Man beats wife to death over arranged marriage

Published: October 4, 2010
The father threw his wife to the ground and beat her with a brick while the brother attacked his sister.

The father threw his wife to the ground and beat her with a brick while the brother attacked his sister.

ROME: A Pakistani woman died in Italy after her husband beat her with a brick for opposing the arranged marriage of her daughter, triggering a wave of outrage among Italian politicians on Monday.

The daughter, 20-year-old Nosheen Butt, was hospitalised with a cranial traumatism and a broken arm after her 19-year-old brother beat her with a stick in the courtyard of their building in Novi, near the northern city of Modena.

According to Modena prosecutors’ initial findings, the father Ahmad Khan Butt, a 53-year-old construction worker, threw his wife to the ground and beat her with a brick while the brother Umair attacked his sister.

“The victim did not want her daughter to have an unhappy relationship like the one that had been forced on her,” said deputy Modena prosecutor Lucia Musti, who is in charge of the investigation.

“The mother and the daughter were on the same side and this could be called a ‘cultural’ homicide because in addition to domestic violence there is the issue of the traditions that may have motivated the crime,” Musti said.

The family’s three other children have been taken in by Italian social services.

The Italian political class reacted with indignation at the incident which was highly similar to the cases of a girl of Pakistani origin in 2006 and a Moroccan girl in 2009 who wanted to lead Western lives with Italian boyfriends.

Livia Turco, a senior politician in the Democrats of the Left main opposition party, condemned “arranged marriages and violence against women” on the pretext of “ethnic traditions” that she blasted as “medieval practices.”

Politician Isabella Bertolini in Italy’s main conservative party said that the deceased woman, Beghm Shnez, was a “martyr for freedom, a victim of obscurantism and Islamic fundamentalism”.

She said that the father had been in Italy less that 10 years and was the owner of the local mosque.

Conservative lawmaker Souad Sbai of Moroccan origin said that such “intolerable barbarism” was the “result of failed integration” of the father and brother into Italian society.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Oct 4, 2010 - 10:50PM

    And then we wonder why the Western world treats us with such disdain.Recommend

  • Faiz Hanif
    Oct 4, 2010 - 11:17PM

    I agree with Hamza. We are very quick to say foreign conspiracy for everything that happens but never look at ourselves and see what we can change to make us more respected. I am against capital punishment but if someone deserves this, is this guy and his son. Recommend

  • Chairman of the Bored
    Oct 4, 2010 - 11:21PM

    The image with this article is in seriously poor taste.Recommend

  • Shairose Ukanji
    Oct 4, 2010 - 11:30PM

    And then we wonder and raise questions upon others’ ideologies! Where did ours go? Is this it?Recommend

  • Hafsa Zubair
    Oct 4, 2010 - 11:32PM

    “The father was the owner of the local mosque” Shame and horror. Thanks Hamza, you took the words right out of my mouth.Recommend

  • Ghausia
    Oct 4, 2010 - 11:42PM

    Charming. Recommend

  • sana
    Oct 4, 2010 - 11:59PM

    why our ppl cant understand instead of this they just starting to beat or show their so call power, might they think that this is the best way to solve the prob bt truth is that this shows that they are animal :\Recommend

  • Aamir
    Oct 5, 2010 - 1:23AM

    Shame on such people who commit these sort of acts but I’m confused about the statement made by Bertolini, Islam has nothing to do with this incident, she needs to study Islam because Islam does not allow Muslims to force their daughters for arranged marriage.

    It is a custom which we (Pakistanis) adopted from Hindu culture.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahmed Siddiqui
    Oct 5, 2010 - 1:28AM

    If the father and the brother did not like the western culture which truly speaking directly clashes with Islamic value, then they should have moved out of Italy and come back to Pakistan. A small price to pay for eternal life.

    No where does Islam allows beating of wife, let alone murder. If he was so concerned, then he should have divorced her and went his own way. Allah wont have asked anything about her wife then. That is if he was concerned about the day of judgement

    What he did was due to his ego and everything else unrelated to Islam and will be held accountable by Allah. He did give the western media and other people without little knowledge about Islam, the chance to malign this religion again with this deeply divisive and incorrect terminologies of fundamental vs. moderate vs liberal Islam. If someone crashes a Mercedes, you wont blame it right? There is nothing such as fundamental Islam, moderate Islam or liberal Islam. Islam is straight, black and white as mentioned in the Quran and Hadees. Either you practice Islam, either you do not practice Islam or you partially practice it. If someone is wrong, then you cannot say he is a fundamentalist. Because there are many correct practices in Islam, which the westerners and the so called liberals call fundamentalism. Recommend

  • nina
    Oct 5, 2010 - 2:22AM

    Isabella Bertolini states that the wife was a”…..victim of obscurantism and Islamic fundamentalism”. Can anyone tell me why do the westerners grab any chance at portraying Islam in a bad light? Did the prophet of Islam (pbuh) promote this kind of treatment towards women? But rather he stated that the best amongst you is one who is best to his wife. Men need to be enlightened in regards to women’s rights in Islam. A lot of men would benefit from anger management courses.Recommend

  • Hassan
    Oct 5, 2010 - 2:26AM

    Village mentatility in the western world, really need to leave that small mind at whicever airport you leave from in Pakistan. Shameful case.Recommend

  • Trainwreck 404
    Oct 5, 2010 - 4:16AM

    The father is nothing more than a coward, The son is just like the father, just a coward. . Disgusting. They act like animals.Recommend

