Almost a year after two teenage girls were found dead — allegedly executed by their father — in the back seat of a taxicab in Texas, the FBI is saying for the first time that the case may have been an “honor killing” — and the bureau is angering Muslim groups by calling it that.
Sarah Said, 17, and her sister Amina, 18, were killed on New Year’s Day, but for nine months authorities deflected questions about whether their father — the prime suspect and the subject of a nationwide manhunt — may have targeted them because of a perceived slight upon his honor.
The girls’ great-aunt, Gail Gartrell, says the girls’ father killed them both because he felt they disgraced the family by dating non-Muslims and acting too Western, and she called the girls’ murders an honor killing from the start.
But the FBI held off on calling it an honor killing until just recently, when it made Yaser Abdel Said the “featured fugitive” on its Web site.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell everybody all along,” Gartrell told FOXNews.com. “I would say that’s a victory.”
But others feel that calling the case an honor killing goes too far.
“As far as we’re concerned, until the motive is proven in a court of law, this is [just] a homicide,” Mustafaa Carroll, the executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Dallas, told FOXNews.com.
He said he worries that terms like “honor killing” may stigmatize the Islamic community. “We (Muslims) don’t have the market on jealous husbands … or domestic violence,” Carroll said.
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