Area police continue to search for a man who they believe killed his two teenage daughters and left their bodies in a taxi at an Irving hotel.
Police sealed off a street and surrounded the man’s home in Lewisville for more than five hours Wednesday but found that Yaser Abdel Said, 50, a cabdriver, was not inside.
He is being sought in connection with the deaths of Amina Yaser Said, 18, and Sarah Yaser Said, 17.
Both victims died of multiple gunshot wounds, the Dallas County medical examiner’s office ruled Wednesday…
Most of the reports I’ve read focus on the names and ages of the father and daughters. I wasn’t going to report on it, but I realized this is just going to be labeled another Islamic “honor killing” – which hardly does the tragedy the justice it deserves.
If you look at the picture on My Space you can see two cute teenagers mugging for the camera. This is a snapshot of girls who have assimilated to American culture.
Mr. Said’s picture in the news reports shows a Middle East native, a guy driving a cab in the Dallas area. In fact, he killed his daughters in his cab. No doubt it came as a total surprise, but you know there must have been months of arguments and disagreements between father and daughters.
No mother is mentioned. Just an empty house and an “armed and dangerous individual.” No context, no information beyond the two deaths…
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There is lots of outrage to go around on this, but I can’t go there anymore. It’s not Islamic, it’s tribal. Not too long ago, this was going on in European countries, too – especially Catholic ones. A girl’s “honor” came before everything else.
So this family moves to a new country – Texas is definitely “new” if you’re not a native – and the kids assimilate but how about the grown-ups? They’re out there making a living while the kids are rapidly trying to fit in, to belong. Generational clashes are inevitable, especially in immigrant families.
However, this kind of behavior is not new to Texas. The legislature may have taken the law off the books by now but not too long ago, the killing of wives caught in the act of adultery was a “crime of passion“ that was dealt with more leniently than other kinds of murder:
crime of passion n. a defendant’s excuse for committing a crime due to sudden anger or heartbreak, in order to eliminate the element of “premeditation.” This usually arises in murder or attempted murder cases, when a spouse or sweetheart finds his/her “beloved” having sexual intercourse with another and shoots or stabs one or both of the coupled pair. To make this claim the defendant must have acted immediately upon the rise of passion, without the time for contemplation or allowing for “a cooling of the blood.” It is sometimes called the “Law of Texas” since juries in that state are supposedly lenient to cuckolded lovers who wreak their own vengeance. The benefit of eliminating premeditation is to lessen the provable homicide to manslaughter with no death penalty and limited prison terms. An emotionally charged jury may even acquit the impassioned defendant.
In other words, this is not Islam…or it is not just Muslims who murder family members. This is not “instant jihad”; it’s a family tragedy.
I found one reference (scroll down) on the web to a song I used to hear on the radio as I got ready for school. The lyrics didn’t mean anything to me then; just a bouncing country tune while I ate breakfast:
Slap her down again, Pa… Slap her down again…
Make her tell us more, Pa… Tell us where she’s been…
Oh how they slapped, slapped, slapped my sister Betsy…
Slapped her on the chin…
Make her tell us more, Pa… Tell us where she’s been.
And that was America in the early ‘50’s.
We don’t have too much room to judge on this one.