When is religion relevant?
Categories: Latest News
Friday March 07 2014
Farkhanda Younis, 30, also known as Jabeen, was found dead at her home of multiple stab wounds by her young son last April. Her 35 year old husband, Jahangir Nazar, has admitted manslaughter but denies murder claiming diminished responsibility with mental illness. Nazar and Younis were married in an Islamic ceremony, nikah, but were not registered as man and wife under civil law.
Opening the case for the prosecution, John Jones QC, described Nazar’s jealous and controlling nature as motive for the brutal attack. He told the court:
“It’s clear that Jabeen and the defendant had entirely different attitudes to life – it’s clear from others who witnessed the couple that the defendant was very possessive and very controlling of Jabeen.
“The end result was a significant attack by a man fearful of deportation, jealous of other men, and resentful of the promiscuity of his girlfriend.”
It is interesting to compare the headlines in the respective local and national papers:
The Manchester Evening News headline – ‘Jealous husband killed bride after she had ‘birthday sex’ with another man, court told’
The Oldham Chronicle headline – ‘Husband denies murder after knifing wife 19 times’
The Daily Mail headline – ‘Westernised Muslim wife was stabbed to death by husband after having affair’
The Daily Telegraph headline – ‘Jealous husband ‘killed Westernised Muslim wife after her birthday sex with another man’’
And the headline in The Mirror – Jealous husband killed ”promiscuous” Muslim bride after she had ‘birthday sex’ with another man’
It is noteworthy that the two local titles present the story as a case of domestic violence while the national titles all foreground the religious identity of the victim. Jabeen and Nazar may not have been common law man and wife, having wed in an Islamic ceremony only, but is their religious identity, ‘genuinely relevant to the story’ – the condition advanced by the Editors’ Code of Practice which stipulates that ‘details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story’.