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  • Please Help Honor Killings in Bible

    Hello everyone,

    I go by the username Hugh. I'm a political scientist whose regional expertise is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), specializing in MENA Democratization/US and EU Democracy Promotion Policies in the Middle East (primary) and American-Muslim Relations. I've traveled extensively throughout the region and lived in Egypt from 2008-2011 while working on my M.A. at the American University in Cairo. While there, I taught at an American private high school, was a TA for political science classes at AUC for the esteemed Dr. Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere, interned at the Egyptian Economic Forum, which is a civil society NGO, presented my research on diverse topics at political science conferences, and considered an expert on the region. I've also learned the Arabic language with a high degree of proficiency, even reading the Qur'an (which is absolutely beautiful and incomparable in Arabic) as well as the Bible in Arabic, which is when I learned how prevalent the name Allah is attached with the religions of the Middle East.

    Which leads to my issue: In the US, we frequently hear about 'honor killings' occurring among Muslim populations, and these horrific acts are often conflated with the religion of Islam. I researched the topic, and have noticed a dearth of support within the Qur'an which neither supports, condones, nor commands these vile acts, contrarily the Qur'an specifically states "do not killing your children..." in Chapter 17, verse 31. Moreover, in the Pre-Islamic Arab sub-culture the birth of a daughter was considered a disgrace. Consequently, some Arabs would commit infanticide by burying their newborn daughters alive, ultimately leading to their death. Islam abolished this practice among the new converts, eventually leading to its complete disintegration.

    During my time in the Middle East, I learned that 'honor killings' were as common among many of the Arab Christian communities as they were among Arab Muslims. I conducted research on the subject and learned that 'honor killings' are primarily a cultural practice, rather than a religious practice. It's prevalent among Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc. I interviewed various adherents from Christianity and Islam in the Arab world (there was an overwhelming disparity between those disapproving of the act as oppose to those who agreed), and was fascinated when Arab Muslims would acknowledge, "it isn't part of our religion, but it's our culture." Conversely, those Arab Christians supporting the act proudly proclaimed, "this is not only our culture, but this is also our religion." So, being a researcher, I examined the subject. Interestingly, I was able to locate several verses which either commands or supports what we now term as 'honor killings'; Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Also, "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 21:17)" "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (Leviticus 20:9)" The discourse is not confined to the Old Testament, but is also supported by the New Testament as Jesus validated such act by criticizing the rabbis for ignoring the Law, Matthew 15:3-7:
    3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
    4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
    5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,'
    6 he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
    7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you..."

    As a Middle East Political Scientist, it is my premise that honor killings in the Middle East has it's origins in the Bible, as the custom actually predates Islam, yet there is little-to-no-evidence suggesting the practice predates the Bible. Culturally, there are little dissimilarities between Arab Christians and Muslims, i.e. both exclusively use the name "Allah" for God. I've approached this topic with American Christians and to my dismay I've yet to receive a single response. Compounding this frustration; during particular related discussions on the internet, a number of Christians would associate 'honor killings' to Islam-as an indictment against the religion. However, when I provided the above mentioned Biblical verses, along with a historical explanation. Invariably, the sustained attacks on Islam continue (which is fine) regarding 'honor killings.' However, the Biblical support cited is completely ignored.

    It is my sincere hope that I will receive an intellectual response concerning the Bible's stance regarding the permitting 'honor killings.' Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Honor Killings in Bible

    Mod Note: Thread moved to Christians Answer. Please remember that this is a non debate board and direct your answers to the thread starter.

    Thanks!
    "Some people's idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back that is an outrage."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Honor Killings in Bible

      Originally posted by HughMungus View Post
      Hello everyone,

      I go by the username Hugh. I'm a political scientist whose regional expertise is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), specializing in MENA Democratization/US and EU Democracy Promotion Policies in the Middle East (primary) and American-Muslim Relations. I've traveled extensively throughout the region and lived in Egypt from 2008-2011 while working on my M.A. at the American University in Cairo. While there, I taught at an American private high school, was a TA for political science classes at AUC for the esteemed Dr. Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere, interned at the Egyptian Economic Forum, which is a civil society NGO, presented my research on diverse topics at political science conferences, and considered an expert on the region. I've also learned the Arabic language with a high degree of proficiency, even reading the Qur'an (which is absolutely beautiful and incomparable in Arabic) as well as the Bible in Arabic, which is when I learned how prevalent the name Allah is attached with the religions of the Middle East.

