9 Dec 2010

Ontario father and son plead guilty to murdering teen girl to protect the 'honour' of her family

CBC - Canada June 15, 2010

Father, son plead guilty to Aqsa Parvez murder

Mississauga, Ont., teen strangled in 2007 after argument over hijab



Aqsa Parvez was strangled in December 2007. (Facebook)

The father and brother of Aqsa Parvez, 16, have pleaded guilty to killing the Mississauga, Ont., teenager in 2007.

Muhammad Parvez and Waqas Parvez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday and now face automatic life sentences.

Initially it was believed by police that Muhammad Parvez had killed his daughter, but in court it was revealed that the brother had strangled Aqsa.

"[Muhammad Parvez] decreed she should be murdered, but Waqas Parvez is no less guilty. He had so many opportunities in those days to stop his father," said Crown prosecutor Mara Brasso inside the court in nearby Brampton.

"The plan was in play at least two or three days before it happened. He never warned Aqsa. He never warned police. Even when they got to the home he obviously didn't falter on the threshold, on the doorstep and he carried on and murdered her," said Brasso.

"Home," said Brasso, "was the most dangerous place for her."

Aqsa Parvez wanted to get a part-time job and be allowed to dress and act like other teenage girls in her neighbourhood, but those desires led to a deadly conflict with her family that ended with her being strangled.

The Parvez family had moved from Pakistan to Ontario. Aqsa was 11 years old when she arrived — the youngest of eight children.

The statement of facts released in court about the December 2007 death revealed that when she entered her teen years Aqsa began rebelling against her father's strict rules.

"[S]he was experiencing conflict at home over cultural differences between living in Canada and back [in Pakistan]," the statement said.

Aqsa was in almost constant disagreement with her father and her siblings.

She told her father she did not wish to wear the hijab any longer. She wanted to dress in Western clothes and have the same freedoms as the other girls in her high school.

The statement revealed that Aqsa "did not have a door on her bedroom, her freedom to talk on the phone with friends was restricted, she was required to come straight home from school and expected to spend her evenings and weekends at home as well."

In September 2007, Aqsa told a counsellor at Applewood Heights Secondary School in Mississauga "that she was afraid her father wanted to kill her ..."

The school made arrangements for Aqsa to stay at a shelter — but she stayed only three days.

Soon after, she was permitted to wear non-traditional clothes to school but the conflicts within the family did not end.

Aqsa spent time living with friends, but during that time her father and other members of her family asked her to return home.

Taken from bus stop

On Dec. 10, 2007, Aqsa was taken from the school bus stop by her brother at approximately 7:20 a.m. It was just 36 minutes later that her father called 911 and told police he had "killed his daughter."

Police arrived and found Aqsa on her bed.

"She was fully clothed and had her jacket on. She had no vital signs. There was blood coming from her nose," according to the statement.

She was pronounced dead later that evening.

Peel Regional Police took Muhammad Parvez into custody and charged him with murder. But it was Waqas Parvez that actually killed Aqsa, according to the statement of facts.

Waqas Parvez, 26, was charged on June 26, 2008. His DNA was found beneath his sister's fingernails.

The agreed upon statement of facts contains an interview with Aqsa's mother, Anwar Jan, who attempts to explain why the murder happened.

In an interview with police, she says her husband told her he killed his youngest child because "this is my insult. My community will say, 'You have not been able to control your daughter.' This is my insult. She is making me naked."

Police asked if things would have been different if the family had stayed in Pakistan.

"He would have killed her there too," she says.


This article was found at:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2010/06/15/parvez-guilty-plea.html

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National Post - Canada June 18, 2010

Recipe to reduce honour killings

by Chris Selley | National Post


Between 1998 and 2007, according to Statistics Canada, 65 Canadian children between the ages of 12 and 17 were killed by a family member. One of them was Aqsa Parvez, the Mississauga 16-year-old murdered in December 2007 by her father and brother, who pled guilty to second-degree murder this week and were handed richly deserved life sentences. I’m not sure “honour killing” is a particularly useful term — more on that in a minute — but that’s obviously what this was. Muhammad Parvez felt humiliated by his daughter’s dress, her behaviour and her choice of friends, and his remedy was to choke the life out of her. “My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter,” he lamented to his wife. By “my community,” I assume he didn’t mean Canada. If he did, he got a shock.

If honour killings are on the rise in Canada, as is widely held, it would not surprise me. Why wouldn’t they be? There are more people living here who come from places where dishonour is acceptable grounds for violence than ever before. But it’s not as if this is a leading cause of death in Canada, or even of domestic homicide. One expert quoted recently in the National Post suggested there have been a dozen honour killings over the past decade. If, say, five of the 65 12-to-17-year-olds murdered by a relative between 1998 and 2007 were killed in honour killings, then 60 weren’t. If, say, seven of the 604 women killed by their spouses over that same period were killed in honour killings, then 597 weren’t.

The question is not whether this is a problem for the diaspora communities in question, and for Canada. It is. The question is whether it demands sweeping, perhaps structural, changes to Canadian society –for example, “the immigration debate we don’t want to have,” as a Globe and Mail headline darkly intoned yesterday. I don’t think it does. I think it just means we need to try harder.

First, we could start by abandoning this ridiculous, self-indulgent ideological debate over the taxonomy of honour killings. Those on the left who abhor the term are right about one thing: A good few of the people who constantly shout it from the rooftops are mostly interested in demonizing Islam. But that doesn’t change the fact that honour killings can — over shrieking objections from feminists–rather easily be distinguished from other cases of domestic violence. A murderer who kills a relative in certainty that his peers will approve is a very different animal from one who does so out of anti-social, purely secular rage.

Ultimately, who cares what we call it? The prescription is largely the same: An unapologetic, incessant message to women and girls living in abusive situations that they don’t have to, and should not, put up with it, backed up with well-funded resources like safe houses and punitive criminal sanctions for offenders. Where specific communities face specific problems, they should be targeted: billboards, multilingual television and radio ads, whatever it takes. This is more or less the exact anti-domestic violence strategy Canadians have been bombarded with for decades. Why would anyone — left-wing, right-wing, whatever — advocate backing off now? Even the purple-faced, tight-bummed multiculturalists of right-wing parodies don’t support trapping people in ethnic enclaves against their will.

It’s worth noting, of course, that such a campaign would likely as not lead to more honour killings — at least in the short term. We’re basically talking about fomenting revolution, and we shouldn’t expect Mr. Parvez’s peers to take it well. Even if Canada gets 100% bolder in expressing its values — “don’t kill your relatives” being one of the few on which we all actually agree–and pours 100% more resources into fighting the problem, people will still fall through the cracks. And when they do, we will once again be faced with people claiming that Canada is going to hell in a hand-basket, that we must fundamentally change, that Pierre Trudeau sold our national soul and we’re nothing but a magnet for filicidal Allah-botherers.

But what’s the alternative? In a highly theoretical world, we could ban immigration from countries or communities where honour crimes are common. That’s obviously not going to happen. And if it did, we’d be denying people like Aqsa Parvez even the chance to be Canadian. It might make us feel better, but it would be tough to call it a win. In any event, Mr. Parvez came to Canada as a refugee, not as an immigrant. It’s one of the many sickening aspects of the case: Canada granted him asylum from persecution –what brand or how plausible, we don’t know–and he repaid the favour by persecuting his daughter for wanting to be free.

Because of this cretin, we should turn the country upside down? No thanks.


This article was found at:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/06/18/chris-selley-recipe-to-reduce-honour-killings/


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