‘Honour’ based violence helpline a success


by Rumbold
29th September, 2008 at 9:07 am    

In April of this year the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) and Karma Nirvana, with state funding, launched a helpline for those forced into marriages and dealing with other ‘honour’ based violence. It is staffed by experienced volunteers, and in the five months since it has been set up, it has received hundreds of calls, with an average of 62 a week. Statistically the breakdown is interesting, as 89% of the forced marriage callers were women, roughly confirming the previous estimate that 85% of people forced into marriage are women. 10% of callers were under sixteen, while the most common age of a caller was seventeen (no average age is given). This was also revealing:

“When asked to name who was responsible for violence against them, just 13 per cent of victims mentioned husbands, while 71 per cent blamed immediate family.”

The number to call is 0800 5999 247

(Hat-Tip: MixTogether)

Update: Amrit adds her thoughts on the matter


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  1. Amrit — on 29th September, 2008 at 12:52 pm  

    ‘“When asked to name who was responsible for violence against them, just 13 per cent of victims mentioned husbands, while 71 per cent blamed immediate family.”’

    Good to see the full influence and involvement of family being brought to light somewhat. When it suits them, family members will often turn around and say ‘It’s the couple’s problem, they should sort it out amongst themselves.’

    Yeah, right!

    ‘The most common age of a caller was seventeen’

    Not even legally adult. Fucking disgusting. I’m sorry to swear, but it makes me furious.

  2. Paul — on 29th September, 2008 at 1:30 pm  

    How utterly horrifying.

  3. persephone — on 29th September, 2008 at 2:28 pm  

    What makes me seethe is that such dishonourable behaviour is classed as ‘honour’ violence

    I can understand why the common age is so young – the family probably feel they are easier to control. If they waited until they were older they might develop a mind and will of their own. But despite their youth I am glad that these teenagers have the bravery to do something about it

  4. Random Guy — on 29th September, 2008 at 4:28 pm  

    Agreed. These issues need to be confronted and especially with regard to the role the family can play in the abuse – something which is very often overlooked.

  5. halima — on 29th September, 2008 at 4:51 pm  

    I think that’s probably one of the differences between domestic violence in the UK with white british families and non-white British families : for example in South Asian families the ‘family’ is more culpable than the partner alone which makes it so much worse.

  6. Ashik — on 29th September, 2008 at 9:43 pm  

    I’m not sure what role groups like Karma Nirvana and individuals like Sanghera can play in stopping honour-based violence amongst ethnic minorities in the UK. Although they can certainly provide advice to individual victims.

    Sanghera and her like tend to be viewed with suspicion by these minority communities because they tend to be supported by the authorities and the fact is they tend to sensationalise sensitive issues like arranged marriages (not to be confused with forced marriages) and have often too accommodating a view on inter-racial and religious relationships. If one keeps on running to the (often rightwing) media and mouthing off and entire communities are associated only with oppressing women, forced marriages and family violence then this colours these communities ability to tackle these problems. That’s not say that minority communities shouldn’t admit and talk about the problem, as Halima has indicated domestic violence amongst the wider community is in many ways akin to honour-crimes. This shouldn’t be about attacking a section of the community but sincere attempts at dialogue need to be made. This means liaising with mosques, churches, Gurdwaras and other community centres which reach into target communities rather than alien implants like Karma Nirvana, even if they are staffed by Asians.

    While a 17 year-old girl (whether Asian or not) should not be forced to marry, equally given her tender age she shouldn’t be encouraged to form a relationship and elope. Especially if the partner is considered unsuitable. She will have need for extended family support. How often does a relationship formed at 17 last?

  7. Gibs — on 29th September, 2008 at 9:59 pm  

    #6 – If so called “community leaders” didn’t keep trying to pretend that there are only a handful of forced marriages a year, then maybe people like Ms. Sanghera wouldn’t have to go “mouthing off” as you describe it.

    Anyway, it isn’t just rightwing tabloids she speaks to – there was an article in the Independent a few days ago.

  8. persephone — on 29th September, 2008 at 11:02 pm  

    @6. Going public (whatever the political stance of the publication) may be the very thing this issue needs since a common ‘hallmark’ of domestic violence and its perpetuation is that it is kept secret. Question is would you say the same for any other crime?

    @7 Agree as to community leaders.

  9. Don — on 29th September, 2008 at 11:19 pm  

    Ashik,

    If there are 63 calls a week for help, then there are a lot of people in fear of the community to which you repeatedly assert that they belong.


    too accommodating a view on inter-racial and religious relationships.

