Threats to daughter an "honour crime," judge rules - Macleans.ca

Threats to daughter an “honour crime,” judge rules

Prominent Ottawa Muslim given a year in jail for threatening to break girl’s legs and kill her

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Is Yusef Salam Al Mezel an angry Muslim determined to submit his daughter to religious dogma? Or merely a desperate father trying any means to keep his family together? An Ottawa judge leaned toward the former yesterday in sending the 44-year-old to jail for a year after he threatened to kill his 23-year-old girl and break her legs after she fled an arranged marriage. The decision seems sure to stoke the debate over so-called honour crimes, which Islamic leaders contend are rare, or overblown by stereotyping media. Judge Lynn Ratushny was having none of that, saying Al Mezel caused his daughter “to fear for her safety in the name of honour,” adding: “He has committed the crime of harassment against her in the name of honour.” The case has gotten extra attention because Al Mezel is a prominent figure in Ottawa—head of the city’s taxi union; a candidate for city council; and founder of the mosque he attends. His 23-year-old daughter was to marry a Syrian man, with a dowry set at $9,000.

Ottawa Sun

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