We have written dozens of times about the injustice that women are subjected to in our patriarchal societies, the arbitrariness they have received, and how they are treated as inferior because of unjust customs, traditions or laws.
In my article in May 2020, I demanded to amend the text of Article 153 of the Penal Code related to the punishment of someone who drops in and catches his wife, daughter, mother, or sister having an affair with a man, so he kills her on the spot and kills those who commit adultery with her or kill them together.
The aforementioned Article (153) stipulates that the killer shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years, and a fine not exceeding 3,000 rupees, or either of those two penalties. I added that this law was issued 60 years ago during which great events occurred and humanity developed socially and humanely, especially on the status of women who became partners with men, conducted wars, and controlled countries and assumed extremely important and sensitive political, military and financial positions, however the backward text of Article 153 remained because our legislators were preoccupied with trivial matters.
Then a group comes, I do not doubt the sincerity of their intentions, and their sincere sad feelings on the hideous crime of the murder in Sabah Al-Salem which cannot be justified under any excuse. The group demanded the killer should be killed even before his trial, forgetting that their community contributed before others to the killing of that innocent woman by ignoring and keeping silent about everything that was written and raised about the humiliations that women are subjected to at home, work and the street and how they are treated as guilty and a source of sin in all cases because they did not stay at home.
“The murder of the woman of Sabah Al-Salem should be a starting point for reconsidering the status of women and the society’s inferior view of them in a patriarchal society that does not respect or have mercy on women and some consider her the cause of all sins. So how is it permissible to accept the verdict against a person who kills his sister or daughter or wife with a fine of 225 dinars just for suspicion and be released after ending life of the closest person to him while the same does not apply to a woman when she catches her husband in the act of adultery in her bed? What logic, reason, or law that accepts this?
It is also necessary to give greater importance to complaints of domestic violence which are on the rise as police stations usually do not pay any attention to them.
It is also necessary for women to be equal with men in all punishments stipulated in the law. How can a person who kills his mother, who gave birth, breastfed and nursed him for years be punished for stabbing her with a knife or shooting her under the pretext of trivial honor crime while he at the same time commits true honor crimes and then gets released a few months later to boast about the hideous crime he committed.
The laxity in dealing with honor murder crime applies to most Muslim countries, and the Arab in particular and this has caused many murders only later to discover the victim was innocent, a virgin and other things. Consequently, it is necessary to limit the bloodshed and to send a message to every sane person and legislator of the need to amend Article 153 of the Penal Code and other laws that are offensive to the fair sex and unjust to their rights.
By Ahmad alsarraf