'Honor killings' in Canada: 5 responses to the Shafia verdict

A Canadian court found two Afghan immigrants and their son guilty of murder on Sunday in the so-called “honor killings” of four female family members. An “honor killing” is loosely defined as the killing of a relative, especially a girl or woman, who is believed to have brought dishonor to the family through actions such as dressing promiscuously, premarital sex, or eloping.

Here are five opinions and editorials published in Canadian news outlets after the guilty verdict, which carried a sentence of life in prison with no parole for 25 years.

1. 'Honor killings' deserve harsher penalty than first-degree murder

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press/AP
Mohammad Shafia (c.) Tooba Yahya (r.) and Hamed Shafia (l.) arrive at the Frontenac County courthouse in Kingston, Ontario, Sunday. A jury took 15 hours to find Shafia, his wife Tooba Yahya, and their son Hamed, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a case so shocking it has riveted Canadians from coast to coast.

Opinion Editorial by Canadian news agency the QMI Agency, and published in the Calgary Sun.

“The Shafia case, despite its high profile, was approximately the 14th murder case in recent years where so-called "family honour" was the toxin behind the murder of innocents.
While first-degree murder convictions deal out the harshest penalty Canada has to offer, the Harper government might consider adding a dangerous offender designation to "honour killing" convictions — just to ensure they never draw a breath of air outside a prison.
It should also do something about the red flags that went ignored, by the police and by social service agencies, when the Shafia children tried to seek safety and refuge.
Canada must protect such ... young people who come to our shores and want to be part of this country — not the country that they fled, and the brutal customs back home.

Canada should mean belonging, and assimilating.”

1 of 5

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.