In search of red flags in the Shafia case

rom Monday's Globe and Mail

Did Quebec’s social services fail the Shafia women? In hindsight, it’s easy to say yes. But the real question is whether, at the time, there was enough reason to remove the teenagers from their family.

Contrary to some press reports, there were no “repeated cries” for help. Over the course of two years, the Montreal child-protection system was called only twice. Each time, the social workers reacted promptly, but what they saw provided no sign there was a child at risk. The Shafia girls were well-dressed and healthy. They didn’t even wear veils. They hadn’t been molested. None of the signs associated with child abuse (alcohol, drugs, sexual promiscuity) were present.

Their basic complaint was that they were afraid of their father. But how many teenagers growing up in repressive households aren’t? Another complaint – that they didn’t have enough freedom – was again typical adolescent behaviour. And two of the girls recanted their accusations – again, typical behaviour from ambivalent immigrant kids caught in cultural and generational conflicts, torn between rebellion and submission, anger at and love for their parents.

Much has been said about the fact that, at the time, Quebec had no provincewide registry of the various agencies’ interventions. Would it have raised a red flag if the second team of social workers had known of an earlier intervention? This is far from certain; in Quebec at least, child protection agencies and the courts are extremely careful when it comes to removing a child from their natural environment. Breaking up a family and sending kids to foster homes can be much more damaging than keeping them in a dysfunctional household.

In any case, who could have foreseen that a father could coldly engineer the murder of three daughters? The only people who intuited that Mohammad Shafia might have criminal intentions were relatives of his first wife, Rona Amir, who had confided to her sister that she feared for her life, as well as relatives of his second wife, Tooba Yahya, who’d testified they’d heard him say that Zainab, the 19-year-old daughter, was a “slut” and that he wanted to kill her. They had personal contact with the family and knew about the oppressive atmosphere in the family home.

These people were from Afghanistan, and they knew about the “honour code.” But even they apparently couldn’t envision the monstrous scenario that would take place. A cousin of Zainab who lives in Montreal told the National Post that the worst he feared for her was that she would be forcibly sent to Dubai.

These relatives, even with their knowledge of Afghan culture, couldn’t really believe Mr. Shafia would act on his threats. But when they learned of the “accident,” they instantly knew something was wrong, and Rona Amir’s sister contacted police.

In the aftermath of the Shafia tragedy, the social agencies will undoubtedly refine their ways of dealing with communities whose cultures are steeped in medieval “honour codes,” but the people who can best prevent the repetition of such crimes are those who live within these communities: friends, relatives and community leaders.




Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre


SBowra said it very well, the primary cause in the "failure" of Quebec child services to spot the problem was because they "interviewed the children in front of the very people they feared".

It's not just Quebec, its across Canada that social workers interview the person supposedly the victim in front of the supposed abuser, and again with the very young children, they engage in interviews without any probability of success. They write what they see, if a child is told by a controlling parent to make statements, the child will make those statements and more often than not, the allegations are false.

There is a country wide failure on the part of social workers to understand the fact that a dysfunctional abusive psychopath or sociopath parent can appear to be perfectly normal.

They can have a spotlessly clean house, the kids will be perfectly groomed and red rosy cheeks indicating that they are well fed but behind the scenes, the same parent can be a monster from hell, yelling and screaming in the kids ears, ruling a reign of terror that means the child/ren will do what ever it takes to keep that parent happy.

They grow up in lives of sheer terror and eventually become as dysfunctional as the controlling abusive parent who may never leave a visible bruise and the social workers have not got a clue on how to recognize the symptoms of a child or spouse who is psychologically abused with endless put downs, derogatory comments, verbal abuse, sadistic button pushing, sleep deprivation and all the other forms of torture a parent can use and which MOST social workers are incapable of comprehending often because they themselves are dysfunctional personalities with personality disorders, pathological hatred etc.

The Sharia case should be an opportunity for Canadians to understand that in Canada we have MALE SHARIA LAW, it means that children and fathers in Canada have next to no legal rights.

Our government addresses the declining birth rate by raising the age of retirement while failing to understand the primary causes of that declining birth rate. Its because men are afraid of becoming parents, because as parents, fathers effectively have NO legal rights.

Men, males are second class human beings and cannot seek justice from the Corrupt Cess Pool of injustice called Family Court where the hatred towards men literally oozes out of the walls.

Male Sharia Law has progressively gotten worse and its getting worse every day with judges being brainwashed to regard fathers as unequal parents who are good for nothing except fertilization of eggs and paying support.

That's Canada for you, a third world country with Male Sharia Law thanks to our man hating judiciary and a government to gutless to say no to the demands of extreme man hating feminists whose mission in life is the promotion of hatred towards fathers.