Chesler Chronicles

Is Yaser Said a Typical Honor Killer or a Sick Man? Stay Tuned to Fox-TV.

This coming Saturday, November 22, 2008, at 9pm est, America’s Most Wanted, which is Fox-TV‘s longest running program, will fictionalize the heinous double murder of Texas-American teenagers, Amina and Sarah Said, by their father, Yaser Abdul Said, and, in my opinion, by their mother Patricia (“Tissy,”) as well.

The producer told me that this created-for-TV drama will run for 13 minutes and will probably air as the second story of the hour.

Gail Gartrell, who is the heroically determined great-aunt of the two doomed girls, insisted that the producer call me herself to verify that the show was, finally, going to run. (Thank you Gail!) The drama was “in the can” long ago but producers wisely delayed airing it until after the Great Election Madness had died down.

As my readers know, I have written many articles about this case. You will find them HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. The FBI featured Papa Said on their Ten Most Wanted List; for about ten days, they described him as having committed an honor killing. Then, the FBI dropped this designation. Said again became a mere murderer. Some people believe that the FBI backed down due to Islamist pressure. That could be true. But I also think that describing Said accurately might lead Muslims to perceive him as a hero and/or as someone who is being persecuted because he is a Muslim. In either case, some Muslims might be further inclined to shelter him which would make it harder, not easier, to capture him.

I wonder: Will America’s Most Wanted present Yaser Said as a “psychiatrically deranged” killer or will they present his daughter-killing as a culturally approved and heroized act? One can see it both ways. From a western point of view, those men who kill their wives or their children are, by definition, “sick” and might be diagnosed as “paranoid,” or “sociopathic.” But from a non-western point of view, such killers are often seen as “heroic” or as “defenders of the faith.”

The drama, for me, consists of what approach Fox will take and what their decision implies.

For the answer: Stay tuned to Fox on Saturday night.