Moral Low Ground


‘Douches du Jour’: Afghan Immigrants Mohammed Shafia, Wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya and Son Hamed Sentenced to Life in Prison for Canada ‘Honor Killing’ of 3 Teenage Daughters and Woman

Three members of an Afghan immigrant family were found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of three teenage daughters and another woman who the perpetrators believed had dishonored their family.

Victims: Clockwise from top right– Zalnab, Sahar, Geeti and Rona.

CNN reports that Mohammed Shafia, age 58, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, age 42 and their son Hamed, age 21, were all found guilty of the “honor killing” of Shafia’s three teenage daughters, Zainab Shafia, age 19, Sahar Shafia, age 17 and Geeti Shafia, age 13, along with 50-year-old Rona Amir Mohammad, Shafia’s first wife.

The guilty verdicts follow a three-month trial in which jurors listened to wiretap recordings of Shafia referring to his daughters as “whores.”

The deceased victims were found dead inside a car that had driven into a canal in Kingston, Ontario on June 30, 2009. Prosecutors proved that the defendants had plotted to kill the four in an “honor killing” meant to restore honor to the family after the girls’ rebellious and Westernized behavior. Rona was killed because she encouraged and enabled the girls’ liberation.

Shafia and Yahya admitted that they were livid with Zainab for eloping to marry a Pakistani man they despised, that Sahar wore revealing clothing and had secret boyfriends, and that Geeti was performing poorly in school and calling social workers to rescue her from her hellish home life.

Prosecutors proved that Shafia instructed son Hamed to ram a car carrying the victims into a canal. A shattered headlight on the family Lexus matched damage on the rear bumper of the victims’ Nissan.

Shafia wept openly on the witness stand as he testified that his children “did a lot of cruelty” toward him. He said he believed that his daughters had “betrayed” him by dating and that a father could never be expected to tolerate such behavior. He also said that Islam does not condone “honor killings.”

“To kill someone, you can’t regain your respect and honor. Respected lady, you should know that,” Shafia told prosecutor Laurie Lacelle. “In our religion, a person who kills his wife or daughter, there is nothing more dishonorable. How is it possible that someone would do that to their children, respected lady?”

“You might do it,” Lacelle retorted, “if you thought they were whores.” She was referring to wiretapped phone conversations in which Shafia ranted about his daughters’ “whorish” behavior.

“May the devil defecate on their graves!” he spat in one conversation. “This is what a daughter should be? Would a daughter be such a whore?”

All three defendants were sentenced to life in prison to begin immediately, with no chance for parole for 25 years.

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