Unsolved Murders | Missing People Canada

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Edsonmom on July 23, 2009, 11:38:01 PM

Title: Four females killed by family:
Post by: Edsonmom on July 23, 2009, 11:38:01 PM
Four females killed by family:

Last Updated: 23rd July 2009, 8:56pm

As soon as Diba Masoomi learned that her sister Rona Amir Mohammed had been found dead with three younger women in a car at the bottom of the Rideau Canal, she believed she knew the motive.

From her home in western France, Masoomi began an e-mail campaign to convince police that her sister’s husband, Mohammed Shafi, had committed mass murder at Kingston Mills, but that it was a “crime of honour.”

Shafi, his wife Tooba and their 18-year-old son Hamed are charged with first-degree murder.

The true motive for the killings may be revealed if the three accused go to trial, but the tragedy has reopened a debate about the clashes that occur – and the violence generated – when people from conservative cultures try to fit into western society with all of its liberal leanings.

The e-mail from Masoomi painted a picture of ongoing physical abuse and control, with Rona fearing for her life.

“It’s not unheard of that women are killed in cold blood for, supposedly, the defence of men’s honour,” said Haideh Moghissi, associate dean of the faculty of arts at York University and an expert on gender relations in Middle Eastern cultures.

“This is a gruesome murder but whether we should call it an honour killing or not, I doubt it.”

Moghissi said that even though most Mideast countries have adopted European-style codes of civil law, Muslim Sharia law tends to guide personal laws and relations, with the women slotted into subservient roles.

“It means that, first of all, if she’s below 18, she needs the permission of the father [to marry],” Moghissi explained. “Once she enters that marriage, she is bound by certain regulations in terms of obedience.”

It appears that two members of the Shafi family circle fell afoul of both requirements.

In her e-mail, Masoomi said that 19-year-old Zainab had been beaten by her father and older brothers, and “had been receiving death threats.” She had carried on a romantic relationship, not approved by her father, with a young Pakistani man in Montreal.

Masoomi's sister, Rona, was seeking a divorce so that she could get on with her life.

“It must be known, in Afghani tradition, only the husbands are allowed to divorce their wives, which Mr. Shaffi [sic] had refused to do for my sister for 20 years, despite the demands of our brothers,” Masoomi wrote.

In both instances, Rona and Zainab were defying the wishes of the family patriarch.

“Defiance is a very important article in the civil code of many Muslim countries,” said Moghissi. “If a woman refuses to respect some of these legal rights of men and perhaps leaves the house without his permission, or if she gets engaged in extramarital relationships, that’s very harshly punishable by law.”

Moghissi said courts in countries such as Afghanistan will never order the woman put to death as punishment.

“Muslim law doesn’t require punishment. If it is adultery and he kills her, then if he can prove that [it was adultery], the law is quite lenient in the man’s punishment. It is somehow sanctioning the murder.”

Moghissi, who studied and taught at Queen’s University in Kingston for nine years, is hesitant to frame the murders as being motivated by cultural forces.

“Most women killed, even in Canada, the statistics tell us they are killed by someone they know, if not their husband,” she said. “It is really similar. There is no difference. It is a jealous, authoritarian ignorant man who thinks he owns the woman. If he can’t have the woman, no one else can.”

At yesterday’s press conference, Kingston Police Chief Stephen Tanner spoke of a monument recently unveiled outside the police station remembering women killed in domestic violence in the city. A moment’s silence for the four victims was also observed.

Tanner spoke about young women in Canada having the right to personal freedoms and free speech.

Joanne Young is executive director of Interval House in Kingston, which provides a safe haven for women and children escaping violence. She agreed that the concept of the honour killing can be over-emphasized.

“As soon as we heard about the car being found, and four women in the car, is that this is a domestic violence killing,” she said. “Based on the work we do here … that was suspicious.”

Young said culture can be a contributing factor.

“This is a family that is fairly new to Western culture. In my experience over the years working in shelters (culture) sometimes does precipitate violence. Women come here and see freedom. They speak out. At times it just causes that frustration within the family, as in ‘We’re losing our cultural identity.’”

One of the Shafis’ neighbours in Montreal said that Hamed Mohammed told him that his sister, Zainab, had run away about a month before the deaths and that police were called in to find her.

“Were the right questions asked when the police came?” Young asked. “Kingston police are very good at asking those right questions to determine what this is.

“A 19-year-old leaving home and calling the police in? That sounds very fishy. Police are trained to ask those questions.”

Diba Masoomi’s letter said that Zainab had “started proceedings with social services in Montreal after having been hit severely by her dad and older brothers.”

Young said counsellors at women’s shelters are trained to consider everything according to the woman’s point of view.

“The first thing we do is work on safety planning. We do lethality assessments. We work through the assessment to see how at risk this woman is,” she said.

“No ifs ands or buts about it. Any violence toward women and children is criminal, period.”
Title: Re: Four females killed by family:
Post by: Chris on July 23, 2009, 11:44:58 PM
Sick! and to think this family had to put up with the Taliban and then comehere for peace and these scum murder them for an honor killing?

If all of them do not get the max 25 years it will be an outrage. Domestic murder is murder and no judge has the right to make excuses or go light.
Title: Re: Four females killed by family:
Post by: jobo on March 16, 2018, 03:22:26 AM
The mother of these girls has been stripped of her permanent residency in Canada and will be deported when finished her sentence.
There’s news articles out there with this info.