Hubby disguised himself in burka for honour killing
By Sam Pazzano ,Toronto Sun
TORONTO - A Muslim man wore a traditional woman’s burka and female shoes before he strangled his estranged wife in the company of their toddler son.
Abdul Malik Rustam admitted he donned the headdress — which disguised his face — and wedge shoes when he killed his wife, Shaher Bano Shahdady, after she asked for a divorce.
Rustam, now 30, pleaded guilty on Valentine’s Day to second-degree murder in the July 22, 2011, slaying. He will be sentenced Thursday by Justice John McMahon.
Shahdady fought for her life, leaving scratch marks on his face and neck and keeping his DNA underneath her fingernails, court heard. On the day of the murder, Rustam confessed to his brother he “finished her by the throat.”
She had lived apart from her older, jealous husband for almost two years — using a cellphone and the Internet and expanding her social network while raising their son.
When Rustam rejoined his wife and child in Canada in March 2011, tensions flared as he objected to her having a “cellphone and an online friendship with another man” in Dubai, Crown attorney Joseph Hanna said in reading an agreed statement of fact.
Within days, the acrimony rose to the point that Rustam was asked to leave the Bush Dr. home and move in with his brother in Richmond Hill, Hanna said.
In May 2011, the victim’s father returned to Canada and convinced Rustam to reunite with his wife in her parents’ home. But his wife refused to surrender her cellphone and the tensions flared again.
She then moved out from her parents’ home in early July while Rustam stayed. She broke the news to Rustam that their marriage was over.
The killing occurred only two weeks after the 21-year-old woman received social assistance and moved into an apartment at 3131 Eglinton Ave. E.
Shahdady, who emigrated from Pakistan to Canada with her family when she was a year old, returned to her homeland when she was 12 or 13.
Rustam and Shahdady were wed in an arranged marriage in their native Pakistan in 2008 when she was 17 or 18 and he was 25.
She was soon pregnant, but her family urged her to give birth in Canada. Rustam, who wasn’t a Canadian citizen, stayed in Pakistan.
Their son was born in late August 2009, but due to medical reasons the mother and baby remained in Canada while Rustam and Shahdady “had begun to drift apart,” Hanna said.
The boy now lives with his maternal grandparents.
The burka-clad Rustam, carrying gloves on a hot July day, manipulated the security camera so it couldn’t monitor his wife’s doorway as he entered shortly after 1 a.m.
Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said the murder is an honour killing that raises two disturbing issues for him.
“This attire has become an attire of choice for various crimes, terrorists, and now this is the first time the burka has been used as an instrument to a murder,” Fatah said. “The burka is protected under the guise of religious freedom.”
He added that the burka enabled the killer “to gain access into the home.
“Had it not been for the burka, she would not have let him gain entry at 1 in the morning and would still be alive today,” he said.
“It follows the whole question of arranged marriages, for girls born or raised over here, to men overseas who simply cannot visualize or imagine their wives having professional relationships with any man,” Fatah said