Honi soit qui honneur y pense
What to make of the arrests and murder charges in that tragic and bizarre drowning last month when a car inexplicably was submerged in a canal near Kingston?
Now we hear that the father, mother and brother of the three teenage girls who died have been charged with first-degree murder. But there's more:
Begbie and chief Stephen Tanner would not directly say why they believe the family committed the murders. Asked whether he believed they were "honour" killings, as suggested in an email to police by Mohammed's sister Diba Masoomi, who lives in France, Tanner suggested it was possible but not certain.
The reflexive use of ''honour killings'' when it comes to the murder of Muslim women racist and repulsive -- not to mention inaccurate. There is no ''honour'' in killing wives, daughters and sisters. Quite the opposite.
Femicide is femicide.
If a man -- any man, whether a member of a criminal biker gang or just some goof -- takes out another guy as payback for being disrespected, do we say ''honour killing?''
No, we do not.
When a Christian husband born and bred in Canada kills his wife for walking out on him, or cheating on him, do we call it an ''honour killing?''
No we do not.
True, as La Presse points out, while the possibility of ''honour killings'' were raised by Mohammed's sister in correspondence with police obtained by the Kingston Whig-Standard, there are no explanations of why she would allege such a thing.
I find it sickening how quickly we veer away from the deaths of these women to go in for another round of Muslim-bashing and stereotyping.
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What's more, it's not known what the motives were in these slayings.
And, always maintaining the presumption of innocence -- get a grip, media! -- I'd like to point out that we are not talking tribal hillers.
The Shafi family hails from Kabul, Afghanistan, a country in which honour crimes are more common, and lived in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, for 15 years before arriving in Canada two years ago.
The Shafis are not conservative Muslims, a Montreal relative of Tooba Mohammad Yhaya, Said Fazel, has told the Star.
The deceased teenage girls are Zainab Shafi, 19, Sahar Shafi, 17, and Geeti Shafi, 13. Tanner said that the behaviour of one or more of the teenagers may have contributed to the motive for the killing.
No, it was the behaviour of the killer or killers that ''contributed'' to their murder.
Why are the police blaming the victims? Why are the media playing this obscene -- and unprofessional -- game?
"senseless and needless loss of innocent life. The four victims in this case, three of which were teenage girls all shared the rights within our great country to live without fear, to enjoy safety and security and to exercise freedom of choice and expression and had their lives cut short by their own family."
This can mean anything.
The bottom line is, they were murdered.