Monday, December 17, 2007

Mea Culpa

I think I owe the world in general an apology. And particularly, perhaps, a Mississauga family.

Upon hearing the news that Muhammad Parvez had killed his daughter, I, along with the rest of the nation, it seems, and probably the rest of the world, assumed that he had done it for cultural, if not religious reasons.

That's not fair. All we know is that he killed his daughter (and we're not even 100% certain of that). Really, all we know is that he's been charged with second degree murder in the death of his daughter. Based on some comments by her friends, we all assumed the worst.

As did I. I should have known better.

It seems likely that Muhammad Parvez killed his daughter because she was disobedient. The most visible argument seems to have been about the hijab.

However, I'm sure that many men have been so furious with their daughters that they've beaten them or strangled them to death. That doesn't make it right (of course), but it does make it culturally unspecific. White trash men, black Christian men, Muslim men, Hindu men, and Native American men have all killed their daughters.

This story is about more than a dead girl and her Muslim father charged with her murder. It should be, anyway. It's now about how we all assumed that it was the man's religion, and by extension, culture that were responsible.

It should now be about how we're all bigots.

So I'm sorry. I regret my flippant comments. I will not delete them, instead, I will leave them as a testament to my ignorance. To remind me, and any readers I actually have, that we all make mistakes, and that we can learn from them.

I hope the Parvez family will find peace. I hope that Muhammad Parvez is punished severely if he's guilty. I hope we all grow a little because of this.

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