"She made me do it." That pretty much summarizes Muzzammil Hassan's planned legal strategy to explain how his wife Aasiya ended up headless last February in the Buffalo-area studios of Bridges TV, the channel they had founded to counter negative portrayals of Islam:
Through his new lawyer, Muzzammil S. "Mo" Hassan claimed Friday [January 23] that he was a "battered spouse" who was left emotionally out of control by the constant abuse his wife inflicted on him.
Hassan's lawyer, Frank M. Bogulski, called the legal defense the first of its kind in the country.
"The spouse was the dominant figure in this relationship," Bogulski told a reporter afterward. "He was the victim. She was verbally abusive. She had humiliated him."
Just one problem with trying to depict him as a "battered spouse": a former Bridges TV news director describes rail-thin Aasiya as "gentle" and insists that she "never ever heard her disparage" Muzzammil, who is over six feet tall and burly, as seen in numerous online pictures — the last of which shows him receiving an award from CAIR.
Two comments: First, it is not just the ferocity of the slaying that suggests an honor murder; we now have the defendant characteristically painting himself as the victim while asserting that his dead wife bears responsibility for her own demise. Second, though laughable by Western standards, Hassan's explanation would assure him of little more than a wrist slap in Islamic courts, which are notorious for leniency toward honor killers. Such are the ways of Shari'a law.
Still, Hassan's arguments may not be the strangest offered by a Muslim accused of wrongdoing in the West. Two examples spring to mind:
- Last year in Australia, taxi driver Abdul Majid Qazizada was found guilty of groping a disabled female passenger during Ramadan. His defense: he could not possibly have done it because Muslim men "don't even touch their wives" while fasting.
- In 2008, British restaurateur Mohammed Anwar, who had been clocked driving well over the speed limit, asked the sheriff not to revoke his license — which should have happened automatically — because he needs to commute between his two wives, with whom he spends alternate nights. Anwar was permitted to keep it.
As for the next example of a bizarre, Islamist-colored legal defense, the smart money is on self-proclaimed 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in his taxpayer-financed civilian trial, to employ a variant of the Hassan approach: "the infidel Americans made me do it."