Sunday, March 22, 2015
Multicultural wife murderer
There seems to be a lot of that
A father-of-four brutally murdered his wife of 17 years in their kitchen before calmly heading off to work, a court heard.
Pharmacist Imran Sharif had dropped the couple's children at their schools before going home and slitting his wife Raheela Imran's throat.
Leaving her dead on the kitchen floor, the 'violent and dangerous' 44-year-old changed out of his bloodstained clothes and hid them under the driver's seat of his car.
He then stashed the murder weapon - which was never found - and went to work.
Paramedics were called to the end-of-terrace home in Hillersdon, Slough on the afternoon of October 20 after Raheela's brother made the gruesome discovery of her body.
He had gone round to the house after family members became concerned and found the front door ajar.
A post mortem examination found the mother-of-four died as a result of a wound to the neck.
Sharif was arrested later that day before being charged with murder on October 23.
He had originally denied killing his 45-year-old spouse, but later confessed to a friend and fellow prisoner while he was being held in custody at HMP Bullingdon.
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Lynch said: 'I am glad that Sharif has accepted responsibility for what he did and admitted that he took his wife's life.
'This has been an incredibly difficult time for Raheela's family and friends as they try to come to terms with their loss and although it may offer them little comfort, I hope that Sharif's guilty plea will be of some help as they begin to rebuild their family's lives.'
Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, said Raheela's life had been 'brought to a premature end.'
Mr Foster said: 'Having been charged with his wife's murder and while on remand at Bullingdon Prison, Sharif confided in another prisoner, who he had known for about 12 years and admitted killing his wife. 'He is clearly an extremely violent and dangerous man.
'This case represents a tragedy for the family of Raheela. Her children, family and friends have been devastated by her untimely death.
'We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.
'We know that nothing will bring Raheela back to her children, family and friends, but we hope that today's conviction brings them at least a small sense that justice has been done. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.'
Sharif pleaded guilty to the attack at Reading Crown Court, which happened on October 20 last year in Slough, Berkshire and was remanded for sentencing on May 5.
The family were originally from Pakistan but had lived in Slough for 12 years before the tragedy.
Daughter of lesbians opposes homosexual marriage
A WOMAN raised by two lesbians has come out against gay marriage and defended Dolce & Gabbana’s views on traditional families.
Heather Barwick’s mum left her father when her daughter was two or three and moved in with a woman she was in love with.
Barwick says her dad “wasn’t a great guy, and after her mum left him “he didn’t bother coming around anymore.”
While she says she feels very much like a “daughter of the gay community”, she says she has changed her view on gay marriage and doesn’t believe it should be allowed.
“I’m writing to you because I’m letting myself out of the closet: I don’t support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think. It’s not because you’re gay. I love you, so much. It’s because of the nature of the same-sex relationship itself,” she said.
“Same-sex marriage and parenting withholds either a mother or father from a child while telling him or her that it doesn’t matter. That it’s all the same. But it’s not.
A lot of us, a lot of your kids, are hurting. My father’s absence created a huge hole in me, and I ached every day for a dad. I loved my mum’s partner, but another mum could never have replaced the father I lost.”
“Growing up, and even into my 20s, I supported and advocated for gay marriage. It’s only with some time and distance from my childhood that I’m able to reflect on my experiences and recognise the long-term consequences that same-sex parenting had on me,” she said.
“It’s only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting.”
“I’m not gay, but the relationship that was modelled before me was a woman loving a woman. So I’ve struggled as an adult figuring out how to be in a relationship with my husband,” she said. “It really wasn’t until I came to Christ that I felt that burden lifted off of me. And I’m not bitter. I’m not angry,’ she said. ‘I forgive my dad.”
Barwick then pleads with the gay community not to misinterpret her opposition to gay parenting as homophobia.
“This isn’t about hate at all. I know you understand the pain of a label that doesn’t fit and the pain of a label that is used to malign or silence you. And I know that you really have been hated and that you really have been hurt. I was there, at the marches, when they held up signs that said, “God hates fags” and “AIDS cures homosexuality.”
