Name of Victim: Sandeela Kanwal
Date of Incidence: July 6, 2008
Method of killing or religious violence: Strangled to death with a bungee cord
Reason for Violence: She tried to end her arranged marriage
Read More: An American Honor Killing
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.”
John P. Avlon, New York Post, July 23, 2008