Pakistan. The exact number is elusive; most of these murders never come to light, because the victims’ bodies are disposed of and the community hides behind a wall of silence.
This one, however, didn’t stay secret for long.
Two teenage girls have been murdered in a so-called “honor killing” in north-west Pakistan following a video circulated on the internet. They are said to have been shot dead by family members earlier this week…
The murders came after a video appeared on social media showing the girls with a young man, police said. Two men were reportedly arrested on Sunday in connection with the case. The two men were the father of one of the victims and brother of the other victim…
[T]he reason behind the killings of the two girls, aged 16 and 18, was believed to be a video which shows a young man recording himself with three young girls in a secluded area outdoors. It appeared the video was shot nearly a year ago and probably went viral on social media a few weeks ago.
A senior police officer told the Pakistani Dawn newspaper that the cops’ current top priority is finding the third girl and the young man, and keeping them from meeting the same fate.
Honor killings are an intractable tragedy rooted in both tribal customs and religious fundamentalism. Though they’re not unheard of among Sikhs and Hindus, most such murders occur at the hands of Muslims, often in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Some Muslim expats in Europe, however, have also retained their medieval views of girls’ and women’s roles. Despite their more or less progressive environment, there are many cases of European Muslims stabbing their own sisters or daughters to death for the crime of wearing makeup, or for the girls having shown an interest in a boy the family hasn’t approved.
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