A YOUNG Muslim man, motivated by a “perverted notion of honour”, has been jailed for in Canada for the murder of his 20-year-old sister and her fiancÃ©, 23, in the early hours of September 19, 2006 while the couple sat in a parked car.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Douglas Rutherford told an expressionless Hasibullah Sadiqi, 23:
You put your own self-esteem over those of your own sister and the young man she had chosen to become her life partner. And consigning them to partnership in death has shocked and bewildered every community in the nation’s capital. The forfeiture of your liberty for the rest of your life seems only just.
Minutes earlier, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on two counts of first-degree murder against the 23-year-old Sadiqi, who gunned down his sister, Khatera, and Feroz Mangal.
Prosecutor Mark Moors said Sadiqi was motivated:
By a perverted notion of honour and respect for the sole purpose of restoring the family’s reputation and respect in the Afghan community.
According to this report, Moors told the court that Sadiqi murdered the couple because Khatera moved in with Mangal’s family before the wedding, and because she refused to have her estranged father, who routinely abused her, involved in her wedding plans.
The jury, which reached its verdict in two days, rejected Sadiqi’s claim that he had been provoked and gunned down the couple while he was out of control.
Rutherford allowed the reading of two eloquent, emotionally charged victim- impact statements, one from Khatera’s mother and stepfather, the other from the Mangal family.
In the Mangal family statement, Feroz’s brother, Hameed, spoke of their shattered dreams:
My parents left a war-torn country, Afghanistan, to escape persecution and killings. We took refuge in a wonderful land, Canada, to seek opportunities, get education and achieve our goals. We saw Canada as a land where we could feel safe and secure all our dreams, our hopes and our goals in life have been shattered.
University of Toronto professor Shahrzad Mojab told the trial that honour killings involve a “cleansing” to restore a family’s respect after the “misbehaviour” of female relatives had brought “dishonour” upon them.
Methods to clear a family’s honour range from displacing a family member to “the act of purifying through blood”, she added.
In many cases, a father or brother will claim the killing happened out of passion or love for the woman, but it’s argued that the woman had to be sacrificed for the larger love of the family and restoring respect, Mojab said.