Women in Lahore protests against honour killings
Women in Lahore protest against honour killings Getty images

A group of Pakistani clerics have issued a fatwa against honour killings calling the practice "un-Islamic and an unpardonable sin". At least 40 clerics under the banner of Sunni Itehad Council, made the announcement in Lahore, on Sunday, 12 June.

The fatwa (Islamic law ruling) comes in the wake of numerous murders of women across the country in the name of honour.

"Burning women alive for marrying of their own choice is against Islamic injunctions," the fatwa said. It condemned recent killings in Lahore, Abbottabad and Murree, saying such incidents had shaken the whole society and led to social and societal degradation.

It explained that the idea that a family could save its honour by killing their own was based on ignorance and waywardness. Through the fatwa, the clerics of the Barelvi school of thought asked that the government implement proper legislation to curb such crimes, and declare heinous acts such as burning or killing of women as unpardonable crimes.

The fatwa could be a step towards containing the recent rise in honour killings in Pakistan. In 2015, at least 1,100 women were killed in the name of honour.

In June 2016 itself, two honour killings were reported in the span of three days. A young woman was burnt alive by her mother for marrying someone of her own choice on 8 June and on 10 June, a man confessed to shooting his daughter and her husband because the family did not approve of their marriage.

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