    Too accommodating? You really do have a bug up your arse about marrying out, don’t you?

  10. Andy Gilmour — on 29th September, 2008 at 11:22 pm  

    Ashik,

    I was just wondering if you could help me out with something you said:

    “have often too accommodating a view on inter-racial and religious relationships.”

    I’m sorry, but I’m not entirely sure I catch your drift with that…you seem to be suggesting that “the authorities” should view “inter-racial” relationships less positively?

    ohhh…I see Don’s just beaten me to this point!

    But seriously – what are you asking for here? A police crackdown on all mixed-race couples seen out in public? Higher taxes for hindus & jews co-habiting?

    Dearie me…

  11. Katy Newton — on 29th September, 2008 at 11:33 pm  

    While a 17 year-old girl (whether Asian or not) should not be forced to marry, equally given her tender age she shouldn’t be encouraged to form a relationship and elope.

    Yes, that’s what these agencies do. They wait for 17 year olds in fear of being forced into marriage against their will to ring them for help, and then they send them speed dating.

  12. douglas clark — on 29th September, 2008 at 11:37 pm  

    Ashik,

    The victims within these “minority communities” have as much right to protection from thuggish elements as you or I. Whether the thugs are members of that minority community or not.

    You really do see “community” as more important than individual human happiness, don’t you?

  13. persephone — on 29th September, 2008 at 11:54 pm  

    @ 6 How often does a relationship formed at 17 last?

    Perhaps Ashik the question is to ask the supportive community “how often does a forced relationship at 17 lead to emotional & physical harm?”

  14. Shamit — on 30th September, 2008 at 12:11 am  

    Ashik

    The Community is usually the problem. Not the solution.

    So having faith in the community elders like you do is either your simplicity or you just feel more at home with that self proclaimed protecting our community shit.

    Either way once again you are wrong –

    One thing I don’t understand – why do you post here when you know sensible and far more clever people are going to make you sound silly and stupid? Why do you take that abuse? Oh man — give yourself a break and us too.

  15. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 12:55 am  

    Ashik

    I think community elders themselves are also prisoners of their devices. Peculiarly it too goes back to the concept of ‘honour’. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept, honour should translate to Respect.

    The way it seems to operate is not honour or respect but gossip. In other words what will the neighbours say.

    Respect by the elders for the fundamental principles of arranged marriage would go a long way to resolving the mess families create for their young. It therefore means being ready to criticise those parents/families who abuse their power over their offspring at each and every turn. That is the line to hold, not the cynical approach currently exercised.

    BTW I for one am glad that you have posted, as it does give us alternative views and opportunity to share perspectives.

  16. Sid — on 30th September, 2008 at 1:18 am  

    This means liaising with mosques, churches, Gurdwaras and other community centres which reach into target communities rather than alien implants like Karma Nirvana, even if they are staffed by Asians.

    Amidst Ashik’s tiresome demagoguery is the above. But I don’t get it. What factors are Karma Nirvana subject to that makes them “alien implants”?

  17. douglas clark — on 30th September, 2008 at 1:34 am  

    Rumbold,

    Just to say, I’m glad you keep beating the drum on this subject, which tends to get less than adequate coverage from any other mainstream blogger.

  18. Rumbold — on 30th September, 2008 at 9:42 am  

    Ashik:

    Why do you feel that people in inter-racial/religious relationships are deserving of your attention? What is it about them that you really don’t like?

    Refresh:

    “As it does give us alternative views and opportunity to share perspectives.”

    Agreed.

    Douglas:

    “Just to say, I’m glad you keep beating the drum on this subject, which tends to get less than adequate coverage from any other mainstream blogger.”

    Thanks. I suspect that most mainstream bloggers aren’t really aware of it, so it is more ignorance then malice.

  19. Sid — on 30th September, 2008 at 10:15 am  

    Just to say, I’m glad you keep beating the drum on this subject, which tends to get less than adequate coverage from any other mainstream blogger.

    Agreed.

  20. Jai — on 30th September, 2008 at 10:29 am  

    The Community is usually the problem. Not the solution.

    Absolutely. The reason abusive members of “the community” — particularly from the older generation — act and think in this way is because they believe they can get away with it, either due to a presumption of tacit/overt support for their attitudes from their peers or because they don’t perceive sufficient condemnation from their peers.

    It therefore means being ready to criticise those parents/families who abuse their power over their offspring at each and every turn.

