The real story of the Burka-Murder no Canadian newspaper wishes to tell

TORONTO—When her baby got a heart transplant at Sick Children’s Hospital, Bano Shahdady threw away her burqa.

At twenty years old, after years of religious training, she also decided to return to public high school. With help from her son’s doctors and a social worker, she arranged to rent an apartment to leave her parents and husband.

It was there, two weeks after she moved in, that police found her strangled to death, her son left alone with the body for 15 hours, murdered by a man hiding his identity behind a burka.

On Wednesday, the husband Abdul Malik Rustam was sentenced to life in prison for the murder with no chance of parole for 17 years.

“A woman has an absolute right to end any relationship,” Judge John McMahon of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice told the court. He said that Rustam planned the attack, disguised himself in a burqa to gain access to the apartment, and justified his actions to police. The judge also said that the victim’s father forgave Rustam and pleaded for mercy in court on his behalf, without once mentioning the loss of his daughter.

Honour Killing

The facts, as the judge outlined them, pointed to an “honour killing,” a crime distinct from other murders because its motive is to cleanse perceived family dishonour caused by a wife’s or daughter’s behaviour. “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate… ‘honour killings,’” says the federal Discover Canada guide issued to new immigrants.

But the judge never said the two key words.

“Man gets life sentence for murdering wife,” read the Toronto Star’s headline, relegating the crime to a domestic abuse case.

The Toronto Sun went with, “Man who wore ‘burka’ sentenced in estranged wife’s killing.” Not a single other Canadian news outlet reported the story.

Bano Shahdady deserves better. Not only did she fight her attacker — by clawing at him and surviving his strangulation attempts for a full 30 minutes — but she also fought the Islamist social ideology that had kept her a vassal in her own home.

This is the story nobody else will tell.

Eleven days after Bano’s death in July 2011, a relative and a family friend, both of them men, spent two hours telling it to me. Both asked that their names not be used, saying that they could not officially speak for the family. Further information comes from an “agreed statement of facts” that Judge McMahon read aloud at the sentencing.

When she was 18 months old, Bano came to Toronto from Pakistan with her parents, the relative said. They settled in Scarborough, where her father joined the Islamist movement Tabligi Jamaat, meaning “Proselytizing Group.” He took a religious title, calling himself Mullah Abdul Ghafoor.


Harry Potter

“She was very bright,” the relative said of Bano. “I remember her reading a thick Harry Potter book. She said, ‘Go to any page and read the first two sentences and I will tell you the rest.’ I thought she was bluffing. I went to page 20 and read the first two lines, and she told me the rest.”

When Bano was 13 or 14, her father pulled her out of her Canadian school and enrolled her in a Muslim religious school in Karachi, Pakistan. When she turned 17, he arranged for her to marry her first cousin, an illiterate tailor, who was 25. Almost right away, Bano got pregnant and quit school. She returned to Canada to have the baby at a Canadian hospital.

“When she came back she was completely indoctrinated and completely covered,” the relative said. “You could not see her face. She wasn’t allowed to talk.”

Canada: The racism of Emily Murphy who lead the “persons case”

Today is her birthday. why not use her birthday to prove that feminism was is and will be a racist white supremacist movement. there is no difference between 1st, 2nd and 3rd wavers.



The Medusa of Murphy

Deconstructing a Monument to Canadian Racism

During February, some Canadians participate in the celebration of the history, heritage and culture of Canadian people of colour.  Every year during black history month I learn something new.  Sometimes when I pass on what I know to other Canadians, they stare at me, frozen in disbelief.  History can be a Medusa that traps you in time, but breaking the spell and moving forward is easier than you think.

Will the Real Emily Murphy Please Stand Up?

Emily Murphy was the first female magistrate in the British Empire.  She was appointed to the Alberta courts in 1916 after her University education.  She litigated the Persons Case that went before the Supreme Court of Canada, and, when it turned her down, the British Privy Council.  Women had received the right to vote 10 years earlier in 1919, and other laws recognizing women as persons needed to be revised.  Emily Murphy became a symbol of the feminist movement in Canada.

On October 18, 1929 the British Privy Council decided Canadian women were people under the British North America Act and, therefore, they could be eligible for appointment to the Senate.  Five Alberta women played a key role in this achievement, and are referred to as the Famous Five.  They are Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung and Emily Murphy.  Bronze sculptures of the Famous Five were unveiled in Calgary at the Olympic Plaza on October 18, 1999 and second sculptures were unveiled on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 18, 2000.

Statues on Parliament Hill are usually reserved for prime ministers or royalty-an exception was made for the Famous Five.  They were also added to the new $50 bill as part of the 75th anniversary of the Persons Case, and the bill was issued on November 17, 2004.  Currently 33 of 89 senators in Canada are female.  That’s what most people do know.

