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Her brother was outraged. How could his sister — his own sister! — conduct herself like a whore? How dare she choose her own husband and worse yet, how dare she carry on a relationship with him prior to the marriage that should never have taken place? Both he and his family felt as if she had deliberately attacked them. Killing them was only an act of self-defense.
No, I am not talking about the Afghan-Canadian brother, Hasibullah Sadiqi, who has just been found guilty in Ottawa, Canada for having killed his sister and her fiancee and who has just been sentenced to 25 years to life. Rather, I am talking about the Pakistani-Dane Akhtar Abbas, who in 2006 shot his sister Ghazala Khan to death and also shot her husband, Emal Khan, who survived the deadly shooting.
There are many similarities between these two cases, and one very important difference. First, the similarities:
– Both cases involved Muslim brothers who shot and killed their younger Muslim sisters, aged 18 and 20, and who shot their Muslim brother-in-laws as well — only one brother-in-law died of his wounds.
– Both sisters were deemed guilty, not only of marrying men of their own choosing but of being intimate with them before marriage.
– Both victims were lured to their deaths by promises of false reconciliation or understanding.
– Both victims did not want to “believe” that their brothers or their families would really kill them.
– Both brothers and their sister-victims had essentially grown up in the West.
– The fathers of both victims had lived either in Canada or in Denmark for thirty to forty years.
– The prosecution in both cases recognized the murders as “honor killings” and prosecuted them as such.
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