Gold Coast fears of ritual killing over Christian conversion

A Bangladeshi-born recent immigrant is under police guard in a Gold Coast hospital in critical condition following the killing of the man's wife in what some sources fear was a ritual killing over plans by the couple's daughter to convert to Christianity.

Dr Muhammad Hussain, 49, who suffered a stab wound to the chest, only arrived in Australia a month ago to work as a general practitioner and to prepare for the arrival of the rest of his family, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.

Police are now trying to determine the circumstances leading to the death of his 41-year-old wife, Yasmine.

Mrs Hussain, who had arrived on the Gold Coast with her 17-year-old daughter at the weekend from Adelaide, died at her upmarket Southport apartment after receiving stab wounds to the chest.

"From what we understand the daughter decided to tell her father of her radical plan to convert to Christianity which, in the eyes of most Muslims, is totally unacceptable and to be honest, sadly, many would react as he has done," a Muslim source told the Bulletin last night.

"It is the Islamic way that if a son or daughter does or plans to do something that is unacceptable or wrong for a Muslim then it is the mother who is automatically at fault and will bear the brunt of the blame."

Gold Coast police last night refused to deny or support the religious conversion motive, but are understood to be investigating it.

They said they had spent more than eight hours speaking to the traumatised 17-year-old daughter and because of her distressed state they still do not have a full picture of what happened.

"It has ended up in the death of a person so it has been a violent argument and a very tragic set of circumstances," said Surfers Paradise CIB Detective Inspector John Hartwell.

Residents of the Smith Street, Albatross Park, complex where the family lived told The Bulletin yesterday they heard screams for half an hour.

"It was very quiet then there was a blood-curdling scream. It was terrible," said Colin Currie.

Another neighbour, Caitlin Dalton said that as residents tried to comfort the girl, she told how she had wanted to 'convert from the Islam religion ... and obviously her father didn't handle it very well'.

"She said her parents were really strict."

"The mother and daughter arrived last Saturday, the father has been here about a month," investigating officer, Inspector John Hartwell told the Daily Telegraph.

Ritual Muslim killing (Gold Coast Bulletin, 11/10/06)
Islam row behind mum's killing (Daily Telegraph, 11/10/06)
Muslim religion blamed for fatal stabbing (Courier Mail, 11/10/06)

11 Oct 2006