Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ont. man charged in death of teenage daughter

Updated Wed. Dec. 12 2007 11:44 AM ET
Police have charged a Mississauga, Ont. man with second degree murder in connection with the death of his teenage daughter.

Aqsa Parvez, 16, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries on Monday after police said a man claiming to be the girl's father called them and said he had killed his daughter.

Parvez succumbed to her injuries on Monday night.
Muhammad Parvez, 57, made a brief appearance in a Brampton court on Wednesday morning and has been remanded until Jan. 29, 2008.

"The details of the court appearance are subject to a publication ban so we can't talk about them," CTV's John Vennavally-Rao said from outside the courthouse.

Friends of the girl have told CTV News that she had been involved in a family dispute over her choice not to wear traditional Muslim clothing.

Two of Parvez's sons, along with a friend, attended Wednesday's hearing. Outside of the court, one brother said that he did not believe that the situation was the result of a culture clash, said Vennavally-Rao.

Meanwhile, the lawyer for Parvez said there was more to the story then what is being reported in the media.

"The lawyer... did say that his client was suffering from some medical problem," said Vennavally-Rao.

Police had been considering a first-degree murder charge against Parvez, reports the Toronto Star.

The victim's brother, Waqas Parvez, 26, is also charged in the investigation with obstructing police.

Aqsa Parvez

The teen, an Applewood Heights Secondary School student, often complained of her situation at home, her friends told CTV News on Tuesday.

The students said Parvez no longer wanted to wear a hijab, a shoulder-length head scarf worn by some Muslim women. They also said Parvez would often change her clothing once she got to school and then would change back before going home.

"People said her brothers and sisters followed her to see if she was wearing her headscarf or not," one student said.

Parvez had recently been staying with a friend because of tension at home, classmates said.
"Her dad was threatening her and she was getting scared and she just didn't want to live there anymore," another student said.

Parvez's death has again raised the issue of so-called honour killings.

'Honour killings'

The United Nations estimates at least 5,000 women a year are killed for committing adultery, defying tradition, or for simply talking to the wrong man and thereby bringing shame upon relatives.

Exact numbers are impossible to know because the majority of such murders -- women are the main victims -- go unreported and the guilty unpunished.

United Muslim Women of Canada's Anisa Ali said the public shouldn't assume that honour killings only happen in the Muslim community.

"It's not an Islamic practice," Ali told CTV's Canada AM on Wednesday. "There's nowhere in the Quran where it talks about honour killings. It's more of a cultural phenomenon."
She said honour killings are not limited to Islamic countries like Pakistan, Jordan, Syria and Afghanistan.

"There's Latin American countries, it has taken place in Germany, in Britain," she said. "A lot of it is under the guise of family honour or religious values."

With a report from CTV's John Musselman

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