Greater love hath no father

Another one, from last July.

Police in Atlanta have been investigating the death of a 25-year-old Pakistani woman, who was allegedly murdered by her father in the name of family honor. She wanted out of an arranged marriage, but her father thought a divorce would bring shame to the family.

And he also thought that the ‘shame’ that Sandeela Kanwal would ‘bring’ to the family was more significant than her life was. He thought the ‘shame’ was so important that it justified murdering his own adult daughter. Instead of thinking of it as something regrettable and painful but as a speck of dust compared to the value of his daughter – he thought the opposite – he thought his daughter was worth much less than this comparatively trivial shame. That’s an incredibly ugly fact, which never seems to get enough attention in the coverage of these things. He thought a fundamentally social, neighbor-heeding feeling was more important than his own daughter was; he thought it was so important that it motivated him to strangle her to death with a bungee cord – all so that the neighbors wouldn’t snigger at him.

“He admitted to actually taking the life of his daughter,” says Sgt. Stefan Schindler, a 13-year veteran of the Clayton County Police Department. “And the reason he took his daughter’s life,” says Schindler, “by his own words was that she wasn’t being true to her religion or to her husband.”…Schindler says Rashid told him that killing his daughter was a right given to him by God — and that God would protect him.

So ‘God’ is someone who wants women to be killed for wanting to leave men they never chose for themselves in the first place. In other words, yes Virginia, God does hate women.

Shahid Malik is a local representative of Atlanta’s Pakistani population and one of the very few willing to speak about the Rashid case. “This thing hurt the Muslim community, Pakistani community,” he says. He says that the killing has nothing to do with Islam, but that Rashid has little education and comes from a small village in Pakistan where tribal traditions are strong…”Whatever this case is or not, this is not an honor killing,” he says. “It is not based on Pakistani law. Chaudry Rashid loved his daughter.”

No he didn’t. People need to stop saying that. People who love their daughters don’t murder them; people who murder their daughters don’t love them. You don’t get to do both. You don’t get to murder your daughter and still pretend you loved her.

Begner hopes the state doesn’t make this about Islam or ethnicity. This death could have happened, he says, in any culture, with any family.

Well anything could have happened, but is it likely? Is it customary ‘in any culture, with any family’ to murder an adult daughter because she wants to divorce a husband who was not her choice to begin with? I don’t think so.

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