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Could someone have saved the Shafia girls?

Before their alleged “honour killing,” victims repeatedly complained to police, teachers and social workers


 

Zainab Shafia (Canadian Press)

The “system” did not kill the Shafia sisters. If prosecutors are correct, and their midnight drowning was in fact a mass execution, the girls perished because their parents and their brother are “honourable” people. They are dead because they were beautiful and bold and very much Canadian, a combination that so disgraced the good Muslim family that nothing short of their corpses could reverse the shame. The “system” did not dump them in the Rideau Canal.

But it didn’t exactly run to save them, either.

As a jury in Kingston, Ont., is now hearing, detectives, teachers and child welfare authorities knew full well that the Shafia home was a toxic pit of abuse, fear and borderline enslavement. One of the doomed sisters fled to a women’s shelter. Another told a police officer, point blank, that her dad threatened to kill them. Yet another tried to do it herself, popping a pile of pills in a failed suicide attempt. “I want to die,” Sahar Shafia, then 16, told her vice-principal. “I’ve had enough and I want to die.”

At last count, five different members of the “system” have provided evidence of what they saw in the weeks and months before the girls died—and what they did (or didn’t do) in response. Although some of those witnesses fought back tears during their testimony, not a single one expressed regret or remorse. None of them said that if they had a wish, it would be to go back in time and do something more.

They phoned the house. They convened meetings. They issued warnings. Twice, Quebec’s youth protection apparatus launched an official investigation. And both times, the case was closed. Should more have been done? Was someone negligent? Lazy? Were they crippled by cultural correctness? The answer, sadly, has become very clear during the course of this sensational trial: sometimes the “system” is simply no match for certain motivated individuals, especially someone who honestly believes that life behind bars is better than watching his teenage daughter hold a boy’s hand.

The Shafia sisters—Zainab, 19; Sahar, 17; and Geeti, 13—were found in a sunken sedan at the bottom of the Kingston Mills Locks on June 30, 2009. Floating beside them was 53-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad, their dad’s first wife in what was, up until then, a secretly polygamous clan. A few weeks later, father, mother and son were slapped in handcuffs for what the Crown contends was a quadruple homicide meant to restore the family’s “honour,” supposedly tarnished by the girls’ Westernized ways. All three suspects—Mohammad Shafia, 58; Tooba Yahya, 41; and Hamed Shafia, 20—have pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder.

The jury has already been told, over and over, that Zainab was the initial focus of her Afghan father’s wrath. The eldest of the seven Shafia children, she immigrated to Canada with the rest of the family in the summer of 2007—and immediately began bending the house rules. But in March 2008, after Hamed discovered her boyfriend hiding in their Montreal garage, Zainab was yanked out of school and banished to her bedroom. For nearly a year, she rarely left home.

On Wednesday, the jury learned that Zainab was not the only female Shafia desperate for an escape. In May 2008, while her older sister was essentially a prisoner, Sahar told a teacher about the hell that was her home life. She said she was forced to wear a hijab, the Muslim head covering, and that her older brother was abusive and controlling, once wheeling a pair of scissors at her arm. She also said her parents barely spoke to her, threatened to pull her out of school, and didn’t care at all that she tried to kill herself just ten days earlier. (Rona, the wife who died with the girls, confirmed the latter in her diary, recalling Tooba’s response to her daughter’s suicide attempt: “She can go to hell. Let her kill herself.”)

Concerned, Sahar’s teacher approached the school vice-principal, who in turn contacted Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, the province’s Anglophone child protection agency. “Sahar was in my office, as well as the teacher, when I made the call,” said the V.P., Josée Fortin. When she recalled for the jury how she handed the telephone to Sahar, Fortin had to stop and compose herself, taking a long drink of water.

Batshaw classified the complaint as a “Code 1,” dispatching a social worker the very same day. But when that worker arrived, Sahar immediately backtracked. “This change of attitude surprised me,” Fortin testified. “I wondered to myself: ‘Do I have before me a child who is afraid?’”

Jeanne Rowe, the Batshaw worker who met Sahar, said the young teen “cried profusely” during the entire half-hour meeting. “She didn’t want to give me any information,” Rowe said. “She just denied everything. She said: ‘It’s not true, it’s not true.’ She was very, very scared of her parents knowing about the report. She didn’t explain why, she just said she wanted to go home and be with her family.”