  • Bilal
    Oct 5, 2010 - 9:25AM

    For the love of God. Get a better picture. this is ridiculous!Recommend

  • Khadija Masood
    Oct 5, 2010 - 9:49AM

    Disturbing image.Recommend

  • kashmiri
    Oct 5, 2010 - 9:58AM

    pakistanies are filth where ever they it rome or commonwealth gamesRecommend

  • ayesha
    Oct 5, 2010 - 10:07AM

    @aamir- you cannot blame it on any particular culture…we have to accept and stand up for our acts. Beating and torturing girls is a very COMMON habit in our society, no matter where we adopted it from, and worse is that people (including us) do this in the name of Allah, in the name of Islam!Recommend

  • AA
    Oct 5, 2010 - 4:41PM

    Why Islamic Fundamentalism is being dragged in this matter…..Recommend

  • Taimoor Salman Zahid
    Oct 5, 2010 - 4:50PM

    It is utterly horrible to think that the father would have done this, I can;t think of a strong enough reason for two men to viciously attack a women, let alone one of their family members.

    Yet I think it is extremely narrow-minded and rash to accuse the Pakistani culture for this act. Saying so festers the poison that is racism and prejudice. One instance of domestic violence does not make us all violent murderers of our kin and the fact that it is believed so must be changed.Recommend

  • Trainwreck 404
    Oct 5, 2010 - 11:55PM

    Taimoor Zahid: OK, how many Christian families kill their wives or daughters?? Or how about Buddhists? Or Jews?? Or Taoists?? Or atheists?? When it comes to Muslims, there are THOUSANDS of women around the world brutalized by male relatives.Recommend

  • Taimoor Salman Zahid
    Oct 6, 2010 - 2:12AM

    trainwreck404: Just like I said above, Prejudice. Think clearer and more broad-minded without aiming cheap shots at others beliefs.Recommend

  • Salim Ansari
    Oct 6, 2010 - 2:44AM

    @Aamir : “It is a custom which we (Pakistanis) adopted from Hindu culture.”

    Ah !! We must somehow connect everything to the Hindus.

    Have you come across similar news about Indians/Hindus killing their daughters in such a vile manner in Europe/America ? Hindus have done exceedingly well for themselves wherever they have gone and are often touted as role models for immigrants.

    Perhaps we should imbibe the good aspects of our original culture ? ( We are not Arabs/Persians are we ? )Recommend

  • Salim Ansari
    Oct 6, 2010 - 2:51AM

    @Siddiqui – ” … No where does Islam allows beating of wife, let alone murder. ”

    Saudi clerics have gone on record as saying that beating of a wife is allowed in Islam. Recommend

  • Basit
    Oct 6, 2010 - 2:35PM

    Its an individual act.. one of the worst… nothin to do with religion.
    be careful about what you do and what you say…

    *deeply sad about such incidents… which are common in pakistan :(Recommend

  • SSA
    Oct 6, 2010 - 10:28PM

    For those ostriches who keep going on and on about how this is an ‘individual’ act there is a dire need of being slapped back to reality. This kind of behavior is the NORM in not only Pakistan, but most of the Muslim world. I remember how an Iraqi father in england mercilessly killed his daughter with the help of his sons because she wanted to get married by her choice. Google it and try to DO something about it rather than comfortably deeming these deeply-rooted cultural diseases individual acts of people. This sickening concept of forced marriages/opposition of adults marrying by choice has systematically been propagated as part and parcel of the Islamic tradition by the clergy for centuries now. You think such indoctrination would not manifest its growth in acts of utter barbarism? True Talibanization is that of the mind, my dear fellows. End of. Recommend

  • Oct 10, 2010 - 6:00AM

    The Italian lawyer should have been more informed and refrained from associating violence against the woman with Islam. Islam does not say that the women should be beaten up. This is not even cultural! This is based on individuals own selves. No doubt domestic violence takes place in many homes in pakistan but it takes place in many homes in UK, USA, Africa and so many other countries. So you cannot call it cultural. But yes, you can call this act an act of deranged minds.
    Unfortunately our country is in the eye of the storm and even if we sneeze loudly, though many do it too, the ears of the world stand up and it seems all the faults found in this world are in Pakistanis. Another reason is because of the way Pakistanis carry themselves when they go abroad. Look at how our cricketers behaved recently, the forced marriages issue, honour killings and other such acts. Anything done at home is private and does not affect one’s reputation outside, but anything that is done outside or abroad, be it good or bad, leaves an everlasting impact on the minds of foreigners.
    Beating up of the opposite sex has been adopted from those who embraced Islam centuries ago such as Zoroastrians, Christians and from the Hindus in India with whom the Muslims lived for centuries. The marriage of girls to Bible is a Christian act that the Muslims liked and copied to marry their daughters to the Quran and keep property within the family. The women have to stand up to defend themselves-no one else would.Recommend

  • Nisha
    Oct 19, 2010 - 4:07AM

    when you does go pray 5 times a day you does thing about allah & you should thing about him all the time when the moment you should going to do that evil things with that lady you should think about allah & do the right thing do not kill any 1..she family hurt badly…somebody should do him that then they gonna see hw they family gonna feel the pain of lost 1 most of this muslim man doing this to they wife kill them or badly beat up them…for me if any man should put them hand on meeee they gonna lost them hand….my brother or father will take them down to they drain….& who ever read this mail treat every 1 right & if you think you are pray 5 times a day must prove if……have a bless 1 Recommend

  • Lost in Translation
    Oct 22, 2010 - 3:46PM

    its a case of Cultural Fundamentalism/Arrogance – it has nothing to do with Religion as made out to be. Recommend

  • Moazzam Ewing
    Nov 4, 2010 - 7:21PM

    It does not surprise me that the man was Pakistani. Why is that? What is wrong in the society and culture of our country that produces this kind of thing? Recommend

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