Muzzammil Hassan: Failed Mission?
The February 17th issue of the International Herald Tribune presents a most-ironic report, if it should turn out to be true:
Muzzammil Hassan, founder and CEO of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Bridges TV which [was] launched in 2004 with a mission to show Muslims in a more positive light, was charged after reporting the death of his wife, Aasiya Hassan, 37, on Thursday night.Since the decapitated body of his wife was found at the Bridges TV offices, allegedly beheaded by Mr. Hassan, then if the allegations should prove true (and various reports say that he has confessed), I believe that we can probably conclude that Mr. Hassan has been unsuccessful in his mission.
The article further reports:
Authorities said Aasiya Hassan, with whom Hassan had two children, had recently filed for divorce and had an order of protection mandating that he leave their home as of February 6.Given that Ms. Hassan had recently filed for divorce, I suggest that this was a so-called 'honor' killing of the sort that is currently becoming far too common in Western Europe and even in the United States. From what little that I know of Sharia (Muslim law), this sort of thing is not expressly condoned (and, indeed, is probably condemned). However, the specifically Islamic variant of shame-and-honor culture seems to have a higher incidence of honor killings with excessive violence:
Not all honor killings are perpetrated by Muslims, but the overwhelming majority are. Ninety percent of the honor killers shown [in a study] . . . were Muslim. In every case, perpetrators view their victims as violating rules of religious conduct and act without remorse. (Phyllis Chesler, "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?" Middle East Quarterly 16.2, Spring 2009, pp. 61-69)The evidence presented by Chesler thus suggests that Muslim communities have an enormous problem here that goes beyond 'ordinary' domestic violence -- in my opinion, due to the very strict and rigid shame-and-honor control exerted by many Muslim men upon Muslim women. Perhaps if Mr. Hassan had spent more time analyzing this cultural problem rather than simply pursuing his "mission to show Muslims in a more positive light" -- however worthy that may be -- he might have learned to face his own tendencies toward violence and thereby better have succeeded in his 'mission'.
Or at least not have failed so spectacularly.