21 February 2007

Islamic father killed family for being too western

A father killed his wife and four daughters in their sleep because he could not bear them adopting a more westernised lifestyle, an inquest heard yesterday.

Mohammed Riaz, 49, found it abhorrent that his eldest daughter wanted to be a fashion designer, and that she and her sisters were likely to reject the Muslim tradition of arranged marriages.

On Hallowe'en last year he sprayed petrol throughout their terraced home in Accrington, Lancs, and set it alight.

Caneze Riaz, 39, woke and tried to protect her three-year-old child, Hannah, who was sleeping with her, but was overcome by fumes. Her other daughters, Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 13, and Alisha, 10, died elsewhere in the house.

Riaz, who had spent the evening drinking, set himself on fire and died two days later.

Relatives broke the news to the couple's son, Adam, 17, as he lay terminally ill with cancer at the Christie Hospital, Manchester. He died six weeks later.

Michael Singleton, the coroner, recorded verdicts that Riaz killed himself and that his victims were unlawfully killed.

Riaz, who had spent all but the last 17 years of his life in the North West Frontier region of Pakistan, met his Anglo-Pakistani wife when her father sent her to the sub-continent to find a husband.

After an arranged marriage, she developed a career as a community leader in Accrington while he, handicapped by a lack of English, took on a series of low-paid jobs.

After Mrs Riaz's father died she "suddenly felt less beholden to Mohammed", a friend said. "She started to develop her own circle of friends and allowed the girls to express themselves in a more western way."

She began to work with women who felt suppressed by Asian culture and many saw her as a role model for young Asian women.

via the Telegraph


Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment, arranged marriages are not a Muslim tradition, but a cultural tradition.

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

It's terrifying that someone could go through 49 years of life, and then all of a sudden do something so cruel as to murder his entire family and then set himself on fire.

TruthWatcher said...

I think there are 2 main things here. One is that she could speak English and communicate with the world around her, find out things, do things, "be someone" in the community. The husband didn't know English, could not communicate with many people around him, brought home a very smaller piece of the bacon - in short he had definite emasculation complex going on. The other thing is that in his culture that is the worst. I bet he had a lot of peer pressure from fellows in his social circle, and just could not take the pressure anymore between trying to live a life here, get ahead, etc. and then see his wife do it much better. Heck, even American couples have trouble in same situation, many resort to wife beating. This guy just went 2 steps further.

Web design said...

This is a tragic story of just how far religious beliefs can push someone, it is sad but ironic that a muslim who fears for his family gets drunk, his beliefs were obviously slightly marred to start with.

Anonymous said...

It's good that at least muslims care about tradition and decency. Women are treated a lot better there than in Europe, because they are not forced to work and humilitate themselves.

Don said...

How is a woman working humiliating herself?