Thursday, May 31, 2007

Did religious differences lead to ghastly murders?

Throughout history, the answer to that question has often been yes. But it's not yet clear whether a bad breakup based on religious differences led to the gruesome murders of an OC Hindu family. It's just what police are suggesting. From the LA Times:

She was a college freshman whose Hindu family didn't believe in dating before marriage. He was a Muslim, which troubled her parents, and they convinced her that he wasn't the one.

Their breakup, investigators said, might have played a role in a string of vicious crimes that unfolded in Orange County last week: Her Anaheim Hills home was set ablaze, her mother savagely beaten and her father and sister killed. The victims had been strangled, bludgeoned, burned and stabbed, according to court records.

The young man, Iftekhar Murtaza, 22, of Van Nuys, was arrested last weekend at the Phoenix airport in connection with the slayings. He had left Southern California after investigators questioned him and was carrying a one-way ticket to Bangladesh.

Murtaza today waived his right to an extradition hearing in Arizona and will be returned to OC and charged with murder.

Hindus and Muslims have a recent history of hatred. Before the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan, fighting between the two religious groups claimed about half a million lives.

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