Chaudhry Rashad was so outraged at his daughter, Sandela Kanwal, and her plans for divorce that he strangled the 25-year-old woman. This “honor killing” took place over the weekend in Clayton County, Georgia. Rashad told police that he killed his daughter as a matter of honor, because he felt her plans for divorce would have disgraced the family.
The victim had been forced into an arranged marriage and had not seen her husband for months. One local Muslim leader said the father murdered the daughter because he was depressed – but, according to the United Nations Population Fund, at least 5,000 women are victims of “honor murders” each year.
Damage to a Muslim daughter’s “honor” is considered a great humiliation to the Muslim cultural-religious tradition of such immigrant families. Such dishonor comes from the young woman refusing to wear a hijab, having a non-Muslim boyfriend, being sexually active, rejecting arranged marriages, aggressively seeking employment and education, and attempting to assimilate into Western culture.
Residents of Lewisville, Texas were shocked on January 1st to hear about the brutal murder of teenage sisters Sarah and Amina Said. The two Muslim girls were found shot to death in a taxi. Their father allegedly murdered them in an “honor killing” because the girls were becoming too westernized. In December, 2007 another honor killing took place in Mississauga, Ontario. Sixteen-year-old Aqsa Parvez was strangled to death by her Pakistani father who opposed her westernized social life.
Representatives of many Muslim groups in the US and Canada try to downplay the cultural-religious angle of these killings because of their interest in promoting Sharia law here. Criticism is met with accusations of Islamophobia. Yet, these are not simple acts of domestic violence like those that take place in all communities. They are specific to Muslim religion and culture.
How long will this oppression of the rights of young Muslim women be allowed to continue in the US? Why aren’t women’s rights organizations leading the charge to ensure the safety and rights of Muslim women? Could it be that political correctness and multiculturalism have rendered these organizations impotent on this issue? How many more young women will have to die here before Muslim immigration into the U.S. is reconsidered and tighter screening policies enacted?
How are we going to respond to the “honor murders” of Muslim girls in America and other Western nations? Consider some of the victims: Banaz Mahmood, Hatin Surucu , Aqsa Parvez , Caneze Riaz, 39, and her four daughters, Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 15, Alicia, 10, and Hannah, 3, Tahira Bibi, Samaira Nazir, Hina Salem, Methal Dayem, Sazan Bajez-Abdulluh , Rudayena Jemael, Hesha Yones, Souad, Ibtihaz Hasoun , Fadime Sahindal, Zahida Peeveen, Ghazala Khan.