By law, however, Batshaw is obligated to inform a parent of any complaint filed against them (although the source of the information always remains confidential). Tooba arrived at the school first, with Zainab in tow. She denied every allegation, insisting that Hamed was not violent and that Sahar was free to pursue her education for as long as she liked. “The mother was not aware that Sahar had taken any pills in an attempt commit suicide,” Rowe continued.

“Did she express any concern about that?” asked Laurie Lacelle, one of the prosecutors.

“She did not.”

Zainab—fresh into her own punishment for being caught with her boyfriend—was also questioned. She, too, said Hamed was not abusive, and that “sometimes Sahar wanted to keep to herself and not talk to anybody.” Zainab also confirmed that mom and dad wanted both her and her sister to wear the hijab, which was “one of the things that made Sahar sad.”

Shafia walked into the school—with Hamed—shortly after that. “The father was quite angry, and he wanted to know the source of the report,” Rowe said. “I told him I could not give him the source, and he said he would speak to his lawyer because the report was nothing but lies.” Hamed agreed with his father, Rowe said, but he did concede that Sahar was upset about having to wear the hijab. “He said he didn’t understand why it was a problem because she knew it was part of their custom.”

Rowe phoned her boss and provided an update: five witnesses, five denials—including one from the complainant herself. They decided to let Sahar go home, and two days later, Rowe followed up with another visit to the school. Unlike the first time, Sahar was wearing her hijab. “She said things were better and she wanted to stay home,” Rowe told the court. “You have to make an assessment if the child is at risk. This child was not at risk at the time, she wanted to go home, so we closed the case.”

Things, of course, were not “better” at home. In fact, they were spiraling out of control.

By 2009, Geeti had joined Sahar in high school, and both were skipping class and flunking courses, triggering repeated phone calls from the office. At the same time, the Shafias were dealing with a much more pressing crisis: Zainab, reunited with her boyfriend, had run away. Hamed phoned 911—twice in a matter of minutes—to report her missing, and the resulting visit from police only shook out more of the family’s skeletons. Sahar told the responding officer that Hamed slapped her, and that her father hit Zainab “because he did not like her boyfriend.” Geeti said her dad “threatened that he was going to kill them,” and like Sahar, wanted to leave home “because there is a lot of violence.”

Montreal police launched an investigation, as did the provincial child welfare agency. Again, nothing came of it.

While Zainab was still missing, Shafia and Tooba were summoned to the school for yet another meeting, this one with Nathalie Laramée, a different vice-principal concerned about Sahar’s and Geeti’s recent misbehaviour. “The father was really in a state,” Laramée testified. “He was speaking very loudly in my office. ‘What can we do! What can we do!’” Sahar translated for her dad, from French to Farsi.

When her parents left, Sahar told Laramée that she didn’t relay most of what her father said because he lied so much. “My sister and myself are afraid in the house,” she said. “And we know that when we are in school we have to be careful because our behaviour is reported back to the home.”

Two weeks later, Laramée encountered a weeping Geeti in the hallway. Again, the 13-year-old talked about her desire to leave home, and how she and Sahar were planning to run away. In court, Laramée held back her own tears while recalling the encounter. “What can I do?” she said, repeating her words from that day. “How can I go about helping this family?”

Over the last few weeks of the school year, Geeti barely showed up. Once, when she did attend, Laramée sent her home to change out of a “low-cut sweater.” In the middle of June, Geeti’s parents received yet another letter from the school, detailing her truancy: 40 absences, 30 late arrivals. Her report card was even worse; she failed all four courses, including a dismal 28 per cent in math.

Days later, Geeti and her sisters would be pulled from the canal, their lifeless bodies laid out and photographed.

Inside the car, floating among the dead, was Sahar’s cell phone, rammed with its own photos of the family’s Niagara Falls vacation—a trip that ended on the same day they died. In one shot, Geeti is holding a puppy. In another, Sahar is posing in front a hotel mirror, smirking in her bikini. Zainab’s smiling face fills another.

Did they suspect that something terrible was about to happen? Was there an inkling, even the slightest, that they might not make it home?

Should someone else—a teacher, a cop, a social worker—have seen it coming?


 

Could someone have saved the Shafia girls?

