“Honor Killing in Canada”

I’ve been following a bit the trial in Canada that has been called the “Honor Killing Trial”. Three young girls, all sisters and their father’s second wife have been found dead. Their death was classified as a murder by the brother of the girls, while father and mother have been found to have conspired to the murder. Only the brother was behind the vehicle that is said to have pushed the girls over the bridge.

The girls are said to have adopted a “western lifestyle” and because of that the family felt “dishonored”. More news of this can be found, just google the “Shafia verdict”.

While I was reading some of the articles and watched a segment on Anderson Cooper (I as a Muslim is frustrated that he and many others have linked these type of killings to Islam. Anyone that has any exposure to real Islam not the one projected by the media will know these sort of killings are cultural not religious, but that is another topic, Muslim hating continues as village people and their crimes continue to be connected to Islam) what I found interesting was the main evidence apart from the car headlights that was broken, are the words rather the curses said by the father and in extension the family.

The words are vile and reveal intense hatred towards the young girls and the path they chose. It got me thinking about cultures that are so honor obsessed. In the Somali language honor is called “Sharaf” and I have heard death is better than dishonor, in other words honor especially the honor of the “family name” is so deeply rooted in the mentality of honor obsessed cultures. I don’t think it’s an easy concept to understand in cultures like the Western cultures where individualism rather than family honor is more important.

So when one betrays what is considered “honor” such as to dress promiscuity, club, party, engage in sex etc, such a person (especially if one is a girl) then they are cursed in the worst way possible by some people. I’ve seen it. I’ve heard similar to what the father in this case was quoted as saying. “May God cruse…..” “They are better off dead then to be that way…” And the similar.

So it got me thinking do these cruses no matter how vile and despicable they are, do they amount to murder? There is no doubt some people that say these cruses and have these beliefs actually do carry out murder, and there are others that are just as emotionally hateful and hold similar beliefs, who say the same cruses yet don’t commit murder. Each and every case will be different and as such should be treated individually. This is why strong physical evidence is so important, more important than recorded cruses in crime convictions.

May God grant the victims peace.

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3 Responses to “Honor Killing in Canada”

  1. Mandi says:

    I had been following the case too and I kinda do agree to an extent with what yu’re saying… in cases of murder it is imperative to have physical evidence coz way too many people got wrongfully convicted before the days of DNA and i’m sure it still happens today, however theres a thing called motive and that always gets the prosecution all excited when suspects say things that may sound threatening. So while them being of muslim faith certainly does not help them at all, it is common practice to become the prime suspect because of motive (steming from carelessly made statements)

  2. Guulo says:

    I agree motive plays an important role in convictions. At the same time the statements got me thinking. I used this case as a reference, but rather I am speaking in general terms about statements as evidence not so much about this particular case itself. I think there are vast cultural differences and people coming from different cultural backgrounds there is a disconnect when they come to Canada/US. I am remember watching the “shit people say” parady about African parents and i remember thinking if some case workers got a hold of footage of what parents say then it would be considered verbal/emotional abuse/ neglect/child labor etc. Again there is a cultural difference. So these hateful statements, indeed these curses of damnation towards the person (s) that go outside the fold of what is considered “honorable” in the culture is very common and does not mean motive for murder. I remember hearing stories of kids that turned to certain activities usually of sexual nature and the parents cursed them, prayed for their death. Cursing is so easy, its on the tip of the tongue. It’s appalling, makes me cringe, just as easily they could pray to God to guide them etc at the sametime I can understand its a different mindset. So if those kids ended up dead, the parents would be suspects, which isn’t always the case and thus bigger evidence is vital. Again its a general statement not about this specific case.

    This type of mindset is present in many cultures with diverse religious beliefs, its not specific to Muslims. If a Muslim has any understanding or faith in Islam they are incapable of crime, but things like honor, which is really “saving face” in the community for many is a more powerful force than religion, as religion teaches doing what is right and there is no justification whatsoever for murder, and of one’s own child, i can’t even begin to imagine the twisted thinking of this nature!

    When someone committs these sort of crimes its only when that someone is a “Muslim” that religion is a factor. Just see the news, Muslims are the only group where religion is brought up. It’s so ironic, the connection some wish to make with Islam its so bizzare, so very bizzare its mind-boggling and frustrating to me. It boils my blood. *Sigh*

    • Mandi says:

      Yeah, i get what you are saying completely.. especially about what parents say to their children and how CPS case worker would veiw that..LOL as an african i can totally relate. Most forms of discipline and words used when chastising would just look like abuse. but now that you say that people dont mention the religion of a perp till their Muslim… i see that now and it is pretty sad coz most of us that dont know too much about the religion are going to believe whatever we see from the media and it does put the blame on the religion instead of weird cultural stuff or just diabolic people so i definately understand.

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