Honour Killings Condemned, Shafia Found GuiltyJanuary 30, 2012 5 Comments
Canada’s controversial honour killing trial has ended with a conviction of murder in the first degree for Montreal’s Shafia family. Mohammad Shafia, Tooba Shafia and their son Hamed were found guilty Sunday of murdering three sisters and the father’s first wife. They were sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years.
A recent report suggested that honour killings are on the rise worldwide. These killings are meant to cleanse the family when a woman shames it by disobeying traditional gender roles. Women have been killed by their families for things like adultery, premarital sex or even how they dress.
The three Shafia daughters were murdered by their family for “wanting boyfriends” and thereby betraying traditional Afghanistan values. Mr. Shafia’s former wife, Rona Mohammad Amir, was murdered for a suspected polygamous marriage.
This trial is significant for reasons far beyond the guilty verdict. Throughout the trial the judge condemned all honour killings and pledged to protect women from such violence. Justice Rob Nicholson called the practice of honour killings “barbaric” and “unacceptable,” according to one article.
The media attention the trial has gained is also important. These “traditions” can no longer be ignored. A murder is a murder, no matter what religious or moral reasons compel it. The verdict and outright condemnation of such “honour” killings are a step towards protecting all women from such terrible crimes.
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