TORONTO – A Muslim man wore a traditional woman’s burka and female shoes before he strangled his estranged wife in the company of their toddler son.
Abdul Malik Rustam admitted he donned the headdress — which disguised his face — and wedge shoes when he killed his wife, Shaher Bano Shahdady, after she asked for a divorce.
The killing occurred only two weeks after the 21-year-old woman received social assistance and moved into an apartment at 3131 Eglinton Ave. E.
Shahdady, who emigrated from Pakistan to Canada with her family when she was a year old, returned to her homeland when she was 12 or 13.
Rustam and Shahdady were wed in an arranged marriage in their native Pakistan in 2008 when she was 17 or 18 and he was 25.
Arranged? When she was 17 or 18? Is “arranged” really the right word there? Was it really arranged and not forced? I don’t know, but the power differential is obvious enough.
Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said the murder is an honour killing that raises two disturbing issues for him.
“This attire has become an attire of choice for various crimes, terrorists, and now this is the first time the burka has been used as an instrument to a murder,” Fatah said. “The burka is protected under the guise of religious freedom.”
He added that the burka enabled the killer “to gain access into the home.
“Had it not been for the burka, she would not have let him gain entry at 1 in the morning and would still be alive today,” he said.
“It follows the whole question of arranged marriages, for girls born or raised over here, to men overseas who simply cannot visualize or imagine their wives having professional relationships with any man,” Fatah said.
The whole thing is a nightmare.