The two Americans are Dr. Phyllis Chesler, professor of psychology at the Richmond College of the City University of New York; and M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (he's from Wisconsin).
Short version: details, including the quite gruesome beheading and display of body parts, make Aasiya's murder look like an honor killing.
Defending Islam, or Defending Honor Killing?I don't think that ignoring an issue and hoping it'll go away is a good idea. Muslim women are being killed by Muslim men, because the men are in a snit about something. And, back in the old country, the men are expected to act that way.
This isn't right. Not according to American law. And, according to quite a few Muslims, including Pakistan's Islamic Party, it's not right according to Islam.
Honor killing, along with some other weird customs and ideas that show up in places like Sudan and Saudi Arabia, seems to have more to do with a Middle Eastern culture that was ancient when Abraham had children, than what The Prophet taught a few thousand years later.
I'm sure that the idea of "honor killing" is an embarrassment to some Muslims. (I've written about this before.) But, it doesn't seem to be quite as directly related to Islam as some 'whiter-than-thou' American bigots and the occasional misguided Muslim might think.
Remember what Pakistan's Islamic Party said: 'Honor killing is against Islam.'
Jumping to Conclusions is Dumb: No Matter Which Way You GoI don't think it's right - or sensible - to assume that, because a few cultures where almost everyone is a Muslim practice honor killing, all Muslims accept honor killing. Much less that Islam itself says 'if your wife makes you feel bad, kill her.'
I also think that some 'sophisticated' Americans, in their zeal to defend another 'oppressed minority,' should take a deep breath before speaking, and think very carefully about exactly what they are defending.
- "Muzzammil Hassan on CNN: Islamic Network and Beheaded Wife in (some of) the News"
(February 17, 2009)
- "Muslim Founder of Islamic Network Beheads Wife: But it's No Big Deal?"
(February 16, 2009)
- "Saudi Arabia Bans Valentine's Day - and the Color Red"
(February 10, 2009)
- "The New York Times, Insularity, and Assumptions"
(October 21, 2008)
- "CAIR, Yaser Said, and the FBI: Don't Say 'Honor Killing' "
(October 14, 2008)
- "Honor Killing is Against Islam, Islamic Party Members Say"
(September 7, 2008)
- "Pro-Islamic Ads Coming to New York City Subways: There's a Real Danger Here, of Becoming Informed"
(July 21, 2008)