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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Another argument for a PalArab state

I just stumbled onto a survey of Palestinian Arab attitudes towards "honor killings" and how to preserve "family honor." It was probably done a couple of years ago.

Table 1 is a survey of preferred outcomes in relation to a girl who committed an act which broke her family’s honor. The respondents are classified according to gender.

Table 1: The preferred outcome - by gender.

Total

Females

Males

Preferred Outcome

21.2

16.3

25.9

The family must kill their daughter to erase shame

24.6

25

24.2

Conceal the girl’s action

8.7

8.9

8.4

Make her marry one of her relatives

4.6

4.9

4.3

Neglect and abandon her

28.4

33

24

Guide the girl so that she will not commit the same act again

12.5

11.8

13.2

Other outcomes

100

100

100

Total

*Figures are shown as a percentage

The family has the right to murder the girl who committed an obscene act

Males

Females

Total

Strongly agree

25.3

15.4

20.4

Slightly agree

18.6

16.3

17.5

Slightly disagree

23.1

22.1

22.6

Strongly disagree

30.4

41.5

35.6

Do not know

2.6

4.7

3.6

Total

100

100

100

*Figures are shown as a percentage

A girl should be fully covered and wear and a veil

Males

Females

Total

Strongly agree

46

42

44

Slightly agree

23

20.07

21.09

Slightly disagree

17.06

24.03

20.09

Strongly disagree

11.03

11.06

11.05

Do not know

1.09

1.03

1.06

Total

100

100

100



The entire report is astounding, even for those who have looked into this before. It includes this stunning fact:
The established law in West Bank and Gaza is the Jordanian law of 1960 which was modeled under the old French law of 1807.

The law contains:

i. Quit circumstances: the male assailant goes free without punishment.

ii. Extenuating circumstances: the male assailant is imprisoned for a period of one to six months.

Article 340a of the Penal Code states:

“Every man who takes by surprise his wife or any female relative while committing adultery or fornication with another man and as a result kills, wounds or harms both of them or either of them is entitled to the quit circumstances.”
A complementary article, 340b asserts:
“Every man who surprises his wife or any female relative while being with another man while committing adultery or fornication in an illicit bed and as a result kills, wounds or harms both of them or either of them is entitled to the extenuating circumstances.”
Although article 340a and 340b are similar, the latter covers any gaps that may arise from the former. Article 340b fails to define the word “bed” and many Jordanian courts apply the term so loosely that a bed is not actually required. In the event a man fails to meet the requirement of article 340a, article 340b allows the assailant to receive a reduced sentence.

Nevertheless, the discriminatory law does not entitle women to quit circumstances or extenuating circumstances. On the other hand, the law provides a legal façade for men to defend family honour.

Except in Saudi Arabia, where the rules of Islam are applied, the laws in the Arab countries are, more or less, similar to the Jordanian law.

Sounds like a Palestinian Arab state would be a valuable addition to the family of nations.