Reprinted from the Toronto Star
Dec 11, 2007 10:29 AM
A 16-year-old girl is dead and her father has been charged with murder after an attack in a Mississauga home.
Aqsa Parvez, a student at Applewood Heights Secondary School, had been on life support in hospital since yesterday morning.
Police went to the family's two-storey home on Longhorn Trail about 8 a.m. yesterday after receiving a 911 call in which a man allegedly claimed to have killed his daughter.
Paramedics found Aqsa with a faint pulse and rushed her to hospital. She was later transferred to a Toronto hospital and placed on life support.
Peel police said this morning that she died overnight.
Friends at the victim’s school said she feared her father and had argued over her desire to shun the hijab, a traditional shoulder-length head scarf worn by females in devout Muslim families.
Homicide investigators had been standing by, as it soon became clear the young girl wouldn't survive the attack.
Muhammad Parvez, 57, has been remanded in custody and was to make his first court appearance today in a Brampton court.
The victim's brother, 26-year-old Waqas Parvez, was also arrested on a charge of obstructing police.
Neighbours described the family as very private and said several members from three generations have lived in the two-storey home, near Hurontario St. and Eglinton Ave., for just over two years.
School chums say Aqsa had been arguing with her family for months over whether she should wear the hijab.
Pal Ebonie Mitchell, 16, and other friends said Aqsa still wore the hijab to school last year, but rebelled against dressing in it this fall.
They said she would leave home wearing the traditional garment and loose clothing, but would often change into tighter garments at school.
She would change back for the bus trip home.
"Sometimes she even changed her whole outfit in the washroom at school," Mitchell said.
The teen was known to her classmates and Facebook friends as Axa. She posted several pictures of herself on the website in colourful clothes and accessories.
At Aqsa's high school, friends gathered in groups yesterday, struggling to come to grips with what happened and lamenting how she had quarrelled with her father to the point that she recently moved out to live with a friend.
"She said she was always scared of her dad, she was always scared of her brother ... and she's not scared of nobody," said classmate Ashley Garbutt, 16.
"She didn't want to go home ... to the point where she actually wanted to go to shelters."
Friends said the root of her problems was a desire to blend in with friends at school, to wear the fashionable clothes she liked to buy on trips to Toronto's garment district, where she went with friends just last month.
"She liked fashion," said Mitchell. "We went to different stores; she was shopping; she bought lots of clothes."
"She loved clothes, she loved shopping and she loved taking pictures of herself," classmate Dominiquia Holmes-Thompson, 16, said outside the school as friends sobbed at the news.
"She just wanted to show her beauty. She just wanted freedom, freedom from her parents."
"She just wanted to dress like us, just like a normal person," said Holmes-Thompson.
"She was a very kind person, she was really nice; everybody loved her."
Friend Shianne Phillips, 16, said she last spoke with Aqsa on Friday.
"She was crying and she was like ‘I'm really scared to go home. I don't know what I'm going to do.' And that was it," Phillips said.