      Which leads to my issue: In the US, we frequently hear about 'honor killings' occurring among Muslim populations, and these horrific acts are often conflated with the religion of Islam. I researched the topic, and have noticed a dearth of support within the Qur'an which neither supports, condones, nor commands these vile acts, contrarily the Qur'an specifically states "do not killing your children..." in Chapter 17, verse 31. Moreover, in the Pre-Islamic Arab sub-culture the birth of a daughter was considered a disgrace. Consequently, some Arabs would commit infanticide by burying their newborn daughters alive, ultimately leading to their death. Islam abolished this practice among the new converts, eventually leading to its complete disintegration.

      During my time in the Middle East, I learned that 'honor killings' were as common among many of the Arab Christian communities as they were among Arab Muslims. I conducted research on the subject and learned that 'honor killings' are primarily a cultural practice, rather than a religious practice. It's prevalent among Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc. I interviewed various adherents from Christianity and Islam in the Arab world (there was an overwhelming disparity between those disapproving of the act as oppose to those who agreed), and was fascinated when Arab Muslims would acknowledge, "it isn't part of our religion, but it's our culture." Conversely, those Arab Christians supporting the act proudly proclaimed, "this is not only our culture, but this is also our religion." So, being a researcher, I examined the subject. Interestingly, I was able to locate several verses which either commands or supports what we now term as 'honor killings'; Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Also, "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 21:17)" "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (Leviticus 20:9)" The discourse is not confined to the Old Testament, but is also supported by the New Testament as Jesus validated such act by criticizing the rabbis for ignoring the Law, Matthew 15:3-7:
      3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
      4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
      5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,'
      6 he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
      7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you..."

      As a Middle East Political Scientist, it is my premise that honor killings in the Middle East has it's origins in the Bible, as the custom actually predates Islam, yet there is little-to-no-evidence suggesting the practice predates the Bible. Culturally, there are little dissimilarities between Arab Christians and Muslims, i.e. both exclusively use the name "Allah" for God. I've approached this topic with American Christians and to my dismay I've yet to receive a single response. Compounding this frustration; during particular related discussions on the internet, a number of Christians would associate 'honor killings' to Islam-as an indictment against the religion. However, when I provided the above mentioned Biblical verses, along with a historical explanation. Invariably, the sustained attacks on Islam continue (which is fine) regarding 'honor killings.' However, the Biblical support cited is completely ignored.

      It is my sincere hope that I will receive an intellectual response concerning the Bible's stance regarding the permitting 'honor killings.' Thank you.
      You're right, they are endorsed in the old testament as part of the many laws prescribed there. I don't think Christians really think about it any more than we think about sending our wife's out of town when they menstruate, or any number of other Jewish laws. Of course some of us like to pick the Jewish laws or recommendations we like and ignore the ones we won't, which are themselves indicative of cultural preferences rather than a coherent belief system. The new testament does not endorse honour killings nor does it endorse fishing at midnight or an infinite number of other possibilities. The Christian lives based on Christ's gift of salvation, and his prescriptions for living are not based on wrote crime and punishment but rather attitudes of the heart, so the whole system is changed. You don't really find much 'act a requires consequence b' as a result, in the NT, and that's kind of the whole point.

      Islam is consistent with insular, backward thinking, and lots of stuff goes along with that such as honour killings even if not specifically prescribed. It is consistent with poverty and rejection of scientific inquiry and this holds it back. That's not because lots of Muslims necessary want that, but it is certainly the way their prophet viewed the world and therefore their will always be enough who want to emulate that, with obvious results. Christianity is different because unlike Islam, it is a personal system of thinking and belief rather than a whole political and social framework. Of course societies have also sprung up around the values of new testament Christianity, and have usually been strong and dominant. In particular, after the reformation when the whole society had access to the actual scriptures, the social institutions they created in that era have led to the freest and most prosperous societies in history.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Honor Killings in Bible

        two things

        Martyrs are people slaughtered unjustly in the act of doing that which is good or right (like Jesus, Ghandi, King, etc.,), ZERO suicide bombers or Jihadists are martyrs (killing self while killing others) in fact the Qur'an strictly forbids this...

