I suspect one of the prime reasons her parents were convicted was that her sister who witnessed the murder testified that Shafilea was suffocated by having a plastic bag stuffed down her throat. It’s not the sort of thing you make-up really. I mean it is unusual.
Mr and Mrs Ahmed both received life sentences with a minimum tariff of 25 years. Good.
They murdered their daughter horrifically and then dumped the body because Shafilea was basically westernized. She hung with boys and listened to pop music and wore lip-stick. If I had a teenage daughter it’s kinda what I’d expect. Some of the boys and almost all of the pop music I might harrumph about behind from a newspaper. Actually I pay myself a disservice here. When I think of some of the folks I hung out with as a teenager and the terrible rubbish I listened to I’d have to conclude it was a learning curve. Making good judgments on either requires experience. It’s like criticizing a kid who is good at algebra for not knowing the tensor analysis required for General Relativity. Unless they are Doogie Howser and then moider most horrid is to be generally applauded.
The print copy of the Manchester Evening News (this is not 100% accurate - I merely glanced at it in a shop) had this quote from the judge, “You cared more about your honour than you loved your daughter”. Now if you put scare quotes around “honour” (for there is nothing honourable about gagging to death your daughter with a plastic bag) and maybe the judge did that vocally in the actual delivery that hits the nail on the head. Almost. There is another aspect here Shafilea was “Westernized”. What we had was a clash of cultures. I once seriously dated an American woman. Now if I had moved to the USA and say we got married, had kids and lived in the States would I expect those children to speak with my accent or be interested in Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter finals? Of course not! And if we’d wound up in Blighty I doubt they’d give a tinker’s cuss for the fortunes of the Atlanta Braves either. It is utterly barking mad to expect otherwise.
You move to another country you move to another culture. You have to accept that. You may bring aspects of your culture (not exceeding 23kg) and that is cool but fundamentally you are going to have a miserable time of it if you don’t just jump in and swim - and hey you might even find stuff you really enjoy! And your kids will have a truly grim time of it if you enforce the “old country” on them because they weren’t pandering just around the pool and deciding whether or not to go in. They were born in the deep end.
One of the nicest guys I ever met (we were on the same team at BT) was J and he was a gen 2 Bangladeshi immigrant. He kept the Islamic faith, spoke with a Geordie accent and we “bonded” because we were both computer geeks and the training was interminable and largely incorrect on that score. He went with us on nights out (ultimate designated driver and his motor was a big ol’ Peugeot). He taught at a mosque in Elswick but was perfectly happy to drive me after a few jars and some of the lasses (these are Geordie lasses) wearing very little (one of them had as her primary “career” having sex with footballers). Apparently, at the time, she rated Wayne Bridge highest. Odd, because I always thought him fairly mediocre. Obviously I was judging on very different criteria. She knew sod all about footie and I knew nothing about shagging Wayne Bridge.
So it is possible to integrate (though hopefully not with a pretty dreadful left-back) and retain the essence of your culture but some baggage has to be checked. And some has to be left completely. And your children, and their children will naturally be much more of the adoptive culture. Otherwise why bother moving in the first place? Hell, I even saw this in a small way with my US girlf. She’d spent two years in England and folks back in Atlanta would comment on her accent. My great aunt was a ten pound immigrant to Australia. She is alas now dead but her sons and their kids are still with us. Not even she regarded herself after decades living in Melbourne as British - and why should she - Australia was where she made her career (nursing), raised her children, bought a house… What do you think the grandchildren think of themselves as? Well who do they follow in the cricket?
So it’s fine to bring your culture here (I was once finely treated to Mexican meal cooked by a Mexican… in Leeds) but there is also barbarism up with which we shall not put. So if “honour” killings or female genital mutilation or forced marriages are your schtick then consider another country - like Yemen. If the freedom to worship as you please (or not) or cook delicious Mexican food for astrophysics post-grads (and also being a mind-blowingly brilliant mathematical logician, having gorgeous green eyes speaking perfect English, knowing a lot about Borges and, alas, also have a boyfriend in Manchester - feck!) is your schtick then come one, come all!
This is not about “British values” (whatever they are) but universal values. It is utterly wrong to murder your daughter. It is utterly wrong to horrifically mutilate your daughter’s genitals (30 years and no trial) to keep her “pure” or forcing a marriage which is tantamount to holding a girl (and I mean “girl” not “woman” because it usually is) down whilst some fuckwit who can’t get “it” through wit, charm, good looks or playing left-back for Man City gets his jollies.
Culture is one thing. Evil is another.