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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Islam Means Peace

posted by on December 11 at 18:13 PM

Friends and classmates of a 16-year-old girl who police say was murdered by her devout Muslim father in a Toronto suburb told local media Tuesday she was killed for not wearing a hijab. Police said in a statement they received an emergency call at 7:55 am local time Monday from “a man who indicated that he had just killed his daughter.”

The victim, Aqsa Parvez, was “rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries, but tragically passed away late last night.”

Her father, Muhammad Parvez, 57, was arrested at the scene and will be formally charged with murder when he appears in court Wednesday, said police.

The girl’s friends, meanwhile, told local media she was having trouble at home because she did not conform to the family’s religious beliefs and refused to wear a traditional Islamic head scarf, or hijab.

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If I started a blog where I cherry picked every news item that made gay people look bad I'd be a bigot, right?

Posted by elenchos | December 11, 2007 6:20 PM

You would, elenchos.

I've had it with this shit. You ruined a fine newspaper, Dan. Congratulations. Bye.

Posted by Chas | December 11, 2007 6:33 PM

Not to quibble, but "islam" means "submission."

Posted by the hamburgler | December 11, 2007 6:40 PM

No @1 you'd be FOX news.

Posted by kinaidos | December 11, 2007 6:45 PM

Sweet, sweet religion.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 6:54 PM

Dreadful. Just dreadful. I don't understand how a parent can kill his child--regardless of whatever strongly-held religious beliefs he may have. . .

Posted by Michigan Matt | December 11, 2007 6:55 PM

If I started a blog where I cherry picked every news item that made gay people look bad I'd be a bigot, right?

You would, elenchos. was I not hearing these kinds of complaints over his "O They Will Know We Are Christians By Our..." posts...?

Posted by Bruce Garrett | December 11, 2007 6:56 PM

Ontario has recently toyed with allowing shariah law and "faith-based arbitration" in certain situations. Here's a great backgrounder:

Also: shit, meet fan.

Posted by Big Adventure Steve | December 11, 2007 7:04 PM

In this particular news story, the idea that she was specifically killed over the hijab thing comes from friends, not a police investigation etc. So hold judgment a bit. I'd bet it's correct, but patience. At least the guy had the decency to call 911 after KILLING HIS DAUGHTER.

Posted by JMR | December 11, 2007 7:04 PM


Posted by NJ Matt | December 11, 2007 7:06 PM

The Religion of Peace strikes again

Posted by momo | December 11, 2007 7:09 PM

elenchos @1, even though you don't have one, you are a dick. Dan is an equal opportunity religion-despiser, not a bigot. But this story does fall a bit into the "Dog Bites Man" category--I mean, what's news about Muslims murdering Muslim women?

Posted by kk | December 11, 2007 7:10 PM

From the CBC Islam link above:

What are the concerns about establishing Shariah law in a Canadian jurisdiction?
The National Association of Women and the Law, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, and the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada argued that under Shariah law, men and women are not treated equally.

What a bigoted thing to say! Whoever wrote that is ruining a fine Canadian news organization. I am boycotting.

Posted by JMR | December 11, 2007 7:11 PM

Hopefully evolution will breed this ridiculous superstitious nonsense out of our species in the next few thousand years. Otherwise I don't see our species surviving it's mastery of splitting the atom.

Posted by Tiffany | December 11, 2007 7:14 PM

The guy's Pakistani? I was there and saw people without habibs or whatever. I wonder what about coming to the west flip's these folk's crazy switch.

Posted by Andrew | December 11, 2007 7:14 PM

@7, @10

It isn't my job to criticize the Slog full time; it's only a hobby. I only read every fourth post usually.

If you see something you don't like, don't wait for me to object. Speak up.

Posted by elenchos | December 11, 2007 7:15 PM

Indeed islam means peace...

Just don't be an infidel

Posted by N | December 11, 2007 7:20 PM

Whatever. It could have been a christian guy killing his wife for cheating on him. Or how about that nerd that shot up a shopping mall Dec. 5th and then killed himself? And he didn't even believe in a god. He just wanted to be famous. And he's not. He's just dead. shutup elenchos and go eat a baby

Posted by Kareem Dapantsa | December 11, 2007 7:29 PM

And if she's a dumpster diver, looks like she's in luck!

