A Missouri man was arrested last week for allegedly roughing up a teenage relative for not wearing a hijab — the traditional headscarf worn by some Muslim women — the Daily Mail is reporting.
Columbia police arrested 53-year-old Youssif Zaghwani Omar, who on his Linkedin profile identifies himself as an assistant professor at the University of Missouri as well as manager of Artifacts Journal at the University bookstore, on Wednesday after a Tuesday incident at an area high school.
He was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, and then was released on $4,500 bond.
As of this writing, it is not clear what the relationship is between Omar and his female relative.
On his Linkedin profile, Omar says he’s originally from Benghazi, Libya, where he was the head of the English department at the University of Benghazi Wahat Branch. On a Facebook page that the Daily Mail claims to belong to Omar, a man bearing a resemblance to the mug shot provided by the Columbia Police Department appears in photos posing lovingly with small children (but no teenagers).
Violence against women and girls is, unfortunately, a part of life in some Islamic cultures, according to a report (.pdf) by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.
“While no community is free of abusive practices, the Muslim is beset by two further problems. One is that violence is committed not just by some husbands but also by fathers and brothers which makes for an expanded circle of familial abuse for women. The other is the tendency to ascribe this abuse to Islam’s own scripture, the Qur’an. Since, for Muslims, the Qur’an is God’s word, the pervasive view is that God “himself” gives men the license to control or ill-treat women.”
In fact, a whole host of violent practices against women and girls exist in some communities in Islam, often tolerated (if not outright encouraged) by governments. Those acts of violence include female genital mutilation, femicide (killing infant girls), forced marriage (including of young girls), and forcing girls and women to wear hijabs or other traditional garments, such as burqas, gang rape, and honor killings.
Though such practices are all illegal in the West, they are, unfortunately, still sometimes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations. And those crimes are being prosecuted: for example, in June, according to the Daily Mail, a Muslim businessman from Cardiff, Wales, repeatedly raped his victim and threatened to kill her father if he didn’t marry her. The man was sentenced to 16 years in prison in what the Mail called a “landmark” case — the first successful prosecution under the United Kingdom’s new forced marriage law.
According to a 2010 KOMU (Columbia) report, the mid-Missouri city of Columbia (population: 108,000) has a growing Muslim community. And despite growing anti-Islam sentiment in the U.S., Muslims living in this part of Missouri have found Columbia to be largely peaceful and welcoming.
[Image via Columbia Police Department via the Gateway Pundit]