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Shariah & Women and Children

New York TV Exec Gets 25 Years to Life for Wife's Beheading

March 9, 2011
New York, NY

A former television executive was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Wednesday for the beheading death of his wife.

After an hour of deliberation, an upstate New York jury convicted Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan of second-degree murder last month after a three-week trial.

In imposing the sentence, Erie County Judge Thomas Franczyk also issued a protection order on behalf of Hassan's two children.

In February 2009, Hassan, who founded a TV network aimed at countering Muslim stereotypes, went to a police station in the Buffalo, New York, suburb of Orchard Park and told officers his wife was dead, police have said.

Aasiya Hassan had been decapitated and the long knife used by her husband had left marks on his office's tile floor, prosecutors said during opening statements.

The sentence was the maximum amount Franczyk could impose under state law, said Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita. He said the sentence was "a perfectly appropriate sentence under the circumstances and considering the violent nature of the crime and a lack of genuine remorse by the defendant."


NY TV Station Owner Guilty of Beheading Wife

February 8, 2011
New York, NY

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.


Fleeing Violent Husbands Puts Afghan Women in Jail

January 3, 2011
Kabul, Afghanistan

Gul Bibi pulls back her light blue scarf to reveal faded tribal tattoos and sad, almond eyes. She has not seen any of her three children, or any other family members, in the five months she has languished in prison. Her "crime": running away from a husband who viciously beat her throughout their nine-year marriage, which was arranged by her parents when she was 16 to end a land dispute. She finally fled to Kabul from her home in eastern Khost province this summer with a neighbor named Ajmal. They'd fallen in love and planned to get married, she explains, until her husband took several of his relatives hostage, demanding that she turn herself in to police. Her insistence that she never had sexual relations with her companion doesn't matter to an Afghan justice system that deems her desertion tantamount to adultery. "It's difficult when a man and women really love each other here," says the 25-year-old ethnic Pashtun. "Now I'm trapped."

Most of the nearly 200 inmates at the Badam Bagh women's prison are runaways like Bibi, confined alongside a smaller number of murderers and drug traffickers. Many of the runaways were forced into marriage as teenagers, in some cases to men three times their age, enduring regular beatings and verbal abuse from their husbands or in-laws. Some fled to be with other men; others, simply to find peace. Most expected to eventually be caught and face the consequences, but their lives at home had become intolerable. "When a bird is sitting in a tree, if no one throws a stone, it will not leave its nest," laments a sympathetic prison guard. "The same can be said of the women here." (Watch a TIME video on the women of Afghanistan.)


Shelter Refuses to Accommodate Woman Booted Out by Husband

The wife on an imam is denied accommodation at a women’s shelter in Jeddah. She was thrown out of her home for refusing to turn over her salary to her husband. Said Saeed Al-Asmary, director of media affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs, “In this case, this woman does not need a shelter. What she needs to do is make peace with her husband and get back with him. There are far more complicated cases in which people are in desperate need for a roof over their heads.”

Arab News
December 30, 2010
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

A Saudi woman who claims her husband threw her out of the family home because she refused to give him her salary has been denied accommodation at a women’s shelter in Jeddah.

“The woman informed the police about her plight. We contacted a women’s shelter and prepared a letter asking them to give her accommodation. However, the shelter rejected our request saying the woman does not qualify for shelter as she has not suffered any kind of physical abuse,” said First Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq, spokesman for Jeddah police.

“The victim told us that she has already filed a lawsuit against her husband, who is the imam of a mosque, asking him for her dowry and a divorce (khulaa), and compensation for defamation. The police are now looking into this,” he added.

Saeed Al-Asmary, director of media affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said, shelters are instructed not to accept individuals who do not have the proper paperwork.

“Shelters will not accept individuals who do not have legal papers issued by a relevant government department. We need to make sure that the person has not been responsible for a crime and is not running away from justice,” he said.

“In this case, this woman does not need a shelter. What she needs to do is make peace with her husband and get back with him. There are far more complicated cases in which people are in desperate need for a roof over their heads,” he added.

After being thrown out from the family home, the police called her husband asking him to pick her up from the Al-Salama police station. “He, however, refused to do so, saying that she had filed a lawsuit against him and that he doesn’t want anything to do with her until this is over. We later contacted her brother who came and picked her up straight away. She is now with him,” said Al-Bouq.


Ahmadinejad: Iranian Widow's Stoning Case Still Under 'Investigation,' Now Butt Out and Stop Asking

NY Daily News
November 18, 2010
Tehran, Iran

The fate of an Iranian woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery has yet to be resolved, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would like everyone to stop asking about it.

The Iranian leader spoke out about the case during a press conference on Thursday, accusing Western media of hypocrisy in their inquiries about the harsh sentence.

"This case is still under investigation," he said. "Iran's investigative agencies are very competent and they will take the right decision on this matter."

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