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Islamic Social Services: Strangulation Not About Hijab

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Islamic Social Services: Strangulation Not About Hijab

BRAMPTON, Ontario (AP) — Aqsa Parvez would leave home each morning wearing track pants and a Muslim head scarf. Once the 16-year-old got to school, she would remove the scarf and change into close-fitting jeans.

But, her friends said, her parents got wind of what she was doing. Parvez soon began showing up at school with bruises on her arms.

It was a struggle that may have led to Parvez’ death this week at the hands of her father, who was denied bail Wednesday after being charged with strangling her.

The killing has ignited a debate in Canada about the conflict between first- and second-generation immigrants who struggle to maintain traditional Muslim values and their children’s desire to fit into Western culture. Canada has about 750,000 Muslims.

I’m not sure what kind of ‘debate’ this is supposed to ignite. You don’t kill young girls, no matter what they do.

“Her parents would follow her to school or her sisters would and then go home and tell her parents what she was wearing,” said Joel Brown, 17. “They’d come to the back doors, just to spy up on her. Aqsa was always afraid of them, especially her brother who she’d sometimes see walking towards her, and she’d have to scramble to put her hijab back on.”

[…]

Selma Djukic, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, called it a case of domestic abuse.

“This is a tragedy. This another woman that has succumbed to domestic violence and we need to look at what kind of services are available to families who are immigrants and who are trying to make it in the Canadian framework,” Djukic said.

Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association, also called it a domestic violence issue.

“To say it was about her not wearing the hijab, I think that’s an oversimplification. All we’ve heard is from her peers saying that,” Siddiqui said. “Many of us who have teenagers or had teenagers know this is a very difficult time. Their hormones and emotions are raging and they are trying to assert their independence.

Oh, OK. I guess if it was just raging hormones, and the girl trying to assert her independence, it was OK for her father to strangle her (previous article). What the fuck is wrong with these people? It was reported that she told friends she was afraid of her father, that she thought her father would eventually kill her.

cnsphoto-parvez.jpg

How is it an ‘oversimplification‘ to say that her father killed her because she would not wear the headscarf? What possible extenuating circumstances could emerge to justify this atrocity? That’s like saying its an ‘oversimplification‘ that Du’a Khalil Aswad, a young Iraqi, was stoned to death because she had a boyfriend of the wrong religion. (previous article)

OVERSIMPLIFICATION. Hmm.

You hear this word a lot from religious apologists and cultural relativists. I’ve heard it used by people like Dinesh D’Souza, Terry Eagleton, or other people justifying female genital mutilation or burquas on the basis of ‘culture.’ I’ll tell you what ‘oversimplification’ means. It means “fucking bullshit.” It means “I don’t have an answer, I don’t want to deal with the ramifications of what you just said or what just happened, and I’m totally embarrassed and speechless.”

Hey, CAIR, and Islamic Social Services Association: If you want to stop being embarrassed about religious murders, then condemn them unconditionally. Stop waffling. Put your people on notice: Murder is murder and we don’t tolerate it in our free society. Especially when it’s based on the worst kind of male-dominated misogynistic practices of an anti-human and heinously backward superstition.

Oh, and you might want to consider holding some parenting classes at your local mosque.


Comments (20 comments)

the chaplain / December 13th, 2007, 7:02 am / #1

I share your outrage. I’m all for respecting cultural differences, but I think that standard has to flow both ways. It’s hypocritical to emigrate to western societies in order to reap their economic benefits, yet to reject huge chunks of the culture that created and maintains those benefits.

Jeff / December 13th, 2007, 6:17 pm / #2

Of course I share the outrage…IMO, this is an example of two trends:

1) Journalists as mindless pussies. The dominant formula is now “this side claims this” while “the other side claims this.” It doesn’t matter if the facts clearly support one side over the other. The WPost Obama hit piece is a good example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/28/AR2007112802757.html

2) We-have-to-respect-anyone’s-faith. No, we don’t. The LDS Church would not let blacks be priests until 1978, and the entire religion is so easily discredited, in part because it’s relatively brief history. IMO, Mormons are some of the most delusional people in the world.

