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A planned conversion to Christianity from Islam is understood to have triggered a frenzied domestic dispute that led to the death of a Muslim mother on Monday night.
Bangladeshi-born Dr Muh-ammad Hussain, 49, remains under police guard in a critical condition in the Gold Coast Hospital as police piece together the circumstances leading to the death of his 41-year-old wife, Yasmine.
Mrs Hussain, who had arrived on the Gold Coast with her 17-year-old daughter at the weekend from Adelaide, died at her upmarket Southport apartment after receiving stab wounds to the chest.
A Muslim source told The Gold Coast Bulletin last night that Dr Hussain arrived a month ago to take up a position as a GP and prepare for his family to join him.
“From what we understand the daughter decided to tell her father of her radical plan to convert to Christianity which, in the eyes of most Muslims, is totally unacceptable and to be honest, sadly, many would react as he has done,” said the source.
“It is the Islamic way that if a son or daughter does or plans to do something that is unacceptable or wrong for a Muslim then it is the mother who is automatically at fault and will bear the brunt of the blame.”
Gold Coast police last night refused to deny or support the religious conversion motive, but are understood to be investigating it.
They said they had spent more than eight hours speaking to the traumatised 17-year-old daughter and because of her distressed state they still do not have a full picture of what happened.
“It has ended up in the death of a person so it has been a violent argument and a very tragic set of circumstances,” said Surfers Paradise CIB Detective Inspector John Hartwell.
Residents of the Smith Street, Albatross Park, complex where the family lived told The Bulletin yesterday they heard screams for half an hour.
“It was very quiet then there was a blood-curdling scream. It was terrible,” said Colin Currie.
Neighbour Caitlin Dalton was taking out the rubbish when she heard terrifying screams.
“She (the teenager) was yelling ‘help me, help me, they’re trying to kill me’,” said Ms Dalton.
“Everybody heard the screams but we couldn’t work out which unit they were coming from.
“Then this girl emerged in the stairwell hysterical and crying.
“Her clothes had been ripped off, she was just in her underwear, and she had quite severe scratches down her arm and across her back.”
Ms Dalton said as residents tried to comfort the girl, she told how she had wanted to ‘convert from the Islam religion … and obviously her father didn’t handle it very well’.
“She said her parents were really strict.”
Photographs taken by The Bulletin yesterday showed blood splattered throughout the three-bedroom luxury apartment which had a turkish carpet on the floor and leather upholstered chairs.
Clothing could be seen through the doorway, scattered across the floor near what appeared to be bloodstains. A large amount of blood had dried on the wall and on the carpet inside the front door, and there was blood on and around the doorknob.
“We saw one stretcher come out, then another one and another one,” said resident Rory Williams.
Det-Insp Hartwell said the Hussains had no family members living on the Gold Coast and police were looking after their daughter, who had turned 17 only a week ago.
“She is assisting police with our inquiries. She is not a suspect, merely a witness to what has transpired,” he said.
“Arrangements are being made through Crisis Care for accommodation for her at this stage, pending the contact of the next of kin and relatives.
“At this stage we’ve been unable to locate the relatives, they’re all overseas.”
Det-Insp Hartwell said it was too early to say if any charges would be laid against Dr Hussain.
“This matter may end up in a criminal trial or may end up in a coroners court. Before we know the full facts I’m not willing to speculate,” he said.
“The outcome of the investigation will determine whether any charges are laid or a report is forwarded to the coroner.”
Dr Hussain completed his medical training at the Chittagong Medical College in Bangladesh in 1982.
In 2001, he completed a masters in family medicine in Australia and four years later was granted a fellowship by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
But in the country with a population of more than 130 million, there are less than one million Christians.
It is understood Dr Hussain is a Sunni Muslim.
(Posted on October 11, 2006)