Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Canadian Teen Killed by Muslim Father - Over Scarf: Maybe - And This Isn't News?

Here's what we know:
  • Aqsa Parvez's father called authorities on Monday.
  • He said that he had killed her.
  • When police arrived, the 16-year-old was still alive, so they rushed her to a hospital
  • Then she died.
Her friends say that her father killed her because she wouldn't wear a hijab, or traditional head scarf. The police are, quite properly, not discussing what Aqsa's father had in mind when he murdered his daughter.

The Canadian Islamic Congress made an interesting statement: "I don't want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue," is how the CIC's Mohamed Elmasry put it. "It is a teenager issue."

"Teenage issue." I don't think that Mr. Elmasry was trying to say that filicide is a normal part of the teenage experience in Canada, but I could be wrong.

The phrase "honor killing" didn't show up in either "news" online source I found for this incident. Although a comment on the 'news-blog' did bring up the point. I think, and hope, that this is another case of Islamic values and cultural values getting confused. (See "Is the War on Terror a War on Islam? Not Quite.")

I only found this item on two national-scale, news sources. And one of those was a blog:USA Today blog and Fox News, so it may not be important. Or, maybe this is another incident that doesn't fall under the 'all the news we want to print' standards.

Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.


Brigid said...

"I don't want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue. It is a teenager issue."

I still can't believe someone in a position like that said something so stupid.


On the other hand, yes I can.

Anonymous said...

As a friend of mine commented when I told her about this, how can people even begin to address this problem when they won't even properly name it?

Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
"Reclaiming Honor in Jordan"

Brian H. Gill said...


Well, foolish. It actually takes a certain level of intelligence to perform the sort of mental jujitsu needed to identify honor killing as a teenager issue.

Although, in a way, what happened to the young woman is a "teenager issue." Children are much more manageable, before they start developing adult minds.

So, for someone whose culture and/or religion demand unswerving, unthinking obedience to a rather peculiar set of rules, it is much more likely to kill one's children for infractions after puberty hits, than before.

Brian H. Gill said...


Thanks for passing on what your friend said.

I'm inclined to agree, that defining terms - and acknowledging unpleasant realities - is critical to dealing with any situation. Including the religious/cultural mess that many groups call "Islam."

I did a little checking, and think that a link to might be appropriate here: "Reclaiming Honor in Jordan: A National Public Opinion Survey on "Honor" Killings (Paperback)."

Sounds like you've done your homework on the issue of honor killings - and have a remarkable set of talent and experience.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.