Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the Algemeiner, Daily Caller, Washington Examiner, Independent Journal Review, American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, Jewish Press, J-The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, and many others.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Fox News Covers Abuse of U.S. Muslim Women (And Sounds Very Familiar)

Following a recent column of my own on the rise of honor killings in the West and the veritable silence of the mainstream media (as well as Western feminists) on the subject, I was pleased to see Fox News step into the fray. Jule Kirtz' article on the abuse of American Muslim women at the hands of their own families includes the murder of the Said sisters in Texas, Aqsa Parvez in Canada, and arranged marriage escapee Fozia Sadiq. And Phyllis Chesler, who alerted me to the article, is quoted:
Author Phyllis Chesler, who writes about Islamic gender issues in the United States, believes domestic violence against Muslim-American women, not just immigrants, is covered up by an Islamic culture that treats women as second-class citizens.

"I'm not saying every Muslim family does it or that every Imam encourages it or that only Muslim men beat their wives, but Muslim men have control over their wives," she says.

"And monitoring the chastity of their women is an obsession, because if she loses it, or has a boyfriend or wants to marry who she wants to marry, this could be a death sentence."
I also found this noteworthy:
Here in America, advocacy groups say those who turn to their community for help do not always find it, in particular from some religious leaders who, although they are in the United States, still hold to cultural traditions of their homeland and do not clearly reject violence against women.

"I had another client facing severe domestic violence from her husband, and her Imam kept going to the woman and persuading her to go back" to her abuser, [lawyer, Mazna] Hussain says.
However, I couldn't help but notice the similarity of one of the paragraphs in the Fox News article to my own. Here's Kirtz:
According to a 2000 report by the United Nations Population Fund, as many as 5,000 women worldwide are murdered each year in so-called honor killings. But reported killings in Europe and North America have raised concerns that Muslim women in the West are becoming increasingly vulnerable.
And here's my column (after using the term, "so-called honor killings," in the previous paragraph):

While statistics are notoriously hard to come by due to the private nature of such crimes and the fact that very few are reported, the United Nations Population Fund approximates that as many as 5,000 women are murdered in this manner each year worldwide. Undoubtedly that's a low estimate, as reports from Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories, among other locales, are filtering in at an alarming rate. Add to the list Germany, Sweden, other parts of Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States, and it's clear that young Muslim women in the West are becoming increasingly vulnerable.
It could just be a coincidence (and the UN citation is quite common in articles on the subject), but one has to wonder. Especially in light of the mainstream media's proclivity for pilfering stories from the new media/blogosphere.

Having said that, I'm certainly glad to see the MSM chiming in on this important and often overlooked topic. Let's hope there's more to come.

Update (2/5): There's another article on honor killings in the Sydney Morning Herald. Robert Spencer comments further at Jihad Watch (where I found the link).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honor killings dishonor women as well as kill them. Such acts are criminal!

Saturday, February 02, 2008 6:03:00 AM  

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