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photo Tara Benwell Instructions:
  1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
  2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
  3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
  4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
  5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
  6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

Afghan Family Convicted of Honour Killings in Canada

dateline: 31 January 2012

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • convict: to declare someone guilty of a crime
  • honour killing: the murdering of someone because he or she “dishonoured” the family
  • polygamous: having more than one spouse
  • wiretap: a secret device that allows investigators or spies to listen in to telephone conversations
  • despicable: morally unacceptable; very ugly
  • verdict: final decision
  • eradicate: to get rid of completely

Afghan Family Convicted of Honour Killings in Canada

Three members of an Afghan immigrant have been convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison after the “honour killings” of four female in Canada. Mohammed Shafia’s three daughters and his first wife from a polygamous marriage were found dead in their car in the Rideau Canal in the summer of 2009. In addition to damage on the family’s vehicles, wiretapped conversations were used as evidence to convict Shafia, his second wife Tooba, and their 21-year-old son, Hamed. The Westernized teens were behaving in ways that “dishonoured” the family. The judge called the crimes “despicable” after announcing the verdict. The Shafia trial had gained international attention, especially in the Muslim community. During the three month trial, over 100 Islamic leaders across Canada spoke out against honour killings and signed a National Call to Eradicate Domestic Violence.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Where were the bodies of the females found?
  2. Who is Hamed?
  3. What did many Islamic leaders in Canada do during the trial?

Discussion Question: An Islamic leader in Canada said this: “The actions of one misguided family single-handedly revived stereotypes of violence and intolerance that have dogged the community since 911.” Do you agree or disagree?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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