Abedin freed in Bangladesh


by Rumbold
14th December, 2008 at 10:41 am    

Dr. Humayra Abedin, previously held captive by her family in Bangladesh in order to force her to marry, has been released after the Bangladeshi high court ruled that if her parents had not freed her by Sunday they would go to jail. She is expected to fly back to Britain tomorrow.

(Hat-tip: Golam Murtaza)


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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,Bangladesh,South Asia






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  1. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 12:19 pm  

    That’s great.

    Wonder if she will marry the Hindu? That is probaly the reason her family thought she was mentally unfit to make decisions. I have much sympathy for the parents, but they were unwise to send her to Britain unaccompanied or without somebody to turn to for guidance in the first instance. A forced marriage was not a solution.

  2. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 12:31 pm  

    Ashik

    Does it matter who she married provided she is not forced?

    I wonder, though, this case made the headlines because she will have all the networks and social capital needed to support her – and good for her. In reality many young women suffer in silence, and often for unwares parents, the reaction to go to court hearings and punishment is the nuclear option. Perhaps social mobilisation about rights and so on in local communities, the way the NGOs do in Bangladesh, and these are Bangladesh NGOs that do it, might be a less sensational and confrontational way to tackle the problem. This is how they are also dealing with the problem in Nepal. In reality few cases will get to interact with the new law on forced marriage – and in Nepal and Bangladesh and Pakistan, India, there is no such law. The best way forward has to be around social mobilisation – awareness raising with men as well as women, parents, guardians and grandparents. Dr Humayra probably can prosecute her ‘parents’ under the new law in the UK , but she won’t, because she realises these actions were rooted in lots of factors, and how many of us will prosecute our parents, even with the law on our side.

  3. Muhamad — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:02 pm  

    It doesn’t surprise me that there are misogynist homuncules out there who think women need guidance.

  4. sarah — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:48 pm  

    It is great.

  5. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:16 pm  

    Fuck off Ashik.

    You are becoming a complete utter nutter.

    the Hindu?

    So what?

    That is probaly the reason her family thought she was mentally unfit to make decisions.

    No, it is probably why her family were mentally unfit to make decisions.

    I have much sympathy for the parents..

    Ludicrous nonsense from a zombie.

  6. Leon — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:19 pm  

    You are becoming a complete utter nutter

    Becoming?

  7. MixTogether — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:19 pm  

    What a joy to hear this news, and what a joy to see the media and British justice system giving this case the prominence it deserves.

    2009 will be a watershed year for the human rights of Asian girls and guys in this country, you mark my words.

    The old ways are OVER, and not a moment too soon.

  8. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:27 pm  

    Leon,

    point taken.

    but it had to be said?

    I am not usually that aggressive.

  9. MixTogether — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:27 pm  

    Ashik

    “That’s great.

    Wonder if she will marry the Hindu? That is probaly the reason her family thought she was mentally unfit to make decisions. I have much sympathy for the parents”

    For what it’s worth, I hope this young woman gets to marry whoever she loves.

    I hope that after her ordeal her life is full of every last drop of happiness and joy.

    If in the process she can choke you and everyone who thinks as you do, that would be the icing on a most sumptuous cake for me.

  10. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:27 pm  

    Ashik:

    It might well be that young people going abroad could benefit from a better support network- but this wasn’t one of those cases. Humayra Abedin’s only ‘mistake’ was to fall in love with someone from a different background.

  11. Cath Elliott — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:34 pm  

    This is excellent news, thanks for letting us know Rumbold.

  12. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:39 pm  

    MixTogether,

    That is a brilliant post you wrote, so it was! :

    If in the process she can choke you and everyone who thinks as you do, that would be the icing on a most sumptuous cake for me.

    Cherry, even…

  13. Leon — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:39 pm  

    For what it’s worth, I hope this young woman gets to marry whoever she loves.

    I hope that after her ordeal her life is full of every last drop of happiness and joy.

    If in the process she can choke you and everyone who thinks as you do, that would be the icing on a most sumptuous cake for me

    Totally agree. Especially the last paragraph.

  14. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:40 pm  

    D Clark & Leon, cultural attitudes need to be accounted for rather than relying on legislation alone. Even without this British court order once the FCO got involved it was only a matter of time before help arrived. You guys aren’t Asian so quite naturally have differimg perspectives. Halima, as you know marriage to a Hindu is beyond the purview of Muslim Bangladeshis from the liberal to the conservative spectrum of opinion. So yes, it does matter. It surely mattered to her parents and family. As I’ve heard it said in Bangladesh, marriage to a Hindu is like marrying a dog or a cat. It simply doesn’t happen.

    As I stated, it is too late for the parents to act now. They should have arranged better support for their daughter in the UK so that she didn’t go off the rails. Perhaps they should have arranged a marriage before she came over here. Had a family member been residing in the UK, it is unlikely she would be in this position. It is as simple as that.

    ps. to all those hurling abuse, no amount of it will make Bangladeshi society accept Muslim-Hindu unions.

  15. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:45 pm  

    Ashik:

    She didn’t ‘go off the rails’. She chose to marry someone her family dissaproved of. Not because he was violent, or rude, or a bad person, but because he didn’t believe in the same deity as them.

  16. AsifB — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:49 pm  

    Mixtogether(7), have a care for reading the facts before you pronounce that one new Labour law is going to change the world. Of course the media interest both here and in Bangladesh has rightly helped Dr Abedin – but as the article and the deluded Ashiq keep pointing out, as someone who came to the UK as a trainee doctor in 2002, the new Act does not apply to Dr Abdein as she is only a resident, not a British national.

    If you want to take pride in British law, then please note it was not the Forced Marriages Act; the Bangladesh High Court will have actually acted following the writ of habeus corpus via which the high profile lawyers of Ain o Salish Kendra will have gone to the court on her behalf. (several months before the FM act came into force)

    Of course her parents behaviour is despicable and one can only hope people like Ashiq recognise thir own prejudice – but this is a high profile case helped by the fact she is of the metropoilitan middle class. Hopefully the publicity will be educational, but don’t tout it as a triumph for the British law when civil society and the media did the legwork

  17. MixTogether — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:54 pm  

    AsifB,

    I’m not just talking about the Forced Marriage Act.

    I’m talking about the whole climate of opinion and public feeling, and maybe something a little bit extra.

  18. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:58 pm  

    AsifB

    “If you want to take pride in British law, then please note it was not the Forced Marriages Act; the Bangladesh High Court will have actually acted following the writ of habeus corpus via which the high profile lawyers of Ain o Salish Kendra will have gone to the court on her behalf. (several months before the FM act came into force)”

    Thanks for pointing this out – I was actually wondering this myself without knowing the details – that the case would’ve been live long before the FM act came along – and much of the intial hard work would’ve relied on Bangladesh legal systems and NGOS working to get the matter under legal and public scrutiny.

  19. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2008 at 3:03 pm  

    Britsh pressure probably had little effect in this case, as it was the threat of imprisonment from the Bangladeshi high court that led to her release. The impact of British intervention in this is likely to be more relevent in future cases, as it shows that the British authorities are willing to follow up on such cases ieven when the victim has left the UK, and even if she (or he) is not a citizen, but a resident.

  20. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 3:04 pm  

    Ashik,

    Couldn’t you do the decent thing? Your ideas have been comprehensively demolished on here. You tried to take on Sonia, and you got your arse in a sling.

    Sonia is my heroine, btw, because she stands up to idiots like you. You being a cheeky little monkey who has nothing to offer, except your exceptionalism.

    And your exceptionalism means nothing.

    ps. to all those hurling abuse, no amount of it will make Bangladeshi society accept Muslim-Hindu unions.

    Perhaps it will you fucking moron.

  21. Golam Murtaza — on 14th December, 2008 at 3:23 pm  

    Ashik man…….what the hell is the matter with you?! For Christ’s sake..

  22. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 3:40 pm  

    Asif, deluded, moi? Surely you know as a Muslim that I could not possibly support such a union between Muslim and Hindu which falls foul of Islam anymore than a Catholic supporting abortion? At the same time I oppose force in the choice of a life partner. As the BBC Pulse of Bangladesh survey indicates 97% of 5,000 Bangladeshis surveyed say religion is very important in their lives and only 3% of people wanted to give NGO’s more power. I’m sure you can extrapolate the dominant view of Bangladeshi society toward irreligious behaviour like Abedin’s. People just don’t trust ASK.

    97% of Bangladeshis think religion is very important to their lives. Religion similarly important for Indians and Pakistanis. Yet the two prominent Bengali Muslims on PP are self confessed apostates. Why is PP unable to provide the voice of the mainstream dominant Hindu, Sikh and Muslim voices? I submit co-operation of practicing Asian people with credibility within their communities is required if we want to stamp out forced marriages. Forced marriages are not permitted in Islam. Otherwise PP and other similar orgs are nothing more than a congregation of people who have no respect for their culture and religion and are seen as outsiders by their own communities, such efforts are likely to harm efforts than to help.

    Given the above, I think i’m pretty much the only realist here. Others such as Leon and Douglas are deluded.

    Douglas, I wasn’t aware comments on PP were made for competitive reasons. I’m sure Sonia is savouring her ‘victory’. LoL

  23. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 3:47 pm  

    Mortesa:

    ‘Ashik man…….what the hell is the matter with you?! For Christ’s sake’..

    Duuuude…

    Would you accept if your sister married a Hindu (honest answer now). If she tucked into a side of beef, your bro-in-law would start ‘Ram Ram!!

    This is the cultural context I’m providing so this thread doesn’t become a long line of whitewash Asians and ex-Muslims talking about how bad x culture or y religion is and looking to the great white overlord to provide all the answers. That’s not how forced marriages are going to be stopped.

  24. BenSix — on 14th December, 2008 at 3:56 pm  

    “Surely you know as a Muslim that I could not possibly support such a union between Muslim and Hindu which falls foul of Islam anymore than a Catholic supporting abortion?”

    Who’s asking you to “support” it? Couldn’t you just state your disapproval and realise that one has a responsibility to make one’s own decisions in life?

    Ben

  25. Don — on 14th December, 2008 at 3:57 pm  

    …marriage to a Hindu is like marrying a dog or a cat.

    Really? And you see that as a healthy state of affairs? An attitude which should be ‘respected’? Bigotry as a badge of honour?

    And when a highly intelligent 33 year old doctor gains a perspective which rejects that, she has ‘gone off the rails’. She only thinks she is an independent, successful individual making life choices in 21st century Britain because she was not sufficiently reminded that she is, in reality, a frail vessel of family ‘honour’. Or possibly a financial investment.

    Sympathy for the family? Hell, no. I gather her father ‘collapsed’ when he finally realised his daughter was not chattel. Good. Hope he landed hard on his coccyx.

    As Douglas and others have pointed out, the ‘mentally unfit’ aspect of this situation does not lie with Dr Abedin but with those who think forcibly imprisoning her was a reasonable response to a adult making an adult decision.

    Ashik, sooner or later you are going to have to accept that more and more women are seeing your perspective as irrelevant and your claim to know how they should be guided to follow the old ways as unwarranted insolence.

    …no amount of it will make Bangladeshi society accept Muslim-Hindu unions.

    Dr Abedin has chosen not to live in Bangladeshi society, or at least that part of it which you espouse. She has chosen a different future, one where despising ‘the other’ is not a virtue to be burnished but rather a mill-stone round our collective necks.

  26. Don — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:09 pm  

    Why is PP unable to provide the voice of the mainstream dominant Hindu, Sikh and Muslim voices?

    Last I checked, this blog was still labelled as ‘progressive’ and UK based. So not obliged to represent the mainstream religious opinions in rural Bangladesh. (Assuming your figures are correct, I’m guessing the 3% who were brave enough to say religion was not that important to them were largely urban and educated. And what was the question? ‘Is religion important in your life? ‘ Or ‘Are you happy that religion dominates your life?)

    self-confessed apostates

    Confessed? That implies recognition of wrong-doing.

    …looking to the great white overlord to provide all the answers.

    Yeah, that’s what happens here.

  27. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:25 pm  

    ‘She only thinks she is an independent, successful individual making life choices’

    aaah, I see. An independent women of the 21st century must marry out of her religion to burnish her liberated credentials for all too see. I understand now. The 99% of her equally independent and succesful Bengali sisters who marry within their own community must therefore be in need of ‘liberation’, no? Let’s hope the father died from a heart attack and for good measure the mother commits suicide.

    Don, sooner or later you will have to accept that issues of forced marriages are too complex for black and white conclusion. Yes, force of any kind is wrong but people do act with factors of tradition, custom and religion and an all out permissive society has problems of it’s own.

    PP is supposed to give the Brit Asian perspective according to the blurb. Every second article here is about forced marriages and interracial marriages. I don’t think it is at all representative and the constant attacks on asians and our culture and religion in damaging and unhelpful in putting a stop to social ills like forced marriages.

  28. Golam Murtaza — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:30 pm  

    Look Ashik – there’s more articulate people on this board putting things better than I can. I’ll focus on one, very narrow point. You have yourself stated clearly that forced marriages are not permitted in Islam. O.K. – that’s cool. Please broadcast that fact to ALL the Muslim parents you know so they get the message. Because some of them obviously AREN’T getting it.

    On the other hand, as a practising Muslim you also clearly believe that people from Muslim backgrounds should not have complete freedom of choice over who they marry. I assume you’re following that verse in the Qur’an which goes something like: “Believing men for believing women e.t.c.” Something like that anyway.

    So don’t you see the problem there? If you don’t allow these people freedom of choice, coercion is INEVITABLE. It’ll happen again and again.

    Er, and as for my sister – well she’s a career girl so may not be the marrying type. And if she DOES marry I can honestly say I don’t give a damn about the guy’s religion, so long as he’s a good bloke. If that seems a weird attitude to you then I guess we’re just too far apart in our approach to life to reach common ground.

    Incidentally, if I was crazy enough to interfere in my sister’s choice of marriage partner she’d kick my arse. And I’d bloody well deserve it.

  29. Don — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:41 pm  

    An independent women of the 21st century must marry out of her relihgion to burnish her liberated credentials for all too see.

    Did I say that? No. She has the freedom to make a choice of partner. That is very different.

    99% of her equally independent and succesful Bengali sisters…

    You have a source for those stats, of course. And can explain their relevance.

    issues of forced marriages are too complex for black and white conclusion.

    force of any kind is wrong

    So, not too complex, then.

    …an all out permissive society has problems of it’s own.

    How is that relevant to this case? Was Dr Abedin somehow involved with the Hellfire club or does choosing a partner from a different group count as ‘all out permissiveness’? As far as I can see, you regard marrying a hindu (and by extension a christian, sikh or (gasp) atheist) as one step away from bestiality.

  30. Leon — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:52 pm  

    As Douglas and others have pointed out, the ‘mentally unfit’ aspect of this situation does not lie with Dr Abedin but with those who think forcibly imprisoning her was a reasonable response to a adult making an adult decision.

    Indeed. Ashik, your opinions are quite simply appalling…

  31. Don — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:54 pm  

    Let’s hope the father died from a heart attack and for good measure the mother commits suicide.

    That’s a terrible thing to say. They may be mistaken, bullying, self-centred, bigoted, arrogant, callous and criminally oppressive. But only you have wished for their deaths. The rest of us hope they will come to realise that this brave and determined woman is a high point of family honour,rather than a smudge upon it.

  32. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:54 pm  

    douglas no. 5 –

    “No, it is probably why her family were menally unfit to make decisions.”

    well said! Well they’re in the news now and that’s their own doing, they’ll blame the girl of course because they won’t take any agency for their own actions.

    “women need guidance”. ha ha. sorry mate, its getting a bit harder to restrain us isn’t it?
    by the way, given that its men who are meant to be so unable to control their excitement when seeing ‘loosely dressed women’ (read women not covering their hair or with covered hair in a mosque leading the prayer!) they seem more likely to be ones needing guidance (and self-segregation or something :-) Hai Hai! a woman leading prayer! oh no we can’t have that because…we might be turned on or something! Who is it who needs guidance then – those childishly uncontrolled men – or the woman wanting to lead prayer? Qaradawi would have us think, that it is the women who fancy themselves imams, who need guidance, and that its the men who need ‘protecting’ from such temptations.

  33. Sid — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:58 pm  

    AsifB, well said at #16
    If you want to take pride in British law, then please note it was not the Forced Marriages Act; the Bangladesh High Court will have actually acted following the writ of habeus corpus via which the high profile lawyers of Ain o Salish Kendra will have gone to the court on her behalf. (several months before the FM act came into force)

    Thanks to the human rights lawyer Sara Hossain in Dhaka for rushing this case to a High Court tribunal and fighting this on behalf of Dr Abedin. Sara Hossain is a living legend and the hero of this story. And, just to namedrop, an old school friend :-)

  34. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 4:59 pm  

    leon – no. 6 – very droll, quite!

    yes this is great news as cath says.

    “no amount of it will make Bangladeshi society accept Muslim-Hindu unions.”

    yes ashik is valuable in reminding us how people fail to challenge unpleasant discrimination and xenophobic attitudes, and thereby keep them entrenched.

    where are YOUR ethics – you should be challenging such ideas now finding ways to “accommodate” them in your moral relativist ways. for someone who keeps talking about religion, you display an amazing lack of ethical reflection.

  35. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    good point from asifb:

    “If you want to take pride in British law, then please note it was not the Forced Marriages Act; the Bangladesh High Court will have actually acted following the writ of habeus corpus via which the high profile lawyers of Ain o Salish Kendra will have gone to the court on her behalf. (several months before the FM act came into force)”

    yes worth flagging up, ( and the hard work of the orgs on the ground)

  36. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:06 pm  

    ashik says:

    “I don’t think it is at all representative and the constant attacks on asians and our culture and religion in damaging and unhelpful in putting a stop to social ills like forced marriages.”

    but my dear ashik, you totally fail to see the irony in what you are saying.

    the articles on PP might be cleverly designed to bring people like YOU – and the views you ‘refer to’ out into the woodwork. YOu yourself – point out the social discrimination and obnoxious racist groupism – that others find problematic. You don’t see them as a problem . fair enough! its YOUr right to express your ideas and what you see around you as your ‘norm’. so the point is in the very substance of what you say, you make it clear for many others, (including the liberated bengali sisters you so bemoan) what it is – that is so problematic, and that ‘we bengali sisters’, along with all sorts of other people, are fighting against.

    so you are the one providing more fodder here, than anyone else -you’re the one “painting asian communities ” in a terrible light. marrying a hindu is like marrying a cat or a dog – incredible that you make a statement like that and fail to see where the problem is! (hilarious actually if it weren’t so worrying)

  37. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:31 pm  

    Except that the focus on forced marriages and inter-racial relationships and Asians was here well *BEFORE* I began posting on PP. There has never been any balancing critique of violence against women (tho Rumbold has kindly begun to provide stats on mysogeny in the UK).

    The standard formula was for an instance of FM being articled here and then a few usual suspects like YOU to jump on and attack Asians and concept of family, extended family, religiousity etc just because of your own experiences IN BANGLADESH. Your appearances have clearly OUTED YOU as someone who has issues about marriage, family ties, religious observance etc which you would rather chat with STRANGERS on PP than with your parents, with whom you have problems. Your lack of courage in the face of your parents is no reason for your maximalist approach. You have YOUR OWN PREJUDICES eg. against Sylhetis, religious people, men etc. There is no discussion of politics on PP jusdt politiking and a longt line of individuals hurling abuse at sections of the community.

  38. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:34 pm  

    good point from rumbold in no. 19

    douglas -20 – *blushes* why thank you :-)

    what i would ask is Ashik, not to challenge that ‘religion’ being an important thing – but to ask therefore, what should religion be espousing? Hmm? Something good hopefully! Terrible discrimination between groups? NO? well then – challenge that within religion. why do you accept such terrible discrimination just because its done in the name of religion? unethical behaviour should be challenged, after all. Should it not? On no other grounds but moral, ethical ones. Which -if you claim religion is so important to people – they can hardly ignore. Unless they want to say actually, religion is just a ‘surface’ thing for them – not something meaningful.

    Humans aren’t animals who ‘just follow religion’ – they’re ethical creatures who have the ability to think for themselves. Set your bar higher ashik, don’t accept such appalling behaviour – challenge your “community” to do better.
    ;-) (that was my little sermon for the day)

  39. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:37 pm  

    33 sid..please send her our greetings! Sid – perhaps you should interview her for PP – we need to know more about the work of Women like Sara Hossain, and make the public more aware.

  40. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:39 pm  

    “Don, sooner or later you will have to accept that issues of forced marriages are too complex for black and white conclusion.”

    well black and white in as much as its WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    moral relativist clearly.

  41. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:45 pm  

    im not at all prejudiced against ‘sylhetis’ – you are actually :-) and this dhakaiya label is one you always bandy :-) i don’t see people in that light, and i don’t have a group called ‘jessoris’. but thats neither here nor there. im not prejudiced against religious people either – i just don’t think much of religious bigotry and people who espouse that.(without questioning it at the very least!) and i reserve the right to challenge that bigotry and express my reasons for doing so. that’s different to being ‘prejudiced’ i think you’ll find. i will admit to being thoroughly prejudiced towards your average Mullah – in as much i am suspicious they are not as predisposed towards womens rights in the way i understand rights.(usually confirmed) but i am happy to engage -and quite happy to change my mind if i meet an enlightened one. in fact i love meeting mullah types - an argumentative militant godless feminist like myself…ooh what a scrum! you know any good ones ashik?

  42. Sid — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:52 pm  

    Here are the details of the case on the ASK site.

    ASK is the spearheading legal rights NGO in Bangladesh. Started in the 80s by an all-women team. Given the content on this thread, it seems important to stress that.

  43. Amrit — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:53 pm  

    ‘I have much sympathy for the parents’

    I have much sympathy for the poor woman herself, being as she was held captive by her parents for making the teeny-weeny ‘mistake’ of deciding who she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Thankfully, they didn’t get away with it. What halima said is important though – something must be done for all the women who will NOT get media attention on their side.

    ‘ps. to all those hurling abuse, no amount of it will make Bangladeshi society accept Muslim-Hindu unions.’

    Gosh, I never knew it was possible for one man to be the arbiter of societal behaviour and attitudes in a country!

    To anyone being fooled by the reasonable-sounding point about immigrants needing better support networks: please switch on your bullshit detectors… NOW. This is a prettified way of saying:

    ‘If she had had some of HER PEOPLE over here to stop her consorting with goddamn infidels, then she wouldn’t have FALLEN for the goddamn infidel and made her parents imprison her! BAD, WEAK-MINDED WOMAN, thinking outside the rules of Bangladeshi society (which we all know are followed to the letter by, and cast in stone for, all Bangladeshis, because humans are like, INFALLIBLY DRAWN to their own kind, right?)!’

