Carol Kuruvilla, NY Daily News, January 25, 2014
Six British siblings from a Muslim family have been slapped with jail time after turning to violence to break up their sister’s lesbian romance.
A judge at the Preston Crown Court ruled that Nazma Ditta’s family members were blinded by prejudice when they attempted to kidnap and punish Ditta’s girlfriend for messing “with the wrong Muslims.”
The “traditional Asian Muslim family” had wanted Nazma, 28, to enter an arranged marriage with a cousin, or another man, according to The Guardian.
Security footage shows siblings Nighat Morris, 39, Atfah Ditta, 32, and Ghazala Ditta, 31, beating and punching their sister’s partner Sarah Harrison, 35, outside a clothing store in Blackburn. One of the sisters was wearing a full face veil. The women pulled Harrison’s hair and dragged her to the floor, then looked through her bag to reclaim Nazma’s things. They tried to stuff her into a car, but Harrison managed to keep fighting back until the siblings ran away.
Nazma’s younger brother Tahmoor Ditta, 26, stood guard nearby. He used a bradawl, which is similar to a screwdriver, to scare off a witness who tried to save Harrison from the attack.
“Get her in, get her in, you’ve messed with the wrong Muslims, we’re going to kill you,” Tahmoor reportedly screamed.
Nazma had agreed to an arranged marriage in Feb. 2014, but planned to slip away with her partner before that.
Nazma met Harrison three years ago, while the two women were working for the same clothing shop in Blackburn. They kept the relationship a secret and in Dec. 2012, Ditta slowly began moving her belongings from the family home to Harrison’s apartment. She broke the news about her sexuality to her family last June and almost immediately, they “closed ranks and told or cajoled and emotionally blackmailed” Ditta, according to Haworth.
The six siblings plotted their “mission as a family” through the texting service WhatsApp. They texted each other about “battering that b—h” and warned that the “kaffir [non-believer] is taking over.”
The Dittas claimed that a teacher at their mosque had given them permission to “be violent” and suggested that they “take action now or it might be too late.”
The three sisters involved in the attempted kidnapping were sentenced to five years and four months in jail after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit actual bodily harm, attempted kidnap and robbery.
Two other sisters, Nayyar Mehmood, 38, and Tosif Ditta, 35, were given three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit actual bodily harm.
The brother, Tahmoor, was given six years for the added charges of battery and possessing a weapon.