Thursday, December 13, 2007

Too Little, Too Lame, Too Late

York Region’s Muslim community is in mourning the death of a Mississauga teen allegedly slain over her refusal to wear the hijab.

Sixteen-year-old Aqsa Parvez died Tuesday, allegedly strangled to death by her father, after refusing to wear the hijab, a head scarf worn by women in some middle-eastern cultures. Newmarket Mosque spokesperson Ansar Ahmed called Ms Parvez’s death a senseless and tragic incident.

“This is the type of tragedy that shakes you to your very core as a person, as a parent and as a Muslim,” he said. “The fact that the wearing of a hijab … appears to have been the catalyst for this violence is what is so disturbing.”

The burqaHe also said that if the girl’s death was the result of a dispute over the hijab, the killer’s logic is truly flawed.

“Whether or not a woman prays five times a day or whether she chooses to cover her hair is a voluntary act of worship,” Mr. Ahmed said. “It’s ludicrous for this father to have thought that he could compel his teenage daughter to cover her hair. Acts of faith, whatever they may be, have to come from within; they cannot be imposed on anyone. If they are, they are not true acts of faith.”


Markham resident Ibrahim Hayani echoed many of Mr. Ahmed’s sentiments.

An overwhelming majority of the Muslim population in the region is shaken and upset by the tragedy apparently committed under the guise of faith, the Ryerson economics and political science professor said.

In fact, Mr. Hayani said, religion likely had little to do with the incident, contrary to reports in other media.

“When it comes to this incident, it had nothing to do with Islam,” he said. “It’s an insult to Islam to say the religion had anything to do with it.”

Instead, Mr. Hayani said that various cultural customs were likely to blame as many despotic nations twist religion as a method of manipulating their citizens and propping up their often totalitarian and patriarchal regimes.

Blog TO reported it this way:
- - - - - - - - -
Aqsa Parvez,16, led a double life, preferring to assimilate with Western culture and dress while attending Applewood Heights Secondary School, where she was a grade 11 student. Parvez had been staying with a friend for the past week because of tensions at home. When she went home on Monday to collect her belongings, her dad’s disapproval turned violent.

Her father, 57-year-old taxi driver Muhammad Parvez, allegedly called police and claimed to have killed his daughter. He has been charged with attempted murder. Aqsa’s brother, 26-year-old Waqas Parvez, has also been charged with obstructing police.

Perhaps in other countries the noncompliance of the rigid rules of Islamic dress is viewed as shaming their family.

But here in Canada, where freedom of thought and dress is prevalent, many young Muslim women are in a difficult spot, trying to balance their family’s beliefs with the prevalent culture of their schoolmates.

“The real shame is that a young woman had to die for not wearing a hijab,” says Farzana Wahidy, 23, an international student from Kabul, Afghanistan. Wahidy doesn’t wear a hijab when in Canada because she’s not forced to wear one here, she says.

The way people think about wearing a hijab is viewed more in terms of culturally than religiously in my country,” says Wahidy, who is currently studying photojournalism at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont. “For sure, they’d kill me if I didn’t wear a hijab in Afghanistan. You cannot go out without one.

“People will follow you, shout at you and even stone you if you tried to walk down the street without a hijab. Because of the culture, because of their husbands, because of their fathers. They’re forced to wear them.”

She’s right. It is cultural. And if we’re going to succeed in assimilating Muslims into North American culture, we’d better start on the parents.

For example, certainly other people knew about the problems this girl was having at home - after all, she was staying at someone else’s house. Where were these concerned citizens while she was hiding? Why was she permitted to go home alone to pick up her clothing?

As for the girl herself, were there no friends to counsel her to wear the dumb veil when leaving home and to take it off once she got to school? Teenage girls have been getting around their parents' rules for years. "I'm just going to the library," is a favorite ruse. Her "friends" can think about how they might have helped. At least one did something positive by taking her in when "tensions" arose at home.

The best thing you can say about the father and his unruly son is that they are control freak nut-jobs hiding behind a religion. But if the Muslim community is going to take responsibility for its children, it needs to start with educating the first-generation parents. And it needs to perform due diligence before the fact, not hand-wringing after the child is dead.

The way they’re doing it now leaves huge gaps into which their crocodile tears flow. Instead, give us some reports on teenage girls who have been rescued from the fate of Aqsa Parvez by other Muslims. At least then this supposed sorrow would be credible.

Now, after the funeral, let's see if the Muslim community bands together to protect its other women and children.

Or will this story just drop through the memory hole until the next murder, which will be followed by the usual hand-wringing and denial?

Hat tip: Jens


Unknown said...

"I'm just going to the library," is a favorite ruse.

When I was growing up and I told my father I was going to the library he accused me of going to buy drugs. He was wrong though, I now work at a library.

I don't think this girl's friends understand Islam they way many of us here do. I try to convince my friends that it's a matter of life and death. I even emailed the Minister for Defence (no response). It's hard to get anyone to listen.

The Irish Times, to which I subscribe, has been running a continuous whitewash propaganda campaign on behalf of Islam for the last six years.

