Saturday, August 20, 2011
Pakistani marital violence in America
The tragic Muslim mother-of-two who was fatally shot on a New Jersey street was acquainted with the woman hired by her husband to kill her. The sister of slain 27-year-old Nazish Noorani says that she met her husband, Kashif Parvaiz's mistress, Antoinette Stephen, during an earlier trip to Boston, Massachusetts. Lubna Choudry accused her brother-in-law of flaunting the extra-marital affair, going so far as to introduce Stephen as his fiancée to get a discount at a Boston Best Buy, where the hit-woman worked. Parvaiz and 26-year-old Stephen of Billerica, Massachusetts, both face charges of murder, conspiracy and weapons offenses for the shooting. Parvaiz also faces child-endangerment charges. The married couple were walking with their three-year-old son in Boonton, New Jersey to Choudry's home three blocks away when shots rang out. Noorani was hit near her heart. Parvaiz was shot in the ankle and shoulder, sustaining superficial wounds. The child was not injured. The couple's five-year-old son was with family members inside the house. Parvaiz initially told police his family had been attacked by a group of men who called them terrorists, authorities said, but Stephen and Parvaiz exchanged text messages in the days leading up to the shooting, according to an arrest affidavit released by the Morris County prosecutor's office. Texts from Stephen's number describe driving around the neighbourhood to see how far away the nearest police station was. Parvaiz, who has been in the hospital, was charged after admitting that he was involved in the killing. He is being held on $1 million bail. Stephen was arrested in Massachusetts and arraigned on a fugitive-from-justice charge. She is being held without bail at a women's prison there. Parvaiz's accounts of the attack were inconsistent and immediately raised suspicions, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi. He told investigators that the couple was attacked by a combination of black and white males who shouted ethnic slurs, authorities said. In his initial story, the group shouted something about the family being terrorists, authorities said. But within hours, Bianchi said that it was obvious to investigators that this was the handy work of the victim's husband who did the unthinkable and plotted to murder his wife. Parvaiz conspired with Stephen to have his wife killed because she had dared to speak negatively about his family. The woman was buried after services at an Islamic center in Boonton, a small town about 25 miles west of New York with a large Pakistani population. She was a native of Karachi, Pakistan. Relatives had earlier spoken of the Muslim couple's violent arranged marriage, marred by infidelity and lies. Noorani lived in fear of her abusive husband as their marriage crumbled and chillingly foretold of her fate to her brother. The young Muslim woman married Parvaiz despite a background check run by her family, which revealed that he had lied in the past about graduating from two schools: Brooklyn Polytechnic and New York University. He has also claimed to have attended Ivy League Harvard and Columbia, but neither have records of him signing up.