and so it is. Like Freud’s Totem and Taboo, we have an ape man living in groups dominated by an all powerful father who kept all women for his own exclusive sexual use and abuse. Unlimited, buffet style access to incestuous enjoyment 7/24, religious obligation not withstanding. It is the psychic reality of normal paternal authority propagating, even blooming like a hot house flower in the dark underground of unconscious fantasies. Freud once remarked that perverts realize only what hysterics fantasize about.
The Shafia case lends itself too predictably to cultural relativism, a gender gap of moral differences, but the familial architectural arrangement may be extreme, but lends itself to a almost universal leverage of male patriarchy to which Western culture is complicit through a variety of mechanisms requiring it to pitch a Shafia into the pyre as sacrifice from time to time to keep up appearances. Ostensibly, the Shafias were a “normal” family, well dressed, affluent, yet the interior workings revealed an underground of total domination, a utopian private paradise for male expression of its own sense of self-worth and also torch bearers for an ideological-libidinal fantasy.
Like the Josef Fritzl case in Austria, there was an ideological familial justification of protecting children from the outside world and killing them was the ultimate protective attitude that made him imprison them first, and perhaps sexually violate them.
…Three members of an Afghanistan-born Montreal family were defiant Sunday in the face of life in prison and harsh condemnation for the murders of three daughters and a co-wife apparently motivated by what the judge called their “twisted concept of honour.”
A jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58, his wife Tooba Yahya, 42, and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a so-called mass honour killing that has captivated Canadians from coast to coast, and touched off post-911 criticism of Muslim culture….
…The three immediately pronounced the verdicts as unjust, but the judge was unmoved, cutting right to the core of the cultural cloud that hung over this case.
“It is difficult to conceive of a more heinous, more despicable, more honourless crime,” Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger said.
“The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honour…that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.”
The trial heard evidence over many weeks about the bizarre divide in the Shafia family, in which the patriarch struck fear in the hearts of some of his children, though often being away on business Hamed acted as the surrogate disciplinarian. The three murdered daughters thumbed their noses at the family rules. The children they did not kill were the ones ratting out their sisters to their parents for bad behaviour, court heard….
…It was notions of honour, directly tied to women’s sexuality and general control over their behaviour, that led the Shafias to kill, court heard, in an effort to cleanse them of the shame they perceived their daughters to have brought upon them.Read More:http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/01/29/shafia-trial-verdict-honour-killing-guilty_n_1228859.html
Salutin: It makes me wonder if the “unitary” approach of fiction or drama might not be a better way to examine cases like this than the compartmentalizing bent of experts and pundits. I recently saw David Cronenberg’s film on Freud and Jung, A Dangerous Method. It deals with the primitive impulses that permeated relations even among those towering, sophisticated intellects: rage, envy, lust. (Was sex involved in the Shafia case? Think of his astounding statement that “every night I used to think of myself as a cuckold,” about his daughter. Analyze that.)…
…They had an acute sense of the violent forces lurking just beneath the surface, not only in their patients but in themselves. Pretending this chaos and risk is generally absent and only out of control among a few extreme and foreign “others” is delusional and dangerous. We’re all in similar boats and we all have things to learn, not just teach, from harrowing cases like this one. Read More:http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1125604–learning-from-the-shafia-catastrophea