Crashing to Conclusions
Yet again the anti-Muslim blogosphere was awash with reports of creeping sharia yesterday. One story was of a Ukrainian girl who was tragically murdered in the Crimea region of the country. The killing was widely described as a stoning and attributed to sharia law in headlines. The Telegraph and Daily Mail were the first UK papers to jump on this story.
The Mail opened with:
“A teenage Muslim girl was stoned to death under ‘Sharia law’ after taking part in a beauty contest in Ukraine.”
“Police have opened a murder investigation and are looking into claims that three Muslim youths killed her, claiming her death was justified under Islam.“
The Telegraph went with:
“Muslim teenage beauty queen ‘stoned to death’.”
To be fair to the Telegraph, their story go on to explain the conflicting reports regarding the murder.
“There were conflicting reports of how and why she was murdered. Some local newspapers claimed she had been stoned to death by hardline Muslims upset by her participation in the beauty contest and that police had three suspects in their sights.
But the police said her killing had nothing to do with sectarian violence and that the girl had been killed by a psychologically troubled classmate who had given her a lift on his moped and then robbed and possibly raped her before battering her to death with a rock.
“A student did it, killing his classmate. There is no other underlying reason, neither religious nor linked with inter-ethnic conflicts,” said Sergei Reznikov, a senior policeman involved in the case.
The area is home to more than 250,000 Muslim Crimean Tatars, and although there has been mob violence in the past sparked by perceived historical injustices, cases of Sharia punishment being meted out by stoning are unheard of.
Police said the main suspect, 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev, had a long history of mental health problems and was already in custody. He is understood to have confessed amid reports from his village suggesting he had developed an unhealthy and unrequited obsession with Miss Koren.”
Unfortunately, the headlines already say everything the Islamophobes want to hear, and the comments on the Mail article attest to the fact that most readers have neglected to read the full story. The usual suspects have also been quick to hijack this tragedy to further their anti-Muslim agenda.
Ignoring the fact that this murder was not only extrajudicial, but the punishment of stoning to death is not prescribed for anything resembling whatever this girl was supposed to have been guilty of in the Qur’an or Hadith. Had these news outlets resisted the knee jerk reaction and let the dust settle to discover the facts, they would probably not even have run the story. As much as three days ago there were Ukrainian reports available explaining the circumstances fully.
Was she ‘stoned to death’? Not in the sense one would consider an ‘Islamic’ stoning. She was killed by a blow from a blunt object, possibly a stone.
Was the murder due to her being a Muslimah acting immodestly? Firstly her name, Katya Koren, is not an Islamic name, and all reports from the Ukraine state that she was an Orthodox Christian. So the claim that she was Muslim appear to be totally false.
In that case it was a Muslim killing an immoral infidel? It doesn’t look like this was the case either. Bilyal Gaziev is a Russian who was orphaned and adopted by a mixed Ukrainian/Tartar couple as a 2 month old baby. His father is Muslim and his mother a Slavic Orthodox Christian. He was circumcised according to Islamic tradition and was technically a Muslim through patriarchal precedence. At 6 years old though, he asked to follow his mothers faith and was baptised as a Christian. Note that neither he or his parents were punished for apostasy. It looks therefore as though he wasn’t even a practicing Muslim at any point in his life. Reports suggest that his father was largely secular and wasn’t a regular mosque attendee.
It has also been revealed that he has been under psychiatric supervision since receiving a head injury at birth. Reports claim that Gaziev had developed a deeply “unhealthy” and “unrequited obsession” with Koren and lashed out when his advances were rejected. In some reports he claims to have fulfilled ‘sharia’, in others he is only able to explain that he just ‘wanted to kill her’. The police psychiatrist described him as ‘a real wolf, the beast’.
To summarise, this murder has absolutely nothing connecting it to Islam other than it being the religion the killers adoptive father was born into. This isn’t the first, or will it be the last time the Islamophobes make assumptions and jump to the wrong conclusions, and as per usual they will either ignore the truth or spin it to suit their narrative. How many other inaccurate stories have fanned the flames of bigotry when there has been little smoke, let alone fire? I’ve copied an extract of a recent blog post below for starters:
Well there was that time when a series of bomb attacks hit India in 2007 & 2008. Without hesitation or a shred of evidence, Spencer claimed it was the work of a Bangladeshi jihadist group. Lo and behold, it then transpires that the attacks were carried out by a Hindu group, with no retraction or correction on Jihadwatch.
Then there was the case of the Muslim terrorist on a Maltese flight last year, who was praying in the aisle with a suspect package. Except it turns out he was a Christian. A West Indian, dreadlocked Christian with a funny accent, but a Christian all the same. This particular story was deleted from Jihadwatch.
What about the infamous Gaza mass child bride extravaganza? Who could forget that? A field day for Islamophobes and Zionists. A photograph emerged in which numerous grooms were accompanied by primary school age girls dressed as brides. You can imagine the headlines. Yet again, this myth was busted by someone who was actually present. The young girls were the cousins and nieces of the grooms. But hey, they’re Muslims, you wouldn’t put it past them would you?
There’s the fact that Spencer uses a bogus translator to manipulate Arabic texts to suit his agenda. In one instance he reported a Fatwa giving Muslims permission to have sex with pre-pubescent girls, when in fact the true translation showed that the Fatwa was intended to do the exact opposite. The full read is absolutely ‘you couldn’t make it up’, facepalm material.
There are volumes upon volumes of work, comprehensively debunking Spencer’s dishonesty. Here is a start.
Understanding Jihad – Answers to Spencer’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)
“Fascist-Islamophobia”: A Case Study in Totalitarian Demonization – Five part series debunking Spencer’s written work.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Robert Spencer – A huge resource of responses and rebuttals of Spencer’s statements.