The trial of a father accused of murdering his daughter in a suspected "honor killing" began in Phoenix on Monday.
Faleh Hassan Almaleki is accused of using his Jeep Cherokee to run over 20-year-old Noor Almaleki in October 2009. She died from her injuries days after the alleged attack, during which the mother of her boyfriend was also hurt.
The 48-year-old Muslim father was allegedly angry because he believed his daughter had become "too Westernized."
Almaleki later fled to Mexico, and then to England before being caught by authorities and shipped back to the U.S. to face trial.
"By his own admission, this was an intentional act, and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame on him and his family," Phoenix prosecutor Stephanie Low said last year, according to The Arizona Republic. "This was an attempt at an honor killing."
The case shines a light on an ancient practice that has spread around the world in recent years. It targets women for committing what a male decides is an immoral act, or acting in an immoral manner. Although largely praticed in Muslim countries, cases have been reported in Europe and South America, as well as the United States.
"It has been estimated that as many as one in three women across the world has been beaten, raped or otherwise abused during the course of her lifetime," said Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in March 2010. "The most common source of such violence comes from within the family. Amongst the most extreme forms of abuse is what is known as 'honor killing.'"
The brutal beheading of a television executive by her husband in Orchard Park, N.Y., in 2009 has been called an "honor killing," as was the murder of two teenagers in Texas by their father that same year.
In 2007, a London father was found guilty of murdering his daughter in an honor killing, in which he strangled the 20-year-old woman, stuffed her in a suitcase and buried her in his garden.
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