I cried and turned hot with anger right there in the street with you. But that’s not me,” she said. “I know this is a hard conversation. But we need to talk about it. If anyone can talk about hard things, it’s us. You taught me that.”
Barwick has also signed a letter by a handful of children raised by gay and lesbian parents who have supported comments by designers Dolce & Gabbana where they espoused the need for “traditional families”.
“We want to thank you for giving voice to something that we learned by experience: Every human being has a mother and a father, and to cut either from a child’s life is to rob the child of dignity, humanity, and equality,” the six of them wrote. “You have given us great inspiration as all six of us prepare to submit letters to the US Supreme Court against gay marriage.”
Feminists, we need to talk about consent
Too many campaigners now treat women as the fairer, incapable sex
Last month, UK barrister David Osborne courted controversy by suggesting that men accused of rape should not be prosecuted if the woman in question was drunk. Osborne was subsequently invited on to ITV’s This Morning to debate the issue with Sunday Mirror editor, Alison Phillips. On the show he had a difficult time defending his somewhat backward views, which included the assertion that women send out the wrong signals by dressing provocatively.
Of course everybody took to Twitter to declare their self-righteous outrage at Osborne’s comments. Under the hashtag #debateconsent came boring truisms like: ‘Things that don’t cause rape: short skirts, alcohol, low-cut tops. Things that cause rape: Rapists. It’s quite simple.’ All of which is generally accepted by most people today. Contrary to the contemporary diktat of rape-culture-obsessed feminists, Osborne’s views are not popular.
However, as much as I fear the inevitable denunciations of ‘rape apologist’, I believe that there is an important debate to be had on consent. As a feminist, I believe that contemporary ideas around consent – that it must be enthusiastic or soberly given – are concerning.
Firstly, the thought of a potential lover persistently trying to gauge my level of enthusiasm (Are you sure? How about now? Is this okay? Can I get that in writing?) makes me never want to have sex again. But that’s just me.
The more important point I want to make here is that the idea that only a woman can be vulnerable in those situations is deeply troubling. Now I know, of course, that men are generally physically stronger than women, and that sometimes men coerce women into having sex with them through physical violence or through the threat of physical violence. That is rape.
However, the idea that a woman cannot be truly consenting if she is under the influence of alcohol, or if she is not showing adequate enthusiasm, implies that men are somehow mentally stronger than women; that they are more capable of controlling their inhibitions; that they are more capable of taking responsibility for their actions.
Take, for example, a situation where a woman (not necessarily me) is drinking alcohol at home with a male friend. The woman wakes up in bed with said male friend. All the signs indicate that they had sex, but she has no recollection of the event. She regrets it, mainly because she feels awkward – they are friends and there are other people involved who won’t be happy about the situation.
There is no way she would have had sex with him if there had been no alcohol involved. However, it quickly becomes obvious that the man in question also has little memory of the event. He, too, regrets it, for the same reasons. They both agree not to speak of it again and move on with their lives, remaining friends. It was essentially a non-incident.
Is the woman now to assume that she was raped because she was too inebriated to consent properly? Should this awkward memory, which she was quite happy to forget, be rewritten as a traumatic, life-defining event?
You can only answer yes to those questions if you believe that women have less self-control than men; that women cannot be expected to take responsibility for their actions, because only men can be responsible; that men have a duty to protect and look after women in that kind of situation. As a feminist, I firmly reject all of those beliefs.
Throughout history, the subjection of women has taken a unique and peculiar form. In the Victorian era, for instance, at the same time that women were being oppressed, they were also, in many ways, venerated. Women were denied many rights, but it was believed that they should be provided for and kept out of harm’s way. The reasoning behind this was that women were believed to be like children: not only are they physically weak but they also possess naive and vulnerable minds. Hence they were the fairer sex.
I see disturbing parallels between contemporary ideas around consent and the Victorian idea of a woman as somebody who needs to be wrapped up in cotton wool. Women are just as capable as men (or, if you like, men are just as incapable as women) of being able to consent to sex in any situation. If they are not, then perhaps they are not as capable as men in other regards, too.
