She began to change, friends say. Shahdady no longer wanted to wear a burka that covered her face and body but would don just the hijab head scarf instead. She’d registered at the Adult Learning Centre to work on her high school diploma this fall and was hoping to one day realize her dream of becoming a doctor.
“All her friends were finishing college or university and getting good jobs and she felt she was being left behind,” explains family friend Zaffar Baloch. “She wanted to throw away the veil and live an ordinary independent life of a woman.”
But she had to sponsor her husband here and his arrival in May forced her back into the cage she had struggled so long to escape. He wanted her to wear a burka, to stay away from Facebook, to put aside any plans she had of resuming a secular education.
“She rebelled,” explains Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress. “With the help of social services, she got an apartment for herself and her son. She was leaving her husband and asking for a divorce. How dare she? It would dishonour everyone.”
She and her son moved out July 1. After just three weeks of freedom, she was dead.
Between 1 and 2 a.m. on July 22, neighbours in the building at 3131 Eglinton Ave. E. heard the shrill screaming of a child that went on for 15 minutes. And then silence. More than 15 hours later, Shahdady’s distraught father discovered his 2-year-old grandson alone in the apartment with his daughter’s dead body. She had been strangled on her bed.
Take a look at this photograph. It appeared in The Toronto Star’s education section on Saturday:
It’s the scene every Friday at the cafeteria of Valley Park Middle School in Toronto. That’s not a private academy, it’s a public school funded by taxpayers. And yet, oddly enough, what’s going on is a prayer service – oh, relax, it’s not Anglican or anything improper like that; it’s Muslim Friday prayers, and the Toronto District School Board says don’t worry, it’s just for convenience: They put the cafeteria at the local imams’ disposal because otherwise the kids would have to troop off to the local mosque and then they’d be late for Lesbian History class or whatever subject is scheduled for Friday afternoon.
The picture is taken from the back of the cafeteria. In the distance are the boys. They’re male, so they get to sit up front at prayers. Behind them are the girls. They’re female, so they have to sit behind the boys because they’re second-class citizens – not in the whole of Canada, not formally, not yet, but in the cafeteria of a middle school run by the Toronto District School Board they most certainly are.
And the third row? The ones with their backs to us in the foreground of the picture? Well, let the Star’s caption writer explain:
At Valley Park Middle School, Muslim students participate in the Friday prayer service. Menstruating girls, at the very back, do not take part.
March 10, 2010Saudi Arabia
This report reviews the current attempts to reduce escalating conflicts over child bride marriages and in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Egypt
In Egypt religious conservatism is growing.
March 11, 2010 Canada
Federal immigration officials say there’s little they can do to stop “child brides” from being sponsored into Canada by much older husbands who wed them in arranged marriages abroad. Palestine
There have been over thirteen honor killings in two months in Palestine. (T&P post on this here). Pakistan
A Christian girl working as housemaid was raped by the son of her Muslim employer. When she threatened to report him to police, she was burnt by the rapist and his sister. Also HERE. Continue reading →
When a number of teenage Australian girls were subjected to hours of sexual degradation during a spate of gang rapes in Sydney that occurred between 1998 and 2002, the perpetrators of these assaults framed their rationale in ethnic terms. The young victims were informed that they were “sluts” and “Aussie pigs” while they were being hunted down and abused.
Two youths (who are described as “Middle Eastern”, an euphemism very broadly used in Australia to describe Muslims, as most of them come from the area) are wanted by police over the sexual assault of a teenage girl at a western Sydney shopping centre on Christmas Eve. …”The girl went with the males to a nearby shopping centre where she was taken to a fire stairwell in a car park on level seven,” police said in a statement.