    Correct, Refresh, and this relates to the condemnation I mentioned above. The abusive parents/families won’t care if people from “outside the community” disparage their behaviour, but they will if they are disparaged and possibly even ostracised by sufficient numbers “within” their community, whatever their peer groups and points of reference may be. This also overlaps with the power of “gossip” etc, which you mentioned. Incidentally, I also agree with the entirety of your post.

    One problem, however, is the fact that some of the really cunning and unscrupulous “elders” etc will use threats, manipulation and emotional blackmail to prevent their offspring (and/or sympathetic family members) from spilling the beans about the nasty parental behaviour to the rest of “the community”, if there is a sufficiently widespread change in cultural attitudes in the latter and corresponding risks of condemnation. It’s classic bullying behaviour.

  21. Jai — on 30th September, 2008 at 11:14 am  

    Incidentally, I did have a few more thoughts on why this sort of thing goes on in some Asian families (I can’t comment on Iranians and Kurds as I have zero experience of the latter, and the small number of Iranians I’ve got to know well have been from very liberal families). We’ve obviously discussed the topic numerous times previously on PP, but I’d been considering this from a psychological perspective.

    1. Parents presuming and exercising excessive authority, possessiveness and “ownership” over their children, using an often exaggerated, jingoistic, mythologised and self-serving interpretation of “culture” as validation for their attitudes (which enables them to ignore/dismiss the liberality of wider society and also, crucially, this compromises their objectivity and common sense), often resulting in boundary issues and corresponding insensitivity towards their kids. The addictive nature of excessive power means this is not relinquished when the kids are adults. (In fact the attempts at control can get even worse as the sons/daughters grow in their own strength and independence).

    Basically, it’s all about the corrosive, corrupting effect of power.

    (I also agree with what Sonia recently said about parents back in the subcontinent frequently being more “relaxed” than their counterparts over here).

    2. They can get away with this behaviour because they don’t regard the children as being in a position (psychologically or due to some other aspect of their life, eg. living in joint/extended families under the same roof even as adults) to retaliate or exercise their rights. Again, this is classic bullying behaviour — and the parents often know exactly what they’re doing, even if they pretend not to or they find a way to blame the kids for triggering their own extreme actions.

    3. Asian kids in Britain are frequently brought up to be “well-behaved” and principled individuals (I think that the latter also renders them especially vulnerable to emotional blackmail by their parents). The problem is, due to certain aspects of the environments and culture that the parents have come from back in the subcontinent — especially the more cut-throat elements of the society — the “elders” are sometimes not necessarily “well-behaved”, selfless or principled themselves (even if they pretend otherwise), and in some ways they can be outright bastards.

    So the power dynamic is further skewed in their own favour, and you have situations where the parents will grossly abuse their position and engage in manipulative bastardly behaviour towards their kids, exploiting the fact that the latter aren’t as bastardly as they are, and in some cases they will even be accused (with the associated aggression and/or emotional blackmail) of engaging in bastardliness and mofokery just for trying to stand up for themselves in response to genuine bastardliness and mofokery perpetrated by their elders.

    Hence you have some projection, deflection and hypocrisy going on too.

    Excessive power can corrupt some people, as I keep saying — whether it’s managers in the workplace letting their authority go to their heads and becoming quite machiavellian and unethical in their treatment of their employees, or immature arrogant parents becoming similarly twisted when they can’t properly handle the authority they have over their sons and daughters (again, even into adulthood).

  22. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 11:49 am  

    ‘or immature arrogant parents becoming similarly twisted when they can’t properly handle the authority they have over their sons and daughters (again, even into adulthood).’

    Glad to have your considered thoughts on the subject.

    We need parenting classes for asian parents*. In the proper setting, that would be an exciting development. Potentially a huge uplifting experience, an opportunity for the ‘elders’ to be set free and parents to get an inkling of what it is to be young – something they’ve clearly forgotten.

