08/04/2007, 00.00
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Shiite religious leader issues Fatwa against honour killings

It is a crime and must be treated as such, affirms the leader. In numerous countries, however, extenuating circumstances are allowed in the cases of men who murder daughters, sisters and wives, accused of having brought dishonour on the family.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Honour killings are against Islamic law.  This affirmation was contained in the fatwa issued by a Lebanese Shiite leader, contrasting with the widespread tradition in Muslim countries which allows fathers, brothers and husbands to kill women who are seen to have behaved badly.

 “Honour killings are a repulsive act banned by Sharia”, reads the fatwa issued by Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, an important Lebanese Shiite religious leader, whose influence reaches beyond the boundaries of his own nations.  Fadlallah said in a statement that he was issuing the edict amid reports of an increase in the practice across the Arab world, particularly in "Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon”. He denounced "honour crimes in which men kill their sisters, daughters, or other [female] relatives on the pretext of committing acts against decency and honour. "Honour crimes – he concludes - are like any other crime which does not carry extenuating circumstances,"”.

Laws in many Arab and Muslim countries, however, stipulate extenuating circumstances for so-called honour crimes.

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