Honor Related Violence (United States)

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Honor Related Violence by Country:
AfghanistanAustraliaBelgiumCanadaDenmarkEgyptFinlandFranceGermanyIndiaIranIraqIsraelItalyJordanKuwaitLebanonLibyaNorwayPakistanPalestinian Authority areaRussiaSaudi ArabiaSomaliaSpainSri LankaSudanSwedenSwitzerlandSyriaTurkeyUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesYemen

Palestina Isa, stabbed with a butcher knife 13 times in the chest while her mother held her down, November 1989[edit]

Honor killings take place mostly in third world countries, although in November of 1989, Saint Louis gained National attention in what became one of the most publicized honor killings in the world.

The FBI unintentionally taped the brutal murder of 16-year-old Tina Isa, while doing electronic surveillance of the Isa’s home. Zein Isa, Tina’s father was a suspected Palestinian Terrorist and had been under FBI surveillance for some time. The first clue to Tina Isa’s death came one morning as FBI agents listened to the surveillance tapes from the night before. Imagine the difficulty the agents must have experienced listening to Tina’s terrifying screams, as her Palestinian father kills her and her Brazilian mother Maria helps him.

The agents quickly realize with horror, they are already hours to late and that Tina is already dead. The agents hear Tina screaming, begging her mother please help me and her mother says only shut up. Tina’s father stabs her with a butcher knife 13 times in the chest, while Tina’s mother Maria holds her daughter down. The murder of their daughter Tina Isa takes eight minutes. The tape ends with Zein Isa telling his daughter die, die quickly, quiet, little one, die, my daughter, die. Then there is silence on the tape and it is obvious Tina has died.
Tina Isa America's Honor Killing
Erika Lyn Smith, BellaOnline
A fundamentalist Muslim couple were sentenced to death today for killing their 16-year-old daughter, whose screams for mercy were recorded secretly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
. . .
"If my father is sent to death because he is a Muslim, then he is proud of himself to die that way," the dead girl's sister, Fatima Isa, screamed after the sentences were handed down by Circuit Judge Charles A. Shaw.

Amina and Sarah Said, both were shot to death, January 1, 2008[edit]

Amina Said, 18, and her sister Sarah, 17, smile happily in one widely circulating photo, and Amina is wearing what looks like a sweatshirt bearing the name “AMERICAN.” But their fate may have been the herald of a new, disquieting feature of the American landscape: honor killing. Amina and Sarah were shot dead in Irving, Texas, on New Year’s Day. Police are searching for their father, Yaser Abdel Said, on a warrant for capital murder. The girls’ great aunt, Gail Gartrell, told reporters, “This was an honor killing.” She explained that Yaser Said had long abused the girls, and after discovering that they had boyfriends, had threatened to kill them -- whereupon their mother fled with them. “She ran with them,” said Gartrell, “because she knew he would carry out the threat.” But Said found them, and apparently did carry it out.
Honor Killing in Texas
Robert Spencer, Human Events, August 1, 2009

Sandeela Kanwal, strangled to death with a bungee cord, July 6, 2008[edit]

ON July 6, police say, a Pakistani named Chaudhry Rashid strangled his 25-year-old daughter San- deela Kanwal with a Bungee cord in her bedroom because she wanted to end her arranged marriage. This "honor killing" came not in Pakistan, but in Jonesboro, Ga. - a suburb 16 miles outside Atlanta.

At his arraignment, Rashid said through an Urdu interpreter that he was "not in the state of mind to talk because of the death of his daughter," but stated "I have done nothing wrong."

This is not the same as declaring innocence. His attorney, Tammy Long, explained, "My client is going through a difficult time. As you can imagine, he is distraught." Apparently, it takes a stronger man to murder his daughter without sentiment.


The national media has paid little attention to the story of Kanwal's murder, though most outlets found plenty of time to debate the cover of The New Yorker.

