Dorval stabbing ‘tragic accident,’ father proclaims
Believes his wife ‘has lost her mind’; denies it was an ‘honour’ crime
The stabbing of a 19-year-old girl who was attacked after coming home late on the weekend was a “tragic accident,” the girl’s father says.
“Please, help me -I just want my family to be back together,” a distraught Ebrahim Ebrahimi said during a telephone call from his Dorval home yesterday.
His daughter Bahar Ebrahimi was attacked with a kitchen knife early Sunday after she had stayed out all night.
Her mother, Johra Kaleki, 38, is facing charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a weapon. She has been sent to the Phillipe Pinel Institute in Montreal for a psychiatric evaluation to see whether she is fit to stand trial.
In a brief telephone interview with The Gazette, Ebrahimi said he was outside having a smoke “for just a minute” when the incident happened just after 8 a.m. Sunday.
The attack on his eldest daughter is being investigated as a possible “honour” crime -an act of violence committed by someone who aims to protect the reputation of his or her family.
But Ebrahimi has said he doesn’t believe honour was the issue. He told the National Post on Monday that he thinks his wife “has lost her mind.”
Speaking to The Gazette yesterday, Ebrahimi described his daughter as “a very nice girl” and said it was the first time she had come home so late.
“I am very glad that she is in one piece,” he said.
A Montreal psychiatrist who works extensively with immigrant families cautioned against labelling the case a crime of honour without knowing all the facts.
“Before thinking it is a cultural issue, we need to rule out that it is not simply a mental health issue,” said Cecile Rousseau. “Otherwise, we may make it an immigrant issue when, in fact, Quebec and Canadian parents lose it as well, and no one says it is because of their culture.”
Rousseau said she worries that the uproar over the case will have negative consequences for immigrants because “there is already huge discrimination toward Muslim immigrant families in Canada.
“Each time something happens, it is interpreted as proof that these people do not adjust, do not adapt or share our values,” she said.
Rousseau said immigrant children usually have fewer behavioural and emotional problems than children born in North America or Britain.
“Migrant families actually do a very good job with their kids,” she said.
Ebrahimi said he spoke to his injured daughter Monday night for 30 minutes on the telephone.
“She said: ‘I love you Dad,’ and said to take care of her mother.”
Ebrahimi said he still hadn’t seen his daughter as of yesterday morning, because he didn’t know what hospital she is in. He has since learned her location.
Since the stabbing, the family has been separated and could be apart until legal proceedings against the mother come to an end, which could take several months.
Ebrahimi’s three other children are in the custody of youth protection, his daughter is in a Montreal hospital and his wife will spend the next 30 days in a psychiatric hospi tal.