Friday, September 15, 2000
Housewife Burns to Death, Husband Looks On
Islam Online, Washington D.C.
Imagine burning to death. You are not alone. Your spouse is watching you, listening to your screams for help. And yet, the fire engulfs your body and slowly you lose consciousness. No one can ever wish this kind of cruelty upon another human being. But this is precisely the scenario that resulted in the gruesome death of Shahpara Sayeed, a homemaker from a suburb of Chicago. The death of Sayeed, 31, on August 26, 2000, at the hands of her husband, Muhammad Haroon, 35, has left the Muslim community in Chicago stunned.
Neighborhood windows rattled when the taxi cab exploded with Shahpara Sayeed in it, allegedly ignited by her angry husband on August 24, 2000. The 33-year-old Chicago resident was trying to escape after reportedly being doused in gasoline by her husband, Mohammed Haroon, who then reportedly threw lit matches into the car.
By the time police officer William Clancy, who was in the area when he heard the horrific explosion, reached the scene of the crime, nothing but Shahpara's burned body and the remains of the cab were left.
She had immigrated to the US only a year before. Shahpara had come on a religious visa as an Islamic scholar. She had been married two years ago to Haroon, who also goes by the name Javaid, in Karachi, Pakistan. He had been working as a cab driver in Chicago, and is reported to have entered the US illegally. Both husband and wife were related to each other before marriage. He was reported to have paid $16,000 to get Shahpara's visa.
Accounts of the incident in local newspapers say that Sayeed and Haroon were arguing shortly before he allegedly doused her with gasoline then set the cab on fire. He was also slightly burned and ran away as his wife cried out for help, trying to escape the death trap she was in.
Cabbie charged with wife's murder dies
The Chicago cabdriver charged with first-degree murder in the burning death of his wife last August has died. Mohammed Haroon, 35, died Monday at Cook County Hospital. Haroon died of AIDS, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Haroon had been in police custody since he allegedly doused his cab with flammable liquid and ignited it, killing his wife, Shahpara Sayeed, 31. Sayeed was inside the cab when it ignited. Witnesses reported that the couple argued loudly before the attack, police said.