Scary: twenty-two-year-old Muslim actress Afshan Azad, who played Padma Patel in four of the Harry Potter movies, was dating a Hindu man in London. Her older brother found out, and woke up her father, allegedly shouting, "Sort out your daughter! She's a slag!" and exhorting his father to "just kill her." In response, Abul Azad, the actress's father, promised he would kill her, because he didn't want his sons to have blood on their hands. His terrified daughter then escaped out her bedroom window.

But after making a statement to the police explaining the story — and after her father and brother corroborated the appalling details — Azad refused to testify against them, saying that she might have misunderstood her father's thick Bengali accent and that "the proceedings have caused me no end of distress and if [a trial] goes ahead, it will make things much worse for me." Understandable in that testifying against your family would be terrifying, but it sounds like it's also pretty terrifying to live with them, and it's sad to imagine going back to that household. Azad's brother pled guilty to assault, while both he and their father were found not guilty of threatening to kill her.

The really frightening part is that this happens all the time, all over the world, to thousands of women who haven't starred in high-profile entertainments. The U.N. estimates that 5000 women a year are murdered by members of their own families in honor killings; in at least one country, Jordan, it's actually legal to kill your wife for adultery. Let's hope the ugly Azad case brings more attention to this ghoulish phenomenon.

Commentarium (20 Comments)

Jan 06 11 - 1:09pm
JJ

What a peaceful, torerant, progressive religion. No wonder we value the opinions of people who follow it equally with our own.

Jan 06 11 - 1:44pm
Deg

Oh yeah JJ, because all Muslims are the same, and progressive religious views are the measure by which foreign policy and racism are weighed. You, sir, are an idiot.

Jan 06 11 - 1:58pm
JJ

No, they're not all the same. I mean, it's not like they all live in rock and sand-strewn tribal regions, where they can enforce their own archaic, supersition-based laws. Some live in modern Western countries like England, where certainly some kind of barbaric 'honor killing' couldn't happ...oh, sorry, my bad.

Jan 06 11 - 2:04pm
JJ

To me, the world is divided into two groups: (1) people who have even the slightest tiniest hint of a feeling that it's in any way OK to kill someone for drawing/publishing a cartoon of their version of the magic flying spaghetti monster (or his chosen prophet), and (2) people who don't think that's OK at all. I only value the opinions of people in the second group.

Jan 06 11 - 2:11pm
Randlan

Doesn't matter if it's only some who act that way, Deg - Islam (and other cults, like scientology, mormonism, and christianity) can all be used as excuses to perform disgustingly terrible acts. The best way to deal with the irrationality of religion is to educate people, help them learn to think for themselves, and marginalize those with ridiculous "beliefs".

Jan 06 11 - 2:28pm
JJ

Which brings us back to my point--what exactly is the portion of the billion-plus adherents who DON'T have ridiculous beliefs that shape their interaction with others in a destructive way? Based on wold events, I'm thinking it's not too many. Although, I guess I'm leaving out that huge, moderate, vocal group who roundly condemn extremism. Oh right, that group doesn't exist, silly me!

Jan 06 11 - 3:00pm
G Unit

Islamic Extremist muggles are the worst.

Jan 06 11 - 3:16pm
mel gibson

Fuck it, this world it too populated as it is, let them kill each other.

Jan 06 11 - 3:47pm
maud

violent men who beats and kills their wives/sisters/etc. can be christian, atheist, or from any religion. I think they are just looking for an excuse (this time, it's religion) to live their violence.

Jan 06 11 - 4:32pm
Y Kill

Couldn't the brother at least have waited until his dad woke up & had his morning caffiene? What was the rush? What is a "slag" anyway?

Jan 06 11 - 5:23pm
profrobert

Two syllogisms for JJ: A: 1) Some Muslims believe killing someone who dates a non-Muslim is ok, therefore 2) all Muslims' opinions are less valuable than the opinions of people like me. B: 1) Some Catholic priests are pedophies, therefore 2) all Catholics' opinions are less valuable than the opinions of people like me. You've stated the former in those words; therefore, I assume you agree with the latter.

As for the "where are the Muslims denouncing this sort of thing" issue, try doing a bit of research before spewing ignorance out of your ass. Here's Google giving you 116,000 hits on Muslims Denounce Honor Killings.

Whether or not one is a good person is not dependent on what one believes about god(s). It depends on what acts those beliefs causes one to take. I deplore the behavior of this poor, young woman's family. I also deplore knee-jerk bigotry.

@Y Kill: A "slag" is, in this context, a slut or worthless trash. "Slag" literally is waste produced by the processing of metals.

Dec 22 11 - 5:23pm
Hickins

Oh super! Let's watch profrobert get pwned again like he did in the Atheist bus advertisement fiasco!

Jan 06 11 - 6:44pm
JJ

Profrobert, you've convinced me. I mean, how can I have generalied like that. I mean, it's not like there was jubilation and celebration throughout the muslim world after the 9-11 attacks. Now that would have been really bad. Oops, that's right--there was!

Jan 06 11 - 6:48pm
WTF?

profrobert, she's not poor. She's been in 4 HP films.

Jan 07 11 - 1:05am
Jess

Moderate/progressive Islam is on the rise and is gaining ground all the time, but pushing Muslims away and not accepting them into society is not going to help that progress.

Jan 07 11 - 6:35am
profrobert

@WTF?: "Poor" as in "sad," not as in "impoverished."

@JJ: Again, simply wrong. While there were a small number of Islamic Fascists who celebrated the 9/11 attacks, the vast majority denounced them and supported the United States at that time. Again try this: http://www.google.com/search?client=gmail&rls=gm&q=muslims%20denounce%20... for over eight million hits. It's actually attitudes like yours and the disasterous foreign policy of George W. Bush that turned the whole world's support (including that of most Muslim countries) into a contempt for America.

Dec 22 11 - 5:27pm
Canuck

profrobert, one might argue that it is the general American foreign policy since (perhaps even prior to WWII?) that has turned world support into contempt for America. I'm not saying that the USA is the eVil empire. Hey, you are my family and friends. But dude... honestly... your foreign policy has always sucked. And now it's come home to roost in spades. While I (and generally many) Canadians despise Bush, it wasn't just him or his administration. It's been going on for a long time. CAD$0.02

Jan 07 11 - 10:56am
JJ

Right, profrobert, the popular uprising and outcry was staggering and really touching. By the way, here's a video of some of those 'Islamic Facists' you were talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV_eN4YEEI0

Wow, I guess they must have gone home and changed quickly after their Islamic Facists meeting.

Jan 07 11 - 11:07am
FT

This is way old news...

Jan 08 11 - 8:00pm
MW

ProfRobert, you have to realize that JJ reasons by anecdote. He first decides what his views are, based on his own prejudices and fears, and then he cherry-picks evidence that supports those views. A video exists of "Muslims" (which if you told him were actually Wahabbist extremists would only confuse him) cheering 9-11; so therefore all Muslims are evil murderers who deserve whatever happens to them. Period.

In short, he knows you're wrong, FOX News told him so. You can't educate the willfully retarded.