Too Westernized

Carneze Riaz and 3 of her 4 daughters

November 1, 2006

Lancashire, England

Carneze Riaz, 39, had become too independent to suit her largely non-English speaking and dependent Pakistani husband, Mohammed Riaz, 47. Upon returning to England after 15 years in Pakistan, where four of their five children were born, Mohammed worked at minial jobs to support his family while resenting his wife’s ever growing independence and involvement in the community.

Their only son, Adam, had been hospitalized months before in the last stages of childhood leukemia. His mother and sisters found time daily to visit him, to make him laugh, and to reassure him. He was proud of them. His eldest sister, Sayrah, 16, wanted to be a fashion designer. His other sisters — Sophia, 13, Alisha, 10, and baby Hannah, 3, were just as independent and walking in their mother’s outgoing footsteps.

Carneze Riaz, 39, torched to death with daughters

This adamant career intent of Sayrah infuriated her father who wanted an arranged marriage for her, as should have already been done — and would have been had they not left Pakistan. So should it have been done for Sophia. She was in her womanhood now, ready for marriage and children. So, too, would be Alisha. No amount of talk got through to his wife or daughters on their Western ideas and practices, of their turning away from the customs of his people (not his wife’s) and the laws of wives and daughters. He was livid, becoming more and more withdrawn.

Mohammed Riaz found little time to visit his son in the hospital nor did he wish to discuss his only son’s illness or treatment. He was livid that Allah had only blessed him with one son and now that son was dying and the rest of his family was turning away from the ways that were right. In his mind, this cursed illness killing his son was punishment and the only sin Mohammed had committed was in marrying a Western woman who was now turning his daughters into Westerners (in Islam, the word ‘Westerner’ is more of a terminology, and assuredly a curse when spoken by them. The word means, “The dead.”) who refused to listen to reason and custom.

This could not go on. Carnez was shaming him within his family at home and within the Islamic community where they lived. In addition, she had met another man. No matter what either of them said, he knew she was having an affair with this man, shaming him even more and now in the eyes of God also. This unfaithfulness also set a bad example for his daughters who already becoming Western ‘whores’ in his eyes.

Something had to be done.

On November 1, 2006, Mohammed made the decision what had to be done. After insuring his daughters and wife were in bed, Mohammed poured gasoline throughout his home and set it aflame. He had place extra cans of gasoline next to his wife’s bed to make certain she perished, even if his daughters managed to survive. None did. All five women died in the housefire. Mohammed died two weeks later.

Their son, Adam, grief-stricken beyond bearing, died six weeks later of leukemia, and the heart-breaking grief that he felt over the loss of his mother and sisters, whom he had just seen that day for the last time. They were his one hope, his hold on life even though he had known for months he would never leave the hospital this time.

Dad is in Hell. Mom and her children are with God.

Another trial by fire in the Nations of Islam

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