|3 years ago :: Feb 05, 2012 - 8:40AM #1|
Shafia murders: Fatwa issued against honour killings, domestic violence, hatred of women.
Toronto Star newspaper
Muslim clerics in Canada issued a fatwa on Saturday against honour killings, domestic violence and hatred of women. "These crimes are major sins in Islam, punishable by the court of law and almighty Allah," said Prof. Imam Syed Soharwardy, representing 34 clerics affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada. The announcement was made at a news conference in Mississauga, on the eve of Eid Milad un Nabi, which Muslims celebrate as the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
The fatwa — a morally binding religious edict — was issued by the ISCC in the wake of a quadruple-murder trial involving a polygamous Muslim-Canadian family living in Montreal. Mohammad Shafia and Tooba Yahya were convicted and sentenced to life in prison last week for drowning their three daughters and Shafia’s first wife in what they regarded as an honour killing. Their adult son, Hamed Shafia, was also sentenced to life for his role in the murders. The youngest victim was 13.
The Muslim community in Canada was deeply saddened by the murders and stung by comments online and in the press tarring all Muslims with the same brush, Soharwardy said yesterday. "We love this country. We love this land. This is our land, too," he said. It was the third fatwa issued by the ISCC in 10 years, according to Soharwardy. The first was against the Taliban when it forbade girls from attending school. The second was against terrorism after 911.
The most famous fatwa is perhaps the one issued against Salman Rushdie by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989. The author of The Satanic Verses spent nearly a decade in hiding, fearing for his life from Muslim extremists.
But a fatwa is not a call to violence, it is a reminder to the community of the teachings of the Qur’an, said Soharwardy. In this case, it is a reminder that Muslim men are not superior to Muslim women and should deal with family discord gently and with love and kindness. He said the fatwa was issued for three audiences — for the minority of Muslims who believe in honour killings; to remind Muslim parents their role is to educate, inform and model good behaviour to their children and not use force to instill religious beliefs; and to Canadians who point to the Shafia family as somehow being representative of Muslims. "It is wrong in Islam to force someone to follow what you think Islam is," said Soharwardy.
the floggings will continue until morale improves