Guarding the Secrets: Palestinian Fanaticism and a Father's Murder of His Too-American Daughter by Ellen Francis Harris, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Guarding the Secrets: Palestinian Fanaticism and a Father's Murder of His Too-American Daughter

Guarding the Secrets: Palestinian Fanaticism and a Father's Murder of His Too-American Daughter

by Ellen Francis Harris
     
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
This true-crime study spotlights the clashing of cultures. TV reporter Harris (Dying to Get Married) relates the tragic story of 16-year-old Tina Isa, murdered in Missouri in 1989 by her father, Zein al-Abdeen Hassan Isa, with her mother's help. The father, from a backwater Palestinian town on the West Bank, was a suspected member of the terrorist Abu Nidal organization, and his home in St. Louis had been bugged by federal agents. Thus the murder was taped, and the parents received death sentences. The proximate cause of the slaying was Tina's attempted assimilation into American culture-her wanting to become independent, to get a job, to date an African American teenager-but the root causes, according to the author, lay in the misogyny of Islam and in the clannish nature of rural Palestinian society, where the "honor" of the family is more important than life itself.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This true-crime study spotlights the clashing of cultures. TV reporter Harris (Dying to Get Married) relates the tragic story of 16-year-old Tina Isa, murdered in Missouri in 1989 by her father, Zein al-Abdeen Hassan Isa, with her mother's help. The father, from a backwater Palestinian town on the West Bank, was a suspected member of the terrorist Abu Nidal organization, and his home in St. Louis had been bugged by federal agents. Thus the murder was taped, and the parents received death sentences. The proximate cause of the slaying was Tina's attempted assimilation into American culture-her wanting to become independent, to get a job, to date an African American teenager-but the root causes, according to the author, lay in the misogyny of Islam and in the clannish nature of rural Palestinian society, where the ``honor'' of the family is more important than life itself. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Harris's second true-crime book (following Dying To Get Married, LJ 9/15/91) can be read on many levels; on the most obvious one, it is a well-researched account of the horrible stabbing death of 16-year-old Tina Isa at the hands of her abusive and uneducated father, Zein Isa. It also documents the reach of Palestinian fanatic Abu Nidal's international terrorist organization; Zein and several relatives worked for Abu Nidal in the United States, and this involvement may have been an underlying cause of Tina's murder. On a third level, Harris's book is a study of the clash between Palestinian and American cultures. Through extensive research and interviews with Palestinians on the West Bank and in the United States, Harris attempts-successfully for the most part-to explain Palestinian cultural beliefs and thereby to illustrate that Zein deviated from predominant practices not only when he murdered Tina in a so-called "honor killing" but frequently throughout Tina's life. This well-written and well-documented book is recommended for public libraries and others with Middle East collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/94.]-Ruth K. Baacke, Whatcom Cty Lib. Sys., Bellingham, Wash.
Gilbert Taylor
In Arab Muslim communities, a most delicate taboo is discussion of so-called honor killings of women, because of the shocking barbarism the practice presents to non-Muslims. A sensational breach of the taboo occurred in 1989 in St. Louis, where Palestinian parents who were low-grade agents of the notorious Abu Nidal terrorist gang gruesomely knifed their youngest daughter to death--all recorded on tape by FBI bugs. Few crimes in recent memory have been as packed as this with explosive cross-cultural issues, for the Isa family was not here solely to make a new life in America: as shown by intelligence surveillance, which author Harris has partially pieced together from her interviews and revelations at trial, the inept and talkative Isas exposed an extended Palestinian network consumed with violent plots spawned from hate for Jews and for America and its perceived moral laxness. The latter infuriated the parents of victim Palestina, a 16-year-old who was quickly absorbing her new culture's attributes; she had a fast-food job, a boyfriend, and dreams of college. This gripping work grapples with the surveillance process and a clash of cultures with both skill and sensitivity--a perfect combination for libraries seeking a high-demand title.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780025483354
Publisher:
Scribner
Publication date:
04/03/1995
Pages:
352

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