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Posted in: Honor Killings

Published on Nov 01, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Pajamas Media

Honor Killings All Over America

Why Are the Islamists Suddenly Silent?


Last week, the Iraqi father who drove a two ton jeep over his daughter in Arizona for being "too westernized" high-tailed it out of town, drove down to Mexico where he abandoned his vehicle and caught a flight to London. UK Port of Entry authorities denied him entry, contacted US authorities and placed him back on a plane to the US. Almaleki was arrested when his plane landed in Atlanta, then returned to Arizona where he now sits in jail.

"Agencies involved included the US Marshalls Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, Arizona Department of Public Safety, officials in the United Kingdom, and officials from the Nogales and Sonora, Mexico Police."

Hurrah for the combined law enforcement heroes in action.

What's missing from the coverage (at least so far) is the usual Islamist spin. No hard-line representative of the Islamic community is insisting that this was not an "honor killing" or that if it was, it has nothing to do with Islam or with Muslims. That's it's a typical 'teenage" thing or a typical case of domestic violence.

Which brings us to the second attempted honor killing story which might be a first of its kind. A woman, defending the honor of Islam, tried to kill her easy going husband. He lived but the attempted murder was serious. Will Islamists defend and support her, embrace her as a good Muslim? Or shun her as a psychiatrically troubled woman?

Rabia Sarwar, a religious Muslim wife living on Staten Island in New York, attempted to murder her husband because he "enjoyed booze and pork and wanted her to dress in revealing clothing." She claims he tried to force her to drink alcohol and eat pork too. Rabia piously tried to slit his throat. So far, the experts quoted on this case in the New York Post (Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Amil Imani) are actually talking about honor killings, mentioning the case of Rifqa Bary, Almaleki, and Sarwar in the same breath and relating them all to Islam. Imani is quoted as saying: "In the privacy of their home, Muslim parents will call every American woman a prostitute, every man corrupt."

However, a more complex picture emerges in the True Crime Report version of this case, one which explains that Rabia and her family feel utterly deceived by Rabia's husband, who was no "Sheikh Naseem" but was really "Eddie," a man who was married twice before, is a Norwegian-Pakistani, and actually a Unitarian!

"But after they married, she found that he'd mostly dated white women, had been married before and liked to drink. He'd also said he was a devout Muslim, but she later discovered he was Unitarian. She further wrote that his favorite writer was Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, which caused such a stir in the fundamentalist Muslim world that Iran officially put a hit on Rushdie."

My guess: Islamists will portray Rabia Sarwar as mentally ill, not as an honorable enforcer of the tribal custom of slaughtering those who stray from the straight-and-narrow. (Eddie certainly thinks she's crazy too and claims that's she's done time in a loony bin). Indeed, Muzzammil Hassan (the Buffalo man who beheaded his long-battered wife Aasiya), is already jockeying for a mental health expert who can describe his state of mind as "extremely emotionally distressed."

If you have read any versions of the Almaleki or Sarwar cases in which their relationship to "honor killing" is denied, minimized, relegated to the realm of one, lone, deranged, and unbalanced perpetrator—please send them my way.


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