A WOMAN of Pakistani origins has been killed, and her daughter gravely injured in Italy following a family row over an arranged marriage earlier this month.
The incident sparked a wave of outrage among Italian politicians, including Isabella Bertolini, a member of Italy’s main conservative party who said that the deceased woman, Beghm Shnez, was:
A martyr for freedom, a victim of obscurantism and Islamic fundamentalism.
The daughter, 20-year-old Nosheen Butt, was hospitalised with head injuries and a broken arm after her 19-year-old brother beat her with a stick in the courtyard of their building in Novi, near the northern city of Modena.
According to Modena prosecutors’ initial findings, the father Ahmad Khan Butt, a 53-year-old construction worker, threw his wife to the ground and beat her with a brick while the brother Umair attacked his sister. The father had been in Italy less that 10 years and was the owner of the local mosque.
Said deputy Modena prosecutor Lucia Musti, who is in charge of the investigation:
The victim did not want her daughter to have an unhappy relationship like the one that had been forced on her. The mother and the daughter were on the same side and this could be called a ‘cultural’ homicide because in addition to domestic violence there is the issue of the traditions that may have motivated the crime.
The family’s three other children have been taken in by Italian social services.
Livia Turco, a senior politician in the Democrats of the Left main opposition party, condemned “arranged marriages and violence against women” in the guise “ethnic traditions” which she labeled as “medieval practices”.
Conservative lawmaker Souad Sbai of Moroccan origin said that such “intolerable barbarism” was the “result of failed integration” of the father and brother into Italian society.
Hat tip: Yann