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May 30, 2007

Man Held In Suspicion For Butchering Family Due To "Dispute Over Religion"

Apparently the dispute concerned whether transubstantiation literally converts a wafer into Christ's flesh, or merely does so metaphorically or spiritually.

Oh, wait, that wasn't the dispute at all.

The family of a Van Nuys man who has been arrested at a Phoenix airport in connection with the deaths of an Anaheim Hills father and daughter, the beating of a mother and a house fire last week say they are "very sad" about what is happening.

Iftekhar Murtaza, 22, was carrying a one-way ticket to Bangladesh...

"It has been a situation under pressure for my family," said Ishtiak Murtaza, 37, the brother of Iftekhar Murtaza this morning.

Iftekhar Murtaza is identified in court papers as the ex-boyfriend of Shayona Dhanak, the 18-year-old daughter of one of the two murder victims....

If you're having trouble following that, Shanoya survived the attack, her father and sister did not.

"I strongly believe that he has no part in it," Ishtiak Murtaza said at the family's convenience store in Van Nuys.

..

Martinez noted that "based on the brutality of the crime, we believe there was more than one suspect involved."

The victims were stabbed, strangled and burned, according to the documents. The Dhanaks' Anaheim Hills home was set on fire.

...

The motive for the crime appears to be a dispute over religion.

"Information developed revealed the suspect was upset with Shayona's parents and sister for discontinuing the relationship due to different religious backgrounds, Hindu and Muslim," the papers said.

The Dhanaks were reported by friends and neighbors to be devout members of the strict Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism. Murtaza is Muslim.

I blame this on the strict Swainarayan branch of Hinduism, myself. Clearly the family had no legitimate reasons to force the break-up, resulting, ironically enough, in their being savagely murdered by the very man they didn't wish their daughter to date.

Why, it's like a Greek tragedy of completely-unforseable consequences.

Thanks to the Bruce Dickenson.


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posted by Ace at 06:31 PM

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