It was great to hear Lawrence O’Donnell (from the Mormon-based show “Big Love”) rip into Mormonism on the McLaughlin Group. It’s very telling to see the reactions from the rest of the panel, which follow 2). Video of O’Donnell on McLaughlin Group at bottom of piece exemplifying the we-have-to-respect-attitude: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/12/09/lawrence-odonnell-loses-_n_75987.html

Great attack on blog from above:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ryan-j-davis/lawrence-odonnell-was-ri_b_76475.html

Roger / December 14th, 2007, 7:38 am / #3

This deals more with culture than religion. People from that region (Pakistani, East Indian, Middle Eastern etc…) believe the father is a highly respected figure head therefore must be obeyed.
I have heard enough stories of sons and daughters murdered by their fathers or family members because they just wanted to date people of other colors.

BlackSun / December 17th, 2007, 6:56 pm / #4

This deals more with culture than religion. People from that region (Pakistani, East Indian, Middle Eastern etc…) believe the father is a highly respected figure head therefore must be obeyed.

OK, because they believe that, that gets them off the hook. I guess it’s not a problem that he murdered his daughter, then.

Moron. F’ing moron.

Black Sun Journal » New Comment Guidelines: Exhibit A / December 17th, 2007, 8:17 pm / #5

[…] Comments Black Sun Journal » New Comment Guidelines: Exhibit A on Review: Fall from GraceBlackSun on Islamic Social Services: Strangulation Not AboutHijabBlackSun on Turns Out the Believer Was the Killer After AllRoger on Turns Out the Believer Was the Killer After AllMelissa on Documentary on CUT Bomb Shelters: Call for Participants […]

T.F / December 18th, 2007, 3:39 am / #6

Ok.. I will ask a little politically incorrect question. Ofcourse, what the father did is punishable…but I see something else too. It was noted that the girl came with bruises when her parents came to know that she was not wearing Hijab. And STILL she still went on taking it off. I am wondering what sort of peer pressure would have her take off her hijab even at the face of such fierce parental opposition.

Yes, it is her right to wear what she wants. But what bugs me is that what would make her take off her hijab even at the face of such opposition from her parents? I do not think it is personal conviction. I think it is peer pressure. She must be pressured and ridiculed to take off her hijab by her peers and teachers. And that ridicule must be more painful than the bruises, since she would risk bruises than the pressure to confirm and take off her hijab.

BlackSun / December 18th, 2007, 4:01 am / #7

I do not think it is personal conviction. I think it is peer pressure.

Fortunately, in free societies, the responsibility for dealing with such peer pressure is placed on individuals. That’s the very essence of choice, the deciding of what influences to listen to and what influences to reject.

We differentiate between coercion and persuasion. The actions of the girl’s parents were coercion (force, violence, and threats). The peer pressure (if it existed) was psychologically persuasive, maybe, but non-coercive.

In the west, we hold the individual responsible for their decisions and actions. For example, if a person is influenced by television or radio advertising, or the internet or books, we still hold them accountable for their subsequent actions.

Clearly, if the girl was so uncomfortable *not* wearing the hijab as you assert, she could have asked her parents to transfer her to a different school or conduct her education at home.

All indications are exactly the opposite–that the girl wanted no part of the hijab or her parents authority, and was intent on moving out of their home.

Your comment attempts to deprive the young girl of free will and rational agency and to distort the sordid reality of what actually happened. It’s therefore unfortunately yet another speculative and pernicious back-door method of justification for her repression and subsequent death.

T.F / December 18th, 2007, 4:10 am / #8

You are missing the point. For a 16 year old girl– that kind of pressure does amount to coercion.And whether she did or did not decide to move from school to school or abandoning her education because of the peer pressure is again not the point. The point is that such kind of coercion from teachers and peers exist against girls who wear hijab.

You say–“Your comment attempts to deprive the young girl of free will and rational agency and to distort the sordid reality of what actually happened. It’s therefore unfortunately yet another speculative and pernicious back-door method of justification for her repression and subsequent death.”

How the f– does my argument imply all those things? Do you have Logic 101 courses in the universities where you live? I suggest you take it.

The point that what the father murdered her daughter and it is a punishable offense in no way in contradiction with the fact that hijabi women are ridiculed in schools and public instituion.

BlackSun / December 18th, 2007, 4:31 am / #9

T.F.

You are missing the point. For a 16 year old girl– that kind of pressure does amount to coercion.And whether she did or did not decide to move from school to school or abandoning her education because of the peer pressure is again not the point. The point is that such kind of coercion from teachers and peers exist against girls who wear hijab.

