Over the last decade, public outrage over honour killings has grown exponentially. Like suicide- terrorism or Female Genital Mutilation, honour killing belongs to those peculiar kinds of atrocities, which are usually met with complete incomprehension in societies where no such incidents occur or are not perceived as being part of the dominant "culture". A random survey of the Internet makes it apparent that reports in Western media are marked by graphic descriptions of brutal cases of honour killings and references to "barbarism" and "archaic traditions". These reactions are unfortunate, as they do not foster an understanding of the issues involved in honour killing. This study takes the reader on a journey through anthropological theory and ethnography to explain an apparently inexplicable phenomenon.