The story behind one Muslim woman's "honor" mutilation

PAKISTAN: Zahida Parveen, victim of a horrific honor killing attempt, says she had no inkling that her husband was jealous.

Yet on the night of December 20, 1998, Parveen, who was then three months pregnant saw a rope hanging from the raters. Her husband, Iqbal, a stocky man, ordered Parveen to lock the bedroom door, but she refused, worrying that the children might wake up and call for her. “The kids are dead to you,” he said. “You are no longer their mother.” Holding her captive, Iqbal accused Parveen of having an affair.

Parveen insisted that she had never been unfaithful to him, but Iqbal didn’t listen. Instead, he gagged her, bound her feet and hands and hung her upside down from the ceiling. As he beat her with a wooden ax handle, blood began to drip from her arms and legs.

Then Iqbal, a barber by profession, traded his ax for a razor. He cut off the lower lobes of her ears, then sliced her nose at the base. “He next used a metal rod to poke out my eyes,” she continues, “and then put his finger inside each socket to make sure nothing was left.”  When Iqbal finished mutilating her, he cut the rope, causing Parveen to fall to the floor like a limp rag doll “He left me for dead,” Parveen says,” and then he took our daughter and left.” Parveen crawled across the floor, found a blanket, wrapped it around herself and passed out. When she came to, the next morning, she heard her son crying. Realizing he was locked in the bedroom, Parveen began to shout for help. Two neighbors quickly arrived and, seeing the bloody mess, sent for the police.

Mehmood Iqbal was convicted of attempted murder. He got five years for attempt to kill, three yeas for cutting off her nose, three years for gouging out her eyes, one and a half years for her ears and one and a half years for cutting her tongue. All of the offenses run consecutively, which adds up to 14 years.

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Zahida Parveen after receiving free reconstructive surgery in the United States:

Most honor-mutilated Muslim women aren’t as lucky as Zahida: