According to the Buffalo News, Muzzammil Hassan has been charged with beheading his wife Aasiya Hassan.
Muzzammil Hassan, who is the founder of a TV channel dedicated to reshaping the opinions of those who hold negative views of Muslim Americans, allegedly turned himself in to police last Thursday night. Muzzamil Hassan told police that the body of his wife, Aasiya, 37, could be found at the Bridges TV station. Upon arriving at the station, police officers discovered Aasiya’s decapitated body lying in a hallway. No murder weapon has been found.
According to Aasiya Hassan’s lawyer, she had recently filed for divorce, alleging domestic abuse. Police have confirmed that, as of February 6, an order of protection was in force that barred Muzzammil Hassan from the family home in Orchard Park.
Since Muzzammil Hassan’s arrest, speculation has been swirling that the horrific decapitation of Aasiya was an “honor killing.” Marcia Pappas, who is the New York state president for the National Organization of Women, says that the slaying of Aasiya Hassan was a “terroristic version” of honor killing, which stems from, as she puts it, “cultural notions about women’s subordination to men.”
While Pappas concedes that domestic violence occurs in all cultures, she contends that Muslim women are more likely to remain silent because of the stigma associated with acts of domestic violence. She says that Muslim men use religion as a justification for perpetrating violence against women.
As well, some are of the opinion that media coverage of the alleged beheading of Aasiya Hassan by her husband Muzzammil Hassan has been muted as the result of a double standard with respect to covering Muslim issues.
…. “when Muzzammil Hassan allegedly cut off his estranged wife’s head this month, coverage not only was muted, but the media bent over backward to dispel any notion that religion had anything to do with it. After all, isn’t wife-beheading an ecumenical practice?” writes Jonah Goldberg in a Los Angeles Times editorial.
Goldberg contends that journalists are more concerned about the negative reactions of special interest groups than they are about getting at the truth. He notes that, in addition to Muslims, journalists are intimidated by the the following groups: gays, blacks, Latinos, Asians, Jews, feminists, evangelical Christians and the handicapped.
Goldberg notes that you can write interminably about the transgressions of presidents (including accusations of mass murder and sexually depraved behavior) but you “don’t you dare invite the wrath of Mothers Against Drunk Driving or the parents of autistic kids or (shudder) cat lovers.”
Orchard Park businessman charged in beheading of wife, Fred O. Williams and Gene Warner, The Buffalo News, February 14, 2009
Possiblity of ‘honor killing mulled in Orchard Park slaying, Fred O. Willimas, The Buffalo News, February 17, 2009
The ‘truth to power’ gap, Jonah Goldberg, The Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2009