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Horror Under the Hijab By: Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, December 14, 2007


A Canadian Muslim teenager was murdered this week for trying to establish her own identity by moving out of her family home and for reportedly defying her father’s command to cover her head. Meanwhile, Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star, disgracefully hid its own head in the sand.

Pakistani-Canadian Aqsa Parvez, 16, was strangled by her father in an honor murder last Monday in the Toronto-area city of Mississauga. Refusing to wear the Islamic hijab, Parvez, who was herself born in Pakistan, wanted to live the normal lifestyle of a Canadian teenage girl, but ran into conflict with her strict, religious father. One friend and schoolmate said the Canadian teenager was afraid of her father and often came to school wearing bruises, the result of his violence.

“She was scared of her father; he was always controlling her,” the friend told the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper. “She wasn’t allowed to go out or do anything.”

Nevertheless, the Grade 11 student, according to friends, would leave home wearing the hijab but arrive at school in western-style clothes, having changed on the way. This was part of her courageous desire to live her own life and overcoming the fear in which she lived.

Despite the Canadian public’s disgust and outrage over this murder and in contrast to Parvez’s courage, the Toronto Star avoided tackling head on the issue of Muslim male intolerance and violence toward female family members who wish to establish their independence and lead their own lives. Instead, the Star published a story that, incredibly, accuses a supposedly racist Canadian society for being equally responsible for the cultural “tension” in Muslim families concerning the issue of head coverings. In the story, two young Muslim women say some Muslim families do not want their daughters to wear the hijab because it will make them “the targets of racism.” If only Aqsa Parvez could have lived in such a family! Not surprisingly, no Muslim women or girls were interviewed who are forced to wear the Islamic clothing.

But this unbelievable attempt to detract people’s attention from the real issue of Muslim intolerance, even hatred, towards females’ desire for freedom and to establish a moral equivalency between a tolerant Canadian society and an Islamic culture that has seen dozens of Muslim women perish in honor killings in Western Europe (48 in Germany alone between 1996 and 2006) should not come as a surprise to anyone who has ever read the left-leaning Star.

The politically correct Star, you see, is Canada ’s paper of multiculturalism. Hardly an issue ever comes out without the word "racism" appearing somewhere on its pages. (multicultural societies always have racism as their rallying cry). As a result of its support of, and belief in, the possibility of establishing a multicultural country, left-wing media organs like the Star and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will never deeply investigate any negative aspects of cultures newly arrived in Canada. Such revelations, they fear, may damage their unrealizable multicultural dream.

By the way, in the Star’s and CBC’s world, racism does not exist in the newcomers’ cultures. And if it does, it is the fault of the host Canadian society. In fact, the same day the blame-racist Canadian society story appeared, a Toronto Star columnist wrote that English Canadians, one of the Canada’s two founding peoples who now make up only about fifteen per cent of Toronto’s population, do not welcome immigrants with enough love -- again the host country’s fault.

Leftist Canadian women’s groups are also passengers in the same see-no-evil-in-new-cultures, hear-no-evil-in-new-cultures boat as the Star, since they also support multiculturalism. Their hypocrisy does not even allow them to criticize and intervene to help oppressed Muslim females let alone oppose the polygamy some Muslims are practicing here in Canada. For this, western feminists are criticized by Muslim feminists both in Canada and in Western Europe. These Muslim feminists say they can’t get over the fact that western feminists pretend they care so much for the rights of women in some land thousands of miles away but ignore the oppression of Third World women right in their own societies. The silence of their western sisters, these Muslim feminists point out, facilitates this oppression.

But if left-wing Canadian media ever investigates the Parvez killing properly, they will most likely have to face some hard, cold and uncomfortable cultural facts. While the refusal to wear the hijab has been reported to be a significant contributing factor in her murder, the main reason for the brutal killing, they may discover, is that the terrified Muslim teenager had moved out of her home two weeks earlier and was living with a friend. In fact, one newspaper quoted another of Aqsa’s friends who said her father threatened to kill her if she left the family home. Moving out, western European social workers say, is a death sentence for these woman. In a strict, religious Muslim family, no woman is allowed to establish an identity of her own outside of her family, religion and culture.

Aqsa Parvez’s death, they will learn, may also have been a family decision. The high school student, one of eight children, lived, according to one newspaper report, in a house with eleven other people in an extended family. Like the Hatun Surucu murder in 2005 in Germany that awoke the people of that country to the suffering of Muslim women in their midst, police are investigating Parvez’s killing as a premeditated one that involved the concurrence of several family members, possibly even including female ones.

After all, one newspaper reported Aqsa’s older sister used to spy on her at school for the family and Aqsa only discarded the hijab after her sister had graduated. The dead teenager had even established her own Facebook site with her photo and uncovered hair on it accompanied by comments about popular culture. Tragically, this also may have led to her demise as her non-traditional, independent lifestyle was now visible to everyone.

Moreover, the unfortunate teenager was probably also, like Hatun Surucu, lured to her death by her brother, possibly her favorite one. The police are currently investigating this angle. The independent Surucu was lured to a bus stop to meet a brother who murdered her to restore the family’s honor because she was “living like a German.” Parvez was picked up by her brother at a bus stop, saying he would bring her home to get a change of clothes, where she was then killed, for living like a Canadian. At this point in time, the brother has been charged with obstruction of justice.

What will probably be the most sickening discovery is that none of the people involved in Aqsa’s killing will express any regret or remorse. On the contrary, they will be happy because they believe they have restored their family’s honor and will be respected for having done so by like-minded others in their community who, like them, practice an anti-civilizational legal and cultural apartheid in the country hosting them and their families. The Star will never investigate why such people come to Canada and other western countries but never really live here.

But unlike the Star, not everyone has their head in the sand. Tarek Fatah, founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress, calls Parvez’s murder a blight on Islam.“In my mind, this was an honor killing,” said Fatah, adding its going to get worse before it gets better.

And as if he was talking directly to the Toronto Star, the Muslim community leader also said there needs to be an honest debate about this murder and that “the media should not just talk to the ones wearing head scarves but the ones who do not want to.”

With or without the hijab on, Aqsa Parvez would only have nodded her agreement with that.

Stephen Brown is a contributing editor at Frontpagemag.com. He has a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European history. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.


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