We have been following honor killing in the United States and aboard. This tragedy has a different aspect however. Gul Wazir, a taxi driver from Birmingham and his wife Begum were killed in Pakistan after reportedly returning to make amends for their daughter breaking off an arranged marriage.
The couple decided that, out of respect, they would return to the village to explain her daughters decision. The man was not happy after the marriage had been promised. He reportedly proceeded to kill them both out of “honor.”
Such killings are supposedly common in the Muslim area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
58 thoughts on “English Couple Killed in Pakistan in Honor Killing After Daughter Backs Out of Arranged Marriage”
Heh, okay, HenMan. For what it’s worth, I do appreciate that you gave me your time.
ShireNomad– Oh no you don’t! Not today. I see from my posts yesterday that I was bloviating over a period of nearly 9 hours. That’s outrageous–I don’t plan to do that again or spend another day coping with your tricks and snares. All I can do with you is to respectfully agree to disagree. As to “mercy killing”– I’m not going there. Well, I send you my regards and I’m going to take a long walk and hope to watch one of the Great Blue Herons catching fish in the Milwaukee River- it’s great mental therapy after watching the morning news.
I second LK. Nice catch. mespo turned me on to TED a couple of years ago. It’s an interesting organization.
Byron, That’s an interesting vid and excellent talk. Starting at about the 14 minute point he (Mr. Harris) starts exploring the tendency to give every point of view ‘worth’ based on their various cultural factors, no matter how bat-sh*t crazy the views are or delusional the cultural basis is and how to break out of that (destructive) way of thinking. It’s a good examination of exactly the question we seem to be debating here. His contention is that human flourishing and it’s advancement and governance by morality is a ‘DOMAIN OF FACT’ and those facts can be objectively determined. That the moral questions do have answers that transcend borders and cultures and can be answered by, among other things, science.
Thanks for the very entertaining link.
@HenMan: Very well, so long as you admit your moral judgments are a) based purely on your personal reactions, and b) for that reason cannot be forced on others (beyond the pressure of your personal indignation), you’re at least being consistent. Am I hearing you right?
If so, one more question: if you actually witnessed a mercy killing in progress, would you make efforts to stop it? And would it matter if it were in a place where such things were legal?
AY–George W.Bush had so many half-formed,muddled ideas rattling around in that empty head of his that it is impossible to know what motivated him. The one thing he did know was that there were no WMD’s–otherwise why the rush to force the U.N. Weapons Inspectors out? They were not being impeded by the Iraqi’s and went wherever they wanted to go,including sites suggested by U.S. “Intelligence”. You may also recall that the Iraqi’s were dismantling their ground-to-ground missles that had a longer range than was permitted by the agreement that ended the first Gulf War. As to Pat Tillman, I admire him greatly for following his own convictions and for his courage. What the Bush administration propagandists and the U.S.Army did to Pat Tillman after his death and what they did to his family will forever be a stain on all who participated in it .
Isn’t that what BushII did to Saddam, a mercy Killing to avenge the assassination attempt on his fathers life, BushI. If you don’t think what they did to Pat Tillman when he had a sufferance of conscience wasn’t a mercy killing in the eyes of the people that did it ask Pat. Oh, you can’t he’s dead. Then the cloak of silence before his mother gets the answers after years of a cover up, by the brass. Then out of the wood work comes others in his unit that are not subject to recall and tell the truth.
AY– I can’t impose my views,morals,and dictates on anybody–and if I could, I wouldn’t. But I am deeply offended when two well-meaning people are gunned down in cold blood and the murderer calls it “honor killing”. There is nothing honorable about this in any civilized society. I can only judge this by my own moral standards. We all make moral judgements every day of our lives–it’s in our nature.
By imposing your views, morals and dictates to someone from another country with different life experiences you are playing God don’t you think?
AY and others:
you may find this to be an interesting video it is a Teds talk by Sam Harris and is germane to this thread:
ShireNomad– In the “perfect world” I described there would be no need for abortion and it wouldn’t exist. In our world abortion exists because it is necessary. In MY perfect world, the young woman would not be forced to marry a murderous douchebag. In MY perfect world this jerk would live by himself in a cave where he could not interact with civilized people. I don’t accept his moral standards and I don’t accept your moral standards either, only my own. This is what I was trying to say to AY. I KNOW that AY has moral standards. He seemed to imply in his first three posts that we might judge what happened by the standards of their society–I was trying to urge him to stick to his own well-founded convictions.
I do and I will tell you. I don’t piss in your toilet, so if I invite you over for a swim, please don’t piss in my pool. I have it loaded with dye so if you do, it’ll turn blue, and dark blue at that… Other words I don’t try and tell you what you are to do, but if you come here, respect my rules, its that simple no mystery.
