File photo/ The Patriot Ledger
Mostapha Ziad leads a group in prayer during Ramadan observances in 2005, as part of an event sponsored by the town's No Place for Hate committee.
By Kaitlin Keane
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Aug 12, 2008 @ 09:10 AM
Last update Aug 12, 2008 @ 09:46 AM
A Norwell man who has been active on the town's No Place for Hate Committee is being held without bail after allegedly holding his wife captive and threatening to kill her, telling her that his religion required it, police said.
Mostapha Ziad, 54, of Tiffany Road, is charged with kidnapping, intimidation of a witness, threatening to commit arson, domestic assault and making threats to kill. He pleaded innocent Monday.
Police went to Ziad's home Saturday evening after someone reported that a woman was being kept there against her will.
When police approached the home's side door, Ziad came up from behind his wife, who mouthed the words "help me" when she reached the door, the police report said.
When officers separated her from her husband, she told them that she had been held inside the house unwillingly for three hours after she tried to leave to meet a friend.
Ziad, a professor of computer engineering at Suffolk University, had locked all the doors, unplugged the phone and refused to let her leave, police said.
After several hours she was able to sneak upstairs and use her cell phone to call for help.
The woman told police that the couple have been married for 20 years but are going through a divorce, and that Ziad had become verbally abusive and had made threats in past months.
According to the report, Ziad told his wife during the argument that "his religion required him to kill her" and that he already had plans to kill her and burn down the house. Ziad, who is Muslim, immigrated to the United States from Algeria in 1976.
One of the couple's three children was home at the time of the incident but told police he did not see or hear anything. Police reported the situation to the state Department of Social Services.
Ziad has given lectures on peaceful interfaith relations for Norwell's No Place for Hate Committee and has participated in the group's interfaith events.
He told police that the couple had been arguing over marital issues that were personal, but he denied making the threats.
His wife, who took out an emergency restraining order, told police that "a piece of paper would not stop him from killing her."
Ziad will be held without bail until Aug. 13, according to court documents.