Honour killings 'reprehensible': Imam

www.lfpress.com - 15 December 2011 - From Joe Warmington

KINGSTON, Ont. -- The young imam here knows those alleged to have been part of the horrible Rideau Canal "honour" murders have nothing to do with Muslim life in Canada's original capital city. But he also knows, with the whole country watching this gruesome trial, they have everything to do it.

This trial has not yet had the Crown's case tested by a jury of the accused's peers. It will resume Jan. 9, 2012.

"The people on trial for these horrendous allegations are from Montreal and were just passing through," the imam at the Kingston Islamic Centre said Thursday.

"But I am realistic," said the 29-year-old Canadian-born Sikander Hashmi of what this trial means to every other Muslim living in the shadow of the horrible testimony of the alleged quadruple slaying of four women on June 30, 2009.

He knows that the first-degree murder trial of Mohammad Shafia, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya and their son Hamed for the murder of sisters Zainab, Sahar and Geeti, and Shafia's first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad could cast unfair aspersions on people who don't have anything to do with it."I don't know anybody who thinks like this," said Hashmi of Kingston's 1,000 or so Muslims.

He wanted to make sure the rest of Canada understands this. But he went even further.

On the off chance there are people at his mosque, or elsewhere in Canada, who are not clear on what he thinks is the obvious, he decided to speak out.

"Obviously, this is a Muslim issue that needs to be addressed because these things have happened inside the faith," he said. "I am a father of a daughter myself."

He "felt a need" to address the difficult subject in last week's sermon and will touch on it again this Friday.

"I just make it perfectly clear that no killing or domestic violence is acceptable for any reason" and is "reprehensible."

He wondered if some old-school Muslims would not appreciate drawing any attention, but he has been pleasantly surprised by the response. (...)