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Pakistan: Muslim murders his daughter-in-law as her father watched; she wanted to go to Australia

In many other honor killing cases, Muslim women have been murdered for being too “Westernized.” It’s likely that in this case also, the family didn’t want Sajida Tasneem to return to Australia for that reason. Her disobedience and desire to live among the infidels were signs of her departure from Islam, and the honor of the family had to be cleansed.

In the Qur’an, a mysterious figure, known as Khidr in Islamic tradition, kills a boy in an apparently random and gratuitous attack. He then explains: “And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy.” (18:80-81)

And according to Islamic law, “retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right.” However, “not subject to retaliation” is “a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring.” (Reliance of the Traveller o1.1-2).

Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but “the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour ‘provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.’” And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings. Al-Jazeera reported that “Islamists and conservatives said the laws violated religious traditions and would destroy families and values.” In Iran, according to the New York Times, the legal system “treats parents who murder their children with relative leniency, as the maximum sentence for the crime is only ten years.”

“Pakistan-origin Australian woman murdered with an axe by her father-in-law in Sargodha while her father watched,” OpIndia, June 21, 2022:

A Pakistan-origin Australian woman named Sajida Tasneem was brutally hacked to death by her father-in-law, Mukhtar Ahmad in Karachi, Pakistan. Tasneem was allegedly gagged and then hit on the head with an axe, leading to her death. The incident reportedly occurred on June 11 at the home she shared with her in-laws near the city of Sargodha in Pakistan. Her father Sher Muhammad Khan was a witness to the brutal act.

Mukhtar Ahmed, according to reports, was enraged by the prospect of Sajida Tasneem, an engineer by profession, returning to Australia with her children. He is said to have killed her after the two got into an argument about the same.

Sher Muhammad Khan, Tasneem’s father, who was a witness to the incident, told The Guardian, that his daughter’s father-in-law Mukhtar Ahmad had taken away Tasneem’s passport after the latter got into an argument with him about her desire to relocate back to Australia to give her children a better education. Ahmed in a fit of rage first gagged her with a piece of cloth and then attacked her with an axe. Tasneem fell to the ground and died in front of her own father.

She Muhammad Khan told the police that Tasneem’s husband, Ayub Ahmed, forced her to travel to Pakistan with her three children from their home in Perth, Australia. After she reached Pakistan, Ayub Ahmed himself returned to Australia. Tasneem too expressed her desire to her father-in-law to return to Australia with her children.

Sher Muhammad Khan said that on the day of the incident when he arrived at his daughter’s house in Karachi’s Sargodha district at around 1.45 pm, he heard Ahmad abusing and shouting at Tasneem on the first floor. When he went upstairs, he found the duo in the bathroom. His daughter’s mouth was gagged and the father-in-law Mukhtar Ahmad was repeatedly attacking her. Ahmed also threatened to kill Khan if he tried to intervene. “I feared for our lives and did not move,” recalled Khan adding that Ahmad then hit Tasneem on the head with an axe, after which she died at the scene.

After Tasneem fell to the ground and died on spot, Ahmed quickly fled the crime scene. Sher Muhammad Khan immediately called the local Superior Town Police Station to report about the crime. Based on his complaint the police lodged an FIR and started investigating the case.

The Karachi police, meanwhile, have arrested Mukhtar Ahmed and also recovered the axe which he used to kill his daughter-in-law. Tasneem’s mother-in-law, Fatima Bibi, and two other relatives who are also suspects in the case remain at large….

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