A Burka Murder in Toronto that no Canadian Newspaper wanted to Report

Canadian Bano Shahdady dumped her Burka and her Pakistani Husband. He came back disguised in her Burka, and killed her


March 7, 2014

By John Goddard

TORONTO—When her baby got a heart transplant at Sick Children’s Hospital, Bano Shahdady threw away her burqa.

At twenty years old, after years of religious training, she also decided to return to public high school. With help from her son’s doctors and a social worker, she arranged to rent an apartment to leave her parents and husband.

It was there, two weeks after she moved in, that police found her strangled to death, her son left alone with the body for 15 hours, murdered by a man hiding his identity behind a burka.

On Wednesday, the husband Abdul Malik Rustam was sentenced to life in prison for the murder with no chance of parole for 17 years.

“A woman has an absolute right to end any relationship,” Judge John McMahon of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice told the court. He said that Rustam planned the attack, disguised himself in a burqa to gain access to the apartment, and justified his actions to police. The judge also said that the victim’s father forgave Rustam and pleaded for mercy in court on his behalf, without once mentioning the loss of his daughter.

Honour Killing

The facts, as the judge outlined them, pointed to an “honour killing,” a crime distinct from other murders because its motive is to cleanse perceived family dishonour caused by a wife’s or daughter’s behaviour. “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate… ‘honour killings,’” says the federal Discover Canada guide issued to new immigrants.

But the judge never said the two key words.

“Man gets life sentence for murdering wife,” read the Toronto Star’s headline, relegating the crime to a domestic abuse case.

The Toronto Sun went with, “Man who wore ‘burka’ sentenced in estranged wife’s killing.” Not a single other Canadian news outlet reported the story.

Bano Shahdady deserves better. Not only did she fight her attacker — by clawing at him and surviving his strangulation attempts for a full 30 minutes — but she also fought the Islamist social ideology that had kept her a vassal in her own home.

This is the story nobody else will tell.

Eleven days after Bano’s death in July 2011, a relative and a family friend, both of them men, spent two hours telling it to me. Both asked that their names not be used, saying that they could not officially speak for the family. Further information comes from an “agreed statement of facts” that Judge McMahon read aloud at the sentencing.

When she was 18 months old, Bano came to Toronto from Pakistan with her parents, the relative said. They settled in Scarborough, where her father joined the Islamist movement Tabligi Jamaat, meaning “Proselytizing Group.” He took a religious title, calling himself Mullah Abdul Ghafoor.

Harry Potter

“She was very bright,” the relative said of Bano. “I remember her reading a thick Harry Potter book. She said, ‘Go to any page and read the first two sentences and I will tell you the rest.’ I thought she was bluffing. I went to page 20 and read the first two lines, and she told me the rest.”

When Bano was 13 or 14, her father pulled her out of her Canadian school and enrolled her in a Muslim religious school in Karachi, Pakistan. When she turned 17, he arranged for her to marry her first cousin, an illiterate tailor, who was 25. Almost right away, Bano got pregnant and quit school. She returned to Canada to have the baby at a Canadian hospital.

“When she came back she was completely indoctrinated and completely covered,” the relative said. “You could not see her face. She wasn’t allowed to talk.”

Heart transplant

In August 2009 Bano’s son was born with a heart defect and a few months later underwent a transplant.

“It was very emotional,” the relative recalled. “We were all waiting in the waiting room when the doctor said the heart was coming. The government sent a plane to Arizona, got the heart, returned to Pearson, and a helicopter was bringing it to Sick Kids’.

“I was crying,” he said. “Here was a Muslim family that believed that Muslims are supreme, and everybody else will go to hell because they are not Muslim, and some Christians in Arizona are giving them their child’s heart.
“They phoned to see if everything was all right,” he said. “In the Muslim world, nobody gives a heart to anybody.”

After the operation, Bano visibly changed.

Throws Burka and Hijab

“She opened up,” the relative said. “She threw away her burqa. For a while she wore the hijab, then she threw away the hijab. She joined Facebook and organized a website called Balouch Entertainment. She was openly showing her reaction against the mullahs and fanaticism.”

In March 2011 husband Abdul Malik Rustam arrived in Canada as a landed immigrant and saw his son for the first time. He moved in with Bano and the boy in Bano’s parents’ basement. By then, the relative said, Bano wanted to move out.
“She said she wanted a divorce,” Judge McMahon said picking up the story.

Bano went on social assistance and on July 1, 2011, rented an apartment on Eglinton Ave. E. After fixing it up, she moved in.

Two weeks later, on July 22, shortly after 1 a.m., Rustam arrived at her building “planning to cause her harm,” the judge said. “Security video showed him dressed in a full burqa, only his eyes showing, and wearing female white wedge shoes.”

Rustam got off at the sixth floor. Still wearing the burqa, he tilted up the security camera pointing at his estranged wife’s door and knocked. Bano let him in. Within minutes the downstairs neighbour, who was awake texting, heard furniture scraping the floor and muffled screams, as though the screamer had a hand over the mouth. After 30 minutes the noises stopped.

The autopsy showed cuts and bruises around the face, neck, clavicle and upper back. Whether Rustam strangled her with a scarf, or a soft belt, or while wearing gloves, or with his bare hands could not determined. He left the body on the bathroom floor and his two-year-old son screaming in the living room. The strangulation had taken place in front of him. On his way out Rustam broke a heel and had to carry the shoes, still wearing the burka. “He did not panic,” the judge said.

