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Jordanian hoax author a 'con woman'

Author Norma Khuri, whose book about honour crimes in Jordan is now alleged to have been a work of fiction, has been on the run from Chicago police and the FBI for five years, an Australian daily has reported. 

Last Modified: 21 Aug 2004 19:15 GMT
Jordanian activists want criminalisation of honour crimes

Author Norma Khuri, whose book about honour crimes in Jordan is now alleged to have been a work of fiction, has been on the run from Chicago police and the FBI for five years, an Australian daily has reported. 

Australia's The Age recently concluded a one-month investigation which has revealed that Khuri is alleged to "have spent the best part of 10 years stealing from friends, lovers, family, the sick and the demented".

Among the accusations are taking $40,000 from a man who said he was her lover and scamming a 90-year-old woman of all her belongings.

A Chicago police source told The Age on Friday that they had reopened a metre-thick file on Khuri with the aim of charging her.

"We believe she is con woman," the source said. "One of the best we have ever seen."

According to The Age, Chicago police were on the verge of issuing a warrant for her arrest in 1999, but she fled, reappearing in Australia where she wrote her bestseller Forbidden Love. The book also appeared in the US under the title Honor Lost.

Fabricated story

In her book Khuri, 34, tells the story of the murder of her Muslim friend, Dalia, by Dalia's family after discovering she was engaged to a Christian man in the Jordanian army.

Khuri also claims that she herself had to flee Jordan after her life was threatened for defending her friend.

But a series of investigations published in the Sydney Morning Herald, in cooperation with the Jordanian National Commission for Women showed that Khuri's tale was a total fabrication.

The 18-month investigation by the paper also indicated that Khuri's book contains more than 70 factual errors. As a result of the investigation, the Australian publisher of Forbidden Love withdrew the book.

Khuri has strongly rejected the allegations, standing by her story and insisting she can prove she was telling the truth. 

Honour killing refers to the practice of killing a family member because she has disgraced the family, usually a single woman for having sex with a man or a married woman for committing adultery.

Activists have been trying to get the Jordanian government to criminalise such killings.

Source:
Aljazeera
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