    *Not the Blair-style headline grabbing blame-setting model, but something genuinely inclusive

  23. Jai — on 30th September, 2008 at 12:19 pm  

    We need parenting classes for asian parents

    Great idea in theory. The problem is that some of the perpetrators of nasty behaviour will:

    a) be too ashamed to go to these classes as it will imply parental incompetence on their part (with regards to “group classes”, rather than confidential one-on-one/one-on-two sessions),

    b) the really egotistical types will regard any insinuation that they are doing something “wrong” (logically or ethically) as being grossly insulting to them,

    and c) even if they do go to these sessions, some of them will exploit the situation to “vent” about the alleged failings and transgressions of their kids (“aaj ka zamaana”, “aaj ke ladke/ladkiyan” etc) in an attempt to dilute their own culpability, “blame the victims”, or even deflect attention away from their own failings altogether. Which is fine if their is an appropriate counterresponse from other attendees or the people running the show, but not if there are sufficient numbers of other stubborn attendees of like mind and the toxic individuals hijack the proceedings and poison the well from the inside.

    Never underestimate the ability and willingness of corrupt members of the older generations (regardless of their ethnicity) to manipulate situations and overbearingly impose their own agendas on others — including peers — who are unwilling or unable to forcefully stand up to them, since they frequently have age and decades of experience of such behaviour on their side.

    parents to get an inkling of what it is to be young – something they’ve clearly forgotten.

    I agree that some of them have obviously “forgotten”. Others, however, remember exactly how badmaash they were in their younger days (regardless of their false claims to have been pristinely snow-white in their behaviour at the time), and it’s an awareness of their own historical corruption and misbehaviour which makes them hypersensitive, paranoid and hypocritical when it comes to their attitudes towards the modern-day younger generations.

    Others, of course, will have been either very sheltered at the time or for various reasons they may not necessarily have much direct life experience in certain areas (pre-marital dating/relationships is the obvious example), so they don’t necessarily know what the hell they’re talking about anyway. However, admitting to this would of course further undermine their presumed authority over their children, so you have even more denial, control, etc etc.

  24. sonia — on 30th September, 2008 at 12:26 pm  

    persephone at no. 8. and no. 13 – absolutely. (but of course people who do these sorts of things aren’t concerned about emotional and physical harm, they are concerned with ‘image’ of the family/social unit.’

    yes its the usual ‘dont make our community look bad’ – do you know, the sad thing is that is precisely what the forceful parent is saying: dont make the family look bad, and dont make the community look bad by not doing what we want you to do. and you are not an individual in your own right, no you are an extension of our family, our biases and our prejudices.

    good point Katy!

    and 12 – absolutely douglas. this is the fundamental problem: thinking on the lines of the community unit rather than individual. anything that doesn’t address that, is not going to address this issue.

    shamik at 14 – yes spot on. looking up to community elders is absolutely either sidestepping the issue, or being simple and not understanding the dynamic. I think Ashik does understand the dynamic, very well. i also think the fact that he is posting here is very useful, otherwise we are always accused of ‘misrepresenting’ the views of the Significant ELements (who are out to maintain the status quo.) that we experience in our lives, but when we talk about elsewhere, ppl so often say oh that’s an exaggeration, surely it couldn’t be that bad, etc. etc. So Ashik’s voice is useful as the ‘voice of the dreaded Rishta Auntie/community Elder’. they are concerned with continuity of life as we knew it, and the alleged good of the ‘unit’ – they are the ultimate anti-individual fascists and some may say I am dramatic in my pronouncement but this is precisely the sort of thing that ‘keeps people in their place’ no matter how awful that place is.

    Hence Ashik’s comments highlight the extent of the problem – and there are plenty of men and women who think like him. So let’s not shoo him away.

    Refresh at 15 – very well said. Ashik might well listen to you – he thinks the rest of us are too ‘liberal’ and ‘married out’ and ‘immoral’ so we will not have
    any influence with him. what you say, may well do. I always think that when families are saying they are ‘arranging’ a marriage they are not doing any ‘arranging’ really in a thought out way, but randomly. So what was the point in the end?

  25. sonia — on 30th September, 2008 at 12:44 pm  

    Jai makes some good points.

    I would also say yes parenting classes – its called learning by emulation ( and repeating the cycle of what they went through)

  26. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 12:50 pm  

    Jai, I don’t doubt for a minute that there would be resistance. But I envisage it as a blame-free setting. Sharing of ideas and perspectives nothing more ambitious, yet life-changing. A sort of truth and reconciliation. A sort of conflict resolution environment, models for which are well developed.

    It would break down to core principles where arranged marriage is accepted as the norm, where its understood coercion is outlawed. And that coercion will come back to bite.

    It would also cover communication channels, how does a youngster let the parents know they have a particular regard for someone (without being labelled a ‘badmaash’; and how should these channels operate.

    There is so much to cover, but I am very optimistic it would work. And I believe soon enough there will be an understanding that either you make arranged marriages in a modern setting work or lose it.

