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Father of slain teen shows no emotion

TheStar.com - GTA

Father of slain teen shows no emotion

 

ALEX  TAVSHUNSKY FOR THE TORONTO STAR

A tired-looking Muhammad Parvez stands silently in an orange jumpsuit as he was remanded in custody yesterday. He faces a murder charge in the death of his 16-year-old daughter, Aqsa.

Mother called `inconsolable' at daughter's death; her husband is accused and a son is also behind bars

December 13, 2007 Jim Wilkes
Staff Reporter

The father of slain schoolgirl Aqsa Parvez showed no emotion as he was ordered remanded in custody during a brief appearance in Brampton court yesterday.

Looking haggard, grey-haired Muhammad Parvez, 57, stood silently in an orange jail jumpsuit as Justice of the Peace Darlene Florence ordered him to appear again on Jan. 29 by video link.

Parvez said only a barely audible "Yes," when asked if he understood an order not to communicate with son Waqas Parvez, 26, who faces a charge of obstructing police in their investigation of his sister's slaying.

Waqas Parvez is to appear in court for a bail hearing tomorrow.

The elder Parvez was not formally charged at the hearing but his lawyer, Joseph Ciraco, said he expects a charge of second-degree murder.

The lawyer said outside court that Parvez would be seen by a doctor in jail for pre-existing medical issues, including a heart aliment.

The taxi driver was arrested Monday after his 16-year-old daughter was found strangled in the family's Mississauga home about 8 a.m. Paramedics revived her, but she died that night in hospital.

Peel Region police said yesterday that an autopsy showed the teen died from "neck compression."

Muhammad Shan Parvez, another brother of the slain girl, said outside court after yesterday's hearing that his mother was inconsolable.

"She cannot control because her daughter died, so she feels bad," he said as he walked to his car after his father's court appearance.

"I feel bad to see him there," he said, adding he feels "really bad" about his sister's death. "My dad is alive but my sister passed away, so I feel bad for my sister," he said.

He said he last spoke with his sister about two weeks ago and was not home when she was attacked.

Aqsa's death got international attention after her friends said she had argued with her father over her desire to shun the hijab, a traditional Muslim scarf that covers the head and shoulders. The Grade 11 student had left the family home to stay with a friend's family.

Many have been quick to view the still-unknown circumstances of her death through the lens of religion and culture. Blogs, columns and Facebook postings have highlighted the difficulty some traditional Muslims face in the West.

Others say it is important to view the tragedy through the broader lens of domestic violence.

"We would never say that if it was a young white Canadian woman. .. We would say that this is unacceptable domestic violence that's it," said Tina Garnett, community relations co-ordinator at the Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel.

Meanwhile, Muslim organizations continue to express outrage over the slaying.

"This is the type of tragedy that shakes you to your very core as a person, as a parent, and as a Muslim," said Ansar Ahmed, of the Newmarket Mosque, in a statement. "This was a bright young girl whose only worry should have been friends and homework. Instead, it appears the last few weeks of her life were marred by anguish and conflict."

It's "truly bewildering" if the girl's feelings about the hijab played any role in her slaying, Ahmed added.

"Acts of faith, whatever they may be, have to come from within they cannot be imposed on anyone, if they are, they are not true acts of faith," he said.

In a joint statement, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Islamic Social Services Association and the Islamic Society of Toronto all urged "zero tolerance" for violence against women and domestic abuse.

"Muslims and Canadians of all faiths need to reflect on the realities of domestic abuse and take concrete steps to eliminate violence against women," it said.

 

http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/285180

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