February 5, 2009
The Hon. Jason Kenney:
Minister of Immigration
Dear Mr. Kenney:
As a Canadian, I am outraged and deeply offended by the recent news about murdered Canadian teen Aqsa Parvez. As I understand the matter, she was slain in a so-called ‘honour-killing.’ Her grave is a small number-plate in the ground: no name, picture, flowers, or date.
When donors from around the world recently offered to purchase a suitable memorial-stone, her family refused. It would appear that they are still dishonouring her in death.
Simply put, do we have three classes of Canadians? The children of immigrants, the female children of immigrants, and the children of people who have lived here for a while? Is this the message we want to send to young people who assimilate with Canadian culture, and to those who refuse to connect with their new country? Is this how we want women in immigrant communities to understand themselves– conform, submit, obey, fear?.. and if you get beaten or murdered for bucking the unofficial rules, you will be forgotten, and your memorial will be an anonymous stone?
What happens to one Canadian teen affects us all. That, surely, is the point of coming here– not so we can continue to act and think as if we were still in another land, but that the freedoms and duties we have as Canadians and toward all Canadians are the price of our freedom, and the privilege of citizenship.
I understand that a minority government is concerned not to alienate immigrant votors and new Canadians: however, by sending a strong message to potential honour-killers and their victims, we support moderate elements within that community, women’s rights, and the equality of all people under Canadian law.
I am interested in your perspective on this ongoing situation, which has engaged Canadians and people of all stripes and convictions.
[ Binky, WebElf ]
Aqsa “Axa” Parvez (1991 – December 10, 2007)
Aqsa Parvez: dishonored, unmourned; Outside of a number on a stone a memorial for Aqsa Parvez
University of Guelph Arboretum says no to Aqsa Parvez memorial