Muslim father faces jail for ‘psychological abuse of family members’

Muslim father faces jail for ‘psychological abuse of family members’

Strict Muslim father-of-nine who imposed ‘traditional’ Islamic regime on family after two of his daughters refused arranged marriages faces jail for psychological abuse

  • Salamat Khan, 63, and son Abbas, 34, allegedly controlled females in the family 
  • Salamat was found guilty of engaging in coercive behaviour towards family
  • Both father and son denied wrongdoing but will be sentenced next month 

Salamat Khan (pictured outside Manchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday) is accused of using coercive behaviour to control women in his family 

A strict Muslim father who imposed a ‘traditional’ Islamic regime upon his family after two of his eight daughters refused to enter into arranged marriages was facing jail for inflicting psychological abuse yesterday.

Salamat Khan, 63, instilled such severe parental control over his household over a three year period two of his other children said they felt as if they were ‘living in a prison.’

The father of nine had already married off three of his daughters to selected spouses but he ‘cast out’ two of his other children when they married other men he did not ‘approve of.’ As a result of the unwanted weddings, Khan claimed the rebel sisters were ‘dead to the family’ and tried to stop two other unmarried daughters leading a Westernised lifestyle.

He refused to let Madina and Maryha Khan go out in the evening or meet their friends and made then cook and clean for him. He also demanded properties in the names of female relatives be transferred to him and his only son Abbas, 34 who insisted their two rebel sisters were not welcome in the family home adding: ‘They made their choices’.

Police were called to the Khan’s family home in Oldham, Greater Manchester after a violent argument broke out when Abbas demanded one of the property to be transferred to his name so he could facilitate his own wife emigrating to the UK from her native Pakistan. During the row Salamat’s wife Zahida was pushed backwards by Abbas with such force, it caused a cabinet to fall off the wall.

Officers later spoke to Salamat about his two rebel daughters and he admitted: ‘They can marry whoever they wish – but I want nothing to do with them..’

At Manchester magistrates court Salamat was found guilty of engaging in coercive behaviour towards Madina and Maryha as well as his wife Zahida Begum between December 2015 and June 2018.

Abbas was found guilty of coercive behaviour towards his sisters and common assault on his mother. Both father and son denied wrongdoing but were ordered to be sentenced at crown court next month where they could be jailed for up to five years.

Chair of the bench, JP Joyce Fletcher accused Salamat of being ‘evasive and inconsistent’ during his testimony and added: ‘Madina and Maryha were both emotional during their evidence which demonstrated to us the serious effect all of this was having on them.

‘You did continuously and repeatedly control and coerce your daughters by not allowing friends in the family home and not allowing them access with their friends outside of school. You also controlled them to the extent they felt scared to talk to you about going to the wedding of their sisters and you forbade any further contact with them.

‘This did have a very serious effect on both Madina and Maryha and they both felt like they were living in a prison. Regarding your wife Mrs Begum, you did continuously and repeatedly control her by following her on so many times – and you accused her of cheating on many occasions.

‘You prevented her, for fear of the consequences, of contacting friends and her estranged daughters, and there were threats of violence. This behaviour had a serious effect on Mrs Begum and you would have been aware of this. We find the matter so serious that our sentencing powers are insufficient.’

Abbas Khan (pictured outside Manchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday) allegedly threatened to kill his younger sister 

The court heard Salamat and his wife who have been married for 50 years moved to the UK from their native Pakistan in 1979. Three of their daughters, Nasreen, Nasir and Zadine, all wed in Pakistan under arranged marriage but two others Bushra and Ishiat married other Muslim men who were not ‘arranged’ for them.

Subsequently Madina and Maryha would stay for long periods in Pakistan where no arrangements were made to sort out their education. The couple’s eighth daughter is disabled.

Mrs Begum, a housewife told the hearing: ‘My daughters Bushra and Ishiat married by their own choice and are both married to Muslim gentleman. But these were not arranged marriages and we didn’t attend their weddings.

‘My husband was angry and he shouted about it and my son was angry and upset. Bushra and Ishiat are not welcome by my husband or son. He doesn’t allow me to meet up with her, but I can speak to her on the phone.

‘Ishiat was married in England and I wanted to go to her wedding. I also wanted to go to Bushra’s too but I wasn’t allowed to go. My husband makes the decisions as does my son and I was encouraged not to contact my daughters after they got married without my husbands permissions. My husband doesn’t want me to keep in contact.

‘There’s been many arguments about the transfer of names for the property. My husband would accuse me of seeing other men when I went out to visit my daughters. I don’t have a lot of friend, my daughters are my only friends. My husband doesn’t help with household duties. My son used to help but he doesn’t anymore.

‘Maryha and Madina have friends both Muslim and non Muslim but they are not allowed to go out and my husband and son would threaten violence. On June 17th there was an incident and the police were called. There was arguing from my son and husband about the property. They were demanding me to transfer to name over. They called me and my daughters ‘bitches.’

‘My daughters went upstairs but my son and husband went up after them. My son then grabbed my arms and pushed me into the cabinet and it fell off the wall. My son was being very aggressive. He pushed me and he was quite forceful’.

Madira Khan, 21, said: ‘I was educated in England but I went to Pakistan during holidays and term time and I got quite behind at school. When I came back to school it was hard to catch up but I did it. Howeve my role was staying at home, cooking and cleaning. My dad could have done it but he didn’t and that’s why I did it.

‘I have a mixture of friends both Muslim and non Muslim, girls and boys but my friends aren’t allowed to come for tea. They weren’t allowed to come and visit me at home. I would have to come straight home and I wasn’t allowed to socialise with friends outside of college.

‘My father said I should always keep my college friends at college. Those were the rules and my brother enforced these rules when my dad was in Pakistan. I would go to college then come home and he’ll look after the household, I didn’t socialise at all. I would be invited out by friends and I would have to make excuses as I knew my dad would say no.

‘My sisters did date their husbands but it was a secret and my dad didn’t know about this. My dad and brother didn’t approve. I went to Bushra and Ishiat weddings but I didn’t ask for permission to go. My brother wouldn’t let me go. I was scared to ask my dad as I was scared of him. I was scared in case it was a no.

‘When they found out I went they were angry, they were cursing and shouting.. They said no one was allowed contact with them and they were not welcome in the family home. They said: ‘They make their choices’. My brother enforces that rules more than my dad. I go to see my sisters without asking my father or brother but I’m scared they might follow me. I’m scared what they might do.

‘My brother used to follow me when I finished work, I told my dad and he didn’t say anything to him, he didn’t tell him to stop. I overheard the argument about moving the property into my brothers name. He was very argumentative and aggressive. I don’t know why he wanted to transfer it.

‘He was shouting at my mum. He referred to us as bitches. She wanted to deflect the arguments, she didn’t want anything further. He was really angry. My brother came upstairs and there was a sense of urgency. We were jut telling him to calm down and he wasn’t calming down. He was telling us to shut up and then he started swearing at us.

‘He then went to punch my mum but she deflected it and that’s when the cabinet came off the wall. I was in a panic for everyone and I was crying for it to stop. My brother threatened to kill me more than once and this time I thought he was going to do something. He was enraged. It’s been like living in a prison.’

Salamat told the hearing: ‘I gave my daughters the choice and the opportunity to carry out what they wanted to do. If they are married on their own wishes, I have no objections or complaints, they can live their life.

‘But when I found out Bushra and Ishiat had married, I was upset and was crying. They spit in my face and they didn’t even tell me about it. It was shame and I was concerned about my status. I don’t know why they didn’t tell me.’

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