THE UGLY CRIME of Honor Killing – Part 4
I am shocked by the choice of words certain media use to report cases of domestic abuse among Muslims. I wish reporters and columnists would not be so casual and glib in choosing phrases such as “devotee to Islam,” “a devoted Muslim,” etc. in describing individuals who are involved in any kind of domestic violence. Such descriptions are a profound insult to Islam and Muslims.
In the case of the death, for example, of Aqsa Parvez (or any other attack), the attack on her was an act of domestic violence resulting from rage that emanated from a total neglect and ignorance of Islam’s teachings. This assault on a normal, somewhat defiant, teenage daughter is a bizarre and horrific way to express one’s religious piety and devotion! Even after the courts have done their job, we are left with the sad truth that any heart and soul behind the parental actions described in the media must have been empty of anything resembling loving or pious motivation.
A “devoted Muslim” is one who patiently and lovingly helps his or her family journey safely through times of crisis. It is easy to lead when things go well. Real challenge starts when things are out of our hands. A devoted Muslim does not arbitrarily take the law into his or her own hands and does not deliberately defy the laws of God and country. I am still asking myself how media writers came to know of the abusers’ supposed religious devotion and closeness to God!
Devotion in Islam is not judged on the basis of appearance; rather, it is revealed in actions – righteous deeds – that spring from the depths of our faith. Devotion in Islam does not condone anger and harm; rather, it is reflected in a gentle touch, a loving smile, sincere counsel, trustworthy guidance, and unconditional mercy, forgiveness, love, justice … It is all about selflessness and charity in our relationships with other people. It starts with family members and, for fathers in particular, with this special message from the Prophet (pbuh) who advised: “One who brings up three daughters well and treats them well, they will be his/her door to Paradise (Jannah).”
If the abusers would live according to these basic teachings of Islam, rather than on the accretion of un-Islamic traditions of cultural patriarchy and authority that blinds their judgment, I know that many families would be much happier and there would be less misunderstanding about Muslims in this beautiful country.
Simply put, our children are an “amanah” or trust, given to us by the Creator. We are their shelters, protectors, mentors, teachers, guides… We are designated by God Almighty to be there for them when they need us. And yes, that means at all times! — during happy days when they listen to their elders and bring good marks home from school and during troubled days when they do not listen and bring us disappointing report cards or misbehave.
As Canadian Muslims, we are commanded to devote ourselves to justice and that commitment requires us as a community to collectively oppose this crime of “honor” killings or any family abuse in the strongest possible terms and take immediate action to end such practices in our society. There is, and has never been, anything “honorable” in these cruel, inhuman, unethical and faithless actions.
(…to be continued in the next issue…Part 5)