Friday, January 11, 2008

We Need to End Multiculturalism, Redefine 'Honor' & Provide Justice

How do we stop the insane "honor killings" here and in Britain?

Shafilea Ahmed was a 17 year old girl living under in Britain. She wanted to be a lawyer. Her Pakistani parents wanted a different future for her. They wanted her to return to Pakistan to be wed in an arranged marriage. She refused. She disappeared, but her parents never reported her missing. Eventually, her body was discovered along a river bank in Kent. The Daily Mail has her story:

A Muslim girl who was violently opposed to an arranged marriage in Pakistan was murdered, a coroner told an inquest.

Coroner Ian Smith said he was "convinced" 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed was definitely killed.

Her badly decomposed body was discovered five months after her disappearance beside the River Kent at Sedgwick in the Lake District.

Police launched a murder inquiry and arrested her parents, Iftikhar and Farzana, on suspicion of kidnapping the teenager but both were released without charge.

Shafilea had claimed her parents were trying to force her into an unwanted marriage.

Mr Smith, coroner for east and south Cumbria, said: "She was murdered. I'm convinced of that because of the way in which the body was disposed. It had been hidden and she had been taken many miles away from home.

. . . "Her ambition was to live her own life in her own way. To study, to follow a career in the law and to do what she wanted to do. These are just basic fundamental rights and they were denied to her."

The inquest heard Shafilea, who wanted to study and become a solicitor, had suffered an unhappy home life and had previously run away.

She confided in friends and youth workers that her parents were trying to force her into an arranged marriage.

One friend, Mushtag Bagas, had told the inquest Shafilea asked him for help to escape because she was being beaten by her parents and they were going to take her away to be married off.

The hearing was told Shafilea had been removed from school and taken to Pakistan by her parents in February 2003.

Once there, she had been confronted by the possibility of an arranged marriage and had drunk bleach in a desperate cry for help.

Her parents claimed she had mistaken the caustic substance for mouthwash during a power cut at the house where she was staying.

Shafilea had to seek hospital treatment in Pakistan for injuries to her oesophagus and continued outpatient treatment on her return to the UK in May.

But her return to Britain was anything but happy and police found lyrics to songs the teenager had written describing her torment.

In one song, titled Happy Families, the westernised teenager refers to a clash of cultures and her family's preoccupation with "honour".

She wrote: "I don't pretend like we're the perfect family no more. Desire to live is burning. My stomach is turning. But all they think about is honour. I was like a normal teenage kid." In September, Shafilea enrolled in sixth form college and was studying her A-levels to pursue her ambition of becoming a lawyer.

She was last seen at the home she shared with her parents, three sisters and younger brother in Warrington on September 11, 2003.

Despite being missing for more than a week, her family decided not to inform police, claiming she had previously run away from home.

Shafilea was eventually reported missing to police by a former school teacher on September 18, 2003 and a hunt was launched.

Her decomposed body was found in February 2004 close to an isolated river in the Lake District by road workers.

A pathologist who carried out a post-mortem said the teenager had probably been either smothered or strangled.

. . . Superintendent Geraint Jones, the senior investigating officer, vowed the inquiry into the death would not close.

. . . "Now is the time to come forward and help bring to justice the killer or killers of Shafilea Ahmed - a beautiful and vulnerable young girl."

Read the entire article. And this is only one of several recent cases in Britain. There was this recent case where a teenage bride recently arrived from Pakistan as part of an arranged marriage was beaten to death by her Pakistani husband over a period of weeks while her in-laws ignored her ordeal. The beatings were so severe and extensive as to cause damage of a type usually only caused by car crashes. And then there is the daughter of a Pakistani cleric who is being hunted by her family to kill her after she converted to Christianity.

This problem is certainly not limited to Britain, as the recent murder of two Egyptian teenage girls by their father in Texas indicates. How do we get the message to the families that to live in West means that they do not have the right to force the women in their families to act in a certain way - nor to beat or kill them if they do not so act? And how do we provide protection for women involved in such a nightmare inside our borders? I do not know the answers, but I do know that this occurrs with such repteviteness that it needs to be addressed. Multiculturalism - respecting the values of immigrants when they conflict with our own - is simply untennable. If families wish to live in a place where their ancient customs that conflict with Western law and values are respected, it cannot be within our lands. This is intollerable.

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