  1. Murder, not “honour killing”.

  2. Thank our social system – biological family homes by law just have to be “good enough” whereas adoptive and foster homes are held to a very high (rightly so) standard of care. Add to that the system does not have any parameters in place to ensure social workers are doing a good job or making the right decisions, and you have a receipe for disaster.  Who are the social workers accountable to except their supervisors, who are also social workers, all working under government funding and protected by unions. The social workers showed no remorse because they believe they aren’t accountable – when in fact, in this case and sadly many others, the bio parents rights trumped what was in the best interest of the children.

    • Children die in foster homes every year.  A good friend’s child died recently.  Teachers reported the child showing up to school with bruises.  The photos were in her file.  The foster family was not held accountable.  I too was in foster care.  The foster home was NOT held to a high standard — this is the reason I ran away. I was 10 years old!  Biological as well as foster homes can both be a misery.  Yet to the outside world they are generally considered “good enough.”

      • I know a man who was a foster child in SK to a cruel farmer who just wanted free labour — slave labour really — and whose punishments for any infraction were out of this world — making them kneel in gravel for hours, and pushing down on their shoulders for extra pain.  Yeah, we do a really bad job looking out for the vulnerable in our society.  All the best to you.

    • Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there is a relatively high turnover rate for social workers in child welfare cases which translates into less experienced and less confident workers /sources

  3. This is such an important trial for our country.This will be a historic one that manmy Canadians will reflect on for years to come.
    Yet I’m pretty dissapointed that the meida has not focused on it that much. Had it been a whiteor Canadian born family it would have recieved twice the coverage.
    But since this occured within a family of both a religious and racial minority, the trial took a back seat to other un-interesting and less important stories and it’s remenants diluted with political correctness due to risk of less ‘offending’ someone. 

    • You’ve got to be kidding.  This is on the front page of pretty much every major newspaper every day.  Some of these papers (the Post and the Star) have TWO reporters (including two of their highest profile reporters – Blatchford and DiManno) covering it so they can get out two seperate stories a day.  I’d be surprised if you could point to any domestic (or even international) story that is getting as much press.  And absolutely no one has shied away from the “cultural” element to this story; indeed Blatchford writes about little else.

    • The mainstream media is controlled by the Left and a leftist agenda. There is a real aversion to reporting crimes committed by muslims and it has to do with political correctness and cultural relativism – that all cultures are “equal” that “their” culture is not to be interferred with or criticised in the least.  In sharia (muslim) law, it is NOT against the law to kill your children.  I am not making this up. You can look it up for yourself.  Those papers which have done the most reporting on this trial are mainly conservative. (Christie Blatchford – National Post)

      You are also right though, in saying that if a western father and son had killed their three daughters/sisters and the father’s “first” wife, the mainstream media would have been all over it, screaming to the heavens.  –But only because they want to trash western culture.

    • Canadian 23, it is not even being covered in many major cities – like Windsor, Ontario where there is a high Muslim presence.  I am sick of the Political Correctness.  This is a problem in  Islam.  I have read extensively on this.  We should not be supporting any country that practices Human rights violations such that the Muslim dominant countries practice.  I have no problem with any religion believe me, but I have a big problem with people who pretend to practice peace and enlightenment and then demand women cover themselves up, cannot go out alone, cannot be in male company, must obey men, must put up with polygamy, misogyny, and many many things the Sharia Law demands.  The only people covering this are Blatchford and Dimanno – but local papers are not covering it.  Nor is there much coverage on TV.  I see more news on the Republican Herman Cain!!!!  This is one of the major murder trials in Canada in years.  Who are we afraid of? But the more important question is why are we afraid? 

  4. This is good reason to start discussing the ban on hijab.
    Ranjan

    • Hijab isn’t the problem….control is.

      • And what is the hijab if not an instrument of control?

        • What’s the difference between a father who wants his daughter to wear a scarf, and a father who wants his daughter to wear a longer skirt, or a different less-revealing top?

          • Proclamation of belonging to s subservient role.

          • It’s just a piece of clothing. Muslim men also wear a headcovering.

          • your an idget, obviously there is a huuuuuge difference between covering your face and covering your legs

          • Really?

            I don’t see a difference. S’all body parts.

            And in any case, a hijab covers your hair, not your face.

