Who would have thought that something so heinous as beheading could happen here in the United States of America? I saw this bit of news on The O’Reilly Factor, on Fox News and I couldn’t believe my ears. The husband, 44 year old Muzzammil Hassan, a TV executive is charged with allegedly beheading his wife, 37 year old Aasiya Hassan, after he was served with divorce papers. The victim was allegedly beheaded in their very own TV station.
According to the Associated Press, on February 12, 2008 the police were notified by the husband of the victim that his wife was dead. When the police arrived at the TV studio they found Aasiya Hassan lying dead on the floor with her head lying near her body. At the time of this article the investigation has not determined that the killing was motivated by religious beliefs, or Islamic culture. According to the article I read in the Associated Press, ” Authorities have not discussed the role religion or culture might have played, but the slaying gave rise to speculation that it was the sort of “honor killing” more common in countries half a world away, including the couple’s native Pakistan.”
Mr. and Mrs. Hassan lived in a suburb in Orchard Park, near Buffalo, New York. Police officers from the Orchard Park police station were called out to the home on February 6, when there was a domestic incident. This was the date that Mr. Hassan was served divorce papers and protection order.
Marcia Pappas, president of the National Organization of Women in New York disagrees that this killing is just the result of a domestic violence case, but stated “This was, apparently, a terrorist version of ‘˜honor killing.'” An honor killing is the murder of a family member or a clan member that has been perceived to dishonor the family, clan or community. It is believed by the family members, or clan members that the killing justifies the dishonor the person inflicted on the family, or clan member.
According to Nadia Shahram, law professor at the University of Buffalo, the practice of honor killing is still practiced among some radical Muslim men who feel that their wives have betrayed them. She says this kind of killing happens all the time, and it is practiced in countries such as India and Pakistan.
The article did not mention the weapon that was used to kill Mrs. Hassan. As of the time of this article Mr. Hassan had not been represented by legal counsel when he was charged with second degree murder. The funeral for Mrs. Hassan was held Tuesday, February 17.