“When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks…” (Qur’an 47:4)
In the Qur’an, a mysterious figure, known as Khidr in Islamic tradition, kills a boy in an apparently random and gratuitous attack. He then explains: “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy.” (18:80-81)
And according to Islamic law, “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (Reliance of the Traveller o1.1-2).
Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.” In Iran, according to the New York Times, the legal system “treats parents who murder their children with relative leniency, as the maximum sentence for the crime is only ten years.”
“Brother confesses to killing his sister – body transported in suitcase,” translated from “Bruder gesteht Tötung seiner Schwester – Leiche in Koffer transportiert,” RBB 24, September 7, 2022:
Surprisingly, one of the two brothers who are said to have killed their sister and transported her body to Bavaria in a suitcase broke his silence in court and confessed to the killing.
After a six-month trial before the Berlin district court, the 27-year-old described a dispute with the 34-year-old on Wednesday, which escalated. He did not want to kill his sister, the accused explained through one of his defense attorneys. The public prosecutor assumes a joint murder.
Brother regrets action
“I sincerely regret my anger that led to the injury and eventual death of my sister,” the 27-year-old’s attorney read. “I’m very sorry about what happened.”
It was said that there was a heated argument about money for her family back home. His sister didn’t want her parents to come to Germany from Afghanistan.
In the Berlin apartment of his co-accused brother, he grabbed his sister and took her head under his arm. As children, they would often have fought like this. “But she got heavy and fell to the ground.” In a panic, he came up with the idea of bringing the body to Bavaria.
His brother was not in the apartment when it happened. He only helped to transport the suitcase – “because the suitcase was too heavy.”
According to the public prosecutor, the 27- and 23-year-old brothers are said to have killed their sister because the mother of two children did not submit to the moral standards of the Afghan family and also had a romantic relationship. The charge is conspiracy to murder with base motives.
Body brought to Bavaria in a trolley case
The brothers are said to have killed their sister on July 13, 2021 at a previously unknown location – according to the indictment, the 34-year-old died from choking and suffocating, and her throat was cut. The accused are said to have brought the body in a trolley with a taxi to the Berlin-Südkreuz train station and then by ICE to Bavaria.
Around three weeks later, the corpse – hands and feet tied with tape, mouth and nose wrapped with tape – was discovered in a hole in the ground near where the older defendant lived in Bavaria.
Most brutal action described
The 27-year-old’s statement went on to say that he met with his sister on July 13, 2021 to arrange an apartment for her and their two children. He had previously transferred 400 euros to the family in Afghanistan. His goal was 5,000 euros. “I really wanted the whole family to come here.”
His sister didn’t want that – “she said she didn’t care about our parents, that they didn’t take care of us and didn’t send us to school.” He felt that this was “disrespectful, unfair,” and got angry.
The 27-year-old explained the cut throat: “I got the suitcase and saw that it would not fit with the head. I then cut the neck once.” His brother came into the apartment shortly afterwards. “He wanted to call a doctor, I forbade it.” He asked the 23-year-old to give him tape and help him transport the suitcase.
The case sparked a debate about the term “honor killing.” The woman and the brothers came to Germany from Afghanistan a few years ago. She divorced her Afghan husband in 2018. The victim had two children, ages 10 and 14. The hearing will continue on September 12th.