          • In reference to your later posts, the swastika could be said to be just a design. as far as men wearing head coverings, I believe you are mixing up your cultures. Did you mean the Sikh society?

          • The ‘swastika’ is a Hindu symbol of luck.

            Have you ever seen King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia?

            He wears a head covering, as do most other Muslims.

          • The swastika pointing in the opposite direction is the Hindu symbol.

          • @e0051f670faf1a4f9d18f63a9587ef63:disqus 
             
            We all know about the swastika, Sue. Move on.

          • OE1 invokes closure.

          • The father and brother do not wear head coverings. They are exercising a choice accorded to them for being males.

          • Neither does the mother….nor do the girls in previous photos.

          • The mother not wearing a hijab nicely illustrates my point. She was not in need of being reprimanded or at a risk of accessibility to males in the public.

          • It doesn’t make any point, except that none of them are wearing hijab in the photos.

          • First in response to your comment about Muslim men wearing head coverings; yes they do but for different reasons, to cover their head in resect for God, women wear it to be ‘modest’ and not reveal their beauty in public. It is for completely different reasons. How many Muslim men do you see walking in Canada dressed like King Abdullah, none, but you see plenty of Muslim women in Canada wearing Hijabs. 
            It’s an example of the double standard against women in Muslim families. Men and boys get the benefit of doing almost anything they want, while Women and girls are to be obedient. I know lots of Muslim families that allow their boys to go out to the bars, hit on girls, act like whores and pretty much wear and do whatever they want, while the girls are prisoners of their own home (a mild form of the Shafia girls) and are expected to be covered at all times with a severe limit of freedom in regards to their social life.
            Women and Men have different roles and rights in Islam, it goes much deeper than just head coverings.
            Don’t make the mistake in believing that this is an isolated incident of control and that this hostility towards Muslim daughters leading their own life does not happen on a regular basis. It happens all the time.

          • Men wear it for the same reason women do.

            And yes, we all know about restrictions on women…me more than you. LOL

            Other religions act the same way. We always forget that in the animosity towards Muslims.

          • Thank-you for your insight.

          • Yes, Muslim men do wear head covering for different reasons than do Muslim women, reflective of their relative positions. However, this has less to do with the original tenets of Islam than with the customs of the countries to which it spread in the early centuries. In countries like Persia, women were subservient and often veiled in public even before Islam was introduced. But in medieval Spain and some African countries. as recorded in contemporary paintings and accounts, Muslim women were not required to cover their heads.

    • we should ban your turban too

  5. The deference accorded to the parents, I suspect because of their financial standing and cultural difference, blinded authorities at all levels. It was arguably a wilful blindness or ignorance that handicapped any rescue efforts. Also, were the teachers aware of financial social assistance that may have been available to the two elder girls? As teachers, should they have been aware of social resources. The police had not encountered any incantations before child services became involved. Why no charges? Was it because the female detective’s indication that she believed the girls were free because of their nice clothes and makeup?

    • Meant to say recantations, not incantations.

    • According to one news report, the girls recanted because they were being interviewed in front of the parents. 

      • It’s clear to us. Why was it not clear to the authorities? They’re usually smarter than that.

        • Because that is the standard for social workers in our society, I guess,   It certainly didn’t work in that family.  The father is an obscenity.   There is no room in this country for that kind of crap, whether in Ontario or in the SK welfare case cited above.

  6. Most certainly.

  7. Most certainly; tragically Ottawa police, teachers and social workers FAILED miserably.

  8. I lament the allegation that father Shafia spit at media cameras. does this mean that he has no respect for our proceedings? It is too early to claim no remorse. but, this action definitely points in favour of a certain verdict. And more so, a demonstration of no remorse. if found guilty, of course.

  9. The girls turned to every authority in the system that’s set up to help them and yet they did not receive help, and they are, as they feared and expressed, murdered.  System fail.  And nobody is accountable?  I think more people than the actual murderers bear some responsibility here. 

  10. FFather Shafia spitting at media cameras-does he have no respect for the dead?

    • How many murderers have respect for their victims?

  11. of all professionals, it is youth protection who failed to protect the girls. the teacher and police officers did their job by reporting to Batshaw. it is a total mistery how youth protection failed to investigate the case properly with all the evidence they had that the girls were in danger in the family. the system did not kill the girls, but it did let the crime to happen. not to mention that the girls were once investigated in front of the father??!!! it is aberrant.

