Victims of “honor killings” – the Arab term for murdering Muslim women suspected of "dishonoring" their families – are being remembered Wednesday in Jerusalem’s American Independence Park.
The “Aqsa Parvez Grove” was named for a Canadian teenage girl who was murdered in 2007 for refusing to wear a hijab, the Muslim head covering. She was buried in an unmarked grave, and her family refused even to acknowledge that she had lived because of the ”disgrace.”
Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller initiated the idea for the only memorial to victims of Islamic law’s concept of honor killing.
She wrote, “When I read that Aqsa lay in an unmarked grave, I was beside myself… but I had no idea how difficult and ugly it would be simply to honor a teenage girl in Canada who just wanted to live free -- and how eagerly Western non-Muslims would aid and abet the family's efforts to dishonor her in death as they did in life.”
Geller said that after a headstone was designed to read "In loving memory of Aqsa Parvez, Apr. 22, 1991-Dec. 10, 2007 -- Beloved, remembered and free,” the family that murdered her refused to agree.
“I tried to contact the family at that time, but they would not take my calls -- I spoke to them once, but they pretended not to speak English,” Geller said.” The family refused to allow the headstone to be put on Aqsa's grave, and according to the cemetery, could remove it if it were placed there by others.”
Geller came up with the solution of memorializing Parvez in a different way, but when she tried to do so at an Ontario university arboretum, an official replied, "No matter how worthy, a memorial to Aqsa Parvez would draw much public attention” that would conflict with use of the site.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) was her best and a successful address. The plaque at the grove reads, "In Loving Memory of Aqsa Parvez and All Victims of Honor Killings Worldwide."
Geller said, “The memorial in Jerusalem is recognition of this horror and the first indication that in the Free World we are not going to stand by silently while the Islamic world brutalizes women and treats them as property and worthless trash. It is but a small, respectful step toward widespread resistance against honor killing in the West and elsewhere."