(Warning: This report contains graphic images and details of honor killings in the U.S. that may offend some readers.)
When President Trump issued an executive order “protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry” into America Monday, he also called for a report on foreign nationals charged with and convicted of terrorism-related offenses, including so-called “honor killings” committed in the U.S.
The new executive order takes effect in about 10 days and includes a 90-day ban on travelers from six countries – Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syrian and Libya – and 120 days for refugees. Section 11 of Trump’s order, “Transparency and Data Collection,” also requires the federal government to publicly release information on the crimes “to be more transparent with the American people and to implement more effectively policies and practices that serve the national interest …”
Trump’s requested reports include:
- information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;
- information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;
- information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals; and
- any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.
Trump’s order calls for Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to release an initial report within 180 days, a period ending Sept. 2, 2017 – nine days before the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks committed by jihadis admitted to the U.S. on visas. Updated reports will be issued every six months.
The report will include information on honor killings, which is a tradition of killing a family member who is believed to have brought shame upon the family.
Human Rights Watch describes honor killings as “acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce – even from an abusive husband – or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that ‘dishonors’ her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.”
In September 2016, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said there are an estimated 23 to 27 victims of honor killings each year in America, and he cited a 2015 study commissioned by the Department of Justice.
“That’s in America, not in Syria. And 91 percent are murdered for being too ‘westernized.’ That doesn’t sound like assimilation to me,” Sessions said. “Most are daughters, subjected to physical and emotional abuse all related to fundamentalist Islam.”
The United Nations estimated there were about 5,000 honor killings worldwide in the year 2000, “mainly in the Middle East and Asia.”
“It is impossible to know the exact number of women killed, or determine how widespread HBV (Honor Based Violence) is,” the U.N. report stated. “This is compounded by the fact that reports to the police are rare and sporadic: both male and female family members typically try to cover up these crimes. Many victims of HBV are abducted: they disappear and are never reported missing. … The few ‘honour’ killings reported in Europe to date have occurred in migrant communities, and have mainly involved Asian, Turkish, or Kurdish communities. The victims, in many of these cases, had also experienced forced marriage.”
Former U.S. government analyst Farhana Qazi told Fox News in 2015: “Cases of honor killings and/or violence in the U.S. are often unreported because of the shame it can cause to the victim and the victim’s family. Also, because victims are often young women, they may feel that reporting the crime to authorities will draw too much attention to the family committing the crime.”
The following is a list of some suspected honor killings in the U.S.
Sept. 27, 2016: In Rocky River, Ohio, Jamal Mansour, a Muslim immigrant from Jordan, walked into his adult daughter’s bedroom and shot Tahani Mansour twice while she slept in September 2016. Police said they couldn’t find a solid motive, but Islam experts and former Muslims said Mansour’s behavior was rife with clues. After shooting his daughter in the forehead twice, Mansour told a judge it was an “accident.” But Mansour had been upset with his daughter, according to family members, who told police the woman had recently taken a business trip to Las Vegas of which Mansour did not approve.
March 21, 2012: In El Cajon, California, a Muslim Iraqi woman named Shaima Alawadi was murdered in 2012, beaten to death in her own home. She died of severe head trauma.
The media initially reported the murder as a hate crime and a case of Islamophobia.
But in 2014, her husband, Kassim Al-Himidi, was convicted of fatally beating his wife and was sentenced to 26 years in prison.
February 2012: In Phoenix, Arizona, police arrested the mother, father and sister of Aiya Altameemi for allegedly beating, restraining and burning the 19-year-old woman after she refused an arranged marriage with an older man and showed interest in a male acquaintance. The father reportedly held a knife to his daughter’s throat and threatened to kill her before she was beaten by her mother. The teen survived but later defended her family, telling a school counselor that “her family is trying to protect her and they want her to be a virgin for an arranged marriage,” according to court documents. The relatives were sentenced to two years’ probation in a plea deal, the Huffington Post reported.
Aug. 16, 2009: In Tampa, Florida, a Muslim woman shunned by her devout Muslim family for her “shameful” divorce died a sudden death after “throwing herself on the floor” in front of her family. A Tampa Police report claimed Fatima Abdallah committed suicide by repeatedly striking her head against a coffee table, according to a column by Pamela Geller.
John Jay, a former prosecutor in Washington state, told Geller that Abdallah’s “mouth was bloodied by a blow, and at the left corner of her mouth is an angular cut/incision/indentation, which only could have been made by a blow.” Also, “her left eye orbit was broken, and her left eye socket was blackened, suffering a blow causing hemorrhaging of blood about the eye.” And “her right arm had contusions at the front inside of the elbow, and at the shoulder near the front armpit, consistent with being grasped forcibly by human hands.”
Jay noted that “all the blows to her face appear concentrated upon the left side of the face, entirely consistent with having been struck very forcibly by a right handed person striking her, and wielding a closed fist, from her front.” He concluded that “the pathologist should have suspected, and should have investigated this more thoroughly, that the trauma to Fatima Abdallah was intentionally inflicted to her by another human being, or human beings working in concert to restrain and beat her.”
The Florida Family Association noted: “The Palestinian family left Fatima dead for 2 ½ hours before they called 911, gave two different stories of how she died, ushered the alleged only witness to Fatima’s demise out of the country just days after her death and treated her horribly before she died.”
October 2009: In Peoria, Arizona, Iraqi immigrant Faleh Hassan Almaleki was sentenced to more than 34 years in prison after he struck and killed his 20-year-old daughter, Noor Faleh Almaleki, with his Jeep in 2009 because she had become “too westernized” and had “abandoned” traditional Iraqi values, CNN reported. Police said Almaleki was unhappy with his daughter’s clothing choices and her resistance to following his rules.
Feb. 12, 2009: And a Muslim man in Buffalo, New York, was sentenced to life for beheading his wife in 2009. Mussammil Hassan was found guilty of second-degree murder after he lured his wife to a television studio and attacked her with hunting knives, stabbing her 40 times and then cutting off her head. Six days before the murder, the woman had filed for divorce.
As WND reported, Hassan was the recipient of an award from the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, the self-described Muslim civil rights group that boasts of its influence on U.S. government policy.
Hassan, 44, and his wife, Aasiya Hassan, 37, founded Bridges TV in November 2004. They described it as a satellite news and opinion channel aimed at portraying Muslims in a positive light following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Authorities found Aasiya Hassan’s decapitated body lying in a studio hallway. Her lawyer said Aasiya, a Pakistani national, filed for divorce after numerous incidents of domestic violence. She cited “cruel and inhuman treatment” as reason for the dissolution. Her older sister, Asma Firfirey, told the Cape Argus in South Africa that Aasiya often called to talk about marital troubles and said she believes her sister suffered several hours of torture before being murdered.
In 2005, Hassan told the Buffalo News he decided to form the television station after he heard disparaging comments about U.S. Muslims on a radio talk show. It operated under the slogan “connecting people through understanding.”
“Every day on television we are barraged by stories of a ‘Muslim extremist, militant, terrorist, or insurgent,'” Hassan said in a 2004 press release. “But the stories that are missing are the countless stories of Muslim tolerance, progress, diversity, service and excellence that Bridges TV hopes to tell.”
July 6, 2009: In Atlanta, Georgia, a 25-year-old Pakistani woman, Sandeela Kanwal, was strangled by her father because she sought to leave her arranged marriage. Pakistani migrant Chaudhry Rashid, 57, was convicted in May 2011 of murder and assault charges and was sentenced to life in prison for the honor killing.
When police arrived on the scene, Rashid was reportedly sitting cross-legged in his driveway, smoking a cigarette. He said, “My daughter’s dead.”
Sgt. Stefan Schindler of the Clayton County Police Department told NPR: “He admitted to actually taking the life of his daughter. And the reason he took his daughter’s life, by his own words, was that she wasn’t being true to her religion or to her husband.”
The NPR report continued: “Police believe Rashid killed his daughter because she wanted a divorce and he felt that it would bring shame on his family. Schindler says Rashid told him that killing his daughter was a right given to him by God — and that God would protect him. To police, in other words, this was an honor killing.”
Rashid told authorities he strangled Kanwal with a bungee cord, burned the cord and flushed it down a toilet.
Jan. 1, 2008: Egyptian Yaser Abdel Said is a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, and the FBI is offering up to $100,000 for information leading directly to his arrest. He disappeared after the fatal shootings of his two daughters, Amina, 18, and Sarah, 17, in 2008 in Irving, Texas. Authorities believe Said is hiding in Egypt or in U.S. communities with Egyptian ties. He is 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs about 180 pounds and has brown eyes, black hair and possibly a thick mustache.
The girls were found shot 11 times in the back of Said’s taxi cab.
Sarah Said called 9-1-1 after she was shot nine times, telling the operator: “My dad shot me and my sister. I’m dying!” The girls had both been dating non-Muslim boyfriends and had hidden them from their father, who once took his daughters to Egypt to find husbands. Said has been featured on an episode of “America’s Most Wanted” and a Fox News special about honor killings in the U.S.
July 2008: Afghan refugee Waheed Allah Mohammad, 22, admitted to stabbing his sister, Fauzia A. Mohammad, 19, because she tried to leave her family. Mohammad pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He called his sister a “bad Muslim girl” because Fauzia had arranged for a friend to drive her to New York City, where she planned to get a job and begin her new life.
April 2004: Turkish immigrant Ismail Peltek was charged with second degree murder after he killed his wife, “Hatice Peltek, 39, by repeatedly stabbing her. Then he hit her head with a hammer.
Ismail later explained that he killed his wife and also attacked his daughter, who was 22, after he learned his brother had sexually assaulted them. Ismail also admitted to attacking his 4-year-old daughter because she had been “sullied” by a gynecological exam after the sexual assault was reported. His daughters both suffered skull fractures from a hammer.
“I was concerned that my family’s honor was taken,” Ismail allegedly told authorities, according to Jihad Watch.
Police asked Ismail, “If you had the opportunity to kill the family again, would you?”
He reportedly replied: “My female family, yes. My male family, no.”