Priests throughout Canada and the U.S. finally issued a stance against the attempted murder of the family of Muhammad Shafia. They issued a fatwa that officially condemns and prohibits violence and murder on the grounds of honor, or that in the west are often called 'Honour Killing'.
"Despite having no legal force, the fatwa was morally binding on Muslims," said Calgary Imam, Syed Sohawardy, thehuffingtonpost.com quoted as saying on Monday (6/2).
The fatwa was issued after months of criticizing the scholars agree on the reasons for honor killings, and trying to educate Muslims to not use force in carrying out his conviction. "Scholars emphatically denies any interpretation of the Koran which allows domestic violence or a matter of honor," said Soharwardy.
Actions taken by the scholars in Canada and the U.S. is rare. Previously, the clerics issued a fatwa against all acts of terrorism and the prohibition against girls who go to school.
"What happens at home Shadia, a crime he did not need to be done. Therefore, Islam does not teach that. Crime was carried out because of misconceptions," he said.
Previously, Ottawa Mosque Imam condemned the practice of honor killings are often called 'honor killing. He said the act was alien to Islam and has no place in society.
The priest, Samy Metwally, said it was not unreasonable to believe that any religion would advocate killing in order to maintain the family honor. "The act is not a doctrine or tradition of Islam. In fact, the fact is there is absolutely no honor killings," says Metwally in front of the citizens of Ottawa.
"It had nothing to do with religion and is not supported in the texts of the Koran or the behavior and words of the prophet Muhammad, the Muslim role models." he said.
The call was triggered by a tribunal sensational in Kingston, Ontario where a businessman Mohammad Shafia man and his wife and their son is accused of killing three teenage daughters and first wife because of their behavior tarnished the family honor.
Mohammad Shafia, Hamed - His son, and his wife, Tooba Yahya each found guilty on four charges of first degree murder in the death of Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, and Rona Amir Mohammed, 52 years.
Four bodies were found June 30, 2009, in a car submerged in a canal, in Kingston, Ontario. Canada in the rule of law, first degree murder would impose life sentences to the perpetrators. They are not allowed to apply for parole for 25 years.
Community reaction to Canadian fatwa blasting 'honour killings'
Muslim leaders in Canada have issued a rare religious decree to condemn the so-called "honour killings" that were brought into sharp focus by the Shafia murder trial.
The fatwa, which was issued by a Canadian imam on Saturday, is only the third of its kind in Canada. Previous fatwas denounced Taliban members thwarting girls' education and also terrorists plotting acts of mass destruction.
Saturday's edict -- which was made in a Mississauga, Ont., mosque -- is an official message to Muslims from the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.
A document decrying murder, domestic violence and misogyny was signed by 34 imams across Canada and the United States.
The CBC community also reacted to the fatwa. Many posted their congratulations and celebrated the decree as an important act.
"I think it is important for these kind of gestures to be made. Having a religious institution condemn 'honour killing' is a reminder that it has no place in their religion, and will bring shame onto people who commit such crimes. It is unacceptable in Canada and Islam; there is no Quranic basis for restoring honour of a family by murdering one's own children or siblings."
"Peace, brother. Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Druid - there's no such thing as "honour" in a killing. And a murder inside a family is simply despicable." - NoThanks
"I am glad he is calling it what it is it is. It takes a lot of guts for a person in his position to do. It is unfortunate that he has received death threats." - Lenin-McCarthy
"Glad to hear about this action. Re-inforce the message: murder is not acceptable in Canada or anywhere else." - Rhody.77
Several people applauded the move, but cautioned that it is not enough on its own.
"It is about time our religious leaders made clear the evils of honour killings, and separate a cultural practice from religious ones. I appreciate and applaud -- as a Muslim myself -- the Iman for his honesty and conviction. I am saddened though, that a fatwa must be issued to spell out domestic violence and honour killings are wrong. It seems, as a society we still have a long way to go with respect to compassion and using commonsense." - Mew_Mew
"Canada is full of descendants of immigrants, who came here for a better life. We may choose to celebrate our ethnic/cultural diverse origins, but we must embrace the Canada that is now - where all are considered equal under the law, and all have the right to live peaceful lives, with dignity and respect." - Muggsy.7479.ca
"It's great that the Imams made this declaration, but it appears to me that it is too little too late. This is not the first time we have heard of "honour killings" in Canada. Why did it take this long for them to say something?" - hjklaassen
Others expressed a range of more critical observations.
"Stop calling these 'honour killings'! These are Canadian citizens living in Canada governed by Canadian law. These were premeditated, planned, executed murders under Canadian law, which is blind to sex, religion, culture, beliefs, sexual orientation, rich or poor, etc. Plain and simple!" - jwilliamson
"Enough of these charlatans! They don't believe what they are saying in their after the fact statements. They are trying to fool Canadians. They should direct their messages towards Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Pakistan, or even better just go and do some field work there. In Canada it's too easy...because of the beautiful charter!" - TheInnerVoice
"A "fatwa" shouldn't need to be issued, the minute you enter this country you are abiding and understanding our laws. To deliberately take the life of another human is murder simple as that!" - Laughing1
"Before we get too carried away about how great this edict is, one has to ask why anyone needs a reminder." - Ecosse
"Many posts have claimed that honour killings are culture related, not Islam related. The Imams seem to know better, hence the fatwa. Trying to distance Islam from the practice is a valiant but transparent attempt to protect the religion's reputation and image in the west." - ZeeBeeSee
"I note the fatwa was supported only by imams in the US and Canada, not the rest of the world." - elizabeth reid
Thank you, as always, for following our coverage. We invite readers to comment on any of these points and continue the conversation below.
Shafia trial rattles Islamic community
The decree was initiated by Calgary imam Syed Soharwardy and was made in response to the recent Shafia family murder trial in Kingston, Ont., in which a Montreal couple and their son were convicted of killing four female relatives.
The trial captured worldwide attention and cast a shadow over Canada's Islamic community, prompting many to speak out against domestic violence.
Soharwardy said he felt compelled to push the issue, both to remind Muslims that honour killings are not Islamic and to explain to other Canadians that violence against women is not part of the religion.
He said he's received anonymous threats since coming out strongly against domestic violence, but that it only convinces him and encourages him that action is needed.
Pictures:Imam Syed Soharwardy of Calgary reads a copy of a fatwa at the Jamia Riyadhul Jannah place of worship in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday.