Murder in the family - Honorkillings in th US

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When she was just 19, Sandeela Kanwal traveled from America to Pakistan for an arranged marriage to a cousin twice her age.

Less than six years later, she was dead — strangled — and her father, Chaudhry Rashid, was arrested by police as the suspect for what some have called an "honor killing."

After their marriage, Kanwal had lived in the United States apart from her husband, who remained in Pakistan. She was reunited with him in April at her family home in Atlanta, but he moved to Chicago days later, leaving her alone once again.

On July 1, Kanwal filed for divorce, a prospect her father, a 52-year-old immigrant from Pakistan, would not entertain. Investigators say that after an argument on the night of July 5, he strangled Kanwal with a bungee cord. He could not accept the "disgrace" a divorce or affair would bring on his family, according to police.

The United Nations estimates that as many as 5,000 women are murdered in such honor killings each year for offenses like immodesty or refusing an arranged marriage. They may be on the rise in the U.S., as seen anecdotally in Kanwal's death and a handful of other prominent attacks:
• Fifty-year-old Yaser Abdel Said became the focus of a massive manhunt after he allegedly killed his teenage daughters Sarah and Amina — for dating boys against his will. Relatives say he tried to marry off Amina in his native Egypt when she was 16, and he hasn't been seen since the girls were shot to death on New Year's Day.

• Zein Isa, a Palestinian terrorist who lived in St. Louis, was convicted of killing his daughter Palestina in 1989. Investigators say he was furious she had a black boyfriend, went to a school dance and got a job at Wendy's. Palestina's mother held her down as Isa plunged a 9-inch knife into his daughter's chest, actions the FBI picked up on a microphone as they investigated Isa for his terrorist ties.

• Waheed Mohammad, a 22-year-old immigrant from Afghanistan, was shamed by his sister, who he thought was a "bad Muslim girl." At his mother's behest, investigators say, he tried to "stop" his sister, stabbing her multiple times, though she survived and spoke to FOX News.

To see more on honor killings in America, watch FOX News' special documentary, "Murder in the Family: Honor Killings in America," airing 8 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 26, and 8 and 11 p.m. EDT Sunday.

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Frank Kitman