Here’s what they don’t.  In 1922, Emily Murphy began writing under the pen name of Janey Canuck.  She regularly appeared in Maclean’s and other publications.  She attacked Asian immigrants, American blacks, Jews and other Eastern Europeans who had chosen Alberta as their home.  Her publication, The Black Candle, is a series of essays that justify her particular type of racism.  Her work outlined the belief that multiculturalism spelled moral degeneracy and was detrimental to the purity of the white race.  Her highly influential and extremely popular book advocated prohibition, tighter immigration control and “exclusion of all persons of colour from the continent.”

Murphy’s articles and books were instrumental in creating hatred for Asian immigrants.  Thousands were deported, many were jailed unfairly, and Chinese exclusion laws were endorsed and publicly supported by Emily Murphy.  Laws made it illegal for white women to be employed by Chinese men until the 1930s in British Columbia, and 1946 in Saskatchewan and Alberta.  Although she helped white Canadian women win the right to vote in 1919, Asian persons were not allowed to vote until 1949.

Eugenics 101

Emily Murphy was also closely associated with the Orange Order, an organization of Irish-descended Protestants who advocated a European-based system of apartheid.  They were exclusionary to Catholics, and all non-white persons, and closely associated with the Ku Klux Klan.  From 1922 to 1937 the Klan was active in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The word “eugenics” was coined in 1883 by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, to refer to the study and use of selective breeding of animals or humans to improve a species over generations.  Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party fabricated and clearly defined five so-called races of human being based upon colour of skin and texture of hair.  White was to be superior, on top of yellow, brown, red and black.  The Nazis systematically murdered millions of people, based upon the ideologies of white supremacy and ethnic cleansing.  Their tactics included mass murder, controlled breeding, and sterilization.

Judge Emily Murphy approved all the legislation that passed through her bench at the time, which included all of the Chinese exclusion acts, the Indian Act of 1923 and the Residential School Act of 1925.  From 1923 to 1980, the Canadian government took native children off their designated reservation, to be raised by Christian-run schools and dormitories.

Three of the Famous Five advocated for sterilization of some persons.  Emily Murphy travelled throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and delivered more than 100 speeches supporting laws for forced sterilization.  Murphy, along with McClung, a novelist and legislator, and McKinney, the first woman sworn into the Alberta Legislature, were all instrumental in the Alberta Sexual Sterilization Act adopted in 1928.  Until 1972, the Alberta government made applications to the provincial court for the forced sterilization of 4,725 Albertans ( 2,882 were actually authorized ).  Most of the sterilizations were done to young women under the age of 25.  Some as young as 14 had surgical procedures to ensure that they could never sexually reproduce.  Native persons and Metis comprised only 2.5 per cent of Alberta’s population, but accounted for 25 per cent of Alberta’s sterilization procedures.

Hindsight is 20-20

B P W Canada is an equality group that addresses the needs of business and professional women.  Over several years, they have raised thousands of dollars for the commemorative statues of the Famous Five in Olympic Plaza in Calgary, and on Parliament Hill, as well as a commemorative plaque in the Senate.  “I am not sure that we would do the same thing today,” said vice president Fran Donaldson, referring to the infamous three out of the five.  “It can be quite disturbing to realize some of the things that were done.” True.  And a memorial plaque could easily be added to explain the truth.  Then people would be able to learn from our past.

But all signs point to more of the same, and we’re not learning from the past.  In 2001 a new series of Canadian bank notes named Canadian Journey were introduced.  The notes celebrate Canadian culture, history and achievements.  The theme of the new $50 is “Nation building shaping the political legal and social structures for democracy and equality.” The bank of Canada surveyed 4,000 Canadians during the design process to get their input.  For this theme, with input from the focus group and other sources, the Bank of Canada proposed the Famous Five for the back of the bill.  Designed by Jorge Peral with Canadian Bank Note, it also depicts a quote from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as two scales, representing justice, and an image of the medallion that is awarded as the Therese Casgrain volunteer award ( an award presented to a male and female Canadian who has had significant achievement in volunteering ).

The Bank of Canada acknowledged, when asked, that during the focus groups, some persons were concerned about some of the history of the Famous Five, but believed that their contributions as a whole were significant for the bill.  Designers, researchers and experts all contributed to the design of the currency.  The final design for all bank notes is approved by the Minister of Finance.  The infamous three fooled them all.

The Devil in the Details

Complaints have been logged from citizens in Calgary and Montreal about the bill, the Bank of Canada said.  And there is a precedent for removing Canadian money from circulation.  In 1954 the $50 bill had Queen Elizabeth on the face.  Many people believed that in the line work of the Queen’s hair above her left ear was a gargoyle-like face.  Known as the “Devil’s head” bill, it was modified in 1956 to remove the effect.  There have been 105 million Famous Five Fifties printed and circulated.  For the sake of all the human beings that suffered, and for the sake of Canada’s sense of respect, these notes must also be modified.  The Bank of Canada must remove the effect of Emily Murphy and her colleagues from Canada’s modern identity.



