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Feb 15, 2009

Spousal Murder and Honour Killing.

Photo; Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37, who was beheaded by her estranged husband.

A horrofic murder occurred yesterday in Buffalo, with the victim beheaded by her estranged husband.

Detectives have charged Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder after his wife was found beheaded Thursday at the offices of the cable channel, Bridges TV, in the Village of Orchard Park.
The victim was identified as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. ……

It was Aasiya Hassan who encouraged her businessman husband to launch the cable channel, she said. “She was such a lovely person.”

Muzzammil Hassan launched the channel in 2004 in hopes of dispelling stereotypes of Muslims as terrorists, and balancing widespread images of Muslim extremism with moderate viewpoints.

Aasiya Hassan had filed for divorce and obtained an order of protection on Feb. 6, barring her husband from their home in Orchard Park, police said.

“There had been problems before — there had been prior incidents of physical abuse,” said Corey Hogan, whose law firm, Hogan Willig, represented Aasiya Hassan in the divorce proceeding.

Hogan said discussions were being held about continuing arrangements for the couple’s two children, ages 4 and 6, and two older children, ages 17 and 18, from Muzzammil Hassan’s previous marriage. …
At this point the term ‘honor killing’ has not been mentioned, so it could be a case of spousal murder, something that is far too common in society. Given though the method of killing – beheading, it seems to lean heavily towards having Islamic cultural aspects about it, which leads me to believe that it was an ‘honor killing,’ a serious misnomer as there is no honor in killing.

Western culture has little to be sanctimonious about in regard to violence against women, especially in family situations, as it seems to occur with horrific regularity. I believe there is a cultural aspect to this, in that while we like to consider that we have risen above our origins as a patriarchal society, the primitive ingrained instincts remain. Of course another aspect to it is that in arguments things sometimes get out of hand and men are generally physically stronger and more volatile. It is however inexcusable.

Christianity itself has struggled and in the main failed to rise above downright misogyny, with the issue of elevation of women to equal status varying in most denominations from problematic, to schismatic.

I posted recently on the disgusting attack on Louisa Rodas who was shot in the face by her estranged brother in law while caring for her sister, Denise, (his ex-wife) who has terminal ovarian cancer. In this case there was a long history of domestic violence, including an attack on Denise a few months earlier with a hammer to her head in order to steal her painkillers. The penalty for this, three months, is a clear indication that the law does not take these matters seriously.

Islamic culture however has a substantial history of killing women who are considered to have transgressed by their families as a matter of “family honor.” There is some argument as to whether the Koran actually endorses this position, but it seems to happen often enough for it to be considered to be part of the faith. There are some practices that have made their way into Islamic society, through being part of regional traditions such as clitorectomies, which I understand are not part of Islam, and not all of Islam does this. Honor killing seems to be pretty broad based though.

Photo; Amina, and Sarah Yaser Said who were murdered by their father.

One case I reported some time ago was that of teenage sisters Amina Yaser Said and Sarah Yaser Said who were murdered by their father who fought with them in the past for being too Westernized in their outlook. When he discovered they had boyfriends, he shot them and left them to die in the back of his taxicab. He has not been caught and it is widely believed he has escaped the country.

Another particularly nasty case was that of Aqsa Parvez, 16, who was strangled by her father in an honor murder in the Toronto-area. She refused to wear the Islamic hijab, and wanted to live the normal lifestyle of a Canadian teenage girl, but ran into conflict with her strict, religious father. One friend and schoolmate said the Canadian teenager was afraid of her father and often came to school wearing bruises, the result of his violence.

Her death appears to have been the result of a family decision, and there is some evidence that her older sister used to spy on her at school for the family. It appears that she was lured to her death by a brother whom she trusted. He picked her up at a bus stop, saying he would bring her home to get a change of clothes, where she was then killed, for living like a Canadian. There are Muslims who have the courage to face this problem: -

Tarek Fatah, founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress, calls Parvez’s murder a blight on Islam.” In my mind, this was an honor killing,” said Fatah, adding it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

And as if he was talking directly to the Toronto Star, the Muslim community leader also said there needs to be an honest debate about this murder and that “the media should not just talk to the ones wearing head scarves but the ones who do not want to.”

With or without the hijab on, Aqsa Parvez would only have nodded her agreement with that.


  1. Sorry, I don't buy into the argument that Islam has the same percentage of violence that all other 'religions' have. On the contrary, judging from all of the wars that are going on today and the teachings within the Koran, I see that violence is much more prevalent throughout the Islamic world than the western world. This applies to both internal and external violence. By this I mean internal to be Muslim against Muslim as opposed to external being Muslim against non-Muslim.

    We are witnessing for only the 2nd time in all of recorded history the occurance of repeated suicide attack. The origin of Japan turning to this horrific tactic
    was based upon cultural ideology. The new occurance of this tactic has as its origins the culture that has grown from the Koran.

    Most if not all of this violence originates in the Koran. Just to take one example: It does not take any interpretation to understand what 'kill the occupiers' means.

  2. Jim, you may want to take a gander at Libertarian Republican blog. I did your article justice.

    Your now famous Mate!

  3. Thanks Eric, it looks good over there, and it is something that deserves better coverage than it is getting. I am stunned at the lack of interest this gruesome event has received from the press.

    A Google News search last night revealed that apart from a couple of paragraphs in MSNBC, the interest was mainly local. Its a beheading in downtown US for heavens sake.

    The Press see themselves as part of the elite and now decide what is good for us to know. Their attitude toward the public is something like, "You want the truth; You can't handle the truth."

    Joe SP; Go back and read what is there. At no point did I suggest that Western civilization was as bad on violence as Islam. The point I was making was that our own record on violence within families is not good.

    Self improvement is not achieved by merely pointing out someone we can say is worse than us and then feeling smug about it. We need to get better ourselves.

    My comment on churches was pointing out that they have in the main failed to give women equal status, it had nothing to do with violence.

  4. .
    No matter how many beheadings, stonings, or terrorist attacks there are, we must never fear, resist or mock the precious and ever peaceful Islam. Who are we to say that raping 9 year-olds is immoral? Who are we to say that stoning gays and rape victims to death is evil?

    Who are we to say that killing hundreds of people every month in the name of Allah is the height of evil? That is just their culture and ideology and it MUST be respected. Morality is all relative, we must remember that.
    absurd thought -
    God of the Universe says
    cut off your wife's head

    if she dishonors you
    by asking for a divorce

    absurd thought -
    God of the Universe wants
    all planets Islamic

    Earth is one of many
    in process of conversion

    absurd thought -
    God of the Universe wants
    many Taliban planets

    stonings and beheadings
    billions served daily

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    convert the infidels

    or make them pay a tax
    if they don’t want to die
    All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
    Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
    Help STOP Terrorism Today!