Clash of Civilizations Update from AP, with thanks to Kaosktrl:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Nine people were convicted Tuesday of murder or being an accessory to murder in the killing of a 19-year-old woman gunned down by her older brother two days after her wedding because her Pakistani family disapproved of her husband.
The 12-member jury returned guilty verdicts against the nine, all family members and friends, in the slaying of Ghazala Khan. Sentencing was expected later this week.
Khan was shot and killed Sept. 23 in Slagelse, 100 kilometres west of Copenhagen. Her husband was shot twice in the stomach but survived.
In testimony during the trial, Khan’s older brother, Akthar Abbas, admitted to shooting the couple as they tried to flee to a train station, but he claimed he acted in self-defence because his brother-in-law, Emal Khan, had allegedly kicked him.
Akthar Abbas was found guilty of murder. His father, Ghulum Abbas, was found guilty of incitement to murder and masterminding the killing. Both face the maximum sentence of life imprisonment, automatically commuted to 16 years under Danish law.
Seven other people, including three of Khan’s uncles, an aunt and a family friend, were found guilty of being accessories to murder.
Prosecutors alleged Ghulum Abbas had his son and other family members track down the daughter and her new husband and kill them. Ghulum Abbas pleaded not guilty.
The trial, which began in May, has highlighted disparate views on marriage between some immigrants and Danes in this country of 5.4 million. An estimated 200,000 Muslims live in Denmark.
“In some parts of the immigrant community, there are still some differences in understanding love marriages and cultural backgrounds and traditions,” said Torben Ruberg Rasmussen, a professor with the University of Southern Denmark’s Centre for Middle East Studies.
Abdul Wahid Petersen, a leading imam in Denmark, said Danish Muslims did not regard the honour killing as “their case.”
“To us, it is not a religious case, it is a criminal case,” Petersen told The Associated Press before the verdict was delivered. “But it is obvious that in many people’s minds, it will be connected to Islam.”