Once again the media never dare speak its name; Islam.
UPDATE: As expected : Family members charged in Kingston canal deaths
UPDATE: La Presse is now reporting that the girls' father, mother, and brother have been arrested en route to Montreal Airport, and that the deceased "aunt" or (alternatively) "cousin" was, in fact, the girls' father's first wife. The words "crime d'honneur" are beginning to creep into newspaper accounts.
The police and the media have been very cagey about what appears to be the murder of four Muslim girls. Arrests made, but they can't comment further till tomorrow? What's up with that?
Police have been tight-lipped about submerged car probe (hat tip Armaros)
Zainab Shafi, 19, and her two sisters, 17-year-old Sahar and 13-year-old Geeti, were found inside a black Nissan Sentra submerged in water, near a Rideau Canal lock northeast of Kingston. Another 50-year-old family member, Rona Amir Mohammed, was also inside the car. It was not clear how the car ended up in the canal, as police could not find any obvious tire tracks to follow, and the vehicle would had to have passed through several barriers to make it into the water.
The teenagers' father, Mohammed Shafi, later told reporters that he believed his eldest daughter, Zainab, had taken the car out on a joyride.
He believed his daughters and their relative likely died as the result of a tragic accident.
Apparently not. Not if arrests have been made. The father was quick with an explanation, though.
One commenter noted, "may be interesting to some readers to know that the Lord Nelson Motel where the family (allegedly) took two rooms, is about a 15 minute walk from where the 4 women drowned. The family `survivors`` claimed to not know the name of the motel, paid in cash, had no receipt --- all this was on local Kingston news. The local paper also said the night clerk couldn't be located for comment. The motel operator said she was dismissed - suspected of pocketing cash payments - there was no record of the family staying at the motel... "
Also, it is interesting to note that a mother would throw her daughter the keys to a car when the girl had no license. And allow the teen to take her younger sisters with her? Does that not sound totally out of character for a parent?
Police have made arrests in connection with the mysterious deaths of three Montreal sisters and their older female relative, whose car was found in late June submerged in water near a Rideau Canal lock in Kingston, Ont., CBC News learned Wednesday.
Police said they will make a further announcement about the case at 2 p.m. ET Thursday at Kingston police headquarters. No further details have been released.
The mystery surrounding the puzzling deaths of three sisters from St. Léonard and their relative – whose bodies were discovered in a car submerged in the Rideau Canal near Kingston last month – deepened Wednesday as police announced the status of their investigation has changed.
While neither the Kingston nor the Montreal police would confirm reports that three people were arrested yesterday on their way to Trudeau airport, neighbours who spoke to The Gazette said investigators from both police forces spent several hours at the victim’s St. Léonard home Tuesday night.
Menor refused to provide any other details about the change in the investigation or comment on the reported arrests. While Kingston police have always referred to the deaths as suspicious, they initially described the case as a coroner’s investigation, leaving open the possibility the deaths were accidental.
That appears to have changed.
Roger Skinner, Regional Supervising Coroner for East Region, Kingston Office, would not comment on autopsies conducted on the bodies. He said he was unaware that Kingston police planned a news conference for today.
The bodies of the three sisters – Zainab Shafii, 19, Sahar Shafii, 17 and Geeti Shafii, 13 – and their relative Rona Amir Mohammed, 50, were discovered in the submerged car, near the Kingston Mills locks, on June 30.
Mohammed has been described in media reports as the sisters’ aunt. But the girls’ mother, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, told The Gazette Mohammed is her cousin. Kingston police have referred to Mohammed only as “a relative.”
This month, Yahya told The Gazette that she, her husband Mohammed Shafii, most of their seven children, and Mohammed were returning to Montreal after vacationing and visiting relatives in Niagara Falls. The family, travelling in two cars, stopped at a hotel late at night during the trip and, according to Yahya, her eldest daughter asked for the keys to their Nissan Altima. Yahya said she assumed her daughter wanted to practise driving and took the car without permission before it somehow ended up in the Rideau Canal.
