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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Murder in Texas-Why?

You have probably heard about the Christmas-day massacre of an entire family in Grapevine, Texas by a father dressed as Santa Claus. You may have wondered what the motive was. Not until today did I learn that the family was Muslim. That tells you something about the media, doesn't it? From statements by the police, it seems their interest is not so much as to motive, rather in confirming that the father was in fact the killer. Here is an article from Daily Mail, a UK newspaper.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2079034/Christmas-Day-shootings-First-pictures-Texas-family-gunned-Aziz-Yazdanpanah-Santa-suit.html

Here is a local Dallas news report (WFAA):

http://www.wfaa.com/news/crime/More-details-released-in-Grapevine-Christmas-Day-shooting-136267618.html

And here is a sample of what is going around the blogosphere (Jihad Watch):

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/12/islamic-honor-killing-in-texas-man-who-murdered-family-on-christmas-morning-was-muslim-who-disliked.html

So there are a couple of questions lingering out there.

First, was this a so-called honor killing?

If so, is there a reluctance to call it such?

At first glance at the family pictures, this was not a strictly-observant Muslim family. It seems that short dresses and wine were OK. It looks like an Iranian-American family that was more or less assimilated even enjoying the Christmas tradition.

Assimilation, however, brings many things.The speed often depends on nationality; it means that old customs die out over generations as does the mother tongue. In many cases, new generations drift into other religions or have no interest in religion. People marry across ethnic or religious lines. That is all acceptable in America and considered part of the immigration and assimilation process.

What was it that sent this father over the edge? Was it the estrangement from his wife and family? Was it the fact that his 19-year-old daughter had a non-Muslim boyfriend? Did Mr Yazdanpanah simply snap, or did something tell him that he had a duty to kill someone for the sake of his honor?

If the latter is true, is it right for the authorities and media to cover up this bit of information? True, it could stir negative feelings against Muslims, but this would hardly be the first "honor-killing" within a Muslim family in America. There have been several, as well as in Europe and other Western nations. If it affects our society then we have a right to know about it. If Mr Yazdanpanah simply snapped over the estrangement from his wife, then that is something that could happen within any societal group, and our Muslim community should not suffer for it.

But make no mistake. There are certain practices that immigrants need to leave behind when they come here. Had the shooter survived, he would be facing serious charges of multiple murder, and no consideration should be given to religious dictates, real or imagined.

The public has every right to know the true motive behind what happened in Grapevine. To deny us the right to know increases the risk for all, not least of whom would be people like the young man who was dating Mr Yazdanpanah's daughter. I wonder if he knew what he was getting himself into.

8 comments:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Why does it matter whether the family was Muslim or not? One could equally well argue that the media would be playing up an irrelevant factor in a manner that might stir up group hatred.

Would you expect the media to play up "Negro father dressed as Santa kills family"? How about "White Anglo Saxon Protestant father dressed as Santa kills family"?

"Father of Methodist church-going family dresses as Santa, kills wife and children"???

You are obsessed with Muslims Gary, and it is not healthy at all.

We all agree that if he had lived, the father would be subject to multiple murder charges. We all agree that his religion would NOT be an extenuating circumstance.

That being true, why is it relevant to public knowledge of a family murder? Is this the first case you've heard of where a father killed his family, then himself. It seems I read several such stories each year.

Sarah said...

I used to live in the Dallas area and I can say that they do have a lot of Muslims in that area. As to why the father felt the need to kill them, I am not if we will ever know. It is rather sad that he did it. But I do think that cases like this happen a lot more often than we are aware of.

Gary Fouse said...

Siarlys,

Motive, my dear Watson. Motive.

Anonymous said...

Reports say the father was upset that his daughter was dating a non-muslim -- that he had forbidden her to date outside her race or religion. The father and the mother had recently separated. Two blows to the man's muslim honor.

Silarlys, you are living in a dream world if you think muslim beliefs had nothing to do with this and that the public need not know it when a foreign value such as "honor killing" has been acted upon in our nation. It's not the first time that this has happened.

Miggie said...

The treatment of this story reminds me of Mayor Blumberg's reaction to the Times Square Bomber, opining that it must have been someone upset over Obamacare. Or the Obama Administration's characterizing Major Hassan's terrorist attack at Ft Hood as an episode of "workplace violence."

Must not offend, don't you know. People murder entire families because they don't like who their daughters are dating all the time. It has nothing to do with "honor killings" which are unique to the Religion of Peace, as for as I know.
.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Anonymous, I don't give a damn whether the man's Muslim beliefs did or did not motivate the killing. What I care about is that if available, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law... except he's dead, so, like all murderers who commit suicide, whatever their race, religion, or nationality, he is beyond prosecution. It is all in the hands of The God (al-Lah in Arabic, as every Arabic-speaking Christian and Jew knows). He may be surprised by the reception he gets.

Motive is not necessary to prove all elements of a crime. It can add some weight to an otherwise well-established prosecution. At this stage, it is not particularly relevant.

Gary Fouse said...

Siarlys,

Motive is an element of proof. Why it is important here is not for legal purposes, but the public to be aware if there is a growing threat out there. Again I refer you to the young non-Muslim man who was adting the daughter. Should he not know the threat? Should not Muslim girls know the threat if they think about dating outside the religion?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

You think Muslim girls need to read the newspaper to know whether their own father might kill them for dating outside their religion? Or do you want ALL Muslim girls in America to SUSPECT their own father because THIS man who killed his family was Muslim?

This kind of thing has gone on in almost every community of European immigrants, including German, Polish, Italian, Hungarian, Slovenian... and it goes on today in Brazil. A man who feels he has the right to kill disobedient wives and children will use whatever is available as an excuse. This man is Muslim, therefore, that may be his excuse. So what?