Death and Attempted Honor Killing in Australia
In Australia, a woman is dead, her daughter traumatized, and the father in critical condition after the girl announces the shocking news that she has become a Christian.
Dr. Muh-ammad Hussain, a Bangladesi Sunni Muslim, had moved to the Gold Coast of Australia a little over a month ago after taking a position as a general practitioner. He established a home in a luxury, Southport apartment for his wife Yasmine and their seventeen year old daughter. The two joined him about a week and a half ago.
One would think that such a reunion after a month’s separation would be a joyous time.
One would be mistaken.
The daughter had attended a nondenominational Christian school in Adelaide before the move to the Gold Coast. The school’s policy is to allow students to follow their own spiritual path, and it encourages its Muslim students to observe Islamic religious practices such as fasting, praying, and wearing of the hijab.
Apparently at some point, the girl had decided to become a Christian. She broke the news to her father one fateful evening just over a week ago after they were settled in. Then, all heck broke loose.
From the Herald Sun:
Residents of the Albatross Park complex where the family lived said they heard screams for half an hour.The teen seems given to understatement.
"It was very quiet then there was a blood-curdling scream. It was terrible," said Colin Currie.
Neighbour Caitlin Dalton was taking out the rubbish when she heard terrifying screams.
"She (the teenager) was yelling 'help me, help me, they're trying to kill me'," said Ms Dalton.
"Everybody heard the screams but we couldn't work out which unit they were coming from.
"Then this girl emerged in the stairwell hysterical and crying.
"Her clothes had been ripped off, she was just in her underwear, and she had quite severe scratches down her arm and across her back."
Ms Dalton said as residents tried to comfort the girl, she told how she had wanted to 'convert from the Islam religion ... and obviously her father didn't handle it very well'.
A Muslim source commented on the situation:
Sadly, yes. This kind of honor killing is not an isolated incident. Such stories have been trickling out of Islamic countries for years.
"From what we understand the daughter decided to tell her father of her radical plan to convert to Christianity which, in the eyes of most Muslims, is totally unacceptable and to be honest, sadly, many would react as he has done," said the source.
"It is the Islamic way that if a son or daughter does or plans to do something that is unacceptable or wrong for a Muslim then it is the mother who is automatically at fault and will bear the brunt of the blame."
The Qu’ran contains direct quotes about killing those who leave Islam or otherwise become apostates. Some imams say these passages are not to be taken literally. Whether they are or not, I cannot say, but a number of Muslims do seem to believe they are to be taken literally. Witness the very public death sentence placed over Salaman Rushdie’s head years ago. Also, the young woman whom I heard speak this past summer had also indicated that her father’s life was in jeopardy after he became a Christian, and he was forced to flee from town to town. She herself began to study her Qu’ran more diligently and had become all but convinced that she should kill her father for his apostacy before she too decided to follow Christ and was subsequently smuggled out of the country by her parents so she would not face severe persecution.
Skip, a commenter at Tim Blair’s site, said:
As one of the backup police units attending the scene I can say it was pretty d**n horrific…And Conrad added:
A Local Muslim Leader was on the Gold Coast news last night. He even managed to slip in the line “Islam is the religion of peace”. I am reminded of the movie Princess Bride where one character says to another “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means”.
I think someone needs to give these people a dictionary because mine defines Peace as ‘Calm, quietness, absence of anxiety, freedom from war, harmony between people’. No mention of daily global slaughter or fathers butchering their families.
My fiancee is from Sulawesi and a convert to Christianity. She can never, ever return home again because, in her case, the expression “my parents are going to kill me” is not a figure of speech.Other links:
The Bos'un Locker
The Australian had also carried the story as I had read it a few days ago, but the link appears to be broken.
UPDATE: My, my, oh my. The most recent news reports indicate that the girl was not the victim but the perpetrator! She has been arrested for the murder of her mother and attempted murder of her father. According to the most recent news (as of 11/8/06), she was angry with them over a boyfriend of whom they disapproved. She attacked them, concocted the story of her conversion, and then told police that she was the intended victim of an honor killing! The religious angle was just to deflect suspicion off of herself. Parents killing a child---child killing parents; either way, it's a sick world.
UPDATE: Friends of this young woman have weighed in in comments sections and have indicated that they believe the original story is much closer to the truth. Was she a victim of religious and gender persecution or the perpetrator of a crime? I have no answers now, but will continue to update as I find out more. Here is the link to the most recent story.