Saturday, January 12, 2008

The latest dispatch from the religion of peace

From The Scotsman:

A TEENAGE girl who feared a marriage was being arranged by her parents was killed unlawfully, a coroner said yesterday.

Shafilea Ahmed, 17, was found dead on a river bank five months after she disappeared, following claims from friends and teachers that she feared being forced into marriage.

Police launched a murder inquiry and arrested her parents on suspicion of kidnapping the teenager, from Warrington, Cheshire – but both were released without charge.

Ian Smith, the East and South Cumbria Coroner, told the inquest: "Shafilea was the victim of a very vile murder. I believe she was taken from her home on the 11th of September (2003(. I do not believe she ran away. She was murdered. I'm convinced of that because of the way in which the body was disposed. It had been hidden and she had been taken many miles away from home."

He said the concept of an arranged marriage was "central" to the circumstances leading up to her death.

During the four-day inquest in Kendal, Cumbria, Shafilea's mother accused detectives of not doing enough to find her daughter's killer.

Shafilea's body was discovered after heavy floods washed away the dense undergrowth in which it was hidden on the banks of the River Kent at Sedgwick, Cumbria, in February 2004.

Yesterday Shafilea's parents, Iftikhar and Farzana, said they would challenge the coroner's ruling of unlawful killing.

Their solicitor Nadeem Ullah said: "The Ahmeds disagree with the decision of the coroner's court and they are currently receiving advice regards appealing the decision of the coroner by judicial review."

Mr Smith said: "Shafilea was a very frightened young woman and she was frightened of the consequences of an arranged marriage."

He said her fears were first aroused after a phone conversation in 2002 between her father and his uncle in Pakistan. They had discussed a possible arranged marriage between Shafilea and the uncle's son.

Mr Ahmed told the hearing such an arrangement needed the consent of the boy and girl, but the coroner said he believed the "greater family" had more say on the issue and could impose pressure for it to go ahead.

He said: "Shafilea did not want to be married, full stop, at this point. She did not want to marry someone she did not know or may not like.

"She wanted to forge ahead with a career, she did not want to stop her studies and she did not want to live abroad. Rightly or wrongly, she feared all these things might happen."

Shafilea ran away for ten days in February 2003 and told housing officers: "My parents are going to send me to Pakistan and I'll be married to someone and left there."

Mr Ahmed said in evidence he accepted his daughter's reply of "no way" when a potential suitor was mentioned.

Mr Smith said there was no proof Shafilea's parents had hit her or stolen money from her, but he believed she had told friends this was the case.

Taxi driver Mr Ahmed said he last saw his daughter doing her homework on the night of her disappearance. The student was reported missing a week later by a former school teacher.

Mr Ahmed said he did not report her missing after police dismissed his previous reports she had gone missing in November 2002 and January 2003.

Ruling the cause of death as "unascertained", Mr Smith said he was satisfied that she did not die of natural causes or suicide.

Pathologist Dr Alison Armour told the hearing the most likely cause was by smothering or strangling.

Supt Geraint Jones, Cheshire Police's Superintendent and the senior investigating officer, said: "This remains a live murder inquiry. There is someone out there who knows what happened to Shafilea and has not told us."

LYRICS were found in the bedroom of Muslim teenager Shafilea after she disappeared .

In one song, Happy Families, the westernised teenager refers to a clash of cultures and her family's preoccupation with "honour".

She wrote: "I don't pretend like we're the perfect family no more/Desire to live is burning/ My stomach is turning/But all they think about is honour/I was like a normal teenage kid/Didn't ask 2 much/I just wanted to fit in/But my culture was different/But my family ignored."

A second song, I Feel Trapped, refers to an unspecifiedevent that changed her previously happy life.

She wrote: It was my last year in school/So happy with my friends I got lots to do/But came this day when everything changed/I came home it seemed like a normal day/But sumthing wasn't right/I wish I coulda changed the event/I shoulda killed myself instead/I'd rather have been dead/Coz now I have a burden on my chest/And no it won't go away, the guilt, the pain."

In the chorus she wrote: "I feel trapped so trapped, I'm trapped/I'm trapped, so trapped I'm trapped/(I don't know wot to do) I feel trapped."

The inquest also heard how Shafilea had been taken to Pakistan on a family holiday, possibly without any warning.

Mr Smith said he believed she deliberately drank bleach as a "desperate measure to get herself out of a situation she didn't want to be in".

Her parents claimed she had mistaken the caustic substance for mouthwash.

The civilized nations need to create some kind of shelter system so that young Muslims who do not wish to conform to the life-destroying demands of their insane family's insane religion can receive new identities. Provided they are willing to renounce Islam. Older Muslim women wishing to escape from abusive marriages could also receive help in this way.

In addition to the humanitarian good this would do for the escaping Muslims it would also discourage Muslim immigration into the civilized world.