Thus, the belief that women who stray from the path can be rightly murdered is consistent with such Islamic teachings.The refusal of most Islamic authorities to unambiguously denounce the practice (as opposed to merely denying that Islam sanctions it) only encourages would-be honor killers.

The millions of Indian Hindus who have immigrated to the West do not bring the practice along with them.

The recent spike of honor killings in India is likely the product of a clash between traditional and modern values, intensified by high economic growth and increasing social mobility.

Hindu honor killings in the West have been too rare to allow for valid statistical comparisons.[18] The researchers relied on English language media reports for data,[19] selecting the first cases that met the criteria of being a Hindu or Muslim honor killing and about which most of the following seven variables were known: location/religion; gender of victim; motive; the presence or absence of torture; age; number of victims per incident; and whether it was the woman's or the man's family who committed the killing.

The average age of all of the victims in this study, both male and female, was 22, with no statistically significant differences among the groups.

Not even celebrity status can shield Muslim women from punishments related to honor crimes.

Actress Afshan Azad (left), seen here with Harry Potter co-star Rupert Grint, was beaten and threatened with death in 2010 by her father and brother for dating a non-Muslim.

Overwhelmingly, it was the women's families that committed the honor killings even in cases in which there were male victims.

In India, 94 percent of the killings were carried out by the woman's family of origin.

The spike may also reflect growing media coverage of this crime.