Rona, it turns out, was simply a convenient throw-in, the infertile first wife who died as she lived. “They committed treason from beginning to end,” Shafia declared, during another one of his intercepted rants.“They betrayed kindness, they betrayed Islam, they betrayed our religion and creed, they betrayed our tradition, they betrayed everything.” His daughters died because they were defiant and beautiful and had dreams of their own. But the two words at the heart of this sensational case—“honour killing”—do not tell the whole twisted tale. And it’s a story about a custom-built courtroom, where father, mother—but not son—took the stand to proclaim their innocence.Before they died, the Shafia sisters were caught in the ultimate culture clash, living in Canada but not allowed to be Canadian.They were expected to behave like good Muslim daughters, to wear the hijab and marry a fellow Afghan.“I had the monopoly on importing those.” Like many in Afghanistan, Shafia‘s first marriage was an arranged one.It was his mother who first spotted young Rona Amir, the pretty daughter of a retired army colonel.Detectives would later find a note she had scribbled to Sahar, full of hearts and red ink: “i Wi SH 2 GOD DAT Ti LL i M ALIVE I’LL NEVER SEE U SAD! Rona Amir Mohammad was slouched in the middle back seat, her soaked black hair rubbing against Sahar’s.
“It was only me,” Shafia told the jury, the pride still evident in his raspy voice.Geeti’s lifeless body was floating over the driver’s seat, one arm wrapped around the headrest, the window beside her wide open.Like Sahar—the big sister she idolized—Geeti had a navel ring underneath her brown shirt.And when they rebelled against their father’s “traditions” and “customs”—covertly at first, then for all the community to see—the shame became too much to bear.Only a mass execution (staged to look like a foolish wrong turn) could wash away the stain of their secret boyfriends and revealing clothes.
It took just 15 hours of deliberation for the jurors to reach their verdict.