Taking Honor Out of Honor Killing
This chapter and the next are about ending honor killing through moral transformations occurring within communities. The emphasis is on facilitating and curating reforms that community members come to willingly adopt as their own. Sociocultural norms, expectations, and conditions must be revised such that no one can conceive of honor killing as an honorable deed. Here the practicality of such an outcome is emphasized by examining four subjects. First, the formation by Badshah Khan of the Khudai Kidhmatgar into a nonviolent and service-based army among the Pathans demonstrates the possibility of transformation even among the fiercest of honor-bound peoples. Second, the chapter demonstrates the effectiveness of reframing honor and inducing cognitive dissonance, thereby separating killing from honorable behavior. Next, three existing honor–shame cultures in which honor killing is not practiced are examined as real alternatives. Finally, possibilities for nonviolent conflict resolution and peaceable costly signaling techniques are considered.
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