One pakistani "Juliette" and her "Roméo"
|Her four murderers|
The story: a Pakistani family perfectly "integrated", [if one may say!] hard workers, prosperous merchants, 4 daughters, 1 son. People who, as the father says blandly at his trial "are not anyone" (!) in their country and have rank to hold. An high one. Miracle of the internet, everything they do is broadcasted "in live" by webcam for all of the "tribe" in Pakistan where they go often. In fact, Pakistan, its clans [and customs!] they have never left. "Belgian" they are, but for them, it is merely theoretical. They belong to a closed group, a close circle where chastity of girls, forced marriages, [preferably between cousins] are the rule, which is no better for them than for the kings of France.
As it often happens in eastern families with numerous children, the roles of each other are early strictly casted. The boy, especially unique is obviously the chief, the shepherd of the cattle, the "missi domici" of father and here, the mother too. Even younger, even less clever [here, it is the case] he will be dedicated to control his sisters, specially on the crucial point of honor.. that is to say .. their sex! Role a little too big for such a small character who confesses during his trial "when my father talking, I look down".. and he obeys without question.
A family not without hypocrisy indeed : the religious and "virtuous" father has mistresses [his son overhears "hard" chats -who horrifies him] and thinks to rebuild his life in Pakistan with another woman; the son charged with ensuring the good behaviour of his sisters, drinks ; the youngest daughter who denounces Sadia at her father, sometimes smokes shit ; the mother, formerly humiliated to have had only daughters, who plays emotional card -threatens suicide-.. sets a trap for Sadia ; and the olders, married in the good tradition, tell what suits them, as big as it was [lot of nonsense following] for example, "their father is good and accommodating, even too weak with Sadia" (!) "their mother is "loving and gentle" and has never thought about her daughter's death".. (while she wrote in a texto "I'd rather see her dead than married a non-Muslim").. and other spiels. An incredible familial "novel" imagined to mislead the court, the public, everybody. A pathological, toxic family where the truth is turning as a boat with the wind in a hurricane... where the truth is only what one have to say (to invent) at a given time, in order to entangle others, to persuade them of what you want they think, that is to say what is advantageous for you or yours, and disadvantageous for those you hate, those against whom you plead, here, Sadia, although she is dead, assassinated by these "so gentle and weak" one. As you like it.. Indecent speech, headache, vertigo..
The most talented girl here is Sadia : good student, loved by her teachers and all her comrades, nice and generous unthinkable. [Feeling she might be killed, she made a "will" three days before her death and asked her companion not to complaint against her family.] She was called "Cinderella" [likely she takes care of all the tasks others do not want to do.]
Because meantime, father and mother [note : here, her role is equivalent or worse than these of her son and husband because she plays on the emotions, the love Sadia anyway feels for her family... and against one of her nieces (according to the young woman who did not dare to testify at trial because she was afraid) also forced to marry a cousin, she was witness of her rape ordererd by the family (the young woman refused to bed with her husband). So Sadia knew what to expect] .. her parents decided to marry her, with a cousin of course.. But they are not retrograde (!) they claim the court [typical attitude of the accused bragging about what they did not commit: the attacker claims he did not rape; the rapist, he did not kill..] they have left her "free". Well ! So she chose her future husband by herself ! Good ! So, where is the problem? The versatility of a young girl who "flies" from one man to another? Not a "casus belli" indeed ! But not at all: "free", in their special vocabulary, means they have left her the "choice" [by web cam!] between several candidates, they are not retrograde! Tasty! So, harassed by her whole family including her sisters [identically "forced married" but who have folded into the mold up to the point of become accomplice of their persecutors (nevertheless they had ruined their life) against another victim, the Stockholm syndrome (link) ! ] So Sadia "chose" the "less worst" of the prospective husbands presented to her by web cam! "Free", as her "advanced" parents claim. Indeed?
And there, it is burlesque, a mixture of medieval story and a futurist novel of the 23th century: a "marriage" [not legal in Belgium and in Pakistan too, of course] by web cam! with Imam, between two "promised" to 2000 km away who had never seen each other ! ... A masquerade: she obviously thought she was not really engaged and the fact is. Error! In Pakistan, for her family, ["the law is me" as said Louis XIV ! ] she is "truly" married, tickets are ready to send her to her "husband" [kidnapped would be more accurate.] She knew? probably because she leaks. The tragedy of her cousin that her mother was the mainspring made her suspicious, and rightly so. And it was the military expedition, missed: her father, brother and one sister try to took her with several car in circle around her high school as a pray. She escaped. She had already fled several times, but she returned each time, the mother calls her, begs her, the sisters, their comedy.... Threatened, torn, she loves her family all the same. "She was too gentle" said a schoolmate of her.
This time, she is in a shelter for battered women. Was she also beaten? The lawsuit says nothing about that but her admission suggests she was. Shame for her parents? Yes, and this time it's justified. For them, not for her. And finally "free", she really fell in love.
This time, she seems strong, she will not obey anymore, she is supported by her lover and his family. She will marry with him, she dreams of a normal life, graduate. Despite the threats, the death hanging over her head, she comes up. But her mother is clear, "I'd rather see her dead than to marry a christian." Later, her boyfriend, at the trial, will say that "it is dangerous family to all views."
