An Ongoing Cultural Autopsy
The information is so overwhelming and so awful that even the mainstream media has increasingly been forced to describe the plight of women in Muslim lands. Over the weekend, Nicholas D. Kristof (who has always been good on this) tells the story of a new Pakistani hero: Sixteen-year-old, Assiya Rafiq, who was kidnapped, sold, beaten and raped for a solid year—and then raped again when she went to the police to press charges. She, her supportive parents and siblings now live in hiding as she prepares to prosecute both the gang-members and the police.
Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both have articles about the return of the Taliban to the Swat Valley in Pakistan and about what that means: The increased kidnapping and indoctrination of children into becoming jihadic warriors and the parallel brutalization of women, infidels, and civilians through beheadings, acid attacks, forced, harsh veiling, and bans on women shopping.
Islam Watch has just reported an increase in the caning of women in Bangladesh (a dangerous and crippling punishment). The same article also discusses the typical nightmare of one battered Afghan wife whose husband and in-laws kept trying to kill her—and whose own brothers are now trying to kill her because she dared flee and divorce the human monster. This one particular woman has lost custody of her nine children and lives in hiding with the help of an American charitable NGO. This is a picture of Afghanistan today.
Which brings me to the Afghan-Canadian family which has just been charged with the mass murder of four of its female members. We in the West had better start factoring in the international and cultural realities that govern the histories and psychologies of immigrants from Muslim countries.
When a story is breaking and I’m on deadline, I try to do the best I can—but sometimes, I get important details, as well as minor details, wrong. And, I do not always draw certain conclusions right away.
For example, the Canadian Kingston police did not describe the cold-blooded murder of three innocent Afghan-Muslim girls (Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti Safi) and one innocent Afghan-Muslim woman (Rona Amir Mohammed) as a “Muslim honor killing.” The Canadian radio announcer did so as did other journalists. The police were very careful, and rightly so, to refrain from explicitly saying this.
However, according to all accounts, the police are on record as saying that they have evidence that the submerged car, in which all four victims were found drowned, had been driven or tampered with by the three Safi family members now under arrest; and that a female relative of Rona’s who lives in France told the media and the police about credible “death threats” that were leveled against Rona, who was Mohammed Safi’s first wife, (a fact that Mohammed did not disclose to the police or to his neighbors). Implied, but not yet clear, were possible death threats against Zainab Safi, the oldest of the three murdered daughters, who was becoming too “western.”
It is my guess that Rona supported the girls in their desire to become “Canadians” and that no love was lost between her and Mohammed’s second wife, Tooba Mohammed Yahya, also charged with her murder. Please understand: This is a wild, intuitive guess on my part, subject to change.
Westerners—perhaps it is only me—often have a problem with the Muslim names. No, it is not because I am a “racist Islamophobe” but rather because everyone seems to be named Mohammed or Mumammed; it becomes quite confusing. In this one case, we have Mohammed Safi, Rona Amir Mohammed, Tooba Mohammed Yahya. Also, the spelling of names (shades of Ellis Island and all our ancestors!) is also subject to change. Thus, this Mohammed’s last name is spelled Safia, or Safii or Safi.
Another mea culpa. Safi and his second wife have seven children altogether. Three are now in state care and one, Hamid Mohammed, (another Mohammed!) is now in police custody.
Here’s a small but important detail that I did not develop. Initially, the family members put on quite a performance. Mohammed Shafi, his second wife, Tooba Mohammed Yahya, and the biological mother of the three murdered girls, went to the police to report that their family members and second car were missing. They wept, appeared distraught, seemed in shock, carried on like mourners. But it all may have been an act.
Now, where else have we seen such behavior? Ah yes: The iconic Mohammed al-Dura’s father was also distraught about his son’s death—presumably at Israeli hands. That death turns out to have been staged by Palestinians. The world was sold a bill of Pallywood goods. Read Philippe Karsenty, Richard Landes, Nidra Poller, and Pierre Rehov on the al-Dura case and on other instances in which Palestinian Muslim propagandists and terrorists have tricked the world media into believing that Israel was the “Nazi” aggressor—all the while diverting attention from Palestinian crimes against their own people, as well as from their considerable aggression towards Israelis, Jews, and Christians.
The entire world also believed that the Israelis committed a “massacre,” a “genocide” in Jenin—when the truth was quite the opposite; to avoid world condemnation, Israel chose to send soldiers in on foot, (24 angels died), to heavily booby-trapped streets and to buildings which hid expert Palestinian snipers dressed as civilians who, in turn, held real Palestinian civilians hostage. Palestinians subsequently spoke to the media on camera weeping about the “genocide,” claiming false injuries at Israeli hands, alleging that Israeli hospitals would not treat them. I wrote about this in my book The New Anti-Semitism. The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It.
My points: Mainstream media should be linking Islamic, terrorist jihad and the subordination of women far more closely; the behavior of some Muslim immigrants in the West may often conform more closely to the culture in which they were raised than to the western culture in which they now live—especially where women are concerned.
Also of interest: A number of Canadian newspapers from Vancouver and Montreal to Toronto have cited my study on honor killings which appeared in the spring issue of Middle East Quarterly. To a lesser extent than usual, the media also found people who said that this may not be an honor killing (I agree, the case has not yet been proven in a court of law); that dishonorable honor killings are rare and certainly not as epidemic as western-style domestic violence (not true—not all domestic violence ends in femicide); that honor killings have nothing to do with Islam (alright, but if so, why are so many—mainly–Muslims murdering their daughters, sisters, and wives?)
A final point: My piece about the Kingston mass murders/dishonorable killings has drawn yet another Islamist to my site. For those who are interested, take a look. One fellow (maybe it’s a woman, who can tell?) first tried to convert the other commentators to Islam; then dismissed any and all criticism of Islam/Islamism by “unbelievers”; and finally ended by cursing the non-believing Kufar infidels.
Who could make this up?