    I would start with a working title – ‘Arranged Marriage for the 21c’.

    Watch them flock. LOL

  27. Jai — on 30th September, 2008 at 1:01 pm  

    I would start with a working title – ‘Arranged Marriage for the 21c’.

    The lecture would last 30 seconds:

    “Arranged marriage for the 21st century: Don’t do it. Let ‘em shag whoever they want to.

    *pause*

    Masala tea and samosas, anyone ?”

    *Uncles and aunties staring open-mouthed in shocked silence*

    (just kidding).

  28. persephone — on 30th September, 2008 at 1:02 pm  

    … or if the classes don’t work how about frontal labotomies as an alternative dispute resolution method

    What i find interesting is that the generation who left their homeland & extended family & in laws to emigrate to another country are the ones who then go on to emphasise extended family/living with the in-laws. They obviously went against the culture by leaving their families on the basis of getting work, access to education etc – so culture took a back seat/evolved when it suited them

  29. Jai — on 30th September, 2008 at 1:13 pm  

    Exactly, Persephone. You have people insisting that their sons continue to live with them into adulthood and even after marriage, but their own parents still live in the subcontinent. So they’ve enjoyed the benefits of independent married life, relatively free of “control” by their parents and/or in-laws, whilst attempting to deny their kids the same freedoms and “space”, and even accusing them of selfishness if they want to create an independent (or at least semi-independent) life for themselves.

    This obviously also overlaps with mothers insisting that their daughters-in-law must live with them in the family home and that the young couple shouldn’t “move out” — despite the fact that the mother-in-law herself has potentially spent very little time in a similar situation as a young wife back in the subcontinent, has correspondingly enjoyed decades of life free from interference from her in-laws, and would hate the idea of living in such close proximity with her in-laws on a daily basis herself.

  30. Leon — on 30th September, 2008 at 5:36 pm  

    too accommodating a view on inter-racial and religious relationships.

    I for one welcome this, in fact the more mixed heritage people the better. Actually fuck it, I’d back a 50% tax drop for those couples living together bringing up mixed heritage kids! :D

  31. Don — on 30th September, 2008 at 5:43 pm  

    seconded.

  32. persephone — on 30th September, 2008 at 5:48 pm  

    Well thats one way to beat the credit crunch.

    Tax breaks are tempting… is that 50% for each child

  33. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 5:50 pm  

    I would support Leon, but add a 50% tax penalty for use of the F-word.

  34. Ravi Naik — on 30th September, 2008 at 5:51 pm  

    We need parenting classes for asian parents

    Terrible, terrible idea. It is insulting to put all Asians – from all socio-economic-cultural backgrounds – under the same umbrella, and call them bad parents. Are we making this compulsory for all Asians? Who actually goes to these classes voluntary? Good parents – specially those who have their first child – are those who seek answers, bad ones don’t.

    I for one welcome this, in fact the more mixed heritage people the better.

    Does not make a difference. Brazil (and even India). Highly Mixed. Colourism.

  35. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 6:01 pm  

    ‘Terrible, terrible idea.’

    Read on Ravi. Read on.

    ‘from all socio-economic-cultural backgrounds’

    That is like presuming domestic violence (and for that matter child abuse) is the preserve of the ‘lower classes’. You don’t know how wrong you are.

    I am pretty sure there is a case to answer for the distortion of the system amongst the wealthy. In fact I would go as far as to say the whole system comes from their ‘need’ to preserve their collective wealth. It was after all fundamental to royal families across the globe.

    It is not about bad parents per se, it is about abuse of power. In this case parental power.

    No its not intended to be compulsory, its about opening an open and frank exchange between the generations.

  36. Ravi Naik — on 30th September, 2008 at 6:14 pm  

    That is like presuming domestic violence (and for that matter child abuse) is the preserve of the ‘lower classes’. You don’t know how wrong you are.

    That’s a distortion of what I said. The direct consequence of saying that Asians need parenting classes is that “domestic violence and child abuse” is an Asian problem. Why not focus on bad parents in general, rather than caging it with an ethnic specifier? Or is there something specific about Asians which makes us prone to child abuse and domestic violence?

    It is not about bad parents per se, it is about abuse of power. In this case parental power. No its not intended to be compulsory, its about opening an open and frank exchange between the generations.

    Oh, I see. You want abusive parents to attend parenting classes voluntarily in order to reason with them that abusing a child is wrong, and that they should relinquish their power over their family?

