Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why he did it

You may remember a horrifying crime in 2009 when Muazzamil Hassan, the owner of a Muslim TV station in Buffalo, decapitated his wife. His case recently went to trial; here psychologist Phyllis Chesler analyzes his motivation, based on his own words and on what she knows about how men treat women in Pakistan, where Hassan lived until he was 17.

Hassan's story, as Chesler recounts it, certainly seems crazy: "On February 12, 2009, immediately after stabbing his unarmed wife 40 times with two large hunting knives and then brutally beheading her, he became calm, relieved. For the first time in years, he felt 'peaceful.' Only then did he feel 'safe from the Evil Dragon Terrorist' which is how he referred to Aasiya Zubair Hassan, the wife he had viciously battered for seven years."

This perspective, however, turns out to be normal for Pakistani men. Chesler recounts in detail how women are treated in Pakistan; the story is not for those with weak stomachs. She closes by comparing Hassan's version of how his wife deserved what she got with how jihadi terrorists justify their actions.

Chesler's article is lengthy, but if you have time to read it, please do so - you won't feel you've wasted your time.

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