        Next what is "killing" in the Bible

        Secondarily, when God says, you shall not kill, that does not mean in an absolute sense, as you will see, for we must first understand what He is saying here, and in order to do that, we must discern what He means here by the word “kill” in the commandment as opposed to what is meant in other places the translators also called “kill”! There are three different words used for killing in the Old Testament. So in order to uncover the circumstances or events under which killing is sometimes allowed, one must take into account the context of the act and which word is being used.

        The Hebrew word “rasah” or “rashah”, as it is used here in the 6th Commandment refers most specifically to premeditated murder without just cause. However, it can also be used in the sense of manslaughter, as when one kills by mistake, or without intent, like in the case of Numbers 25:11; Deuteronomy 4:42, 19:4, Joshua 20:3-5, and elsewhere! Thus in Hebrew the specific meaning of this word must always be determined by its’ context. We must always see it in relation to the surrounding statements. In the commandments it is absolute and the law is conditional…

        Sin is a transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4) and there are actually 613 commandments…the soul that sins it must die is called the curse of the law but actually goes all the way back to the garden and what is really being said is that sin brings forth sickness and death (spiritual death).

        Next, we have the word “hemit”, which carries no sense of guilt or iniquity and is used in the case of righteous capital punishment, or when the killing is the result of an attack from a wild beast, and so on! The root of this word is related to the word “emet” or truth. We see this usage in Leviticus 20:4; Numbers 35:19-21; Deuteronomy 13:10 (your passage) and Deuteronomy 17:7!

        Finally, when God orders the execution or destruction of an individual or group (like when He commands Joshua at the five cities of Canaan), the word “haraq” is used (See Genesis 20:4; Exodus 4:23, etc.). This form of killing is used specifically in the prevention of foreseen evils beyond our comprehension. By eliminating these people, God is actually sparing millions of people the pain, disease, suffering, and death that they would have caused. It would be used for example in eliminating an Adolph Hitler. There is absolutely nothing evil in this, in fact it is very good. Therefore, this form of killing is always just, whether or not we finite humans can see the full implications of His doing it.

        “Why couldn’t God just make them repent and then save them rather than condemn them ? I mean, didn’t Jesus allegedly die for all sins? Can’t He save them as well?”

        And the answer is, “Yes, He could, but He won’t, because these are free-will beings who not only have made this choice, but God has foreseen that, even if given many opportunities, they still will not repent.”

        Paul

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Honor Killings in Bible

          Originally posted by HughMungus View Post
          Hello everyone,

          I go by the username Hugh. I'm a political scientist whose regional expertise is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), specializing in MENA Democratization/US and EU Democracy Promotion Policies in the Middle East (primary) and American-Muslim Relations. I've traveled extensively throughout the region and lived in Egypt from 2008-2011 while working on my M.A. at the American University in Cairo. While there, I taught at an American private high school, was a TA for political science classes at AUC for the esteemed Dr. Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere, interned at the Egyptian Economic Forum, which is a civil society NGO, presented my research on diverse topics at political science conferences, and considered an expert on the region. I've also learned the Arabic language with a high degree of proficiency, even reading the Qur'an (which is absolutely beautiful and incomparable in Arabic) as well as the Bible in Arabic, which is when I learned how prevalent the name Allah is attached with the religions of the Middle East.

          Which leads to my issue: In the US, we frequently hear about 'honor killings' occurring among Muslim populations, and these horrific acts are often conflated with the religion of Islam. I researched the topic, and have noticed a dearth of support within the Qur'an which neither supports, condones, nor commands these vile acts, contrarily the Qur'an specifically states "do not killing your children..." in Chapter 17, verse 31. Moreover, in the Pre-Islamic Arab sub-culture the birth of a daughter was considered a disgrace. Consequently, some Arabs would commit infanticide by burying their newborn daughters alive, ultimately leading to their death. Islam abolished this practice among the new converts, eventually leading to its complete disintegration.