When a blonde girl goes missing, cable networks stop in their tracks - but when a Muslim woman is murdered by her father, there's not a ripple of sustained interest. Where's the outrage?
. . .
On the surface, this sounds like a classic case for the left - outrages well worth protesting. Honor killings and other tribal customs like female genital mutilation represent a far greater threat to human rights than comparatively benign examples of Western sexism, like unrealistic measurements on a Barbie doll.

But this would require recognizing that the greatest danger to civil liberties in the world today comes not from the United States, but from a medieval tribalism that's still murdering people around the world under the guise of enforcing piousness.

"America is an assimilating nation," affirms Ayaan, "and so when immigrant Muslim men assimilate into American society they are applauded for it. But when some immigrant Muslim women assimilate into American society, they find themselves ostracized - beaten and even killed by their own families. And the American public ignores their plight to protect the immigrant Muslim community from stigma."
An American Honor Killing
John P. Avlon, New York Post, July 23, 2008

Fauzia A. Mohammad, chased and stabbed multiple times, July 17, 2008[edit]

An Afghan refugee admitted today that he stabbed and seriously wounded his sister during an argument that began when she tried to leave her family.

Waheed Allah Mohammad, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault in exchange for a prison term of at least five years and no more than 15 years.

His trial was to begin next Monday.

During his plea before Monroe County Court Judge John J. Connell, Mohammad said he intended to kill his sister, Fauzia A. Mohammad, 19, when he stabbed her multiple times outside his family’s apartment on Linhome Drive in Henrietta.

The attack occurred when a female friend of Fauzia Mohammad picked her up at the apartment to take her to New York City, where she intended to get a job and start a new life. During a heated dispute involving the entire family, Mohammad got a knife from his car, chased his sister, and stabbed her.

Mohammad told sheriff’s investigators that he attacked his sister because she had disgraced his family and was a “bad Muslim girl,” according to court documents.

Although he hinted to investigators that he was trying to restore lost family honor, Assistant District Attorney Joseph Waldorf declined to characterize the stabbing as an honor attack —an attack intended to restore family honor that is not uncommon in South Asia but is rare in the United States.
Guilty plea in sister stabbing
Michael Zeigler, Democrat and Chronicle, January 7, 2009

Aasiya Hassan, beheaded, February 2009[edit]

A man who set up a TV station in New York state to counter negative stereotypes about Muslims has been found guilty of beheading his wife in what lawyers say appears to have been an "honor killing." Muzzammil Hassan, the Pakistan-born owner of Buffalo's Bridges TV, will be sentenced to 25 years to life for killing his wife with two hunting knives 6 days after she filed for divorce, the Guardian reports.

Hassan, who acted as his own attorney, claimed that he was a battered husband who acted in self-defense, although the prosecution produced plenty of evidence to prove that his wife was the battered one. In a bizarre 2-hour closing statement, he didn't mention the murder but compared himself to Nelson Mandela and said a "religion of patriarchy" had "unleashed a bloodbath on American women because battered men have no legal way out." The jury deliberated for under an hour before finding him guilty.
NY TV Station Owner Guilty of Beheading Wife
Rob Quinn, Newser, February 8, 2011

Rifqa Bary, threatened with death, July 2009[edit]

Rifqa was in Middle School when she became a Christian. After joining Columbus Korean United Methodist Church Rifqa became a member of the Church's Youth Group.

Eventually, in June 2009, Rifqa's religious beliefs were discovered by a member of Noor Islamic Cultural Center. Her parents were contacted by fellow Muslims regarding Rifqa's alleged change in religion. This is when Rifqa's father confronted her and threatened to hit his daughter with the laptop that he bought for her. He threatened to kill her if she in fact left Islam for Christianity. To calm her father, Rifqa told him that she truly desired to learn more about Islam. She remembered that converting back to Islam after apostasizing could save ones life.

