Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aqsa Parvez: Rest in Peace

Aqsa Parvez was a victim of the 'religion of peace.' Living in Canada, she was murdered by her father and brother:

Father, son plead guilty to Aqsa Parvez murder

Mississauga, Ont., teen strangled in 2007 after argument over hijab

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | 6:27 PM ET

The father and brother of Aqsa Parvez, 16, have pleaded guilty to killing the Mississauga, Ont., teenager in 2007.

Muhammad Parvez and Waqas Parvez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday and now face automatic life sentences.

Initially it was believed by police that Muhammad Parvez had killed his daughter, but in court it was revealed that the brother had strangled Aqsa.

"[Muhammad Parvez] decreed she should be murdered, but Waqas Parvez is no less guilty. He had so many opportunities in those days to stop his father," said Crown prosecutor Mara Brasso inside the Mississauga court.

"The plan was in play at least two or three days before it happened. He never warned Aqsa. He never warned police. Even when they got to the home he obviously didn't falter on the threshold, on the doorstep and he carried on and murdered her," said Brasso.

"Home," said Brasso, "was the most dangerous place for her."...

Read more here.

I originally wrote about Aqsa on Tanker Bros when she was killed. At the time (and yes, still today,) I was outraged that muslims across the country were calling for calm, and saying none of us should jump to conclusions, or blame Islam. The muslims would have had us all believe that Aqsa's death was, rather, a case of domestic violence. To refresh your memories, I am going to copy my column from TB in full below:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What happens over there...

...has nothing to do with us"? How many times have we heard this? How many times have the complacents among us said "we should all just leave the middle east alone, and they won't bother us?" "Not our business, since it is not here in our countries.."

How many times? Well, folks, as I have been saying all along, What is happening "over there" has EVERYTHING to do with us. Don't believe me? Take a look:

Aqsa Parvez, left. The 16-year-old clashed with her devout
Muslim family over strict rules. (source)

Think that is "over there"????? Think again. That young woman lived in Mississauga, (a suburb of Toronto), Canada. Lived there, that is, until Wednesday when her father - "a devout Muslim" - killed her.

No bail for slain teen's father as homicide detectives continue to gather evidence
Dec 12, 2007 05:08 PM

Staff Reporters

Aqsa Parvez was strangled to death in her Mississauga home, Peel police said today.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death as "neck compression."

The 16-year-old was taken to hospital Monday morning after a man called police and said he killed his daughter. She died later that night.

Friends told reporters that Aqsa fought with her Muslim family over whether or not to wear the hijab. She often stayed overnight with friends, afraid to go home, they said....(source)

I have been sick at heart since I first heard about this late Wednesday night. Regular readers here will know all the reasons why. What the **** is wrong with us, and what are we going to do about this? The same paper that carries the above piece has a "Special", where the writer - in a piece called "Torn Between Two Cultures" explores immigration.

How on earth, indeed? Canada prides itself on being a multicultural society. Just this last week, StatsCan released figures that show that in the not too distant future, Canada will be a nation of immigrants. Well yes, I know in North America we are ALL immigrants. I myself am the first generation of immigrants to this country. And yes, I have brought my own cultural preferences with me. Yes, I DO keep many of my birthlands cultural traditions in my daily life (Yorkshire puds anyone, or Devon Cream as I was talking to a friend about today - well, okay, drooling....?) but NO, not one of my native traditions would see me harming a hair on my child's body, let alone killing her.

How on earth?

The details are scant at this point. Aqsa Parvez was attacked and now she's dead. The main reason seems to be conflict over hijab. Dad wanted her to wear it and she wanted nothing to do with it.

But there has to be a back-story here, doesn't there? This can't just be about a father so driven to enforcing his will that he'd rather have a dead daughter than a disobedient one. Or can it?

This sad case is almost a shorthand for the flipside of the immigrant experience.

To say immigration is transformative is a gross understatement. Families leave everything and everyone they know and move to a foreign place where they become blank slates. The support of the extended family is gone, the cocoon of well-understood social norms is cast off, and parents and their children stand out in the open, waiting for a new life to start....(read the rest here

Friends of Aqsa's said that the family was always fighting about her refusal to wear the traditional hijab, as well as Aqsa wanting to dress like a western woman.

On the National Post site, there are some interesting comments accompanying this story:

by shihulud
Dec 12 2007
11:14 AM

I believe any imam preaching the mandatory wearing of the hijab should be charged as an accessory to this tragic event. Muslims themselves say that it isn't in the religion so any imam preaching this is blasphemous....


by Vijay Mehta M.D.