Wrong. Peer pressure is not the same as coercion. It is you who needs to take a basic logic course. You are also making blatant assumptions about what she may or may not have wanted.

The only way to settle this question would be to ask Aqsa Parvez herself. Unfortunately, she is dead as the result of her parents’ twisted priorities, so we’ll never know. Again, every indication is that Parvez had no desire to cover herself, and your assertions to the contrary are pure speculation.

This does not even take into account the instinctive human drive for females to display their beauty, something that does not change across cultures. Something Parvez was clearly willing to fight for. Arguing that covering one’s body is some kind of “norm” against which Parvez was coerced is a blatant distortion. Especially for someone who grew up in a western environment that does not champion your repressive value system.

T.F / December 18th, 2007, 4:47 am / #10

Thing is that hijabi women ARE coerced and ridiculed in the west is an established fact. You are just circumventing it. Yes, it is human instinct to display their beauty. Just that she was doing it inspite of such huge pressure from her parents makes me suspect that there is more to than just the “desire to display one’s beauty”– like intense peer pressure, which is a fact independent of Parvez ‘s case.

“Arguing that covering one’s body is some kind of “norm” against which Parvez was coerced is a blatant distortion. ”

I see- so you are saying that the clothes you are wearing is against the norm? I do not know if you are a nudist. But the extent to which the body should be covered for it to be a norm is culture specific.So, for some women covering more than you cover is the norm for “them”. Again in your cultural hubris you assume that the amount of body YOU cover IS the universal norm.

“Especially for someone who grew up in a western environment that does not champion your repressive value system.”

Why do you assume that “my” value system is repressive? Simply because I was pointing to the fact that usually in the west hijabi women are ridiculed makes my whole value system repressive? You give yet another glaring example of your cultural hubris.

valhar2000 / December 18th, 2007, 7:19 am / #11

Why do you assume that “my” value system is repressive?

Oh, I don’t know. Myabe becuase you are going out of your way to justify repression of others and to ridicule those who condemn it?

charles / December 18th, 2007, 11:11 am / #12

why are we surprised? its a frequent occurance in Islam dominated countries like Saudi Arabia (girl flogged after being gang raped?!), Iran, etc. they are merely following the instructions in the Koran.

BlackSun / December 18th, 2007, 11:19 am / #13

T.F.

I see- so you are saying that the clothes you are wearing is against the norm? I do not know if you are a nudist. But the extent to which the body should be covered for it to be a norm is culture specific.So, for some women covering more than you cover is the norm for “them”. Again in your cultural hubris you assume that the amount of body YOU cover IS the universal norm.

Parvez’ family are the ones who moved to Canada. Are you going to try to tell me they didn’t know they type of society they were joining?

Her parents wanted the prosperity of a first world culture without having to lose their backward attitudes. Who’s got cultural hubris?

T.F / December 25th, 2007, 3:49 am / #14

Thank You. You have convinced me. You have convinced me that not only you need a course in Basic Logic but Basic Economics as well.

Oh, I don’t know. Myabe becuase you are going out of your way to justify repression of others and to ridicule those who condemn it?

Logic Course please. When did I ever justify repression?

Parvez’ family are the ones who moved to Canada. Are you going to try to tell me they didn’t know they type of society they were joining?

Her parents wanted the prosperity of a first world culture without having to lose their backward attitudes. Who’s got cultural hubris?

Take an Economics Course 101 please. I request you. So you mean to say that her parents are living on welfare in Canada without contributing to the economy? Or are they refugees? I am sure they have come through proper visa process. And visa process are there in place to ensure the best interest of nation in place. Until nations are sure that the migration is going to contribute in their economy they won’t allow it, except for refugees. I am sure her parents are also contributing to the economy by working and are not on welfare as many people are.

And why are you so xenophobic that you cannot stand a different culture and you have to drill down your culture down everybody’s throat? Simply because someone does not want to ape your culture it means that he/she has cultural hubris?

T.F / December 25th, 2007, 3:50 am / #15

Ah..and yes. Happy Christmas!!

