Teen's death had nothing to do with Islam: imam
Published Thursday, December 13, 2007 7:16PM EST
Muslim community leaders say they are saddened by the slaying of a 16-year-old Mississauga, Ont. teenager, but say Islam had nothing to do with it.
The religious figures said Islam in no way condones acts of violence, and the death shouldn't reflect badly on their faith.
"The bottom line is, it's a domestic violence issue,'' Sheik Alaa El-Sayyed, imam at Mississauga's Islamic Society of North America, said at a press conference.
"We, as Muslims, are Canadians and we should be dealt with just like everyone else. We have rights, duties ... pros and cons just like all other human beings.''
Aqsa Parvez died Monday night from "neck compression," her autopsy showed.
Her father, Muhammad Parvez, has been charged with murder. The victim's 26-year-old brother, Waqas, has been charged with obstructing police in the investigation. He is scheduled to appear in court Friday for a bail hearing.
Friends of the girl said she often clashed with her family over her refusal to wear a hijab, the traditional Muslim head scarf.
El-Sayyed said Islam teaches that women have the right to choose whether or not they want to wear the hijab.
But the Muslim leaders admitted a child who didn't wear the hijab could bring shame to a family, and the parents could be viewed as failures in the community.
Mohammad Iqbal Alnadvi, a marriage counsellor and religious expert at the Al-Fatah Islamic Centre in Oakville, said he believes it's important for parents in Muslim families to give their daughters a choice when it comes to decisions of dress.
"My daughter, she's going into Grade 11, and she's taking the hijab,'' Alnadvi said.
"I never asked her to take the hijab, but I developed a mentality in her to choose -- it is her choice.''
A funeral for Parvez is scheduled for Saturday.
With a report from CTV's Jim Junkin and files from The Canadian Press