In America We Call It Murder: We missed yesterday’s “Situation Room” on CNN yesterday, where Suzanne Malveaux brought in an update on last year’s murder in Atlanta, after a young woman of Pakistani descent told her father she was divorcing her mother. As Malveaux said in  introducing the segment, “Some consider it a way to restore family honor, but in this country it is called murder.”
From the transcript:

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, this father has just a short time ago been charged with murder in a courthouse in Atlanta. He has not entered a plea yet. Based on what police are telling us, the father may have, indeed, believed his daughter was trying to dishonor his family.

TODD (voice-over): According to police, this man kept hearing his daughter scream, “Father!” while he was killing her with his own hands. Chaudhry Rashid is charged with first degree murder in the death over the weekend of his 25-year-old daughter, Sandeela Kanwal. Police say he strangled her to death in their home in Jonesboro, Georgia.
Police tell CNN the daughter wanted out of her arranged marriage and her father told police he could not allow her to pursue a divorce.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently she and the father had argued over the marriage and the fact that it had been arranged. And at some point during the altercation, he did end up killing his daughter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overwhelmingly, women are the target in these cases. And I think the reason for that, unfortunately — and it’s unjustified — is that women are oftentimes the carriers of the culture, are oftentimes the folks that people look to that carry on the culture from generation to generation. And it’s a way for men in these cases to reaffirm and assert their masculinity.

Malveaux and Todd then discuss a  U.N.’ program that coaches traditional leaders around the world about what’s unacceptable, which appears to have reduced honor killings 10- 15 percent.

We learned about Tuesday’s report from the dynamic 41-year-old Irshad Manji, author of The Trouble With Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith and a scholar with The European Foundation for Democracy, which is launching an awareness campaign on the subject. Manji says as frequently as she can that we shouldn’t fall into the trap of excusing the intolerance of others in the name of “diversity.” In December, she wrote in the wake of a similar killing in Canada:

Even “progressive” non-Muslims fall into this trap. Study the photo above. It’s a post-card flogged by the Interfaith Center of New York. Can you detect even one Muslim woman who’s not covered? I see the veiled chick at the far end. It gets less conservative from there — but not to the point of depicting a Muslim woman who prays without submitting herself to a scarf.
Worse, the blurb on the back celebrates the “diversity of Muslim communities in the city.” Show me where.
Of course, the diversity exists in spades. So does the tension between Muslim parents and their daughters. In Berlin earlier this year, a group of young Muslim women — not a hijabi among them! — approached me to express gratitude that I’d posted an Islamic defense of inter-faith marriage.
Because this document is written by an imam, they can use it to legitimately challenge parents and clerics who want to force girls into loveless marriages with other Muslims. These young women told me that the Islamic inter-faith marriage defense is being downloaded by their friends. It’s also being used by German social services to counsel distraught Muslim girls.

Here’s a bit of Manji talking about her PBS documentary, Faith Without Fear:

Garr and Kudrow – The Next Power Couple? Terri Garr has long blazed trails for women in the decades
since Young Frankenstein, despite a 25-year dance with multiple
sclerosis. Now, after a year recovering from a brain aneurysm , the
64-year-old Garr is back in the spotlight, promoting her roles in two independent films:

In “Expired,” she plays a dual role: the
wheelchair-using stroke-victim mother of a shy meter maid (Samantha
Morton), and her blowzy, white-trash sister. And in “Kabluey” she plays
an eccentric woman who takes out all of her aggressions on a young man
(writer-director Scott Prendergast). She always screams and swears at
him as she drives to work in the morning when he’s dressed up in a
company’s blue mascot outfit and handing out leaflets on the side of
the road.

In the second film,  Garr’ s partner in crime is 46-year-old Lisa Kudrow:

is the nerdy brother-in-law of Leslie (Lisa Kudrow), an overstressed
mother bringing up two hellions, Cameron (Cameron Wofford) and Lincoln
(Landon Henninger), while her husband, a National Guardsman, fights in
Iraq. When informed that her husband’s tour has been extended by
several months, Leslie visibly crumples. No one is better than Ms.
Kudrow at playing emotionally bedraggled women hanging on by their
fingernails, and your heart goes out to her, even when she behaves

By Chris Lombardi

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