Perhaps they shouldn’t be able to vote because they won’t be able to do so responsibly. Perhaps they shouldn’t be able to own property or even leave the house on their own and unprotected.
Unless feminists are willing to assert that women are just as much agents as men, then any argument for equality they wish to make stands on shaky ground.
Back to firing squads? Thank death-penalty foes
by Jeff Jacoby
FOR A NATION that almost never puts murderers to death — there were 14,196 homicides in 2013, but only 39 executions — Americans spend an awful lot of time debating whether and how to do it.
The Utah legislature last week passed a bill reinstating the firing squad to execute death row inmates, as a back-up in case lethal-injection drugs aren't available. It was in Utah five years ago that the last death by firing squad in the United States took place, when Ronnie Lee Gardner paid with his life for the courthouse murder of attorney Michael Burdell in 1985. Utah's governor hasn't said yet if he will sign the bill into law — but his isn't the only state grappling with the question of how capital punishment should be carried out.
In Wyoming, a proposal to restore the firing squad won initial approval earlier this year, though the state's legislative session expired before the law could be finalized. The Alabama House voted last week to revive the electric chair if lethal injection becomes untenable; in 2014, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a comparable measure passed overwhelmingly by lawmakers in Nashville. And in Oklahoma, the House and Senate have approved a return to the gas chamber, using inert nitrogen gas to induce death painlessly.
This quest for substitutes to lethal injection is the result of a determined campaign by death-penalty opponents to keep pharmaceutical companies from selling the drugs used in executions to state prison systems. But it's one thing, it turns out, to impede the use of a specific method of executing murderers — even a method that had widely been regarded as the most humane alternative to electrocution or hanging. It's something quite different, something much more difficult, to overturn the longstanding American consensus that in the most terrible cases of murder, killers should pay with their lives.
Until a few years ago, lethal injection had gained broad acceptance as the safest, least brutal means of putting a murderer to death. Of the 1,403 executions carried out in the United States since 1976, more than 85 percent were by this method. The standard injection protocol used sodium thiopental or pentobarbital, powerful barbiturates frequently used to put down suffering animals and in cases of assisted suicide.
But the last American manufacturer of the drug halted production in 2011, and a European embargo on exporting the needed drugs for use in executions made it impossible to get the drugs from overseas. Some states, forced to improvise as their inventory dwindled, turned to unnamed compounding pharmacies, or they formulated new and largely untested lethal-injection protocols. In some instances, such as the bungled execution of Oklahoma murderer-rapist Clayton Lockett last year, the results have been gruesome and disturbing.
Perversely, death-penalty foes have succeeded only in making lethal injections less safe. "In pushing for outright abolition of capital punishment, we have undermined the countervailing effort to make it as clean and painless as possible," acknowledged Boer Deng and Dahlia Lithwick in an essay in Slate shortly after the Lockett fiasco. The upshot: "What was, until pretty recently, a fairly standard national method of lethal injection has been driven underground and into the dark by efforts in both the United States and Europe to end capital punishment altogether."
If anything, the prospects for lethal injection are even dimmer now. Ohio has postponed all executions for the rest of the year, in order to give authorities time to find new drugs. Pennsylvania and South Carolina have depleted their supplies of pentobarbital, the primary lethal-injection drug. Even Texas, the state with the most experience in administering the death penalty, is about to run dry.
But while lethal injection may become unworkable, strong support for the death penalty endures.
Behind the legislation in Utah, Tennessee, Oklahoma and other states to authorize other execution methods as alternatives to lethal injection is not a primitive hankering to kill, but a civilized commitment to justice. However unfashionable it may be in some precincts to say so, most Americans intuitively understand that the death penalty is not only lawful but enlightened. Everyone knows that few murderers will ever face execution. But that no murderer should ever face execution? That would be intolerable.
Society's attitude toward evil is revealed in how it penalizes those who commit evil. For greater crime there must be greater punishment; with the very worst punishment, death, reserved for the very worst crime: cruel and premeditated murder. There are some offenses so monstrous that those who perpetrate them forfeit their right to live. Justice requires a death penalty, even if we must debate how best to carry it out.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.