    ‘without somebody to turn to for guidance in the first instance’

    Ashik, I just love the way everything is premeditated in your world. :D When you fall for somebody, you fall for somebody, and quite often the beginnings of the attraction – entirely physical – will be dictated by, er, biology. How exactly is religion and ‘guidance’ meant to stop that?

    (That was a rhetorical Q, btw).

    I mean, even in India, home of the strategic marriage (‘university degree, 6ft tall and fair-skinned! WHAT IS THE FAMILY LIKE?!’), Bollywood repeatedly emphasises the insurmountable nature of love. I mean, we haven’t exactly seen a Bolly remake of ‘Brief Encounter’ now, have we?

    Humans can fight to chain themselves to the herd as much as they like, it ain’t gonna change the fact that we’re born alone, die alone and are ultimately responsible for our own lives. Especially in adulthood. Otherwise, it would’ve been called ‘olderhood’ instead.

  44. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:54 pm  

    Ashik

    What is the mainstream view? If anything it’s not yours , or mine, or Sonia’s or Don’s or whoever else – mainstream is nothing but a numbers game when we want to talk about common values – you don’t like mainstream values of British society and i agree with you there – because mainstream British values isolate your views, but now you are saying PP is mainstream because it doesn’t agree with your views? The challenge is to keep an open mind, wherever we find ourselves with the numbers of majority/minority camps.

    The best we can do is accept we have different views and not get personal. You’re not the only one defending the view that Islam prefers that Muslims marry Muslims but where’s the sense in comparing those that marry outside as though their actions are nothing better than what you might do – or worse, you’re saying there’s nothing better than cats and dogs. Surely a man of your intelligence can see that this is horrid and highly offensive to hear? I don’t think it’s necessary to be popular with everyone – and I’ve never found myself popular anywhere, but i judge myself with my own standards of fairness to other – not a popular contest as you say. I can understand on public sites it can get a bit much when everyone disagress and what have you and emotions run all over the place. But even so.

    I’ve also heard that Islam discourages women to marry outside coz the child’s Islamic culture might be diluted, right? That’s assuming women have no agency, and on the whole, we might say most women are positioned unequally in society vis-a-vis men, so yes, dilution can occur. But I’ll be damned if my child doesn’t have my values – whatever my partner says on this. Instead of saying women can’t marry outside because the child’s Islamic values will be diluted , why can’t we be more ambitious, and it seems you’re not shy of a challenge – why not change society so that a woman can marry outside Islam and still exhort the same values in her family?

    This reminds me of a quote from Greer when she says we’re at a stage where we are still wondering whether women want to be equal with men in an unchanged world ( which is her idea of hell and mine) , or whether to fundamentally to change the world …. why not go for fundamentally changing the world to be more equal between the sexes – which is how Islam intended it to be. Never mid the interpretations. I heard islam was the first among many faiths ( though not sure whether I’ve accounted for all the faiths of this world) to grant women equal status and it seems it’s been down-hill since – wonder why.

  45. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:57 pm  

    Sonia, one cannot challenge scripture. It is clearly not permissable for a Muslim lass to marry a Hindu guy. It is not a question of discrimination. A believing woman wouldn’t put herself in this situation. If this lady wishes to remain within Islam (if she doesn’t then she can go do whatever) then she can’t marry out (unless the guy GENUINELY converts/reverts). In all other respects Muslims are exhorted to respect people of other faiths ie. the Hadith there is no compulsion in religion. We should not change the fundaments of our religion to suit the whims of individuals. Else pretty soon we will ordain gay mullahs and permit fornication etc. Religion is not a fashion accessory to be moulded thus.

  46. Golam Murtaza — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:09 pm  

    Ashik – I think you haven’t answered the fundamental question. You say “this lady / can go do whatever” if she dosen’t want to remain within Islam. But isn’t that the whole point? She COULDN’T just go and do whatever. She was forced to do something she didn’t want to do.

  47. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:18 pm  

    thanks Sid, will look at it.

    Well said Amrit!

    ashik you are entertaining – & there i was wondering what to do on a sunday grey afternoon.

    “Your lack of courage in the face of your parents is no reason for your maximalist approach.

    now now don’t get your knickers in a twist my friend, i know you see yourself as some kind of representative/ “spokesperson” for the [aggrieved] older generation but rest easy now. save your energy for someone else’s parents perhaps yourself in time to come.

    i have plenty of courage with respect to my poor dear parents – perhaps they’d rather i had shut up, lied like so many other people, conformed, made their life simple but alas i had to stand up and (you need some courage for that matey, you stood up to your Momma ever? bet not!) declare myself to be what i am and what i want. and my Dad always taught me to stand up for myself and say what i believe. So following that advice… and i am very lucky that my parents were eminently reasonable – thank God my Dad never espoused views like yours! (mind you with 5 daughters he might have found that hard) He believed in educating his girls, and from the stuff you spew, that’s pretty progressive, i’m not so sure you’ll be sending your girls to uni in the same country you’re in – never mind a “foreign” one.

    Still, each to their own, i respect my Dad, he holds his head up high and doesn’t base his respect for himself based on who his daughter did or did not marry. No he’s a bit deeper than that – quite actually -where did you think i inherit my brains and wit from? :-)

    so yeah, I’m very lucky..and listening to the stuff you say, reminds me of that, to be able to have stood up, said what i wanted, and have my parents listen to me and accept it.

    Of course its interesting you bring up the ‘hindu’ thing – well my older sister, very suitable good girl brought up the right way (unlike me who was very wild early on) fell in love with an Indian boy who was Hindu. And they were married, and now he is very much loved as part of the family. People deal with these things.

    So if i were you my friend, don’t worry about me and my parents – i’d worry about your children and how they are going to react to you! because unless you plan to keep them tied up inside, things are a changing..

  48. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:22 pm  

    Good points Amrit.

    Ashik:

    “Else pretty soon we will ordain gay mullahs and permit fornication.”

    Islam doesn’t permit fornication? Where do you think you came from?

  49. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:24 pm  

    Sid

    “And, just to namedrop, an old school friend :-)

    Just realised how YOUNG you are!

    Have always found Sara to be much more independent minded of the Gulshan/Dhanmondi human rights set :D

    I flagged up a while ago a publication by Ms Hossain on so -called ‘honour’ killings – which actually critiques the way the ‘West’ deals with this, too, so might not be to everyonbe’s cup of tea.

    But great book.

    http://us.macmillan.com/honour

  50. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:24 pm  

    Halima:

    ‘or worse, you’re saying there’s nothing better than cats and dogs’.

    Well this is what I heard in Bangladesh. Our local moalana also read a Qutba that a Muslim should not eat food made by a Hindu. So marriage to one is definately a no no me thinks. I was providing the coltural context for attitudes to Hindu-Muslim marriages in bangladesh. Hell, in India they had to pull the Bollywood film ‘Bombay’ due to riots as it showed a Hindu boy marrying a muslim gal. So this is the prevailing norm it seems.

    As for causing offence, I find it offensive that a gaggle of ex-Muslims constantly skews viewes of Islam and Muslims on this board and no balanced critique of other cultures, ie. British/Western is provided or permitted so have in turn no aversion to causing offense.

  51. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:25 pm  

    well perhaps Ashik what you are realising is that interpreation of scripture is out-dated..if you are saying Islam cannot accommodate these ‘activities’ well then you’ll just have a mass exodus.

    if you can’t be a Muslim and be gay for example -you’d better tell Irshad Manji that.

    and of course you can challenge scripture you silly boy -its called challenging interpretation. there’s a reason why not having clergy is significant. you can interpret it for yourself. sufis have interpreted islam very differently from the salafis.

    nowadays no one takes concubines either, in case you hadn’t noticed that.

  52. Sid — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:32 pm  

    nowadays no one takes concubines either, in case you hadn’t noticed that.

    But *still* legal Sonia. Please don’t deny a man of an odd concubine or two…

  53. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:34 pm  

    “..OUTED YOU as someone who has issues about marriage, family ties, religious observance etc ”

    goodness me – did you think i was trying to keep it a secret!! absolutely i have issues with the way You and people like you, hold authoritarian and fixed views on marriage (which are akin to slavery) and your clearly non-ethical slant on religious ‘observance’. you’re a yes tribal man ashik, had you been born in mecca at the prophet’s time, into the quraish clan, you would have been supporting your ancestors against this renegade man who dared to preach of a new god.

  54. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:34 pm  

    Ashik

    Yes, I find it offensive when others challenge my beliefs , but it doesn’t matter to me where the source of the challenge comes from.. But don’t we have to take a step back?

    And I can imagine the comment about food in Bangladesh – but just to also put things in context, Bangladesh is hugely influenced by Hindusim and Islam so an obvious reaction against Hindusm is likely to pervade. But food distinctions and what is pure and impure is a very Hindu tradition – not an Islamic one – come to think of it, a global tradition all over.

    The best ode to how Muslims should treat guests comes from Ramadan, no, that when we break our fasts, we should always do so with the company of others – whoever they may be, and share our food.

    I am actually not that well versed on islam – you will know more – but just trying to say – that take a step back. This is the greatest challenge for many Muslims at the moment – and for obvious reasons, not just because there are many on PP and Britain or elsewhere that will disagree with you but because when we attack we’ve already lost control and the battle – something about Chinese warfare I read – but I follow this sort of reasoning!

  55. Sunny — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:37 pm  

    Ashik,

    this website was set up to give voice to Asians who didn’t think as villagers like you do.

  56. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:39 pm  

    52 – sid = still legal as you say! and still being carried out in the form of many ‘masters’ thinking they have sexual rights to their servants, unfortunately. the issue is one of course of thinking one has rights over someone. imagine that, being against consensual sex between consenting adults, but being in favour of master having sexual rights to a “slave” who is not a free person therefore not in the position to be a freely consenting adult

    sigh! this is why i have issues with Islam’s morality, or – ore correctly – our documented ‘traditional’ male scholar’s interpretation of Islam’s morality

  57. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:45 pm  

    “Our local moalana also read a Qutba that a Muslim should not eat food made by a Hindu. ”

    Ashik, you’d better off not going to illiterate moulanas.

    and why should you find it offensive when people challenge your beliefs? beliefs are there to be challenged. the meccans thought it offensive when Mohammed challenged their beliefs. all prophets have challenged the beliefs of their societies. There is nothing offensive about the challenge of belief. you may be offended by how someone does it, but if you are offended by the very challenging, well that just makes you a fascist authoritarian.

    “nd no balanced critique of other cultures, ie. British/Western is provided”

    oh please, in case you hadn’t noticed (or cared) there have been extremely vigorous discussions on the Iraq war, Israel & Palestine, and goverment authority in general, on this site. So don’t talk such nonsense, some people here are actually principled and consistent and challenge authoritarianism where they see it, be it government authority (the “west” is not excused from the world of governments last time i looked) or religious or family based. And plus not everyone shares your automatic dichotomy of ‘West’ and the Rest. It’s a very uncosmpolitan, insular view and that needs challenging as much as anything else.

    p.s. don’t flatter yourself you don’t sound ‘Western’ – you sound very similar to many “western” authoritarians, and upholders of victorian england morality.

  58. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:46 pm  

    you have a lot in common with the american christian fundamentalists, and the neocons.

  59. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:48 pm  

    “But food distinctions and what is pure and impure is a very Hindu tradition – not an Islamic one – come to think of it,”

    good point from Halima. Ironically, it sounds much more the sort of thing a high caste Hindu would have thought about a low caste HIndu. Ashik your maulana has been influenced by Hinduism – quick don’t go anywhere near him!

  60. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:48 pm  

    Sonia

    Yes, i have to realise rather belatedly that food consumption is the basis of social relations in many societies- and in Hindu culture practiced in Nepal, where it is more traditional than even in India, you can even have water and non-water based purity.

  61. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:49 pm  

    Oh great Sonia. This gets better and better. A hindu as well! :) You don’t have a same sex marriage in your family too, do you? Completes the set of social progressive causes in your family!! heh

    Yes, you must be very open and honest with your family. You speak of deception :) and people doing things behind closed doors against societal norms but are yourself deceptive, no? Things haven’t changed much, have they? You should tell your parents straight that you are a kaffir. I’m sure with all you’ve said about them that they’d accept you for what you are. No need for the double lifeLoL

    Don’t need to worry ’bout me, unlike you I can better balance East and West, being born and bought up in these sceptered Isles. I’m not in a race to show my Britishness. I didn’t have to struggle in a third world country as you had to so no bitter experiences with which to alienate myself from my culture and upbringing. I don’t need to struggle for a lal fassfut (red passport).

    It really takes someone with psychological issues and mental scarring to come on a board and totally slag off a religion they no longer believe in and a culture they want nothing to do with-all the while professing they are doing so for the good of others. hah!

  62. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:52 pm  

    right that’s my contribution for the day – enough to make Ashik think – again i do enjoy him being around ashik, gives me plenty of material to work with! oh boy there’s a lot of work to do. I wish guys like Ashik would show himself in the flesh and debate with me in RL.

    anyway off to do “liberated Bengali sister” activity..

  63. BenSix — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:53 pm  

    I hadn’t previously considered the possibilities of marrying a Hindu, but the longer this thread drags out, the more tempted I am…

    Ben

  64. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:56 pm  

    Shadi.com? :)

  65. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 6:56 pm  

    Wow. Marriage seems to be such a community property and based on community rules — I am sure marriage is supposed to be different at least in this day and age.

    Isn’t Marriage a union between two people ideally based on mutual love, trust and respect? How does community/society have such a stake in it? well, of course, except to criticise it.

    And, in a marriage where partners are from two different faith, why not let each choose their own path to god rather than hold their relationship ransom on how they pray?

    When a child is born, s/he should be taught about both religion and may be leave it up to the child to choose which religion they choose to practice if any at all. Or should parents or one parent (either mum or dad) impose their own faith upon the child? Then, I am afraid we are again taking the path of community or I know best.

    Shouldn’t parents aspire to see their children happy and who grow up up to be an intelligent person who can make choices that are best for their individual lives? And as a parent isn’t it their duty to support their children in the different choices they make?

    No one is taking away the eternal right of parents to give advice and counsel, even unsought, but that’s where the line should be drawn. If one is a good parent then the child must have grown up with the right attitude and skills to decide.

    You have to wonder is it worth being part of a community that looks down upon you because your or your son/daughter chose to marry someone different – but otherwise well intentioned and good.

    In a situation like that I would not have much problem telling the Community to sod off. After all s/he is not committing a crime, but choosing “his/her” partner for “life”.

  66. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:00 pm  

    well , Shamit …. you always take the discussion to a sensible level playing field .. I am with you ..

    Now that we are on the tpic.

    Germain Greer (or perhaps others have said the same thing) says that marriage is legalised prostitution for women .. except there’s no pay.

    There you go – there’s always an alternative view – even to those found on PP. :)

    I am partly joking, too.

  67. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:03 pm  

    Sunny:

    ‘Ashik,

    this website was set up to give voice to Asians who didn’t think as villagers like you do’.

    You ought to remember to tell politicians and newsfolk this the next time you go scrabbling around for finance or media support. LoL

    You are deliberately supressing views of large parts of British Asian peoples. Is there any practicing Muslims writing Articles here for you?

  68. Amrit — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:05 pm  

    halima:

    That’s how I have often felt in the past!

    Marriage terrifies me, even now.

    It must be said though that Greer seems to be working with older notions of marriage – I think for a lot of modern couples, marriage ends up simply being a next step after cohabitation, i.e. it happens with consideration from both parties and is not simply a concession from the bride to the groom’s family.

    Marriage CAN be legalised prostitution… depends on the husband (and the in-laws)!

  69. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:12 pm  

    Amrit

    I didn’t mean to scare you off! I am told , with the right person, it’s the easiest thing in da world!

    I am a Bollywood romantic at heart, bt just saying while we all talk about forced marriages and arranged marriages and what have you – there is a view on marriage itself that’s worth chatting about when we want to discuss gender relations!

    But yeah, I’ve seen too many relationships where men are still more dominant and once kids come into the equation – we go back to hunter/gatherer mode immediately . Unless society is structurally changed this will always be the case. This is what Greer meant perhaps when she says..we are still wondering whether women want to be equal with men in an unchanged world ( which is her idea of hell) , or whether to fundamentally to change the world. Unless we fundamentially change structures – we’re always going to find many marriages as legalised prostitution.

    You know it was only recently that in UK law it was OK for a man to have forced sex with his wife and for it not t be considered rape. This is no longer the case- but the law changed in the last 10 years I recall (or something). This tells you something about marriage and men’s property rights to women!

  70. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:15 pm  

    ‘p.s. don’t flatter yourself you don’t sound ‘Western’.

    See that’s your problem, you try too hard while I don’t have to try at all.
    You’ve always had to struggle for your position both being a woman and non Brit cit.

  71. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:20 pm  

    Greer would also argue it’s women’s dependency and need for men that entails the prostitutions – not just the economics but the emotional need. Whereas most men don’t seem to be as dependent on women emotionally – or at least they can close off, box off from women until they meet the special someone. There’s a biological trick there somewhere i suppose, women might be able to do this until a certain point when they might want kiddies – and can’t be as emotinally carefree..

  72. Amrit — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:23 pm  

    halima:

    Lol, you didn’t scare me off it – watching my sisters get married did that!

    Arranged marriages CAN work, but I don’t think they should be arranged so that individuals are bound into them without their knowledge – that’s just not fair. The system we seem to have chez moi where you say ‘I’m ready to get married’ and your parents look up a husband for you is fair enough. However, not everyone’s parents are going to be fully aware of what their children need. Mine aren’t.

    In what ways would Greer propose changing marriage, though, out of curiosity? I feel that an equal/fair division of housework is one change that has to come about. Childcare’s another thorny issue, where things must be fairer.

    (Apologies, Rumbold, for going off-topic…)

    I think you may have moved me to a blog post on this. Haha.

  73. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:23 pm  

    Damn Sunny –

    I did not you were that powerful mate.

    You are suppressing large parts of the British Asian views…dude you are powerful.

  74. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:30 pm  

    Amrit

    The really lovely thing is that I’ve grown up with the best role model men /brothers you can imagine – even with their idiosyncracies to want to ‘protect’ us .. so even with my friends who will say men are this and that , i am usually the one that will say – ah, but not all men, touch wood, i’ve been lucky to be influenced by good, strong male role models.

    i guess greer would propose equal pay as the first option which we don’t have at the moment, and changing society’s expectations that women/mothers will be the primar nurturers. But i don’t know how far Greer went on this – i personally think as long as women face the reproductive challenge more, we’ll always face the same inequalities.. there’s a joke at work about some of my female colleagues, it goes like this: ‘what’s so and so doing these days with their career?’ and the answer will be, ‘she’s on the baby – track’ not the career track – see what i mean? Having children takes women’s career’s back considerably but it doesn’t have the same impact on men, unless they are the primary carers and nurturers.

    I think we’re looking at changing reproductive roles – or finding technogical leaps here, to get to where Greer might suggest we go. This is quite scary and radicaal – and not sure how far science would progress with this. Margerat Atwood has some interesting gothic fantasies on this sort of thing.

    Most women when they have a child will go part time work, and if they haven’t gone part-time, they will most certainly do this by child number 2 – unless her partner assumes the primary carer role.

  75. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:37 pm  

    Sonia:

    ‘oh please, in case you hadn’t noticed (or cared) there have been extremely vigorous discussions on the Iraq war, Israel & Palestine, and goverment authority in general’

    Has PP ever discussed topics such as the breakup up of the family, rampant alcohol abuse, single parents, care for elderly left to die in their own filth? These topics are too close to home and personal for many members. Certainly not with the vigour that certain people here enjoy attacking South asians. Yet these problems are arguably more acute than forced marriage or inter-racial relationships. The problem with people like you is that the dichotomy of East/West is interpreted in universally a Western way. There isn’t the balance most of us South Asians negotiate on a daily basis.

    Issues on PP are based on personal experiences and desires. I have no doubt one or two people here are interested in relationships with asian girls and want to make this acceptable amongst Asians. Articles based on such motives hardly speak of intellectual merit and are designed only to enflame matters. This is why no practicing Hindu, Muslim or Sikh comes here and anyone with an iota of dignity stays away.

  76. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:44 pm  

    Amrit

    “I think you may have moved me to a blog post on this. Haha.”

    definately will be interesting, so please do!

  77. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:49 pm  

    Halima

    “Most women when they have a child will go part time work, and if they haven’t gone part-time, they will most certainly do this by child number 2 – unless her partner assumes the primary carer role.”

    This is true but this is also sometimes a case of choice on part of the mother especially where there is very good child care arrangements. Guess what, in most modern families the bloke does not have much to say in the matter and if he is clever he supports whatever choices the wife makes.

    Most guys nowadays do realise that many times their wives often have to make that juggling act between achieving her aspirations as a professional and being the perfect mother.

    And when she gets angry because she sometimes has to make that choice everything is usually the guy’s fault. Believe me on this I have had personal experience.

  78. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:53 pm  

    “Guess what, in most modern families the bloke does not have much to say in the matter and if he is clever he supports whatever choices the wife makes.”

    I like that – survivial tactic!

    Perhaps you are right – and yes, i had forgotten there are many mothers who will want to spend the first two years with the little person – because even the best literature on early childhood development says this is the best thing from the child’s perspective – that at least one parent is there to support early years.

  79. sonia — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:54 pm  

    yeah shamit says is really well in 65.

  80. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 7:59 pm  

    Halima, in Islam I was taught that women are not so much equal but different. Therefore these differences have to be accounted for. I guess there is a lot to be said for that position.

    I personally don’t think women will ever attain true equality because of biological differences.For example, no British govt would dare provide the lump sum toward a working woman’s pension to bridge shortfalls bought on by maternity/child rearing leave over a lifetime. Yet those children are the nect generation of tax payers who will pay for our pensions when we are aged and infirm. Most of the opposition to such a move would come from men and interestingly, single women who dislike their more family-orientated sisters.

  81. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:02 pm  

    I like that – survivial tactic!

    Yep and unashamedly so. But I think most of us blokes do actually attempt to understand the conflicting emotions as well as the frustration that sometimes comes along.

    News FLASH: WE DO LOVE OUR WIVES/PARTNERS AND WE DO CARE HOW THEY FEEL

    Not having a go — just making sure that the guy perspective is out there too.

  82. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:13 pm  

    Ashiq

    Women in Islam are equal but different. I think the emphasis is on both – not one.

    But you are right on the point that the biological differences are such that we’ll never quite reach the perfect equilibrium – but i am told science is never too far off- and one day – perhaps not in our life times we might see technolical changes to reproduction. Whether society wants this , is another question altogether.

    “no British govt would dare provide the lump sum toward a working woman’s pension to bridge shortfalls bought on by maternity/child rearing leave over a lifetime.”

    Good point. This is what I meant by stepping up the game and being more ambitious – I personally feel that if enough people mobilised behind these issues without falling into a battle of the sexes – we might get a better deal for maternity and paternity packages .

