TV Executive’s decapitation of wife not allowed in Islam

Posted on February 20, 2009


Kari Ansari, Chicago Tribune, 2/20/09

Aasiya Zubair Hassan is dead of decapitation.

When we in the Muslim community received this news we prayed for her soul and held our collective breath, waiting for the negative associations to surface in media reports. Sure enough, the term “honor killing” has risen like green scum on a stagnant pond, giving every Muslim-bashing blog and ultraconservative media outlet a proverbial field day.

What could be more ironic? A Muslim TV executive charged with decapitating his Muslim wife. Aasiya and her estranged husband, Muzzammil Hassan, founded an upstate New York cable TV channel called Bridges Television whose mission was to promote a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.

Now I’m even reading comments from people who worked with her on a professional level using the term honor killing to describe her death. Women’s groups who know nothing about the situation are throwing the term around as if they know what it implies and what it entails, associating it with the murder of Aasiya.

First, let’s get one fact straight. Islamic law does not allow a man to kill his wife, for any reason. There is nothing in the teachings of the faith that says a man should protect the honor of his stature in the community by committing violence against a woman.

While the problem of honor killings does still certainly exist in the Muslim and Hindu worlds, and in other patriarchal societies, we are addressing this problem on a worldwide basis, working to eradicate this cultural practice. However it must be said that in the case of Islam, these brutal acts occur in spite of the faith, not because of it.

When Nicole Simpson was savagely murdered, her throat was stabbed numerous times almost to the point of decapitation; did we call this an honor killing? [more]