Muslim Father Charged With Assault for Running Over 'Westernized' Daughter

PHOTO Faleh Almaleki is shown in this mugshot.Courtesy the Peoria Police Department
Faleh Almaleki is shown in this mugshot.

An Iraqi immigrant who fled the country after allegedly running over his 20-year-old daughter to punish her for becoming "too Westernized" and rebuffing the conservative ways he valued is in an Arizona jail today, facing assault charges.

The 10-day manhunt for Faleh Hassan Almaleki, 48, who fled from Peoria, Ariz., on Oct. 20, ended Friday when he was arrested by U.S. Marshalls in Atlanta after he arrived at the airport there, sent back to the country from London.

VIDEO: A womans friends say her Iraqi father injured her for being too Westernized.Play

His daugher, Noor Faleh Almaleki, 20, remains hospitalized in critical condition after her father allegedly hit the young woman and her boyfriend's mother with his Jeep Cherokee on Oct. 20 in the parking lot of the Department of Economic Development in Peoria.

Noor Faleh Almaleki is in "life-threatening condition," Peoria Police spokesman Mike Tellef told last week soon after the incident.

Her boyfriend's mother, 43-year-old Amal Edan Khalaf, is also still hospitalized, but with non-life threatening injuries.

"It occurred because her not following traditional family values. We've been told that by everybody," Tellef said. "He felt she was becoming too westernized and he didn't like that."

Calls to the Almaleki family weren't returned.

After the incident, Faleh Hassan Almaleki fled to Mexico and abandoned the Jeep Cherokee in Nogales, where police there eventually found and seized it, according to Peoria police.

Almaleki made his way to Mexico City, where he boarded a plane to London, but U.K. authorities refused to allow him into the country, and after U.S. officials were contacted, he was put on a plane back to the United States, the Peoria police said.

He was arrested late Friday afternoon when he arrived in Atlanta, and was returned to Arizona today.

He was booked on two counts of aggravated assault and is currently being held in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office 4th Avenue Jail in Phoenix, police said.

Noor Almaleki had backed out of an arranged marriage about a year ago, police learned, and had been living with Khalaf and her son in a nearby town.

Tellef said the young woman dressed in American clothing and was wearing typical Western attire when she was struck.

The family were all American citizens, though Tellef said he believes the parents were born in Iraq.

He said it was unclear if Faleh Almaleki intended to kill his daughter, but "it was definitely intentional that he ran them down."

While Tellef had heard of so-called "honor killings" in other parts of the United States, this was the first such crime in Peoria.

Honor Killings Unfairly Cast Negative Light on Islam

The notion of an honor killing -- Muslim men murdering female relatives for dishonoring the family by violating Islamic tenets -- made the news over the summer when 17-year-old Rifqa Bary ran away from her parents in Ohio and turned up in the Florida home of Christian pastors Blake and Beverly Lorenz. Rafqa Barry claimed that her Muslim father had threatened to kill her for converting to Christianity.

Rifqa made tearful television appearance, crying on the Lorenzes shoulders, describing how she had to sneak around to attend church.

"They have to kill me because I'm a Christian. It's an honor [killing]. If they love me more than God, then they have to kill me," she told ABC's Orlando affiliate WFTV last month.

Blake Lorenz pointed to other honor killings, including the January 2008 murders of two Texas sisters who were believed to have been murdered by their Muslim father in a religion-fueld rage.

But Rifqa's father, Mohamed Bary, denied the accusation and said that while he preferred his daughter be a Muslim, she was free to practice whatever religion she chose.

"I don't believe my daughter would say this," Bary told "Good Morning America." "She's completely being coached -- I mean trained, influenced by these people. It's so sad."

A Florida judge this month said he planned to send Rifqa back to Ohio after determining there was no evidence that her life was in danger.