    My view is that the best hope we have is that subsequent generations are able to improve over their parents shortcomings, not perpetuate it.

  37. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 6:28 pm  

    The term ‘parenting classes’ was deliberate use of the blairite cop out – to draw attention. There is only one person I would send to such a class and that is Blair himself, for lying knowing full well his kids would be watching. No standards.

    As for the rest, I think there is a need for a dialogue between the generations. The elders need a get out themselves, they’re all trapped in something of little or no benefit to anyone.

  38. Jai — on 30th September, 2008 at 6:47 pm  

    You want abusive parents to attend parenting classes voluntarily in order to reason with them that abusing a child is wrong, and that they should relinquish their power over their family?

    I think Refresh’s suggestion was partly tongue-in-cheek. We all know that those Asian parents who really do need parenting classes would refuse to attend them, and even if they did go along they’d just use it as a forum to slag off their kids (and the younger generation in general) whilst refusing to acknowledge any mistakes on their own part.

    As for the rest, I think there is a need for a dialogue between the generations. The elders need a get out themselves, they’re all trapped in something of little or no benefit to anyone.

    Correct but it depends on the willingness of the parents concerned to adjust their attitude of “I’m in the position of authority and power so why the hell should I compromise or change any of my beliefs for my children ? They’re in the subordinate position, so they need to be obedient to me and they are the ones who should change their own behaviour, attitudes and expectations”.

    Relinquishing power is very difficult for people who have become addicted to it, although it obviously depends on their peer group, the extent to which the latter condones or condemns their behaviour (and you also have to factor in those parents whose personality types often involve being deliberately “contrarian” in any given situation), and their own upbringing and formative experiences.

  39. sonia — on 30th September, 2008 at 7:32 pm  

    26 – refresh, spot on -the last line!

    jai, very good points- relinquishing power is hard = yup, that is absolutely spot on.

  40. Paul — on 30th September, 2008 at 7:48 pm  

    The only way to deal with this is to provide funding to the grassroots organisations that deal with the problem, and prosecute the skins off the backs of those individuals who engage in this kind of behaviour. In the long term as one generations dies out the situation will change. But when the issue is of a cuustom of marrying British children to their cousins in mirpur Pakistan, you have to ask, when will that chain ever truly break? We may have to debate firmer laws and monitoring all British citizens of a certain age who visit certain parts of the sub-continent to ensure they are not being subject to coercive pressures.

  41. Ashik — on 30th September, 2008 at 8:05 pm  

    Resolving issues of forced marriage and honour crimes are better tackled within South Asian communities with due regards to culturally sensitive matters eg, the Young Muslims helpline councelling service, than by outsiders with their agendas. For example efforts should be focused on mediating forced marriages and violence, upon which society as a whole has a consensus. Digressing to upholding the relative merits/demerits of arranged marriages and inter-racial/religious marriages tends to mean that such efforts become controversial. These are contested ideas. In the South Asian generally community controversy more readily leads to polarization, even where there is agreement that honour based crimes have no place in our cultures and are not mandated by any religion. The core message is lost.

    The problem with PP is that it really isn’t representative of the diverse cultural and religious thinking out there in the UK amongst the South Asian diaspora. Many of these people simply couldn’t voice their views amongst South Asians company. They are considered excentric and lack credibility for what they’ve done or are. For example the half a dozen people attacking me (like I care) includes someone who ‘married out’ against her religion and now wants 1 billion Muslims to change their religion to suit her, an offspring of a mixed relationship who thinks that the Hindu religion isn’t a ‘proper’ religion but just a ‘way of life’ (no, really, this twat is ironically mouthing Islamist insults usually hurled at the Hindu religion), no doubt a couple of gays and a chest thumper or two who hold views similar to mine but don’t have the guts to voice them.

    And why on earth doesn’t Rumbold post a few topics about domestic violence amongst the majority white community in the UK? Maybe some of the young white thugs terrorizing council estates who have earned dozens of asbos by age 16 need parenting lessons more than our parents generation! Too close to home, eh.

    Ideological crusades on izzath issues won’t get you far. Need genuine efforts.

  42. Gibs — on 30th September, 2008 at 8:07 pm  

    #27:

    “Arranged marriage for the 21st century: Don’t do it. Let ‘em shag whoever they want to.”

    Well said !

  43. Ashik — on 30th September, 2008 at 8:30 pm  

    The above sentiment (42) is exactly what I’m talking about.

