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Four percent were killed jointly by both the man's and the woman's families of origin; in one case it was the allegedly shamed husband of a woman who did the killing; in no cases was it just the man's family of origin.In Pakistan, the woman's family of origin was responsible for 78 percent of the killings while husbands of "adulterous" wives accounted for another 16 percent.Over the last few years, however, the media has published a flurry of articles about Hindu honor killings in India, the only non-Muslim-majority country where these murders are still rampant. Apologists for Muslim culture and civilization rushed to herald the upsurge in Hindu (and Sikh) honor killings as evidence that the practice is "a universal problem, not an Islamic issue." While India is indeed a striking exception to Islam's near monopoly on contemporary honor killings, the following preliminary statistical survey shows Hindu honor killings in India to be different in form and commission from those of Muslims in neighboring Pakistan.Though no less gruesome, the Hindu honor killings seem largely confined to the north of India and are perpetuated by sociocultural factors largely specific to India.According to the Aurat Foundation, a Pakistani human rights organization: "At least 675 Pakistani women and girls were murdered during the first nine months of the calendar year 2011 for allegedly defaming their family's honor." Almost 77 percent of such honor cases ended in acquittals. A similar study, published in 2011 by the Research and Development for Human Resources Women Rights Cell, found that 605 women and 115 men in Sindh were honor murdered or murdered in domestic disputes that same year. In order to compare and contrast honor killings in India and Pakistan, a sample was taken of 75 Hindu honor killings in India, including 50 cases that were specifically caste-based and 25 where the motive was not clearly specific to caste.The Indian cases were compared to 50 Muslim honor killings in Pakistan and 39 Pakistani Muslim honor killings in the West.Killing her is the only way the family can restore its honor, regardless of whether she actually is or can be proven guilty of the alleged offense.In sharp contrast to other forms of domestic violence, honor killings are frequently performed out in the open, and the perpetrators rarely act alone.
In India, 94 percent of the killings were carried out by the woman's family of origin.
While the Qur'an preaches the equality of all Muslims (or at least all Muslim males), and Islamic leaders frequently bemoan the evils of India's caste system, vestiges of caste identification are evident among some Pakistani Muslims, who are descended from Hindus who were forcibly converted to Islam in the Middle Ages and were part of India before 1947. It is difficult to accurately estimate the number of honor killings that take place in Pakistan and India as the vast majority are believed to go unreported.
In 2010, there were roughly 900 reported honor killings in the northern Indian states of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh alone while 100-300 additional honor killings took place in the rest of the country. Also in 2010, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 800 women were killed for honor in Pakistan. Both figures likely represent only the tip of the iceberg.
Under such conditions, control over marriage and reproduction is critical to the socioeconomic status of kinship groups and the regulation of female behavior is integral to perceptions of honor, known as maryada in many Indian languages and as ghairat in Urdu and Pashto.
In such an environment, a woman who refuses to enter into an arranged marriage, seeks a divorce, or fails to avoid suspicion of immoral behavior will be viewed by her family as having dishonored them so grievously that her male relatives will be ostracized and her siblings will have trouble finding suitable spouses.