The National Post – October 26, 2012
A lethal warning from Hamed in 2009, who was later convicted of first-degree murder along with his father, Mohammad Shafia, and mother, Tooba Yahya, is revealed in Without Honour: The True Story of the Shafia Family and the Kingston Canal Murders, a new book on the disturbing case by veteran journalist Rob Tripp.
Without Honour presents a striking portrayal of the profound disconnect between Mohammad Shafia and his adopted home after his family immigrated to Montreal in 2007. But the book, like the police investigation and the criminal trial, leaves one crucial question unanswered: How exactly were the women killed? Mr. Tripp said only three people know the true story: the three killers. And none of them have yet broken their silence.
Mr. Tripp delves into details of the family’s troubled life before the four ghastly murders and the investigation that unravelled the elaborate lies. The book shows that despite Mohammad Shafia’s professed embrace of Islam and love of family, he was, above all else, a money-obsessed, cold-hearted man. When his daughter wanted to get married, he turned to a relative to help him find a cleric to perform the service, because he did not attend a mosque. Shafia did not read the Koran, although he often evoked God’s name when berating his children, Mr. Tripp writes.
National Post – October 4, 2012
Ebrahim Ebrahimi’s 19-year-old daughter, her head bloodied from severe knife wounds, had just been rushed to hospital, and his handcuffed wife was under arrest. Two years later, Mr. Ebrahimi is trying to piece that life back together, and he took the stand in defence of his wife at her trial for attempted murder. He acknowledged that Johra Kaleki attacked their daughter, Bahar Ebrahimi — it was his intervention that saved Bahar — but he praised his wife as a gentle woman who was a “best friend” to their four daughters.
Montreal police have described the attack as an honour crime, based in large part on a four-hour statement Ms. Kaleki gave the night she was arrested. In that statement, which has been played in court, Ms. Kaleki described the strict rules she and her husband, immigrants from Afghanistan, enforced in their household. Ms. Ebrahimi and her sisters were forbidden from drinking, smoking, staying out late and having boyfriends, she said.
Ms. Ebrahimi had been rebelling against her parents and their Muslim faith, and on the weekend she was attacked, she stayed out past dawn two nights in a row. Mr. Ebrahimi will continue his testimony when the case resumes on Jan. 21.
National Post – October 21, 2011
Crown prosecutors alleged in Ontario Superior Court that a so-called “honour killing,” had been transplanted into the heart of central Canada. Found dead by drowning in a black Nissan Mr. Shafia had bought just eight days earlier – the suggestion implicit that he got it for that very purpose – were Rona Amir Mohammad, the barren wife who had been presented to the children and outsiders both as an “auntie,” and rebellious daughters Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and 13-year-old Geeti. Charged with four counts each of first-degree murder are Mr. Shafia, Ms. Yahya and their oldest son Hamid, who was 18 at the time. All are pleading not guilty.
In another snippet recorded by the device police had placed in a family car, Mr. Shafia told Ms. Yahya, “They committed treason themselves. They betrayed humankind. They betrayed Islam. They betrayed our religion-they betrayed everything.”
The court also heard how the teenagers had rebelled against their parents – once, from a street corner in Montreal where the family lived, they begged a stranger to call 911 for them because they were so afraid to go home. Quebec child protection authorities twice investigated complaints from Sahar’s school, once little more than three weeks before the four bodies were found.
The National Post – October 27, 2010
In conversation with his interrogators, Omar Khadr comes off as smart, charming and co-operative. But he speaks of his crimes in Afghanistan in a “cold and callous” manner, and rejoices at having killed a U.S. soldier. Within the confines of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, where eight years of detention have only deepened his devotion to the radical brand of Islam espoused by al-Qaeda, he is seen as a well-respected leader, one who has risen to “rock-star” status. If released from custody into Canada, his country of birth and chosen destination, some had said he should be considered a “highly dangerous” offender who shows no signs of renouncing his radical beliefs and still poses a threat to society. This was the unsettling picture painted of Omar Khadr by witnesses called by the prosecution at sentencing hearings before the military war-crimes tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. Khadr’s defenders have described him as a victim indoctrinated into radical Islamic beliefs as a child and abused by his U.S. captors at Guantanamo Bay.
Under a deal with the Pentagon, Khadr this week pleaded guilty to all five war-crimes charges he faced, including murder and providing material support for terrorism.
The National Post – October 22, 2010
Organizers of an upcoming talk by conservative writer Mark Steyn planned for London, Ont., say they were muzzled by a local city-owned convention centre. A trio of bloggers who run the site StrictlyRight.com inquired about booking a Nov. 1 speech for Mr. Steyn at the London Convention Centre. The group announced that it had received a phone call from the centre saying it would not be allowed to make the booking. The Convention Centre said it was a business decision, but organizers of the speech said they were told otherwise.
“The reason offered by the LCC was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients. It’s interesting to note that the LCC is owned by the City of London, and is therefore a government operation,” wrote Strictly Right’s Andrew Lawton at the website.
Mr. Steyn’s talk will explore his familiar themes of Muslims and free speech. London Convention Centre general manager Lori Da Silva said denying next month’s Mark Steyn speech was a “business decision” in part due to concerns for security, and fairness for the centre’s other clients who might not enjoy a “rowdy” crowd at the same time. Asked if the content of Mr. Steyn’s work had anything to do with the Convention Centre’s decision, general manager replied, “No, we’re looking at the security risk.” Mr. Steyn’s best-seller, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, warns of potential threats from growing Muslim minorities to Western liberal democracy. Strictly Right have since relocated the talk to London’s 1,600-seat Centennial Hall.
The National Post – October 15, 2010
Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s banning of a leading imam from the military’s Islamic History Month event has exposed an executive-level rift in the Canadian Islamic Congress between forces of progress and orthodoxy.
In a letter to the National Post today, CIC president Wahida Valiante openly disavows her reform-minded executive director, Zijad Delic, and rejects his criticisms about the Muslim group’s many public controversies, especially the failed hate speech cases against Maclean’s magazine.
Ms. Valiante writes that Mr. Delic’s plan to “purify” and “Canadianize” the CIC, and his desire to avoid lawsuits in favour of dialogue, “in no way reflect the views of CIC board.” This latest flap illustrates the harsh consequences for a Canadian Muslim leader who does not pledge loyalty to Mohamed Elmasry, the CIC founder and former president to whom Ms. Valiante was a long-time deputy.