Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Charlotte Bradshaw

Is she the world's most incompetent journalist, or was she just obeying orders ?

The killing by Mohammed Riaz of his wife and four daughters has been widely reported.

The Telegraph said that 'a father killed his wife and four daughters in their sleep because he could not bear them adopting a more westernised lifestyle'.

The Manchester Evening News (owned by the Guardian) reported that 'Mr Riaz has been furious over his wife's determination to bring up the children with a western outlook and her refusal of arranged marriages'.

The Johnston Press-owned Lancashire Evening Post said 'a bitter rift had developed between conservative Muslim Mr Riaz and his wife over her determination to bring up their children with Western lifestyles'.

Even the BBC reported that 'Mr Riaz, a conservative Muslim, disagreed with his wife over her determination to bring up their children with Western lifestyles'.

But the report written by Charlottte Bradshaw for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph and repeated on other sites owned by Newsquest (parent company Gannett of the US) such as Asian Image, the Blackburn Citizen and This Is Lancashire, strikes a different note.

The hearing heard that the motives behind the killings may never be known.

Could have fooled me, Charlotte. Even the Indie titles its report 'Muslim husband who killed his wife and children because of their Western ways'. The Indie's is actually the most detailed report I've seen in terms of motive.

Police investigations revealed how estranged Mr Riaz, a traditionalist and a practising Muslim who grew up in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, had become from his vivacious wife, a high-profile community worker who had co-founded the local Aawaz women's group, mentored teenage girls at a high school in nearby Rishton, and was a school governor and board member on several diversity groups.

Turns out Mrs Riaz had an English mother - but still she 'was sent back to Pakistan for 15 years after completing primary school'. And Mohammed Riaz wasn't by any means a perfect Muslim, even ignoring the mass murder.

The pressures drove Mr Riaz to drink heavily. Sclerosis of the liver was found after his death.

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