Thursday, December 13, 2007

She was a Beauty in a Cage

The Muslim Canadian Congress has called for the "strictest punishment available" for a Muslim father in Mississauga, Otario, who strangled his own 16-year old daughter to death, possibly for refusing to wear the hijab.

Mississauga is only a few towns over from Claire and me, but this tragedy seems like it took place in an entirely other world. How do you possibly understand someone who would do such a thing? The Globe and Mail tries pointing out that all parents get frustrated with their rebelious kids and that it's harder for religious parents. Um, sure. Salon's Broadsheet blog warns against proscribing the hijab, which is only "potentially oppressive", as opposed to being actually oppressive, a bit of a bizarre argument, frankly. (Also, one might expect feminists to take a harder line on patriarchy?) Can-CAIR has argued that all cultures have the problem of domestic violence. Sure, but patriarchal religious communities are notoriously bad at dealing with the problem and often serve to reinforce it. See also: Molestation.

It's a bit like the Stanford Prison Experiment, isn't it? Patriarchal religions (basically all of them) tell a group of people that they are in charge of another group of people, by virtue of their aged willies. Ideally, those patriarchs will be kind and enlightened. But, if they're not, it's a perfect recipe for disaster. Maybe the killing had nothing to do with the hijab. I'd be surprised if it didn't have everything to do with patriarchy.

No comments: