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Jewish World Review
Nov. 5, 2009
/ 18 Mar-Cheshvan 5770
There Is No Honor; There's Only Killing
Debra J. Saunders
The Council on American-Islamic Relations sent out its usual roundup
Tuesday of news stories alleging the mistreatment of Muslims in America.
There was a story critical of the FBI harassment of Muslims in Queens,
N.Y., in the wake of the arrest of a suspected terrorist. Another story
concerned calls for an investigation into an FBI shooting that left
Detroit Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah dead. There were also notices of CAIR
There was no story about Noor Faleh Almaleki. 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
So where is CAIR, which bills itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties
and advocacy organization?" Spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told me, "We tend to deal with
things that are related to Islam and the Muslim community."
Hooper added that CAIR does not "believe there's any so-called honor in
an honor killing. These things occur. They're completely against Islamic
beliefs. There's no justification." And: "Horrible things happen all
over the world. Domestic abuse among families goes along religious
lines," based on false justifications.
In short, CAIR will make a stink when (male) imams are not allowed to
board a Minneapolis plane, but don't expect the organization to make an
issue of honor killings.
The Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy, however,
released a statement that mourned the young woman's death and called on
the Muslim community to abandon its "denial that honor killings are an
The group's founder, M. Zuhdi Jasser, who practices internal medicine,
suggested that while groups like CAIR may want to paper over the
cultural Islamic roots of honor killing, they do exist. And: "If you
identify the pathology wrong in an incorrect fashion you will
never treat the disease."
Hooper told me that "the hate bloggers are trying to insert Islam" into
Noor Almaleki's death. But the true haters are those who want to
disguise honor killings as pious and selfless, when they are in fact
brutish and cowardly.
Or as Low noted when she argued for high bail, "The defendant tries to hide behind
his moral convictions, and yet he also fled."
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