Rabia Sarwar says she thought she was marrying a devout Muslim who, even though he taught in a godless Western high school on Staten Island, had traditional values. After all, it was a good old-fashioned arranged marriage — what could go wrong? She, or whatever village elders arranged the union, seems somehow to have missed that her new husband, Sheik Nassem, was a Unitarian (!), had been married twice before to non-observant-Muslim women, and had, the New York Post tells us, “a taste for barbecued ribs.”
Alas, soon after their May wedding, Sarwar claims Nassem was pressuring her to do sacrilegious things — such as, according to a source, “eating pork, drinking alcohol, wearing short clothes,” etc. So, Wednesday morning, Sarwar tried to cut his throat while he was sleeping. Cops say she also yelled, “It’s time for you to die!” (Unconfirmed reports have her yelling “AIEEE!” as well.)
Her lawyer, perhaps cognizant of the fact that religious unorthodoxy is not at present a credible defense for attempted murder in Western countries, adds that Nassem “literally threatened to have her parents mutilated.” Sarwar, who has in the past been treated for depression, is charged with attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 30, 2009