In the name of honour…not: Teachable takeaway from the Shafia verdict

Turning on the car yesterday morning and the first words I heard from CBC were Shafia. On the television, in the newspaper, on my Internet browser…Shafia, Shafia, Shafia.

And honour killing.

Afghans around the world were interviewed to comment on honour killing.
Random people on the street felt their country’s values vindicated through the guilty verdicts with statements like – Canada is not a place for honour killing.
Facebook statuses were updated in the same vein: my country = no honour killing

This is what I take away as teachable from this case.

Somehow this case became more about honour killing and less about what it actually is – the killing of women. In Canada. We need to question this.

Is it because when we talk about honour killing we think we are talking about something that has been transplanted here by recent immigrants and therefore not Canadian?

Why was it that this particular murder of women got so much press? That this particular murder of women is taken so seriously by Canadians? Is it because of that lens? That honour killing lens that allowed us to look at it from a distance?

Is that why the Canadian public (news media, government…) doesn’t look at murders of women like the 600 and counting missing/murdered aboriginal women across Canada with such sensationalism and ease? Because we can’t reframe those murders as easily?

Reframe it in any way. What it comes down to is that there are people (many people) who still think it is ok to kill women. And yes, in Canada. And the Shafia case is but one example of this.

For that, I am happy about the verdict. But not for the reasons it is being lauded in the media. Not.

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