Father Beats Wife To Death For Opposing Arranged Marriage of Her Daughter

Italy is dealing with a shocking murder after Ahmad Khan Butt, a 53-year-old construction worker and owner of a local mosque in Modena, beat his wife to death with a brick after she opposed an arranged marriage for her daughter. While Ahmad Butt beat his wife, his son, Umair, severely beat his sister Nosheen Butt, 20, with a stick — resulting in her hospitalization for a broken arm and head injuries. The husband and deceased wife, Beghm Shnez, are Muslim and both originally came from Pakistan.

Prosecutors stated that Beghm Shnez was forced to marry her husband and lived an unhappy marriage. She wanted something better for her daughter.

The prosecutors are calling this a “cultural homicide.” We often call these “honor killings,” though usually it is the young women who are killed for refusing arranged marriages or having relationships with men. In a couple weeks, I will be going to Paris to speak about the “cultural defense” issue — cases where defendants raise their cultural or religious motivations for criminal acts. This is part of the International American Bar Association meeting.

Source: Google

Jonathan Turley

30 thoughts on “Father Beats Wife To Death For Opposing Arranged Marriage of Her Daughter”

  1. LK,

    I’m trying to respond, but I’m having both WordPress and local ISP issues.

  2. BIL, The last sentence of my posting was “What is wrong with you people” aimed at males in general. I erased it because I don’t have an answer from which to debate the issue and wasn’t presumptive enough to think the men on this site have the answer. I’m sure all rational persons are similarly vexed.

    There is something old and chemical going on IMO. I think old and long standing cultural norms come from a place in time that is more chemical than intellectual. The older and more embedded the cultural behaviors the closer to the bone the impulse resides.

    I’m thinking out cultural evolution has not banished the negative aspects of our our physical origin, only formalized many of them and folded them into property rights and religious doctrine. I am vexed (though I can see certain destructive behaviors against women in the context of primitive animal behavior) and saddened because evolution is slow and the law is fast, or globally enforceable.

  3. mespo nailed this one. We recognize that there are limitations on the right to freely practice one’s religion. One of those limitations is that conduct which violates rights we deem to be fundamental to preserving the structural integrity of our form of constitutional republic cannot be tolerated. The taking of another’s life without due process of law clearly falls within that category. While evidence of a killer’s adherence to religious orthodoxy might arguably be a relevant factor in determining an appropriate punishment, it can never be a defense to the crime. We may urge adherents to religions which approve of this sort of violent resolution to revisit their theology, but that is not our first duty. Finally, I note that the prosecution of this act does not constitute insistence that anyone change his or her beliefs; it is rather insistence that certain practices associated with that belief will not be tolerated.

  4. LK raises an interesting point.

    There are only two situations meriting violence: self-defense and the defense of others. While there are some violent aggressive women out there? They are an insignificant number compared to those in the male population as we have the market cornered on excess production of testosterone. Any violence against women that would be acceptable is an exception, not the rule.

    Notice: This statement in no way restricts the use of hyperbole for humorous effect. Words may hurt people’s feelings, but they don’t break bones.

  5. Daniel R. Baker:

    “I see no need to belittle those who believe in a supernatural being who is against cruelty to women, even if they are factually mistaken that such a supernatural being exists.”

    *******************

    That you don’t is the precise problem. While so-called “honor killing” predates the rise of Muslim religion, it’s justification stands squarely in the Hadith. Given this divine sanction, it would be foolhardiness to expect the “true believers” of this mass movement to acccept any appeal to rationality while at the same time paying lip service to the delusion that fuels the practice. While promoting equal rights among these extreme believers is an admirable goal, the chances of success are severely compromised by your refusal to deal with the largest stumbling block to such progress– “if Allah condones who are you to prohibit it?” The only path with some chance of success is to separate the practice from the divine or to undermine the sanctioning deity. Centuries of trying it your way have brought us to this sad state of affairs. How about we confront the problem head-on?

  6. I don’t care if you call this “cultural homicide”, “honor killing”, or cultural or religious practice. Killing of one human being by another is never acceptable unless it is the only way possible to prevent one’s own homicide.

