Muslim Family Threatens Harry Potter Actress for Dating Hindu

Afshan Azad plays Padma Patil in the “Harry Potter” movies. But she’s getting publicity right now for the wrong reason. She could’ve been a victim of an “honor killing.”

The 22-year-old actress’s father and brother have been charged with threatening to kill her, says the Daily Mail.

The altercation occurred at the family home in Manchester, England. In addition to threatening her, Afshan’s brother, 28-year-old Ashraf, is also accused of physically assaulting Afshan and “causing her bodily harm.”

According to People, Afshan’s Muslim family was angry about her relationship with a Hindu man…

Afshan is said to be staying with friends in London.

What!? Not Hindus! They believe in… well, the same kind of silly things that most religious people do. You say tomato, I say tomahto. But extremist beliefs in any faith can lead to disastrous consequences.

A spokesman for prosecutors said her brother Ashraf, 28, physically attacked her and both he and their father threatened to kill her…

They confronted her in her bedroom and left her “badly bruised” when she refused to stop seeing the man, the Daily Express said.

Check out how her brother Ashraf — the guy who attacked her — responded to all this:

… Ashraf told the Daily Telegraph that the family will suffer as a result of the scandal.

“We are going to get trouble from the community now,” he said. “It is bad news for our safety, her safety.”

“Her career could be ruined. When she goes to a premiere or something, they are going to ask her about this, not the film,” he added.

“My younger brother is going to get harassed at college,” Ashraf said. “All our family is going to be harassed by the community because of this.”

Right… it’s all her fault for dating the brown-guy-who-was-the-wrong-kind-of-brown-guy. Not his fault for physically attacking her.

David Hume at Secular Right tries to put this in perspective:

This is of course the culture of shame and honor. Afshan Azad’s brother seems more concerned about word getting out about her dalliance with a Hindu man, and how badly it will reflect upon their family in the eyes of other Bangladeshis, than the fact that he apparently beat up his sister. This makes sense in light of his culture, in many societies, including the Bangladeshi one, extreme physical abuse of inferiors by superiors is accepted as a normal part of life.

Obviously, no one wants a tragedy to happen. But if I may search for a small upside to this, it’s that it’s a high-profile case and more people will have their consciousness raised about how crazy these “faithful” people can be. Blame it on “culture” if you want, but it’s a culture based in Islam and that’s a major part of the problem.

  • PrimeNumbers

    Crazy is as crazy does. I hope they stayed locked up for a long while. Anyone who can beat up their own sister (never mind threaten to kill her) has failed in their membership of the human race.

  • Vivian

    I got nothing to say but… What a FUCKED up way of thinking!

  • Steve

    At least Christianity doesn’t have that kind of crap. They may disown their children, make them desperate enough to commit suicide or throw them out of the house so they end up homeless, but they don’t kill them.

  • Salmon of Doubt

    But the only reason that Christianity doesn’t commit such atrocities is that they do not live in a culture that facilitates ‘honor killings’. At least, in America, that is. Christian sub-sects in Africa are a completely different account.

  • gski

    I hope the authorities have the nerve to throw the two in jail for years. I think it also it needs to be pointed out the culture they are in is that of Manchester, England. If the Muslims can’t live within the cultural norms they should buy a ticket out of there.

  • Steve

    More like that they don’t come from a society that condones such acts.

    This stuff happens among immigrants in Europe. In societies where the killers are punished. Granted, the media blows them out of proportion a bit. It doesn’t happen that often and just gets a lot of attention. But it still happens.

  • Daniel

    it’s all her fault for dating the brown-guy-who-was-the-wrong-kind-of-brown-guy.

    Muslims and Hindus are followers of specific religions, not races or ‘brown guys’.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp razib

    Crazy is as crazy does. I hope they stayed locked up for a long while. Anyone who can beat up their own sister (never mind threaten to kill her) has failed in their membership of the human race.

    1) they’re out on bail

    2) physical abuse is accepted in many cultures. i assume she’d been beaten many times as a child, and her brother has the “right” to beat her within the bangladeshi culture from what i know (my family is bangladeshi fyi). they probably threatened to kill her, though they probably would not followed through with it.

    3) name an african christian culture which engages in honor killings. sub-saharan african cultures are relatively chilled about about this, even muslims (though they are hostile to homosexuality). it’s the mid east into south asia, muslim, christian, hindu and sikh, where women are subject to this sort of control because of the importance of patrilineages and the existence segmentary societies.