Dec 12 2007
11:27 AM

To all my fellow immigrants from eastern countries,

This is extremely tragic news. Media has portrayed this as a murder by her father due to hijab. That may not tell the entire story.

This is what we know. Father was a taxi driver and a devout moslem (praying six times a day). He called police and informed them that he killed his daughter. This household had 11 members living there. Teenager Aqsa wanted to wear clothes like other teens and did not wear hijab whenever she got a chance. A week before her death she moved out of house to stay with her friend. She went home to pick up her belongings and the next thing we know is that she was strangled to death by her father....

In our multicultural world we have migrated to a vastly different culture. Our teens are under tremendous peer pressure to feel a sense of belonging to the western kids. They will defy our laws, they will not meet our expectations and a feeling of let down is obvious. Remember coming to US or Canada was a choice we made not our children,

However, under no circumstances it should allow us to do anything or say anything that infringes on the freedom of choice that this country allows. It only backfires our mission to keep our youth connected to our values. There is no surer way to make a teen go ballistic than to challenge them with authoritarian dictum. Little did Muhammed Parvez (the dad) know that most of the rebellious behavior of his daughter originated by his strict behavior.

In a much smaller scale the struggle between a teen and parents go on in many desi household....


by PeaceOnEarth

Dec 12 2007
1:07 PM

I am a Muslim and I, myself, am saying that hijab is required in Islam. Any imam preaching the mandatory wearing of hijab is doing his job. Hijab is mandatory in Islam. There is almost unanimous agreement about this among scholars, and it is specifically stated in the Quran. Most of the people who disagree with hijab are those who have decided to form their own interpretations based on little knowledge or study of the Quran-- certainly not ones who would qualify as mainstream scholars. These people who claim that hijab is not mandated in the Quran are arguing over the interpretation of one Arabic word. However, mainstream Islamic scholars have no dispute or disagreement over this one word-- they clearly know that it means that one must wear hijab. An imam SHOULD preach the mandatory wearing of hijab. What he should NOT do is preach the FORCING of parents to wear hijab, and the KILLING of children upon disobedience. That would be unIslamic. Only then would the imam be an accomplice to the crime....(doncha just love this one's nick? here)

So even in a comments section in a Canadian newspaper, we have self professed Islamists disagreeing over the wrong or right teachings re the hijab. No wonder kids get confused. But, as I have been reading this story, I remember an incident I was involved in with an immigrant father in a Canadian elementary school. Lunchtime and the kids, 5 - 9 years old, are playing football (okay, to go with the culture.lol....soccer). Dads standing around watching the action as the kids are being kids. One dad, a newly arrived immigrant, screaming at his son in broken English. Yelling at him, egging him on to be more aggressive, more cutthroat in his efforts. I listen, and then move to stand next to him. As he keeps yelling, his son falters in his dribbling of the ball, and looks at his dad. The other kids look at the dad, look at me. I know the child quite well, but the dad doesn't know me to talk to, even though he has seen me around the school. I start talking to the dad, explaining in non confrontational tones that here in Canada, soccer is a game, with the only goal being fun, bonding with friends. Dad reacts; I am, after all, just a woman. But, as I talk, keeping a respectful distance from him, but close enough to look directly at him, I watch his face relax, and his body language change. I can only imagine what this father has seen in the most recent past with his family escaping from a war zone. My heart goes out to him, and I see him, feel him respond to me. He is like parents the world over. Wanting his child to have the best, BE the best that he can be. Every parent "gets" this.

It is reported that Aqsa's family came here in the 70's. Yes, admirable as it may be for Muhammad Parvez to adhere to his religious beliefs, I have to think that after this long in Canada, he understands what the social, cultural expectations are. Dad was a cab driver. I cannot imagine how he continued doing that job, given that he would have to carry passengers who seemingly lived in direct opposition to his own faith.

Be that as it may, according to reports I read today, Aqsa was the victim of abuse for quite some times. It is reported that she had actually been staying at friends' houses, and only returned home to pick up some of her clothes. In the comments previously quoted, Dr. Mehta says:

To all who are unfamiliar with Eastern culture - please do not oversimplify this heinous crime as a result of one religion or ethinicity or nationality. It is a complex issue of struggle faced by immigrant to this country who came in search of prosperity and now have to deal with learning the western way. A rational dialogue is in order not finger pointing....(here)

Okay then. Even IF we put aside all the 'oversimplification' of this case, and acknowledge that this 'is a complex issue of...immigrant to this country', I will NEVER believe that this is a 'typical' teenager/parent struggle for freedoms.

