When I watched Afshan Azad entering the Yule Ball as Padma Patil with Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I did not even think about whether or not she was a Muslim. Instead, like many Potter fans, I was thinking about Hermione, and how the two of them really just needed to get the Gryffindor together.
According to an article in the Daily Express, Azad was allegedly beaten because she was heard talking on the phone to her Hindu boyfriend. The article refers to her assault as an occurrence during what it calls a “family honor” row. Azad pressed charges against both her father and brother, but has since requested to drop the charges.
If there is one thing that irritates me more than self-righteous domestic abuse, it is the reasoning of “family honor.” The article utilizes the term as a buzzword, but does not really make any attempt to unpack what this term might mean, thus inviting the reader to homogenize Muslims.
Asra Nomani reflects about Azad’s story, and uses it as an opportunity to write about her own hardships choosing a partner outside of Islam, and the resistance she has met from the Muslim community. Why is it always about Asra? [Read more...]