    4) from what i gather the brown people in britain are allowed to create barbaric enclaves of savage practices because of the practice of multiculturalism (i have relatives over there, and that’s the impression i get). the british indian community is economically advanced enough that it tends to integrate somewhat, but the bangladeshi community is the most immigrant and economically deprived there, so they keep themselves to preserve their primitive folkways. at least they’re not blowing themselves up on buses like the pakistanis (yet).

    p.s. i am the ‘david hume’ quoted above.

  • http://chunkymonkeymind.blogspot.com/ Palaverer

    It’s amazing how often I see the same information posted on both the feminist and atheist blogs I follow. Religion is not good to women.

  • Dorothy
  • Erp

    I have to point out that the Old Testament does call for killing unchaste daughters (unless she marries the other party). Christians have also killed daughters or sisters for hurting their honor.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/jun/23/israel
    http://islam-west.com/2008/10/muslim-victim-of-christian-honour.html

    Note that killing a wife who has been unfaithful and getting off is also not unheard of in Christian societies even the US.

    The one similarity is that the societies/families seem to see women as under the control of some man (husband, father, brother) and not a full person (this can also apply to sons whose father is still living).

    It needs to be stamped on hard.

  • jose

    I don’t get why muslims living in muslim neighborhoods are so terrified about what other muslims might think of them that they would even kill family members since apparently killing your own daughter is much more honorable and respectable and nice than letting her date a guy from another religion.

    Maybe it’s an excuse? Saying they will get angry so I won’t have to say I will get angry. Maybe muslim communities are actually that totalitarian?

  • Jim Baerg

    An interesting comment I saw recently -
    “Honorable people don’t talk much about honor, they just are honorable. It’s murderous thugs who get upset about insults to their honor.”

    BTW this was written in the context of a discussion about the pre US-Civil War South, but it seems relevant to any discussion about ‘honor killings’.

  • SickoftheUS

    Western Christian countries tend to export their out-culture killing to poor countries, in the form of colonization and imposing their morally superior religious or political structures on the darkies. When this is done, it’s done on an enormous scale (AfPak, Iraq, Philippines, numerous African areas, Palestine, etc. etc.). The North American natives, the Aboriginals, and other indigenous peoples of now Christian lands were taught their lessons mostly in earlier centuries, so the pattern of subjugation within the Christian countries is now institutionalized and less overtly brutal in a headline-making way – although of course it should and would be if people were awake.

    In other words, I’m not impressed at all with the implied argument here (yet again) that Islamic brutality is worse than Christian brutality. The implication is there because it’s these tabloid headlines that Hemant tends to focus on, and not ongoing or historical societal patterns which are much more powerful.

  • Dan W

    This sort of ridiculous behavior by Muslims is one of the many reasons why I can’t respect Islam. They act the way Christians might have acted in the Middle Ages. It’s totally barbaric.

    Also, there’s nothing “honorable” about murdering someone (or trying to murder her) because she’s dating a guy of a different religion than you. They should call it religion-motivated thuggery, not “honor killing”.

  • Dan W

    As some other commenters have mentioned, there are still some Christians who think this is acceptable behavior too. People of all religions who kill (or try to kill) their kids based on their beliefs should be tried and put in prison for life, no matter which religion motivates them to do these things.

  • Dez

    Some sects of modern-day American Christianity condone murdering abortion providers, beating wives and children, and some also tacitly approve of child murder through withholding of medical treatment for serious illness in favor of faith healing. And the history of Christianity is nothing to be proud of: “Too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call.” — Crosby, Stills and Nash.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp razib

    SickoftheUS is full of crap and totally brainwashed. all of history is about subjugation. colored people didn’t have to learn it at the white man’s foot. standard post-colonial tripe which removes all agency from non-western societies (in fact, it’s very similar to white nationalist historiography, except it inverts the moral coloring).

    The implication is there because it’s these tabloid headlines that Hemant tends to focus on, and not ongoing or historical societal patterns which are much more powerful.

    right, and your comment indicates you don’t know any history with the way you talk.

    though i tend to agree that focusing on the problem as islam as-such is fixing on the wrong causal aspect. christians in the middle and hindus and sikhs have engaged in the practice. it’s understandable in patriarchal cultures where women are viewed as commodities to be traded that this sort of behavior shows up. it happens to men too who transgress norms (there’s a restraining order against the father and brother contacting the hindu guy).

    the problem, as i indicated my initial comment, is that many communities in britain are developing relatively insulated subcultures. the peer group is constrained to people sharing different norms than the mainstream. so, for example, in my experience many south asians don’t treat physical abuse as nearly big of an issue as is in the norm in western society, especially if the abuser is a person who has authority over the abused (this is one reason that spousal abuse is a problem, because men implicitly have superiority and authority over women). OTOH, violating communal norms in who you pair up with is a very big deal, because marriage is often an alliance between families, and the action of an individual can reflect on a whole kin group. so, if this girl ends up with a hindu, people in ‘the community’ will wonder how she was raised, and the status and marriage prospects of her extended family may be affected. it’s all rational within their own norm system.