Fact is, this family came to this country knowing full well what the Canadian culture is. Aqsa, by her age, was born a Canadian. She IS one of ours. I am so not ready for a 'rational dialogue' on this one. I just can't. In one article in the Globe and Mail, one of Aqsa's friends describes an incident where they were out together, and saw Aqsa's brother walking down the street towards them. Aqsa panicked because she was not wearing her hijab. Quote: "“She said, ‘He'll kill me, he'll kill me.' I said, ‘He's not going to kill you,' but she said, ‘Yeah, he will.' And nobody believed it.” End quote (here).

Sound rational to you? Me neither. And oh yes, the brother has been charged as an accessory, while dad has been charged with second degree murder. That's so far. Investigation is ongoing and that may be raised to first degree murder.

So, as I have said before: what happens over there IS here. Today, now. What are we going to do about it? Some of the neighbouring families have said they had no idea that Aqsa was abused. One is quoted as saying: "they seemed like a nice, normal family." Same old story, and I am sick of it. Don't get me wrong. I have worked alongside muslim men and women, and have no issue with anyone having a religion. BUT, even if we decide to interpret the death of this precious young woman as a result of a typical rebellious teen, (which you all know I don't buy for one second!), still not acceptable to me. No. Others knew what was happening to Aqsa. Every article I have read today tells me this. It doesn't matter to me what religion you or your family is. In this country you are free to practise your religion as you see fit.

Having said that, if your religion leads you to abusing or killing another, especially your child? I expect, I demand that you face the full weight of the Canadian law. Canadian law, in this country that this family chose (a case of "be careful what you wish for"?), takes precedence over any laws you brought with you. Really it does.

Oh, and to give someone else a word in about the typical Islamist cleric's response to this tragedy? Check this out:

CANADA: Apologists for ISLAMIC HATE CRIME towards young woman who rejected hijab come out in force:

* These people must be so full of s#*t they must be choking on it:

Canadian Muslim leader: Girl murdered by father for refusing to wear hijab a victim “of domestic violence, a problem that cuts across Canadian society and is blind to colour or creed”



Predictable denial instead of a forthright acknowledgment of a problem.

More on Aqsa Parvez: “Dead girl was ’scared of her father’: friend,” by Chris Wattie in the National Post via JW

A cab driver has been charged with murdering his 16-year-old daughter after she was allegedly attacked in a clash with her strict Muslim family over whether or not to wear the hijab, the traditional Islamic head scarf for women.
Muhammad Parvez, 57, was charged after his daughter Aqsa Parvez died in hospital late on Monday. The victim’s older brother, Waqas Parvez, was charged with obstructing police in connection with the girl’s death.

* Why ‘alleged? Her own father killed her…


“There should be zero tolerance for violence of any kind against women or girls,” said Shahina Siddiqui, the president of the Islamic Social Services Association.

* Agreed.
(source here)

So, what on earth are we going to do? Really. We, Canada, cannot allow one more Aqsa to be a victim of this Islamic terrorism. We just cannot. What happens "over there" must not EVER be allowed to be acceptable behaviour here. No.

A memorial for Aqsa Parvez is set up at Applewood Heights S.S. in  Mississauga, in this undated handout photo. The Canadian teenager who  was said to have clashed with her father about whether she should wear a  traditional Muslim head scarf died of injuries late on Monday, and her  father told police he had killed her. REUTERS/Handout/ Peel District  School Board.
A memorial for Aqsa Parvez is set up at Applewood
Heights S.S. in Mississauga, in this undated handout photo.
REUTERS/Handout/ Peel District School Board. (source)

Aqsa, I am so, so sorry. Rest in peace, rest in peace.

That original column was here.

CBC reports that those two murderers will get automatic life sentences. All well and good, but Aqsa got a death sentence. When, when are we going to decide that this bs of the 'religion of peace' has NO place in our countries? Every other day, it seems, we read of a young girl on our continent abused or killed by these murderous practitioners of Islam.

How many more Aqsa's must we lose, before we truly understand that "what happens over there" has EVERYTHING to do with us. It is here now, in our countries, and as long as we allow it, more precious girls and women will pay the horrific, ultimate price of this 'religion of peace.'

Wake up, speak up.

1 comment:

Findalis said...

And still her grave is allowed no headstone.