Three innocent teenage girls Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti sought out social workers, teachers, and the police to help them escape from their violent father Mohammed Shafia. Sadly, the Shafia sisters died on June 30th 2009 due to male violence. The fourth victim Mr. Shafia’s first wife Rona Amir Mohammed also perished.
Yesterday, justice finally prevailed because Mohammed Shafia, his other wife Tooba Yahya, and their twenty-one year old son Hamed were found guilty of first degree murder.
However, the Canadian social service sector failed these young women because they were women of colour and not white.
Unlike Americans the Canadian public is still afraid to discuss the issue of race. The ambivalence of the Canadian social services sector for the Shafia sisters is due to racism.
The police knew the Shafia sisters were terrified about their father but they looked the other way too.
The white press will not admit that Muslim culture is constructed as existing in an anterior time. The racist discourse of the white press is Muslims Canadian immigrants have not progressed towards
modernity. I have read many comments on the internet that Muslim people need to respect “Canadian values” and “Canadian culture”.
Does Canadian values and culture also mean subscribing to white supremacy?
The mainstream media have pathologized the Muslim community due to racism, indifference, and prejudice. The language used in numerous articles condemn Islam as “barbaric”, “medieval”, and
Isn’t Canadian society also at fault? If Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti, were white middle class girls would their cries for help be ignored?
Zainab fled to a women’s shelter, Sahar threatened to attempt suicide in order to flee her violent father, and Geeti wanted to enter foster care.
The Shafia sisters did seek out support from the Canadian social services system but due to their race, religion, and skin colour the Canadian system failed them.
No one listened to these three young Afghan females because they are the other. It is easy for racists to condemn misogyny in another culture while claiming white Canadian culture is perfect.
White women are also victims of domestic violence but white men are not demonized in the Canadian media or on the internet because they are white.
Whiteness is not treated as though there is an “essence” inside of white men to murder and kill white women due to their race.
However, the racist essentialism of the white media to construct the Muslim culture as having an “essence” for violence against women is pernicious and deleterious.
Brown Muslim men are now treated as sadistic, violent, males that want to kill Muslim women. The media are wrong to generalize the entire Muslim community and depict all Muslim men as violent
The white journalists and the racist bigots on the internet refuse to acknowledge that Canadians are uncomfortable with difference.
I believe the real culprit here is the white media’s refusal to acknowledge that some Canadians have anxieties about non whites immigrating to Canada.
Canada is changing and some people have a problem with it.
Immigration is an incendiary issue and I believe when women immigrate to Canada there should be mandatory education sessions.
Women need to know their human rights and men need to know violence against women will not be tolerated on Canadian soil.
It is simple for racists to condemn the Muslim culture to find an excuse to pathologize an entire community yet refuse to look hard to look beneath the surface.
Four women died because Canadian society didn’t give a damn about their existence because they were not white Canadian women.
The Canadian government certainly isn’t doing enough to support victims of male violence. Yes, there are shelters for battered women but where is the prevention?
Instead of condemning Muslim culture for the actions of a few where are the solutions? What can be done to help women flee male violence and prevent these violent deaths?
No one seems to care about that which is the real issue.