Scourge of violence against Muslim women in the UK

From HERE:


Both in Muslim countries and diasporas, as communities feel under pressure and want to protect their identities in the face of modernisation, traditional views of women are revived.

But Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, of the Muslim Parliament of Britain, says the issue is "not about Islam but about a tribal, rural mindset that says women belong to men and men must at all costs be obeyed".

Afzal, a practising Muslim from a Pakistani family, agrees, saying nothing in the Koran supports honour crimes: "It's the exact opposite". But he says some families will use Islam to justify their authority, telling a daughter that having a boyfriend is un-Islamic.

Britain's response to honour crimes may be evidence of a maturing multiculturalism, in which no cultural practice is tolerated or swept aside simply because it comes from a disadvantaged ethnic group. Afzal says more people are reporting crimes, extraditions of suspected perpetrators who flee the country are being pursued, some community leaders have become "champions" of change.

Yet the killings go on. Just last month a coroner ruled that 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed of Cheshire had been murdered after she had defied her parents. They wanted her to marry a man in Pakistan; she wanted to study law. Just three days ago, Nammi received a text message that said: "I am an Iranian woman who needs confidential information. Please help me."

Afzal says communities must respond to such calls. "I have heard people say to me, 'Don't talk about this stuff because we are under attack. Don't wash our dirty linen in public.' But I have talked to loads of Muslim women and I can tell you that the greatest fear they have is not Islamophobia or being attacked by racists or being arrested on suspicion of terrorism. It is from within their own family."


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