I think that there have been a lot of good comments to the piece the other day on the killing of the two Muslim girls in Texas, masha’Allah. I am in agreement that it is true that many in the media and outside political forces will use whatever they can to give a bad reputation to Muslims and there are those who will take advantage of this case and use it for propaganda purposes. However, I think that if Muslims are keeping it real, and being honest with themselves, they will also admit that we have a problem in the community and saying that others do the same thing is not exactly addressing the problem.An example of this came to me this morning when a Muslim couple was having a conversation on this topic. The husband, an African-American Muslim said he wished he would see the guy who killed his daughter so he could either beat him or collect the reward for capturing him; but the wife, a Muslim woman from Morocco, defended the man, chastised the dead girls, and said that “America is a bad society” because fathers are not “real men” and do not “defend the honor” of their girls.
This is not the first time I have heard something like this and it will not be the last. A Palestinian brother who was a friend of mine who I used to do security at the masjid with told me that he saw what is known as “honor killings” as a part of the deen. He was not a bad person, as a matter of fact this was a very nice brother who volunteered a lot of his time to the community; but he grew-up in a culture where this was seen as a part of the deen and it had never been challenged in his mind.
So, I am not going to say that this is not a problem in the Muslim ummah and then try and say this happens with other people too, because it has no logical bearing on the situation within the Muslim community.
Normally I make a conscious effort to not watch Fox News because every time I do I end up getting angry at all the nonsense I am hearing and I am not trying to let Sean Hannity send me to a premature death by giving me a heart attack.This morning I decided to watch all three major cables news channels and C-Span to get as much coverage of the Iowa Caucus as possible from all angles and in particular I wanted to hear the conservative take on FOX regarding the victory of Mike Huckabee on the Republican side ( I was already in a good mood because of the Obama win the night before and had my fill with that).
It just so happened while watching FOX I saw the coverage of the murders of Sarah (17) and Aminah (18) Said by their father Yaser Abdel-Said in his taxi in Irvine, TX. For those of you unfamiliar with the story these were two Muslim girls allegedly killed by their Egyptian father and there is speculation that he may have killed them because he was angry over the way they dressed and their interactions with non-Muslim boys. For now this is just speculation and we don’t really know what happened.
If this is the case of a so-called “honor killing” or there was some supposed “Islamic motivation” for this killing then that is a tragedy, not only because these girls died for no reason, but because there is nothing honorable or Islamic about these murders.
For the record there are hundreds of thousands of young Muslim women in America and the vast majority of them are well-adjusted, loved by their families, and are on paths to success. If you do not believe me go to any large college campus anywhere in America and you will see Muslim women well-represented who have not been killed by their families; but have rather been nurtured and supported into success. These young Muslim women represent the majority of Muslim women in America and are far more representative of the community than tragic isolated incidents such as those of Sarah and Aminah.
Having said that there are problems with the treatment of girls and women in our community and I have written on this topic on numerous occasions in the past. There is a problem of domestic violence, abuse, abandonment, and ill-treatment of women in the Muslim community. This is not Islam, and this is not what the Quran teaches and it is not the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) or the way of the Salaf, but it is something that occurs in the community due to backwards and outdated cultural notions.
It seems as if a Pakistani man, from the same Pakistan as Mukhtar Mai, murdered his eldest daughter for marrying against his will and slit the throats of her three younger sisters because in the future they might do the same. Can someone tell me why this keeps happening in Pakistan? Can someone tell me why is it that Pakistan is supposed to a modern state then why are tribal leaders allowed to give out their own version of corrupt justice? Can someone tell me why the ulama of Pakistan are not more involved in combating this sort of savage treatment against women? It seems as if many fathers in Pakistan do not love their daughters, or if they do that love plays a lesser role to other impulses such as fear, possessiveness, jealousy and group-think.
What will be done? President Musharraf will make a statement condemning the act, the man will be sentenced, and Pakistan will try to ignore the issue. Some mullah may condemn it in a speech; but that will be about it. Amongst Progressive Muslims and the West papers will be written and speeches will be given by people no one in Pakistan has ever heard of that will have about as much effect as shouting on top of a mountain. To combat these types of acts you need education; but you also need the stick. This guy needs to die, in public, and to shame him and his tiny brain he should be forced to walk nude to the center of town with everyone watching before his throat is slit by a female police officer or official.
One more thing, and I can guarantee this, when I go to the Masjid and discuss this with some of my Pakistani friends, they will be in denial. They will say it did not happen, that the Jews in the media are exaggerating it, and they will say this is very rare. The praises of Pakistan will be sung and they will then say, “well this guy went overboard, but most of the time they are killing the zanni.”
On Another Note
Shia political parties are holding rallies in Iraq supporting the election results, the results that anyone who can do math knows are fraudulent, and counter-rallies are occurring in which Sunnis, secular Iraqis, Kurds and others are joining together in calling for an investigation and recount of the elections.