    To most South Asians the idea that their 17 year old become a ‘party girl’ with multiple sexual partners, experimenting with and having unstable family dynamics with regards her immediate family (these issues are often conflated together to represent being too ‘Westernised;) is JUST AS UNACCEPTABLE as forcing their daughter to marry at 17.

    Does anybody seriously think an individual like Gibs is likely to gain the trust of parents and their children or would be able to mediate problems with a scintilla of credibility?

  44. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 8:37 pm  

    Ashik, Gib’s meaningless intervention is of no consequence to real lives or genuine debate. Its best ignored.

  45. persephone — on 30th September, 2008 at 9:52 pm  

    Ashik @ 41 “The problem with PP is that it really isn’t representative of the diverse cultural and religious thinking out there in the UK amongst the South Asian diaspora”

    The clue is in the PP caption: current affairs for the progressive generation.

    By the way I am ‘within’ my religious & community fold. Does that qualify my being able to criticise your regressive stance or am I banned too?

    PS must dash off to a soiree – oh no I’ve been found out to be a party girl

  46. Refresh — on 30th September, 2008 at 10:06 pm  

    Persephone: ‘current affairs for the progressive generation’

    lets not get carried away.

  47. persephone — on 30th September, 2008 at 10:12 pm  

    … psssst Ashik… I am at the party … there are lots of asian guys here…I told them the error of their ways & that they would get the reputation of being party boys. But they just laughed at me and said that rule was just for girls, basically its girls who are the lucky holders of the family honour

  48. Shamit — on 30th September, 2008 at 10:44 pm  

    I am that mixed offspring and twat — Ashik – how well do you know me to say whether I have credibility or not.

    I wont have any credibility in your circle — that I am sure of — just don’t make that the entire South Asian Community.

    Just because bigots have taken over Hinduism — the original concept of its very different from any other religion. Its a way of life in my opinion, because it varies from all the other major religions; its a huge umbrella. There is no one path and thats why jainism, buddhism, Sikhism etc came out of hinduism without bloodshed etc etc.

    Secondly, Hinduism and all the religions/faith that came out of hinduism believe in the coexistance of good and evil and creation and destruction. Its a non linear philosophy that underpins the religion. Its circular and there is actually no begining or no end. And the more I read about it I am more and more convinced that it was destined to be a way of life. Hinduism changes its deity’s (except for the major ones) according regions — its nothing but manifestation of what people choose to believe. Thats why I call it a way of life. But to expect you to understand all that I wrote would be rather difficult.

    But you are spot on when you attack me about me not having any credibility in your ” South Asian Community”. I would protest most of their actions and their community knows best attitude. I argued when them when I was a kid and I told one of them if he so doesn’t like being part of Britain – why doesn’t he fuck off to where he wants to go.

    Thirdly, my mixed marriage heritage (religion wise) and without any pressure from anyone as to what religion I should follow — makes me very proud of that heritage. You might want to look down upon me and stamp on that pride but everytime I would pick it up and wear it as a badge of honour my friend. But again, why the fuck do I bother arguing with you?

  49. douglas clark — on 30th September, 2008 at 11:16 pm  

    Shamit,

    Don’t worry about it. It took a while for the white supremacist regieme in South Africa to fall apart. I suspect Ashiks’ version will get kicked up the arse rather quicker than that.

  50. Ravi Naik — on 30th September, 2008 at 11:27 pm  

    But again, why the fuck do I bother arguing with you?

    Because he writes coherently, which is a trait not usually shared by other bigots. He seems to be very traumatised with mixed marriages and people who embrace diversity as opposed to being communal twats – not very different from the BNP mindset if you ask me.

  51. Andy Gilmour — on 30th September, 2008 at 11:35 pm  

    Ashik,

    I’m not attacking *you*, Ashik – rather, the things you say…

    >”Resolving issues of forced marriage and honour crimes are better tackled within South Asian communities with due regards to culturally sensitive matters eg, the Young Muslims helpline councelling service, than by outsiders with their agendas.”

    “culturally sensitive matters” – is this a ‘veiled’ (sorry, couldn’t resist) reference to men/families wishing to break the laws on domestic violence with impunity simply because they think (rightly or wrongly) their supernaturalism-of-choice says they can? Or because their “didn’t know any better” ancestors who regarded women as property used to?

    And surely part of the “agenda” of the “outsiders” is simply to offer the victims the full protection of the law in these instances? Something their “community” isn’t quite so keen on, perhaps?