Posted by Yum! | December 11, 2007 7:42 PM

@Kareem, so just because those other killings took place the death of this young girl (which was supposedly for Islamic reasons) becomes "whatever"?

Posted by N | December 11, 2007 7:50 PM

Hey elenchos and chas,

Exactly how is pointing out hypocrisy a form of bigotry? This post does not target Muslims, it reports on the murderous actions of a Muslim extremist. It's his hypocrisy that is on the stand here, and one could infer from similar posts a criticism of the institutionalized hypocrisy of the world's most powerful religions. Since when is criticizing an ideology bigotry? These religions influence our laws!

And by the way, "Gay" is not an ideology. Even so, Dan Savage HARDLY shies away from criticizing gay people when they are acting hypocritically. Did you miss the post on the Colorado Springs security guard? On Richard Curtis? On Ted Haggard? On Larry Craig?

Come on. Savage pushes buttons, but he's no bigot. Save your anger for better targets.

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 8:13 PM

Just please don't turn the blog into Little Green Footballs, Dan. That's all I ask.

Posted by tsm | December 11, 2007 8:28 PM

Well, Irena, I'm asking you.

What would you say about a blog that only highlighted negative stories about brown people? Even if it "equally" criticized all kinds of brown people. Would you object?

Or a site that carried on and on about every speck of dirt you could find about all kinds of queers, be they gay, lesbian, tranny, whatever? Equally.

It's one thing to criticize ideas you disagree with, but it's something else entirely to carry on a smear campaign. Picking out carefully selected embarrassing stories in an attempt to hold an entire group accountable for each of the negative stories is bigotry.

I didn't mind this stuff at first. Making the point that straight parents were capable of bad things was probably worth while. At first. This has turned into something else entirely.

I'm not angry. The ones telling me to shut up sound angry, but this episode seems par for the Slog these days.

Posted by elenchos | December 11, 2007 8:33 PM

So does everything have to be run through your "Is this OK?" filter first, Elenchos? What happens if something that you feel very strongly about doesn't get covered? What then?

And besides all that, NOW look what you've made me do here!! I'm actually siding with Irena. Allah help us all...

Posted by Wowza | December 11, 2007 8:42 PM

i'm at a loss as to how people can defend a religion as "the religion of peace" - not A religion of peace, mind you, THE religion of peace - when vile practices such as this [or women being publicly lashed for getting raped, or people strapping bombs to themselves, etc etc] are repeatedly committed in its name. just putting something on a bumper sticker does not make it true.

Posted by brandon | December 11, 2007 8:44 PM

It is a religion of peace!,2933,313741,00.html

Just don't make a movie telling them its not or they'll slit your throat =O

Posted by N | December 11, 2007 8:51 PM

Habib means 'sweetie' or 'lover' in Arabic. Male sweetie, specifically. You're looking for the word 'hijab.' I hope you actually research the stuff you put in your blog, b/c if this level of commentary/knowledge is representative of your due diligence, you're a hack.

Islam does not translate to 'peace' in English. @3 is right. Islam is the fourth form (the passive form) of the root s-l-m, which does mean peace. Islam means that peace has been imposed upon you. Submission. To god, specifically.

Dan's pushing buttons, and he's not a bigot, but he's also not actually educating or adding anything to the conversation. He's just playing the role of Lou Dobbs. I'm with him when it comes to a powerful majority group in this country, Christians. But no matter how you try to apologize, Muslims are victims of bigotry in this country. Dan's not a bigot, but he's providing ammunition to those who aren't as discerning.

Posted by omg | December 11, 2007 8:51 PM

Nobody is telling you to shut up, elenchos. I hope to see you Thursday at Moe's. You need a hugz.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 8:52 PM

All religions suck. All religious people suck. Straight people suck. Republicans suck. Fat people suck. Faggots don't suck. Anyone who disagrees with me sucks. There - simply re-post the foregoing four times a day and Dan won't even need to bother to show up for work any more.

Posted by The Spaghetti Monster | December 11, 2007 9:02 PM

Religion attracts fanatics and gives them excuses. If the whole world were atheist some people would still find reason to do fucked-up things, though.

