Murder for Allah?

My wife has been reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel for some weeks; she says she can take the book only in small doses because it describes such horrible circumstances, at least in its first sections. That women suffer terrible abuses throughout much of the Muslim world is no secret. Now it seems likely that such abuse has arisen in Texas. Here’s the story from Fox News:

Slain Teen Girls’ Brother Begs for Suspect Father to Turn Himself In
Saturday, January 05, 2008

As the family of two teenage Texas girls allegedly shot by their father and left to die in his taxi prepared to bury them, their brother issued a plea to his father.

“I just hope he turns himself in because, you know, he messed up the whole family,” Islam Said, 19, told after his sisters were found dead Tuesday night.

Said said his father, Yaser Abdel Said, 50, of Lewisville, Texas, was having a very hard time when his daughters, Sarah Yaser Said, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18, started dating.

Connie Moggio, the girls’ aunt, said there had been turbulence in the Said household for a while.

She said her sister married Yaser Abdel Said at the age of 15 and was pregnant shortly after, adding she had tried to leave her husband many times over the years, most recently, on Christmas Eve.

“A few days before she called me at my job and told me she was leaving because he had threatened the girls because they were dating,” Moggio told …

A local Austin imam condemned the murders on [an internet] tribute page…

The victims’ brother made a statement at the vigil that the deaths have nothing to do with religion. …

Brigitte Gabriel, author of “Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America,” said the shootings point to an “honor killing.”

“This crime has honor killing written all over it,” Gabriel said. “The father was insulted and ashamed of how his daughters were behaving.”

The daughters were bringing shame to Islam and the father took it upon himself to respond, Gabriel said.

“The father probably was seeing that this is going to bring shame on the family and he needed to eliminate that shame,” Gabriel said.

The report is preliminary in nature. However, accounts abound about so-called “honor killings,” genital mutilation, physical disfigurement, legal barbarism, and overwhelming oppression of women throughout the Muslim world. Every civilized person must condemn such horrors and demand that they be stopped. In a rational world, dating, having consensual sex prior to marriage, driving, traveling alone, and dressing in Western attire are not criminal offenses, much less offenses punished by physical damage or death.

Here is one of the many horrors to which Ali was subjected:

[Grandma] caught hold of me and gripped my upper body… Two other women held my legs apart. The man… picked up a pair of scissors. With the other hand, he caught hold of the place between my legs and started tweaking it… Then the scissors went down between my legs and the man cut off my inner labia and clitoris. I heard it, like a butcher snipping the fat off a piece of meat. A piercing pain shot up between my legs, indescribable, and I howled. Then came the sewing: the long, blunt needle clumsily pushed into my bleeding outer labia, my loud and anguished protests, Grandma’s words of comfort and encouragement. … I must have fallen asleep, for it wasn’t until much later that day that I realized that my legs had been tied together, to prevent me from moving to facilitate the formation of a scar. It was dark and my bladder was bursting, but it hurt too much to pee. The sharp pain was still there, and my legs were covered in blood. I was sweating and shivering. It wasn’t until the next day that my Grandma could persuade me to pee even a little. By then everything hurt. When I just lay still the pain throbbed miserably, but when I urinated the flash of pain was as sharp as when I had been cut. (pages 32-33)

If atrocities against women “have nothing to do with religion,” then why does much of the Muslim world continue to allow them?

2 thoughts on “Murder for Allah?”

  1. Ari, dishonor killings pre-date Islam by centuries. They have more to do with culture than with faith.

    I have little doubt the beautiful Said sisters of suburban Dallas were killed for supposed honor. I have been exposed to many of these crimes, and there are distinct patterns.

    Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
    “Reclaiming Honor in Jordan”

  2. Richard Watts, who was having technical difficulties with the blog, asked me to post his comments, which follow:

    What horrible stories! This is what George W. Bush called “a great religion”.

    Ms. Sheeley,

    “Ari, dishonor killings pre-date Islam by centuries. They have more to do with culture than with faith.”

    If this atrocity was a part of Arab “culture” before Islam, and was incorporated into Islam, that makes Islam no less vile than if the practice had originated in Islam.

    The fact that Islam is compatible with these murders shows Islam’s moral character. What Islam considers honorable is quite revealing — the forbidding of the enjoyment of life and the killing of those who dare to enjoy their lives. That practice has everything to do with faith. It is part of Islam’s identity — it crosses national boundaries and it is practiced by Muslims who are not Arabs. Murder to enforce sexual “honor” follows Islam itself — just as it was once practiced by Christians who obeyed the Bible’s commandments.

    I would be very surprised if the Muslim scriptures do not likewise command that an unchaste woman be killed. What is your knowledge of this? Do the scriptures of Islam command – or sanction – killing women for forbidden sexual practices, or not?

    Further, even if “honor” murders were part of Arab culture before Islam, I figure that some type of “faith” was responsible for that. After all, every “faith” has something in common — all faith is unreason. It’s not reason that tells people that they have a moral duty to murder others for partaking in life’s pleasures — it’s religion that tells people that.

    Richard Watts

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