by Elamin Abdelmahmoud
I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this matter, but I was stirred to comment (however briefly) about the Shafia murder trial.
(As a trigger warning, I briefly discuss rape and domestic abuse in this note).
I presume your basic knowledge of the case, as most mainstream media outlets spent a considerable time with it. It was, after all, a most horrific crime. Today, the verdict was handed down to the father, brother, and mother – all guilty, and all facing life in prison.
Before going on, I would like to reiterate the heinousness of the crime here. I have no intention of arguing for the convicted members of the Shafia family, making excuses for them, or pardoning them of the crimes they have been accused, charged, and convicted of.
This piece was inspired purely by the discussion that the verdict has generated. Specifically, the expression of outrage at ‘honour killings’ (the going term) and the lament for Canadian multiculturalism and how it has gone too far. I would like to suggest that, actually, by dubbing this an honour killing, we satisfy an elementary understanding of the crime while sidestepping the larger point.