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Jessica Mokdad, 20, Killed by her Stepfather–When Will the Media & Muslim Groups Break Their Silence on this American Honor Killing?

Posted on May 4 2011 3:03 pm
Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at City University of New York. For extended biography visit The Phyllis Chesler Organization.
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Jessica Mokdad

Bin Laden may be dead but, as many have noted, his ideology is still very much alive. Indeed, it  landed on our shores long ago. It is now most definitely here.

Women in burqas and in severe hijab are increasingly commonplace as are other more barbaric gender apartheid practices. This includes heartless honor killings.

Over this past weekend, there was a new honor killing in America. The mainstream media did not really cover it. To their credit, the Associated Press did a short online story which was picked up by CBS online and by local Minnesota and Michigan newspapers, also online.


The victim’s name was Jessica Mokdad. She was 20 years old. Her killer was her stepfather, Rahim A. Alfetlawi, 45 years old. According to the assistant principal, Jessica was a “standout student” at Coon Rapids High School in Minnesota. “She was a quiet student who was very confident in who she was and proud of being a Muslim.”

Why was she killed? Because, according to the police, her stepfather’s believed she was “not adhering to Muslim customs.” And, because her biological father was “letting her be a little more Americanized than what (the defendant) wanted.”

What’s different about this case is that Jessica fled to the safety of her biological father’s home in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Thus, her own father was supporting her as was her paternal grandmother, in whose home she was when Alfetlawi found her and shot her with a 9mm handgun.

Like Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan in Buffalo (who beheaded his wife), Atfetlawi calmly went to the police and admitted killing his stepdaughter. Like Faleh Almaleki in Arizona (who ran over his daughter down with a two ton jeep), Alfetlawi also hedged his bets and claimed that the gun went off “accidentally.”

Mokdad was planning to attend college.

Why is the mainstream media silent about this outrage? Why are Muslim-American organizations silent?

Why are Muslim women’s organizations also silent? Please speak out. Why is her mother, Wendy, silent? Was she complicit in this decision as were the mothers of Toronto’s Aqsa Parvez and the mother of the Said sisters in Dallas?

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