Posted by The CHZA | December 11, 2007 9:13 PM

@27: "But no matter how you try to apologize, Muslims are victims of bigotry in this country."

Oh, puh-leez. I just bought a couple of pairs of shoes from a new kids shop (the Shoe Tree!) on Broadway @ 112th Street. Great shop, run by an Egyptian immigrant. No signs of protest.

Even in NY, this country has bent over backwards since being attacked repeatedly by Muslim extremists to be more than accommodating. Compare the response to 9/11 to what happened to Japanese-American citizens during WWII. We've come a long way, and we're way better than virtually any other country in the world. The "bigotry" you speak of would be red-carpet treatment for any of the world's Jews (population 13 million) in any of the 22 Arab League countries (population 340 million).

Posted by kk | December 11, 2007 9:21 PM

Please post links to articles where Christianity (or atheism or any other belief system) causes fathers to murder their teenage daughters. Even if such a case exists, there's exponentially more when Islam is involved. Perhaps Dan Savage helping to get this stuff out there isn't such a bad thing.

Posted by PJ | December 11, 2007 9:25 PM

dan's got a viewpoint, and it's an alternative viewpoint to what you see in many other places. here he is piling onto islam, which isn't that alternative these days--but when things like this happen in the name of "islam," it's valid to point it out. we shouldn't tolerate this shit in our country. why should we? shariah mediation? fuck that. some things shouldn't be tolerated.

Posted by ellarosa | December 11, 2007 9:31 PM

They will know we are The Stranger by...the stupid, self-righteous comments from Sloggers.
This man: Killed. His. Daughter.
Elenchos, are you afraid that maybe Dan OFFENDED him??? Or "stereo-typed" him?
He posted it, therefore HE is a bigot? If a gay man were to kill his daughter like this, it would be for a much more serious fashion faux pas.

Posted by Joy | December 11, 2007 9:33 PM

Dan posts items to Slog that make gay people look bad. Here is one:

Posted by Gay People Suck | December 11, 2007 10:04 PM

And here's another one:

So it looks like Dan is an anti-gay bigot too.

Posted by Gay People Suck | December 11, 2007 10:06 PM

elenchos @23,

Glad you're not angry. Here's the thing: to constantly focus on negative stories about brown people would definitely smack of bigotry to me. But these posts aren't attacking a people or a race. They are attacking religions. Powerful religions. And specifically, they are attacking actions, motivated by religious ideologies, that result in violations of what are generally agreed to be basic human rights.

As long as religious ideologies are used to control and harm people, they are fair game for serious scrutiny. This is not about attacking groups of people. It's about critiquing institutions of power.

I'm okay with that. I have to be okay with it -- if it weren't okay to critique institutions of power, it wouldn't be okay to critique Dan Savage or the Stranger (not exactly powerful on a world religion scale, but still!).

And I wouldn't want to lose my right to do that.

(BTW, Wowza, nice to share sides with you for once! I'm off to bed, so feel free to pick up the debate.)

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 10:26 PM

Islam is an ideology. The same as christianity, democracy, feudalism, liberal etc. Criticizing a set of ideas is not bigoted at all.

Posted by N | December 11, 2007 10:52 PM

Boo hoo, Dan is picking on Islam. Lets face it, of all the religions on the planet, Islam is the most regressive, violent, and anti-feminist of them all. Stop apologizing for a religion just because it isn't western.

Posted by matt | December 11, 2007 11:32 PM

There was the case - what, five, six years ago -where this homebody wife of some space center employee drowned all three of her children in their suburban Clear Lake City home (Houston, JSC area) while her husband was at work. Her claim was that her children were evil and she was saving them in the name of Christ. I believe her husband testified at her trial for penance saying she needed help, again in the name of his religion. One good, one bad.

That's a Christian parent killing their children in the name of their religion. Islam's not unique. Or, god forbid, the Salem witch trials or the Inquisition.

Sheesh. Islam seems like a late-comer to this game of killing in the name of the Father, or the Son, or the frickin' Holy Ghost, or Allah, or even Jehovah.

And, besides which, if you believe in an afterlife, what's the harm? Crazy, but the logic holds within the belief.

