Monday, December 17, 2007

A Beacon of Hope

By the time I decided to write about Aqsa Parvez it had all been said. Still I felt that I could not let this month slip by without mentioning the poor girl's murder. It was a very sad event and I feel for her Mother and friends.

At least someone is able to find hope in the attention that this tragedy has recieved.

From the Pakistan Daily Times:

Aqsa’s murder a beacon of hope, a wake-up call

WASHINGTON: “I hope she becomes a beacon of hope for all the girls who are in a similar situation living like a hostage in their homes,” a Pakistani-Canadian has said, commenting on 16-year-old Aqsa Parvez’s murder by her father because she would not wear the hijab.

Syed Shah, an IT specialist, told the Toronto Sun that Aqsa’s “tragic demise should be an eye opener for those ‘traditional’ fathers who are living in Canada yet are still trapped in the 15th century mind frame. They cannot and should not expect their daughters to live in bustling Mississauga and bear a mindset of a girl living in any rural part in Pakistan. The two just don’t go together.” The irony, he pointed out, is that immigrants come here seeking the freedom of Canada, but some forget that the hard-fought right now extends to their families. “The alternative is Saudi Arabia. Why don’t they pick that?” he added.

Aqsa Parvez was secretly buried on Saturday, “her tragic murder still reverberating through a city that remains shocked and horrified,” according to the Canadian daily. “We see her beautiful face everywhere, on the TV news and the newspapers, her haunting dark brown eyes bright with such promise and excitement at what life had to offer. Life that was suddenly cut short at 16, allegedly by an Old World father who could not tolerate her need to distance herself from his suffocating control, and the dictates of his religion,” the paper wrote.

The newspaper quoted another young woman it called Fatima who said, “Today it’s the face of this young girl, Aqsa Parvez, but as far as I’m concerned, this problem existed when I was 10, more than 20 years ago.” She came to Canada as a child from Pakistan and unlike other girls she knew who would take off their head coverings once they were out of their parents’ sight, she wasn’t obligated to wear a hijab. Her parents only insisted she dress in loose, modest clothing.

Another Canadian Muslim, retired professor Dr Mahfooz Kanwar said Aqsa’s death had all the marks of an honour killing by a man who felt his religion and family were being disrespected. khalid hasan

1 comment:

For All Women Foundation said...

Thank you for blogging about this, Jan.

I see how Aqsa's death is a wake-up call, but I'm afraid I don't see how it is a beacon of hope.

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

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