Now Reading
The Death of Nazma Khanam: When Will Muslim Lives be Newsworthy?

The Death of Nazma Khanam: When Will Muslim Lives be Newsworthy?

We have yet to get over the brutal murder of Imam Maulama Akonjee and his assistant, Thara Uddin, and here we have yet another murder, another horrible loss, of one of our fellow Muslims.
The stabbing of Nazma Khanam, while extremely tragic, was not treated as such. When hearing about all of the attacks on Muslims on American soil, one can’t help but wonder: “Will it ever end?”
We all remember the death of the three Muslim Chapel Hill students (Deah, Yusor, and Razan) and how it shook America, but it taught us a valuable lesson as put by Afghan Journalist, Abdullah Azada Khenjani: “Muslims are only newsworthy when behind a gun, not in front of it.”

“Muslims are only newsworthy when behind a gun, not in front of it.”

Khenjani’s remark could not be more relevant at this very moment. The most tragic part of the entire issue is the lack of news coverage. The most news coverage it received was from local news sources such as New York Daily News, CBS Local, NBC New York, etc.
I thought that something this huge would have at least been mentioned in the New York Times, CNN, Fox, or ABC News. This is what I found when I took it upon myself to look for the news on these sources: Nothing — absolutely nothing.
Apparently, Khenjani was not wrong when he said that Muslims were only newsworthy when behind the gun. A-60-year-old woman was stabbed to death and no one bats an eye.
Today, the biggest source of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in American society is the media. Portraying Muslims as terrorists and extremists while not covering the attacks on Muslims, or the horrors they face, continues to be the deep-rooted dehumanization of Muslims — and the media knows this.

Portraying Muslims as terrorists and extremists while not covering the attacks on Muslims, or the horrors they face, continues to be the deep-rooted dehumanization of Muslims — and the media knows this.

The Chapel Hill shooting did not get the news coverage that it nearly deserved. It was only heard through social media with hashtags such as #ChapelHillShooting, which eventually allowed their lost lives to take the world by storm. Today we see a repeat of history through the murder of Nazma Khanam.
Why is it that when I asked my friends today about Khanam’s stabbing, no one has heard about it? Because like Khenjani said, Muslims don’t matter when they are victimized and are being attacked.
This is essentially how the media fuels Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment — by not covering the attacks on Muslims.
The media is what Islamophobia feeds on; without it essentially, Islamophobia has no platform. By ignoring Muslim cries for help when needed, the media provides the necessary platform for Islamophobia to grow.
In the NBC New York article, the stabbing was not regarded as a hate crime; “Police said that an investigation into the stabbing is ongoing. They did not say that the killing was being investigated as a hate crime.”
It is baffling how such a crime does not have a clear motive; as CAIR-NY mentions, NYPD was reported to have said no motive has been established. In the CAIR-NY article, CAIR urges the New York Police Department to look for a hate motive in the murder.
America has grown too accustomed to Islamophobia, and the effect that it has on us as a nation is terrible. This is not a fight against each other; it is a fight with one another to defeat the disease of Islamophobia.

See Also

America has grown too accustomed to Islamophobia, and the effect that it has on us as a nation is terrible. 

The number of brutal murders of Muslims is a reminder that every nation, every race, every religion and faith, every ethnicity, every human being needs to stand up against Islamophobia and take away the false legitimacy it has grown to have.

View Comments (5)
  • But how do you know it was Islamophobia? All you know is that this poor lady was murdered. How do you know the killer’s motive was associated with her religion? How is it reasonable to assume a hate crime in this case just because she was a Muslim? There’s so many other possible motives. A male serial killer in particular often fixates on harming random innocent women if he was raised by an abusive mother, for instance. There’s so many whacked nutcases out there, you can have no possible clue why the killer actually did it. It could be literally anything. Don’t paint this as some kind of ideological anti-Islam killing unless additional evidence points that direction.

    • If the situation was reverse though…I think it would not be incorrect to say that the first thing that would have been done is to see whether a Muslim shooter had any ties to extremisim therefore allowing for the cause of relgious hate be cited as a reason for his/her actions. It’s simply not the case if it’s a white person doing the attacking…because obviously that’s just crazy. Religious extremisim doesn’t only exist in Islam and not other religion. Look at the Christian Ugandans as they target gay men and the militaristic Buddhist monks of Burma against the Rohingyas. They use their religion as the reason for targeting specific groups…so…I think that’s the point of this article…to point out the dual system. What applies when investigating a Brown/Muslim person in what seems to be a probable hate crime should be the same for other races…wouldn’t you agree? The point, I believe, of this article is to point out the flaw in the method of investigating the crime…not just the crime itself.

      • The chief difference between this case and mass-killings is that mass killings typically do have some kinda of ideology behind them—and not necessarily Islam, as Dylan Roof demonstrated. Single-death homicides are far more likely to be random in nature. If you read accounts of the “careers” of serial killers such as Richard Kuklinski, aka the Ice Man (who was a white atheist, incidentally) it would appear that some twisted people just enjoy hunting others at random. Kuklinski would frequently murder passing people for fun if he caught them alone. No ideology, no provocation, he just enjoyed taking human life. Knowing that there’s twisted people like that out there, all I’m saying is that don’t assume that poor Mrs. Khanam’s case is a probable hate crime unless actual evidence turns up that points to that sort of motivation. And hey, if it turns out to be a hate-motivated killing by some fanatical white person, I’ll be the first to come out and disavow and condemn those responsible. Until then, all I can say is “Rest in peace, Mrs. Khanam.”

        • A logical and well written argument. I can understand your point very clearly. Although given the context and current situation (i.e. rise in Islamophobia), I am still pretty sure this is definitely a very targeted homicide and not random. But I guess let us agree to disagree. Have great day…and keep staying cool!

  • it wasnt a hate crime as far as this article was concerned. the person could have attacked a jew,chrsitian hindu, black, white, etc,

Leave a Reply

Scroll To Top