© Sean Kilpatrick/ CP Photo
The appalling tragedy that saw four women killed by three members of their own family - they were found guilty yesterday - has nothing to do with Muslims and everything to do with patriarchal power.
So let's ditch the term honour killings and call the murders a multiple femicide, caused by a man who believed he had the right to total control over the women in his family and over his son, whom he groomed to commit murder.
Religion is a non-issue, especially in this case. The family was not the devout kind that prays three times a day, and honour killings are not prescribed by the Qu'ran
Let's also stop assuming that woman abuse happens only in immigrant families. Yes, there is more violence in families with conservative values and it's true that culture clash creates specific problems within households where teens, anxious to conform to western values, come into conflict with their parents.
But it's the fact these women live in closed communities that makes them easier targets. Isolation and ignorance of the services that could support them, are what makes these women easy targets and why, by the way, abused white women in small towns are just as vulnerable as women from other cultures.
Beware of those people who argue that the way to avoid this kind of violence is to limit immigration, or to grant immigration status only to those who agree to conform to Canadian standards - of dress and behaviour.
Forcing women to discard the hijab, for example - which, by the way, is not required by the Qu'ran - only drives them back into their own communities and isolates them further. Curtailing immigration only makes women sitting ducks in their countries of origin.
Support these women by granting their families status in Canada and making sure that there are ample support systems - the kind our mayor suggested we scrap - available to them so that if the Shafia-like situation happens, they have recourse.
We can end woman abuse by continuing public discussion about the way sex roles perpetuate the phenomenon, by making it a topic for discussion in our school system, by urging women and men to step in when they suspect abuse and by strengthening the institutions that shelter women and offer public education on the subject.
Promoting hate against other cultures under the guise of wanting to end violence against women can lead to only more tragedy.