Noor Basra, 15, and Noor Sheza, 16, were killed after a clip of the cavorting caused outrage in their ultra-conservative town. Their mother Noshehra was also shot. The three were killed by five gunmen.
Police suspect that the murders were ordered by the sisters’ stepbrother to restore the family’s “honour”.
The girls’ older brother is in pursuit of the stepbrother and his accomplices, who apparently fled after the attack. Apparently they were bold enough to murder a couple of teenage girls in cold blood for dancing in the rain, but too scared to stand and face the consequences of their actions.
Honor killings are a serious problem in tribal regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Thousands occur each year; the UN estimates about 5,000 but some women’s rights organizations suspect it might be as high as 20,000. They are commonly caused by such “crimes” as dancing, talking with a man who is not their relative or husband, wanting to exercise their choice in who to marry, or being raped. Apparently murdering the victim is the only remedy for the disgrace brought on their families for such terrible transgressions.
The murders follow the scandal last year of the case of four women who were killed on the orders of tribal elders for singing and dancing with men at a wedding party in the remote north-western Pakistan village of Kohistan.
… and in the majority of these cases, regardless of the circumstances, it’s the woman who is punished, not the man. One would instinctively think that this is a problem exclusive to Islam; however, this issue transcends any one religion and permeates any society that reduces women to nothing more than vessels for the next generation of men.