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Monday, December 17, 2007

Family tragedy no time for cultural warfare -haroon siddiqui

No sooner had the news of the Aqsa Parvez murder filtered out than cultural warfare broke out.

Some said the killing proved the backwardness of Muslims, indeed Islam, that retrograde and violent religion which subjugates women.

Quebecers complaining about the wretchedness of the hijab were right, after all: "These people" do not share "our" values.

Others said that the isolated incident was a family tragedy, an intergenerational feud gone horribly wrong, leaving a 16-year-old dead and her father charged with murder. No religion teaches dads to kill their daughters.

The media – forever entangled in clichés about immigrants, especially Muslims – seemed incapable of rising above mob mentality.

Violence against women knows no bounds of race, religion, culture or class.

The Parvez murder was also a clash of immigrants' old country cultural/religious values versus their children's evolving ones in Canada.

That has been so throughout our history and will be in the future.

Intergenerational clashes, too, transcend race, religion and ethnicity, notes Vivian Rakoff, former director of the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and an eminent author.

"It's the story of almost every single immigrant group adhering to the strict values of their past or indeed their present. I've heard this from Greek families, Italian families where the daughter wants to go and be with friends on the Yonge St. strip and the father calls her a whore and kicks her out and she gets beaten up."

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