  12. This is a very sad case involving 4 beautiful young women who could have accomplished so much in their lifetime had they not been born in the wrong home.  May the father, mother and wicked brother all rot in hell!!

    As for the younger siblings in the care of Childrens aid–not much hope there …..these children have been programmed and probably have visits with their wicked parents and brother…..they would need to be deprogrammed first and be totally cut off from this clan.

  13. Oh my goodness this is not a muslim “honour killing”…why do they keep saying that? This is a control issue and it has to do with his twisted traditions. The fact that Afghan men (NOT ALL OF THEM) but people like the poor girl’s father who believe that men should dictate everything that women do. And she went against his wishes so he killed her! It’s not a religious problem but a cultural problem!!!

    • It doesn’t take much of a brain to recognize that patriarchal societies grown by patriarchal religions have generally put women down throughout history. In my opinion this is another demonstration  of why we should be careful of letting in people like this.  Islamics are not in our tradition and you would have to be an insanely tolerant left-wing nut not to recognize that this sort of multiculturalism is not to Canada’s advantage.

  14.  The problem isn’t even Mohammad … Allah is the root.  A pox upon all who enslave their children to that immoral demon.

  15. Those who thi

  16. Those parents, including the son, should be locked up for life.  They are all scum bag killers…and religion is no excuse….

  17. The religious and cultural differences are so enormous and incompatible that these immigrants and refugees need be educated before they come here  on what is acceptable or not in our society. 

  18. Our system did fail these girls.  They knew they were petrified of the father, mother and brother.  If and when they are released from prision, the right thing to do is to deport them back to their country of origin. 

    • I agree. It seems, for whatever reason, systemic or individual we did not protect these innocents from the wrath of their souless beasts of parents. Procedures must be corrected because we know there are more situations like this to follow. We can’t make the same disastrous decisons again, leaving children at the mercy of twisted family values.
        
      But deporting the accused is a bad idea. At home, they would be highly valued citizens for their adherence to their religious beliefs.Admired not punished. They would live like the gods, which they believe themseles to be.   

      If convicted, they belong in a Canadian prison. So all will see what murder brings on to killers in a civilized society   

  19. In my mind this situation represents the downside of political correctness and an interpretation of rights and obligations that is contributing to the decline of the Canadian values that made us the envy of the world.

    We treaten teachers and social workers with legal action for taking appropriate action that would have prevented this tradegy and look who has paid the price, 3 young girls who wanted to be have the freedom to live as a Canadian rather than the medieval values of their fathers’s honourable culture.

  20. I am calling it the way that I see it;  I think that the defense team for the accused are trying to pull every trick in the book, including trying to portray the victims as evil human beings, when in fact it is the accused (all three of them) that are evil and deserve the WORST punishment that our Canadian judicial system will allow. Why try to lay blame with the teacher/principle, the social worker, or the cop for not coming to the rescue when in reality any of the 3 perpetrators could have stopped this from happening at any time but they chose not too and now the lawyers are using one of the last cards they can use …… REASONABLE DOUBT…. I think NOT !!!

    • I disagree.  These girls were helpless and the only people they could turn to were the teacher, principle social workers and cops.  They all failed these girls and the social workers failed them big time in the way they handled the case.  How could the family members have stopped it if their actions are based on culture and religion?

      • Obviously your missing the whole point of this article, can you not see that it is a defense tactic to try to create a reasonable doubt in everyone’s mind as to who is at fault in this case?  The perperators are the only ones to blame, & no one else.

    • There was no reasonable doubt at all. They had it all figured out before they left Montreal and now want to go with “reasonable doubt?? i don;t think so! There is no such thing as reasonable doubt in this case.it was all rehearsed and i could almost say, in blueprint!!

      • I agree with your comment Maria, it is a definately a defense tactic to find someone else to lay blame on including the teacher, the principle, the social workers, the cops and anyone else they can think of, as to create a “reasonable doubt” theory with the judge and jury.  Most people that have sent in their comments cannot see this, as they blame in on culture, beliefs, the system, youth protection etc…. 