  83. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:17 pm  

    News FLASH: WE DO LOVE OUR WIVES/PARTNERS AND WE DO CARE HOW THEY FEEL

    Spoken like a true gent.

  84. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:34 pm  

    My knowledge on Islam is limited but the concept of equal yet different resonates with me.

    Actually, in most religions, women have been depicted equal to men but religious leaders (mostly men) sought out to highlight the different bit and therefore claim they are unequal.

    I for one am glad that women and men are different. Makes for a much more interesting and better world to live in. But the equality aspect is one we often forget.

    Equality to me should be viewed based on the opportunities one is offered in life and the choices they are able to make. However, in most cases, the difference between the genders end up allowing men more freedom of choice than women. And anyone supporting such views in my book is a plain old bigot.

    Another issue Ashik has been raising quite often is how we the rotten part of the British Asian community have chosen to challenge our own culture.

    Well, Ashik, those of us who have been born and brought up here actually have a unique blend of culture imbibed within us. And, that actually makes us richer I reckon.

    Within that culture, even in this day and age, we find bigotry running rampant and harming many young lives in our communities. We challenge that and we are better for that. I see no harm in questioning our own flaws and spreading the word that actions in the name of community, culture or religion that harm people or cause hindrance to their aspirations and happiness is unacceptable.

    Also how would you define a practicing Hindu? We are not required to do much to practice hinduism. And there is no code of action that we must follow. Its about an individual journey and his/her relationship with the Almighty.

  85. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:35 pm  

    Thanks Halima for those kind words.

  86. S Johal — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:37 pm  

    A believing woman wouldn’t put herself in this situation. If this lady wishes to remain within Islam (if she doesn’t then she can go do whatever) then she an’t marry out (unless the guy GENUINELY converts/reverta

    Ashik, is it true that under Sharia if some coverts or becomes a kaffir it is punishable by death.

    As far has your religous beliefs are are concered one cannot have a heathy debate, because religion is based on blind faith. were as reason is based on logic. Personaly I have no time for religous bigots like yourself.

  87. BenSix — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:18 pm  

    “Shadi.com? :)

    Hehe, very good.

    “Has PP ever discussed topics such as the breakup up of the family, rampant alcohol abuse, single parents, care for elderly left to die in their own filth? These topics are too close to home and personal for many members.”

    True. As I pushed back the filth this morning and cracked open the morning vodka, I thought “Should I post on Pickled Politics today or find food for my eight starving children?”

    “I have no doubt one or two people here are interested in relationships with asian girls and want to make this acceptable amongst Asians.”

    Well, now that we’ve found Shadi.com there’s no need.

    Ben

  88. Rumbold — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:20 pm  

    Ashik:

    “This is why… anyone with an iota of dignity stays away.”

    Er…

    BenSix:

    For the record, you qualify as ‘wheatish’.

  89. fugstar — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:31 pm  

    i thought Drs werent meant to be so thick?

    aaah, before asians.

  90. Sunny — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:38 pm  

    You ought to remember to tell politicians and newsfolk this the next time you go scrabbling around for finance or media support. LoL

    Oh but this is exactly what I tell everyone – that not all Asians think like villagers like you and fugstar here, and that there is a whole range of liberal Asian opinion that doesn’t get expressed anywhere in the media because finger-waggers like you come along and want to tell people how to behave.

    This is why this blog is so popular – I hate that conservative, idiotic village mentality. And I’m proud of it. :)

  91. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:51 pm  

    Ashik,

    What a lot of fun this thread is!

    Brain dead Ashik finds support from S Johal, and Shamit, ffs!

    Shamit, I’m pretty sure we found common cause elsewhere, This is a complete, utter, let down.

    Sonia, on the other hand, is supported by the rest of the human race, is she not?

    What arrogant and stupid wee adolescent fools we have surrounding us. Sunny, who is another hero to me, makes the point that this web site is not about villagers. it is about Asians in a modern world.

    The Asians I respect, and there are a lot of them, who write here, are not folded into the past. They are people who have found their voice. I’d include Ala in that. Who I thought was an idiot, but was not.

    Ashik, you, on the other hand, are a complete and utter unredemtive fool.

    So says the douglas clark collective..

  92. MixTogether — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:52 pm  

    Rumbold:

    “BenSix:

    For the record, you qualify as ‘wheatish’.”

    There’s that word again. I reckon you’ve been on shaadi.com! It’s the only place I’ve ever seen that word used seriously ;)

    Just coming back to the topic, because I’m sad the debate has wandered so far off…

    Humayra Abedin’s British solicitor was on C4 news (along with the fantastic Bangladeshi brief, but the UK lady gave a full interview).

    She said that Humayra Abedin made it a condition of appearing in court that her parents should not be criminalised or punished.

    I hope that she will speak out on arrival in the UK, but I fear that she will not want to.

    Just goes to show how hard it is for these young people to deal with the conflict they are presented with. I am privileged to know a number of survivors of honour crimes, and the saddest thing is that years (and I do mean years) later they still yearn to be part of their own family again, and for their family to accept and understand them.

    Beyond the headlines and misery memoirs lie countless lives hollowed out forever by the curse of this honour system.

    It truly is a curse on these communities- families tearing themselves apart for the good of other people’s opinions. A curse.

  93. Munir — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:01 pm  

    Don

    “And when a highly intelligent 33 year old doctor gains a perspective which rejects that, she has ‘gone off the rails’. She only thinks she is an independent, successful individual making life choices in 21st century Britain because she was not sufficiently reminded that she is, in reality, a frail vessel of family ‘honour’. Or possibly a financial investment.”

    Nothing to do with family honour. Many Subcontinent families imbibed with the racism of the subcontinent consider their daughter marrying a muslim of a different race “an attack on family honour” – but so what when its allowed by Islam? Marrying a Hindu isnt.

    If only Ms Abedin had found herself a nice Nigerian Muslim doctor.

    The solution is pretty clear. The gentleman should publically convert- its not hard -just say a couple of lines -dont even have to be sincere. If he doesnt then the family cant be blamed for rejecting her. If he loves her he’ll do it so she can keep him (who she clearly loves) AND her family. If he is a decent person he would do this rather than break a family apart and seperate a daughter from her parents.

    There will be outrage-”why should he have to convert”- well he shouldnt have to – but neither should Ms Abedins family have to associate with her.

    If anything lets hope this will make racist Muslim parents wake up to the fact that they should allow their children to marry Muslims of any race. Otherwise theyll be marrying non-Muslims

  94. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:01 pm  

    hang on where in the hell did I support Ashik ??????

    I dont think there’s any chance in hell for that to happen — my post is #65 and #84. please read them both Douglas.

    Douglas — how could you even think that I would support his convoluted fucked up ideas . Now thats a let down…again number 65 and number 84 mate…

  95. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:03 pm  

    ‘there is a whole range of liberal Asian opinion that doesn’t get expressed’

    This is because there aren’t a whole lot of people who hold views like many members of PP. Amongst South Asians concepts like ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ lose their Western meanings. I would be considered a liberal amongst South Asians for opposing forced marriages but am evil incarnate here for some ppl. Concepts like marrying out of culture/religion and questioning the central role of family are still considered beyond the pale-even by many South asian liberals and feminists.

    I hope you continue to tell the politicians and mediafolk what’s what, they will soon realise that you only speak for a marginal minority of asians and go support other lobby groups involved in identity politics industry.

  96. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:03 pm  

    Didn’t see Sunnys post at 90. As I have said before, the kid gets my vote!

    Well stick that in your collective, racist, pipe and smoke it!

  97. Munir — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:05 pm  

    Ashik
    “Sonia, one cannot challenge scripture. It is clearly not permissable for a Muslim lass to marry a Hindu guy. It is not a question of discrimination. A believing woman wouldn’t put herself in this situation. If this lady wishes to remain within Islam (if she doesn’t then she can go do whatever) then she can’t marry out (unless the guy GENUINELY converts/reverts). ”

    We need to not go to extremes. “Marrying” a non-Muslim would not be seen as a marraige as such but that would mean she was commiting fornication. Fornication is a major sin. However in Islamic orthodoxy commiting even a major sin doesnt render you a non-Muslim.

    Muslim women “married” to non-Muslims or Muslim men “married” to other than Muslim, Christian or Jewish women are fornicating but they are still Muslims albiet sinful ones.

  98. Johnny — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:10 pm  

    …marriage to a Hindu is like marrying a dog or a cat

    It’s this kind of mentality that can so easily be transposed to murderous violence. The first step to rendering humans as soulless meat to be murdered and harmed is to turn them into beasts and animals. W and X people are like Y and Z animals, they are bestial like and un-human. ‘We’ are human ‘our’ people are human, ‘they’ are like ‘dogs’, ‘cats’, ‘monkeys’, ‘snakes’, ‘rats’, ‘cockroaches’, ‘insects’.

    Utterly vile.

  99. Munir — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:10 pm  

    Douglas Clark

    “The Asians I respect, and there are a lot of them, who write here, are not folded into the past. They are people who have found their voice. I’d include Ala in that. Who I thought was an idiot, but was no”

    Is Ala asian? Her name is Ala Abbass right? thats a very Arab name and almost unknown on the subcontinent. Still there all darkies eh doug. Lets hope them Arabs in Iran learn from people like her.

  100. Sunny — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:12 pm  

    This is because there aren’t a whole lot of people who hold views like many members of PP.

    There’s far more than you know… like I said if you just go by the media you will probably believe that the villagers dominate. Thankfully there is a large segment of the younger generation who are thinking for themselves.

    As for being anti-forced marriage, that isn’t liberal that’s just common sense. Even the MCB these days issue statements condemning it – you’re hardly a lone voice against these evil families. So get yourself.

    douggie – thanks, but I don’t think Shamit was agreeing with Ashik.

  101. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:12 pm  

    Hang on, is labelling Asian people ‘villagers’ a progressive act? LoL

    This is supposed to be a ‘progressive’ forum. heh

    Most South Asians hail from rural backgrounds. Unless I’m mistaken and all the members of PP hail from the urban metropolises of the subcontinent? Or are we trying to say that ppl from the villagers are the lesser ‘other’ to be despised? Frankly this shows a superior and discriminatory attitude, which ironically some here accuse me of.

    Are we better than villagers. I wonder.

    It just goes to show how acquired liberal labels are so often skin deep.

  102. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:14 pm  

    Douglas

    Again where did I support this numbskull?

  103. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:15 pm  

    Thanks Sunny for defending my intellectual credibility.

    Cheers mate –

  104. Jai — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:17 pm  

    Ashik,

    Why is PP unable to provide the voice of the mainstream dominant Hindu, Sikh

    Generally PP is pretty representative of the views of huge numbers of the “mainstream dominant” UK-born 2nd-generation Hindu and Sikh population in Britain, at least with regards to those who are educated professionals.

    Would you accept if your sister married a Hindu (honest answer now). If she tucked into a side of beef, your bro-in-law would start ‘Ram Ram!!

    With the exception of many Brahmins or devout members of the Swaminarayan or Bhaktivedanta sects, the majority of Hindus in Britain actually do eat meat. Amongst the younger contingent that also often includes beef.

    2nd-gen British Hindus tend not to be particularly devout in religious matters.

    Hell, in India they had to pull the Bollywood film ‘Bombay’ due to riots as it showed a Hindu boy marrying a muslim gal.

    ‘Bombay’ was actually a huge hit in India at the time. The reason for the controversy was the depiction of the serial bomb blasts and the subequent communal riots which had recently occurred in the city, and the fact that the film supposedly included fictional representations of some real-life people.

    Relationships between Muslims and non-Muslim characters have been depicted in numerous successful Hindi films. Recent examples include ‘Veer-Zaara’ and ‘Jodhaa-Akbar’, along with (going a little further back) ‘Gadar’ and ‘Shaheed-e-Mohabbat’. These things do not trigger riots in India.

    So this is the prevailing norm it seems.

    Once again, I get the impression you haven’t actually socialised much with Indians, since many of your views regarding the population in Britain and our counterparts in India itself are highly inaccurate or outdated.

  105. Johnny — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:17 pm  

    Muslim women “married” to non-Muslims or Muslim men “married” to other than Muslim, Christian or Jewish women are fornicating but they are still Muslims albiet sinful ones.

    What a hypocritical, stupid creed. Social conservatism is one thing. Embedded prejudice like that is repulsive.

    Funny how Muslim guys are ‘allowed’ to marry a Christian or Jewish woman, but Muslim women are not ‘allowed’ to marry anyone but a Muslim man. Pathetic double standards and hypocrisy. As for Hindus, Buddhists or whatever, I guess they may as well be aliens from outer space in that demented, stone-age penal code.

  106. Refresh — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:20 pm  

    Ever the optimist, I think this thread could lead to quite a deep understanding of the issues at stake. Long may it continue.

    And some of the issues Ashik raises or complains of are deserving of threads of their own. And I believe they too would be as lively as this.

    But this really did hurt:

    ‘This is why… anyone with an iota of dignity stays away.’

    I tried keeping away. I really did.

  107. Sunny — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:23 pm  

    Johnny: It’s this kind of mentality that can so easily be transposed to murderous violence. The first step to rendering humans as soulless meat to be murdered and harmed is to turn them into beasts and animals.

    I’ll agree with that.

    Hang on, is labelling Asian people ‘villagers’ a progressive act? LoL

    Others might not like it, but if you can pour scorn on people who marry outside the norm, then I can certainly pour scorn on the idiot village mentality that is the basis of this.
    It’s certainly progressive to point out what you are actively against (in this case, your views) and that you plan to aggressively argue against them and curse the fools who adhere to that. Like it or lump it :)

    So what if most Asians are originally from the village? I never said I represented all Asians – I have a liberal / progressive view that resonates with some, and not with the villagers.

  108. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:33 pm  

    Shamit @ 94,

    Apologies, sincerely.

    I have completely fucked up.

  109. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:36 pm  

    Douglas

    Thanks mate. No worries but I share your disgust and frustration at the sheer stupidity and lack of reason in arguments made by people.

  110. Sid — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:37 pm  

    This is why no practicing Hindu, Muslim or Sikh comes here and anyone with an iota of dignity stays away.

    Someone should tell Ashik that every time he posts here his iota of dignity takes a hit.

  111. Jai — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:38 pm  

    Most South Asians hail from rural backgrounds.

    No, many South Asians from the parents’ and grandparents’ generations hail from rural backgrounds in the subcontinent. The younger majority who were born in the UK obviously do not. And don’t forget the huge numbers of Indians from the older generations who arrived from major cities in East Africa during the 60s and 70s.

    Unless I’m mistaken and all the members of PP hail from the urban metropolises of the subcontinent?

    I expect that many members of PP hail from the urban metropolises of the United Kingdom.

    Aha, the fog is beginning to clear, I hope…..

  112. Johnny — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:45 pm  

    And some of the issues Ashik raises or complains of are deserving of threads of their own

    Which ones? That Hindus are like animals?

    The thing that gets me about cretins like Ashik is that they are always the hysterical type you see all over the media whinging and whining about ‘Islamophobia’ and prejudice, all the while spouting the most moronic cretinous shit all over the place. There are some things that should never be beyond criticism. They would like to make aspects of religion beyond criticism. They are malevolent.

  113. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:50 pm  

    This is why no practicing Hindu, Muslim or Sikh comes here and anyone with an iota of dignity stays away

    Please *do* stay away, because you won’t find any dignity by staying. Go and hide yourself in a cavern or wherever people like yourself go, and keep your sympathy to parents who force their daughters to marry strangers to yourself.

    I am all for rational debate between conservatives and progressives, but this is beyond one can tolerate or empathise. It is a heinous crime, one I hope the parents pay very dearly, and which serve as example to other parents who contemplate doing something similar.

  114. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:54 pm  

    Shamit @ 109,

    Thanks, I promise I won’t make that mistake again.

    Me also on the disgust front.

  115. Munir — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:55 pm  

    Johnny

    “Funny how Muslim guys are ‘allowed’ to marry a Christian or Jewish woman, but Muslim women are not ‘allowed’ to marry anyone but a Muslim man. Pathetic double standards and hypocrisy. ”

    My my we are an angry little Johnny. Muslims men are “allowed” to marry practicing Christian and Jewish women ; it is in absolutely no way encouraged in fact it is strongly discouraged and actually considered almost forbidden or actually forbidden by some authorities. The Imams who are considered the bastions of conservatism and misogyny are the ones who most (along with Muslim women) strongly speak out against Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women

    No Muslim serious about his religion would marry other than a Muslim woman. I personally dont agree with Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women at all.

    In any case the inequality and prejudice you rail against stems from the inequality and prejudice of the aformentioned creeds towards Muslims. A Muslim man married to a Christian or Jewish woman has the uptmost respect for Jesus and Moses (peace be upon them) who he considers to be Prophets from God. He considers his wife’s religion to be a divine revelation from God.

    A non-Muslim, Christian or Jew, married to a Muslim woman considers his wife’s religion to be false and not from God. Bit of a difference hey Johnny? If Christians and Jews would revise their stance and accept Islam as a valid religion perhaps things could change eh?

  116. Ravi Naik — on 14th December, 2008 at 10:55 pm  

    So what if most Asians are originally from the village? I never said I represented all Asians – I have a liberal / progressive view that resonates with some, and not with the villagers.

    I got in trouble with Desi Italiana for using the term villagers, and she came with this idea that this is an “urbanite elite” thingy. As Jai was saying, I would say the vast majority of us have parents and grandparents who hail from rural areas… but it is undeniable that there is a “village” mentality for the lack of a better word – as people in these are form tight communities who cling to their traditions much harder than people in urban areas.

  117. Johnny — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:03 pm  

    No Munir. The more you try to explain it, the more stupid, hypocritical and moronic it all sounds.

    Trying to twist it into an issue of how ‘Christians and Jews’ are actually prejudiced against Islam is just another example of the lunacy we find ourselves in.

    Yeah, it’s all about discrimination against Islam!

    Islamophobia!

    Stop persecuting us!

    Absolute bloody demented. That God people are waking up to this ruse.

  118. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:11 pm  

    Sunny

    ‘So what if most Asians are originally from the village? I never said I represented all Asians’

    So who exactly do u represent because by each post you are backtracking. So you don’t represent Asians who hail from rural backgrounds and those who are not liberal (according to your criteria)… you don’t have any Muslim contributing articles yet every second article is negative toward us…..and Bangladeshis and Pakistanis are rare here …pretty soon you will be talking about one man and his dog….you r even worse than the MCB who at least try to get diverse ppl in the Muslim community who are Islamic activists to join.

    Is it really that difficult to get practicing Muslims or Hindus on here? Or are they put off by what they read on here?

  119. Amrit — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:11 pm  

    I have no doubt one or two people here are interested in relationships with asian girls and want to make this acceptable amongst Asians.’

    Ooh! Do go on and name names, you’ve made me very curious now. You can’t just tease like that!

    Halima:

    I posted a super-long post on my blog, but you may find it raises more Qs than answers! I’ll link you anyway:

    http://gts-kjb.blogspot.com/2008/12/marriage-legalised-prostitution.html

  120. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:15 pm  

    Munir mixes up male dominance, and female subserviance, as a religious precept.

    Discuss.

  121. Johnny — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:22 pm  

    I suspect this case could be a watershed of some kind, in as much as it seems to be getting a high profile in the media. Every time cases like this arise the media will be interested and this will force people to take action and move against these situations. One day the forced marriage legislation will be utilised and some parents successfully prosecuted and it will be big news as well.

    Ashik — which practising Muslims do you want writing articles on here, about how Hindus are animals, and women have to be subservient to men, as you have been posting about?

  122. Sunny — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:36 pm  

    Is it really that difficult to get practicing Muslims or Hindus on here? Or are they put off by what they read on here?

    Well, you see this is where you make a mistake. Practising doesn’t necessarily mean stupidly conservative – which is what you are.

    Anyway, its my blog – I’m not here to represent other people’s viewpoints see… I represent my own views, as do the other writers for PP. I know its annoying for you that more people with your views don’t write the articles, but frankly, that isn’t what PP is about or for.

  123. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:54 pm  

    Sunny,

    But you are better than that. You let a lot of folk vent on here. People you probably disagree with.

    There is a constiuency of folk that love you dearly, yes we do, who are also your biggest critics. We criticise you because we think you can do better, not because we dislike you, or anything like that.

    At the end of the day it is your blog, but it wouldn’t be fun without the commentators, now would it?

  124. Ashik — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:03 am  

    So if it’s ok for Sunny, the blog owner, to discriminate against Brit Asians originally hailing from a rural area area ‘back home’ is it ok for a Bangladeshi Jamaati Islamist activist to come and say Hindus are equivalent to cats and dogs?

    I submit Sunny and the heroes of secularism and liberalism on this board lose moral authority to rebuke….

  125. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:04 am  

    i’m still confused though – was she a british citizen or bangladeshi or dual? some news sites have mentioned she had nationality. would be interesting to get that clear with regards to jurisdictional issues and legal precedents.

  126. Johnny — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:12 am  

    So if it’s ok for Sunny, the blog owner, to discriminate against Brit Asians originally hailing from a rural area area ‘back home’ is it ok for a Bangladeshi Jamaati Islamist activist to come and say Hindus are equivalent to cats and dogs?

    Are you incapable of understanding the difference between generically phrasing an attitude as belonging to a village mentality, and the wholesale de-humanising of an entire group of people as being ‘animals’?

    ‘Cats and dogs’ — humans as ‘cats and dogs’?

    What else? Muslims as pigs and monkeys? Is that equal to describing someone as having a hick attitude? Jews as rats and cockroaches?

    Vile, repulsive, sickening moral cretin.

  127. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:17 am  

    Ashik,

    Are you brain dead?

    It really takes someone with psychological issues and mental scarring to come on a board and totally slag off a religion they no longer believe in and a culture they want nothing to do with-all the while professing they are doing so for the good of others. hah!

    I think you are an idiot.

  128. Sid — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:18 am  

    So if it’s ok for Sunny, the blog owner, to discriminate against Brit Asians originally hailing from a rural area area ‘back home’ is it ok for a Bangladeshi Jamaati Islamist activist to come and say Hindus are equivalent to cats and dogs?

    I think has Sunny explained his use of the term “villager” to describe a certain kind of religious conservatism.

    Your turn to explain why you as a Jamaati Islami activist think Hindus are “equivalent to dogs and cats”.

  129. Sunny — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:20 am  

    At the end of the day it is your blog, but it wouldn’t be fun without the commentators, now would it?

    I wouldn’t have it any other way. You folks keep me in check. But I don’t submit to complete idiocy, Ashik style.

  130. persephone — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:25 am  

    Woof! woof! Ashik

    If marrying or eating with non muslims etc is wrong because of their being considered animals, has not the act of posting with so many non muslims not tainted you?

    Run along now and ask your mullah to advise on what you should think & do about that one.

  131. Johnny — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:30 am  

    Anyone who has a mindset that describes any group of people, and individuals who happen to nominally belong to the projects group, as animals, is not just sinister and racist, but they are very dangerous too.

