Trigger warning: violence, domestic violence
In Jordan, a woman named Ahlam was murdered by her father in what is recognized as an “honor killing.” The attacks began after a dispute unraveled between Ahlam and her father. Her father hit her with a brick and continued the harm as Ahlam attempted to escape. She managed to start running as she was screaming for help, but her father chased her. She passed away after multiple hits to her head. Neighbors tried intervening, however, they were allegedly stopped by Ahlam’s brothers. As her body laid on the ground, Ahlam’s father sipped back on a cup of tea and smoked a cigarette.
Ahlam had been previously in jail on a charge for misdemeanour by her father who then paid for her bail a month later. Investigations have opened on a report that someone complained of a woman being assaulted. There had been notifications that she was facing abuse at home, and no one stepped in to address the violence.
Jordanian law allows for criminal indictment reduction under reason of honor; this can be seen in the Jordanian Penal code, Articles 98 and 99. Therefore, the father could reduce his crime under reason of Ahlam bringing dishonor to the family. Many Jordanian women have gone on social media to share that Jordanian laws continue to silence women while using Ahlam’s story as a horrifying example.
Toxic masculinity is loud and alive in the Arab world. It feeds on the victim fear. Lots of women are voiceless and afraid to speak up about thier terror.
— Rory 🦋 (@WithLoveRory) July 19, 2020
Jordanians flooded Twitter with anger and sadness. However, there were also comments that supported the murder. Comments such as “If she did something that touches the family’s honor then she deserves it…” escalated the issue. The father is facing the charges at Grand Criminal Court in Amman after Ahlam’s story garnered attention in the media.
A similar incident occurred in Jordan when a man had killed his 14-year-old daughter after she made a Facebook account in May 2020.
There is a lot of growth to be made in the Jordanian government to address issues for Women’s Rights. A petition was made and began circulating online calling for the end of Articles 98 and 99 which now has more than 35,000 signatures. The translation of the petition urges the abolition of articles 98 and 99 in the Jordanian law. The petition is also asking for the end of Article 52, which gives families the right to waive the right to life of their children.
READ MORE: OP-ED: Another ‘Honor Killing’ In A Family