Qur’an 4:34 allows for physical violence (yes, it says to hit) against “disobedient women.” Islamic law is inconsistent at best on whether parents who kill their children face any consequences at all. It is no surprise, then, that Muslims commit 91 percent of “honor killings” worldwide.
KINGSTON, Ont. – A Montreal family couldn’t bear the “treachery” of their three teenaged daughters having boyfriends, so they drowned them and the father’s first wife, pushing a car into a canal and staging the scene to look like an implausible accident, court heard Thursday.
Days after the bodies were found the father was recorded saying, “There is nothing more valuable than our honour.”
Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 41, her husband Mohammad Shafia, 58, and their son, Hamed Mohammad Shafia, 20, are each charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
Three teenage Shafia sisters, Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, along with Shafia’s first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad, 50, were found dead inside a submerged black Nissan Sentra discovered June 30, 2009 in the Rideau Canal. The family had stopped in Kingston on their way home from a trip to Niagara Falls.
An expert will be called to testify about honour killings and how in extreme cases, killing can be seen in some cultures as a way to restore honour to a family, the Crown attorney said Thursday at the outset of the trial. Disobedience by a female member of the family can cause shame and taint family honour, she said.
Laurie Lacelle quoted police wiretaps made surreptitiously in the days after the deaths that show the family’s concern for their honour.
“Even if they hoist me up onto the gallows, nothing is more dear to me than my honour,” Shafia said. “Let’s leave our destiny to God, and may God never make me, you or your mother honourless…There is nothing more valuable than our honour.”
When police began to suspect the three were involved in the deaths, they told the family they were examining a camera near the scene for clues, in the hopes this would prompt discussion among the Shafias in their car, which the police had bugged. They scoffed and immediately suspected police were bluffing.
“If they had had any proof they would have come for us a long time ago,” Shafia said.
Another wiretap recorded Shafia and Yahya talking about their daughters 20 days after they died.
“If we remain alive…we have no tension thinking our daughter is in the arms of this or that boy, this or that man,” Shafia said on a wiretap. “God’s curse on them for generations. May the devil …(expletive) on their graves. Is that what a daughter should be? Would a daughter be such a whore?”
“There can be no treachery, no violation more than this,” Lacelle quoted Shafia as saying on the wiretaps. “They committed treason from beginning to end. They betrayed humankind. They betrayed Islam…They betrayed everything.”…