    This is the precursor to violence, to snuffing out humans and individuals. Everywhere in history this is so. From the Nazis referring to Jews as rats and insects, to Tutsis being subjected to genocide by Hutus who described them as dogs and monkeys, this is the sign of pure moral evil. It is a precursor to the abjection of innocent people.

    Ashik is a moral cretin.

  132. Shamit — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:33 am  

    Jamaati Islami activist – why the hell am I not surprised?

    Didn’t this lot disagree with Bangladesh Independence? And supported the Pakistani army genocide on Bangladeshi civil society?

    Also didn’t the 7/7 bombers have some link to the Jamati Islami – This outfit has been suggested by many analysts to be the political face of Al-Qaeda and ISI in Bangladesh. Their stated aim is to create a Sharia society in Bangladesh.

    Ashik — now I understand you. So who brainwashed you? Are you one of those idiots who thinks Britain should come under Sharia law?

  133. Shamit — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:34 am  

    Nice one Perse

  134. Shamit — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:34 am  

    hear hear Sunny @129

  135. Johnny — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:39 am  

    Also didn’t the 7/7 bombers have some link to the Jamati Islami – This outfit has been suggested by many analysts to be the political face of Al-Qaeda and ISI in Bangladesh. Their stated aim is to create a Sharia society in Bangladesh.

    When you have brainwashed people into considering human beings of a different religion or ethnicity or whatever as being little more than animals, cats and dogs, pigs and monkeys and insects, it is the easiest thing in the world to persuade them that killing them is of no more consequence than culling some vermin. Ashik’s attitude and Jamaat Islami mentality is the antechamber and preparatory room for that.

  136. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:48 am  

    Sunny @ 129,

    Thanks for that. I totally love this site.

    Shit. I’ve got a TV personality talking to little old me!

    Could you introduce me to Rachel Stevens please?

    You are right about Ashik though. I cannot comprehend where he is coming from.

    Really.

  137. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:51 am  

    the cultural relativist approach is very dangerous.

    thanks for name-dropping sara hossain Sid – she’s done some very impressive work and writing – which i am sure will interest many of us here, given our interest
    in these human rights issues.

  138. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:52 am  

    persephone – you’re very droll, i like your style.

  139. Ravi Naik — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:54 am  

    Oh great Sonia. This gets better and better. A hindu as well! :) You don’t have a same sex marriage in your family too, do you? Completes the set of social progressive causes in your family!! heh

    Yes, you must be very open and honest with your family. You speak of deception :) and people doing things behind closed doors against societal norms but are yourself deceptive, no? Things haven’t changed much, have they? You should tell your parents straight that you are a kaffir.

    Kaffir? Who actually speaks like that? It is rather sad to see people living among us with such contempt of others because of their ethnic background or sexual orientation. I see no difference between Ashik and a racist skinhead.

    As an Asian I am deeply embarrassed.

  140. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:56 am  

    Completely off topic:

    I have been having problems with this site. It takes multiple – six – agreements to log in.

    Is this just me?

  141. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 1:14 am  

    Ravi,

    As a Scottish, sort of, person, I am as deeply embarrassed as you.

    Kaffir? Who actually speaks like that? It is rather sad to see people living among us with such contempt of others because of their ethnic background or sexual orientation. I see no difference between Ashik and a racist skinhead.

    Neither do I.

    This is shite.

  142. sarah — on 15th December, 2008 at 1:41 am  

    I was thinking exactly what everyone else has said about Ashik when I read his outdated statements in comment 1 this morning when I posted comment 4. I held back from writing it because I wasn’t sure how much agreement I would get.

    I’m pleased to see that everyone else in this thread is open-minded, sensible and living in this century. Ashik, in case you hadn’t noticed, this is 2008. Take the next time capsule back to 1983, please, or the next flight to Saudi Arabia. You’re far too outdated for England.

    I’m proud to be a Muslim, but I and everyone else on Earth are human first and follow their religion later. She has her own mind and must be allowed to marry whoever she loves, black, white or bright blue.

  143. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 1:55 am  

    sarah,

    It doesn’t matter how much agreement you get. You have a voice, and you ought to express it. Honestly, your host and this site are both extremely broad minded.

    Let’s face it, they put up with me, don’t they?

  144. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 2:25 am  

    “totally slag off a religion they no longer believe in”

    well obviously – how else can you be consistent! if you’re going to slag something off well and good then it would be a bit weird if you felt you had to be “held to account ultimately” by it wouldn’t it?personally i think that people are entitled to their own interpretation and OUGHT to interpret these things for themselves (otherwise its just “fashion & ritual”) so many people (like irshad manji) have their own critique of traditional interpretations, and their own interpretation, which usually seeks to address the ‘cognitive dissonance’ of the former. and in my case, ive always been a strident critic of standard interpretations my whole life – (and it was actually easier in the middle east where one wasn’t automatically accused of “competing to be British!! when criticisng theology) and am finally comfortable with the sneaking suspicion I had all along that the Judeo-Christian-Islamic ‘god’ is rather suspiciously too much like a male patriarch for it to be a co-incidence.(and no one who created nature would be so sqeamish about women’s bodies and menstruation – but we know men are, especially older men who feel women are dirty!this is a dead give-away i think) so yes i feel comfortable emotionally with what i had intellectually thought all along – because the fear, (that people like you try and instil in us) has gone. so hallelujah and i don’t see why i shouldn’t share :-)

    and i don’t mind your attempts at “jibes” about british passports and not growing up here: why you think they would ‘affect’ me is anyone’s guess. perhaps because they are close to your heart? I daresay you like to feel you have some “natural” advantage others don’t – that’s fine, go ahead, feel free, its better than the victim mentality.

    I guess deep down you don’t like the idea that its so easy for wayward girls from the indian subcontinent like myself – + the good lady in the news, and countless others – to get on in life independently of ‘our communities’ and backgrounds, eh! It does seem to irk you rather a lot. :-)

    please, feel free to continue posting the kind of stuff where you call me psychologically scarred, i love it. (mjust be the nihilistic masochist in me or something. :-) But there you go, i daresay living through a warzone by the time you’re 13 does that to you..

  145. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 2:44 am  

    Sonia,

    Just to say:

    You are a beautiful human being, so you are. That idiot is not worth your time.

  146. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 3:00 am  

    why thank you douglas, you are a true kindred spirit!
    ashik amuses me, he obviously thinks he can ‘get’ at me somehow, and it amuses me to watch him try.

  147. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 4:01 am  

    why thank you douglas, you are a true kindred spirit!

    I like to think so.

    As you and me have never, ever, fallen out on here, correct me if I am wrong, it would be ridiculous if I didn’t stand up for you.

    As you and I usually agree – despite our different backgrounds and stuff like that – it would be odd if I didn’t agree with you on the fundamentals.

    Which I think we do.

  148. Golam Murtaza — on 15th December, 2008 at 6:45 am  

    Bloody hell, that’s it. I’m with BenSix on this one. I now HAVE to marry a Hindu woman for the sole purpose of winding up Ashik and his mates. It has to be done.

  149. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 8:58 am  

    Golam,

    Is there a club we could join?

  150. s jOHAL — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:25 am  

    Brain dead Ashik finds support from S Johal, and Shamit, ff

    Douglas, please re-read my comments again. I do not support that religous bigot. I feel quite insulted by your remarks, maybe I have been mis-understood, I am the last person who wil defend any mid-evil pratices,

  151. Johnny — on 15th December, 2008 at 11:07 am  

    I now HAVE to marry a Hindu woman for the sole purpose of winding up Ashik and his mates. It has to be done

    If you’re a Muslim and want to wind up Ashik, marry a Hindu woman and tell him you’re renouncing Islam to do so. If you’re not a Muslim, you have to marry a Bangladeshi Muslim woman in order to get the full chilli-up-the-arse effect from Ashik.

  152. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 11:20 am  

    S Johal,

    I’ve tried to write you an apology. Let’s see if it works this time.

    Clearly I got the wrong end of the stick so I did. So, apologies for that. You are not dealing with the best brain in the UK, I often get the wrong end of an arguement.

    I have insulted you unnecessarily, so, sorry about that. It won’t happen again.

  153. fugstar — on 15th December, 2008 at 11:32 am  

    Not sure how ‘begum marrying a hindu’ comes into this.

    Wonder what, if any, shame the GPs parents will feel upon their return. or what signals this case has sent through the minds of similar parents who seem bound by concience to rebel against the cool.

    A debate, internal to the muslim communities, about the the merits and limits of intergenerational family planning would be nice. A lot of you people can’t see why the lion’s share of muslims prefer for their progeny to marry into the faith. Yet this is the socialy mainstreamed policy we need to make more just and fruitful.

  154. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 11:42 am  

    fugstar,

    Could you explain this?

    or what signals this case has sent through the minds of similar parents who seem bound by concience to rebel against the cool.

    I am left bereft of meaning. Really. I have no idea what you are trying to say.

    It’s probably just me.

  155. Jai — on 15th December, 2008 at 11:53 am  

    People “preferring” their kids to marry spouses from the same background, and actually “enforcing” it, are two different things.

    This sort of thing is like an English girl wishing to marry an Asian guy, and her parents subsequently kidnapping her, taking her to Australia, and imprisoning her at some relative’s house in Sydney unless/until she agrees to marry a local white guy who may or may not be a complete stranger but whom she definitely does not want to spend the rest of her life with. Yes, this really is that bad.

    Someone else on this blog has mentioned this before, but to re-iterate: forcing, manipulating, blackmailing and/or trapping a female family member into marriage against her will is essentially facilitating her rape on her wedding night, even if she reluctantly acquiesces to intercourse with her new groom and/or generally goes along with the whole thing in order to “keep the peace”.

  156. Jai — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:01 pm  

    is it ok for a Bangladeshi Jamaati Islamist activist to come and say Hindus are equivalent to cats and dogs?

    Depends on whether you also think it is okay for psychopaths like Platinum786 to openly refer to Jewish victims of the Holocaust as “cockroaches” on that racist hate website laughably known as the Pakistan Defence Forum.

  157. shamit — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:16 pm  

    Jai

    Brilliant as always

    S

  158. MaidMarian — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:28 pm  

    Ashik (124) – ‘I submit Sunny and the heroes of secularism and liberalism on this board lose moral authority to rebuke’

    I’m sorry, is that a lecture on morality? From a person who earlier commented that Dr Abedin had, ‘gone off the rails?’

    In this context a lecture on morality from you is about equivalent to Jordan asking me to put my chest away.

  159. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:36 pm  

    “A lot of you people can’t see why the lion’s share of muslims prefer for their progeny to marry into the faith. ”

    yes we can fugstar. we’ve already had the discussion on the other thread about how so many people do want to have ‘commonalities’ when they choose who to spend their life with, religion is one of those commonalities of course. as shamit or some other sensible person said above, we can see how parents will want to provide counsel and advice and all that as well. its forcing your kids that’s not acceptable, and also not accepting the choices when the kids do choose to not marry within that commonality. as you say a debate ‘within’ the muslim community at the elders level is probably a good idea, if it can happen. though i doubt it, it will be challenged, and by the younger generation’s choices.

    and as Jai says in 155. having a preference is one thing, and enforcing it through violence/coercion is quite another. even if they had tried social ostracisation that would be something else¬!

    douglas – yes we’ve never fallen out and i do think we share the same fundamental values, absolutely.

    fugstar, i think you’ll find the GPs parents live in Bangladesh. Still, its news there too obviously so likely their ‘shame’ will be felt by them wherever they are. of course its likely they will feel its the girls fault for standing up for herself and not giving in quietly! i think its good from that perspective – everyone can see its not so easy to cow one’s daughters so easily (especially if she’s an independent woman)

  160. Sid — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:39 pm  

    A lot of you people can’t see why the lion’s share of muslims prefer for their progeny to marry into the faith. Yet this is the socialy mainstreamed policy we need to make more just and fruitful.

    What I find extraordinary is that a person can claim to be a Jamaati Islami activist and stress, without an iota of self-doubt or decency or self-moderation, that it is his belief as a Muslim that Hindus are like “cats and dogs”.

    In fact, those who have expressed a support for this worldview, not only think his opinions should not be upbraided, they continue to insist that Muslims who do inter-religious marriage is more anathema than a Jamaati Islami who deals in religious bigotry.

    This is what we as sensible, moderate Musoims are up against. This is the ignorance that needs to be fought – this is the long war.

  161. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:42 pm  

    of course what parents need to keep in mind is if they want to keep the relationship with their kids, its that simple. too often its expected that its the other way around, kids have to keep the parents happy. unfortunately that seems to be predicated on a belief that parents are effectively ‘god’ to their kids. a one-way relationship of dominance and obedience.

  162. Muhamad — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:42 pm  

    Sonia @ 32
    Is that you quoting me or Ashik? Please read again what I’ve said.

    Sunny that guy isn’t a ‘villager’, he’s an allahdamn troglodyte!

  163. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:44 pm  

    Sid – excellent point. That is what i was asking ashik when he kept on railing about the significance of religion.

  164. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:46 pm  

    muhammad, don’t worry – i definitely read what you said and was echoing you – i should have made it clear my comment was addressed to ashik. :-)

  165. Amrit — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:49 pm  

    Sonia @ 161:

    Have you been reading my blog? :D

  166. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:50 pm  

    well villager or not, he has some very warped justifications for his ideas. simply that ‘other people think the same!’ even fugstar is sounding sensible compared to him, in as much he appears to at least have some ethical slants to his beliefs. where ashik just seems to me to be a yes man for whatever group he thinks he belongs to. if he had been born into a Hindu family, he would have been an “Islamophobe” for sure and be saying how Muslims were like i don’t know – some animal or something.

    and personally, i must say that being likened to a dog or a cat seems to be complimentary when there are so many unpleasant humans around. dogs and cats are lovely animals! and what kind of religious person condemns their own Creator’s creations? I don’t know – so much inconsistency! Sounds like man’s arrogance (humankind i mean) rather than any divinely inspired ideas. Man is lofty! Well that’s rubbish as far as i can see, many of us are not using our brains, why are we insulting cats and dogs goodness knows. I’ll have to get the RSPCA involved. marrying off a cat to a human sounds like a terrible thing..;-)

  167. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:52 pm  

    heh Amrit -i haven’t had a chance! i was going to move over there to see the continuation of the excellent discussion you and Halima have been having.

  168. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 12:54 pm  

    “This is what we as sensible, moderate Muslims are up against. This is the ignorance that needs to be fought – this is the long war.”

    Yep, well said Sid. as Ashik would come back and say to all of us that we are all just a bunch of anti-Muslims because we don’t feel his explanation of the status quo should be unchallenged. That is the kind of “unthinking religion for religion’s sake” that sensible Muslims (and any other religion for that matter) are up against, for sure.

  169. persephone — on 15th December, 2008 at 2:22 pm  

    Shamit @ 133 & Sonia 138

    why thank you

  170. persephone — on 15th December, 2008 at 2:37 pm  

    139 & 141. As a human being I am deeply embarrassed

    To make matters a worse, after Rover … errh I mean Ashik … has bounded all over this site he lacks the common decency to also bring his pooper scooper with him

  171. fugstar — on 15th December, 2008 at 3:14 pm  

    I think any self declared moderate muslimitude is highly Naffening.

    Ashik,

    Nowadays lots of women are coming to the uk unnaccompanied to study. If one assumes a 30% hit rate with people of similar islamic values to you for men, why would it be any different for women?

    Imagine a future where you think that your daughter may have fallen in love with a Hindu, or a ‘pretend south asian muslim with religion ishoos’. Basically someone you hadnt imagined she’d ever fall for.

    Assume you’ve been through all your deeni training steps, you’ve tied your camel, but its like the credit crunch, hardly your fault. Its one of those trials that she’s been faced with. You aren’t actually to blame unless you transgress your boundaries. Maybe she just doesnt give a stuff about religion? Maybe the lady-fiqh hasnt caught up yet?

    Of course like any Muslim with a beating heart that pumps red blood you’d feel a bit gutted, but what would you actually do? or would it be ok so long as he was a doctor/barrister/accountant? Would you make an exception for Arnob the musician?

  172. persephone — on 15th December, 2008 at 3:59 pm  

    @ 148 & 149 Are you both anthropologists?

    @ 171 some valid points – I hope you get a response

  173. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 4:03 pm  

    YES very interesting questions from fugstar to Ashik, and i imagine Ashik respects fug so it will be interesting to see the response.

  174. AsifB — on 15th December, 2008 at 4:25 pm  

    Fug 171 – good luck and wisdom in engaging with Ashiq, you will need it. I’ll tell you one think though, I wouldn’t be happy if my imaginary daughter wanted to marry Arnob the musician. He acted like a nob last time I saw him ‘perform’ in London.

    I’d rather she chose Jeremy Clakson but if we’re talking musos, Percy the grandad blues singer from Kidderminster/Wolverhampton would do.

  175. bananabrain — on 15th December, 2008 at 4:40 pm  

    ok, while i don’t agree with ashik, i don’t think (if i understand matters correctly) it is clear what exactly is being objected to so strongly. you know, of course, that jews see intermarriage as a bad thing, right? there’s nothing about cats and dogs here, fortunately, but intermarriage is statistically, for us, linked first to a loss of commitment and then to a loss of numbers. i personally would have a very hard time of it if one of my kids married “out”, but i think that would partly be because i would feel that i hadn’t taught them why that was important in a way that they respected. it shouldn’t be because there is anything inherently wrong with someone of another faith and especially not another race. for us, it is all about continuity. the stats say that if you marry out, your kids are that much less likely to remain jewish and, in two or three generations’ time, there aren’t any jews, observant, non-observant, halakhic-status or not. (incidentally, no matter how observant or not, as long as your mother is jewish you can always come back to it, there should never be any disability involved) certainly my empirical experience of this would tend to bear out the research.

    i would, however, say that if you are at a point where you feel your only recourse is to kidnap or coerce your child you have lost the point of what it is you are supposed to be doing in the first place. these things can no longer be compelled, nor should they ever have been compelled in any case. by the time such a marriage is contemplated, you have already lost. you should have made the case long before, so it didn’t arise. if you didn’t, that is your bad, not society’s. religious people need to get this through our heads – if nobody wants to do things your way, forcing them is no solution; you’ve already lost.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  176. Jai — on 15th December, 2008 at 4:58 pm  

    Thanks for your kind words in #157, Shamit.

    too often its expected that its the other way around, kids have to keep the parents happy. unfortunately that seems to be predicated on a belief that parents are effectively ‘god’ to their kids. a one-way relationship of dominance and obedience.

    I think Sonia’s pretty much nailed it above; this attitude is disproportionately skewed towards protecting, supporting and encouraging those in the position of power and authority, rather than protecting the weak and the vulnerable. This point is especially valid when (regardless of Bollywood films) you consider exactly how much the concept of unquestioning obedience towards one’s parents (even if it’s self-evident that they’re completely wrong about something) is entrenched in subcontinental culture. Ironically, and somewhat hypocritically, there are unfortunately also plenty of people from the older generations who would claim that the concept of their (adult) children standing up for their rights and attempting to defend themselves from parental bullying and exploitation are examples of the children bullying and imposing their wishes on them.

    There are plenty of more liberal, relaxed and (let’s face it) comparatively sane and reasonable parents out there, of course, both here and back in the subcontinent. However, there is also a strong cultural streak which promotes the idea that, irrespective of how badly the individuals concerned treat their children, irrespective of how much they may be at fault logically and/or morally, and irrespective of how much havoc is wreaked on the kids’ lives, the children are not supposed to question their parents or disobey them, even as adults, for the rest of their lives; they are just supposed to yield to their parents’ authority and “take it”, including (ideally) shutting their mouths and suffering in silence. Indeed, questioning/disobeying one’s parents is theoretically regarded as much worse than the faulty actions of the parents themselves. This situation is corroded further by the concept prevalent in some quarters of disobedience towards one’s parents being a “sin”, regardless of the circumstances.

    It’s a complete abuse of power.

  177. Jai — on 15th December, 2008 at 4:59 pm  

    You can also see why this whole setup could result in many (not all) parents developing psychopathic attitudes in relation to enforcing their will on their children, since power can corrupt the corruptible and some people are certainly more susceptible to its corrosive effects than others, if they lack the necessary intellectual & emotional self-restraint, self-criticism, objectivity, honesty, maturity and humility to handle the responsibility properly.

    And when you have a reluctance to prosecute one’s parents if they grossly abuse this culturally-mandated power, even if (as in this case) it involves kidnap, imprisonment, drugging, and potentially forcing you to spend the rest of your miserable life with someone you never wanted to marry in the first place, because (to use a very Asian phrase) “they’re your parents and regardless of how badly they treat you, at the end of the day they’re still your parents”…..well, you can see how corrupt and twisted the situation is.

    And, obviously, why it would be cynically exploited by bullies who know their actions would be relatively consequence-free, because people with such psychopathic behavioural traits are only stopped in their tracks by the fear of retaliation and/or punishment, and because they are well aware of the aforementioned “loophole” in Asian culture which cause sons & daughters to hesitate when it comes to taking legal action towards their abusive parents, even if such action would be fully justified and in the spirit of self-defence.

  178. halima — on 15th December, 2008 at 5:07 pm  

    perse

    “@ 148 & 149 Are you both anthropologists?”

    I am guilty. :D

  179. halima — on 15th December, 2008 at 5:12 pm  

    Jai

    It’s strange isn’t it- it just occured to me that while we debate the finer points – and there are finer points despite the way the discussion has been turned… the most important point is perhaps the one you reminded us with:

    forcing a girl to have sex with someone against her wishes on her so-called weddding night.

    That amounts to rape.

    So good for you for bringing this debate down to reality.

    and yes, ultimately as society we think parent’s rights are sacrosanct – and i’ve said it somewhere elsebefore, I’d rather start with children’s rights or the rights of the vulnerable as my basis for what’s right and what’s wrong .

  180. fugstar — on 15th December, 2008 at 5:35 pm  

    Halima,

    Are you sure your ears are doing justice to the parents in this case? of course its not really any of our business, there is probably a lot more to it than the white mens burden types are capable of perceiving.

    (i believe i have 72 possibly redundant excuses ready)

    i feel the urge to express what a father/mother in that predicament might feel in terms other may understand, but i cant because religious mojo levels dont match, and few, bar mr banana accord faith much respect and mightiness at all.

    But what if John never met Yoko?

  181. S Johal — on 15th December, 2008 at 5:45 pm  

    I’ve tried to write you an apology. Let’s see if it works this time.

    Douglas, there was no need of a apology, thanks.

    Can everybody please stop slagging off the Villigers, as I am one of them and we have long progressive history of fighting racism and facism in the UK mainly through the Indian Workers Associatin’s in the Seventies and continue to do so, mybe not in that strengh and numbers.

