Once again the term an honor killing, has hit the news. A Pakistani father, Chaudhry Rashid living in Georgia, who had arranged a marriage for his 25 year old daughter Sandeela Kanwal, is being accused of killing her when she expressed that she no longer wished to be married to the man (who she had not seen in recent months as he lives in Chicago).
Sandeela Kanwal was unhappy with the arranged marriage and wished to divorce. Her father allegedly strangled her to death out of a cultural sense of family honor that was in jeaparody in his mind. He was so angry that he chose to end her life, rather than admit that a marriage he had helped to arrange was not working out well.
Did he put so little value in his daughter’s happiness that he put his own sense of embarassment, about the failure of the marriage, ahead of her life? Obviously she respected her father’s wishes and married the man her father had picked out for her. There must have been a compelling reason for her to wish to leave the marriage. What I want to know is…how is family honor preserved by killing one’s own daughter? How is it more honorable to murder than it is to divorce; in any culture?