In the grand tradition of high school girls rebelling against strict parents, Canadian teen Aqsa Parvez would change out of her track pants and head scarf and into tight jeans in the bathroom at Applewood Heights Secondary outside Toronto. Generally, such flagrant disregard of parental rules can get one grounded but Parvez (pictured) wasn't so lucky, and according to local police, she was strangled to death by her father, Muhammad, on Monday night. Aqsa's friends say that ever since her parents discovered that she'd been shedding her head scarf in public, she had been showing up to school with bruises on her arms. The President of the Islamic Social Services Association, Shahina Siddiqui told CNN that blaming the murder on the headscarf is an "oversimplification", adding, "Many of us who have teenagers or had teenagers know this is a very difficult time. Their hormones and emotions are raging and they are trying to assert their independence."
The Toronto suburbs aren't the only places where how a young woman dresses can be a matter of life or death: The mere lack of head scarf can, in Iran, get a woman an official police warning, and, in Iraq, murdered. After a crackdown on flimsy dresses by Tehran police this spring, reports are coming out that the Iranian police are after a new enemy: high boots and jeans. Police Chief Ahmad Reza Radan says that "wearing boots over trousers, according to Sharia [Islamic law], is tabarroj [revealing one's beauty and bodily contours to unrelated men] and an example of bad dressing, which will be confronted." To their credit, Iranian MPs have railed against the police chief's decree. (Clerical MP Seyed Hadi Tabatabai said the warning "tarnishes Islam," and Eshrat Shaegh, also of Parliament, told reporters, "I am sorry that you are concerned about the boots of a few rich women...I am worried about women who do not have meat on their tables and no clothes on their children.")
As for Iraq, at least 40 women have been killed this year alone because of their "un-Islamic dress," reports the Independent. Vigilantes are roaming the Basra streets in motorcycles or cars with tinted windows, kidnapping "Westernized" Iraqi women, killing them, and then dumping their dead bodies in piles of garbage with attached notes decrying their inappropriate dress. (Men have also been the victims of such attacks.)
Police: Canadian Father Admits Hijab Killing [MSNBC]
Friends: Dead Teen Refused Hijab [CNN]
Female Boots Ban Angers Iran MPs: Report [Breitbart]
'Westernised' Women Being Killed In Basra [Independent UK]