are broadly tolerated, even encouraged, by Islamic teachings and attitudes. Yet no authorities are calling Islamic leaders to account for this. The life sentences given to Muhammad and Waqas Parvez give Muslim spokesmen in Canada and the United States a new opportunity to speak out. They have a new chance to acknowledge that Islam’s shame/honor culture and devaluation of women has created communities in which abuse of women is accepted as normal. They could call for a searching reevaluation of the meaning and continued relevance of material from the Koran and Sunnah that devalues and dehumanizes women, and call in no uncertain terms for Muslims to reject explicitly and definitively the literal meaning of such texts. They could call for sweeping reform and reexamination of the status of women in Islam. They could call upon every mosque in the West to institute classes teaching against honor killing and directly challenging the teachings and assumptions that give it justification.
For any of this to happen, Muslim leaders in the West would have to adopt an utterly unfamiliar and uncharacteristic stance: that of self-reflection and self-criticism, rather than excuse-making, finger-pointing, and evasion of responsibility. But with the mainstream media and law enforcement continuing to abet that evasion, this is unlikely in the extreme. Much more likely is that many, many more Muslim girls in the West will die miserably like Aqsa Parvez. No one is speaking up for them or defending them. Instead, the mainstream media is abetting the denial and obfuscation of the Islamic community by never calling them to account for their bland evasions of responsibility for honor killing.Who's the next Aqsa? She's probably an ordinary sort of girl, living in an ordinary sort of neighbourhood. She's the girl next door. And even though she lives in a country where there are "human rights" galore, soon enough she will be lying cold and dead in the ground, like Aqsa.
When there's an annual Islamic Honour Killing Week on university campuses and Queers Against Islamic Honour Killing (QuAIHK) march in the Pride parade, maybe, just maybe, the next batch of Aqsas might stand a chance.