Italy: Moroccan immigrant murders wife for being 'too Western'

Padua - A Moroccan carpenter living in northern Italy is suspected of stabbing his wife to death because she wanted to leave him and begin a more liberated and western life with another man.Police suspect 36-year old Zrhaida Hammadi of killing his 33-year-old wife Fatima Chabani at their apartment in the city of Padua near Venice by stabbing her repeatedly in the neck and shoulder, severing her jugular vein.

Neighbours telephoned the police after hearing blood-curdling screams from the apartment late Sunday, but the police said they found Chabani already dead and Hammadi awaiting their arrival, sitting motionless in a chair with his head bowed.

The couple were married in 2002 and had a six-year-old son. The family moved to Padua in January from the surrounding province in Italy's northeast. Members of the local Moroccan community described Hammadi as "a quiet, decent and hard-working" man.

The couple reportedly had frequent rows and police are probing Hammadi's' claims that his wife was seeing another man.On Tuesday, a cultural mediator in Padua, 30-year-old Tunisian Muslim immigrant Maher Selmi sparked controversy by claiming that it was right to stone "adulteresses" to death.

Moroccan women's activist and member of Italy's parliament Souad Sbai deplored Chabani's "chilling" slaying and the remarks by Selmi, who is a graduate in Italian language and literature. (...)