  21. The biggest problem with the Muslim religion is the men.  They have such a weak self-image that the control of females,who do all the work, is power and ego.  They have created, over time, the “honour” issue.  It is necessary for the Canadian Immigration to fete out these conservative Muslims as unlikely to accept a more liberal society and the changes their children will undergo. 

    Some will say that is a racist stand but in reality they have not and will not become “Canadians”.      

    • I don’t believe it is racist, the truth of the matter is that there is such a big gap between our culture and theirs that they will never integrate canadian society.  Be careful when you talk about control….. male dominance and control can occur in any culture.  It is a personal trait.

      • This is a split personality comment accurate in the first half, then contradicting oneself by implying that all cultures are equal in the incidence of male control.  The controlling Muslim or Arabic male is their norm while it is an exception now in western culture.

    • Right on.

    • I tend to agree with your final view, unfortunately.  But may our doors always be open to well-meaning immigrants.  Lady Liberty says in stone, “Bring us your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.”  Unfortunately they did:-)  Now, in a complete turn around, the talk is of how best to keep out illegal aliens.  May we never find ourselves in that humiliating and rather shameful position.  Canada needs new citizens, and we are in a position to show compassion as well as thinking of our country 

  22. If only these poor girl would have been born into a family with Canadian values.

    Thank God for Western culture.!

  23. A good illustration why a country founded on Judaeo-Christian principles can not entertain the cultural or religious obscenities of people who want to important their version to this country.  And that includes pseudo-Mormons, Sikhs who want to replicate their homeland enmities as well as Islamics who import this Shafia obscenity. 

  24. Those 3, especially the father, deserve nothing less than death by hanging.

    • I’m for lashing and then being stoned for these criminals…like what they do to women in the Middle East.

  25. It would seem to me, without knowing all the details, that it was perhaps the federal body responsible for immigration that let the side down rather than any individual social worker or the social welfare system as a whole.  This is not the first time such similar (albeit perhaps not quite so dramatic) have been committed.

    Perhaps vetting potential candidates for citizenship more carefully for possible future behavioral problems due to religious, cultural or other beliefs would be advisable.  What happened to these young girls is despicable and not in tune with the Canadian values we normally expect of our citizens.  By this I am by no means suggesting some sort of broad-brushing of any religion.  It is one thing to disown or discipline a child.  It is another to murder them.

    How honorable is it to commit such a crime?  In fact, what does it have to do with honor at all?  It would appear to be a horrendous example of “saving face” and “not looking bad” in the eyes of others (back home) when, in fact, other Canadians who are not quite so rabidly sensitive to such behavior as exhibited by the Shabib girls would never contemplate such drastic punitive measures just to feel better.  This father and son should be tried under Canadian law and, if found guilty, should be appropriately sentenced.  It’s just a case of not playing by the rules; at least our rules.              

    Otherwise the dictionaries will have to redefine “honorable”.              

  26. The cultural aspect is unavoidable.  Polygamy and sex-slaves are not allowed in Canada. Yet we have hundreds, if not thousands, in secret polygamous relationships who are new immigrants from countries where barbaric practices are daily occurrence.

    Every permanent resident applicant to Canada should be sent, together with their forms, a Manual where it will be bountifully clear that certain practices will not be condoned in their new country and will be sent to jail if they insist on continuing their backwards social ways.

    It does not matter whether the newcomers are Christian, Jewish or Moslem or Mormons.  They should all receive guidance and be made to sign a waiver that if they do not comply with Canadian values, and especially the Charter’s clauses relating to equality of gender and sexual orientation, then will not be accepted as new Canadians and should shred their applicationk!  Enough.  And I am a very tolerant person and not a homophobe, xenophobe nor sexist.  But it’s frightening how many of these newcomers are–and they are eroding our society and values that we have fought so hard to achieve!   I admire Quebecers for standing up for their social values….And to think that MGuinty in Ontario was almost ready to instal Sharia law in  the province and Tory was to allow “religious freedom” schools.  Are not our politicians self-serving and dangerous sometimes?…

  27. If only these poor girl would have been born into a family with Canadian values.Thank God for Western culture!

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  28. Those people responsible should be locked away for the rest of their lives..

