Tuesday, December 21, 2010


"The proceedings have caused me no end of distress and if it goes ahead, it will make things much worse for me."

Afshan Azad
Remember Afshan Azad? She's the British actress who starred as Padma Patil in the Harry Potter movies, the daughter of a very strict Muslim family. She was having family troubles and ran away from home after being threatened, but later changed her story because she was worried about her father and brother.

The problem was that she had a boyfriend who was not Muslim, so her brother beat her and her father threatened her life, according to her initial testimony. Later, she claimed she may have misunderstood her father because of his accent (which she grew up around and was completely familiar with).

The brother was said to have hit her and called her a "slag" (slut, in British slang), then called upon their father to kill her. The Daily Mail reports:
Police were called and her father, Abul Azad, 54, and brother, Ashraf, 28, were arrested and charged with making threats to kill her. The actress’s brother was also charged with assault.

But Miss Azad refused to testify and yesterday failed to turn up at their trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Instead Crown prosecutors decided to accept a guilty plea to assault by her brother while both men were formally found not guilty of making threats to kill.
Ordinarily this is something that you could chalk up to an upset child or the heat of the moment anger, but given the very real and repeated problem of "honor" killings of girls for daring to dress improperly or date non Muslim men, the character of these accusations change.

She said that her father told the son he'd kill her so he wouldn't have blood on his hands. At another time, they threatened to take her to Bangladesh and force her into an arranged marriage to keep her in line as a Muslim woman.

The truth is, the only reason we hear about miss Azad is that she's been an actress in a Harry Potter movie. How many other girls are there like this who haven't got that clout or the money to protect themselves?

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