Daniel / December 26th, 2007, 10:00 pm / #16

It is obviously inexcusably criminal to murder young women. There can be no excuses for such an action, and repression, such as it is, should never in any case be excused. Indeed, it should be confronted, and then systematically dismantled. But these points aside: may I point out that there is another aspect to this story, which is the one related to how the media chooses to spin the facts its reports on.

I refer in the main to the statement: “The killing has ignited a debate in Canada about the conflict between first- and second-generation immigrants who struggle to maintain traditional Muslim values and their children’s desire to fit into Western culture. Canada has about 750,000 Muslims.” It seems to me that this is a journalistic interjection: there is no evidence that such a debate is really taking place, and for my part, I strongly suspect that one isn’t.

It seems to me that what has happened here is indeed, as Shahina Siddiqui says, a case of domestic violence. I also think Siddiqui is correct to say that: “To say it was about her not wearing the hijab, I think that’s an oversimplification.” Let me clarify what I mean by this point. The idea here – which I think you missed rather in your original post – is certainly not that there may be extenauting circumstances that could explain, and indeed, exculpate this terrible crime. Rather, it is that domestic violence cases such as these, sadly, occur across all different kinds of religious and cultural backgrounds, due to a multitude of factors (social, psychological, etc) that cannot be simply reduced either to a particular religious denomination, or to a particular cultural practice. It is simply irreal to attempt to do so.

And this is what is happening here. The newspaper article you quote from implies that what has occured with this incident is some kind of a clash of civilzations appplication model. The idea is that the main reason this girl was killed is because she was the daughter of a Muslim father, but to my mind, this is risible. Firstly, because it is clearly the case that not many Muslim fathers – indeed, not even very many all highly conservative ones – would have done the same thing in similar circumstances. Secondly, because, as the television show Cops teaches us, it is hardly the case that irrational explosions of domestic violence are limited to those who self-identify as religious believers.

As I see it, what has occured, rather, is a terrible criminal action: but that is all! Despite what superstitious persons such as Sam Harri say, abstract belief-systems don’t descend fron heaven to wreak havoc on Earth: there is no timeless, internal necessity within some kind of hypothetical Muslim culture (I frankly doubt that there is one) that compels the murder of young women, any more then there is some kind of an internal necessity in some hypothetically timeless “Wyoming” culture which compels the citizenry to attack and kill homosexuals, as occured in the tragic 1998 case of Matthew Shepard. To believe otherwise, it seems to me, is to surrender to an irrational prejudice that, if not religious and tribal in name, is certainly religious and tribal in character.

Many thanks for your site, and all the best,

Daniel

The Doctor / January 2nd, 2008, 3:54 am / #17

This looks like it could be construed as an ‘honor’ killing i.e by not wearing the hijab – she dishonored the family name.
Religion comes into it because hijabs are regarded by many Muslims as an essential for the ‘religious’ woman, despite the fact that the Koran and associated texts do not set it as a requirement – for other faiths it is just a head scarf to be worn or discarded at will!
In Pakistan the father would quite likely have got away with it, but those countries seem to be very gradually coming around to the Western attitude that ‘honor’ is not a lawful excuse to kill.

Black Sun Journal » Islam’s Defensive Play: Keep Abused Women from Blaming Religion / January 19th, 2008, 6:05 pm / #18

[…] This is going on right now even in Canada and the U.S.. Even the December 2007 strangulation of a 16-year-old Muslim girl by her father (previous article) is trivialized by the apologists as “domestic violence.” […]

Fallen_Angel / May 9th, 2008, 7:21 am / #19

Look simply every religion has a law against different things whether its christianity or hinuisim…not everyone agree’s with another and thats how things work. People are afraid of what they don’t know…(other religions)…i am an athiest but i don’t try pushing it on other people or make other people more into it…if someone is a certain religon it’s cuz that what they want….don’t try and change them for your sake…cuz when someone is pushed to far they will do something drastic…(suicide)…and trust me…its not fun…”WHEN THE DEATH OF AN INNOCENT IS CAUSED BECAUSE YOU PUSHED SOMETHING ONTO THEM…THERE IS ONLY ON PLACE YOU CAN GO FOR YOU SIN…” yeah its fucked up but thats how life is…there is no destiny, no karma, nothing…just what you want to believe…” The Pursuit of LIFE, LIBERTY, AND HAPPINESS,” Never forget that…

ss / November 21st, 2008, 9:34 pm / #20

i agree with the father

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