  29. Truth be told, this has nothing to do with Islam. “Honor Killings” are purely cultural. Killing in any faith is wrong. You can be Canadian and be a Muslim. These people are disgusting human beings that will get what they deserve. May these girls rest in peace

  30. Muslim immigrants have to understand that we don’t tolerate certain things here in Canada, like female genital mutilation and “honour killings.” That being said, the system definitely failed the Shafia sisters. When people fear that their lives are in danger, we have to take them seriously. 

    • This has nothing to do with being a Muslim it’s a sick and twisted cultural practice that even Christians in these countries do. Aside from that, agreed these people should be deported.

      • It is disingenuous to pretend that Muslim cultures regardless of geographic location do not have a much higher rate of this kind of atrocity than other religions, especially Christian.  You slur Christians who founded the nation in which you live to distract from Muslim wrongdoing.

      • Where do you get the idea from, that Christians kill their families for “honour”. You are so wrong, and you are lying through your teeths, but that is a normal thing to do for muslims! They will twist any others beliefs to suit their own agenda!

      • Muslim values and Canadian Christian values are incompatible, honour killings are part of the Koran, as is oppression of women.

  31. What honour??  these people should be punished–by sending them back 2 where they came from——why should we feed them & keep them—even in jail——Canada does not allow–MUrDER—–that;’s why we need more prisons– 2 keep such in jail—-then—–they’ll only get 25 years & be out to enjoy living in Canada for evermore!!!! It’s not right—with the over crowding in prisons– that’s what U get!!!!  Mars.

    • With our weak justice system, bet none of them will serve 25 years for this premeditated multiple murder.  Capital punishment was done away with to “show respect for life”.  We prefer to show no respect for the loss of the dead victims’ lives, just their murderers.

  32. The teachers to me should have contacted the police, who to me could have saved the lives of those four. The teachers, I hate to say it, are most responsible.

    @Canadian Muslim – this appears to have EVERYTHING to do with honor killings.

  33. The Shafia sisters wouldn’t have even gotten a hearing from Emily and her ilk who treat foreign cultural symbols
    and customs as sacrosanct over actual lives.  Anyone paying any
    attention knows that Muslim families who insist on hijab are the most
    repressive up to and including murdering their recalcitrant womenfolk. 
    It should be a red flag by now.  Each such murder serves to keep other rebellious Muslim women in line. 

    At least the Quebec educators and
    social services didn’t pat these poor girls on the head and tell them to
    mind their father and be happy in their forced hijab.  They started out
    right but had poor follow through.  Are social workers and police not
    trained that women who fear domestic abuse often retract their
    accusations in fear of the abuser with whom they still live or who they
    fear will follow them even to a shelter?  How much more cowed would mere
    teenage daughters be?  How can retraction alone be reason to close the
    case? 

  34. They could have easily been saved, if anyone had had the guts to stand up to the brute of a father!
    And who was interested enough to stop thinking of themselves and gave time and attention to the girls and their mother! They would have realized, they were in imminent danger of losing their lives, especially the people, who came from that country! Now i hope you will have guilt feelings for the rest of your lives for not helping these poor victims of a brutal killer! God, have mercy on the souls of the 
    father, stepmother and brother/son, because they need it badly. 

  35. To those who say that they have ‘read’ or ‘know’ of Islam or those who categorize various beliefs/cultures/customs under Islam: Please do further research or if you do, do it from a different perspective. I know many people say that they know about islam because they have Muslim friends, or have read it online, etc etc. Your Muslim friends probably have  their own understanding of it which comes from their own culture/tradition/and customs (not relating to Islam). The problem with Islam nowadays is that the tradition and cultures of a specific country/region/ethnicity/family is mixed into it, creating this other “Islam” that strays far from what Islam should be. I myself grew up in an Afghan muslim household, but do not consider myself muslim. Agnostic (atheist to a degree) would be a better word. My father however sees himself as a true muslim or tries to UNDERSTAND islam. I chose to marry a christian, and my parents did not have anything against it, because of what my father believed Islam to be (I know of many afghans who have also married outside of their culture/religion. and they are not all males) What I am trying to get to is that we should not categorize various issues/family values/etc under one big category. This applies to every culture/religion/ideology/etc. It is not fair to those who consider themselves a certain way, with their own beliefs, but end up being portrayed as the complete opposite of what they consider themselves to be.

    I truly hope that justice is served and the parents pay for this hideous act. No one, regardless of their religion or ethnicity has the right to take someone else’s life.

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