Honor Diaries: A Real Conversation on Women’s Rights or a Scratch on the Surface?

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In April 2011, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, an Iraqi immigrant to the United States, was sentenced to 34.5 years in prison for killing his 20 year-old daughter for becoming "too westernized." The case was deemed an "honor killing" because the daughter, according to the dad, dishonored the whole family.This story is one of many presented by the film Honor Diaries, a recently launched film project directed by Micah Smith, and produced by Paula Kweskin, Heidi Basch-Harod and Alex Traiman. The film … [Read more...]

Dead Muslim Women As Opportunities

A woman in a headscarf tries to get into the "Human Rights Conference"

In April of 2011, 20 year-old Jessica Mokdad was allegedly gunned down by her stepfather Rahim Alfetlawi. The media uproar over the murder was immediate and, unsurprisingly, cloaked under the sensationalized trope of “honor killing.” While Mokdad’s family, including her biological father, stressed that Alfetlawi had issues of control and was not acting out of some religious convictions, the use of “honor killing” continued and served, also, most poignantly as a source for protest against even … [Read more...]

Religious and Cultural Appropriation in the Newspaper and the Courtroom

The family members charged with murder. Photo via the Toronto Star.

On the morning of June 30, 2009 a quadruple-murder case rocked the city of Kingston in Ontario, Canada. Four women were found dead, submerged in the Rideau Canal, in their Nissan Sentra. At first it seemed as though boaters had come across a teenage prank gone awry or the victims of a horrific car accident.However, as the bodies were identified as Zainab Shafia, age 19, Sahar Shafia, age 17, Geeti Shafia, age 13, and Rona Amir Mohammad, age 50, a grim and heartbreaking story began to … [Read more...]

The Sensational Story That Wasn’t: Reports Of ‘Stoning’ Death Of Ukrainian Girl Turn Out To Be False

This was written by Farangis Najibullah and originally published at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. RFE/RL's Ukraine Service correspondents Volodymyr Prytula in Crimea and Maryana Drach in Prague contributed to this report.The headlines were nothing short of chilling."Aspiring 'Miss Ukraine' Killed Under Shari'a Laws In Crimea" warned Ukrainian online newspaper "Gazeta Po-Kievski.""Radical Islamists Murder Young Girl In Crimea," screamed Russia's "Svobodnaya Pressa.""Muslim Girl,19, … [Read more...]

CNN FAIL on Honor Killing Coverage

This past week a woman was murdered in an apparent honor killing in the Gaza Strip. She was beaten by her father who thought she was having an affair. May Allah have mercy on the soul and forgive the sins of the woman, named Fadia, and may there also be justice for her death.Unfortunately, CNN’s coverage of Fadia’s murder was a big FAIL. The first reason was the picture accompanying the piece. The article didn’t even need a picture, but if the editors felt that they needed a picture to accom … [Read more...]

“Honour Killings” and “Canadian Values”

Three family members have recently been charged in the deaths of three teenage sisters and a female relative.  The three girls--Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti Shafia--and their father's first wife, Rona Mohammed, were found dead in a car that had been submerged in the Rideau Canal.  Innaa lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji`oun (to God we belong and to God we will return.)Because the three accused of the murder are the parents and older brother of the girls, and because the family, although currently l … [Read more...]

A Collection of Statements Concerning the Murder of Aasiya Hassan — Updated 3.3.09

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