  182. halima — on 15th December, 2008 at 5:52 pm  

    Fugstar

    I think my opening sentiments on this thread was with the parents and the lack of awareness that goes with protecting the rights of children – something not done well in any society – leaving aside the white man’s burdens.

    I also mentioned earlier on – that this case itself isn’t going to help the countless and invisible young women and their families who might find themselves swimming against a legal culture unknown to them. Often for these communities the world of human rights, NGOs and their courts are alient – and sometimes the official-dome and all it brings – can be equally exploitative to otherwise unwares folks.

    I do think the solution is to work within local communities – awareness raising – advocacy with parent, families and the young women. But ultimately my loyalties will always come down with a child – and here i am speaking not so much about forced marriages, but my belief that in protecting children’s rights first we protect the vulnerable and ourselves in the longer term.

    But i have to say – when forced marriage tantamounts to unconsented rape by one invidual against another – because let’s face it, no-one else will be around in the bedroom – no parents or guardians and what have you , it looks equally crystal clear to me. I wouldn’t want my younger sister or anyone in this situation.

    Of coarse the ultimate solition is prevention and to never find ourselves in this predicament – so longer term work is more helpful than combative court cases that will invitably miss the scale of the problem anyway.

    And I must confess I don’t understand the comment about John and Yoko – I don’t think Yoko is all that , and John could’ve done without her , but in Britain it’s a crime to speak against a Beatle…

  183. halima — on 15th December, 2008 at 5:57 pm  

    “Can everybody please stop slagging off the Villigers, as I am one of them”

    I am a villager, too, Hear , hear.

  184. Ashik — on 15th December, 2008 at 6:56 pm  

    Sid:

    ‘This is what we as sensible, moderate Musoims are up against. This is the ignorance that needs to be fought – this is the long war’.

    What ‘we Muslims’??? You Sid yourself stated at the earlier thread that you considered yourself an apostate. In addition one need only read the tenor of your universally negative articles about Islam and Muslims here. You should make your mind up about whether you are a Muslim or not!!

    As for your accusations of my being a Jamaati supporter. what a joke! It is you after all who is involved in Bangladeshi expat party politics in the UK through your association with the Drishtipat group of exapat Bangladesh Awami League supporters.

    My position has always remained that it is irrelevent for British citizens to get involved in either Bangladeshi or Islamic fundamentalist politics since these are deadends.

  185. Ashik — on 15th December, 2008 at 7:27 pm  

    Banannaman:

    ‘i don’t think (if i understand matters correctly) it is clear what exactly is being objected to so strongly. you know, of course, that jews see intermarriage as a bad thing, right? ‘

    Basically this is a forum full to the brim with Asians who wish to assimilate and be accepted by white ppl and also ppl who can’t stand religious people and think religion is the root of all evil. Especially Muslims. Some here like Sonia would like to change religious spripture to suit their own lifestyle choices. Some of these ppl are engaged in relationships frowned upon by society and against their religion. Many of the chesthumpers here would oppose their own sisters marrying a Hindu but for forms sake take differing views on this internet forum.

    This is why tou see the reaction as above to my providing the cultural context as to why a Hindu marrying a Muslim is unacceptable in Bengali society.

    At no point have I said that violently forcing this woman to marry is a solution in fact at *1 I STATED CLEARLY ‘A forced marriage was not a solution’. Yet certain ppl like Sid and Sonia would like to portray that I am in favour of this. They essentially pine for a permissiove society in Bangladesh where everything goes.

    The hypocracy of these pseudo liberal types and their shallow motives is illustrated best by Sunny’s post about ‘village mentality’, which others like johal and halima have picked out as well. This discrimination against those considered ‘paesants’ actually affects life chances in the subcontinent and even the diaspora. It seems that certain discriminatory attitudes are aok because they don’t affect members who tend to congregate here but others are jumped on fast because they do. I say that’s no intellectually creditable way of being liberal. It’s just wishy washy taste in being permissive to suit ones own momentary whims. There is no genuine commitment to liberal inclusive ideas here on PP, certainly not for people who respect their culture and religion.

  186. Ashik — on 15th December, 2008 at 7:46 pm  

    Sonia:

    ‘I guess deep down you don’t like the idea that its so easy for wayward girls from the indian subcontinent like myself – + the good lady in the news, and countless others – to get on in life independently of ‘our communities’ and backgrounds, eh! It does seem to irk you rather a lot’.

    Hardly. You do whatever you please dearie.
    Like u say get on with your life….don’t stare back toward your prev life.

    Just don’t as an ex-Muslim think anybody gives a trinkers cuss for your narrow, illiterate and embittered rants against Islam and Muslims informed by your own experiences which drove u to leave Islam. Embrace your new identity and be the assimilated person u wanna be. Leave us poor benighted Bengalis, south asian s and muslims be. It’s not like your aggressive way of putting down Muslims and Islam are going to persuade anyone in the mainstream…that’s why ur fan club includes ppl like Douglas who don’t really know much about the issues discussed here about shades of asian culture.

  187. Ashik — on 15th December, 2008 at 7:58 pm  

    I stated earlier:

    ‘Has PP ever discussed topics such as the breakup up of the family, rampant alcohol abuse, single parents, care for elderly left to die in their own filth?’

    Are these not topics which are of importance to Britain? Rather than constantly talking only about culture-specific forced marriage that leads to infighting how abouts we address these problems which blight the Caucasian population of Great Britain? Why are these issues not vigourously persued in discussion on PP? Is it because some of these problems are the result of the permissive society we live in which many PP’ers support?

    Surely a white woman who regularly gets beaten up by her drunk boyfriend or live-in partner is just as worthy of support as an Asian girl facing forced marriage? As people who are ‘liberal’ shouldn’t we burnish our credentials by discussing topics regardless of colour and culture? Or is it that none of us really gives a damn about helping ppl but only in maintaining certain ideological positions?

  188. S Johal — on 15th December, 2008 at 8:14 pm  

    am a villager, too, Hear , hear.

    Halima, thank you for your thought-out, thoughtfull arrogant sarcastic, patronizing remarks, it just shows how much contempt some of you intellactauls hold againgst ordinary working class people. Thanks for the reminder.

  189. Sid — on 15th December, 2008 at 8:30 pm  


    As for your accusations of my being a Jamaati supporter. what a joke! It is you after all who is involved in Bangladeshi expat party politics in the UK through your association with the Drishtipat group of exapat Bangladesh Awami League supporters.

    I didn’t accuse you of being a Jamaati activist. You ‘confessed’ to being one yourself. Or at least likened yourself to a Jamaati activist who claims Hindus are “equivalent to cats and dogs” in #124:

    So if it’s ok for Sunny, the blog owner, to discriminate against Brit Asians originally hailing from a rural area area ‘back home’ is it ok for a Bangladeshi Jamaati Islamist activist to come and say Hindus are equivalent to cats and dogs?

  190. halima — on 15th December, 2008 at 8:32 pm  

    S Johal

    It wasn’t being arrogant at all .. I honestly share your sentiments. I was born in north-west Bangladesh in a village – with no skilled birth attendant in sight! The last time ( a year ago now as I am living in Kathmandu at the moment) i visited Shiramishi bazaar there was no running water, public roads works or electricity to speak of. We migrated from rural Bangladesh to London – and this is the only home I know in Bangladesh . As a family we never set up home even in urban Sylhet. Most of my parents and wider kin are from rural Bangladesh – and very few had the advantage of an education because the public education system is weak and none in my family could afford to pay for a private education in Bangladesh. In fact I don’t have a single relative who had any school education. This has got to be one of the positive results of the British public education system we found ourselves in later years.

    I hope i don’t come across as arrogant, and I don’t always feel comfortable talking about my personal background but in the interests of solidarity .. here you go. I grew up in Brick Lane, East London on a council flat as my folks still do. Not that this should give me much to hang my politics on.. But I think I have some claims to being ordinary and working class – I’ve demonstrated in Brick Lane throughout the 1980s because the fascists were on my doorstep – it wasn’t arm chair politics.

  191. Ashik — on 15th December, 2008 at 8:50 pm  

    Halima:

    ‘Have always found Sara to be much more independent minded of the Gulshan/Dhanmondi human rights set’

    Hey Halima, you’ve worked with Bangladeshi NGO’s right? I read ur article in Bangla Info.

    Do you know how many of this this bunch of Bengali champaign socialists make their money? The Dhakaiya middleclasses have been siphoning off aid money sent from the West to help the needy in Bangladesh for decades. They are also usually viewed as being Pro-Awami League. Hence BNP supporters distrust NGO’s. The islamists absolutely loath the more social activist NGO’s like Sultana Kamal.

    Of course according to the BBC Pulse of Bangladesh survey of over 5,000 people only 11% of Bangladeshis put their trust in NGO’s, 53% the military, 39% on politicians and 70% on religious leaders. Check .pdf doc on:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/trust/mediacoverageresources/story/2005/11/051116_pulse-press.shtml

    Why do you think NGO’s are so distrusted despite the apparently good work, as in this lady’s case, that they do?

  192. jambalaya — on 15th December, 2008 at 8:52 pm  

    Ashik, the problem with Europe and the UK is that there are way too many primitive villagers like you in this postmodern society. Your parents might have escaped the paddy fields but every last parochial narrow-minded attitude they’ve instilled in you while they were raising you in some one-bed shanty in a Tower Hamlets council estate. And then you cave-dwelling sickos go and turn into Muhammad Bouyeris.

    This is how things are done in this country. The individual’s choice is supreme. Supreme over tradition. Supreme over clan. Supreme over religion. Supreme over tribe. You have a problem dealing with that, you can fuck off all the way back to the third-world village that is your natural mental milieu.

  193. Ashik — on 15th December, 2008 at 9:01 pm  

    So Said where exactly did I say I was a Jamaati supporter? The extract you give merely states that Jamaat I Islami think Hindus are cats and dogs. Do you disagree that they hold these beliefs?

    The rest is just your own assumptions. I’m glad we agree.

    Jambalaya. y not go back to the cover of the lil’ cave you crawled out from, eh dear. LoL btw….am proud to be a villager.

  194. halima — on 15th December, 2008 at 9:07 pm  

    Ashik

    Sara Hossain is one of more inspirational human rights activists I’ve come across – by a long shot , anywhere, not just in Bangladesh.

    I don’t know a huge amount about party politics in Bangladesh, and have consciously chosen not to understand it, but the staff that work in these NGOs are quite a diverse bunch. Some don’t have much politics at all – and I’d go as far as to say , that because the aid industry in Bangladesh and in other low-income countries is an alternative industry for employment to the private sector and to government, it attracts people who want to earn a good living. No harm in this.

    What I do know is that Bangladesh has the largest number of NGOs relative to its size and density ; and it is a positive feature that most of these NGOs are locally grown, as opposed to being local offices of the larger international NGOs.

    And yes, the figures on trust in NGOs is alarming – there’s quite a big democratic deficit there, and usually NGOs take their accountability from being in touch with ordinary people – so something has gone a miss. But I am not informed enough to know the nature of this dis-connect – there are good NGOs and bad ones, just like there are in the UK.

    I guess also in a country like Bangladesh with pockets of extreme poverty and disadvantage, mostly in the rural regions, it is likely that organizations with big headquarters in the capital are less trusted. This is also the case in Kathmandu – and the NGOs tend to be politicized somewhere along the way .

  195. Sid — on 15th December, 2008 at 9:17 pm  

    So Said where exactly did I say I was a Jamaati supporter? The extract you give merely states that Jamaat I Islami think Hindus are cats and dogs. Do you disagree that they hold these beliefs?

    The rest is just your own assumptions. I’m glad we agree.

    Yes I agree that Jamaatis are very likely to hold the belief that Hindu people are like cats and dogs. And on this thread, you were the first and only person to make that assertion as well. And at least a dozen have criticised you for it.

    So what does that make you?

  196. jambalaya — on 15th December, 2008 at 9:28 pm  

    Ashik, you’re just too easy a target. You like being a third-world villager, that’s wonderful. Fact is, you couldn’t be any other way, not even if you tried, because you are what you are – the product of your impoverished, inward-looking, immigrant origins.

    The point I am making is different. It is simply this. The views you cling on to are a couple of centuries out of date in Europe. And it’s for you to make allowances for the society that you unfortunately find yourself in. Make sure you understand that. You want to try and adapt to this society. Because this society is not going to turn the clock back two hundred years in order to accommodate your third-world-village mindset.

  197. Munir — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:25 pm  

    Johhny

    “‘Cats and dogs’ — humans as ‘cats and dogs’?

    What else? Muslims as pigs and monkeys? Is that equal to describing someone as having a hick attitude? Jews as rats and cockroaches?

    Vile, repulsive, sickening moral cretin.”

    You forget of course that the Daily Telegraph DID refer to Muslims as dogs -and referring to Muslims as aanimals is not uncommon in right wing cricles

    “All Muslims, like all dogs, share certain characteristics”
    Will Cummins, Daily Telegraph

  198. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:35 pm  

    ashik is talking a pile of crap when it comes to Sara Hossain. say what you like about the rest of us, fine. but what do you actually know about the work of ain o shalish kendra? hmm? these are people, who could be Barristers in the UK, who practice in Bangladesh, and provide legal advice and legal aid to those who wouldn’t have any otherwise.

    only a “political” person would cast a slur on such worthwhile apolitical activity. typical of bangladeshi politics. the people who it matters to – they trust them.

  199. S Johal — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:45 pm  

    It wasn’t being arrogant at all .. I honestly share your sentiments

    Halima I do apologies, did you ever came across the Asain Youth Movement in the eighties, I was a active member of Birmingham branch. I believe we have a profile on the net.

  200. fugstar — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:45 pm  

    I dont think the jamaat hate hindus or refer to them in that way. They now claim 5 000 members from such religions. Hindu’s in Bangladesh fear Muslims who dont live up to their beleifs, who very often come from secular and nationalist camps. no one political grouping have a monopoly on nastiness.

    Also one particular person should restain himself from guilt tripping every bengali muslim happily bearing the scent of islam with shotgun desperate demonisation.

    One particularly smelly,parochial, preudobrahminical, diplobrat and (sorry) ‘paki’ characteristic of PP is the use of this urban-rural rubbish. It just generates noise and assumes an urban virtue, which is a fallacy. villages are not idyllic, but many aspects of life there are closer to the fitra.

    Halima,
    The social solutions and techniques are generally more dignifying. For these reform processes to evolve people need to actively know eachother, crystalise and mesh more. Every faulty murabbi has a murrabbi figure of his own, and we need to recognise murrabbettes too. men who cross red lines should be treated equally to women, and im afraid much of the work needs to be done on gossipy old cows.

  201. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:45 pm  

    “Sara Hossain is one of more inspirational human rights activists I’ve come across – by a long shot , anywhere, not just in Bangladesh.”

    as Halima says. her work and expertise is very valuable and her work is recognised around the globe and she is a well-respected published author. this isn’t about just some unknown little bangladeshi ngo ‘siphoning money’. though that is certainly true in bangladesh, but goes to show perhaps ashik has not done his research on Sara Hossain, he should save his ire for where he knows something about the topic.

  202. s — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:52 pm  

    Cats and dogs’ — humans as ‘cats and dogs’?

    Sikhs campare themselves to Lions

  203. S Johal — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:59 pm  

    “‘Cats and dogs’ — humans as ‘cats and dogs’?

    Please dont insult cat and dogs by comparing them to the humans, they dont harm anyone, they are lovely creatures

  204. persephone — on 15th December, 2008 at 11:05 pm  

    s @ 202 but thats not quite the same thing since Lions have a more macho image which is why I expect
    (male) sikhs align themselves to lions as opposed to your everyday tabby cat.

  205. Sid — on 15th December, 2008 at 11:54 pm  

    Also one particular person should restain himself from guilt tripping every bengali muslim happily bearing the scent of islam with shotgun desperate demonisation.

    Please explain how it is for you to think that someone who says Hindus are like “cats and dogs” happens to be “bearing the scent of islam”? That may be the stench of your BO but it is certainly not the scent of islam.

  206. Ashik — on 16th December, 2008 at 12:06 am  

    Sonia:

    ‘ashik is talking a pile of crap when it comes to Sara Hossain’.

    Er…learn to read first. Where did i say anything about Sara Hossain? As I stated, many of these Dhakaiya NGOwallas are corrupt and you agreed at 201.

    Sultana Kamal and Ain O Salish Kendro are controversial because Sultana Kamal the chairperson was an advisor to the caretaker govt trying to hold elections, no? A highly controversial position where rightwing and Islamic parties would naturally perceive her ilk to be Pro-Awami League. Should NGO’s get involved with government and party politics in the polarised arena of Bangladesh?

    I think the Bangladesh NGO industry needs to be less centralised and Dhakaiya and more regionalised (as does Bangladesh generally). Aid money ought to be dispersed to local grassroots organisations, eg. in Sylhet expats and diaspora remit a lot of money and local NGO’s need to work closely with them. NGO groups also need to be more welcoming of help from Muslim organisations like mosques and Madrashas and try not to paint everything Islamic as fundamentalist! At the end of the day how can Sylheti ppl relate to ASK when it’s memebers are Dhakaiya and can’t even make themselves understood to local ppl? Grassrtoots Brit Sylheti charity work is more helpful than those from large structured organisations more prone to political ambition.

  207. soru — on 16th December, 2008 at 12:44 am  

    ‘I’d rather she chose Jeremy Clakson’

    Actually, in a rare and controversial example of legislation naming a specific individual, the FMA does actually contain a clause saying you are allowed to declare your daughter non-compos menti if she wants to marry Mr Clarkson.

    An amendment covering granddaughters and Russel Brand failed to pass committee.

  208. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 1:29 am  

    the point is that some wear it proud, however basically constructed.

    your particular poisonous fumes are noted.

    +no hindus were harmed in the creation of this post+

  209. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 1:46 am  

    sure ashik, you were making a sweeping statement to dismiss the relevance of the work the ngo had done in this case, and the need. women have little access to their rights, little knowledge of their rights, which many people take full advantage of.

    anyway.

  210. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:01 am  

    jai..176 and 177, well said. and halima in 179 – as you say, that’s what it boils down to. and it’s completely unacceptable.

    ashik i maintain ties with bangladesh so there’s no ‘former’ life to anything. and even if there weren’t, i think i’ll decide what i ‘stare at’ or not, thanks very much :-)

  211. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:08 am  

    and as a feminist, former life or previous life, there is plenty to be going on about, as you point out yourself. you’re not about to dissuade me so i wonder why you bother trying. you seem to keep on and on about ‘oh you’re not one of us any more’ so piss off strategy, clearly it really does bother you doesn’t it. Why don’t those people just piss off and leave us alone. Well tough luck buddy, it ain’t that simple. if i think something is unethical, i’m going to say something, and not a darn thing you can do about it :-)

  212. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:09 am  

    problem for you is people like me have the potential to influence on young impressionable girls, and you don’t like that do you? Social conservatives never did, and don’t. its like the meccans going afer the Prophet – look where that got them :-) .
    and yes, this is going forwards with my life, of course it is, not sure why you or anyone might think it wasn’t…? again, another attempt to suppress criticism, it won’t work i’m afraid.

  213. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:15 am  

    the point being perhaps Ashik, that you don’t seem to get, is that speaking our minds is progress for us -its moving on, saying what we want, working for what we want. compared to the way you would keep women down, this is moving forward indeedy.

  214. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:16 am  

    soru u are amusing.

  215. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:20 am  

    “Grassrtoots Brit Sylheti charity work is more helpful”

    where – in dhaka? why has it got to be sylheti before its “more” helpful? you’re making some blanket statements, don’t you think?

    you are well funny you are. you are so obsessed with being sylheti -it is more than a trifle odd. do you think you’ll go to a separate Heaven?

  216. Ashik — on 16th December, 2008 at 8:00 am  

    Sonia:

    ‘problem for you is people like me have the potential to influence on young impressionable girls’,

    Not really. Even the most ardent Bengali feminist is not going to advocate a girl marry a Hindu. Those fighting for womens rights know that they have to keep it real in order to be effective in advocating Bengali womens rights. Remember that 97% of Bengalis find religion very important.

    As for going to a separate heaven, Bangladeshi id=Dhakaiya id. Hence distinction whereby Sylhetis id themselves differently. Helping ppl in Dhaka? Why, they already benefit from the lions share of govt expenditure. It’s areas like Sylhet that lose out. Hence large scale migration of Sylhetis to the West. And as u accepted at 102 Dhakaiya ngo’s are corrupt and siphon money from the needy (so u agree with my ‘sweeping statement’) before going on to lecturing to us about human and womens rights!

  217. halima — on 16th December, 2008 at 8:08 am  

    S Johal

    Will check out your Birmingham based organisation – am researching activism and direct action in the 80s generally at the moment – and my rador hasn’t gone beyond London in the 1980s. Cheers.

    H

  218. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 8:46 am  

    the point is that some wear it proud, however basically constructed.

    And there lies the problem. That any muslim, however piss-ignorant or unstable or backward, can assert that Hindus are like “cats and dogs” or Ahmadiyya should be turned out of their houses and homes, or the killing of innocents by terrorism is Islamic or other gruesome stupidities which “however basically constructed”, are for you and people like you, has “the scent of Islam”. Yuk.

    They don’t and no amount of agitating from the sidelines will make it so.

  219. Sofia — on 16th December, 2008 at 8:48 am  

    Blimey…i was just happy the woman got out…i reckon the whole marrying out of her religion is going off on a tangent anyway, as her family would have reacted the same if she’d chosen a nice muslim boy who is from Jamaica.

  220. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 9:24 am  

    Telling the difference between an immature passionate boy who is capable of growth and a hopeless twisted old bean counter is the key here.

    219.
    Nice black muslim point is a great one. Though we have had ethiopian sultans in Bengal historically. However to be fair to the situation the facts available to us car crash voyeurs are extremely limited.

    I would have used the card labelled ‘bengali muslims (esp sylhatians) in the uk are less racially boring when it comes to muslim-muslim marriage’, but it seems like the good doctor was born and raised in monocultural bangladesh.

    I really wouldn’t want to be in her shoes when she comes back in to work.

  221. Sofia — on 16th December, 2008 at 9:32 am  

    Fugstar
    I think we all know cases where inter racial/religiou marriages have worked and others where it’s gone disasterously wrong.
    I agree that we dont’ know all the facts…which is why i’m just happy she got out of her situation, and yes, it’s gonna be really weird her going back to work.

  222. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 9:48 am  

    Its all over the press here for some reason. People who probably have never knowingly met Bangladeshis have this flowing round their heads now. The medical professions are conservative and full of gossipy men and women.

    On a more selfish level, I think it has earnt major uncool bangla points even though none of the bandits in the scenario are Brileti and some of the heroes are part of the bengi establishment.

    Not the first nor the last time this will happen I guess, so why this case? Surely not for us to witness ashik, sonia and sid get up eachothers arses?

