I confess to never having been raised as a member of a religion which gave me the right as a male to kill a female member of my family because she had violated something termed the “family honor.” I confess to never having been raised as a member of a religion which allowed me to serve as investigative officer, prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, jury and judge in determining the guilt or innocence of a female member of my family regarding her behavior. The family originally came from Kabul in Afghanistan. Montreal residents Mohammed Shafi, his wife Tooba Mohammed Yhaya and their 18 year-old son, Hamid Mohammed Shafi, have been charged with first degree murder in connection with the death of their three teen-age girls whose bodies were found in a car submerged in a canal. The girls ranged in age from 13 to 19. According to an email sent by Mohammed’s sister Diba Masoomi, who lives in France, the girls were killed in accordance with issues of the family’s “honor.”

At some point, Muslims must confront the reality that somehow their religion provides sanction to those who do not grasp the meaning of being Muslim that one can kill family members on the basis of how they behave. I do not believe any religion justifies this form of barbarism, but for some reason, there are Muslims who have gained this viewpoint. There is no “honor” in killing girls whose behavior is not considered appropriate. For some reason, the concept of “honor” never appears to apply to male members of the family. I wonder why?