Sometimes I didn’t particularly like the fellow who my daughter was dating. Sometimes, I didn’t much like her choice of clothing. When I made comments to the contrary, she ignored me.
Well…there’s only one way to handle such matters, right?
2007, Toronto. Aqsa Parvez, age 16, was strangled to death by her father for not wearing a Hijab (head scarf). Imagine that? Your daughter prefers to show her hair, and for that, she earns the death penalty.
July, 2008. Pakistani born, Sandeela Kanwal, age 25, lived in a suburb of Atlanta, Ga. She had been forced into an arranged marriage with an older man. She wanted a divorce. Her father strangled her with a bungee cord and called police. He told responding police Sergeant Stefan Schindler that her daughter was not being true to her religion, and that killing his daughter was a right given to him by God.
January, 2008. Texas. Amina Said, 18, and her sister Sarah, 17 were stalked and then shot to death by their father because they dated boys that were not Muslim. According to the Dallas Morning News, Yaser Said (the father) was given to “gun-waving rants about how Western culture was corrupting the chastity of his daughters.” (If western culture was so corrupting, what was he doing here?)
Imagine this one. April, 2004. Scottsville, NY. Turkish-born, Ismail Peltek bludgeoned his wife, and two daughters to death…including a four-year-old girl…because they had been the victims of a sexual assault by his brother. The little girl had been “sullied” by a gynecological exam and he was concerned about his family honor. When asked by the investigator, “If you had the opportunity to kill your family again, would you?”
He responded, “My female family, yes. My male family, no.”
Without further ado, we come to the most recent example of radical Islamic justice within the family unit, the butchery of a 37 year-old woman in Buffalo, NY, who wanted a divorce. Her husband, Muzzamill Hassan, a highly respected, “moderate” Muslim had been the owner/ operator of a television station which existed for the purpose of depicting Muslims in a positive light to the American public. According to reports, his wife was a frequent subject of abuse, and when she pushed for the divorce, he offed her head.
Think about that moment. The man and woman are alone. They fight. He prevails, and then takes a cutting instrument, and saws off the head of the woman he supposedly loves. Like butchering a moose. Messy business.
This certainly sends an ominous message to females in the culture. Any Muslim woman in America who has even thought about a divorce, or any young girls who have entertained the idea of dating outside the religion, will think twice. Better to live as chattel, than to not live at all.
This is happening in the United States. Not only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or even Great Britain.
It’s even more pervasive in Europe. And in some cases, more horrid. In London, Banaz Mahmod, age 20, fell in love with the wrong man. For that, she was raped, stomped and strangled by members of her family, and friends, before she was garroted with a bootlace. Her body was stuffed into a suitcase and dumped 100 miles away. After a three-month trial, her father and brother were found guilty for the crime. This was a premeditated, deliberate act. Read the story:
According to the United Nations Population Fund, at least 5,000 honor killings take place every year within the Islamic world, though those numbers are probably much higher. In 2007, in the Punjab Province of Pakistan alone, there were 1261 honor killings. It’s been said that authorities often turn a blind eye to such acts within strict Islamic societies.
What’s particularly disturbing, is that these killings are not being committed by “radical” Muslims, or terrorists from al Qaeda, Hamas or Hezbollah. For the most part, they are committed by male family members — moderates — who have determined that it is their duty to dispatch a wife, daughter, or sister to the grave, because they violated family honor according to their perception of God.
Some folks will say domestic violence is common across all cultures and religions, and we shouldn’t attach special stigma to Islam in these matters. Maybe. Maybe not. As a thirty-year cop in Miami, I responded to my share of domestic violence calls, and investigated scores of family killings. Usually, they were acts of temper or jealousy, often brought on by drugs and alcohol. Sometimes, we probed a good mystery involving a love triangle. But in the thousands of murder cases I knew of in Dade County, Florida, I never heard of one where any man calculatedly killed a daughter/wife/sister in cold blood to preserve family honor as a duty to God.
It only exists in one culture. And that culture has come to the United States. And it’s not going away.
Meanwhile, let’s all remain politically correct and turn a blind eye. If you didn’t notice, most of the major networks other than FOX, — including CNN, CBS, NBC and ABC — played down the recent beheading case, did no follow-up stories at all.
I often reflect on trends. Ten or twenty years ago, we in America never encountered such a concept as “honor killing.” Today, we’re hearing more and more, in the U.S., Europe and throughout the world. What will be the trend in the next twenty years? Has it only just begun?
The following links are listed as supporting documents to the above-listed scenarios.