@AY: You clearly condemn (and rightfully so in my opinion) what the settlers did to the natives. However, you also claim to condemn based neither on the morals of the applicable culture nor on your own morals, and it is fairly obvious you do not draw your condemnation from modern American culture either (or you would have condemned the honor killing that started this whole debate). Therefore, you have another, unnamed standard which you apply. Could you tell me what it is?
I don’t chew Peyote and if it does not affect me, why should I regulate it?
It has also been a while since I have worn a Yarmulke…I do not condemn those that do….
I don’t sacrifice chickens…you can if you want…
I eat beef and lots of it….should I be killed in India for Eating the best Bull? Of course I should, if that is necessary to protect the sanctity of the bull…
Do I think that if they knew that the daughter offended the custom and the folks were ready to give their lives for it, that is the custom and belief that they grew up with, who am I to say that it is wrong and undignified?
To answer you question ShireNomad:
It appears you condemn based on the morals of the culture within which the person is found. Would you say that is accurate?
I do not condemn based upon the morals of the culture. Some people eat goat and sacrifice the same. If that is all I had to eat, I probably would become vegan real quick. Some people like peaches and yogurt, personally both remind me of the substance of snot. Think about that last winter one you coughed up….
To each his or her own….I am not a god in this life time and if I am I am a minor one….just letting to planetary influences have a field day…..
If a person wants to have a harem…and if he can afford it…why not…who am I to judge…
I agree that we should educate rather than force….
The Native American experience was an tragic epic endemic on American History. I under stand that the reason the Bison were killed is that, it fed the Natives…hmm..something about starving….ya know what..Buffalo were not native to America..nor were Horses they came from Spain….
They were moved around..walked to death..given clothing and bedding that was infected with lice and diseases..to kill them out. My fathers Great, Great Grandmother was Cherokee.. she got lost on the way from Georgia to Oklahoma then to Livingston, Texas….other than being related I have no first hand knowledge of how bad they were treated…but if you think what they did to David Korsech (sp)in modern times, that they did the same to the Native Americans…I wonder how bad it really was….your camp is burned, you men are murdered, your women are raped and tortured..the children are taken…no wonder they scalped the whiteman and were fearful of what they said..you know they gave then fire-water too…..
@AY: It appears you condemn based on the morals of the culture within which the person is found. Would you say that is accurate?
If so, do you support (peacefully!) influencing the culture in other directions? For instance, by encouraging abstinence, safe sex, and/or adoption alternatives, or introducing Western mores of respect for women into Pakistan?
We might see somewhat eye-to-eye in that case, although I combine this approach with a healthy condemnation of the killing. For instance, I do not find it acceptable that our own culture once supported lynching or the mass destruction of the native nations, and we outgrew both through peaceful (if rough) cultural shift to a point where we condemned ourselves.
Also, if so, how tightly do you draw the cultural lines? Within ethnicity? Within nation? Within religion?
Really? So a Pakistani Christian would be liable to commit the same action?
Honor killing is an officially sanctioned religious tradition in orthodox Islam. The fact that the cultural lives of many Muslims are dominated by their religion need not cloud the issue.
I don’t agree with the murder of innocent folks. I don’t even believe in Capitol punishment unless its for the Capital then Bush, Cheney and Wall Street outta watch out as they are coming for them. I do not personally favor abortion. However, that is a choice between her and her god where ever they may be found.
With respect to Honor Killing. I am not involved and it is something that has gone on for thousands of years between 6,000 to 12,000 years I have heard.
Who would ever suggest I would plays devils advocate. That would be Mr. Lou Cypher’s game….I am just me….trying to be functional in a really dysfunctional world…..
@HenMan: Clearly you DO believe abortion is, if not murder, at least a horrible event. If you did not believe this, you would not bother to imply that “in a perfect world” we would not do it. Why would a “perfect world” eliminate a non-harmful, non-murderous act? Nor would you care whether people used it as birth control, or blame such use on other parties; why should it matter how they use it if it is not murder?
“In a perfect world,” Begum would have loved her arranged husband and the honor killing would have been totally unnecessary. Yet you condemn it anyway, although her arranged husband exists in this very imperfect world where he was left without a bride. And under his moral standards, it was not murder; it gave an honorable death to Begum. Why must you force your standards on him?
Please explain to me why you have moral standards and AY (who I personally hope is playing devil’s advocate just to get a rise out of people) does not. Tell me where your “perfect world” theory excuses murder and where we must still condemn it. Tell me whose standards matter when asking whether you or AY must condemn a killing.
Never heard of it, before today…Aye…
Down with the King is just like Diplomacy except set in an earlier century
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