On Sunday, Chaudhry Rashid, the 54-year-old owner of a pizza parlor outside Atlanta, was accused of strangling his 25-year-old daughter, Sandeela Kanwal, because she filed for divorce to end her marriage. While authorities claim that Kanwal had an arranged marriage from which she was escaping, Rashid's lawyer, Tammi Long, tells the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "I don't know anything about an arranged marriage…I am not positive that is a factor in this case." Rashid, for his part, claims innocence and purports to be crushed by his daughter's death, though all evidence in Kanwal's death points to him.
We blog about stories involving domestic violence against women all the time, but it's worthwhile to point out the way in which stories about immigrants, specifically Muslim immigrants, are covered in a different way. An Atlanta Journal Constitution story from Tuesday notes that Mr. Rashid, a Pakistani native, "told the judge he wanted to observe his Muslim beliefs in the Clayton jail. He wants to follow a diet that forbids the consumption of pork in any form and requires other meats are prepared according to Islamic rules." Question: Is it customary for articles about alleged murderers to discuss their jail house dietary needs? Are reporters, consciously or unconsciously, trying to cast Rashid as the "other" when all that really matters is that a young woman is dead?
Dad Charged With Murder In Bride's 'Honor Killing' [CNN]
I'm Innocent, Says Man Held In Daughter's Death [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
Father Accused Of Strangling Daughter Over Marital Dispute [Atlanta Journal Constitution]