Difficult Daughters

Another pesky disobedient unsubmissive daughter eliminated.

In the garden, buried under a metre of soil and with her jeans and blouse soaked in blood, was the body of the missing girl. Her throat had been slit.

(Why is the Independent calling her a girl? She was twenty-one. Do men of that age get called boys? No. So why is the Indy calling Hina Saleem a girl? Especially in this context? Some strange unconscious desire to trivialize her or make it seem that she really belonged to her father in some way? Or just dumb as a post habitual belief that women really are childish?)

At the beginning of July, she was said to have refused her father’s insistent demand that she return with her mother and sisters to the city of Gujarat in Pakistan, where she was born, to get married. Police believe that her father, a brother-in-law, Mohammed Tariq, and another man, Mahmood Zahid, tried to persuade her one last time. The female members of the family had already departed. It is thought that Hina was told: “Either you come back with us to Pakistan or you’re not going anywhere.”

So now she’s not going anywhere.

Italy’s Interior Minister points out the obvious but still necessary:

The case of the Pakistani woman murdered by her father says a lot about the aims of citizenship, because it is clear that it is not enough to require adhesion to the values of the Italian Constitution. Adhesion to fundamental rights is also necessary, such as the fact that women are to be respected according to rules which I consider universal.

The Indy finds a retort:

In the midst of the rising tide of indignation, some small voices have made the point that not long ago Italy would have understood Mohammed Saleem’s feelings better. The law offering the possibility of clemency in cases of “honour crimes” – still far from rare in the south – was only repealed in 1981.

Yes – and? What of it? What follows from that sly observation? The Indy doesn’t say, it leaves it to us to determine.

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