Posted by chas Redmond | December 12, 2007 12:29 AM

Why do we think the kamikaze were crazy but the Valkyrie were saviors? Aren't they the same thing, leading to the same conclusion - killing in the name of one's religion. Even our reality and our myths are mixed and mired in this theme.

Posted by chas Redmond | December 12, 2007 12:32 AM


While I despise fundamental Christianity, I call into doubt your comparison of fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam. A killing such as the one you described would be abhorred by even the most right wing Christians, while it is well documented that so called "honor killings" are widely tolerated in fundamentalist Islamic societies. Again, not to let Christianity off the hook, but it irks me when Islam is given a free ride in the name of multiculturalism.

Posted by matt | December 12, 2007 12:59 AM

Yup I put exactly five seconds into all my posts, and I never edit them later.

Really, I realized 5 seconds that I put the wrong word, but whatever.

Posted by Andrew | December 12, 2007 1:18 AM
Posted by N | December 12, 2007 1:20 AM

Religion is not the same a race or sexual orientation. Those a re physical characteristics no different from being tale or bald. They only matter because we make them so, often due to our good friend religion.

Religion on the other hand is a set of beliefs about how the world works. It makes claims about reality and puts forward laws to live by. Almost by definition religion affects behavior, in fact often extremely so.

While we (Secular folks) respect peoples right to live their religion that does not mean there are not limits, nor that we cannot criticize. thats the whole fucking idea of a free society, that instead of imposing a lifestyle from on high disputes and disagreements are settled though vigorous public debate.

The logic that says one cannot criticize religion would equally apply to political beliefs, or anything else for that matter. Religion is just as much a choice as all of those and just as open to criticism.

Posted by giffy | December 12, 2007 4:20 AM

@39 @42
Please specify where you're from. Remember, one person cannot be representative of the entire Matt community. You can only be representative of the entire Matt community in a given state.

Don't think it through, and it kind of makes sense.

Posted by NJ Matt | December 12, 2007 4:32 AM

So people are getting upset and calling Dan Savage a bigot because he very cleverly pointed out that billions of muslims say that any wrong done in the name of their religion is by extremists and that really Islam is a (or the) religion of peace.

Pardon my french, but who gives a shit! When a muslim father murders his daugther for not wearing a scarf - your religion is fucked up! When I overhear (while studying at the library) that Salmond Rushdie has a jihad against him and "rightfully so" by students MY age (22 at the time) your religion is fucked up!

When christian ministers go on and on about how adam and eve rode dinosaurs to church and that gays can change if they just have faith only to enjoy up the ass while on meth - your religion is fucked up!

When orthodox jews fuck one another through a hole in a sheet - your religion is REALLY fucked up!

Dan is making a great point that religion is simply (say it with me now) REALLY FUCKED UP. I'm from the suburb that this girl was killed in, she is literally down the road from my house, there are reports that she was strangled to death (or near death, when they found her, she had a faint pulse and was on life support until her untimely demise) or that she may have been beaten to death.

She shared her home with 7 other siblings and her parents. She only started taking off her hijab this year at school because her older sister that would ACT AS A SPY finally graduated from her high school in the past spring. She ran away twice, once to a shelter where she returned home after receiving a letter telling her she doesnt have to wear the hijab if she doesnt want to and was currently staying with a friend at the time of her death.

Her insane father has repeated offences against her and the poor girl lived in fear in her own home. Why? BECAUSE OF A FUCKED UP RELIGION!

Religion of peace my fine ass!

Posted by darek | December 12, 2007 7:23 AM

Remember how the Christian right blamed Judas Priest in the 1980s for some crazy teen killer dude?

So is the 700 Club now ghost writing for The SLOG?

The Slogetry here is actually worse but just as silly: the headline blasts 25 percent of the world's population based on the actions of a crazy guy in toronto. Maybe SLOG should look into whether the guy was a heavy metal fan too?

Also, @1 hit the nail on the head.

Posted by col | December 12, 2007 7:25 AM


The headline blasts the religions of 25% of the population, not the people itself. There is a difference.

