It is debatable whether the sentencing is reasonable for the charge they plead guilty to, but that is not the point of focus of my analysis. What strikes me most about this case is the media attention and the interpretation of the case by the greater community.
There is no doubt that the death of Aqsa Parvez was one that shocked the entire community, and I can speak for myself and say it hit really close to home, literally. She went to a neighboring high school and was a Muslim girl of Pakistani descent (like myself). I would say that we had enough factors in common for me to take the case to heart – and I’m sure that is the case for many other girls a similar position as mine. She was a teen, like many others, who was having problems at home and was uncooperative with her parents. There could have been many reasons for the disagreements and arguments, but teen trouble is not a new story.
The angle that the case has taken through the media is the one that has been largely portrayed to the public over the past few years. All headlines surrounding the case never failed mention Aqsa’s religious or ethnic background. In the eyes of many, she was a Muslim, Pakistani teen who was murdered by her father and brother who took her life to protect their ‘honour’. This somehow was affiliated with their family being Muslim, and the media rolled the whole ball into immigrant families having the adjust to the culture and life of Canada. Where this case makes me uneasy is that the media repeatedly put out there how her being Muslim or Pakistani played a role in the male members of her family killing her. This was simply a case of a troubled family, like many other non-Muslim or non-South Asian families, but the media found it necessary to link her death with her religious and ethnic background.
I feel that this is all a part of the process of tainting and stereotyping certain groups. To prove this, there are many cases of family abuse, and even murder which may make their way into the news, but it is never mentioned whether they are Caucasian or African, Christian or Jew. With this case, the affiliation that is most often linked with Aqsa was Islam, and this is where I have a great level of concern.
As multi-cultural as Canada is, and as tolerant and accepting as it seems, there are still many areas that need work and still a lot of minds that need to be broadened.