I’m having a problem with the media and its obsession with ignoring any crime related to a Muslim. How many have heard the story about Muzzammil Hassan, the Buffalo, NY man who decapitated his wife after she asked for a divorce? The irony – he founded a television station that claimed to combat the negative stereotyping of Muslims.
You know, like the ones that decapitate their wives.
The thing is, it was an “honor killing“. Like this one, which took place in Canada. Aqsa Parvez, 16, was killed by her father for refusing to wear traditional Muslim attire. Officials wouldn’t release the details of the attack. Some claim she was strangled, some claim that she was beaten. Here is WaPo’s absolutely GRIPPING headline:
“Canadian Teen Dies; Father Is Charged”.
No. She didn’t just die. She was killed because she refused to wear the hijab.
Right on the heels of the Aqsa Parvez case came another one from Dallas, in which a father shot and killed his two teenage daughters, Amina and Sarah Said, because they were, well, being teenagers. It was the first time the FBI had applied the term “honor killing” to a case. The girls’ great aunt had this to say:
The girls’ great aunt, Gail Gartrell, told reporters, “This was an honor killing.” She explained that Yaser Said had long abused the girls, and after discovering that they had boyfriends, had threatened to kill them — whereupon their mother fled with them. “She ran with them,” said Gartrell, “because she knew he would carry out the threat.” But Said found them, and apparently did carry it out.
Let’s digest that. The family knew what was happening. They were aware of the seriousness of the threats, and fled for their safety. It has all the marks of an honor killing, and a family member even used that term. However, let’s look at law enforcement’s statement:
Officer Tull said there have been some “domestic issues” with the family, but he did not elaborate.
Police did say they are looking into the possibility that the father was upset with his daughters’ dating activities.
“It’s something well worth looking into,” Officer Tull told WFAA-TV
Yeah, I’d say so. Are we noticing a pattern? When radical Islam is involved, things get glossed over. Suddenly, details are top secret. Stories like those of Aqsa Parvez are buried on page 24A of the Washington Post. Why are we so afraid to draw attention to it?
You’d better believe that if this was happening in the Christian community the media would be ALL OVER it. Could we imagine if a Christian equivalent of Hassan had beheaded his wife? It would be the headline of the New York Times quicker than you could say “Jon Benet”. However, CNN did a segment on honor killings in August of 2008, and avoided mentioning Islam at all.
The closest the segment came to revealing the truth of the matter was during an interview with a woman living in hiding for fear of her life for having converted to Christianity and refused an arranged marriage. She mentions that her family has justified killing her for her failure to obey Koran and Allah. And at another point in the segment, brief images of women in black burquas appear.
But the words “Muslim” or “Islam” are never heard during the segment. Newton again elliptically speaks only of “communities” where “young women still live in fear.” Which communities might those be? CNN doesn’t say.
What cost is this political correctness going to have? We’re all aware that the Muslim extremists are just that – extremists. They are a faction that makes up a fraction of the religion as a whole. The problem lies more in the influence that these groups have over their communities. The media is perpetuating this fear by making the subject taboo. After all, they’re not all this way, so we might offend some people. Yeah, well, I don’t much care. These stories cannot keep getting buried. How many women have to be killed before we hear the truth?
In my research, I stumbled across this piece that just made my insides cold.
So why are we Arabs telling the Western press that honor killing is cultural, that it is not really part of Islam? Our way of life is based on maintaining our honor. And make no mistake about it: a woman does tarnish her family’s honor by engaging in pre-marital sex, or by getting herself raped, when she seeks divorce and when she marries against her family’s wishes.
Why are we pussyfooting? Are we ashamed of what we do? Why are some of us trying to play it down? Like the people who say it’s the same as battering women in America. Come on, now. Sometimes, when we correct a wife’s behavior by a well-deserved beating, we can maybe go a little too far. But that’s different.
The political correctness that dominates our society is just unbelievable. My study of the Koran is limited at best, but I have not found a specific passage, or reference to one, that outlines the practice of honor killing. However, women are viewed as a source of shame throughout the entire text, and the mysoginist tendencies are deeply rooted. The killing itself is the result of the culture that Islam has created. While honor killings are not necessarily religious, the religion has produced a culture so entwined with itself that they are nearly inseparable. The more Islamic a country is, the higher the rate of honor killings. Doesn’t blend so well with Western culture, huh guys?
I want the media to call it like it is. I want them to acknowledge the cultural problems. I want Aqsa Parvez and Amina and Sarah Said to have their stories told.
I won’t hold my breath.