This is a joint press release by Turning Point for Women and Families and the Domestic Harmony Foundation regarding the brutal murder of Aasiya Hassan last Thursday in Buffalo, NY. Below that is a press release from the Peaceful Families Project that also condemns the gruesome murder.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2009
Two New York Muslim and South Asian Women’s Groups Condemn the Gruesome Beheading of Aasiya Hassan in Buffalo
Turning Point for Women and Families and Domestic Harmony Foundation (Long Island), both nonprofits providing services for battered women in New York area Muslim communities, strongly condemn the tragic and gruesome beheading of Aasiya Hassan in Buffalo on February 12, 2009.
Police have charged Muzzammil Hassan, with second degree murder in the killing of his wife, a 37-year-old mother of two, ages 4 and 6. She secured an order of protection against her husband on February 6 and had filed for divorce. Her body was found Thursday evening after Hassan directed police to look for her in his office at Bridges TV.
Shaida Khan, executive director of the Domestic Harmony Foundation stated: “DHF is appalled and saddened by the tragic murder of Aasiya Hassan. As an organization that works towards bringing awareness, empowerment and support for women and children who are exposed to this epidemic of domestic violence, we strongly condemn this heinous act.”
Robina Niaz, Executive Director of Turning Point, said “We send our heartfelt condolences to Aasiya’s family and pray that they find the strength to cope with this tragic loss. We also hope the perpetrator of this shocking crime is prosecuted and punished to the fullest
extent of the law.”
“This is a reminder of how vulnerable women and children are even when they try and get out of abusive marriages,” Niaz continued. “This horrible crime underscores the urgent need for our entire community to step up and speak out against domestic violence and support and endorse the work ” of organizations who are working to end to domestic violence in the Muslim community.”
This is not an isolated story of a prominent man who has committed such a act. We have seen police, physicians, and judges who have killed or maimed their partners in acts of rage. Domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic lines. And no religion in any way or form condones or encourages abuse, whether it be physical, sexual, emotional or financial.
Turning Point for Women and Families based in Queens is the first community based agency to directly address domestic violence in the New York Muslim community. It addresses domestic violence through direct services for women and children, community outreach and education, referrals and advocacy. It also runs a youth program for Muslim girls. For more information about Turning Point please visit www.turningpoint-ny.org
The Domestic Harmony Foundation is a community-based nonprofit organization in Long Island, NY created to fill a void in concrete services responding to the social, emotional and psychological needs of the area’s growing South Asian and Muslim community. DHF is committed in promoting peace, safety and harmony within South Asian and Muslim families by providing support and guidance and working towards addressing and ending domestic abuse and violations of their basic human rights. For more information about DHF please go to www.dhfny.org
Press release from Peaceful Families Project, a nationwide nonprofit also addressing domestic violence in muslim-American communities:
February 14, 2009
GREAT FALLS, VA – The Peaceful Families Project (PFP) strongly condemns the tragic beheading of Aasiya Hassan of Buffalo, NY, on February 12th. Police have taken her husband, Muzzammil Hassan into custody and charged him with second degree murder. Aasiya Hassan was found on Thursday evening following Muzzammil Hassan’s arrival at the police station indicating she could be found in his office at Bridges TV. Aasiya Hassan had recently filed for divorce, and had a protective order issued against Muzzammil Hassan on February 6th. Police continue to search for the murder weapon.
In a statement today, PFP said: “As the national Muslim organization in the United States solely devoted to ending domestic violence, we at PFP condemn, in the strongest terms possible, the horrific, brutal, and sadistic beheading of Aasiya Hassan. There is no justification for domestic violence of any kind, including psychological, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. We have heard from numerous Muslim leaders, imams, activists, and families voicing their outrage against this calamity. We call upon Muslim families and leaders across the country to vocally address this tragedy in their communities by clarifying Islam’s stance against domestic violence. We hope that every Muslim community will actively join us in working to end all forms of domestic violence in Muslim families by raising awareness and developing effective programming. We send our sincere prayers and heartfelt condolences to Aasiya Hassan’s family and friends, and hope that the perpetrator of this monstrous crime will be brought to
About Peaceful Families Project
As the only national organization solely devoted to ending domestic violence among Muslim families, the Peaceful Families Project facilitates awareness workshops for Muslim leaders and communities, provides cultural sensitivity trainings for professionals, and develops resources regarding abuse in Muslim communities. To donate to PFP, and to learn more about PFP programs and resources, visit www.peacefulfamilies.org.