Thursday 19 January 2012

On Honour Killings

The trial of Mohammed Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya, and their son Hamed is currently wrapping up in Kingston, Ontario. They are charged with four counts of first-degree murder. They have pleaded not guilty in the deaths of the daughters of Shafia and Yahya’s daughters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, Shafia’s first wife in a polygamous marriage. The four  were found dead in a car that sank into a canal.

The crown alleges that the four, all of whom expressed the desire to leave the family home, were killed to protect family honour. Wiretaps presented at the trial show, the Crown argues, Shafia’s lingering anger over his daughters’ dating habits. In the wiretapped conversations Shafia calls them “whores”. Even one of the defence witnesses admitted that Honour is very important to Shafia.

The verdict should come in this week or next. But one thing about this trial struck me as at the least ironic, and even downright hypocritical: if indeed these were Honour killings, why not hold your head high and proudly admit it?


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