    similarly, in central asia and parts of highland southeast asia, men literally kidnap their brides traditionally. that would be totally sociopathic in other circumstances, but it’s what’s expected in those cultures, and show’s that a guy has skillz.

    the issue and its connection to religion is the relationship between religion and culture. this is usually justified via religion, but liberal religionists try to push a counternarrative (if you are a muslim, it is usually looking at some sayings of the prophet which indicate a preference for choice and love).

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp razib

    the comparison with radical conservative christianity makes sense, but what is marginal in western christianity is in the middle of the distribution among modern muslims. if you move beyond typologies and think with some subtly that makes sense.

    so, as representative of muslim outlook in britain:
    Muslims in Britain have zero tolerance of homosexuality, says poll:
    The most dramatic contrast was found in attitudes towards homosexuality. None of the 500 British Muslims interviewed believed that homosexual acts were morally acceptable. 1,001 non-Muslim Britons were interviewed.

    you can say that plenty of western christians find homosexual acts morally unacceptable, but what number would you get if asked 500 random christians? here you ask 500 random british muslims and all agree that homosexuality is not acceptable. this is a different and alternative set of norms, within the same country.

  • staceyjw

    I’m not the least bit surprised. Disgusted< but not surprised.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    Thank you for not giving Hinduism a pass.

    Also, I love the fact that you read SecularRight. You’re aware John Derbyshire started that site?

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    Re: you reading SecularRight:

    I imagine the only reason you read it is because of razib. But other than being East Indians and atheists, you guys couldn’t be farther apart politically.

  • SickoftheUS

    all of history is about subjugation. colored people didn’t have to learn it at the white man’s foot.

    Sure, although it’s reasonable to discern differences in the scope and persistence of brutal subjugation as practiced by different cultures.

    Many others here are saying or implying that Islam is oh-so-horrible because of the existence of honor killings or intolerance of gays (among some % of a given Muslim population, and those %s vary considerably), and that particular religion has become a target of focused and often exclusive criticism because of the abhorrence of these practices to us Westerners, culturally.

    I’m saying, basically, that the kind of shit many of our Western Christian cultures pull, the kind of pain and suffering we cause to other people, is often smoothed over and not examined as critically (or at all) by our culture police. These Western critics often seem incapable of acknowledging the pain we cause to people we disapprove of or who come into our gunsights. It’s all part of the Superiority of Our Way Of Life, and a lot of that, much of the core of our society, is informed by centuries of Christian theology in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

    One small slice of this:

    Many hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis in a Western campaign of aerial bombardment and economic embargo.

    You go ahead and keep arguing about the warped mentality of the distribution of Muslims.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp razib

    I’m saying, basically, that the kind of shit many of our Western Christian cultures pull, the kind of pain and suffering we cause to other people, is often smoothed over and not examined as critically (or at all) by our culture police. These Western critics often seem incapable of acknowledging the pain we cause to people we disapprove of or who come into our gunsights. It’s all part of the Superiority of Our Way Of Life, and a lot of that, much of the core of our society, is informed by centuries of Christian theology in subtle and not-so-subtle ways

    you’re throwing a lot of things into one big bag. i certainly can’t disagree with everything you’re saying…but do you really think that the people reading a weblog by a brown atheist need that much consciousness raising?

    You’re aware John Derbyshire started that site?

    to be precise, i own the domain and host the site, but heather mac donald was probably more of a spur for me to whip it together. but derb was there at the beginning, so that probably doesn’t change your point (i am not aware of the details of FA’s politics, though i assume they’re left-wing, being a bayesian and seeing that he’s a brown american and an atheist).

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    @ SickoftheUS:

    If the West is so horrible, I’m sure there are plenty of other countries that would love to have smart, sensitive, caring guy like you.

    Might I suggest the Congo, Mexico, and Zimbabwe?

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    @ razib:

    Hemant is about as liberal as they come, though he spends more energy on gay rights and secularism than on race. Actually, he mostly just alludes to racial discrimination as an axiomatic social ill, but I don’t recall too many posts specifically on matters germane to this area.

    I really can’t understand why he would follow you other than the ethnic kinship, as he’s even mentioned some of your posts at GNXP. Your content isn’t that opposed to his if one considers yours mostly in a scientific light, but I mean, come on, you link to Sailer, used to link to me at GNXP :(, and co-host a blog with Derb and MacDonald.

