COLUMN: Fatah – No honour in killing

- October 10th, 2012

Honour killings are dishonourable

by Tarek Fatah

Most of us know about the tragic “honour” killing of the three Shafia sisters and their stepmother, Rona Amir Mohammad.

The four died at the hands of their family because they committed the “crime” of embracing Canada’s freedoms.

Now we have news of another possible honour killing by another Muslim father, who allegedly became outraged at his wife and daughters for dishonouring him and his religious and cultural beliefs.

If you have not heard of Randjida Khairi, whose throat was slit, don’t blame yourself.

Unlike the Shafia honour killings, this death was kept under tight wraps by newspapers. That is, until the Sun broke the story Saturday.

The parallels between the Shafia murders and the Khairi killing are uncanny.

In both cases the mothers were Afghan women who died after permitting their children to embrace Canada’s freedoms and live a “westernized” lifestyle.

As the Sun’s Sam Pazzano reported, the jury heard that in the Khairi killing: “Randjida Khairi paid the ultimate price for standing up to her Afghan Muslim husband and letting their children live as Westerners.” Crown attorney Robert Kenny, in his opening statement, said the mother of six had her throat slashed by husband Peer Khairi, slit open to the spine, after which she slowly suffocated in her own blood.

Kenny said while Peer Khairi will admit to inflicting the fatal wounds, he has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and, “what is at issue is how the death happened and what was going through the accused’s mind when it happened.” Kenny told the jury, “there had been fights between the couple about how permissive she (Randjida Khairi) was in raising their children, how she allowed them to dress and socialize as they liked, rather than asserting more control over their behaviour so that they kept the culture and rules of their birthplace (Afghanistan).”

Since the murders of Aqsa Pervez, the Shafia sisters and the dismembering of five-year-old Farah Khan, the media have been inundated by Islamist lobbying to back off from using the phrase “honour killing”, or associating these barbaric practices with my Muslim community, or with Islamic sharia.

During the Shafia trial, 60 Muslim organizations came together to describe the Shafia murders not as honour killings, but as “Domestic violence … in the extreme.” They said, “practices such as killing to restore family honour violate clear and non-negotiable Islamic principles.” They are right that the Qur’an does not address honour killing.

But it does sanction the right of a husband to beat his wife.

Verse 4:34 of the Qur’an is quite explicit: “Men are in charge of women by (right of) what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend (for maintenance) from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. But those (wives) from whom you fear arrogance — (first) advise them; (then if they persist), forsake them in bed; and (finally), strike them.”

Not a single reporter dared ask these 60 Muslim leaders if there was a contradiction between their stated position against domestic violence and their belief in the above verse, where God directs Muslim men on how to discipline errant wives.

When and if Islamists line up to address this latest killing, they may want to address this question as well.

Categories: Politics

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