In what is described by prosecutors as “honor killings,” a Muslim immigrant from Jordan has been convicted by a jury in Texas of killing his daughter’s American husband and an Iranian women’s rights activist.
Ali Mahwood-Awad Irsan orchestrated the killings of his son-in-law – a convert to Christianity – and his daughter’s friend, who had encouraged the marriage, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“Honor and shame, that’s what this is all about,” special prosecutor Ann Emmons told the jury at the end of a five-week trial in Houston.
“You heard him say honor is a big deal to him. And the only way to clean that honor is to kill.”
The Houston paper said it took only 35 minutes for the jury to convict Irsan in the deaths of Coty Beavers and Gelareh Bagherzadeh.
Irsan’s wife, Shmou Alrawabdeh, testified her husband believed he had to kill Beavers to restore his honor.
He sneaked into Beavers’ apartment and shot his son-in-law to death, she said.
Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, commented that all schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shiite, teach that conversion from Islam, or “apostasy,” must be punished by death.
Quran 4:89 states: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.”
Spencer also cites a hadith, a collection of the sayings of Muhammad, Bukhari 9.84.57, which says: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”
He also pointed out that Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide and the Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for “honor” murders.
In Iraq, honor murderers get off lightly, and in Syria, a 2009 has been eliminated that limits 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.’”
The Jordanian Parliament in 2003, Spencer noted, voted down, on Islamic grounds, a provision to strengthen penalties for honor killings.
Al-Jazeera reported “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.”
Spencer concluded: “Until the encouragement Islamic law gives to honor killing is acknowledged and confronted, more women will suffer.”