  • dreamfish

    Hemant, just a suggestion from this side of the pond: don’t automatically trust *anything* in the Daily Mail or Daily Express unless it has been confirmed by some other source. They may well be right on this particular story but in general they tend to hype and exaggerate (or even just invent) and incredibly politically biased.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp razib

    it’s mac donald. sorry about the dropped link, but i cut down the reading of non-political commentary sites a lot, and steve overlaps with you basically (if you care, that’s the reason). and mebee there aren’t that many brown atheists; i looked at the data and though brown americans aren’t too religious, they’re pretty attached to their primitive ancestral superstitions in a sentimental manner :-) (an analogy with secular jews works here) canada has better break-downs of religion-by-ethnicity, and almost all brown people adhere themselves to a primitive barbaric supernatural system. i assume that on a weblog like this i won’t get accused of being a hegemonic western positivist for dismissing religion as a whole as primitive and barbaric? :-)

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Also, I love the fact that you read SecularRight. You’re aware John Derbyshire started that site?

    Don’t care about the politics there much unless something really bothers me. It an atheist site with good writing so it’s in my reader.

    Hemant, just a suggestion from this side of the pond: don’t automatically trust *anything* in the Daily Mail or Daily Express unless it has been confirmed by some other source.

    Understood. This story was in several places, though.

  • ihedenius
  • http://goingkookies.blogspot.com Goingkookies

    At the end of the day, ALL religions will have their share of EXTREMIST.. and even in every race, there will be some who feel that they are supreme…

    But to hear such thing said and no remorse shown by the brother is truly disheartening.

  • Neon Genesis

    Isn’t the Daily Mail a tabloid newspaper and not the most accurate British newspaper?

  • Neon Genesis

    Never mind, it does seem to be a real story since the BBC is also reporting on it.

  • Axel

    Sorry, but is the Daily Mail a source we should depend on (cf. Ben Goldacre).
    Don’t we lose our credibility if we begin cherry-picking as to a source is to be trusted if it seems to ‘help the cause’?

  • Axel

    @Neon Genesis
    again: read Goldacre…the BBC doesn’t seem to be sacrosanct when it comes to publishing b*s*…

    But that’s not the point: I’m glad ihedenius postet the song. Would anyone here be glad, if the National Enquirer had a headline: ‘Marsian says: We’re all Atheists’…

  • Greg

    As much as I detest the Daily Mail, and any such tabloids (esp. The Sun which is arguably the worst of the lot, but I digress), I think I’d better point out that in that song all the headlines were actually made up! ;) Just to be fair.

    As for Axel – the BBC, as a general rule, are very good when it comes to the news: because of the way it’s set up, it doesn’t have much of a political bias, but is perhaps slightly to the left. They’re pretty well respected throughout the world when it comes to news reporting – whether I’d necessarily say the same when it comes to – say – scientific reports is another matter, but something like this would be pretty safe ground I would think.

  • Axel

    @Greg
    basically, I think you are right concerning the credibility of the BBC.
    I am German and if in doubt I rely on the BBC’s coverage.
    Perhaps I didn’t make myself properly understood: my main objection was quoting the Daily Mirror. Let’s wait until the outcome is covered by a source we don’t have to be ashamed of…

  • Roxane

    So it’s OK for her to play a Hindu in a lucrative movie franchise, but not OK for her to date a Hindu. Religion at work.

  • muggle

    Really messed up. The brother’s cold-heartedness is disturbing but to be expected, frankly. If he were not cold-hearted, could he have beat his sister and threatened to kill her? No matter what he believes.

  • Sarah

    This is another reason I am thankful to have an atheist father. He is kind, does not use physical force, and treats all people of all religions with respect. The world would be a much better place if we all had atheist parents.

  • Pingback: Harry Potter actress’ father, brother threaten “honor-killing” « The Word Warrior

  • http://zergu-si-credinta.blogspot.com Zergu

    Well, the hindu guy is more problematic for muslims since they tolerate christians or jews, but not polytheists like hindus. Add to that the fact that they think muslim women aren’t allowed to marry non-muslims, while muslim men are allowed to marry muslims, christians or jews, and that clears up the things a little bit where this leads to.

  • Phalanx

    So wait…..it was OK for her to play a Hindu/Indian in Harry Potter, where there is magic and witchcraft, but not to date someone in a different religion/ethnic group? WTF?

  • John

    And fanatical muslim lunatics want sharia law in Britain?! And they’re not being thrown in jail for the lunatic terrorists that they are?! WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING IN BRITAIN?!!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X