The 25-year-old victim, Sandeela Kanwal, was wed in Pakistan in an arranged marriage. Police said Kanwal hadn't seen her husband, who lives in Chicago, for months.Too bad that Sandeela didn't go to the Baitul Salaam shelter.
According to police, there was "friction between father and victim" in the weeks leading up to the killing. Rashid had not spoken to his daughter in more than two months.
Police said Rashid was so angered that his daughter planned to divorce her husband that he killed her after a heated argument at the family's home, FOX News affiliate MyFoxAtlanta reported.
"Within our community we are still struggling with the issue of domestic abuse," says Hadayai Majeed, who runs the Baitul Salaam shelter in Atlanta, which caters to Muslim women.Sandeela Kanwal was murdered by her father for an alleged affront to family honor, much like Amina and Sarah Said were in January. The saddest part is, she will not likely be the last.
She says women and girls who come to the shelter sometimes have been physically punished for what their fathers, husbands and brothers believe is behavior that dishonors the family.
Dating a non-Muslim or not wearing a traditional head scarf can trigger a beating.
"This can be interpreted as being extremely rebellious or be an excuse for abuse," Majeed says.
Not only is this behavior culturally accepted in many Islamic countries, but it is encouraged. Last year a prominent Saudi cleric went on television to tell Muslim men how to properly beat their wives.
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