The Muslim-American community is trying to cope with the horrifying news out of Buffalo that a Muslim-American man who helped found "a television station to fight Muslim stereotypes is to appear on Wednesday in a suburban Buffalo court on charges that he decapitated his wife last week." NYT That description really says it all.
There's a lot of focus on whether this was an "honor killing." It's unclear whether it was -- especially since the suspect was apparently not nearly as religious as his wife -- but one thing is very clear. The Muslim-American community (and I'll put myself in that community, despite my agnosticism) needs to address the insidious issue of domestic violence.
It is devastating to read a story like this -- it's incomprehensible how someone could be moved to this inhuman level of violence. And on top of that, you know exactly how a story like this will be seized upon by some to demonize all Muslims. See, for example, Michelle Malkin. And I'll be honest: I had mixed feelings about posting this story, but I think it's important that this event be discussed. We can't keep tragic stories about domestic violence such as this one in the dark.
Focusing on religion in this instance is likely besides the point. It's a sad fact that levels of domestic violence are unacceptably high among immigrant communities. Muslim Americans must recognize the pervasiveness of domestic violence in our community and must no longer allow it to remain a dirty secret. We must speak out against domestic violence and make clear that it is unacceptable and unjustified by any sensible interpretation of Islam. To paraphrase the famous saying, the change we wish to see in the world starts at home.