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Father Murders Daughter Allegedly Over Hijab – Commentary

December 11, 2007 10 comments

Aqsa Parvez If you haven’t already heard about this story, it can be found here, or type in “Aqsa Parvez”  into Google News.

As a Muslim, I find this extremely tragic and embarrassing.  Afterall, this is  Canada. Things like this are not supposed to happen in my country.  Moreover, although some may argue that Hijab is something that is compulsory in Islam, it certainly does not warrant murdering one’s daughter.  Afterall, in the Quran, it clearly states that if someone kills one person, it is as if they have killed all of humanity.  It is even more tragic to learn that the brother may have had a hand in this alleged murder. 

Aqsa Parvez

Daughters and sisters are gifts from God.  I have younger siblings, none of whom are sisters.  I have always wished that I had a older or younger sister because it seems like they always bring happiness and joy into the house.  And I am pretty sure I can attribute my desire to have a daughter once I get married.  Truly, they are gems.  I can understand a father’s desire to not only protect his daughter but to have her conform to a belief system which is in her best interest.  But to go to such an extent where one would be driven into a murderous rage is beyond comprehendable.  When this case will be heard in court, I pray to God that this girl’s father will not play the religion card and justify her murder by using Islam.  First of all, this is not true at all and secondly, it will continue to bring down the Muslim community as a whole.  And even if he does use that argument, I hope that people realize that these types of “honour killings” are purely based on twisted cultural practises that are not only outdated today, they were outdated hundreds of years ago (in the context of Islam). 

Aqsa Parvez Memorial

I know that this is very early but it seems to me that this man forgot one thing that Islam inherently teaches all of us: to use rationality and reason.  Islam is not a cut and paste religion.  Contrary to what both Muslims and non-Muslims believe, Islam is inherently philosophical.  We are taught not to follow anything blindly and to be critical so that we may discover its logic which in turn helps us understand Islam more thoroughly and bring us closer to its beliefs.  It seems as though this man, and indeed many others, fail to realize this or completely dismiss it all together.  There is no force in Islam.  Islamically, nobody can force a girl to wear a Hijab.  The purpose of the Hijab, among other things, is to remind the girl of her Islamic beliefs and keep her away from things which are forbidden.  If a girl has no desire to wear a scarf, the whole purpose of the meaning behind it is defeated.

Aqsa Parvez Teens will be teens.  They fight with their parents.  They rebel.  We have all done that when we were younger.  If she didn’t want to wear the Hijab today, it is quite possible that she would have chosen to wear it tomorrow.  It is all about the learning experience.  I have found that we are rarely taught how Merciful Allah really is.  If we sit and pray one night and sincerely repent for our past sins, we are forgiven.  Its as simple as that.  Mercy is bestowed upon us to the extent that when we perform ablution prior to praying, each drop of water that falls from our bodies during that ablution is one sin that is forgiven.  One cannot become pure if first they are not involved in some sort of impurity (not to be taken out of context).  Having said that, it is quite possible that given her life experiences she may have chosen to wear a Hijab somewhere down the road, as is the case with so many Muslim women.  Even if she didn’t end up wearing it, with proper teachings and guidance by her parents she could have become a very good Muslim and thus a good person and human being.  But to force someone, especially a teenager at that, to conform to a world view that she does not share is futile.  It seems as though, under the logic of the father, the image of the Hijab was far more important than the actual meaning behind it.  This is why all of this is so unfortunate. 

 Amandeep Atwal This incident also reminds me of Amandeep Atwal, the Vancouver teen who was also murdered by her father in a fit of rage in 2003.  Amandeep’s murder wasn’t strictly based on religion.  She was stabbed to death by her father because she had a white boyfriend and the father didn’t agree to the relationship. That case can be read about here.  In this case, the father received an automatic life sentence.  Lets hope the father in Aqsa’s tragic case recieves the same. 

Cuff The Duke

Cuff The Duke 

I just saw this pretty cool sounding band on MTV right now called Cuff The Duke.  Well I don’t know if they are cool sounding, they only showed one song of theirs that they performed life called Surging Revival.  They are a Canadian Band from Oshawa Ontario.  Check out their MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/cufftheduke 

I love these kinds of feel good songs.  They give you a motivation to get out of bed and go to school and finish your assignments that were due like last week.  Good stuff.