Shafilea Ahmed – Honour Killing Parents charged with her murder – By The British Asian Blog
Interesting development around a case which I followed with interest few years ago. The parents of Shafilea Ahmed have been charged over suspected honour killing.
Case Summary: 17 year old Shafilea went missing in 2003 from her home town Warrington Cheshire. Later in 2004 her decomposed body was discovered on the banks of River Kent in Cumbria following a flood. Her parents Iftikhar Ahmed and Farzana Ahmed were initially arrested on suspicions of kidnapping back in December 2003 but later in June 2004 they were released without charge, only to be arrested once again September 2010 but this time on the suspicion of murder.
This was a horrible and gruesome crime and very much an act of pure evil against a young British Asian, who simply wanted to live her life like everyone else. What brought her ambitions and aspirations to a terrible end was the mindset of her parents, who favoured their status of family respect over anything else, including their religion and more importantly the freedom of their child.
Note: If you don’t like what I write or disagree with my view, then you can vent your anger or frustration in the comments section. I’m entitled to voice my opinion and since I own this blog, I’ll say exactly what I feel and believe.
The debate of honour killings is still very much alive in this country and no doubt it will be highlighted once again in the coming days. When this news first broke out in 2003/2004 it was reported that honour killing was mainly ripe in Middle East and Asia and it was understood to claim the lives of 5000 women per year, these are recorded and identified deaths. As it goes, UK has seen honour killing on many occasions and till date no effective measures have been put in place to prevent honour killings from happening in the future.
Honour killing of a woman is mainly carried out by family or relatives who ‘believe’ she has brought shame on the family. In my opinion this is really a poor excuse in justifying a horrendous crime. Shame is really brought on the family when such honour crime is committed, and it’s a shame on the wider extended family and community who fail to recognise this issue and address it, despite it being repeated on many occasions in the UK.
At the same time, I’m keen to underline that patriarchal violence does not belong to any religion and it’s wrong to perceive it to be a problem linked to any particular religion.
Many believe that Asian families are closely linked with one another, forming a close nit community. This may have been the case 30 to 40 years ago but in the last 20 odd years in my view the truth could not be further apart. Many families suppressed their internal issues in fear of reprisals from the larger Asian community, who may shut the door and isolate them. Under such circumstances is when issues get out of control. In my view it’s also true that Asian migrants who arrived into this country and the current generation who have been born and bred in this country simply fail to agree on family values and perception of family respect. What is important to their parents holds no value to the first and second generation of British Asians, and wise versa.
This is a cancer that’s embedded deep inside the Asian society within the UK. The fear of bringing shame to the family needs to be assessed. Having ambitions and aspirations some that are alien to the Asian culture doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong or bad for the community. I fear the failure to prevent such crimes in future will be disastrous leading to a gradual Asian Community collapse.
I’m keen to hear your views are on this?