Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Passion Crimes

A married couple managed a local TV station together in Buffalo, New York, but their marriage appears to have been volatile. The wife filed for divorce after claiming to be abused by her husband.

But before the child custody hearing date arrived, the wife was found dead in the hallway of the local TV station where she worked with her husband.

The husband has turned himself in to police but has not confessed to committing the murder of his wife. No weapon has been found and the children are in the care of one of the husband's colleagues at the time of this blog post.

The wife has a sister who is on her way to New York to see what the courts will do with the children. She hopes she can acquire the two kids. She admits that she always felt that her brother-in-law would do something like this. She may have even heard the murder happen over the phone. While she was talking with her sister, their conversation was abruptly interrupted. She over heard her sister arguing with her husband on the other end. Then, she heard what sounded like a struggle. Her sister never came back on the phone line.

Another horrible case of domestic violence.

Or is there more to this?

The couple: Muzzammi and Aasiya Hassan

They are Muslim Americans.

Aasiya Hassan was brutally assaulted and beheaded. This method of her murder raises suspicion that she died due to Islamic fervor.

And the purpose of the local TV station? To broadcast shows that curbed negative stereotypes of Muslims.

What a dark, horrific irony!

So, is this domestic violence? Or is this an Islamic "Honor Killing"?

Muzzammi Hassan has been divorced before. He has teenage kids from a previous marriage.

I assume his former wife is still alive. No one has said so far in the media.

I am quite tempted to blame this on their religion. But, I hesitate. Often, we've seen parents ruthlessly kill their children; husbands kill their wives. Sometimes wives kill their husbands. Are we being unfair to insist that Islam has fueled this murder?

At what point do we say this is no different from any other member of any other demographic committing the same sort of crime?

Or, does the question even matter?

Regardless of our feelings on the matter, I hope justice prevails. I also hope the children find safety and can begin to heal at the loss of their parents.

Here are two stories to read for yourself:

U.S. Muslim TV boss 'beheaded wife'

'Monster decapitated my sister'
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