    >”For example efforts should be focused on mediating forced marriages and violence, upon which society as a whole has a consensus.”

    Yes, the consensus is that forced marriage & domestic violence are illegal, so perhaps we should concentrate on *prosecuting* the perpetrators, rather than “mediating”, hmmm? Or maybe you could form a political party to have the law changed, so that we could all share the benefits of having “community mediation” when we’re beaten-up by someone’s relatives…?

    >”Digressing to upholding the relative merits/demerits of arranged marriages and inter-racial/religious marriages tends to mean that such efforts become controversial.”

    “such efforts become controversial”?? For whom? The people within the marriages, who might actually benefit from them? Wider society, which might become more understanding of the truth of the matter? Or people like yourself, who have expressed a personal prejudice against them? Oh, and your use of the label “controversial” is just another version of the ridiculous “I’m offended” narrative…

    Finally, you say that amongst your detractors there are:

    “no doubt a couple of gays and a chest thumper or two who hold views similar to mine but don’t have the guts to voice them.”

    Which am I then? I’m intrigued… :-)

  52. Ravi Naik — on 30th September, 2008 at 11:47 pm  

    its nothing but manifestation of what people choose to believe. Thats why I call it a way of life.

    Agreed. And it is difficult to argue that Hinduism is a religion, when it includes – among other things – this.

    But they just laughed at me and said that rule was just for girls, basically its girls who are the lucky holders of the family honour

    Heh. :)

  53. leon — on 1st October, 2008 at 2:43 am  

    having unstable family dynamics with regards her immediate family

    So people should submit to abusive ‘stable’ ones?

  54. leon — on 1st October, 2008 at 2:45 am  

    Tax breaks are tempting… is that 50% for each child

    50% for the first, 100% for the second, have three or more and the state actually pays for all your child care costs (clothes, nanny, pocket money).

  55. Golam Murtaza — on 1st October, 2008 at 6:32 am  

    Come on, Ashik. Let’s see if you can DIRECTLY address what Andy and Shamit have just said. And I mean address their ARGUMENTS, not just attack them. Bet you’ll FAIL.

  56. douglas clark — on 1st October, 2008 at 9:53 am  

    Ashik,

    The problem with PP is that it really isn’t representative of the diverse cultural and religious thinking out there in the UK amongst the South Asian diaspora.

    And you are? No, sunbeam, you have no more ‘right’ to claim to speak for folk than, oh, I don’t know, the MCB, say.

    All you seem to be representative of is of your own version of cultural apartheid. Which failed in South Africa and it will fail in the UK too.

    You are a Boer, and I claim my five pounds.

  57. sonia — on 1st October, 2008 at 1:56 pm  

    47. good one persephone !

    and yes ravi, that is the BNP mindset and also the Nazi mindset and every other mindset that has prized racial purity. if he were white, he would be in trouble with the things he says. anyway, as andy says its not about ‘attacking’ ashik but recognising the problematique contained within that thinking. and yes, its far more widespread than people like to admit, which is also the problem.

    of course this all goes to show just why Brick Lane the novel was so threatening.

    anyhow you have to accept the us/them divide to accept the notion of an ‘outsider’ – i don’t accept that notion and when it suits them, neither does the ‘community’. there is no us/them. Sorry, this isn’t India.

  58. Jai — on 1st October, 2008 at 4:05 pm  

    no doubt a couple of gays

    Dammit, how many times do I have to keep saying that incident with Ravi was a one-off mistake. That’s what happens when the other person’s wearing ambiguously fruity aftershave. How the hell was I supposed to know it wasn’t really the lovely Cheryl Cole ?

    In my defence, it was dark, we were both drunk, and (most of all) Ravi has a very small Adam’s Apple.

  59. MixTogether — on 5th October, 2008 at 6:38 pm  

    Hi all, sorry this is so late in the chain.

    If anyone’s reading, thanks Rumbold for posting this!

    Also in terms of practical steps to help destabilise the culture of honour crimes, I believe one area is within reach of a campaign.

    The Asian media outlets provide no dedicated content for mixed couples. This helps reinforce the idea that mixed Asian couples are somehow less Asian than other couples. A programme dedicated to mixed couples, on a major Asian media outlet, would provide more legitimacy for these relationships (and piss off morons like Ashik).

  60. Rumbold — on 6th October, 2008 at 10:22 am  

    MixTogether:

    Thanks for flagging this up. Have you heard if any Asian media outlet is planning such a programme/series?

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