Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dhofar & Honor Killings

Oh yes. Honor killings / tribal killings still happen in Oman and Dhofar in particular if I'm not mistaken. Tribal honor is a big deal down south. I remember hearing about tribal killings when I was younger. A guy from Tribe X would do something to a guy in Tribe Y (could include stealing animals, sleeping with his sister, etc) and so the guy from Tribe Y would go home and get his weapon and kill the guy from tribe X. (I'd say almost every household owns a weapon - things got a little crazy after the Dhofar Rebellion)  

Naturally, dude would go to prison. Then the tribes get together and negotiate for weeks or months to determine an appropriate settlement. The settlement could be anything from cash (we're talking 50,000 - 500,000 OMR) to camels and land. Once the settlement is agreed upon, the family of the deceased drops the charges and the murderer is released from prison.

Here's the part that drives me nuts: in most cases the entire tribe of the accused chips in FOREVER to pay the settlement. Each family is instructed to pay a certain amount every year to support the killer. It's called 'Tribal Support'. My family has been paying for the past ten years or more to support a similar case.  

Obviously killing a human on purpose is cold-blooded murder whether the word 'honor' is linked to it or not. Oman maintains the death penalty for murder and drug trafficking.

The reason I'm discussing this today is because nearly a year ago a man from a very very powerful tribe murdered another man in the middle of Salalah. Everyone believes it was an honor killing. I hate using these terms, but the victim was a black man. Naturally, the powerful tribe were sure that they'd be able to negotiate a settlement with the victim's family.

Salalah has been buzzing with this case for the past year. Most people were sure the victim's family would give in and accept a settlement. To everyone's shock the family refused. They will not take the millions (yes, millions) of rials worth of settlement money/bribe. They want justice.

 Tuesday April 17th (that's 48 hours from now) is the final sentencing. I think they're going to go ahead with the execution. The family has refused to budge. Approval for death penalty comes from His Majesty + The Grand Mufti. If you've been following the news, His Majesty left the country yesterday and will be touring Europe. Obviously a decision has been made.

Your daily dose of Dhofar. Are you familiar with any recent honor killings in Oman? If yes, what's your opinion?


  1. The 'very powerful' tribe you are talking about has been associated with several honor killings last year alone. They need to be taught a lesson.

  2. Why aren't these cases in the news?


    1. As if you will see news like this in Oman newspapers... They will keep this from the public as much as they can. How many rapes, murders, theft, etc. are happening everyday in this country? Have you EVER read about it? If you wanna see articles like this happening in Oman, read Gulf news.

  3. I respect your opion, but refusing settlement will bring another killing...After all, its all about revenage...I don't think we should praise or "honor" the killing of human beings.

  4. You kill a person, you go to jail. Nothing else to discuss / negotiate !!

    'Tribal Support' .. I feel it's the tribe's way say "we approve" don't you think so? otherwise they've would have condemned the killer's act (I believe his finger pulled the trigger, not the tribe’s!).

    I hope this person from the "very very powerful tribe" get what he deserves and justice prevail.


  5. Just to let you know, shared across on G+

  6. If the family accepts the settlement, the tradition of honor killings will continue! People think it's so easy to just kill a human then pay money to shut the family up.


  7. Who's the powerful tribe?! Why not name & shame for us!

  8. Incredibly interesting post. Have missed this kind of writing from you. Thanks for sharing!

  9. May 'The Devil we dont know' holds the right answer?

  10. It is shocking to know that the value of a human life can be measured in terms of some kind. May be justice this time may make people think twice before committing such revenge acts. Wish there was some sort of a education where people can be taught the values of love and harmony.

  11. "Tribal support" this dreaded mentality is killing off all logic in Salalah at a rapid rate. God help the few in the tribes who are not so super glued to their tribe and think outside of the brainwashed box.

    I agree with the family of the murdered man. The killer took their son and money can not buy back a dead man. Those who murder deserve what Allah has written in Quran.

    I was just discussing tribal killings with a khaleeji friend of mine on friday as we stood making kebabs for our families. My friend was in a state of disbelief that such still happens in Salalah. I told her dont be shocked, thats how many perfer to live thinking its the correct way of life even though it goes against Quran and Islam. Need i say how Islam needs to be reintroduced in Salalah to the benefit of many starting from the basics of adab to the ranks of court systems and rights.
    When society stops taking bribes and starts acting on Islam, less people will suffer and more people can live their life as its meant to be.

    Allah yarham to my brother in faith who was murdered..May Allah grant you the highest level of paradise and reward your family for their patience in this hard time. Allah humma salli ala Mohammed wa ala alee Mohammed kamma salata ala Ibrahim wa ala alee Ibrahim, innaka hameedun majeed.

  12. Hi Dhofari Gucci, any news to the outcome of the case?

  13. Tribalism. Leave it. It is rotten. -Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W).

  14. If someone killed a family member of mine and my tribe took money, I'd go kill the son of a b**** and let them pay the money right back. "Honour refund" lol :)

  15. Any news what's happened then ?

  16. Any news.where did that guy went then ? Any update

  17. this "powerful" tribe You are talking about is ALMashani....and I do not understand why you are encouraging the fact the family wants justice Prophet Mohammad taught us to be forgiving, even though it as evil thing and unfortunate what happened, it isn't doing any good by being happy over someone's execution.