Also, it's not the actions of one guy. It's the outcry in Sudan over the calling for the death of a teacher that allowed her class to name a teddy Muhammad. It's about the outcry in Denmark over some cartoons. It's about the fear women live in for getting raped and not reporting the crime because THEY will be punished.

It's so much more than the actions of one crazed muslim man - it's the actions of many crazed muslims that puts the distaste in so many people's mouths.

Posted by darek | December 12, 2007 7:30 AM

@48: Do you not understand that when these kinds of honor killings happen in the Muslim world they are typically supported or excused by most of the population? I'm not understanding your comparison to the Judas Priest stuff in the 80s, but regardless, those teenagers who killed themselves after listening to heavy metal music were mentally ill. Just as that Christian woman who killed her children was mentally ill, and her actions were in not way supported by her community. My guess is that this man who killed his daughter was perfectly sane and will defend his actions based on the tenets of Islam in a "logical" manner.

@47: I believe that stuff about Orthodox Jews doing it through a sheet is false, as was admitted by Hitchens, and will be taken out of future editions of God is Not Great.

Posted by PJ | December 12, 2007 8:05 AM

When they tried (once again this year) to say blacks had lower IQs than whites, that was treated as a statistical claim. The claim was demolished on a statistical basis. Anyone who tried to say that blacks were stupid because of a collection of newspaper clippings was obviously prejudiced.

Saying that the typical Muslim, or most Muslims, or the Muslim community (whatever you mean by that) is responsible for what one man did is a statistical claim. A bunch of news stories tell you nothing about what most Muslims think.

If you do have reliable data on what most Muslims are thinking, by all means, talk about that. But don't be a sleaze just because you don't have good data.

Posted by elenchos | December 12, 2007 8:35 AM

You want to talk about statistical data? How about the poll 2 days ago where 36% of british muslims think its okay to kill an apostate (google for it, it was in the guardian paper).

Not to mention all this violence against the infidel and unbeleiver is sanctioned in the quran in several places.

Religion of peace indeed.

Posted by N | December 12, 2007 8:41 AM

I can scarcely believe the intolerance shown here. Most followers of Islam are people of color. Honkies have no right to impose their Judeo-Christian morality on them.

By Islamic teaching and tradition, females are chattel, and the males can do pretty much what they damn well please with them, from cutting their clits off to marrying them at age eight like Muhammed did with his youngest wife.

Infidels are intolerant bastards if they can't put up with a little diversity.

Posted by George Hanshaw | December 12, 2007 8:47 AM

I'm at work and don't have much time, but the Wikipedia article on honor killings seems reliable enough. It seems that in many Islamic countries these killings are specifically excused by law. In many other countries honor killings are typically ignored. To me this seems like reliable evidence that these kinds of killings are supported or tolerated by many Muslims.

Posted by PJ | December 12, 2007 8:51 AM

muslim honor killings are much the same. its likely this dad wasn't a "fundamentalist". he was a typical muslim father, deeply threatened by female sexuality & afraid of losing face in his community because he couldn't control his daughter. if he hadn't killed her, one of her brothers would have.

and cutting off clits & labia is typically done by other women - who were victims of the process themselves.

Posted by max solomon | December 12, 2007 9:08 AM

Elenchos & Chas do have a point. When has Dan posted articles that make any other religions or philosophical viewpoints (other than Islam) look bad? Has he ever posting unflattering articles about Christianity, Republicanism, the Boy Scouts, etc.?

Posted by butterw | December 12, 2007 10:25 AM

People who believe in the literal text of any religious tract are suffering from insanity, or at least mass hysteria. They're parables, you fucking lunatics! Nobody should ever be killed in the name of Islam or any of the major religions, which are all designed (admittedly, in sometimes dated and roundabout ways) to promote selfless love.

Sometimes I wonder if human beings are evolved enough to have a beautiful thing--and in its true form, it is very beautiful--like religion in the world. There are so many damaged, fucked up people who, because they lack either the psychic strength or the courage of true faith, must turn it into something ugly to suit their own twisted needs.

Very sad.

Posted by Matthew | December 12, 2007 12:09 PM

@31: You bought shoes at a store owned by Egyptians, therefore there is no anti-Muslim prejudice in American.