PapaBear said...

A poster on came up with a good explanation for the whole honor-killing deal.

It makes sense when you recall that, under Islam, women are supposed to be under the control of some man (father, husband, or eldest male relative). For a woman to defy the man she belongs to, strikes at the heart of his "image". Muslim men don't like people thinking "Heh, heh, this guy is such a loser, he can't even keep his women in line". This is dangerous in a primitive society. It implies that you are a weak person who can be messed with. (Hence also the extreme response in inner cities to being "dissed").

The only solution is the death of the person who has disrespected you

DP111 said...

“When it comes to this incident, it had nothing to do with Islam,” he said. “It’s an insult to Islam to say the religion had anything to do with it."

Now I was going to write, "Now we will hear from Muslim apologists, that this honour killing has nothing to do with Islam etc".

Its really not fair when Muslims start stealing our thunder.

DP111 said...


There is much in what you wrote. The muslim male has been the recipient of favour since his birth. He is coddled by all, including the women. He is expected to take the leadership role in his family, and the women to be subservient to him. So it comes naturally to him that any woman who goes against his wishes is acting abnormally, and is deserving of any punishment he deems fit. That is fitting and appropriate in his culture. The tragedy is that Muslim women also regard it as right, even Muslim girls who have run away as a protection from their fathers or brothers.

As Muslim women take more to the Western way, we will see more insecurity within Muslim men, leading to more "honour" killings, and SJS, as the Muslim man vents his deep anguish (and this is real BTW), on the nearest target available. These incidents will be accompanied by lies from LibLeft apologists, and more Taqqiya from Muslim apologists.

The tragedy is that this tragedy would not have happened if Muslim women were not in the West. They would be secure and happy in their own culture, as the need to emulate their Western peers would not have arisen. We always concentrate on the plight of Muslim women in such incidents, but there is considerable anguish for the father or brothers as well. Both Muslim men and women are thus subjected to intense psychological pressure and anguish as a result of the "carefree" attitude that they see prevalent in the West. Sometimes this leads to a real tragedy such as murder, and then further tragedy for the whole family as the law takes its course. In most cases it stays a silent tragedy that festers within the Muslim family. In Islamic countries, there is recognition that "honour" killings arise as a consequence of the culture, and there is no point in extending the tragedy any further by exacting revenge on the Muslim man, and consequently a light sentence is imposed.

Such tragedies for Muslim women and their male relatives, and families, are the inevitable consequence of multiculturalism/diversity, specially when extended to the Islamic culture.

What to do?

1. If we want to see peace and tranquility in the Muslim community in the West, then we should accede accede to Muslim demands to have shari'a law for family matters for Muslims.

2. Take the humane route and admit the the experiment of mixing very different cultures was a Brave New Experiment, worth having a go maybe, but now time to say enough.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 12/14/2007 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind this is a single instance of a crime. Compare it with the video that pops up now and again of a stalker abducting a young woman who is later found dead. Aqsa Parvez's death is NOT a normal "islamic event." I remember a kid in 1st grade whose Christian mother forced him to kneel in rock salt when he was bad until his knees bled. When he was 12 she beat him so badly he lost hearing in one ear. Parents are sometimes overprotective, sometimes STUPID, like the woman who created the phony MySpace page that led to the suicide of Megan Meier. But that's another story...

Anonymous said...

"The best thing you can say about the father and his unruly son is that they are control freak nut-jobs hiding behind a religion. But if the Muslim community is going to take responsibility for its children, it needs to start with educating the first-generation parents. And it needs to perform due diligence before the fact, not hand-wringing after the child is dead."

I very much agree with you on this point.

I am not familiar with how things are done in Canadian Muslim communities. In my own community growing up, which was pretty small and close knit, we had a means of dealing with problems like this. For instance, one of the girls I went to high school with had serious problems with her father and brother. They went balistic when she made the tennis team, because they thought it was un-Islamic (even though the captain of the team was Muslim!) for a girl to play. A good friend of mine, a girl, mediated between the girl and her father and convinced them to let her play on the team.

They refused to allow her to apply to schools out of state also. She was popular in the community and when her father refused to pay for her tuition and kicked her out when she decided to go to school out of state, the same girl that convinced them to let her play tennis set up a fund at the Islamic center to raise money for her to got to school and let her live with her. She was absolutely terrified. Both girls wear hijab. The "helper" girl is studying to be an elementary school teacher (she's a few years older than us) and the other girl is studying pharmacy. She stays at the other girl's house to this day and the community continues to raise money to help her education along. Most communities have internal mechanisms for deliberating disputes in families, some that work better than others.

Anonymous said...

Dave Lucas,
I believe you are wrong in your attempt to downplay this incident as a single standalone event. This another incidence of 'honor killing' - a fairly commonplace and exclusive-to Islam phenomenon. There is something fundamentally wrong with an ideology that condones violence against women. Finding examples of 'Christian' nuts who violate Biblical scripture does absolutely nothing to mitigate the Islam's institutionalized violence against women.

Even so, excusing one atrocity by citing another is simply wrong.