“Islamic” Honor Killings and Crocodile Tears

Loonwatchers, please welcome Ilisha our newest contributor. She will be focusing on issues of women and Islam.

This month Pamella Geller published a book entitled, “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” which she describes as a “how to” guide for fighting various Islamic menaces, including “creeping sharia” and “stealth jihad.”  She also describes how Muslims, who make up less than 2% of the American population, are “Islamic Supremacists” plotting to take over every aspect of American life.

Geller has also announced plans for a future book tentatively entitled, “Sex, Murder, and Islam: Honor Killing in America. ”  She says the book will be about the “ongoing proliferation” of honor killings among immigrants to the West from Muslim countries.   Honor killings have recently become the centerpiece of Geller’s campaign against Islam, and feature prominently on her website, Atlas Shrugs.

Honor killings are not Islamic, and they are not condoned in the Qur’an.  This is a matter of fact. Honor killing is a form of murder where the victim is denied a fair trial, which is contrary to Islamic law.  Islam opposes acts of murder and vigilantism, and likens the killing of one human being to the killing of the entire human race (Qur’an 5:32, 6:151, 17:33).  Honor killing is a cultural inheritance which predates Islam by centuries, and  Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations have all said that honor killings cut across cultural and religious lines.

Nevertheless, “Islamic” honor killings are a public relations bonanza for Islamophobes, especially when they take place in a Western country.  They are used to reinforce the notion that Islam is inherently violent and irrational, and to suggest that Muslim families view a young woman’s adoption of Western culture as a capital offense.  Isolated incidents are amplified through intense media coverage, stoking fears that Muslims are importing barbaric customs into Western countries through immigration.

Anti-Muslim hate sites including Jihadwatch, Atlas Shrugs, and Frontpage Magazine have been weeping crocodile tears for Aqsa Parvez since she was killed by her father and brother in December of 2007 in an apparent honor killing.  Both men received life sentences for their crime in June of 2010, but that hasn’t stopped Pamela Geller from continuing to exploit the incident to advance her agenda.  She recently managed to raise $5,000 in donations she used to fund a controversial memorial plaque for Aqsa Parvez in Israel.

Parvez is the ideal poster child for their campaign to vilify Islam because she was the teenage daughter of Muslim immigrants living in Ontario, Canada.  For similar reasons, Robert Spencer is exploiting the tragic death of two sisters, Sarah Yaser Said, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18, who were shot and killed by their father, an immigrant from Egypt, in January of 2008 in Texas.

Geller and Spencer show little interest in similar crimes when they are committed by non-Muslims.  A few months before Aqsa Parvez was killed, a gruesome video surfaced of a 17-year old Du’a Khalil Aswad in Mosul, Iraq being stoned to death by a mob while she cried out for help.  The video garnered immediate attention when it was presumed to be an “Islamic” crime, but quickly dropped out of the spotlight when it turned out the victim was a Kurdish girl from the Yazidi religion who was killed for having an Arab Muslim boyfriend.

In 2008, a man in Chicago killed his pregnant daughter, her 3-year old child, and her husband by burning down their home because she had married a man from a lower caste.  This horrific crime was ignored by the usual hate brigade because the perpetrator was a non-Muslim immigrant from India.  Robert Spencer mentioned the case on Jihadwatch only briefly, and that was to complain that media attention should be going to the murder of the Said sisters instead.

Geller’s Atlas Shrugs features a memorial page entitled, “Honor Killing: Islam’s Gruesome Gallery.”  It is indeed gruesome and serves her agenda of inspiring outrage against Islam and Muslims. Unlike the Memini (“Remembrance”) memorial for victims of honor killings from all religious backgrounds, Geller’s Gruesome Gallery is devoted exclusively to highlighting honor killings associated with Muslims.

Geller and Spencer have also been relentless in trying to get police in Tampa, Florida to reopen the case of  Fatima Abdullah, insisting she was the victim of an honor killing and subsequent cover up.   The 48-year old woman died when she fell and hit her head on a coffee table at her brother’s home.  Her brother was not home at the time of the incident.

Pamela Geller says the death is suspicious because Abdullah could not have “suicided” herself by “banging her head on a table.” Robert Spencer wrote about the Abdullah case on Jihadwatch, saying:

This is the sharia in America. The idea that a woman would die after she ‘threw herself to the floor’ or hit her head repeatedly on the coffee table is institutionalized gender apartheid, the sharia. The idea defies logic, belies reality.

As a self-proclaimed scholar on Islam, Spencer should know that Islamic law (“the sharia”) does not sanction honor killing.  The coroner’s autopsy report concluded the “Manner of Death” was “Accident (Decedent fell and struck head on table).”  The detailed medical report does not mention any evidence of foul play.

Jihadwatch later published a page with the headline, “Tampa Police crime scene tech now admits ‘fear of Muslim reprisal’ in honor killing classified as accidental death,” which was reposted to numerous anti-Muslim hate sites.  This implies police lied when they ruled the case an accident, but a closer look at the details shows this headline is misleading.

A crime scene technician from the Tampa police department called the Florida Family Association (FFA) nearly a year after the initial investigation and asked that her name be removed from their website, which has been stirring up controversy over the case, in concert with Geller and Spencer.  The technician did not want her name posted on a controversial public website, though it is unclear from the reports whether she feared reprisal from angry Muslims, or from “activists” aligned with the FFA.

Although Tampa police have stood by results of their initial investigation, Geller and an assortment of other loony Islamophobes continue to exert pressure on authorities to reopen the case.  They have linked the case to their conspiracy theories about Muslims taking over the country, apparently starting with the Tampa Police Department.  Geller has dubbed the city “Tampastan,” and claims Florida police are engaged in a cover up because, “…murdering Muslim women in America is preferable to offending Muslims or insulting Islam.”

It is tempting to dismiss Geller and Spencer for their outlandish statements and crude publicity stunts, but they have enjoyed surprising success, especially in using the mainstream media as a conduit for spreading their hateful ideas.  If they were targeting any other minority group, they would probably be consigned to the lunatic fringe.

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