Shafia Family and the Delusion of Honour

First of all, take a look at the picture of this young woman below.

Zainab Shafia

An exceptional beauty, isn't she?

Unfortunately, she's dead.

Being a regular reader of the Canadian magazine Maclean's, I have recently taken some interest in the Shafia family murder trials, which covered honour killing committed by a wealthy Afghani-Canadian family in Kingston, Ontario.

In 2009, Mohammad Shafia, his second wife Tooba Yahya, and their first son Hamed allegedly drowned three of the oldest daughters in the family, Zainab (19), Sahar (17), and Geeti (13) inside a Nissan Sentra in a river in Ontario. The first wife of Moh. Shafia, Rona Amir, was also drowned inside the car, apparently as an "throw-in" prize for Tooba, since Tooba is always the "preferred wife" of that polygamous household.

The victim's "crimes"?

Those three daughters of Moh. Shafia had "disgraced the family name and Islam" by "wearing make-up and Western clothing", "dating boys", and "hanging around with Canadian friends too often".

In other words, the daughters are merely "guilty" of teenage misdemeanours that, had it occurred in other ordinary families in the West, would not provoke the slightest angers from their parents.

Eventually, the verdict on 29 January 2012 stated that all three suspects are guilty of four counts of first-degree murders. In Canada, it carries an automatic life sentence in prison without a possibility of parole for 25 years.

Seriously, how sick can those trio be? If they can't cope with having their kids Westernised, why not return to Afghanistan and implement their honour code there?

To note, I have absolutely nothing against codes of honour implemented by families anywhere else in the world. However, any immigrants to a Western country should always remember that the local law triumphs. There is absolutely no place for such barbaric brutality here.

Meanwhile, it is with deep sadness that I see the pictures of the three deceased Shafia girls. This is the only one news that kept me thinking: what a waste. What a shame. They could've had a bright future ahead.

Instead, the family is broken up. Four are dead, three are in prison for first-degree murders, and three of the younger children are placed in foster homes.

May Roona, Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti rest in peace.

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