The trials of two "honor killers" are underway in America this week: one in Buffalo, New York, and the other in Arizona.
In Buffalo, the moderate Muslim beheader and bridge-builder to the West, Muzzammil Hassan, was granted the right Monday to act as his own attorney. That should make for some interesting trial transcripts. Hassan had an attorney, Jeremy Schwartz, but Schwartz told the judge that he met with Hassan on Friday and they had an impasse and "irreconcilable differences and opinions" that go to the heart of the defense.
Muzzammil Hassan was a respected Muslim businessman in Buffalo. He founded the BridgesTV network several years ago to improve the image of Muslims in the United States. But now he is standing trial for the decapitation of his estranged wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, in February 2009. He beheaded her at his company's office in Orchard Park, New York -- that's right, in the offices of BridgesTV. Police records show that Muzzammil Hassan had abused Aasiya for years. And that means that the Buffalo-area Muslim community writ large ought to be on trial as well; they knew of the brutal violence Aasiya suffered and apparently kept silent. The Muslim community knew of Hassan's abuse.