On my birthday, February 12, two events shocked Buffalo, New York. One was immediately broadcast over Cable TV and the internet. I was in a chat room when the commuter jet crashed into a suburban home. While we chatted and exchanged information, my friends found and posted photos and even You Tube videos that were posted within minutes of having been taken.
The other story took days longer to bleed out into the mainstream media. I watched and counted. The plane crash occurred late on a Thursday night. The other story did not begin to appear in mainstream broadcasting for four days. Tuesday, February 17, was the first time I heard that story reported on network and cable TV news.
The second story concerns Muzzammil Hassan who founded an upstate New York TV station expressly for the purpose of countering stereotypes about Muslims. It seems Mr. Hassan murdered and beheaded his wife who had filed for divorce. We are not certain of the sequence of events. It is possible that Aasiya Hassan, stabbed multiple times with a hunting knife, was still alive when beheaded. Mr. Hassan has been charged with second degree murder. Yes, you read that correctly. The CNN account is here.
The previous day, Wednesday February 11, in Flushing, Queens, also in NY, Afghan diplomat Mohammed Fagirad, holding his 22-year-old wife prisoner in their home, beat her mercilessly, “like a dog” (his words) for 15 hours. This NY Daily News account appeared on Valentine’s Day.
Later the following week, while driving home, I heard a report of a man (also with an Arabic name) in Bergen County*, NJ where I work, who used an online bulletin board to advertise for someone to beat up and disfigure his wife so that no one else would want her. I was unable to find a written account of the story. The man unwittingly paid an undercover officer, who responded to the ad, and was promptly arrested.
These three cases, coming so close together, put me on alert. We have heard the stories coming out of the UK. I even saw Geert Wilders on American TV late last week speaking of being prevented from entering the UK due to his opposition to Shariah Law.
With cases like these arising, chances increase for leaders in the Islamic community to call for the establishment of Shariah family courts to replace our local and federal courts within Islamic enclaves. There is no way that this would be acceptable.
The laws that we live by, our local town and city charters, our state constitutions, and the Constitution of the United States are the laws that apply to all who live within our various jurisdictions. For the rule of law to succeed, the law must apply equally and fairly to all. To apply a different set of laws to a special, internal community is to threaten the fabric and cohesion of the culture. It violates the social contract and cannot help but have a destructive effect on society.
We do not have to imagine or speculate since both the Netherlands, where Wilders is an MP, and the UK, which refused his entry, stand out as European cultures of Judeo-Christian tradition that have permitted Shariah family courts to handle special cases. Those special cases would include extreme forms of discipline against wives and female children. I, personally, have not heard of a man brought into family court by a wife or daughter. If you have , please enlighten me.
In her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, our Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in an exchange with Senator Barbara Boxer, discussed attacks on girls and women in Muslim countries. She put the period on the sentence when she said, “This is not culture, this is not custom, this is criminal.”
That, for me, is the slogan and the rallying cry for this country to stand strong against any preemptive attempt to establish laws and courts other than our own sovereign CIVIL system within our jurisdictions.
*Yes, Bergen County is also where Betty Jean Kling’s daughters were when Louisa was shot.