CAIR Media Relations Director Ahmed Rehab discusses an incident of domestic violence in Canada on FOX’s “American Newsroom.”
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MEGYN KELLY: Well and now to a tragedy, over religion. A 16 year old Muslim girl murdered allegedly by her own father. This is Aqsa Parvez, her father told authorities that he strangled her allegedly because she wouldn’t wear a headscarf. Now, the family lives in Canada and this horrifying so-called honor killing is now sparking calls for women’s rights in Muslim communities. Ahmed Rehab is a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and he joins us now. Good morning.
AHMED REHAB: Good morning.
KELLY:So this is so disturbing. Obviously the term honor-killing is an oxymoron. There can be no such thing, is there any dispute about that within the Muslim community?
REHAB: That term is not a Muslim term and it’s not recognized in the Muslim community. It is not a good thing to do. Let me tell you that I agree with you, it’s a tragedy and so our hearts go out to the family, and our prayers go out to the family. Having said that, this man’s acts are indefensible and we as CAIR have put together a coalition of 20 Muslim organizations of the highest caliber all over Canada and North America that condemn this act and that called, in very strong terms, for the strongest possible prosecution of this man and for a policy of zero tolerance within our community and every community against domestic abuse and abuse against women.
KELLY: But is it not true, there have been a string of these murders, so called honor-killings by fathers against daughters who would not comply with who would not wear the hijab who wanted to wear western clothing and look more western? And it’s happened repeatedly so there is obviously some faction within Islam that believes this is not only okay to do but required, some would argue, by the Quran. I know, I know that the main stream Muslims don’t believe that but, there is some faction that does.
REHAB: I wouldn’t call it a faction. There are sporadic cases, isolated cases. But let’s be very clear here. One case is one case too many and so it is a problem but it is not of the sort that you can call a faction or a sub-sector of the community that believes in this.
KELLY:Well how do you get to those who actually believe this? I mean there’s this guy, there was one back in 2005. A father stabbed his 17 year old daughter British, Columbia. There’s one in 2002, a father attacked his daughter who had a boyfriend in her bedroom. And so on I mean down the list. You guys should check out Michelle Malkin’s blog if you want to have more examples. But how do we put a stop to that?
REHAB:The same way you try to put a stop to situations where mothers in the dominant culture may sometimes you know kill their children to appease their boyfriends. I’ve heard of cases like this in the news before. They’re sporadic, they’re obscene, they don’t represent the communities from which they come and we have to deal with them as sporadic as they are.
KELLY : Ahmed is there not a lot of
REHAB: It would be a mistake for us to call it some sort of a trend within a community.
KELLY: No, certainly not, and no one is condemning all Muslims for this. This just happens to be, there are some who are mus-, who are is-, who follow Islam who believe that this is mandated by the Quran, that they have some weird reading of the Quran that leads them to believe that this is mandated and it’s clearly not.
REHAB: It’s not at all, and it’s very disturbing for me to hear this because it flies in the face of everything that our faith stands for including the freedom of choice for a woman to wear a hijab, a head scarf, or not and including respect for the sanctity of life which in this case was obviously obliterated. So it’s a very disturbing case, and we call for the fullest prosecution of this man under the law in Canada.
KELLY : Yeah and he really does need to be condemned by those within his own circles and others like him, so that they don’t view this as some sort of a badge of honor.
KELLY:The strangulation of his own daughter because she wouldn’t wear the headscarf, so sad. Ahmed Rehab, thanks so much for being here.
REHAB: Well thank you very much for having me, I just want to say that this is an opportunity for us to reflect on this terrible thing called domestic abuse or abuse against women and for all of us to take this as an opportunity to raise awareness of this disease in our societies that cuts across all sectors, and all creeds, and all communities.
KELLY: Yeah, there’s a different element here though. It’s not just regular domestic abuse, there’s some sort of religious fanaticism that is leading to these incidents.
REHAB: There is always something particular to every case
KELLY: Well in this case, that’s what it is and a serious look needs to be taken at it.