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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Muslim man beheads wife in America

A Muslim man living in America has been found guilty of beheading his wife a week after she issued him with divorce papers. Born in Pakistan, Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan and his wife founded a Muslim-oriented television station in 2004 with the intention of countering negative impressions Americans may have had of Muslims after the September 11 terror attacks. Some would argue that those feelings would now be firmly reinforced.

He never denied killing his wife at the television station they set up together to promote cultural understanding - he calmly walked into a police station and told them that his wife was dead. They had two children, then 4 and 6 who were outside in a van while Hassan spoke to police. After the killing, the children were sent to live with his wife's mother in Pakistan.

Because of the brutality of his wife's death, there was speculation that it may have been an honor killing. Beheading is still practiced among fanatical Muslim men who feel betrayed by their wives.

Hassan acted as his own lawyer during the trial in Buffalo. In the months leading up to the trial, he explored various versions of psychiatric defence with different lawyers. He fired three lawyers and replaced the fourth with himself. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on March 9.