A group of Canada’s leading Muslim clerics has issued a fatwa against so-called ‘honor killings,’ just a week after three members of an Afghan Canadian family were convicted of a quadruple murder that triggered a national debate about cultural values.
A weekend statement from the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada said 34 imams and leaders affiliated with the group issued the religious edict to remind Muslims that honor killings, domestic violence and misogyny are major sins and crimes punishable by law.
‘The recent Shafia family trial in Kingston, Ontario has reminded all of us that we need to do more in order to prevent such tragedies in the future,’ the statement said.
‘There is no justification for honor killings, domestic violence and misogyny in Islam.’
A jury last month found husband and wife Mohammad Shafia and Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their son Hamed Mohammad Shafia, guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. The victims were three of Hamed’s younger sisters and Mohammad Shafia’s first wife in a polygamous marriage.
All four were found drowned inside a submerged Nissan Sentra that had been pushed into a canal near the eastern Ontario city of Kingston.
The girls, aged 13, 17 and 19 when they died, had reached out to the police, social services and their teachers for help with an abusive family. The court heard that the three teenagers sought a more liberal lifestyle than the one forced on them by their father.
The case struck a chord in Canada, where growing immigration has led to clashes between Canadian values and the more restrictive traditions of immigrants like the Shafia family. Some Quebec communities recently made headlines by banning headscarves, matching curbs in parts of Europe.