May 6, 2011 / Law & Justice, Media - News Reporting & Analysis, Opportunity, Sexism

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


The following article is reprinted with the express permission of Phyllis Chesler, an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at City University of New York. For an extended biography, visit The Phyllis Chesler Organization. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and not necessarily those of The New Agenda.

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.

Jessica Mokdad

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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  • Thank for Phyllis for breaking the silence!

  • Henrietta

    Conservatives tend to feel very comfortable speaking about the misogyny that is being practiced in Muslim communities. And then they don’t feel comfortable talking about sexism in our Universities, etc.

    Liberals feel very comfortable talking about sexism when the sexists are Republicans. When the sexists are: Islamic, liberal college students, African Americans, Asians, white liberals, etc. it becomes much less compelling to them.

    The truth is, there is a high(er) degree of misogyny in Islamic communities and even the liberal Nicholas Kristof has written about this. If we care about Muslim women, if we care about African American women, if we care about North American college women and if we care about poor white women, we will discuss misogyny wherever we see it and to whatever degree we see it and yes, get into the nitty gritty.

    Thanks to Phyllis Chessler for her courage in speaking out!

  • Kathleen Wynne

    My thanks to Phyllis Chessler for continuing to be a loud voice against misogyny of all kinds. This is what a feminist looks like!

    Thanks to TNA too for brining her story to their site. Women can only become the force necessary to stop misogyny in all of its forms if we come together and remain united in this all too ignored injustice towards women everywhere. Until this huge and pevasive injustice is addressed by MEN, as well as women, justice in its truest form will not exist anywhere.

  • This make me so upset and sad (doesn’t help that I’m sick with the flu). Why don’t more people feel this way? It’s wrong to put multicultural “ethics” ahead of people.

  • Henrietta- left unsaid in your comments is that Liberal Women and Conservative women fit within the guidelines you mentioned – it is not limited to males. People allow their respective agendas to dictate what sexism they rant about and what they seem to excuse. For me agendas should never play a role- Liberals must defend Palin, Conservatives Pelosi against sexism, but frankly it doesnt help anyone when people like Tina Fey and other Liberal Hollywoood types- continue to cash in by following the old Alinksy mantra of ridicule your strongest opponents to make them seem week, rather than refuse to “play” in a role that is sexist by its design

  • Kathleen Wynne

    Good points, Bruce, and I agree with you that liberal women should defend conservative women and vice-versa.

    However, I’ve found when speaking with my conservative friends (male AND female), that even though I have defended Sarah Palin against misogynistic attacks to them, they still appear to have a difficult time offering Hillary the same consideration when I point out that she, like Sarah, has had to deal with these same kinds of attacks. Even when I point out to them that it was primarily Hillary supporters who spoke out against the horrible misogynistic attacks Sarah endured and then point out that Hillary has endured these kinds of attacks for decades, they still can’t openly defend Hillary.

    Are there any conservative sites who have defended Hillary the same way liberal women have openly defended Sarah?

  • Women should be defending women…period. We are all in the same boat, at least in the big picture.

  • ecks why

    misogyny is one of many severe problems with islam which is dangerous no matter how it is packaged.

    the twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology.

    see the links in the pdf version below for more accurate info about islam

    islam is a horrible ideology for human rights

    5 key things about islam

    1. mythical beliefs – all religions have these (faith) because its part of being a religion: having beliefs without proof until after the believer dies. the problem is people will believe almost anything.

    2. totalitarianism – islam has no seperation of church and state: sharia law governs all. there is no free will in islam: only submission to the will of allah as conveniently determined by the imams who spew vapors to feather their own nests. there are no moderate muslims: they all support sharia law.

    3. violence – islam leads the pack of all religions in violent tenets for their ideology & history: having eternal canonical imperatives for supremacy at all costs and calling for violence & intimidation as basic tools to achieve these goals.

    4. dishonesty – only islam has dishonesty as a fundamental tenet: this stems from allah speaking to mohamhead & abrogation in the koran which is used to explain how mo’s peaceful early life was superseded by his warlord role later.

    5. misogyny – present day islam is still rooted in 8th century social ethics: treating females as property of men good only for children, severely limiting their activities, dressing them in shower curtains and worse.

    conclusions ??

    there really are NO redeeming qualities for this muddled pile of propaganda.

    islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

    graphics version

    1 page pdf version – do file/download 6kb viewer doesn’t show fonts well, has better fonts header footer links, great for emailing printing etc