NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Rabia Sarwar, a devout Muslim woman accused of slashing her husband's neck with a kitchen knife as he slept because he forced her to eat pork, drink alcohol and wear short skirts, will be appearing in a New York courtroom today.
"He made me do so many things that are against Islam," she wrote in a statement to police.
"I did all that just to make him happy but inside me there was a war," she continued.
Sarwar, 37, has pled not guilty to attempted murder and was freed on $25,000 bail. She told police in a written statement that she was emotionally abused by her husband, Sheikh Naseem.
Naseem suffered cuts to his neck, cheek and hand early Wednesday before fighting Sarwar off and dialing 911 from his Staten Island home, authorities said.
"I did my best to cut his throat," Rabia Sarwar allegedly wrote in her statement to police. "But the next moment he jumped on me and grabbed me."
Sarwar's attorney, Joe Licitra, said she had previously been treated for depression. Her husband told the New York Post that Sarwar, a native of Pakistan, was having a hard time adjusting to American culture.
"There was no gun pointed to her head to do these things," Naseem told the Post.
Calls to Naseem by The Associated Press went unanswered.
Sarwar's statement to police paints a picture of a frustrated, confused woman angry that her husband of five months was not what he appeared to be during their brief courtship. Naseem went to her family to ask for a bride and she agreed to marry him, she said in her statement.
But after they were wed, she discovered he had previously dated mostly "white" women, had been married before and liked to go out to drink, she wrote. He said he was Pakistani and a devout Muslim, but in New York he claimed he was half-Pakistani and half-Norwegian, as well as a Unitarian Christian, she said.
He often yelled and cursed her family, she said, and one of his favorite writers was Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses," which caused violent protests by Muslims in several countries because the book was perceived as an irreverent depiction of the Prophet Muhammad.
"He hates Pakistan and he hates Pakistanis then why did he marry a Pakistani girl?" she wrote.
They fought about her leaving, and he threatened to hurt her family, saying they would have to pay him $30,000 or he would sue them and leave them penniless and homeless, she wrote. Her family is in Pakistan.
She lay in bed that evening thinking her only way out was to kill him, she wrote.
Police said they had never visited the house on any domestic dispute calls.
Sarwar also pleaded not guilty Thursday to second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
According to Sarwar's statement, Naseem was working on getting her green card, but her parents had apparently started the citizenship process for her a few years before. She is not a U.S. citizen and could face deportation, depending on the outcome of the case.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: Was Rabia Sarwar emotionally abused by her husband, and was she justified in attacking him?
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October 30, 2009 - Muslim Wife Slashed Husband's Neck Over Booze, Pork and Miniskirts, Say Prosecutors