Members of a Canadian Muslim missionary group in the Maritimes are condemning the “honour killing” of a Pakistani social media star by her brother this weekend.
The killing of model, actress and feminist activist Qandeel Baloch was reported Saturday morning. It was shortly followed by the arrest of her brother, Waseem Azeem, who claimed she “dishonoured the family name” and embarrassed him with risqué online posts.
Azeem said in a police conference that he slipped his sister sedatives and strangled her as she slept.
“This is a horrible, horrible thing,” said James Sinclair of Mobile Muslims. “Unfortunately these people that do these things, they're not practicing Muslims. So in Islam it teaches you that if you kill one person, it's as if you kill all of mankind.”
Mobile Muslims is a group travelling across Canada to spread a message of peace. Sinclair admits stories like this one make that job more difficult.
“It does make it harder, but it's a challenge we're not going to give up on,” he said. “It's our job to help people understand Islam is not about terror. It's completely removed from it.”
In Pakistan, regional police Chief Sultain Maimuri says authorities will seek the maximum punishment for the Azeem, though no further details have been provided.
While the killing has sparked outrage in many western countries, women's groups point out honour killings are all too common.
It's a sentiment shared by many Muslims in the Maritimes.
“It's extremism. That's about it,” said Sinclair. “The people that do these things, the organizations that are associated with these horrible, horrible events that happen, they're completely removed from the faith."
Supporters hope the death of Qandeel Baloch was not in vain, but a final chance to make waves of change in a world she's now left.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Cami Kepke.