The drama. It is "Eid", the end of Ramadan, her mother, sisters, brother beg her to come back. She knows risking her life, as attest her will writen just before [awfull, a young girl 20 years old who write her will before going at her "home" for a feast!] but she tries yet again the impossible, she will speak, trying to get her "forgiveness", driven by her love for her companion, the culture she gained in high school, by her friends, teachers, the country that is hers more than Pakistan.
Her brother had bought a gun, munitions. Messages are exchanged between her mother, sister, father, speaking of her as "the bitch." Her behavior, in the mind of her brother, is a shame, especially for him. Chastity of his sisters, this is the honor of a brother he says! The trap closes on Sadia; the parents are not there, she did not even have time to remove her coat, she sees the weapon, wants to flee, her sister prevents her to escape, he shots, she dies, all is over. Juliette is dead.
During the trial, he confessed that he also thought to shot his other sister ! [not only Sadia the "whore"] because she smoked shit (!) and later, perhaps, would fall down as the "bitch". Since I had killed one, I thought I could also kill the other, he says ! [prevention is better than cure isn'it?] this one who had helped him to murder Sadia! He renounced. For that? Who says? She was married [and, at the trial, pregnant !] in the good tradition, with a man who also strongly defended his "step family" [although he failed to be a widower for their deeds!] She was sentenced to 5 years and don't appeal. Lack of strength she said, but probably because the sentence, extremely generous [it will be reduced as usual to the half] for complicity in a murder might have been increased in appeal.
This hate against her, did the father and mother instilled at the whole family? Have they induced him to kill her as his lawyer proclaims? It is obvious that the young man who says when his father speaks he looks down [and apparently it is the same when his mother speaks] did not have the stuff to do it alone. He is also a "Stockholm syndrome", and probably has suffered many vagaries because of his father and mother (he became a murderer, so his trial!) as all the others, but he never see it. The counsel for the father, of course, says the opposite: he acted alone without any influence [but what about the messages exchanged between the members of family talking about Sadia as "the bitch", and in this surrounding, ("the father who is not anyone"!) what it must be done with a "whore" if not kill her?] Note : the paterfamilias loved by all [but "a little too indulgent (!) with Sadia" say the young man (!) and one of his sisters not involved in the murder but defending her parents tooth and nail] the father : 1, betrays his son, apparently offered in propitiation victim to the country that welcomed his, and 2, shows none remorse or regret. As in all Stockholm Syndrome, the chief acts by "soldier", henchman [who is also his victim] and loose him if he is caught... [Usually the "soldier" under influence agrees to his own sacrifice, but here, the young man's lawyer refuses : his customer, as he said, is a robot of his father and it is probably true: 5 years at least of prison to remove or to add by the judge, it worths.] As well the father of course does not defend the murderer [or more precisely his "military arm"] but he will have this involuntary confession: "in Pakistan, I'm not a little man, so I would have to answer many questions about her, many! then she died, we talked about an accident and there is longer problem." Indeed! She died = no problem. Especially if it is not him who shot her. So, his counsel requested the acquittal. Normal!
But Belgian judges decides: 1 the influence of father and mother on the murderer; 2 an hate crime against a vulnerable person because of her sex, her ethnic group ; and 3 conspiracy meeting to accomplish it.. and found parents more guilty than the son who shot Sadia and the daughter who has prevented her from escaping. A first, interesting, to invoke racism including when it comes from people of the same ethnic group, and just. Which will perhaps make to think to the other "virtuous" fathers.
Although politically incorrect, the Shiekh family did not bring water to the mill of the cause of immigrants.. but rather an heavy stone as all the crimes of "honor" and they are a lot (link.)
What about the deprivation of their belgium nationality as suggested on some forums? To adopt a nationality is not to choose a coat and require to accept -relatively- laws, especially if they are just, [however even a coat must be the right size!] Politically incorrect? Yes. The naive idea: immigrants = disadvantaged, poors = solidarity, sometimes, unquestionably disregards a reality that for some of them, original situation is rather good. So, they choose a country simply because it seems better -perhaps more liberal about some points interesting for them.-
The fact is : those who want and can depart need money, contacts, bribes, levers; sometimes they are not stalked by a tyrannical system as it can be imagined ; however, playing on this aria, they can trap. It is common that when they return home wealthy, adorned with the aura of "French", for visits or permanently, they sometimes behave like chiefs who have nothing to envy to the small local potentates, if they earned money and wisely invest it [houses, land, hotels, shops ..] The Turks have a pejorative word to designate them : "franssouillais", which means arrogant, watch-to-me and .. exploiters. In "Kurdish wedding"*, the hero speaks with irony of those [Turkish] who returned home to look for slaves, specially kurdish -the cheapest- (or for a wife) to serve low-cost business they have created with money earned in France, not necessarily quite legal he says, but bleached in legal affairs. Both respected and feared [they are rich and powerful] .. and hated for their greed and contempt for the poor. Two facets of interesting characters he observes ironically, in France, friendly, and in their country, "franssouillais." That is sometimes the behaviour of the first generation ["new-rich"] and these attitudes disappear at the second.. that of their children, born and remained in France, as long as their families allowed them to integrate, for example to study, marry with who they desire... and sometimes.. they don't. Link with the gallery portrait.
* Link with abstract of the book (in french.)