There were two family-death tragedies that hit news services on Christmas. The first one was the house fire in Connecticut where five people died: a grandmother, grandfather, three young girls — a 10-year-old and 7-year-old twins. The girls’ mother, Madonna Badger, and a friend escaped the fire.
The house was being renovated. Fire officials believe the fire was started by fireplace embers that had been cleared out of the fireplace and put in either a mud room attached to the house or a trash enclosure next to it.
The story brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t want to think about what all who were involved went through. It must have been horrible.
There was a news story about another family where tragedy struck. This time it was in Colleyville, Texas, on Christmas day. Here’s how ABC News reported it:
A Santa-suited gunman who killed six people on Christmas morning was the estranged husband of one of the victims and the father of two teenagers who died in the massacre.
Aziz Yazdanpanah, 56, showed up to his estranged wife’s apartment on Christmas morning dressed like St. Nick and opened fire shortly after the family had unwrapped presents.
Yazdanpanah then killed himself.
The six victims were identified by ABC affiliate WFAA as: Nasrin Rahmaty, 55, who was Yazdanpanah’s wife; Nona Yazdanpanah, 19, his daughter; Ali Yazdanpanah, 15, his son; Zohreh Rahmaty, 58, his sister-in-law; Hossein Zarei, 59, his brother-in-law; and Sahra Zarei, 22, his niece.
Later reports tell us that the murderer was a Muslim, a fact that the media are downplaying. “Aziz Yazdanpanah, a Muslim, didn't like his daughter’s non-Muslim boyfriend and was exhibiting stalker behavior. ‘She couldn’t date at all until she was a certain age, but when he was going to let her date she couldn’t date anyone outside of their race or religion.’”
Investigators are downplaying the motive. Lt. Todd Dearing said that motive isn't important.
Motive is always important except, it seems, when “when Islam is involved.” (Source)
You may recall that the Defense Department reclassified the Fort Hood massacre as “workplace violence.” We know that Maj. Hassan shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is Great”) after firing a total of 214 rounds at his fellow soldiers. Even so, we were told that Hassan’s religious believes were not a factor in the shooting.
Maybe if we ignore the relationship between Islam, honor killings, and other acts of violence they’ll all go away. Don’t count on it.