Essential Feminist Quotes: ‘Most Women Have to Be Coerced into Heterosexuality’



“I agreed to take part in a New York University Institute for Humanities conference a year ago. . . .
“I stand here as a black lesbian feminist, having been invited to comment within the only panel at this conference where the input of black feminists and lesbians is represented. What this says about the vision of this conference is sad, in a country where racism, sexism and homophobia are inseparable. . . .
“The absence of any consideration of lesbian consciousness or the consciousness of third world women leaves a serious gap within this conference. . . .
“For women, the need and desire to nurture each other is not pathological but redemptive, and it is within that knowledge that our real power is rediscovered. It is this real connection, which is so feared by a patriarchal world.”
Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” 1979

“I want to ask heterosexual academic feminists to do some hard analytical and reflective work. To begin, I want to say to them:
“I wish you would notice that you are heterosexual.
“I wish you would grow to the understanding that you chooseheterosexuality.
“I would like you to rise each morning and know that you are heterosexual and that you choose to be heterosexual — that you are and choose to be a member of a privileged and dominant class, one of your privileges being not to notice.
“I wish you would stop and seriously consider, as a broad and long-term feminist political strategy, the conversion of women to a woman-identified and woman-directed sexuality and eroticism, as a way of breaking the grip of men on women’s minds and women’s bodies, of removing women from the chronic attachment to the primary situations of sexual and physical violence that is rained upon women by men, and as a way of promoting women’s firm and reliable bonding against oppression. . . .
“There is so much pressure on women to be heterosexual, and this pressure is both so pervasive and so completely denied, that I think heterosexuality cannot come naturally to many women: I think that widespread heterosexuality among women is a highly artificial product of the patriarchy. . . . I think that most women have to be coerced into heterosexuality.”
Marilyn Frye, “A Lesbian’s Perspective on Women’s Studies,” speech to the National Women’s Studies Association conference, 1980

“A materialist feminist approach to women’s oppression destroys the idea that women are a ‘natural group’ . . . What the analysis accomplishes on the level of ideas, practice makes actual at the level of facts: by its very existence, lesbian society destroys the artificial (social) fact constituting women as a ‘natural group.’ A lesbian society pragmatically reveals that the division from men of which women have been the object is a political one . . .
“Lesbian is the only concept I know of which is beyond the categories of sex (woman and man). . . . For what makes a woman is a specific social relation to a man, a relation that we have previously called servitude . . . a relation which lesbians escape by refusing to become or to stay heterosexual. . . . [O]ur survival demands that we contribute all our strength to the destruction of the class of women within which men appropriate women. This can be accomplished only by the destruction of heterosexuality as a social system which is based on the oppression of women by men and which produces the doctrine of the difference between the sexes to justify this oppression.”
Monique Wittig, “One Is Not Born a Woman,” 1981

Two of these quotes (Lorde and Wittig) are excerpted from The Essential Feminist Reader, edited by Estelle B. Freedman (2007), while the quote from Frye is from her 1992 collection Willful Virgin: Essays in Feminism. Readers will notice that all three of these quotes were from the same era, 1979-81. Thus you see how early radical lesbians began consistently demanding that the feminist movement must challenge heterosexuality as “natural” for women, insisting that what Audre Lorde called the “real connection” of “lesbian consciousness” was “feared by a patriarchal world.” Marilyn Frye called for “a broad and long-term feminist political strategy” by Women’s Studies professors of converting their students to lesbianism “as a way of promoting women’s firm and reliable bonding against oppression.” Why? Because only by “the destruction of heterosexuality as a social system,” Monique Wittig said, can women “escape” their “servitude” and “oppression” by men.

Do you think these are obscure “fringe” feminists? Do a Google search forAudre Lorde and you get more 500,000 citations. Marilyn Frye was a professor at Michigan State University for more than 30 years who “was chosen as Phi Beta Kappa’s Romanell Professor in Philosophy for 2007-2008.” Google Monique Wittig and you get nearly 200,000 citations.

Are you tempted to reply, “So what?” OK, then, why don’t you Google the name of the editor of The Essential Feminist Reader — that’s another 200,000 or so citations — and you’ll learn from the Wikipedia biography of Estelle B. Freedman that she is “the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University,” that one of the books she coedited “received the 2013 John Boswell Prize from the Committee on LGBT History of the American Historical Association,” while another book co-edited by Professor Freedman “was cited by Justice Anthony Kennedy in his 2003 opinion for Lawrence v. Texas, with which the American Supreme Court overturned all remaining anti-sodomy laws.”

Do you still want to say, “So what?” Or are you ready to admit feminists mean what they say, and that feminism should be taken seriously?

BTW, Professor Freedman’s latest book is Redefining Rape, in which she “demonstrates that our definition of rape has depended heavily on dynamics of political power and social privilege.”

People had better wake the hell up.