          During my time in the Middle East, I learned that 'honor killings' were as common among many of the Arab Christian communities as they were among Arab Muslims. I conducted research on the subject and learned that 'honor killings' are primarily a cultural practice, rather than a religious practice. It's prevalent among Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc. I interviewed various adherents from Christianity and Islam in the Arab world (there was an overwhelming disparity between those disapproving of the act as oppose to those who agreed), and was fascinated when Arab Muslims would acknowledge, "it isn't part of our religion, but it's our culture." Conversely, those Arab Christians supporting the act proudly proclaimed, "this is not only our culture, but this is also our religion." So, being a researcher, I examined the subject. Interestingly, I was able to locate several verses which either commands or supports what we now term as 'honor killings'; Lev 21:9 And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Also, "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 21:17)" "For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (Leviticus 20:9)" The discourse is not confined to the Old Testament, but is also supported by the New Testament as Jesus validated such act by criticizing the rabbis for ignoring the Law, Matthew 15:3-7:
          3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
          4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
          5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,'
          6 he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
          7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you..."

          As a Middle East Political Scientist, it is my premise that honor killings in the Middle East has it's origins in the Bible, as the custom actually predates Islam, yet there is little-to-no-evidence suggesting the practice predates the Bible. Culturally, there are little dissimilarities between Arab Christians and Muslims, i.e. both exclusively use the name "Allah" for God. I've approached this topic with American Christians and to my dismay I've yet to receive a single response. Compounding this frustration; during particular related discussions on the internet, a number of Christians would associate 'honor killings' to Islam-as an indictment against the religion. However, when I provided the above mentioned Biblical verses, along with a historical explanation. Invariably, the sustained attacks on Islam continue (which is fine) regarding 'honor killings.' However, the Biblical support cited is completely ignored.

          It is my sincere hope that I will receive an intellectual response concerning the Bible's stance regarding the permitting 'honor killings.' Thank you.
          The same God who said that only blood can cleanse sin, paid for sin with His own blood, thereby making sacrifices and death penalties like 'honor killings' of no use. We seek forgiveness from God directly, through Jesus Christ, who said that "he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

          None of us are without sin, so, no one should be throwing stones... Even if they live in a glass house. It may be tempting to throw a stone, but it really serves no purpose. We can't punish sin any more than we can hide our own by pointing out other peoples' sins, even rebellious children who by the law should be put to death. Even though all of humanity dies by the law, only Jesus Christ saves us from that death by giving us new spiritual life in service to Him.
          John 10 (KJV)
          27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
          28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
          29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Honor Killings in Bible

            Greetings Hugh,

            Originally posted by HughMungus View Post
            is also supported by the New Testament as Jesus validated such act by criticizing the rabbis for ignoring the Law
            Incorrect. Jesus was defending himself against accusations of breaking with the traditions of the elders. Jesus said in effect "You are a bunch of hypocrits because you place the traditions of men above that of God." Jesus was using logic to show that their concerns were petty and unjustified. If they could ignore the commandments of God, why did they care if he ignored the commandments of men? Jesus used examples of the law on several occasions to demonstrate what was wrong with mankinds application of the laws of Moses. Further, Jesus himself was killed because of what he taught and not because he did anything wrong by the standards of our western society.

            From my perspective it is more likely that because of Jesus teachings that we view honor killing as wrong. Western philosophy and culture has been heavily influenced by the teachings of Jesus Christ.

            -Steven
            1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Honor Killings in Bible

              Originally posted by HughMungus View Post
              I go by the username Hugh. I'm a political scientist whose regional expertise is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). ... I've traveled extensively throughout the region and lived in Egypt from 2008-2011 while working on my M.A. at the American University in Cairo. While there, I ... was a TA for political science classes at AUC for the esteemed Dr. Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere ... and considered an expert on the region.
              Welcome to BibleForums HughMungus! I think this is an interesting topic, though I disagree with your post. I don't always reach first to Wikipedia for primers on a topic, but I found their article informative and relevant to your claims, so I offer it first to help define exactly what an "honor killing" is and the history of them.

