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  • Forced marriages fight goes to South Asia


    by Sunny
    2nd July, 2009 at 5:26 am    

    I was called by the BBC World Service last night to ask what I thought of the idea that the Forced Marriages Unit was opening up an office in Dhaka. I whooped in response. Open one in Punjab and in Peshawar I say! They were hoping for someone with a critical approach to the FMU but I have no beef with them. It’s about time that the govt took more seriously the idea that our youngsters are sometimes coerced into going to South Asia to be married off against their will.

    It’s the government’s job to rescue its citizens and imprison their goddamn kidnapping parents. What? I haven’t got the inclination to tip-toe around forced marriages, this really is a scourge of many young British Asians. There’s an article today on BBC online about new guidelines being issued to schools ahead of the holidays so teachers can look out for missing students etc. About time!

    As a side note, I also got this emailed to me recently. A few years ago, the Danes made a rule whereby people could only marry someone over the age of 24 years old from outside the country. It’s been raised to 21 in the UK recently, a measure I supported.

    Some results from Denmark were recently made public.
    Year 2000: 46% of immigrant girls (age 23) were married
    Year 2008: 19% of immigrant girsl (age 23) were married
    5% of Danish girls at that age were married, but it doesn’t really compare as many live with spouses.

    The number of girls of non-white origin who married an adult male from ‘outside’ went from 22% to 3%, but very few still marry a Danish white man. Over the same period, the number of Danish women of non-white backgrounds who finished education doubled to 38%.

    “But of course the problems with the rest group are growing, because they now become more isolated,” says our Danish reader.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: British Identity,Current affairs,Race politics,Religion,South Asia






    23 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      New blog post: Forced marriages fight goes to South Asia http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5015




    1. platinum786 — on 2nd July, 2009 at 7:18 am  

      Initially I took the typical approach to a forced marraiged unit, interference! however when you read the cases of a lot of people, if your from a normal family, you can’t begin to think how strange these people really are. They really do blackmail their own children, for the economic sake of their relatives. What the differences between forced marraige and becoming a pimp for your own children?

      The age of marraige has been raised to 21, which I think is great. I know this will affect the plans of many normal marraiges, but it will do more to disrupt the plans of those who tend to force younger more vunderable kids into marraige.

      24 I think would be pushing it really, as I know a lot of people who got married at 22-23. Ironically the youngest person to get married I know is a mate who got married at 16 to a girl he ran off with and knocked up.

    2. munir — on 2nd July, 2009 at 9:51 am  

      Its good news about the forced marriage unit.
      The problem is prosecuting parents- even the worst treated girl (or boy) would be reluctant to do so to their parents so its the state that needs to come down hard on them till everyone in these communities realise it wont be accepted.

      However its worth mentioning that the laws in Denmark wehre brought in by a far right party allied to the government to allay native fears over “immigrants” .

      Hence “The number of girls of non-white origin who married an adult male from ‘outside’ went from 22% to 3%,”

      Incidentally why with people outside these communities is it always about GIRLS marrying out (not boys)?

      So Denmark probably had little to do with concern for the women involved. The right is just co opting the language of liberals for its own ends.

    3. Boyo — on 2nd July, 2009 at 10:27 am  

      “The right is just co opting the language of liberals for its own ends.”

      Indeed - that’s the tragedy. To much of the left any perceived criticism of cultural practice is perceived as racist.

      That’s why in some ways you’ve gotta respect Islamists like you - at least you know what you stand for.

      Much of the “left”, which used to stand for Enlightenment values etc, has got itself in such a muddle that it prefers to ally itself to the likes of you Munir who despise everything it should actually stand for.

    4. munir — on 2nd July, 2009 at 11:43 am  

      Boyo
      “That’s why in some ways you’ve gotta respect Islamists like you – at least you know what you stand for.”

      There’s no such thing as an “Islamist” - its an invented word

      “Much of the “left”, which used to stand for Enlightenment values etc, has got itself in such a muddle that it prefers to ally itself to the likes of you Munir who despise everything it should actually stand for.”

