Shafia verdict prompts debate about ‘honour’ killings

News Agencies – February 1, 2012

 

The news that Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya and their son Hamed Mohammad Shafia had each been found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder drew mixed reaction from across Canada. Experts in so-called honour killings — murders carried out to preserve family honour in the face of perceived disgrace — heralded the verdict as a step forward; a clear message that neither Canada’s courts nor its people will tolerate this type of crime.

But at least one Muslim women’s group says the way the Shafia case unfolded within and beyond the courtroom may have done more harm than good when it comes to public perception. “I’m frustrated and fed up with the kind of emphasis and time that’s been spent calling it an honour killing,” said Alia Hogben, executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.