Source: Asia Times
The brutal murder of Pakistani model and social media star Qandeel Baloch drew so much international attention that Islamabad is finally taking steps to prevent such “honor killings” by removing legal loopholes which help culprits to escape punishment or receive light sentences. However, this social evil can’t be wiped out unless Muslim communities reform and allow women and girls to make their own clothing, dating, marital and even sexual choices.
The case of Qandeel Baloch, the “Kim Kardashian” of Pakistan, has rightly captured international headlines. A social media phenomenon, Baloch was known for posts that were provocative in the context of her home culture, even if they would be considered rather benign to many in the West, and certainly in the United States.
Honor-based violence – a type of violence in which families, sometimes with the help of the broader community, punish a victim (usually female) for a perceived social or sexual indiscretion, has long been a plague. This is certainly true in Pakistan – most especially in more insular communities where a more regressive interpretation of Islam is enforced.