Aqsa Parvez, Devout Muslims

Did system fail 16-year-old Muslim girl murdered by father

By —— Bio and Archives--December 12, 2007

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How many Aqsa Parvezs, who died Monday night after being attacked in her Mississauga home by her own father, live in the Greater Toronto Area?

  Aqsa, found barely alive in her bedroom by police was only 16 years old.

  It was well known by her friends that Aqsa was in trouble at home.  The teen, who wanted to dance to Rhythm & Blues and hang out with friends like any other Canadian teen, told peers she had been struck on the arms and across the face under a strict regime followed by her parents.

“She told me many times that her dad had threatened her,” her friend Dominiqua Holmes-Thompson, 16, told the Toronto Star yesterday.  “She was serious.”

  Muhammad Parvez, 57, is to appear in a Brampton court today, accused of killing his daughter, the youngest of eight children.  Peel homicide detectives haven’t revealed whether the driver for the Blue & White Taxi Company would be charged with first—or second-degree murder.  Peel police have thus far refused to disclose how Aqsa died.  One source said she was strangled, another said she was beaten.

  The victim’s brother, Waqas Parvez, 26, who was arrested on a charge of obstructing police, appeared briefly in court yesterday and was remanded in custody.

  According to the Star, the vivacious and outgoing girl “wanted to dress like a Western woman in tight-fitting clothes and show off her long, dark hair by removing her hijab”.

  Western women in “tight fitting” clothes”?

  Perhaps Aqsa wanted to remove her hijab for reasons other than to “show off her long, dark hair”.

  Peel school board officials did nothing to check on the personal safety of the teen, even though friends had helped her to find a place to stay for a second time earlier this month.

  “A Peel school board spokesperson said school staff had been aware of conflicts within the family but nobody had any inkling the troubles would lead to a deadly end.” (Toronto Star, Dec. 12, 2007).  “Board spokesperson Sylvia Link said something would have been done if anybody knew the teen had been threatened or had reason to believe she was in any danger.”

  “That’s part of what grief counselors are helping students and staff deal with—a sense of incredible guilt, that somehow they let her down,” she said.  “Counsellors are telling them the person responsible for this violent crime is the person who committed this violence.

  “Anything they did was based on their understanding of the situation.

  “There’s nothing more important to a teacher than the safety of their students.”

  How is it possible that a 16-year-old girl who told her friends that she was abused in her home and who had to flee that home twice did not come to the attention of school authorities?

Media reports in the aftermath of Aqsa’s tragic death repeatedly describe her family as “devout Muslim”.

  How many Aqsa Parvezs live in the GTA?

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Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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