      Yes but the left should be supporting racist supremacist European settler states like Israel

      How do you know what I do or dont depise? You dont speak for me turd. You’re too thick to know the difference between wrong cultural practices Muslims
      do (forced marriage, fgm etc) and Islam.

      When it comes to issues like racism, fighting opression , womens rights (muslim women got rights western women didnt get till the 19th century) and economic justice and helping the poor (who suffer because of an interest based economy Islam opposes) and the environemnt Islam has done a great deal no matter what how hard your tabloid infested brain may find that to comprehend.

      Islam has a progressive tradition too

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4436548,00.html
      Have you read what Enlighment thinkers have said about Islam?

    5. platinum786 — on 2nd July, 2009 at 12:50 pm  

      Great, he mentioned the I word. Now watch certain people swarm to defend it. Where was the need to have a personal dig at Munir to derail the topic?

    6. Boyo — on 2nd July, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

      “its an invented word”

      All words are invented, cretin.

      “How do you know what I do or dont depise?”

      Because you never tire of telling us.

      “When it comes to issues like…. Islam has done a great deal”

      Pre-16th Century you may have a point. But any contemporary examples. Saudi Arabia? Afghanistan? Iran? Of course not, but none of these are “true” Islamic states, are they. Palestine? Hamas was never given a chance! Etc.

      It’s not a zero sum game of course, which is why you can always cling to your Utopian dream. The West is not perfect, as Islamic societies are not imperfect. However Islamism, a very modern, and Western, phenomenon which owes as much to Lenin as to Al-Banna, is as doomed as all its totalitarian bedfellows.

      It always ends in tears, as the Iranians could tell you. But of course, like the USSR was to Marxists, they’re not the real thing, are they.

      Now back to my tabloids.

    7. platinum786 — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:04 pm  

      WTF does any of that have to do with forced marraiges.

      It seems almost every set of comments on every topic on this blog are following the same order…

    8. Boyo — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

      Ok, I think forced marriages are bad, which actually is something Islamists (being very modern) tend to agree with. Indeed it’s one of their key recruitment tools, along with the “radical” blah from Munir above. It’s the perfect justification to excuse every failure in life - if only… eh? In the sure knowledge that your Utopia will never quite happen, always to be sabotaged by Zionists or whatever. It’s a way of coping I suppose.

      But there I go, digressing again!

    9. Sunny — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

      Boyo - you can’t help it can you? Everything has to be a dig at lefties?

      Let me educate you a little bit. Ever heard of the political slogan “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour”? It certainly didn’t come from the left.

      The left is about unequal power, and helping the poor and marginalised get more say in society. That meant for the longest time the left treated ethnic minorities way better than some of you right-wingers now crowing about “enlightenment values”. What happened to those values when racism was so prevalent among the right?

      There’s no doubt in that forced marriages exist. That isn’t the fault of the left or their personal duty to sort it - the laws exist. I think they weren’t stringent enough but the trick is to ensure the laws aren’t discriminatory while catching out the offenders. It’s not an easy balance. So enough of the lame point-scoring please.

    10. munir — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

      Boyo
      “its an invented word”

      All words are invented, cretin.

      The point is this isnt a word used by Muslims to describe themselves - its a non Muslim construct - we call ourselves Muslims not “Islamists”.

      Using a word to describe a people they dont approve of or use themselves is almost always bigotry

      We get to define our religion - you dont.

      “Ok, I think forced marriages are bad, which actually is something Islamists (being very modern) tend to agree with. Indeed it’s one of their key recruitment tools, along with the “radical” blah from Munir above.

      It’s the perfect justification to excuse every failure in life – if only… eh? In the sure knowledge that your Utopia will never quite happen, always to be sabotaged by Zionists or whatever. It’s a way of coping I suppose. ”

      You clearly have some issues. Ive never said any of the above. Sucess in Islam is never defined in worldly secular terms nor is utopia (a western concept again!!!) sought.

      Seek help.

    11. munir — on 2nd July, 2009 at 2:04 pm  

      Boyo

      “Pre-16th Century you may have a point. But any contemporary examples. Saudi Arabia? Afghanistan? Iran? Of course not, but none of these are “true” Islamic states, are they. Palestine? Hamas was never given a chance! Etc. ”

      Its not difficult to see what youre fishing here Boyo. If a person were to say the countries you mentioned were ideal Islamic states you would point to bad things that happen there and say “see look how bad Islam is” and the only other option, that they dont represent true Islam you poo-poo.

