Muslim lesbian couple fight deportation

Posted on 28 March 2012

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By Tom Godfrey, QMI AGENCY

TORONTO – A Muslim lesbian couple who claim they will be killed if deported to their native Israel due to their sexuality is being given a second chance to remain in Canada.

Iman Musa and Majida Mugrabi, of Toronto, arrived in Canada from Tel Aviv in 2007 and filed unsuccessful refugee claims that were appealed to the Federal Court of Canada.

Judge Roger Hughes on March 8 granted the couple another hearing by an Immigration and Refugee Board based on new information that shows one of Mugrabi’s cousin confessed to the “honour killing” of his sister 12-years ago.

The couple in an emotional letter that was presented to court claimed they would be killed if turfed to Israel for being a same-sex Muslim couple.

“We have a same sex relationship, which is forbidden back home,” the couple wrote. “We have dishonoured our families by running away to try and start a life with each other.”

The couple, through their lawyer, Daniel Kingwell, said they were pleased by the court’s decision but still fear for their lives.

“As Muslim women, we don’t have any rights in our families,” the couple wrote. “The fact that we are lesbians does not help.”

The letter claimed Mugrabi’s grandfather is a Muslim sheikh, who “repeatedly threatened to kill her.”

“Same sex relationships are not permitted or accepted in all Arabic countries,” they said. “There are many stories about honor killing and we are victims of this.”

They said same-sex relationships is banned by most Muslims worldwide.

“Musa’s brother has threatened to kill her if she does not leave her lesbian relationship and marry a male,” the women alleged. “There are several police complaints regarding the threats of her brother.”

Kingwell said the women will be killed if deported to Israel.

“The situation is not the greatest for gays or lesbians in some Arab countries,” Kingwell said on Saturday, adding many “honour killings” occur from family members who slay their same-sex or gay relatives.

“This couple face a real threat from Muslims in a Conservative country,”

Kingwell said. “It is not often the court will overturn a decision as this.”

No date has been set for a new hearing.

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2012/03/17/19516421.html