Oh, sorry, further proof: New York, the largest and most diverse city in the nation, is very accommodating to Muslims, therefore there is no anti-Muslim prejudice in America.

I completely agree that many in America are trying hard. Especially (big fucking surprise) in liberal, diversity-loving cities like Seattle and NYC. But, kk, your sneakers don't prove shit. Show them to Murat Kurnaz, proven innocent, held for FIVE YEARS in Guantanamo. No trial, no lawyers, no family, no outside contact. Detained by us, who are trying so fucking hard.

Posted by Ian | December 12, 2007 2:49 PM

Heck yes he has. The "Thou Shalt Know We Are Christian" posts are all about the hypocricy of chaste Followers of Christ getting some sweet, sweet love on with underagers. The posts are barbed BECAUSE they are about "Christians"-because I know quite a few folks who happily engage in underage sex, but Dan rarely posts when they end up in court. "Thou Shalt Know We Are Athiests" isn't a very funny tagline.

The problem I have with all this is that every statistic needs to be called into question. The poll mentioned earlier that said 36% of Muslims in Great Britain favor honor killings might have taken only a sampling from a very fundamentalist neighborhood-how did they collect their information? Was the survey random? What questions did it ask-how were the questions phrased?
I personally think the Islam religion is no more violent than any other institution founded by man. Except the Buddhists. Everybody kills the Buddhists, and they just sit there and light themselves on fire. But holding an entire faith (there is a vast difference, I think, between Islam as a faith and Islam as a religion... one is an institution and one is a personal set of beliefs and guiding morals)responsible for a few crackerjacks is inflamatory, to say the least. After all, should we hold all liberals accountable when a self-proclaimed Leftist commits a crime that is partially motivated by his own moral compass? I mean geez whiz people, we are individuals-and I do not believe institutions have SO much power over the individual that if only that person were athiest/had secular beliefs, they wouldn't be as crazy. Maybe instead of killing his daughter as a Muslim, he'd beat his wife as a secularist instead.

Posted by Marty | December 12, 2007 5:21 PM

@49 and @50:

Yeah, the headline and the cherry picking is a slur against the religion of 25% of the world's population (and makes the Slog resemble the collected works of Ann Coulter).

It's worth noting that this religion happens to be a minority religion in the US and Canada. Also, most who practice this religion here in North America are themselves minorities.

We are also talking about people who are often much less powerful then alternative newspaper editors. People who are too often profiled, or discriminated against, or sometimes thrown in jail because of their last names or their religion. That's the real world context for the comment and this discussion.

On what rational basis then is the lumping of people together - the Slogetry - justified?

Has Slog taken a poll that proves most Muslims in the world or in Canada agree with the crazy guy's actions? The fact that some would justify it may be enough for Ann Coulter or Fox News, but it's hard to even dignify that sort of bullshit rationalization for bigotry with a response.

Posted by col | December 12, 2007 9:47 PM

I personally think the Islam religion is no more violent than any other institution founded by man.

Which only means that you are an ignorant person. Honor killings are COMMON in Islam, and becoming increasingly common throughout Europe as their Muslim minorities grow.
ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News
Honor killings have claimed the lives of about 1,100 people between 2000 and 2006 in Turkey.

UN Committee Adopts Dutch Resolution Against 'Honour Killings'

Many women are killed or mutilated by relatives every year for acts such as infidelity, which are deemed to have brought dishonour on a family. If brought to justice, the perpetrators of these crimes invoke in their defence what they see as their duty to protect the honour of the family. Even where they are brought to justice those who commit these violent acts often receive reduced sentences, sometimes they are let off with only a caution.

The Netherlands has now taken the first step to help these women. The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted a draft resolution submitted by the Netherlands on measures to root out 'honour killings'. This resolution, the first on the subject ever to be discussed in a UN body, is designed to lead to international action.

The resolution calls on all countries actively to oppose crimes of this kind, if necessary by changing the criminal law and taking preventive measures. It was passed by 120 votes in favour, with 25 abstentions.

Care to guess what the STATE RELIGION was of the 25 nations that abstained from that UN resolution? I'll give you a hint, it wasn't the Baptists.....

Posted by George Hanshaw | December 13, 2007 4:21 PM

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