The three sisters were all born in Kabul, Afghanistan. Their family moved to Dubai in the 1990s and to Canada two years ago.
No one answered the door at the Shafii home yesterday, and the blinds remained closed as journalists and camera crews gathered outside. A blue Pontiac minivan sat in the driveway outside the white duplex, but it was unclear whether it belonged to the Shafii family.
Neighbours said several vehicles from the Montreal police and police from Ontario spent a considerable amount of time at the victims’ home Tuesday night.
“(The police) were here for at least three hours. They arrived at 6 (p.m.) and must have left three hours later,” said Chantal Tremblay, who lives above the family in the duplex.
Another woman, who lives across the street, said she saw officers go into the house, then saw three men who had been inside emerge and wait on the lawn.
“It could have been the father and the brothers, I don’t know,” said the woman, who spoke on condition that her name not be used. “When the police cars drove away, the van in the driveway followed them. I don’t know who was in the van.”
The mom of the murdered girls.
UPDATE: News is leaking. Yes, an honor killing.
Police will hold a news conference in Kingston today but they likely won't reveal details that I have learned exclusively, including the allegation by relatives of victim Rona Amir Mohammed that it was an honour killing. The relatives also have told me that Rona Mohammed was the first wife of Mohammed Shafi, the father of the three teenage sisters found dead in the car, and she was not their aunt, as other family members claimed. The photo above, which was sent to Kingston Police, purports to show her marrying Shafi in Kabul, Afghanistan 30 years ago. The full story is here, or read it after the jump.
“We are convinced that this is a crime of honour,” Diba Masoomi told Kingston Police, in an email sent to the police chief’s office roughly two weeks ago.
The newspaper obtained a copy of the email from Masoomi, who lives in Niort, France. She claims she is the sister of Rona Amir Mohammed and she also offered the stunning allegation that the dead woman was the first wife of Mohammed Shafi, the father of the three dead girls. She provided photos that she claims show Shafi and Mohammed at their wedding in Afghanistan 30 years ago. The couple never divorced.
Masoomi said the marriage has been hidden since the family moved to Canada two years ago.
In interviews after the deaths, Shafi and the woman he presented as his only wife, Tooba Mohammed Yhaya, said Rona Mohammed was a cousin.
Ali Shafi, a 15-year-old brother of the dead girls, told the Whig-Standard in an interview July 8 that Rona Mohammed was his aunt.
“For some time, my sister, as well as the Shafi couple’s oldest daughter, Zainab, had been receiving death threats for social, cultural and family reasons,” Masoomi’s email to Kingston Police states.
In an interview through translation, Masoomi, who does not speak English or French, explained that Rona Mohammed has stayed in regular contact with relatives in Europe, and has told them she feared for her life.
“She was really afraid,” Masoomi told the Whig-Standard, through her daughter Elaha Masoomi. “There were death threats.”
Diba Masoomi said that Rona Mohammed married Shafi in Kabul, Afghanistan. When she could not have children, he took a second wife, a practice that is not uncommon in Afghani culture.
Shafi and his second wife had seven children.
Masoomi said her sister remained with the family and raised the children, even when they moved to Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, 17 years ago.
The Whig-Standard reached another relative of Rona Mohammed, sister Homa Kahoush, who lives in Sweden. She also does not speak English or French.
In an interview translated by her son, Naveed Mohammed, she also said that Rona Mohammed was Shafi’s first wife, a fact that was hidden by the family in Canada.
Kingston Police have refused to comment on any of the information.
The only turmoil the family displayed, according to Carpanzano, occurred about a month before the deaths at Kingston Mills when the oldest brother told him that his sister, 19-year-old Zainab, had left home suddenly.
“The older brother said, ‘We called the police because my sister, she ran away,’” recounted Carpanzano. “From what we heard it seemed she was going out with somebody the parents didn’t want and she ran away, defying her parents’ authority.”
He said the brother didn’t mention anything about her possibly having married.
“The only thing I know is he said she was seeing a guy but the family did not agree with that. The family didn’t say why,” said Carpanzano.