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The Concept of Honor and its Reflection in the Iranian Penal Code

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Abstract Honor is an extremely complex social and symbolic concept and a sensitive issue that has generated considerable legal and intellectual discussion in the Islamic world up to the present. The so-called ‘honor killing’ violates the principle of human rights. In this article the focus is on sexual honor and the understanding of the concept of honor and honor killing in the Iranian Penal Code of 1997, according to which a husband can kill his wife and her lover if he finds them committing an adulterous sexual act (zenāʾ). The questions asked are: How are honor killings described or dealt with in the Iranian Penal Code (IPC)? Are honor killings rooted in the Shiʿi jurisprudence (feqh) or custom (ʿorf )?

Affiliations: 1: Göttingen University

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