Singer’s Killing Stirs Up Afghani Community

CBC, May 10

VANCOUVER—Some fans of popular singer Nasrat Parsa are blaming his death in Vancouver on the weekend on the culture of violence that surround Afghani concerts in Canada.

The 26-year-old singer was attacked at his hotel in East Vancouver following his Mother’s Day concert Saturday night. He was punched by a man and struck his head on concrete stairs.

He suffered a critical head injury, and died Sunday at Vancouver General Hospital.

A 19-year-old Burnaby man, Ahmad Froog, was arrested and has been charged with manslaughter.

Former Vancouver concert promoter Abdullah Rahimi says there is a lot of violence, and at least one person has been stabbed at an Afghani concert in Vancouver.

Rahimi, who is a member of the Afghan Association of B.C., says the violence is often committed by drunken young men looking for trouble.

“And they think this is freedom, this is democracy or whatever, and they can do whatever they can do. And they are out of control, they are misbehaved,” he says.

There are reports the man charged with killing Nasrat was an audience member at the singer’s Saturday night concert.

And Rahimi says that should serve as a wake-up call for concert promoters, as performers will boycott Vancouver if they don’t get proper security.

“We should not allow any of the audience to have interaction and contact with the performer during or after the concert, and our responsibility is not ending once the concert’s over,” he says

Toronto businessman Shahab Azim runs another website where Parsa’s fans have expressed their outrage over his death.

“In recent years, every single concert that you go to, Afghan concerts, there’s always a fight, and there’s always a bunch of drunk guys trying to pick a fight,” he says

Azim says several venues in Toronto now refuse to host Afghani musicians.

Both men say there are many reasons for the problem—from ethnic tensions, to culture shock and poor parenting.

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