CAIRO - A recent announcement by Chechnya's government allowing honor killing is considered disturbing to activists who decried the practice as violating women rights for the sake of outdated traditions.
We are a traditional, conservative society, but the government has gone overboard, Lipkhan Bazaeva, head of the Women's Dignity Center, a nongovernmental organization promoting women's rights in Grozny, told The Washington Times on Monday, April 30.
They are declaring unacceptable limits on women as an individual, she has no rights even if her husband beats her, despite Russian laws.
Activists' anger followed announcement by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally to the Kremlin, that dead women loose morals and were rightfully shot by male relatives.
If a woman runs around and if a man runs around with her, both of them should be killed, said Mr. Kadyrov.
Though observers agree that honor killings are on the rise in Chechnya, the issue remains largely taboo among locals.
You hear about these cases almost every day, said a local human rights defender, who asked that her name not be used out of fear for her safety.
It is hard for me to investigate this topic, yet I worked on it with [human rights activist] Natasha [Estemirova] for a while. But, I can't anymore. I am too scared now. I've almost given up, really.
Muslim scholars across the world have repeatedly rejected honor killing as un-Islamic practice related to an outdated cultural tradition.
In Islam, there is no place for unjustifiable killing as the case in honor killing.
Even in case of capital punishment, only the government can apply the law through the judicial procedures.
Though portrayed in the Western media as exhorted by Islam, honor killing is a cultural act and has nothing to do with the faith.
In Chechnya, Muslim youth were reverting to early marriages to avoid temptations against their religion and tradition.
Abu-Khadzh Idrisov, 20, was one of the Chechen youth who choose to marry at early age to a girl he spotted at a park in Grozny.
When I married her, I honestly knew only two things: her name and the school she studied at. We talked together once, he recalled his marriage at 18.
But we have traditions and extremely strict rules in Chechnya, and you can't just ignore them.
I carry my family's name, and if I tarnish it, I will have problems.
After two devastating wars with Russia, which killed thousands of people, Chechnya is now seeing an Islamic revival.
Mosques across the province are now packed with worshippers every day.
Serzhen-Yurt village, for instance, has nine mosques to serve its 5,000 residents.
Hijab is also becoming popular among Chechen women, especially the younger generations.