Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I usually strive for religious tolerance. I don't practice any particular organized religion, Western or otherwise. But I try to be respectful of others' faith and beliefs. But I'm getting pretty damned tired of all the fundamentalism in the world these days.

This story slapped me in the face today. A 16-year-old girl was allegedly choked to death by HER FATHER after an argument over her refusal to wear a hajib, the Islamic headscarf donned by some Muslim women.

Her 57-year-old father was taken into custody by Peel Regional Police in Toronto, Ontario, according to the WDIV Channel 4 Detroit Web site, citing a Toronto newspaper Web site. Police wouldn't ID the father, or the daughter, who was ID'ed by friends as Aqsa Parvez, according to the National Post of Toronto.

According to these friends, Parvez's family is very strict concerning Muslim law, and her father and brother had both threatened her. "(Her father) said that if she leaves, he would kill her," her friend told the paper. Another friend said Parvez had previous fights with her father over wearing Islamic dress and her hijab all of the time.

Now, I took anthropology and sociology classes in college. I try not to fall prey to ethnocentrism. Other cultures and religions are different, and I want to respect those differences, which isn't always easy for me. I have an aversion to absolute authority, and so I sometimes find cultures where authority is unchallenged and dictates every aspect of life, umm, repulsive. But I try to keep my mouth shut. It's their culture, after all, not mine.

But you have got to be effing kidding me. How can any culture or religion condone such an act? How can it be acceptable to murder your own child because they didn't want to wear a piece of cloth around their heads? Islam does not allow for murder, no matter what fundamentalist Muslims want to quote. IT JUST PLAIN DOESN'T! Anything else is a perversion. And any culture that will look the other way when it comes to the subjugation and degradation of women isn't a culture worthy to exist on this planet. It sickens me down to the very core of my being.

I should say, though, that I realize that not all Muslims are like this. In fact, it's a minority, I'd wager, and they've cast what should be a peaceful religion in a pale light. But the problem is that the majority of Muslims don't seem to be standing up for their religion, much the way that most Christians can't seem to be bothered to wrest their religion back from the Religious Right. It's a shame, really.

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