              Originally posted by HughMungus
              Which leads to my issue: In the US, we frequently hear about 'honor killings' occurring among Muslim populations, and these horrific acts are often conflated with the religion of Islam. I researched the topic, and have noticed a dearth of support within the Qur'an which neither supports, condones, nor commands these vile acts, contrarily the Qur'an specifically states "do not killing your children..." in Chapter 17, verse 31.
              Hugh, I do not find it credible that your research could not turn up any kind of link between contemporary "honor killings" and the religion of Islam except for uninformed western attitudes. Even accepting the claim that the Qur'an is vacant of support for honor killings, that would not absolve the religion of Islam from being guilty of supporting them. I think a contemporary connection to honor killings, and to a larger extent the role and proper conduct of women in society, exists in Sharia Law. Here is an article which I assume at least borders on the truth regarding the link between the religion of Islam and the practice of that religion under Sharia Law. If these "horrific acts" as you have described honor killings are called for, tolerated, or even judged less harshly than murder under Sharia Law, then I would say from my western perspective that the religion of Islam has a problem.

              Here is a link to an interesting article on the subject and here is another. I hope anyone interested will take the time to read them, they present another issue which seems present with your claim Hugh; a denial of the practice having an Islamic religious basis in those communities. Understanding that most of us here are of a western mindset, if Islam under Sharia Law, or Sharia Law under Islam, whichever the correct way to view it is, but if Sharia Law does not recognize, extend, and protect certain rights of determinism to all individuals, then the consequences one suffers because of decisions of determinism under that system are a result of the contemporary practice of the religion of Islam.

              I find it interesting that the professor you TA'd for, Dr. Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere, has been addressing the issue peripherally in the news lately in regards to the political situation in Egypt. He refers to the larger issue as "political Islam" and how the Muslim Brotherhood was moving Egypt towards "Islamist authoritarianism". Here are his interesting insights from this article about the recent political events in Egypt and their relevance to the religion of Islam:

              “It was our Iran moment,” said Ezzedine Choukri Fishere, a politics professor at the American University of Cairo and former adviser to the minister of Foreign Affairs. “There was no legal recourse … so, we had to take our fight for democracy back to the streets.”

              Ignoring the growing protests, Mr. Morsi announced the appointment of 17 Brotherhood-affiliated governors, including a member of Gamaa Islamiya in Luxor, a town where the group had killed 58 foreign tourists in 1997.

              “Egypt was not moving to democracy,” Prof. Fishere said, “but towards Islamist authoritarianism.”
              ...
              But for many others, their opposition to the Morsi regime was about his authoritarianism.
              ...
              It is a sign of the times that people don’t accept this anymore, Prof. Fishere said. “I think Egyptian and many Arab societies have profoundly changed over the last 20 years. There is more individualism, different expectations and a different attitude towards authority. The old passive, submissive and hierarchical Egyptian is giving way to an assertive pragmatic egalitarian one.

              “This new culture cannot accept authoritarianism even – especially – in the name of religion.”

              Prof. Fishere concludes that “political Islam is receding – it won’t disappear but its moment has been eclipsed.”
              Why did Prof. Fishere conflate authoritarianism with Islam? I think he sees the issue. At any rate, it seems Dr. Fishere is both brave and influential for speaking out on the subject.

              Originally posted by HughMungus
              I conducted research on the subject and learned that 'honor killings' are primarily a cultural practice, rather than a religious practice. ... I interviewed various adherents from Christianity and Islam in the Arab world..., and was fascinated when Arab Muslims would acknowledge, "it isn't part of our religion, but it's our culture." Conversely, those Arab Christians supporting the act proudly proclaimed, "this is not only our culture, but this is also our religion."
              ...
              As a Middle East Political Scientist, it is my premise that honor killings in the Middle East has it's origins in the Bible, as the custom actually predates Islam, yet there is little-to-no-evidence suggesting the practice predates the Bible.
              So it is your contention that Islam comes by it honestly because of the Bible? You spent considerable time establishing your Curriculum Vitae and then repudiate it with pure conjecture wrapped as "research". I think you need to understand Christianity and the Bible, particularly the New Testament, before asserting that there is support for honor killings in Jesus' teachings and Christian doctrine. I think your premise is about as sound as me proposing that contemporary obesity in the United States can trace its roots to the laughing Buddha's of Buddhism. I would be interested in seeing any formal "research" where even Arab Christians proudly proclaim honor killings is part of Christianity. Perhaps some strange small sect might exist which claims to be Christian, but even then I want to see their doctrine twisted as it may be proudly embracing honor killings. I don't think it can be shown.
              Watchinginawe

              I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

              Comment

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