Police say they can’t figure out the motive behind an Ohio father’s horrific crime of violence against his own daughter, and the media won’t touch the topic, but some say the answer lies hidden in plain view.
Jamal Mansour, 63, of Rocky River, Ohio, walked into his adult daughter’s bedroom at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday and shot her twice in the head while she slept. His daughter, Tahini Mansour, 27, died about 10 hours later at a local hospital.
“We don’t have a solid motive other than an argument occurred between a father and his daughter,” said Lt. George Lichman with Rocky River Police.
Islam experts and former Muslims say the suspect’s behavior is rife with clues but don’t look for the police or media to flesh them out and share those clues with the public.
Mansour is a Muslim immigrant from Jordan and his alleged execution-style killing of his daughter bears the hallmarks of Islamic honor violence, says Daniel Akbari, a former top Shariah lawyer in Iran who defected to the U.S. several years ago and now lives in Texas.
“Mr. Mansour might have assimilated to Western culture sufficiently to shave his beard and wear jeans but not to accept his daughter behaving like western girls,” said Akbari, author of “Honor Killing: A Professional’s Guide to Sexual Relations and Ghayra Violence from the Islamic Sources.”
After shooting Tahini in the forehead, twice, Mansour stood before a judge later that day and said it was an “accident.”
The night of the incident, police rushed to his home after the brother of Tahani Mansour called 911 and reported she had been shot twice while asleep in her bed.
When asked to explain why the father would shoot his own daughter, family members blamed a medical condition, claiming Mansour is diabetic, according to a Fox 8 report.
Diabetes, a malady suffered by thousands of Americans, typically does not compel one to commit random acts of deadly violence but, even still, the claim did not square with the local police investigation.
“We had the fire department respond and do an evaluation, it turns out [the father] was not under any medical care at the time of the incident and since he’s been in our jail,” Lichman said.
Tahani Mansour was educated and successful. She received a doctor of pharmacy degree from Northeast Ohio Medical University in 2013, worked as a clinical pharmacist for University Hospitals and taught at the University of Findlay and the medical school, according to her LinkedIn account.
The medical school posted a statement on its website mourning her death, and included information about a prayer service held Thursday at a Cleveland mosque, the Associated Press reported.
But her father was clearly upset with her. She had recently taken a business trip to Las Vegas of which he did not approve, family members told police.
Mansour emigrated from Jordan to the United States in 1978 and eventually became a U.S. citizen, according to Cleveland.com. He owns several businesses in the Cleveland area with his brother including a gas station and grocery stores. He’d traveled to Jerusalem recently to participate in a family business venture that involved the construction of an apartment complex.
Prosecutor Michael O’Shea called it an “assassination” and argued for a stiff bail, which was set at $4.5 million.
“A guy that’s willing to murder his own daughter, the gate is open to what else he might do,” O’Shea told Cleveland.com.
Sharia rules for dress and conduct
Shariah rules for women’s dress and conduct are part of the foundation of Islamic culture, Akbari told WND in an email.
“Any Muslim who has lived in a society with a dominant Islamic culture adopts those laws to some degree and makes them to be a part of his or her belief,” Akbari said.
“Muslim men who immigrate to Western countries bring that sense of jealousy toward their female family members with them and enforce the sharia rules in their families,” he added.
He said the correct term in Arabic is not actually “honor.”
“Islam has a term for that sense of jealousy, which by mistake has been translated as ‘honor.’ The Islamic term for that jealousy is “ghayra,” which literally means excluding others. Islamic rules for dress and conduct cover all aspects of a Muslim woman’s life, how to dress, how to walk, how to talk, and so on.
“When a Muslim woman violates any of those rules commanded by Islam for her behavior she violates the Muslim man’s ghayra causing him to feel he is responsible to take action and stop her,” he said. “Islam provides a hierarchy of actions the man can take, starting with scolding the woman and ending with killing her.”
Tahani Mansour was one of six children. She lived at home with her parents and was the youngest child.
Senator’s warning: ‘Murdered for being too westernized’
Ironically, just one day after the alleged murder of Tahani Mansour by her father, a Senate hearing was held on refugee resettlement in which Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., warned that with the importation of Muslim migrants comes the importation of Muslim cultural norms that most Americans would find aberrant and abhorrent. Among those he named were honor violence and female genital mutilation, WND reported.
Sessions said there are an estimated 23 to 27 victims of honor killings each year in America, citing published reports.
“That’s in America, not in Syria. And 91 percent are murdered for being too ‘westernized.’ That doesn’t sound like assimilation to me,” Sessions said at the hearing. “Most are daughters, subjected to physical and emotional abuse all related to fundamentalist Islam.”
More than 500,000 mostly Muslim women in America are also at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation, according to a recent report published in the Washington Free Beacon.
Tahani Mansour was rushed to Fairview Hospital Tuesday morning. She died around 11 a.m., 10 hours after police say Jamal Mansour shot her.
The victim’s brother called 9-1-1 for help at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday. He told the operator his father just shot his sister in her room at the family’s home on Vine Court.
This is how a portion of the 9-1-1 call went:
Operator: “Go ahead sir.”
Caller: “Yes, my sister has been shot. Please send an ambulance, please.”
Operator: “OK, where has she been shot at?”
Caller: “In her room.”
Operator: “OK. Did she shoot herself? Did you see who shot her?”
Caller: “No, my father shot her.”
Dr. Joan Horvath told Fox 9 in Cleveland that the family lived on the street for years but kept to themselves. Other neighbors said the same thing.
“I understand that they have children. I have never seen the children. I would not recognize them. I’ve seen the father cutting the grass and occasionally the mother puttering with flowers, but I have never seen the children,” said Horvath. “The thought to me, of a father shooting a daughter, who is normally the apple of a father’s eye, is so heartbreaking. What drove him to that. What are the dynamics of that family that made him feel that the only way to stop something is to shoot his daughter.”