    Sunny’s unusually on the ball article http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/15/communities mentions the incident’s value to the brit government as symbolic victory for a new forced marriage law. Wisely he then tries to point attention at the chemichals moving around certain parents brains.

    Subtract all the virtual valour for a moment, is the story’s raised position only because of the UK policy wonk value? What kind of political game is who playing?

  223. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:21 am  

    I think the “immature passionate boy” was right first time. It’s Jamaati Islami who has been known to regard Hindus as “cats and dogs”. Not surprising, the organisation is full to the brim with thugs and rapists or mullahs who sanction thuggery and rape. The “cats and dogs” slur is the kind of social bigotry that is fundamental to the tenets of Jamaat-e-Islam. After all, this is the doctrine of the mass murderers Ghulam Azam and Maulana Maududi.

    “Cats and Dogs” is not part of the doctrine of the Prophet, since we all know Muhammed loved cats.

    The Jamaati fugstar would like us to think that any old bollocks, “however badly constructed” can be passed off as Islamic. But he will call people who refute him as anti-Islamic or non-Muslims. He has learnt much from the thugs of Jamaat because that’s a neat little trick you can employ to beat off your detractors – call them anti-Islamic.

    However, they are guilty of “bid’a” also known as liturgical fabrication or bullshit artistry. Do you know what the punishment you and Azam and Maududi have in store for you for that kind of thing fugstar?

  224. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:25 am  

    I agree that we dont’ know all the facts…which is why i’m just happy she got out of her situation, and yes, it’s gonna be really weird her going back to work.

    She’s an adult who can look after herself. My mate knows her, went to uni with her and she’s a tough, pragmatic cookie.

    Hats off to her for sticking to her guns and to her dreams. I wish her all the best for her future with whoever she wishes to spend her life with.

  225. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:30 am  

    what the matter mdear? why are you so anxious to interpret me?

  226. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:40 am  

    it’s a dirty job but…

  227. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:43 am  

    In the interest of objective discernment of character.

    How does Tough Pragmatic Cookie get to the age of 33 and into a professional caste, then get trapped by her father only to be saved after a ‘Yikes, save me’ text and the intervention of the state?

  228. Sofia — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:47 am  

    it happens to a lot of men and women..family pressure, guilt, threats …going back to the other thread on Sunny’s documentary of suicide…I know plenty of independent women who have been forced into situations they did not want to be in because of this sense of loyalty to their families.

  229. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:47 am  

    yeah, she was a tough pragmatic cookie before and after being trapped, bullied, intimidated and emotionally blackmailed.

    But she had the courage to stick to her dreams and principles and her case has forced an international diplomatic incident *and* a change in the laws of two countries. And this will hopefully help thousands of women (and men) in the same position. woot!

  230. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:56 am  

    228.
    then i figure that the perception of independance is cheaply earnt in brown society.

    will be interesting to see how sunny might analyse the logics and guilt trippings he comes across. Most instructive might be the cases where the autonomous female has (1) succesfully negotiated her way through such a torrid time, (2) had an educative effect on her family (and his family) and (3) improved the familiy’s self esteem.

    people learn from stories, not indignant headlines and faceless statistics.

  231. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 10:59 am  

    what legal changes did her case force?
    major diplomatic incident?

    sense of proportion please.

  232. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:16 am  

    what legal changes did her case force?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7783351.stm

    However, Dr Abedin’s solicitor, Anne-Marie Hutchinson, believes her client’s case has made a significant contribution to the fight against forced marriages in Britain for two reasons.

    Firstly, because the judge in Bangladesh was prepared to go public and emphasise the “civil wrong” which had been done against her client, and secondly, because a British High Court order served under the new Forced Marriage Act was mentioned at the Dhaka hearing.

    Although the UK injunction against Dr Abedin’s family had no “directing enforceability” in Bangladesh, “judicial note had been taken of its existence”, Ms Hutchinson says.

    “What was heartening was to hear what was said in the Bangladesh court by the Supreme Court judge, who echoed what one would anticipate what a High Court judge would say here about the breach of human rights and the inappropriate actions of her parents,” she continues.

    “What it does is emphasise for victims that there is relief there for them and they must come forward.”

    major diplomatic incident?

    http://www.orange.co.uk/news/topstories/7222.htm?linkfrom=feed_newsandweather&link=link_img&article=index

    Two months ago, the Foreign Office issued a protection order under the Forced Marriage Act, however, this was not enforceable overseas because Dr Abedin is not a British national.

    However, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said the order was issued in the hope that it might ‘carry some weight’ with the Bangladeshi court system.

    The British High Commission in Dhaka will not be able to offer Dr Abedin any ‘formal assistance’ or ‘consular service’ in her return to the UK because she is not a British national.

    However, her lawyer confirmed that Dr Abedin will head there after leaving court to speak with the Commission.

  233. Golam Murtaza — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:23 am  

    This thread is exhausting.

  234. persephone — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:27 am  

    230 ” Most instructive might be the cases where the autonomous female has (1) succesfully negotiated her way through such a torrid time, (2) had an educative effect on her family (and his family) and (3) improved the familiy’s self esteem.”

    In these situations they are hardly in a totally ‘autonomous’ position largely due to their family loyalty (plus lack of support & resources) despite such treatment. You are also putting a lot of responsibility on the woman to fix all of these issues (which are not engendered by her) which is the crux of the ideology behind this issue in that the onus is on the woman to retain ‘family esteem’. The family should behave in a responsible way to earn its own esteem

    Plus these families are resistant to what you call ‘education’ as they blindly follow what they have been told to believe as the modus operandi.

    “sunny might analyse the logics and guilt trippings he comes across.”

    It would be rereshing to see if the families (as opposed to the women in question – which I believe is what you meant & again the word guilt implies the woman has something to be guilty/responsible for – do correct me if I am wrong ) exercise any of these. Sadly i think few familiies will reach that level of introspection/change.

  235. Ashik — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:32 am  

    There’s something not quite right about this story…bound, gagged and drugged, yet she is permitted to go on the computer on the net and send an sos message? Then she also refuses to press charges against her family. Perhaps the coersion angle has been overworked somewhat by sensationalist hacks. I guess we will find out if this lady takes advantage of the media interest.

    And Sid, yes Jamaat, especially it’s Shibir student wing has thugs and rapists. Unfortunately the main nominally secular Awami League which you support and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party also have rapists and thugs too. And more of them since they are larger party’s than Jamaat. I once read a report that Awami League student activists raped female students at Uni (Jahangirnogor Uni) and your party did nothing about it. The Awami student leader and his cronies apparently raped up to 100 female students. Perhaps you’ve heard of this incident?

    Can either Awami League activist Sid or Jamaat activist Fug tell me what the difference is between a Jamaati rapist and an Awami League rapist? Because I don’t see any difference. They are both scum.

    This is why I look down on Brit Cits of Bengali extraction who still insist on being Bangla party activists in the UK.

  236. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:39 am  

    Can either Awami League activist Sid or Jamaat activist Fug tell me what the difference is between a Jamaati rapist and an Awami League rapist? Because I don’t see any difference. They are both scum.

    None whatsoever and absolutely right.

    This is why I look down on Brit Cits of Bengali extraction who still insist on being Bangla party activists in the UK.

    What about Brit Cits who are still hung up old hard-coded sectarianisms and thereby think marrying a non-Sylheti or a non-Muslim is a BAD THING? You’re obviously still in that strait-jacket.

  237. persephone — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:46 am  

    ” Can either Awami League activist Sid or Jamaat activist Fug tell me what the difference is between a Jamaati rapist and an Awami League rapist? Because I don’t see any difference. They are both scum. ”

    Can you add to the list of above rapists those rapists that these asian women are forcibly married to because I don’t see the difference… apart from:

    1)that they are known to (and chosen by) the victims family or related to the victim.
    2) the rape lasts a lifetime
    3) they must bear the children of their rapist
    4) they must accept the situation as being culturally the norm & in keeping with the family esteem
    5) reporting marital rape would be seen as irresponsible, acting too autonomously, being disloyal to the family

    They are scum. (ie the families & their son in laws)

  238. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:54 am  

    234.
    I’m talking about reform of the orthodox behaviour, refinement of habitus and better social technique.
    Am i placing too much emphasis on the Agency of the Begum? no im looking for it in other people’s investigation. I think its an error to always focus on hopeless cases.

    this case touches on far bigger underlying issues than this thread or crew is able to figure. and i am procrastinating.

    245.
    im not a jamati. if you are interesting in where i am coming from you should read what i write on my blog, not take it from a damaged goods secularist. If you are still interested in my answer, having ignored my questions to you then,

    The Jamati activist is more interesting to talk to than the Awami one. They share similarities though, especially the older ones. I have never met any rapists, have you?

  239. persephone — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:54 am  

    “There’s something not quite right about this story…bound, gagged and drugged, yet she is permitted to go on the computer on the net and send an sos message?”

    It beggars belief that even when a woman reports an incident she is criticised for the format of it ie if she can get to a PC, telephone she can’t have been drugged etc. Yes lets ignore the situation & throw doubt on the woman to nullify her story & any existence of wrongdoing. Why the focus on HOW the victim sought help & not focus on the perpetrators?

  240. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 11:58 am  

    Sid, for a muslim woman to marry outside the faith is a bad thing for beleivers. How beleivers deal with bad things and preserve dignity in a manner that God may be pleased with is what this is about.

  241. persephone — on 16th December, 2008 at 12:03 pm  

    @ 238″ I’m talking about reform of the orthodox behaviour, refinement ent of habitus and better social technique.

    By who? It comes across as by the woman

    “Am i placing too much emphasis on the Agency of the Begum? ”

    Yes

    ” this case touches on far bigger underlying issues than this thread or crew is able to figure.”

    Please illuminate us then.

  242. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 12:15 pm  

    Sid, for a muslim woman to marry outside the faith is a bad thing for beleivers. How beleivers deal with bad things and preserve dignity in a manner that God may be pleased with is what this is about.

    A bad thing for beleivers? How so? How does a GP trainee who works in Whipps Cross hospital and who marries a non-Muslim become a “bad thing” for the ummah?

  243. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 12:42 pm  

    If i was walking down the road, and my daughter rung me up and told me, ‘Ubba im going to marry this Hindu chap, he isn’t going to convert, but thats ok with me’, I’d find it hard to be absolutely happy for her. The song ‘she’s leaving home’ comes to mind.

    God specifies who we are able to marry.
    If you beleive this much, that the phenomenon has negative value is a no brainer. Its not ummahtographical.

    Its an Obedience-to-the-Creator matter, even if the lady in question is a brain surgeon at Chelsea and Westminster, is as pink as a white person, speaks unaccented English, professes moderate Islam, goes fox hunting, can drive adequately, juggle fire and do the hakka.

    of course its not the end of life on earth as we know it but religion is pretty much only legitimate basis a muslim parent can have for refusing a prospective son in law.

    One sudanese islamist (who you would absolutely hate) came out with a very trademark pragmatic interpretation that muslim lady’s in the west can marry people of the book, but it holds very little water.

  244. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 1:17 pm  

    OK, so if your daughter marries a nice Hindu chap, its going to be a personal blow to you. That’s understandable.

    But how does it a bad thing “for believers”. You’re saying that you’re not talking about the believer collective ergo the ummah.

    So what you’re essentially saying then, is that it will be a bad thing *personally* for for believers on a personal level who are the legal guardians of the woman. Thereby giving the weight of moral right to the parents of the woman rather than the woman herself. But you forget the important tenet of no compulsion in religion and, furthermore, if you’re arguing that the personal choice of parents liturgically outweighs that of the bride then there is a danger you’re justifying forced marriage and therefore rape.

    Muslims can no longer revert to the ideal of seventh century Arabia. So the rules for protecting women because they were regarded as property (tents, gold, horses, camels, women, children) no longer apply. The Obedience-to-the-Creator matter is relative. If every law were ABSOLUTE no Muslim would be benefitting from the proceedings of usury (interest) or riba as it’s called in Arabic. I’m sure you know how serious riba is. Let me clarify:

    “A dirham of riba that a man consumes knowingly is worse before Allaah than thirty-six acts of zina.” Narrated by Ahmad and al-Tabaraani; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’

    So one 7th century Arabian dirham in riba is equal to 36 acts of fornication/adultery. I don’t even want to adjust that for GBP Sterling in the 21st Century, but you get the idea. But I’m pretty sure you live in a house bought on a mortgage. So you’re benefitting from Usury. Why are you not concerned about the Obedience-to-the-Creator about that?

    There is a Sudanese scholar, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im whose opinions I respect very much. He would argue for the benefit of the personal choice over collective benefit. You might do worse than consider him.

  245. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

    deeeeeed seeeeeed just poooooool out a salafi hadith?

  246. Sofia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:21 pm  

    blimey..you lot still at it

  247. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:57 pm  

    “How does Tough Pragmatic Cookie get to the age of 33 and into a professional caste, then get trapped by her father only to be saved after a ‘Yikes, save me’ text and the intervention of the state?”

    her family says come home, your ma’s ill. she does – then shit happens. luckily, girl is not stupid, has professional networks, contacts, that she can appeal to for help.

    if you’d watched the Saira Khan documentary, you would have seen that cellphones played a big role in the rescue of the girls in pakistan. one girl rang 999 from the loo in heathrow. another girl sent a text to her boyfriend who got in touch with the authorities. it helps of course if you are a grown woman in terms of knowing people who are working as solicitors etc.

    you can be independent in the UK and once in dhaka, if your rellies decide to trap you, its physically quite hard to get out of. you know this is especially true of females.

  248. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 2:58 pm  

    and more importantly fugstar – she’s got a life & career to come back to. instead of having to start one independently of family, and live in a shelter, like those young 16 year old girls who are from the UK, and have to completely change their lives.

  249. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:01 pm  

    “Then she also refuses to press charges against her family. ”

    hardly surprising that – she wanted to leave, go back to her life, i daresay that was enough for her. not many peole are so able to dish out back to other people, what has been done to them. turn the other cheek and forgive, don’t you know.

    it worries me that you display such a callous, not very humane attitude, considering you go on about being religious so much – what is it doing for you ashik? think hard about what your Lord and Master says about mercy.

  250. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:03 pm  

    “Sid, for a muslim woman to marry outside the faith is a bad thing for beleivers. How beleivers deal with bad things and preserve dignity in a manner that God may be pleased with is what this is about.”

    yes – that’s seems to be true… for so many religious people, playing God on earth appears to be what it is about. for you and ashik anyway. thanks for reminding us. your God talks about freedom to choose religion – so where is that freedom? if someone chooses to leave their religion by marrying someone of some other religion (according to some of you lot that makes them unbelievers) well either God says you are free to be a MusliM or NOt.

  251. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:05 pm  

    so i guess yes – it does get to the heart of religion and control. Controlling your children because you effectively think they are of the same religion as you.

  252. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:07 pm  

    237. as you say persephone.

    however, as shown in one case of one of the girls rescued from a forced marriage in pakistan in that Forced Marriage documentary, the husband was a 15 year old boy. (girl was 16 or sth) when asked where he was, would he mind etc., she was like well he’s in school. he’s only 15!

    so in some cases no doubt, the boys dont have much say either.

    which means its just as horrible, that their parents are forcing them both into an unwanted situation, sexually speaking, i cant see that as being very different to when e.g. Constantinople was sacked in the 11th century, and the soldiers forced nuns and priests to have sex with each other.

    its just disgusting fullstop.

  253. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:11 pm  

    “Even the most ardent Bengali feminist is not going to advocate a girl marry a Hindu.”

    any ardent feminist, worth her/his salt, Bengali or not/is going to advocate a woman’s right to decide.

    whether she/he can do so without getting a fatwa on their heads – is quite a significant matter – yes. how much trouble are they going to bring on their own heads?

    this is why things don’t change so quickly in places like bangladesh, pakistan, india. etc.

    an interesting passage in Sara Hossain’s lecture at an international conference, she points to how it is difficult for them to challenge the asymmetrical rights women have under the bangladeshi system – to divorce and property etc. – they cannot challenge easily because of religion.

    So yes, religion is holding people back from making the challenges they otherwise would. That is the problem. Not that they don’t believe those challenges shouldn’t be made.

  254. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:13 pm  

    219 – good point Sofia! of course for some people, using alleged religious disapproval is a good excuse for covering up their underlying bigotry and desire for control.

  255. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:19 pm  

    “Hence large scale migration of Sylhetis to the West”

    you don’t suppose the original landowners in Sylhet were migrating in the same way the poorer people were do you?

    there isn’t any “govt expenditure” in bangladesh – dhaka or elsewhere, which benefits poor people!or even rich people when it comes to infrastructure spend. have you seen the state of rubbish collection?! poor people wherever they are – dhaka or in barisal – lose out full stop. the country is one where if you weren’t born into the “right” family, you lost out. unless your family immigrated somewhere or other. yours were lucky they came here otherwise if they’d gone to saudi, what do you think they would have treated you like? the ‘goras’ you are so condescending about..they’ve treated you better than your own coreligionists.

    it just so happens (for whatever reason) that in the same way mass immigration from pakistan centred around one area, so it was with bangladesh. doesn’t mean those areas were in some particular way – less well off than the other areas. both countries like pakistan and bangladesh have most people – not well off. they are the vast majority of the populations.

    sylhet is now one of the areas that is doing well because of the money immigrants send back. And they can have nice houses to compete with the old zamindaris! good for them.

    so perhaps the rest of us should ignore it? i dont know and i dont care. a person who is poor in sylhet is without doubt better off than a poor person in dhaka – as they would be anywhere else in bangladesh. personally, i don’t have any such regional affiliations on that level.

    my work for the last 4 years has been with ‘deprived’ communities in London, working on a neighbourhood level. it could easily have been in Laos, or Timbuktu, it doesn’t really matter to me. i’m in london so i do my work here. if i were in paris tomorrow, i’d do it there. humans are humans to me, i don’t make such distinctions.

  256. Amrit — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:31 pm  

    *hearts Sonia*
    :-D

    Sorry… couldn’t resist.

  257. Sid — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:35 pm  

    deeeeeed seeeeeed just poooooool out a salafi hadith?

    Funny, I thought Jamaatis *were* Salafis ;-)

    But that’s ok, if you don’t like the hadith there are Quranic injunctions against riba too.

    In Surah Ar-Rum, Surah An-Nisaa, Surah Al-i-’Imran and not least this one from Baqarah:

    “O those who believe, fear Allah and give up what still remains of the riba if you are believers. But if you do not, then listen to the declaration of war from Allah and His Messenger. And if you repent, yours is your principal. Neither you wrong, nor be wronged.” [Al-Baqarah 2:278-279]

    So if all laws are ABSOLUTE and women shouldn’t marry nice Hindu chaps, how do *you* live with yourself and whilst trangressing Riba, this Obedience-to-the-Creator, fugstar?

  258. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:41 pm  

    151 johnny:

    If you’re a Muslim and want to wind up Ashik, marry a Hindu woman and tell him you’re renouncing Islam to do so. If you’re not a Muslim, you have to marry a Bangladeshi Muslim woman in order to get the full chilli-up-the-arse effect from Ashik.

    heh heh

    and Sid – 236

    What about Brit Cits who are still hung up old hard-coded sectarianisms and thereby think marrying a non-Sylheti or a non-Muslim is a BAD THING? You’re obviously still in that strait-jacket.

    Quite.

    243 – again Fugstar, you seem to assume that religion is not about freedom of choice. Surely Muslims for the most part do claim that it is your choice to believe,or not. If you don’t make the right choice, you’ll burn in hell (ouch) but at least its that person’s decision. Yes or NO?

    Its just as well the Prophet was an orphan i daresay – why the poor man would never have been allowed to get away with declaring a new religion and dissing the old gods! “Oh what a Bad Son you are” would have been echoing around Mecca.

  259. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:42 pm  

    thanks amrit!

  260. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 3:53 pm  

    as sid said in 244.

    fug:

    “One sudanese islamist (who you would absolutely hate) came out with a very trademark pragmatic interpretation that muslim lady’s in the west can marry people of the book, but it holds very little water.”

    actually a few scholars in Kuwait seemed to be of the opinion that Muslim women can marry men of the Book. ‘it holds very little water’ – well that depends now doesn’t it – it seemed to make sense to quite a few people. who accepts it will depend on their general outlook towards non-muslims! of course we all know that there is so much disagreement on what’s ‘true’ and what’s not – shame God didn’t do a better job of telling us which Mullah to listen to eh?! Perhaps that’s why there’s no clergy – you’re meant to use your OWN [god-given] brain. Obedience to what? Shit – i don’t really know! It’s all a big test anyway isn’t it fugstar – until Qiyamat, you’re not going to KNOW. so you’d better start using your brains. If you really think God is worried about who some puny little human is marrying or not, well that’s your business. (but a bit of self-flatter and pride going on there, and God did say, don’t be Proud, and also – psst, God also said, beware of the false prophets!) Some passages from the Quran are great – real mind-twisters, because they could be applied to that particular Prophet, an that particular text, for example. the usual ‘don’t believe anyone – they’re all liars! conundrum. do we believe you? but you said everyone’s a liar! but if we don’t believe you…

    as someone once said – was it JustForFun or Bananabrain – what if you got all the way to judgement day, and God turned out to be a Nigerian lesbian. or something along those lines.

    we just don’t know. you have to live a moral and ethical life of course, as per your own beliefs. but don’t be suprised when they are challenged by your own nearest and dearest.

    perhaps blokes like you and ashik shouldn’t take the risk of having children – they might grow up to have their own minds, and proclaim yet another religion – you just don’t know.

  261. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 4:03 pm  

    fugstar:

    “I really wouldn’t want to be in her shoes when she comes back in to work.”

    what?? you’d rather be in her shoes when she was being held against her will? when her OWN FAMILY told her they wouldn’t love her if she married X and must do what they want? when they made it clear they have no regard for her as a PERSON and her feelings, but simply see her as a tool? Nothing more than an employee of the Organisation called Family. Can you not feel what it might have been like for her?

    of course things won’t be easy for her emotionally – she has to deal with the let-down from her FAMILY – the people she no doubt TRUSTED most in the whole f***ing world. DO YOU HAVE ANY KIND OF IDEA HOW THAT MUST FEEL? I DON’T – and that’s why i thank my lucky stars.

    she doesn’t need to bring ‘charges’ against her family – what she needs is to work out how she will emotionally survive.

    And you and Ashik just dismiss that, and worry about what will it be like for her when she goes back to work? At least she has some work to sustain her!!

    you are really and truly feeling-less or your feelings are completely misplaced. You truly have no humanity. And if this is the kind of feeling your interpretation of religion makes you think is ok to express – well shame on you Brother, shame on you. Really, is this the kind of compassionate spirit you think God wants you to display???

    you’re not a very good role model for muslims are you?

    see – what people like you don’t get – is that she probably was in 2 minds whether she should marry the person she wanted to, the effect on her family etc. But i’m sure, now her parents have behaved like this, she will not be in any 2 minds, she will know – put herself first. try and find some happiness while she can.

