The so-called “honor murder” of Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37, in Orchard Park, New York, by her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44 — he turned himself in to police, so there’s nothing “alleged” about it — motivated me to track down the Washington Post’s coverage of another honor murder in Potomac, Maryland, in 2001.
Marianne I. Oweiss, 49, who was German, was murdered by her Egyptian gynecologist (*cringe*) husband, Zakariah Oweiss, in their home in super-posh Potomac, Maryland, on August 15, 2001. The Washington Post story (available here and here) does not identify the murderer as Muslim.
Marianne and I worked as Realtors in different offices of Coldwell Banker Realty Pros (later purchased by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) and I did not know her personally. But simply working at the same company, having been in the same room for company banquets, was enough proximity for me to feel the horror and senselessness of her death very deeply. I don’t want her forgotten.
I Googled to see what else Chesler might have written on the subject and came up with an interview she had in 2006 with Kathryn Jean Lopez, which was published at the National Review Online here. Chesler has an unusual insight into the subjects of Islam, women’s rights and feminism not only as an extraordinarily gifted thinker and writer but also as a Jew who married her Afghani Muslim college sweetheart and lived in Afghanistan under strict Islamic laws until she could escape.
Regarding her captivity in Afghanistan in the early 1960s due to her marriage, Chesler says:
My experience taught me some important lessons that are currently of vital importance to Americans.
First, I learned that both evil and barbarism are indigenous to every culture and not caused by imperialism, colonialism, or Zionism — as the Western intelligentsia would have it. Afghanistan had never ever been occupied by the British, who literally died in droves trying to invade. The refusal to enter the 20th century was an entirely Afghan and Muslim decision. I was there in 1961, long before the Taliban made things much harsher for girls and women.
Second, I learned that Muslims who can pass for Westerners often have multiple cultural personalities. In the West, they are like us; in the East, they are not. In a jihadic era, when jihadists are moving among us and have access to our most advanced ideas about tolerance and to our technology, it is important to keep this in mind.
Third, I also learned that America may not be perfect, but it is not the worst country in the world; rather, it is the best country. It is a perspective that I would like other Americans, especially our academics, to ponder. What we have here would constitute a revolution in any Arab and Muslim country.
Fourth, I am not a cultural relativist. I have seen the lives of poor people and of women in a third-world country and believe that they are entitled to the same rights and freedoms that Western people enjoy. We have a moral imperative to assist in the modernization of all human cultures; how to do so, and at what cost, remain unanswered, burning questions.
Finally, every day I lived in Kabul my mother-in-law tried to convert me to Islam. She eventually scorned me as the “Yahud” (the “Jew”). Thus, I became finely attuned to religious apartheid as well. I understood that, with some exceptions, Muslims do not have a history or a psychology of tolerating other religions very well; on the contrary. Islamic history is one in which Muslims have taxed, impoverished, jailed, murdered, or exiled all those who do not convert to Islam. Today, the level of anti-American and anti-Jewish propaganda in the Islamic world is lethal, toxic, and has unleashed a global jihad against both Israel and the West. We cannot afford to tolerate the intolerant nor can we afford to minimize the dangers to our civilization posed by Islamist fanatics who have successfully hijacked their religion and peoples.
H/T to Gateway Pundit, whose coverage of Aasiya Z. Hassan’s murder was the first that I saw.
Update: Dr. Chesler now has a piece on this murder at Pajamas Media here. It is not the piece mentioned above by Daniel Pipes, but Dr. Chesler says the publication date for that piece may now be moved up.