It was at this time that Rifqa decided to be baptized in Big Walnut Creek on June 28, 2009 by her friend Brian Williams just in case something happened to her. Rifqa's baptism took place at Hoover Dam Park while her family wasn't home. In July her mother discovered one of Rifqa's books called "The Mantle of Esther". Rifqa described her mother as frantic and in tears as she phoned her husband. Rifqa's father threatned to kill her as soon as he got home from his business trip. Shortly after this happened Rifqa's father closed Bary Gems and her family packed their things to that they could return to Sri Lanka where Mr. Bary or Rilvan would proceed with the Honor Killing.
Rifqa Bary
Natassia, WikiIslam

8-year-old girl, abandoned, July 16, 2009[edit]

Authorities said Thursday that four boys ages 9 to 14 took turns raping an 8-year-old girl behind a shed for more than 10 minutes in what Phoenix police are calling one of the most horrific cases they've ever seen.

The outrage over the allegations intensified after police said the girl's parents criticized her after the attack and blamed her for bringing shame on the family.

"The father told the caseworker and an officer in her presence that he didn't want her back. He said, 'Take her, I don't want her,' " police Sgt. Andy Hill said.
. . .
Hill cited the family's background as the reason the family shunned the girl. All five children are refugees from the West African nation of Liberia.
. . .
The girl's healing process will be particularly difficult, said Paul Penzone of Childhelp, which aids young victims of crime. Authorities said the victim was in the care of Child Protective Services.

"These four boys used what was a ploy to entice her to a place where they could take advantage of her almost like a pack of wolves," he said.

"And what's so disturbing beyond the initial crime is the fact that a child needs to have somewhere to feel safe, and you would think that would be in a home with her own family," not in state custody, Penzone said.
Oldest boy in assault of girl to be tried as adult
Amanda Lee Myers, Associated Press, July 24, 2009

Noor Faleh Almaleki, ran over by a car and died in hospital a few weeks later, October 2009[edit]

Her father, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, has been arrested for running down his 20-year-old daughter, as well as the mother of her live-in boyfriend, on Oct. 20 in an Arizona parking lot with his 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee. On Monday, Noor Almaleki died, in what is considered the latest "honor killing" in America.

According to news reports, the father, who moved his family from Iraq in the mid-1990s, was angry because his daughter had become "too Westernized." Before Noor Almaleki died, a local prosecutor described the crime as "an attempted honor killing."

After the incident, Faleh Almaleki fled across the border to Mexico, then London. He was extradited and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on Saturday. The judge then assigned him an attorney. He has yet to enter a plea on the charges, which are likely to be upgraded to include murder or manslaughter.

Before the 20-year-old died, prosecutor Stephanie Low told a Maricopa County court that, "By his own admission, this was an intentional act and the reason was that his daughter had brought shame upon him and his family."
No justice for Noor Almaleki
Debra J. Sanders, San Francisco Chronicle,November 5, 2009

Isa M. Mehri, beaten with a pipe then strangled to death with a rope, October 26, 2009[edit]

According to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, Mahdi M. Matin, 61, was engaged to be married 23 years ago when his younger brother, Isa M. Mehri, 60, said "something to Matin that was very offensive and which caused him not to marry the woman," according to a document of probable cause filed in the case.

Matin had been "tortured" ever since by what his brother said, according to the document. Matin was at his brother's home in the 19100 block of 18th Avenue West in Lynnwood on Oct. 26 when the younger brother apparently repeated the insult, the document alleges.

"This made Matin mad and he went out in the rear yard of the residence and retrieved a pipe," according to the document of probable cause.

With the pipe in hand, Matin asked his brother to repeat the "offensive remark," police said. Mehri repeated the remark and Matin struck him on the head, the document alleges.

Matin told police his brother then threatened to shoot him and turned in the direction of his bedroom, so Matin hit his brother on the head again and dragged him into the backyard. Matin then strangled Mehri with a rope, the document alleges.

Matin, who followed his brother to the U.S. from Afghanistan in 1985, covered Mehri's body with a tarp and left to spend the night at a hotel, the document said.

He returned the next day, Oct. 27, to wash the body and clean the blood from the house, according to the document.

He contemplated telling his sister but didn't want her to see the blood, according to the document. So he left and spent another night at the hotel, where he thought about killing himself, according to the court document.

Last Wednesday morning, he called police to report what he described as an "honor killing," according to the document.

