In “Keeping the faith for the sake of all our Aqsa Parvezes,” Rosie DiManno in the Toronto Star (thanks to Jen) calls out all our spineless human rights advocates:
…It’s all grist for debate. But when the issue is Islam, debate — or disagreement — is hazardous.
So even feminist warriors, decades after social emancipation rewrote human rights laws, are leery of giving offence. The Baal of multiculturalism — recast to incorporate radical interpretation of religious and cultural imperatives — has trumped gender equality.
In Afghanistan, before the pariah Taliban regime was ousted, women were stoned to death on the slimmest of accusations — but the world took more outrage at the destruction of Buddhist statues.
In Afghanistan, a girl once sobbed in my lap because she was taking the burqa the next day. Do not dare try to tell me she had a “choice.”
Increasingly, in the predominantly Shia section of Iraq, women are being murdered for not covering up sufficiently. In Saudi Arabia, total concealment is the law.
This is infantalization of women, every one an apparent succubus.
The hijab is not the burqa? When coerced, there’s no difference.
Some years ago, in Ontario, women won the right to go topless in public, a silly legal benchmark that now feels like it happened on another planet. Such was the agreement in an era of muscular gender emancipation. Now we have human rights complaints over airport uniforms — slacks and mid-calf skirts — not modest enough to appease one’s religious sensibilities.
Where are the feminists? The civil libertarians? The secularists? Browbeaten into silence.
I know all about immigrant families and the desire to retain traditions — obsequious conduct — from ancestral lands. I know all about leaving the house dressed one way and arriving at school, presto, dressed another. I know all about pining to look and act like one of the group, not an alien. There was a time when I genuinely believed my father would kill me for shaming him. I don’t think I have a single female cousin who wasn’t beaten for rebelling.
But, in this country, in my lifetime, that was never socially acceptable. In time, assimilation sanded off the rougher edges of that conflict. The in-between existence of immigrant children, straddling two cultures, found its own balance. Time will do that.
There are casualties, though. Occasionally, a senseless death will hit the headlines, filling us with revulsion. But countless more — daughters in cages — are leading lives of quiet desperation. In the angst of adolescence, more will die by their own hand than be murdered by righteous fathers.
Time, and pity, ran out on Aqsa Parvez, it would seem.