Morning prayers in Mosque after Midnight Murder

Rustam went home to his in-laws’ basement. At 4:30 a.m. he got up with his father-in-law to attend morning prayers at the mosque, then went to work. When somebody asked why his face was badly scratched, he said he got into a fight with “some black guy.”

Later that day, when his brother asked about the scratches, Rustam replied, “I finished her by the throat.” The brother understood. At about 5 p.m., more than 15 hours after the murder, the in-laws rescued the boy and Rustam went to the police at 43 Division.

“He said he killed his wife and had justification for his actions,” the judge said without elaborating. Police charged Rustam with first-degree murder. Ten days before the trial, the judge accepted a guilty plea to second-degree murder of the young woman who once delighted in Harry Potter stories.

23 comments for “A Burka Murder in Toronto that no Canadian Newspaper wanted to Report

  1. March 7, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Oh very sad story. But that bastard or his associates may kill that boy even! Beware and save him at least.

  2. TarekFatah
    March 7, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    Sharma ji, no one kills a son; that honour is reserved for daughters.

  3. Marie Savoie
    March 7, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    Horrifying story. This poor woman had no one to help her when she was alive, and no one to tell her tragic story since her death, up until now. We will honour her memory. Thank you so muchTarek.

    But why the conspiracy of silence? Why was there no word about this heinous crime in the media?

    • eric Brazau
      March 8, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      This is a story that is inconvenient to those vested in multiculturalism & the All religions are equal crowd. It is not P.C. to report on this as anything but domestic violence. Right after the Shafia verdict CBC interviewed two Muslims who vehemently stated that the Shafia murders were plain old Domestic violence & to suggest that they were Islamic cultural honour killing was Islamophobic

    • Rebekkah
      March 14, 2014 at 6:15 AM

      The media is all liberal run and they will not print or tell the truth here. The only media network that would probably do so is Sun News Network.

      • Drew Hill
        March 1, 2017 at 11:30 AM

        I am the manager for the building she was murdered in. I was in charge of the security cameras. I was also on seen, 10 mins after body was found, and seen her myself. This story is all true.

        • curious
          January 17, 2018 at 2:26 PM

          what unit was she murdered in?

  4. Sohail Rabbani
    March 8, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    It is about time Canada and other Western societies wake up from their euphoric stupor and pass laws that ultimately clean up society by deporting those primitive barbarians who bring their Neanderthal practices to their new abodes.

    • Rebekkah
      March 14, 2014 at 6:18 AM

      Canadian Gov’t. knows all about the moslem agenda…Prime Minister Harper has a few fatwas already on his head.

      Canada is deporting those who are being found to have terrorist ties and are also not letting any in that have been scrutinized by the CSIS in conjunction with other intelligence agencies.

      • September 17, 2016 at 5:21 PM

        Where are your getting your information? I see that you posted this in 2014, when PM Harper was in power…well, this information may have been the case when PM Harper was in power, but, anything he did to make sure newcomers to our country were not terrorists, well those necessary laws are gone now. Trudeau, tossed out most of the new laws that Mr. Harper brought to us, the Canadian people. One was that if an immigrant/refugee comes here and has dual citizenship, and commits a crime, like the “Honour Killing” told above, then they lose their Canadian citizenship. Mr. Harper was about to change the sentencing for life in prison. The sentence for the man that did the “Honour Killing”, was life with no chance of parole for 17 years…Mr. Harper was about to change that to a Life sentence with no parole, PERIOD! Mr. Harper said “life means life.

  5. March 8, 2014 at 8:47 PM

    The man shoud be publically hanged and maybe the rest of them will learn a lesson. Jail is to good for him.

  6. Eric Brazau
    March 8, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    The story made no mention in the media. Neither did the 4 girls in the canal nor Asqua Parves. What needs to happen before it is permissible to suggest there might be an Islam problem in Canada. Maybe when 2 guys try to blow up a train.

    • Rebekkah
      March 14, 2014 at 6:21 AM


      Sun News Network mentioned the Shafia girls and about Asqua…… just have to watch this one instead of the alphabet channels… 🙂

  7. Karen
    October 23, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    Very sad about what happened to this young lady. Heartbreaking. Number one: Burqa’s should not allowed to be worn in Canada – they are a security risk – you choose to come to this country, then you do have to give up some things. Secondly, the Canadian government paid for a jet to go to the US and pick up a heart and then fly back? How much did that cost me? Also, Thai business about getting an apartment and going on social assistance? My god . You aren’t even from this country and we are paying for your healthcare and your apartment?
    The Canadian government are a bunch of losers.

    • Sheila
      December 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      Really Karen? If that had been a white baby who needed a heart I’m sure you wouldn’t have a problem with it. That’s the true mentality of the politically correct liberal thinkers – don’t blame the murderers themselves or deal with honour killings, let’s just blame it on the government. How pathetic is that?

    • Tasha
      February 3, 2017 at 7:52 PM

      You deserve to be in Trumps country pathetic

  8. January 26, 2018 at 5:08 PM

    why in the f#$k can nobody ever be charged and convicted of first degree murder in this goddamned country????????

  9. January 26, 2018 at 5:09 PM

    and for the Muslim ‘honor’ killing? what a wonderful honor this religion can come up with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *