Monday, February 18, 2008

Daughter Killed For Text Messaging Boy

YORK -- A Bronx building superintendent has been charged with killing his
teenage daughter and stuffing her body in a boiler, New York City police said.

Police said they received a 911 call from Miguel Matias, 34, on
Saturday morning, saying he had killed his 14-year-old daughter, reported
WNBC-TV in New York.

Officers found the girl's partially burned body in the boiler of
the Matias' building, police said.

told detectives that he strangled the girl Friday night, after he found her
text-messaging a boy.”

Just watched the story on Fox12 Oregon, and once again questioned local media vs. world news.

In sub context, the father is excused as a man who has a history of violence and emotional problems. His religious and cultural associations aren’t mentioned, as if getting upset at his daughter for texting a boy is common in New York, but killing her is way off board.

Had the killer been a delicious Arab or Muslim, the story would have taken a completely different turn. The man would have been described as an extremist blah blah blah. And instead of examining his disturbed psychological history, his religious and cultural background would’ve been held accountable. The story would be used for discussing political issues.

But aren’t they all the same? People who kill.

Update 4/3/08:
Daughter Killed for Logging into Facebook.
Another take on local media (original post) vs. world news (the update link).


Marahm said...

Your point is well taken. I would add that Arab Muslim killers, too, have histories of disturbed psychological behavior. If the analysts, shrinks, and political pundits really wanted to understand violent behavior associated with Arabs and/or Muslims, they would examine more than a few verses from the Holy Qur'an. They would dig deep into the effects of political, religious, and economic oppression upon the development of the human psyche.

Dotsson said...

No they aren't the same. There are people who have mental issues and commit crimes and then there are Muslims.

A great majority of the crimes Muslims commit are either due to social or religious customs.
For example, almost all of the Muslims that commit honor killings or go on suicide missions are not mentally disturbed, do not come from disadvantaged backgrounds and in general are well off.

In the case of honor killings, it is always about saving the "honor" of the family. You could argue with me and say that they use this as a pretext and in reality they have psychological issues but that is not true. Honor killings trace their roots back to the time when Arabia was ruled by tribes. Back then, women were the sole guarantors of the survival of the tribe. But what would happen to the tribe if all the women decided to run off with their lovers? There wouldn’t be anyone left to produce babies and the tribe would cease to exist. Thus they killed them to scare the others and SURVIVE. My point being that at the time, it made sense.

A couple of hundred years later, our population has skyrocketed, we live in big cities and there is an ample supply of fertile women to go around. So why do we kill them if they show the slightest sign of disobedience? Because of age-old customs! And since the Qur’an repeatedly emphasizes that disobedience toward parents is WRONG, that helps strengthen their case.

Same thing applies to suicide missions. Do you think any of those 9/11 hijackers were poor? Or crazy? They were brainwashed into thinking that dying in the name of Allah or for Islam will make them heroes. “If you have a stick in your hand and the non-Muslim enemy has an army of B52 bombers, you will win because Allah is on your side! Now go slam those planes in the WTC towers!”

The reason why Islam is constantly taken to task in the media is because it – directly or indirectly – influences crimes. Don’t get me wrong, Christians have their fare share of crazies too but they have erased a lot of the really crazy stuff with the 2nd testament. We need our version of the 2nd testament. We seriously do!

V said...

There has to be something with arab world that a similar news would have taken different headlines...
Else Why would or had media do so...??
If its the case of few of journalists, its possible that they are biased but alllll are biased..hummmmm...cant digest.

Aysha said...

"they would examine more than a few verses from the Holy Qur'an."
I think you accuratly put it. To understand, we need to examine more than one factor. But then, understanding hasn't been the major goal of International News. Their goal is probably to stirr up the audience and get an immediate reaction from them. To steer the public in one direction or the other. whatever that would serve particular agendas. Some would probably argue that its not the job of the news to understand nor provide fully researched topics. That such a job is for history or discovery channels.
Oh, well...

Aysha said...

You provide a sound argument, and it is impossible to argue on the negative effect that outdated traditions AND religious interpretations have caused wrold wide-whether amongst the Muslims or followers of other faiths.
There are things to consider:
1- Honor killings, are they truly Arab specific, or are they a time-line factor? Are there actual numbers for honor killings that are still happening? Statistics? And any anaylsis of the families inwhich honor killings have taken place in modern time?
2- I would shy away from calling "suicide missions", or the 9/11 attack as the regular "killing". When people go to the army, they are brainwashed into following orders. They are trained that there is "Bad Killing" and "Good Killing". I've just been reading "The Conformist" which takes place in fascist Italy. The Washington called it "Psycho-biography of a terrorist". It has a beautiful analysis of the human wellingness to confirm to authority especially when they are unable to belong to the social norm.

Dotsson, thanx for a wonderful historical analysis and over view. You are such a spirited person, and I am always fascinated by people who are welling to take the risk of travelling the path alone. The path of thought, of course.

Keep up the life!

Aysha said...

Welcome to the blog. Can you please ellborate some more?

V said...

Thx, i have been reading u from quite som time ur link form saudi jeans..I am only reading from lots of bloggers now, learning the art of writing. Not much blogging i do myself.
Now comnmig back to ur blog, elaboration will be diffcult for me aysha...
I am only repeating wat you also think cud have happened, had this incidence taken place in arab. Since you as educated [i dont mean literate here] arab also think same, why is this perception.

If u retrospect on why is it that any such incidence in arab are always treated as a case of extremism, u may get answers for ur question.

Trevelyana said...

This is ridiculous.. I didn't hear a PEEP about this!
and I read an inordinate load of news while I'm bored in class..

Joking aside, it's not just the fact that if it was a muslim there'd be hoopla, it's the fact he's an ordinary white man. If it was a mexican there'd be 'those dirty fence jumping mexicanos.." if it was an asian there'd be a rehashing of V-tech.. if it was black, well .. they'd have plenty to say about that.

Point is.. America is the white man's land. Anyone who thinks otherwise is blind.

Aafke said...

At least it shows that nutters are everywhere, and so is, unfortunately, the notion that women are property.

I agree that a major problem, also with christianity, is that once people stop reading their original scriptures, but instead the ''interpretations'' of scholars, the message gets lost. Basically it amounts to innovation.

Dottson: good piece.

G.E&B said...

Child abuse, if you can call killing your child that, is child abuse. Whether it's killing your daughter for refusing to wear hijab (remember the Canadian incident?), texting a boy, or giving the abuser an unagreeable look.

Dotsson said...

Trevelyana: I beg to differ. I'm from Oregon and I also spent a brief amount of time in New York and yes, there is racism but to say that America is a white man's land is ridiculous.
All people in the US are treated equally. Yes we do have our rednecks and we do love to refer to each other by cracker or nigger or Jew or mexican but we are also the only country in the world that has so many people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds. The only country! So a little bit of racism is natural.

When Saudi Arabia starts handing out citizenship to the "nigger" Bangladeshi workers, come talk to me then about racism.

Aysha said...

You guys, I won't add to your thoughts. Cannot tell you how many times I go back and read your views and think: these are the type of people/discussion I like to be around!

Cairogal said...

Good news: Whacky Muslim man w/ whacky values kills his daughter in the name of tradition and/or religion.

Not-such-great news: Crazy New Yorker off his meds kills his daughter.

Mental illness and crimes tied to it are old hat in American media, but the relevance of "Islam-related" crimes grabs attention.

Great post, Aysha. Great comment from Dotsson, too.

Muneeb Saeed said...

"Had the killer been a delicious Arab or Muslim, the story would have taken a completely different turn. The man would have been described as an extremist blah blah blah"
totally agree...

Aysha said...

Thanx Cairogal, and welcome to my blog Muneeb.
Did you guys check the added link. It was a funny coincidence just a few weeks away from the discussion in this post :D

Muneeb Saeed said...

yeah I did but look at this too