Saturday, 17 March 2012

Multi-Culti anyone ?

Laura Wilson was just 17 years old — a happy but headstrong girl whose love story across the racial divide would have a tragic ending.
‘She was feisty — if she had anything to say she would speak out,’ her mother Margaret says, as she showed me a picture of a smiling, mischievous teenager.
Laura’s Asian boyfriend, Ashtiaq Ashgar, also 17, was born in Britain but when Laura challenged his family’s traditional cultural values by confronting them with details of their relationship, she had to be silenced.
One night in October 2010, Laura was lured to the banks of a canal in Rotherham in South Yorkshire, where Ashtiaq attacked her before throwing her into the water.
He was subsequently arrested and found guilty of Laura’s murder last June and sentenced to 17 years in prison.
So does this mean that Laura was the first white victim of an honour killing in Britain?
Margaret Wilson has never spoken publicly before, but she told me she is convinced her daughter was murdered because she challenged the code of honour which some ethnic communities still follow in the UK.
‘I honestly think it was an honour killing for putting shame on the family. They needed to shut Laura up and they did,’ she says.

In today’s multi-cultural Britain, the majority of young people from immigrant communities are well-integrated. Yet in many households, old traditions are still a powerful force.
In south Asian and Middle Eastern communities, controlling the behaviour of women is seen as key to the family’s honour.

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