Canadian media have reported on the conviction of Muhammad Parvez and Waqas Parvez, the 60 year old father and brother of 16 year old Muslim girl Aqsa Parvez, in the “honor killing” murder of Aqsa Parvez on December 10, 2007 in Mississauga, Canada.
This week, Muhammad and Waqas Parvez pleaded guilty to second degree murder of Aqsa Parvez. On June 16, 2010, they were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 18 years. It will be the decision of the Canadian National Parole board if either will be released. The Globe and Mail published an editorial questioning the necessity of accepting a plea agreement for second degree murder, which allows the possibility for parole.
Canadian Justice Bruce Durno told a Brampton court that the actions of Muhammad Parvez and Waqas Parvez were “that twisted, chilling and repugnant mindset could imply that the family pride could at least be kept intact — or perhaps even enhanced — by having two grown men overpower and kill a vulnerable teenager.” Justice Durno stated that “It is profoundly disturbing that a 16-year-old woman, no doubt facing significant challenges adjusting to living in a very different society than her parents’, could be murdered by her father and brother for the purpose of saving the family pride.” Justice Durno concluded that the “twisted, repugnant mindset requires a sentence that sends a message to others who would be like-minded. Because of the abhorrent motivation behind this crime and the gender inequality issues, 18 years is a fit sentence.”
The Parvez family moved from Pakistan to Mississauga, Canada in 2001. Media reports that 16 year old Aqsa Parvez spoke to school officials about abusive home conditions. She preferred to wear Western fashions, rejected the hijab, sought to spend time with friends her age, sought to have a room with a door for privacy, and was seeking to hold a part-time job. She had gone to her first movie shortly before her death in December 2007. She had run away from home twice.
Canadian prosecuting attorney Sandra Caponecchia was quoted as stating “She confided in her closest friends that her father had sworn to her on the Koran that if she ran away again, he would kill her.”
The Toronto Star reported: “Based on their admissions and Aqsa’s mother’s words that were recorded in a police interview room, Durno seemed to agree with Crown prosecutors Sandra Caponecchia and Mara Basso that they killed her to uphold the family honor in their community.”
Mississauga News reported that Tarek Fatah, founder of the Canadian Muslim Congress stated Aqsa Parvez’ murder was “a blight on Islam” and that “Canadians are justified in raising concerns as to whether this is a sign of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in their own backyard… A young life has been snuffed out — likely in the name of honor and Islam.” On June 17, 2010, the National Post reported that “Canada should expect rise in honor killings,” quoting “Amin Muhammad, a professor of psychiatry at Memorial University of Newfoundland who specializes in transcultural psychiatry.”
Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) supports women’s rights and children’s rights to live without oppression, without fear, without intimidation, and without the threat and reality of violence against them. We urge all to support such universal human rights and dignity for all people, in accordance with our universal human rights. Choose Love, Not Hate. Love Wins.
Other Media Reports:
— National Post: We are complicit in our silence”
— Ujjal Dosanjh: “In 2000, the United Nations estimated that 5,000 women and girls are murdered every year in honour killings, a term that masks the brutality of the crime it describes.”
— Ujjal Dosanjh: Admit honour killings for what they are
— The Ottawa Citizen: Misplaced ‘honour’