Her husband got her to drink, eat pork and wear short clothes
Sheikh Naseem wasn’t exactly your traditional Muslim. The Staten Island math teacher was born in Pakistan, but he’s half Norwegian and Unitarian, having moved to the U.S. 20 years ago. He goes by the name Eddie, and enjoys ribs and the occasional drink.
But two failed marriages outside Islam convinced he needed to take a more traditional route. So five months ago, he wed Rabia Sarwar in an arranged marriage. Though she too had been in the U.S. for 10 years, the Pakistani woman had “never been been exposed to American culture,” Eddie told the New York Post. So he decided to help her with that…
“He got her to drink alcohol, eat pork and change her clothes,” says he lawyer, Joe Licitra. “She wanted to dress traditionally. I think he was a cruel person who preyed on her,” he said.
She slashed at his throat, apparently fearful she’d end up like the Muslims in Indonesia
Still, Eddie thought all was fine. “She was getting adjusted. She was trying to live the way I live, but on the same token she tells her parents ‘I went out drinking with him,’ and her mother started making derogatory statements about me. There was no gun pointed to her head to do these things.”
But at 3 a.m. yesterday morning, he must have recalculated his thoughts on his wife’s happiness. Rabia is accused of climbing on her husband’s chest and slashing at his neck while he slept, reportedly screaming, “It’s time for you to die!” Eddie awoke to find a knife at his throat and begged her to think of his two kids from a former marriage.
“She just screamed, ‘They are going to be orphans now!'” he told the Post. “She kept on coming after me with the knife and I grabbed it and broke it into two pieces and ran out of the room.”
But while Rabia may suck at the art of throat slitting — Eddie only had surface wounds — at least she thought ahead to hide all the phones so he couldn’t call an ambulance. So he banged on neighbors’ doors till he got help. He’s since been released from a hospital.
Rabia, who’s been hospitalized for depression before, has now been charged with attempted murder, assault, and criminal possession of a weapon.
In a written statement, Rabia wrote that “I did my best to cut his throat. But the next moment he jumped on me and grabbed me.”
According to the statement, she feels her husband duped her into marriage. She claims Eddie went to her family to ask for a bride. But after they married, she found that he’d mostly dated white women, had been married before and liked to drink. He’d also said he was a devout Muslim, but she later discovered he was Unitarian.
She further wrote that his favorite writer was Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, which caused such a stir in the fundamentalist Muslim world that Iran officially put a hit on Rushdie.
She says Eddie also threatened to hurt her family is she bolted, saying he would sue them for $30,000 and leave them broke. Though Rabia previously lived in New Jersey, her family remains in Pakistan.
Eddie’s not yet sure whether he’ll divorce his wife. “I think she’s a lunatic and she should be in a mental hospital,” he said. “I want the best for her in her life. I hope she gets herself corrected.”