  262. Ashik — on 16th December, 2008 at 4:36 pm  

    Sonia: ‘But i’m sure, now her parents have behaved like this, she will not be in any 2 minds, she will know – put herself first. try and find some happiness while she can’.

    No. That’s what you’d do. Since you’ve done something similar of course you would say this. It is mere speculation at this point since we don’t know what her intentions are. In fact she prolly doesn’t know yet given the trying events of the last few months.

    As for humanity, you certainly don’t show it in the contents and tenor of your post so I personally doubt you’d recognise it in others.

  263. Jai — on 16th December, 2008 at 4:39 pm  

    Why are these issues not vigourously persued in discussion on PP?

    This is mainly (albeit not exclusively) an Asian-focused blog, which is reflected in the topics for discussion. Also, it’s a website “privately owned” by Sunny, so ultimately the contents are primarily at his discretion along with a handful of other regular authors. It’s not literally some kind of public service forum.

    btw….am proud to be a villager.

    1. Why are you proud to be a villager, Ashik ?

    2. Alternatively, if you are using the term in the literal sense as opposed to the derogatory metaphorical sense implied by Sunny, then exactly how does being born and brought up in an urbanised part of Britain — a large island off the northwestern coast of Europe, on approximately the same latitude as Canada and Russia, and thousands of miles away from South Asia — make you a “proud Bangladeshi/Bengali/Sylheti villager” ?

  264. sonia — on 16th December, 2008 at 4:53 pm  

    “It is mere speculation at this point since we don’t know what her intentions are. In fact she prolly doesn’t know yet given the trying events of the last few months.”

    yes of course its all speculation – as far as i can see, there’s been no mention of a hindu boyfriend anyway, you probably made that up! we never knew what her intentions were and all we know is that the parents didn’t want to take a chance. but if it were her intention to make a decision, and she’d made up her mind after the ‘trying events’ which at least you recognise it to be – it would hardly be suprising.

    the main thing here is a young woman has been shown the true colours of her family, and i very much doubt she will feel happy either which way about it. that’s the tragedy about the whole matter. not what me or you think at the end of the day – that’s irrelevant.

  265. Jai — on 16th December, 2008 at 5:12 pm  

    The medical professions are conservative and full of gossipy men and women.

    The medical professions are also full of UK-born 2nd-generation female Asian doctors who are feistier, smarter and more independent-minded than you can imagine. In fact, having grown up amongst such women, many of whom are the daughters of doctors themselves, I think it’s safe to say that in some ways they are the regressive uncles’ and aunties’ worst nightmare.

    An extremely well-educated, highly intelligent and reasonably affluent young woman with a string of letters after her name isn’t exactly going to blindly or easily submit to her “elders’ authority” or believe in unquestioning obedience to either older relatives or the dictates of any cultural/religious ideology. It would take quite extreme measures to “break” her will, which of course unfortunately includes family pressures, blackmail and manipulation (as myself and some other commenters have previously mentioned) or, as in this case, deranged activities such as kidnapping, imprisonment and the administration of various pharmaceutical drugs to “subdue” her.

    I really wouldn’t want to be in her shoes when she comes back in to work.

    Not necessarily. Plenty of younger Asians at work, especially the more liberal/Westernised variety (of which there is no shortage in the medical profession) would be very much on her side.

  266. Jai — on 16th December, 2008 at 6:27 pm  

    An extremely well-educated, highly intelligent and reasonably affluent young woman with a string of letters after her name isn’t exactly going to blindly or easily submit to her “elders’ authority” or believe in unquestioning obedience to either older relatives or the dictates of any cultural/religious ideology.

    Incidentally, before anyone points out certain Muslim doctors involved in terrorist plots in the UK along with OBL’s right-hand-man Al-Zawahri, or indeed mentions the (valid) fact that older-generation Asian doctors of all religions & regional backgrounds aren’t always immune from practising inappropriate cultural conservatism and orthodoxy, please note that the operative words in my paragraph above are “blindly”, “submit”, and “unquestioning obedience”. Meaning situations where such things are imposed on the person concerned against their will.

    An intelligent, highly educated doctor voluntarily and consciously deciding to subjugate themselves to people they deem to be in a position of authority and/or any associated ideology is a different matter. Although, for obvious reasons, such an individual “switching off” some of their critical faculties and ability to undertake objective rational & ethical reasoning isn’t exactly undertaking the wisest course of action.

  267. Ashik — on 16th December, 2008 at 7:07 pm  

    Well I come from a family of Doctors and medical students. Both those who did the PLAB and those who qualified here (the latter hold more prestige). I’d say young and old, there has never been any problems with regards to marriage partners. This idea of ‘blindly’ and willingly ‘submitting’ to family members paints an extreme picture. More often it’s an amicable combination of parental arranging and individual preference when it comes to choosing a partner. Aside from Doctors wanting to marry other Doctors (medical work patterns are irregular &prestige factor) they’re no different to ppl from other professions. I’ve noticed that Brit Sylheti Doctors strive to marry within the community as much as anyone else, although it is more difficult to find fellow medics.

    Sonia read: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5340058.ece

    To quote: ‘Dr Abedin has a Hindu boyfriend in London, which angered her Muslim family, according to reports’.

    And: ‘The doctor’s boyfriend, a 44-year-old Bangladeshi software engineer, had alleged that Dr Abedin’s Muslim parents had bound and gagged her, held her captive in a house in Dhaka, and pleaded with her to marry a Muslim. He said that death threats had been issued against his family in Bangladesh. “They told her they’d prefer her to die than return to London,” he said’.

    One wonders if there are any truth to these accusations of coersion. They eminate from the Hindu boyfriend. Crafty fella prolly behind the whole effort with the media.

  268. Rumbold — on 16th December, 2008 at 7:15 pm  

    Ashik:

    “One wonders if there are any truth to these accusations of coersion. They eminate from the Hindu boyfriend.”

    So Dr. Humayra Abedin was never held captive, and so there can’t have been any logical reason why her family refused to present her to the court. Why is she now flying back to the UK? Why did the Bangladeshi courts demand her release in the first place?

    Look Ashik, I disagree very strongly with some of your views. But as you said in #1, you are opposed to forced marriages and were happy to see Dr. Abedin released. So why are you trying to smear her now?

  269. Ashik — on 16th December, 2008 at 7:38 pm  

    Rumbold is there any independent evidence from the court or Ms. Abedine that she was gagged and bound and that death threats were made? She did say about her parents, ‘I don’t have any bad feelings towards them. They are my parents so I don’t have any bad feelings.’ Not the sort of sentiment someone who faced death threats would make. The boyfriend may have exaggerated matters to get media attention. I stress may. We certainly don’t have all the facts. The facts thus far in the public domain just don’t add up. That’s not smearing anybody.

  270. fugstar — on 16th December, 2008 at 7:52 pm  

    Maybe this ‘case study’ needs to be buried and the gossip n malice engine (because thats what it is) shut down. Poor lady coming into a hail of this nosey crap.

  271. Don — on 16th December, 2008 at 8:37 pm  

    Crafty fella prolly behind the whole effort with the media.

    The boyfriend may have exaggerated matters to get media attention. I stress may.

    Anyone see a disconnect between these perspectives?

    So the crafty Hindu was probably behind it all, but you stress ‘may’. Cognitive dissonance or smear and back-pedal?

  272. S Johal — on 16th December, 2008 at 8:37 pm  

    Halima, check this out htt://www.tandana.org.

  273. Rumbold — on 16th December, 2008 at 9:40 pm  

    Ashik:

    As has been pointed out before, plenty of girls do not want their parents prosecuted, even if they have been victims of forced marriages or similar ‘honour’-based violence. This was one of the strongest arguments against the specific criminalisation of forced marriage, namely that the victims want to escape from forced marriages, but don’t want to see their parents jailed for it.

  274. halima — on 17th December, 2008 at 5:51 am  

    272 S Johal

    Thanks for the link – it looks interesting, huh? I like the focus on the art/play activism which makes things more lively than just focusing on the politics. Will look in more detail, thanks fo sharing.

  275. Jai — on 17th December, 2008 at 12:21 pm  

    Well I come from a family of Doctors

    So do I, Ashik.

    In fact, for someone claiming to come from such a “prestigious”, educated and intellectual family background, you of all people should know better than to promote such an insular, narrow-minded, regressive and (frankly) racist mindset, not just on this thread but several others you have participated on.

    As I’ve mentioned before, it’s also obvious that you haven’t socialised very much with people from a different background to yourself, including (when it comes to other Asians, “especially”) 2nd-gen Indians in the UK, and I therefore think some of your views are based on naivete and personal inexperience rather than deliberate maliciousness.

    Medics and their families are not known for stupidity; I would have expected your intellectual honesty and critical reasoning skills to be much more rigorous, especially as a 2nd-generation Asian who was born and brought up in the UK and is therefore in a position to be much more objective in his thinking than many of the older generation are. Unfortunately it looks like you’ve swallowed the prejudices, irrationality and logical fallacies prevalent amongst many (by no means all) of the older generation hook, line and sinker.

    Not everything the older generation tell you is wrong, by any means. Not everything they tell you is right either. The trick is learning to differentiate between the two and identifying when their ideas and motivations are intellectually wrong and ethically insincere. This isn’t about being rebellious for the sake of it, or “trying to be white”, or any bukwaas like that — it’s about getting to the truth of the matter.

  276. Jai — on 17th December, 2008 at 12:26 pm  

    By the way, Ashik, you should also be aware that when older-generation Asians hurl the (frequently inappropriate) accusation of “trying to be white” at people from the same generation or, most of all, at younger Asians, they are using this phrase as a catch-all insult in order to emotionally blackmail their targets into conforming to whatever expectations of behaviour they wish to impose on them. It’s all about control.

    You are clearly an intelligent, well-spoken, articulate and eloquent guy, so you definitely have the capacity to think for yourself. Unless your priority is to perpetuate the status quo and support the hegemony of whoever you regard as being in the position of greatest social & cultural power within your peer community, right or wrong, with yourself as a fully-conforming, card-carrying member of the male British Bangladeshi/Bengali/Sylheti Muslim establishment. In which case, you should just be completely honest about it.

    It would still be good to hear your explanation of why you think being a “villager” is something to be proud of, by the way.

  277. Sid — on 17th December, 2008 at 12:33 pm  

    Well I come from a family of Doctors

    So do I, Ashik.

    So do I. So does Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed.
    So what?

    There’s nothing to suggest that just because you come from a family background of doctors, you’re predisposed not to “promote such an insular, narrow-minded, regressive and (frankly) racist mindset”.

  278. Jai — on 17th December, 2008 at 1:01 pm  

    Unfortunately, Sid, sometimes egotism/arrogance and intelligence go hand in hand. (As we both know — I’m sure that, like me, you’ve met plenty of people with that kind of “attitude problem” in the banking sector).

    I think that’s the problem in this case and in the examples you’ve given — you end up having extremely smart and well-educated people whose arrogance diminishes their ability to honestly reflect on the sincerity of their own thinking, actions and motivations. The nastier types just use their brainpower to think of more devious ways to achieve their aims and get away with their morally questionable actions. Some medics and their family members use their intelligence effectively and constructively (especially based on the reasoning skills and life-experiences that working in medicine can confer on them), others obviously do not.

    Basically, some smart people let their pride in their intelligence and accomplishments go to their heads, and it turns them into jerks.

    Regarding Asian medical families, personally I’ve found that their level of liberalism, insularity etc does depend a lot on their immediate social circles, though. Especially since there are so many brown faces in the profession, so there’s much greater scope for them to not have to mix much with people (apart from their patients, of course) from different backgrounds if they don’t want to. Although speaking purely anecdotally, I’ve found that — amongst Indians, at least — there’s generally a noticeably higher-than-average proportion of older-generation folk that would be regarded as being fairly Westernised/liberal compared to older Indians from other backgrounds.

  279. Jai — on 17th December, 2008 at 1:10 pm  

    Rumbold,

    As has been pointed out before, plenty of girls do not want their parents prosecuted, even if they have been victims of forced marriages or similar ‘honour’-based violence. This was one of the strongest arguments against the specific criminalisation of forced marriage, namely that the victims want to escape from forced marriages, but don’t want to see their parents jailed for it.

    I think that’s because of the Asian cultural “loophole” I mentioned earlier. Blood being thicker than water, and all that.

    It’s a good thing that a similar attitude regarding husband-wife relationships has changed amongst Indians these days, especially amongst the population here in the UK, because (in the northern half of the subcontinent, anyway) not so long ago there used to be the same kind of mindset when it came to the obedience and subservience a wife was supposed to demonstrate towards her husband. Otherwise breaking out of abusive marriages, especially when domestic violence or marital rape were involved, would have presented similar problems if there was a reluctance for the victim to take appropriate action against the other party, including prosecutions.

    It’s also a good thing that the rise of feminism and women’s rights here in the UK during the past 40+ years has changed cultural attitudes (and associated legal ramifications) in mainstream British society too, otherwise it would have made matters far more difficult for modern-day British Asian women trapped in dysfunctional/abusive marriages.

  280. Sid — on 17th December, 2008 at 1:12 pm  

    Jai, in my experience Asian professional types carry the full spectrum of views from progressive to conservative. And I suspect this applies to other races too.

    As for Asian doctors, yes they do tend to be more westernised, but that doesn’t translate to being more liberal. I think its simplistic to equate the two. I’ve met more intelligent liberal-leaning “fresh off-the-boat” minicab drivers than some “suburban semi-detached” consultant cardiologists I could mention.

    I think we should steer clear of ascribing a package of socio-political attitudes to individuals simply because they come from this or that background.

  281. persephone — on 17th December, 2008 at 1:31 pm  

    ” I think we should steer clear of ascribing a package of socio-political attitudes to individuals simply because they come from this or that background.”

    Agree in that some who are in what are considered prestigious professions are so because of parental pressure to be in that career (or to have a degree) & just possess more ‘conformative’ personalities. This is then supplemented by the parents thinking they also have much more to lose if their child ‘marries out’

    Having said that the majority of doctors I have come across in my family & circle are liberal with self developed mindsets

  282. Sid — on 17th December, 2008 at 1:31 pm  

    fugstar

    I notice you still haven’t replied to my question.

    If, as you say, Dr Humayra is acting against the “Obedience-to-the-Creator” and if her choice to marry a Hindu “is a bad thing for beleivers”

    Then why is having a mortgage, a credit card, a savings account, an income and a pension in the UK which you are bound to have (and which are all based on Usury (ar-Riba) which is prohibited in Islam) not an “Obedience-to-the-Creator matter” for you?

    And why is your decision to partake of riba not a “bad thing for believers”?

    Why do you have a separate set of relative Quranic laws to follow, fugstar?

    And if you can, why can’t Dr Humayra?

  283. persephone — on 17th December, 2008 at 1:37 pm  

    Ashik

    I perceive a seeking refuge in being seen as a villager and then at times as being from a family of doctors. Though I am not saying that the two are mutually exclusive, it appears as if there is some shifting (or is it confusion?) of identity to suit the aspect being discussed.

    It leaves one slightly confused. Lets hope you are not too.

  284. fugstar — on 17th December, 2008 at 2:50 pm  

    it is because i dont think there is really much benefit as there is a fair amount of lead around.

  285. Sid — on 17th December, 2008 at 3:15 pm  

    yep, that sounds very convincing…

  286. Ashik — on 17th December, 2008 at 4:19 pm  

    A ‘villager’ or someone with a ‘village mentality’ as used by Sunny, Jai and Sid on these forums is a derogatory term used in South Asia by some ethnic groups castes and classes with egotistical and elitist urban notions derived from ‘back home’, against others. For example North Indians (especially Punjabis) against South Indians, Dhakaiyas against Sylhetis and Pak Punjabis against Mirpuri Kashmiris. This fact of usage has been highlighted and opposed by other members like desi_Italiana in other forum threads. I am a proud villager for the simple fact I integrate my values on my own terms and see no reason to discard aspects of my cultural and religious upbringing to please others. Very fact of my upbringing and education in the UK has given me the confidence to do this. And Jai, when it comes to a Hindu-Muslim union I cannot ‘think for myself’ for the simple fact as a Muslim I cannot do so. I marry this view with opposition to forced marriage. But I agree that reason and introspection are useful analytical tools. This is why I’ve stated earlier on the thread that constant hostile discussion on forced marriages without balancing debate on other areas like violence against women generally, broken family’s and alcohol abuse is not reasonable. You want a permissive society but are unwilling to discuss some of the negative consequences of this. How is this different from the MCB who don’t want debate about extremism but are equally adamant Muslims are not involved in extremism? Different values defended to be sure, the exact same irrationality.

    Liberal and Conservative attitudes hold different meanings amongst South Asians and as has been stated attitudes vary across differing ethnic, class and professional groups amongst South Asians.

    Ultimately, I am of the view that despite our Western education and upbringing, we will never be the same as Westerners when making decisions affecting our family, relationship and marriage partners just as increasing wealth and industrialisation in a country will not necessarily lead people to become aethist and leave religion and religion-influenced practices. Industrialised India and China are going to have different societies to industrialised USA and so forth. The West is not a paradigm.

  287. S Johal — on 17th December, 2008 at 6:01 pm  

    A North Korean womam has been sentenced to six months in prison. I think its a Muslim country with 30,000 US troops there to uphold democracy.

    Its a new victim for you guys, because I think you have forgotten the first one.

  288. S Johal — on 17th December, 2008 at 6:37 pm  

    The crime was adultery

  289. sonia — on 17th December, 2008 at 6:51 pm  

    GOOD points from Jai in 275 and the one before, sensible and even-tempered (;-)) advice. I do think in many situations people aren’t wanting to be malicious, but aren’t quesioning their elders enough. (or have the experience to realise all is not as Mother said.)

  290. Jai — on 17th December, 2008 at 6:58 pm  

    Sid, very good points in #280.

    Persephone, I’ve also observed exactly the same things you’ve mentioned in #281. Spot-on. Of course, you do also have some 2nd-gen Asians in those situations who react to their own conformity by subsequently going quite wildly “off the rails” (to borrow Ashik’s phrase), in some cases to quite extreme and self-destructive levels. I’m sure you know the sort of thing I’m referring to. It’s not unusual for people who’ve had quite sheltered upbringings to end up behaving that way, especially if (for one reason or another) they find that being a stereotypically “good boy/girl” doesn’t necessarily yield the rewards in life they expected.

    Ironically, I’ve found that those with comparatively liberal upbringings (by Asian standards) frequently end up having more stable and successful lives compared to people from stricter, more conservative backgrounds. Including when it comes to settling down/getting married etc.

    I guess it comes down to parents having some trust in their adult children (and not treating them as permanent teenagers that need to be constantly controlled & monitored to prevent them from “misbehaving” or being “disobedient”) and the latter making the “right” decisions of their own choice, rather than having this forced upon them, along with how much of a fundamental “culture clash” between their upbringing/familial expectations of behaviour and norms in wider society there is in some key areas (dating/marriage seems to be the major one, although there are others). Of course, folk with a really orthodox and conservative mindset would disagree with the idea of these decisions being “right” per se, but you can’t please everyone.

  291. Jai — on 17th December, 2008 at 9:13 pm  

    I am a proud villager for the simple fact I integrate my values on my own terms and see no reason to discard aspects of my cultural and religious upbringing to please others.

    Ashik, people do not necessarily “discard aspects of their cultural and religious upbringing” to please others but because they deem these aspects as being obsolete, inappropriate to their present environment and circumstances, and/or logically and/or ethically unsound in the first place.

    I wonder how you reached the conclusion that this is done “to please others”. Is it guesswork and assumptions on your part again, or something your elders told you ? There are certainly people who do these things due to peer pressure, but not everyone behaves as a perpetual teenager in this way, especially as they get older.

    This remark could, in fact, be flipped around, and it could be said that those who stubbornly adhere to outdated and highly inappropriately orthodox and conservative attitudes are doing so because it will enable them to conform more easily with their similarly-conservative peers, because it wins them approval from their elders and other people they regard as being in a position of social authority over them, and because they get an egotistical kick from doing so, especially if it involves power over others or an attention-seeking contrarian stance in relation to more liberal quarters in wider, mainstream society.

    I’m not saying this applies to you specifically, of course — or maybe it does — but it’s just a thought ;)

  292. Jai — on 17th December, 2008 at 9:14 pm  

    By the way, Ashik, it is a bad idea to use phrases such as “looking to the great white overlord to provide all the answers”, as in your case this could be flipped around by unscrupulous types as “looking to the great Arab overlord to provide all the answers”. There are precedents for the latter on PP and these things can get pretty nasty. Don’t make this about race. Some things in life are just about being human.

    As for your previous questions about “practising Hindus and Sikhs”, examples which you would recognise as per your own apparent interpretation of “religiously practising” can probably be found more frequently on Sulekha and Sikhnet respectively. Some overtly religious Hindus are also more common on Sepia Mutiny, although generally they tend not to be as conservative as you may presume or expect.

    Ultimately, I am of the view that despite our Western education and upbringing, we will never be the same as Westerners when making decisions affecting our family, relationship and marriage partners just as increasing wealth and industrialisation in a country will not necessarily lead people to become aethist and leave religion and religion-influenced practices.

    Firstly, you’re making some inaccurate assumptions (both positive and negative) about “Westerners”, by which you presumably mean white people. You’re stereotyping and generalising both them and South Asians.

    Secondly, as people born and brought up in the West, we are Westerners too, buddy ;)

  293. persephone — on 17th December, 2008 at 9:46 pm  

    Jai @ 290 Yep I frequently saw that at college – those brought up in a more cloistered way did not know how to handle newly acquired freedom when they got it

  294. persephone — on 17th December, 2008 at 10:09 pm  

    @ 286 “I marry this view with opposition to forced marriage… This is why I’ve stated earlier on the thread that constant hostile discussion on forced marriages without balancing debate on other areas like violence against women generally”

    You state frequently that you are against forced marriage and domestic violence against women. However, when such cases have been raised across different posts you are very quick to refute that any abuse has even happened or seek to introduce suspicion as to the woman or circumstances around the situation in an attempt to negate its validity per se. Why is that?

  295. douglas clark — on 17th December, 2008 at 10:45 pm  

    Ashik @ 286, and so on ad infinitum.

    Ashik. I think you are feeling it necessary to become more and more definite in your views, simply because of the obvious weight of contrary viewpoints you are experiencing here.

    As, apparently, the only person that is neither a doctor or from a medical background, can I suggest you take deep breaths before replying to this thread again?

    I think it is worth you checking out your assumptions about white people. We are just as mixed up and different as anybody else.

    There are folk that believe in a God so much that they’d certainly agree with him about the exclusivity of their particular group, y’know, from a marrying out point of view.

    And some of these groups are literally tiny sects.

    There are white people that wouldn’t knowingly allow a drop of alcohol down their throats.