      Clearly you just want Muslims to say “Islam is bad”.

      Its not going to happen

    12. Boyo — on 2nd July, 2009 at 2:52 pm  

      No Munir, I’m just so used to Islamist’s argument’s I know their responses by heart.

      “Clearly you just want Muslims to say “Islam is bad”.”

      How do you know what I do or dont depise? You dont speak for me turd. ;-)

    13. Boyo — on 2nd July, 2009 at 2:58 pm  

      “Boyo – you can’t help it can you? Everything has to be a dig at lefties?”

      It is a war on many fronts, Sunny. ;-)

      To be fair, you have a point. However, so do I.

      It’s odd you call me a “rightwinger”. I may think you are misguided but not to the right. Naturally I think I am far more to the left than you - you’re just more modern than I, having abandoned class for identity politics. But that’s because, I suspect, your more middle class than me.

      I’ll get back to my tabloids, again.

    14. Boyo — on 2nd July, 2009 at 3:01 pm  

      “we call ourselves Muslims not “Islamists”.

      Using a word to describe a people they dont approve of or use themselves is almost always bigotry”

      Well I call the BNP racists, but they may not always agree with me.

    15. Sunny — on 2nd July, 2009 at 3:31 pm  

      boyo - class politics is simply another form of identity politics. Working class people also play a lot of identity politics, as do middle class people. The amusing thing is when they say only ethnic minorities play identity politics.

    16. halima — on 2nd July, 2009 at 3:42 pm  

      “Using a word to describe a people they dont approve of or use themselves is almost always bigotry”

      Well I call the BNP racists, but they may not always agree with me”

      Cheap.

    17. halima — on 2nd July, 2009 at 3:46 pm  

      Sunny

      I also think the efforts of the Bangladeshi (and Pakistani etc) legal system to fight back such forced marriages, should be highlighted, too.

    18. halima — on 2nd July, 2009 at 3:59 pm  

      Slightly off topic but deserves a thread on its own right in relation to South Asian courts leading the fight ..

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/default.stm

      Indian court decriminalises gay sex in India which makes some of my friends and many others in India legal - overluing an old colonial law.

      It’s a fantastic and historic day and victory.

    19. Boyo — on 2nd July, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

      I agree Sunny, although I think the left has still got in a pickle because it confused the importance of reducing inequality with the promotion of cultural diversity. The logic of what you are saying is clear, the results confused, largely because of the complacency of the British establishment - without a constitutional framework that makes clear shared, explicit and equal values for all, like the US or French, then in the age of mass immigration, “culture” risks becoming the genie out of the bottle.

    20. Ingrid — on 2nd July, 2009 at 9:07 pm  

      Cheers for the link Halima, not as off-topic as most of the comments to this article anyways… :)

    21. Cabalamat — on 2nd July, 2009 at 11:31 pm  

      @2: The right is just co opting the language of liberals for its own ends.

      Sure, that’s piolitics for you. I’d rather someone did the right thing for the wrong reasons than not did it at all.

    22. NielsC — on 3rd July, 2009 at 6:52 pm  

      #Munir
      “Incidentally why with people outside these communities is it always about GIRLS marrying out (not boys)?
      So Denmark probably had little to do with concern for the women involved. The right is just co opting the language of liberals for its own ends.”
      In fact the general mariage for men has also changed, but men generally did and do marry later than women, but the statistics shows the same result as for women.
      One funny aspect of the statistics is that the ‘summer holiday’ mariages has nearly disapered.

      Although the young immigrant women were used as a cause for the legislation, the main reason of course is economic and political.
      It’s generally accepted fact that if immigrants from non developed countries (sorry to say especially muslim countries) doesn’t radically change educational behaviour any immigrant inflicts a cost of about 50.000 £ on the society as a whole during his or her lifetime.
      When you live in a country like Denmark, which has the highest tax rate in the world, it’s of course not acceptable.

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