Susan Jacoby wrings her hands:
I am of two minds about the religious inferences being drawn from this case. On the one hand, Mr. Hassan may just have been a violent man, seething beneath a polite surface, who would have done what he did regardless of his religion. On the other hand, his version of his religion may have been an important factor in his rationalization for committing such an act. One thing is certain: Aasiya Hassan did step out of the role of a traditional wife in her native culture by turning to secular law in America to protect her against a violent husband. And the law failed her, as it has failed countless American women, of many faiths, murdered by men using that most traditional of American weapons--a gun.
The use of the word "terroristic" by NOW is politically inflammatory and quite stupid, given that all domestic violence, as feminists have long pointed out, is an intimate act of terror. Not long after the news of the beheading in Buffalo, there was a horrifying, widely circulated story in New York about a grandmother who killed her 4-year-old granddaughter. Did NOW issue a statement condemning "terroristic" grannies?
But the comments of Muslim authorities saying this crime has nothing, perish the thought, to do with religion (as if they knew what was going on in the mind of the accused killer) certainly do not address urgent issues about the position of women within some quarters of Islam or the uneasy position of many immigrant women and girls caught between the most traditional, repressive Muslim religious values and the secular liberties that the United States affords its female citizens.
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