    There are white parents that control their children’s dress and behaviour, although the burqa is a hard one to beat.

    There are folk that believe in complete monogamy, and practice it all their lives. There are even folk that practice lifelong celibacy.

    And there are white people, too, who would kill for their beliefs. Bastards I call them with no corresponding feedback from you.

    I think this is what prejudice looks like from the other side of the looking glass. It is very sad to see it expressed here.

    It is quite a strange feeling to be lumped into that unleavened loaf and be told that I am “a great white overlord” when I am nothing of the sort. Get two white people in a room and they will disagree about something. Much as if you put two human beings in the same room.

    It is, probably, as plain as day that I tend to agree with much of what Sid says on here, but I have never met him.

    However he seems able to think for himself, which, so far, is the peak of the human condition.

    Backsliding into a collective conciousness – and this is important in my book – is a negative.

    Please, stop sounding like a Reverend Iain Paisley caricature.

    Breath deep, again.

  296. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2008 at 11:14 pm  

    A ‘villager’ or someone with a ‘village mentality’ as used by Sunny, Jai and Sid on these forums is a derogatory term used in South Asia by some ethnic groups castes and classes with egotistical and elitist urban notions

    I think anyone who is offended by the term “villager” is either a political correct freak or someone who shares backward values. It is not derogatory or elitist considering virtually every one of us has family who lives in villages. There is no urban vs rural – India is mostly rural, and villages are cleaner, more friendly places to live than cities. In fact, most Indian urban centers are just very crowded and polluted. So, it is not flattering to be called urbanite if you want to take words in their literal sense.

    To me, “villager” means someone with a very narrow mindset, and has the same connotation as “tribal” or “insular”. But the political correct freaks would probably think “insular” insults everyone who lives in an Island.

    Clearly there is nothing to be proud on being a villager, and I am sorry but this mindset has nothing to do with your educational level, your class, or whether you live in rural or urban areas – you can be a highly educated person – including in the medical profession, and still have this narrow mindset.

  297. Ravi Naik — on 17th December, 2008 at 11:28 pm  

    It is quite a strange feeling to be lumped into that unleavened loaf and be told that I am “a great white overlord” when I am nothing of the sort. Get two white people in a room and they will disagree about something. Much as if you put two human beings in the same room.

    Narrow-minded people do not see individuals. They see uniform blocks of people, because they are incapable of addressing the complexity of diversity. Neo-nazis see “whites” and “non-whites”. Ashik sees “pious” Muslims (cretins like himself), apostates (muslims who do not need a Mullah to think for themselves), non-Muslim browns and white overloads.

  298. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2008 at 2:35 am  

    Strange, I think that this has dropped out of the interesting stuff. And my last post is missing.

    Where, if I remember correctly, I more or less agreed with Ravi Naik.

    Why, exactly, is this a dead thread? There are folk that still have something to discuss?

  299. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2008 at 9:42 am  

    Bloody hell,

    It’s back! Or never been away!

  300. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2008 at 12:34 pm  

    Douglas:

    ?

  301. Sid — on 18th December, 2008 at 12:41 pm  

    Douglas, are you going to put this in your “Douglas’s Book of Japes and Wheezes”?

  302. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2008 at 12:41 pm  

    Rumbold,

    I wrote 295, whatever you might think of it, and submitted it.

    As you do – well I do ’cause I’m sad – I checked to see whether anyone had hated it enough to comment on it. It wasn’t there! Now it is. Moderation queue or something like that?

  303. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2008 at 12:51 pm  

    Sid,

    It really happened. Well, I’m pretty sure it really happened. See ^.

    Of course I could have been abducted by aliens or something, so I suppose that that seems a tad more reasonable than reporting a problem.

    BTW is this the longest ever thread on PP?

  304. douglas clark — on 18th December, 2008 at 12:58 pm  

    Re 302,

    Neither was Ravi’s follow up at 297. I can’t recall if 296 was there or not.

  305. Sid — on 18th December, 2008 at 1:03 pm  

    perhaps 300+ comments is pushing the database to its spluttering limits, though i doubt it.

  306. sonia — on 18th December, 2008 at 2:15 pm  

    292 – Jai very well said.

    “By the way, Ashik, it is a bad idea to use phrases such as “looking to the great white overlord to provide all the answers”, as in your case this could be flipped around by unscrupulous types as “looking to the great Arab overlord to provide all the answers”.

    yes interesting isn’t it – that aspect of ‘islamic/arab’ imperialism/colonisation doesn’t seem to register with some folk. (perhaps because they’ve internalised it and see themselves as the same people now. which is of course a success story on the part of imperialists.) perhaps its because we have short memories, have been ‘muslim’ for a while, imagine that our arab ‘brothers’ think of us as the same race! :-) especially those indian subcontinent muslims who have never been to the middle east. Ah well.

    obviously switching ‘one overlord’ with another ‘overlord’ is not the point, in any kind of progressive politics in case Ashik and co haven’t noticed. we don’t want the same tribal societies any more that’s the point! we don’t want overlords, that’s it. and it never mattered doesn’t what ‘colour’ they are – whether they are kashmiri , ethiopians, Byzantines, Ottomans, Romans, British, or our own homegrown zamindars.

    we want to be independent individuals, we don’t want to kowtow to ‘overlords’ or tribal leaders. Ashik may do, and that’s his right, but because he sees that as his paradigm, perhaps he assumes that other ppl too must have a similar one -but just with a different ‘overlord’.

    my dear boy – have you not noticed that PP is full of rebels? as you yourself keep saying, we are not ‘typical’! therefore perhaps, we don’t fit into the same schema you do. Perhaps we are what the future looks like . ;-)

    the future is bright, its Orange!

    (ashik – you should get a sense of humour. but to be fair, you have been ‘jumped’ on rather on this thread..)

  307. sonia — on 18th December, 2008 at 2:16 pm  

    well pointed out Ravi in 296. everyone has family living in some village or other, its silly when people are jumping up and down about who is and who isn’t. and who lives where now! who cares. (and its not about money either. landowners had their estates in the countryside after all, along with their ‘town’ houses.)
    that’s not the point when using terminology such as ‘villager’. its usually simply to describe the ‘original’ mindsets, as we are all ‘originally’ from some village or other. as you say, you’ve defined it as a mindset, and you’ve identified what you think that is – narrow and insular. which of course, as Desi would say :-) is found in the cities too. but if you want to define it in that way and use it, of course you can and should be able to.

    i like these long threads. some real gems in terms of the comments. many are Worth quoting.

  308. sonia — on 18th December, 2008 at 2:17 pm  

    im sure we’ve had long threads like this before – anytime religion and culture, and personal insults get involved, it usually does…

  309. sonia — on 18th December, 2008 at 2:27 pm  

    297. ravi:

    Narrow-minded people do not see individuals. They see uniform blocks of people, because they are incapable of addressing the complexity of diversity. Neo-nazis see “whites” and “non-whites”.

    very well (and succintly) phrased Ravi. (could i quote you?) yes that’ the thing isn’t it – going through all these different threads that we go through, all the various arguments, it always boils down to this, this is one of the key issues that seems to underly so many of the world’s problems. (e.g. racism!) fascism, bad governance, power hungry cliques = the lot.

    there’s a lot of wisdom on this thread, to balance the ‘problematique’ and i find that very heartening!

  310. sonia — on 18th December, 2008 at 3:01 pm  

    295.douglas = very well said.

  311. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2008 at 7:55 pm  

    Douglas:

    Yup. As Sonia said, excellent points in #295. You could almost pass for a libertarian with that sort of attitude.

    This is not the longest thread- we have had at least one 400+ thread in the past year, and probably more over time.

  312. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2008 at 8:11 pm  

    300+ comment posts (not an exhaustive list by any means):

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1072 (563 comments)

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1691 (443)

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1631 (331)

  313. Amrit — on 18th December, 2008 at 8:23 pm  

    *congratulates Rumbold on longest-running thread in recent memory*

    What with this and ‘His ungraceful Grace,’ you’re on Sunny’s tail! :D

  314. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2008 at 8:29 pm  

    Heh Amrit. Well it’s not a race- quality, not quantity. And please don’t make fun of Sunny’s tail. He only has one because of the chemical imbalance in his body as a result of the the lack of meat.

  315. Amrit — on 18th December, 2008 at 8:32 pm  

    LOL.

    *coughs* Should I make a comment here about how Sunny’s always going to be in the lead (with me anyway) on account of being a fellow Lefty? Forget quality or quantity for that matter… it’s all about the party politics ;-) :-D .

  316. Rumbold — on 18th December, 2008 at 8:42 pm  

    Your ZaNuLab loyalties run deep.

  317. Amrit — on 18th December, 2008 at 9:00 pm  

    *splutters, then explodes*

  318. wizard99@hotmail.co.uk — on 19th December, 2008 at 4:55 pm  

    If her parents think she is mentally unfit, how can they allow her to get married at all!

  319. Sofia — on 19th December, 2008 at 5:01 pm  

    why would being mentally ill stop the type of parents who want to forceably marry off their daughter by effectively imprisoning her?

  320. mez — on 19th December, 2008 at 5:34 pm  

    This is my first time on this forum,
    This dreadful situation with the lady Doctor being kidnapped and forced into marriage is all too common in B Desh. Thank God the press got hold of it otherwise this much needed debate would not have happened. Peace

  321. Golam Murtaza — on 19th December, 2008 at 5:55 pm  

    In response to wizard99, even in cases where parents really do think their adult child is mentally ill some still try to marry them off with the twisted idea that their new partner will serve as a kind of unpaid carer. Of course that’s pretty hard luck on the partner who often doesn’t realise their intended spouse is mentally ill until it’s too late to back out of the marriage.

    What a great world we live in.

  322. S Johal — on 19th December, 2008 at 6:11 pm  

    where parents really do think their adult child is mentally ill some still try to marry them off with the twisted idea that their new partner will serve as a kind of unpaid carer.

    Usaully this adult child is male.

  323. Ala — on 19th December, 2008 at 10:11 pm  

    Can I just say: Ashik, I’m horrified by your comments.

    I’d be interested to see if the girls’ parents have heart attacks and commit suicide, because I doubt they will. But even if they did, surely you can’t blame someone else for that. If a White supremacist has a heart attack because one of his children married an Asian, would you feel sorry for him? Would you actually speak out against such a union because it would give a poor old bigot a heart attack?

  324. halima — on 21st December, 2008 at 7:06 pm  

    Amrit

    “I posted a super-long post on my blog, but you may find it raises more Qs than answers! I’ll link you anyway:

    http://gts-kjb.blogspot.com/2008/12/marriage-legalised-prostitution.html

    You’re a super duper writer with thought-provoking content as opposed to just commenting on stuff off the media, shouldn’t you be posting for PP here?

    Seems like we need a blogger raising the game on gender here on PP ( being a women doesn’t always produce gender bending content but your blog seems to!)

  325. Amrit — on 21st December, 2008 at 7:30 pm  

    Halima:

    ‘You’re a super duper writer with thought-provoking content as opposed to just commenting on stuff off the media, shouldn’t you be posting for PP here?

    Seems like we need a blogger raising the game on gender here on PP ( being a women doesn’t always produce gender bending content but your blog seems to!)’

    Are you serious? Really? I didn’t think I was doing anything particularly amazing, more just recycling the kind of thing Sonia and Desi have already done so well!

  326. Ala — on 21st December, 2008 at 7:39 pm  

    Nope, definitely an up and coming star!

  327. halima — on 21st December, 2008 at 7:51 pm  

    Well Sonia and Desi are super, too. But just saying that you might have that personal touch that writers can’t learn at ‘writing courses’. Nice mix of informed opinion, easy writing style – and insight about what makes relationships/society tick without being political with a capital P. I once read somewhere – the worst thing a writer can do is lecture people ( from the pages), and so i think you got the balance .. just right, as Ala says above. :-)

  328. Amrit — on 21st December, 2008 at 9:02 pm  

    Crikey, well thank you, I hope my blog will continue to interest you.

    I’m not really capable of being concise though, and I struggle to express myself clearly, so I don’t think I’m ready for PP for quite some time yet!

    I would love to see your blog though, if you have one. Talking about feminism with other ‘brown’ folk is always interesting. Or anyone for that matter, provided they’re not just a bigot.

    I may also have opened a can o’ worms with my latest post, if anyone at all reads it.

  329. Desi Italiana — on 22nd December, 2008 at 7:29 am  

    Halima:

    “Well Sonia and Desi are super, too. But just saying that you might have that personal touch that writers can’t learn at ‘writing courses’.”

    But? BUT? Like I ain’t got no personal touch that I didn’t learn at ‘writing courses’? I never took a writing course. Why not “Well, Sonia and Desi are super too AND just saying that you have that personal touch that DESI has….”????????

    You wanna say that to my face? [enter Leon]

    C’mon. I will mess you up near the chaitya close to your house (whatever the hell that neighborhood is called, starts with ‘s’ but am too drunk to remember right now). SANEPA, I REmEMBERED IT.

  330. Desi Italiana — on 22nd December, 2008 at 7:43 am  

    C’mon Halima, say it to my face. I will not take this lying down.

  331. Rumbold — on 22nd December, 2008 at 9:48 am  

    Oh dear.

  332. halima — on 22nd December, 2008 at 10:53 am  

    “C’mon Halima, say it to my face. I will not take this lying down.”

    Are you challenging me to a bit of girl on girl action on this very , very masculine cyber site?

  333. halima — on 22nd December, 2008 at 11:10 am  

    You absoloutly know I have said you are a FANTASTIC writer – and that you shoud save your energy for a book. More importantly – you can take a fight, but can you take a compliment?

    NEWS FLASH: Desi is a superb writer, my girl doesn’t need writing causes.

  334. Amrit — on 22nd December, 2008 at 11:57 am  

    This thread is getting increasingly surreal.

  335. Jai — on 22nd December, 2008 at 12:49 pm  

    I will not take this lying down.

    As the pornstar said to the bishop.

  336. Desi Italiana — on 22nd December, 2008 at 6:39 pm  

    Halima–

    Sorry about the drunk, aggressive posture. It was the alcohol typing those threats, not me…

    But now that I am sober, you bet I am still challenging you to a showdown, right here on PP.

  337. Desi Italiana — on 22nd December, 2008 at 6:40 pm  

    Where IS Leon, to open the can of whoop ass on me for having issued physical threats of violence on PP?

    I would like to get in trouble.

  338. halima — on 22nd December, 2008 at 6:50 pm  

    Desi

    ” Sorry about the drunk, aggressive posture. It was the alcohol typing those threats, not me”

    But you’re winning hands down ( not taking it lying down , thank god) .. You’re a superb writer. But now moving on to the abstract…

    I don’t think writing courses are all that .. and the point i was making is that Amrit, our fellow picklar’s writing is quite funny and witty – but one of the things that young women do ever so well ..is lack confidence in their own work.. wheras guys just go .. with it.. on balance.. so just saying it …

    Courses can teach you some skill in crafting a novel, article, but most writers I’ve met who are good, are naturally good – and courses only polish this natural talent. Or is this stating the obvious.

    Either way – where is your blog? I am post it here as proof of superb, easy going, story telling style with a hell a lot of punch and suger with it.

    H

  339. halima — on 22nd December, 2008 at 6:54 pm  

    “I would like to get in trouble”

    I wrote to Leon off line saying you threatned to mash up my face..

    though i suspect you will have alternative motives for coming round by my house? A pair of soliders pointing a gun down at you?

  340. Desi Italiana — on 22nd December, 2008 at 7:14 pm  

    Halima and Amrit:

    “I don’t think writing courses are all that .. and the point i was making is that Amrit, our fellow picklar’s writing is quite funny and witty – but one of the things that young women do ever so well ..is lack confidence in their own work.. wheras guys just go .. with it.. on balance.. so just saying it …

    Courses can teach you some skill in crafting a novel, article, but most writers I’ve met who are good, are naturally good – and courses only polish this natural talent. Or is this stating the obvious.”

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    The golden rule of writing–I think– is to have a point and stick to it. This sounds so easy, but it can be hard to follow.

    The other thing is that writing classes– as Halima pointed out– may teach you the mechanics of writing a novel, but the most important thing in writing is “the voice” that a piece has, and more often than not, writing courses somehow bog you down with their techniques and your voice gets lost in it– the thing which is, incidentally, what makes writing “writing”.

    I also agree that in general, young female writers lack the confidence to go all out with their work and get exposure, whereas male writers air their views all the time– even if their views are not really sounded, or are lopsided. Wonder why that is.

    And Halima, thanks for the compliments. You know the same goes for you ;)

  341. Desi Italiana — on 22nd December, 2008 at 7:18 pm  

    Amrit:

    “I didn’t think I was doing anything particularly amazing, more just recycling”

    Everything–and I mean, nearly everything– is just more recycling. Of course, you should try to bring in something unique– but there is hardly a subject that hasn’t been written about before somewhere some time ago. So that should not deter you.

  342. Amrit — on 23rd December, 2008 at 11:37 pm  

    Desi (and Halima):

    Thank you. To be honest, I write on whatever the heck I feel like. I do find it hard to stick to the point! Then again, my style is one of going off on tangents a lot. In person, I’m even worse than I am in writing.

    I am afraid of going on a course for the very reason of losing my voice! It might not be revolutionary, but hey, it’s mine. :-D

  343. Indrak — on 24th December, 2008 at 2:24 am  

    I too had had thought to remark how well Amrit writes,
    esp. as, being young, there’s hope for her to not be a liberal.

    In a similar vein, Desi:
    do you know of Tiziano Terzani…tizianoterzani.com?
    I’ve not looked into, but came across via Swans..

    e dove ti trove adesso? mi scusa, ho domenticato molto la lingua..where were you when in italy?

  344. douglas clark — on 24th December, 2008 at 8:33 am  

    One of the things I like about this site is the fact that it has always had strong female voices on it. Not that I’ve always agreed with what they said. As Churchill – the dog – never said:

    “Oh no.”

    But the likes of Katy Newton, Chairwoman and the rest of you have made this a far more vibrant site than it would have been otherwise.

    I salute the Venusians!

  345. Rumbold — on 24th December, 2008 at 9:52 am  

    Indrak:

    “I too had had thought to remark how well Amrit writes, esp. as, being young, there’s hope for her to not be a liberal.”

    Or at the very least, not a leftie.

  346. Amrit — on 24th December, 2008 at 12:39 pm  

    !!! Well, if ever I need encouragement, I ought to just pop down to this thread.

    So somebody ELSE thinks I’m a good writer? This is hilarious. Now I am wondering how many of youse have ‘silently’ read my blog. Bizarre.

    What’s wrong with being a liberal, eh??!

  347. Indrak — on 24th December, 2008 at 3:57 pm  

    #345: No, leftallity is assured, barring some hitchensic transformation after so many years at expensive tables.

    #346: So very much.
    Simply put – not least for sharing your tangential proclivities- the magnitude of hypocrasy involved in the absence of ideological basis; disguised by the sheer weight of centrist mediocrity: ultimately in the service of reaction.
    Very apt point was made obliquely on the other thread, ostensibly about the meet-up/saturday but actually on marriage [btw, 'just say no', why not]

    Blog: some time back, once – my usual limit, not a judgement.
    and any commendation from me comes with optional salt for the sakes of those who share certain views on my own writing. .. whom I patronise not, so (must) disdain.

  348. Amrit — on 24th December, 2008 at 7:00 pm  

    Wow, that was like a lesson in how to produce minimal sense in 3 paragraphs.

    ‘hitchensic’?

    *frowns*

  349. BenSix — on 24th December, 2008 at 8:12 pm  

    ‘hitchensic’?

    Thinking “I’m bored with this lefty stuff, how does it feel to be a bloated, gassy old reactionary?”

    I’ve tried it, got over it and realised that everything is hopeless and no possible political system can lead to happiness for all. We’re doomed to suffering, misery and tedium.

    Merry Christmas.

  350. Amrit — on 24th December, 2008 at 8:59 pm  

    Lol, ta, Ben. Same to you.

    I don’t know if I am a reactionary – I think about shit far too much. As evidenced by my inability to be concise on my blog. :-D

  351. Indrak — on 24th December, 2008 at 10:02 pm  

    #349: at first I took this comment to refer to his alcoholic intake and so sought to defend him from that direction on the grounds that it is a disease, or was that merely, if at all, implied?
    Nevertheless, he is still not devoid of honour, eg his experience of water-boarding; I’d say it’s more a case of objective conditions, and that his life is past.

    Those who are convenienced by never having strayed from the bounds of power though, such as mate Amis or Livingstone: well, did they, ever, have honour?

  352. Ala — on 24th December, 2008 at 10:34 pm  

    Help, I’m feeling nostalgic for something I’ve never even had! (I figured I could change the topic as the thread has gone so far off the original topic anyway).

  353. Amrit — on 24th December, 2008 at 11:17 pm  

    And what would that be, Ala chook?

  354. Desi Italiana — on 25th December, 2008 at 3:29 am  

    Amrit–

    For the love of god, have some confidence about your writing, stop being bewildered that so many here have given you such wonderful compliments on your writing. Make this rule a natural instinct: “I have something to say.” FULL STOP. No other sentence following this. No, “But I’m recycling!” or self-doubting “I’m good, you say?” You have a voice, and use that voice to speak up, with confidence.

    There are people who write like shit, come up with shoddy arguments, inaccurate facts, etc, but you don’t see all that stopping them from trumpeting themselves and their thoughts, do you? Hell, some people get paid for producing their crappy spiel (trust me, I worked as an editor before with some well known writers).

    Keep writing with that sharp, sparkly, and passionate voice of yours. YOU GO.

  355. Desi Italiana — on 25th December, 2008 at 3:31 am  

    Indrak #343

    “In a similar vein, Desi:
    do you know of Tiziano Terzani…tizianoterzani.com?
    I’ve not looked into, but came across via Swans..

    e dove ti trove adesso? mi scusa, ho domenticato molto la lingua..where were you when in italy?”

    Nope, never heard of this Tiziano guy.

    Sono stata dappertutto in Italia.

    Per adesso, mi trovo in California. Spero di andare all’estero…di nuovo!

  356. Rumbold — on 25th December, 2008 at 10:06 am  

    Well said Desi (#354).

  357. Indrak — on 25th December, 2008 at 12:02 pm  

    #355..mentioned bcs he seems to have been asian-based, himalayes etc, and al fino could only be published in english in delhi

    Grazia, so che questo non e la giusto posto, smetter’mi,
    pero de dove pensano l’italiani ti sei ?

  358. Ala — on 25th December, 2008 at 5:47 pm  

    Agree with Desi. Stop being so humble, Amrit. You’re allowed to be arrogant sometimes. Admitting you’re a good writer when you’re a good writer is not even arrogant. It’s the truth, and it’s not as if you’re putting other people down in the process. Just say it!

    As for nostalgia for something one never had, I won’t reveal the details here, but watch out for this recurring theme in my writings.

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