The Media Project is a network of mainstream journalists who are Christians pursuing accurate and intellectually honest reporting on all aspects of culture, particularly the role of religion in public life in all corners of the world. It welcomes friends from other faiths to such discussions and training.

Honor killings are increasing in Canada

Honor killings are increasing in Canada

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From the Calgary Herald. More prevalent in the Muslim world, it's a phenomenon many parents here can't even begin to comprehend.

The killing of one's own child — usually a daughter — because her behaviour is believed to have brought shame to the family.

It is the fate of some rape victims, as well as women accused of infidelity or premarital sex in countries such as Pakistan. But in the West, it's increasingly popping up in courtrooms as first-generation Muslims struggle to balance the strict old-world ways of their parents with a desire to fit into a more liberal society.

On Wednesday, the father and brother of a slain Mississauga, Ont., teen were sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the December 2007 murder of Aqsa Parvez, a 16-year-old girl of Pakistani descent who wanted to wear western clothes and get a part-time job like her Canadian peers.

Days ago, an Afghan mother was arrested in Montreal, accused of stabbing her 19-year-old daughter after she stayed out all night in a case that's now being probed as a possible honour crime.

And then there's the case last year of Muhammad Shafia, his second wife, Tooba Muhammad Yahya, and their son, Hamed Shafia, accused of killing Shafia's first wife and three daughters, who were found in a vehicle submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ont.

Dr. Amin Muhammad is a psychiatrist at Memorial University in St. John's, N.L., who is currently working on a report for the federal government about honour killings in Canada. He said there've been 13 such cases in the country since 2002.

"We are seeing an upward trend," he said. "More cases are coming to the forefront in the legal system."

Read the full story.

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