Jessica Mokdad, shot to death, April 30, 2011[edit]

A Twin Cities man is accused of killing his 20-year-old stepdaughter in Michigan because she left home and wasn't following Islam, police said Tuesday.

Rahim Alfetlawi, 45, of Coon Rapids, was being held without bond Tuesday in the Macomb County Jail after being charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jessica Mokdad on Saturday at her grandmother's home in the Detroit suburb of Warren.
. . .
Torey said Alfetlawi told police the gun discharged accidentally when he pulled it out, but police believe he intentionally shot Mokdad in the head.

Torey said Mokdad had left her mother and stepfather to live with her father near Flint in Grand Blanc because she did not like their rules.

"He's a strict Muslim, she was more Americanized," Torey said.

Aiya Farhan, beaten, burned and tied to a bed, February 2012[edit]

An Iraqi mother accused of beating her 19-year-old daughter for talking to a boy is back behind bars, along with her husband and another daughter.

Phoenix police told ABC15 that the victim claims her parents and her younger sister beat her, and then tied her to a bed in their home.

The mother, Yursa Farhan, who sat down with ABC15 on Saturday, admitted to hitting her daughter, Aiya, who lied to her and used foul language, but denies ever beating her as police allege.

"She was talking to a boy and our culture says no boyfriends," Farhan said. "We have to respect our culture."

Farhan was released from jail last week, but was re-arrested on Wednesday.

Investigators said Fahan also burned Aiya with a hot spoon as punishment back in November because the teenager refused to marry a 38-year-old man.

Farhan’s husband, Mohammed Altameemi, and their 18-year-old daughter, Tabarak Altameemi, were arrested in connection with the most recent incident.

Aiya defended her mother on Saturday to ABC15 saying that she understood why her mother hit her, and said that she agreed with her discipline.
PD: 'Honor beating' now connected to entire family, parents and sibling arrested
Adam Slinger & Angie Holdsworth, ABC15, February 16, 2012

17-year old girl, burned, verbally and mentally abused, March 20, 2013[edit]

A South Florida mother who used a knife to burn her teen daughter after the girl resisted her parents' wishes to marry her cousin in an arranged marriage is facing child abuse charges, Hollywood Police said Tuesday.

Sahar Thabit, 35, was arrested Friday and is facing three counts of child abuse on her 17-year-old daughter, according to a Hollywood Police arrest affidavit.

According to the affidavit, the abuse began in early January when Thabit used a stove to heat up the metal on the knife and burn her daughter's arm three times, twice on her left forearm and once on her upper right arm.
. . .
The burns caused permanent disfigurement, the report noted.

A friend of the girl reported the abuse to a school administrator, who later called police, the affidavit said.

According to the friend, the teen said her parents became upset because she didn't want to marry her cousin, but wanted to marry a boy in Yemen she had met on the Internet, the affidavit said.

The daughter later told police that she had been talking to the boy in Yemen through the Internet, even though it's not allowed in the family's religion.

The girl's friend also said the parents verbally and mentally abused their daughter calling her a whore and slut, the affidavit said. The friend also said the girl had attempted suicide over the incident, the affidavit said.

When the victim's father was questioned by detectives, he claimed she had been burned by a stove until it was pointed out that the burns were in three different areas, the affidavit said. The father then asked for an attorney, the affidavit said.

The girl's grandfather gave the same explanation Tuesday, saying, "She burned herself in the stove."

After interviewing witnesses and the victim, police determined Thabit had placed the knife on her daughter's arms, the affidavit said.

Detectives weren't able to interview Thabit because she only speaks Arabic, the affidavit said. She was arrested and later released on bond, and it's unknown whether she has an attorney.

The girl's father told NBC 6 over the phone that the family is going through difficult times with the allegations and said he had no comment.

Lenore Walker, a psychology professor at Nova Southeastern University, said the alleged abuse in the case is similar to an honor killing.

”The rationale is that you're shaming your family by getting involved with a boy or a man who is unacceptable for whatever reason. In this particular case, it's because she was promised to another man and so she talked on the Internet, not even face to face," Walker said.