    Human beings are not property. No family patriarch has the right to control a spouse or a child that has reached legal age. As has been noted in the comments above, these practices are archaic and unacceptable in an enlightened and technologically advanced society.

  7. mespo727272: “It’s that “religion of peace” thing, I suppose. It happens here, too, as we’ve discussed on the blog.”

    ——
    That and way beyond that. Is it still legal to murder your wife in various countries if you catch her in flagrante delicto with another man, Italy comes to mind as does a number of South American countries. That came about due to religious bans on divorce and the cult of machismo. In India bides are still burned in appalling numbers and it’s a matter of economics. Rape and mutilation are favored tools of terrorizing female victims of war. Violence against women is a world-wide epidemic and has been forever.

  8. “May the good Lord, Righteous Judge of all the Earth, punish them with the same pain they inflicted upon these defenseless women!”(Wild Eagle)

    Well … since I suspect your theology also accounts for the creation of these lowlifes by the Righteous Judge, I believe I’ll look to another source to handle the punishment.

    A society that empowers women through the application of equal rights provides a great deal of protection thus elevating them above the “defenseless” position. Any religious organization that supports equal rights for women both within its theology and throughout its practices is able to call upon secular law to handle the punishment.

  9. I see no need to belittle those who believe in a supernatural being who is against cruelty to women, even if they are factually mistaken that such a supernatural being exists. Since the majority of people are attached to religion, and are likely to remain so no matter what the evidence against their beliefs may be, it is more helpful to promote equal rights reform within those religions than to insist on their followers abandoning all supernatural belief as Step One toward equal rights for women.

    You can find this sort of violence against women not just among some Muslims, but also among certain Sikhs and Hindus. What makes it even more difficult to fight than Western culture’s violence against women is the whole-family basis of the violence. In Western culture, domestic violence is usually a husband, boyfriend and/or father abusing his wife, girlfriend, or children. No one else is usually involved, and rarely does the perpetrator’s family participate in the violence. In this case, and in many others like it in Pakistan, India, Egypt, and elsewhere, children, siblings, and other family members often participate in the violence, and frequently in the cover-up also.

  10. Wild Eagle:

    “May the good Lord, Righteous Judge of all the Earth, punish them with the same pain they inflicted upon these defenseless women!”

    ********************

    That’s exactly the type of religious craziness that gets these poor women beaten in the first place. We don’t need some great mythical, mystical, absentee judge in the sky promulgating infinitely interpretable laws to deal with this mundane barbarism. Why can’t we just analyze this 12th Century view of women for what it is: outmoded, misogynistic, and plain criminal. The court systems in the West are fully capable of handling this sort of tragedy and punishing the wrongdoer without resort to Heaven.

    The fight for civilization is an on-going struggle against ideas such as theirs — and yours.

  11. This is a very bad form of bullying, where the strong oppress weak people who have no way to defend themselves. It made these lowlifes feel like real macho men, knowing there was no way they could lose this unfair fight against women. May the good Lord, Righteous Judge of all the Earth, punish them with the same pain they inflicted upon these defenseless women!

  12. “While Ahmad Butt beat his wife, his son, Umair, severely beat his sister Nosheen Butt, 20, with a stick ”

    Speechless.

  13. Actually we just had this sort of thing here near Portland, but the family was Christian so it didn’t get as wide coverage. Its the religion of peace thing I suppose.

    My uneducated guess is that one of the reasons this is less prevalent in the US may be the image of the US women being much more free. The result being men who immigrate here may be more modern while those who are more medieval view Europe as ‘friendlier’.

  14. Kash.

    It’s that “religion of peace” thing, I suppose. It happens here, too, as we’ve discussed on the blog. However, given our emphasis on the rights of women and the various avenues women have to obtain refuge from abuse, I am guessing the numbers are lower.

  15. We tend to have quite a few incidences of “honour killings” in Europe. I’m not sure what the statistics are for such killings in N. America, but i would imagine that they are much lower – you certainly don’t hear about it happening as much in, say the US, as you do in the UK, Germany, etc.

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