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  • 8000 forced marriage cases in 2008


    by Rumbold
    19th July, 2009 at 10:45 am    

    A recent government report has found that around 8,000 cases of forced marriage were reported in 2008 in Britain. The majority of females involved were of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin. Around 85% of victims are female. The Foreign Office’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) dealt with 420 cases last year, up from 152 in 2005, though this is down to the FMU becoming more widely known and accessible.

    Happily, the attitude of the authorities seems to be changing (albeit slowly), with a much greater awareness of forced marriage and ‘honour’-based violence in general, as well as the will to do something about it. While the state alone cannot solve the problem, at least it will reduce the chance of situations like this happening again, and we should hear fewer horror stories about such behaviour being justified by culture or religious differences.


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    Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence






    132 Comments below   |  

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    1. CathElliott

      RT @pickledpolitics: New blog post: 8000 forced marriage cases in 2008 http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5208


    2. pickles

      New blog post: 8000 forced marriage cases in 2008 http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5208


    3. Charlotte Cooper

      RT @pickledpolitics: New blog post: 8000 forced marriage cases in 2008 http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5208




    1. munir — on 19th July, 2009 at 11:30 am  

      “The majority of females involved were of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin”

      Ah yes Rumbold them evil Muslims (bad asians) so different from we good Asians (Hindus and Sikhs)

    2. anobody — on 19th July, 2009 at 12:11 pm  

      Here we go…

    3. Shatterface — on 19th July, 2009 at 12:25 pm  

      ‘Ah yes Rumbold them evil Muslims (bad asians) so different from we good Asians (Hindus and Sikhs)’

      Do you have alternative statistics that suggest Hindus and Sikhs are as bad, if not worse?

    4. Tad — on 19th July, 2009 at 12:39 pm  

      One would always be inclined to take such a figure with a very large pinch of salt. And these figures are from the government which has no idea how many illegals there are in Britain? The government which routinely loses top secret documents and leaves state secrets on suburban trains?

      Eight thousand cases of forced marriages? Not seven thousand or nine thousand?

      Eight thousand in a year equals 21.9 such instances a day. Well, call it 21 or 22 such instances for the sake of simplicity.

      A drugged and zomboid bride or a screaming bride kicking and scratching as she’s forced into the back of the minicab in the Asian part of Leicesterabad or Bradfordistan?

      A groom so zonked out on Vallium that he has to be slung between two bearers, like the statue of the Retreat from Mons?

      And nobody bloody notices annd calls the cops? Or rings the ‘Daily Mail’ or the ‘Sun’ or the ‘Daily Express’ or some other paper with its finger on the pulse of British life?

    5. Rumbold — on 19th July, 2009 at 12:59 pm  

      Munir:

      So it is Islamophobic to report forced marriage cases eh? What about these hadiths?

      This is taken from a book called Sahih Bukhari.

      Sahih Bukhari contains over 7000 hadith and is compiled by a famous man by the name of Muhammad Ibn Ismail Bukhari.

      Volume 7, Book 62, Number 67:

      Narrated Abu Huraira:

      The Prophet said, “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! How can we know her permission?” He said, “Her silence (indicates her permission).”

      Volume 7, Book 62, Number 69:

      Narrated Khansa bint Khidam Al-Ansariya:

      that her father gave her in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to Allah’s Apostle and he declared that marriage invalid.

      (The hadiths come via a good friend of mine, a pious Muslim who would never tolerate your lazy smearing of people who raise the question of forced marriage).

    6. Rumbold — on 19th July, 2009 at 1:03 pm  

      Tad:

      Not all case of forced marriage are physically violent. Some may come about as the result of emotional blackmail, etc. Others may happen because of the fear of violence.

    7. Shatterface — on 19th July, 2009 at 1:09 pm  

      ‘One would always be inclined to take such a figure with a very large pinch of salt. And these figures are from the government which has no idea how many illegals there are in Britain?’

      If anything, that would suggest the figure of 8,000 is an underestimate.

    8. anobody — on 19th July, 2009 at 1:20 pm  

      Do we get to read the actual report? The link is to an honour killing website, which reports that a report by the British Government states this that and the other.

    9. anobody — on 19th July, 2009 at 1:21 pm  

      …which is now being reported here and will no doubt be reported/linked elsewhere.

    10. Rumbold — on 19th July, 2009 at 1:25 pm  

      Anobody:

      http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2009_0123

      I took the high end because we know there are still plenty of unreported cases.

    11. Amrit — on 19th July, 2009 at 2:44 pm  

      I try not to insult people unless my patience is sorely tested, but seriously, Munir? STFU. This is NOT ABOUT YOU and your pathetic need to victimise yourself at every opportunity.

      This is about women who actually ARE victims, and I’m sorry that the facts appear to be unpalatable to you, but you know, that’s life. Besides, usually when people talk about majority Muslim countries (such as Pakistan or Bangladesh) in a negative way, you often say things like: ‘Yeah, but there are Hindus/Sikhs/Christians there too! ERGO THEY ARE GUILTY TOO!’

      Now, when nobody is alleging anything on the grounds of religion, here you are crying Islamophobia. Who said anything about whether these women were Muslim or not? Or linked Islam and forced marriage for that matter? Hypocrisy is an ugly, ugly attribute.

      More people like Shelina Zahra Janmohamed need to keep spreading the message that forced marriage is UNIslamic.Whether you like it or not, people try to use religion as an excuse for forcing their children to marry, and it needs to stop.

    12. Jerome Taylor — on 19th July, 2009 at 2:54 pm  

      Although the FMU dealt with 420 cases last year they actually came across 1,600 forced marriages according to their website.

      The 420 will probably be cases where they physically intervened, usually once a female (or male) FM victim is taken abroad.

    13. Sunny — on 19th July, 2009 at 3:03 pm  

      Agreed Rumbold - there’s plenty more unreported ones.

    14. Jerome Taylor — on 19th July, 2009 at 3:08 pm  

      As for demographics - the most detailed figures I’ve seen (the government’s getting better but remains pretty bad at keeping a tab on FM’s) came from the first six months of calls to the Honour Network hotline - the first national helpline set up to tackle forced marriages and honour based violence which is run by Karma Nirvana with financial support from the Forced Marriage Unit.

      Each caller was asked to give their age, ethnicity etc etc. Not all did of course, but most did. Some of the things we learned once we crunched the figures were:

      1 in 10 callers were under the age of 16 - the youngest was 13.

      The most common age was 17 and the highest number of callers were from Eastern, Midlands and London which accounted for 57% in total.

      89% of victims were female, 11% male.

      When asked to define their ethnicity or religious background, the most common reply was Pakistani (22%) followed by Muslim (21%), Bangladeshi (8%) and Indian (7%).

      At least 5 percent of callers described themselves as “White British” the majority of whom, Karma Nirvana believed, were people in mixed race relationships concerned about potential violence towards their partners.

      People who classified themselves as Sikh, Iraqi, Hindu and Iranians were also common callers accounting for between 1-4% if I remember right - although I admit that’s off the top of my head. Either way those categories were definitely on the ethnic breakdown table.

      The overall picture therefore was that the vast majority of victims were women between 16 and 19 years old, predominantly of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin - however the practice was/is still prevalent within a number of other cultures/belief systems from the Middle East to South Asia.

      Further info can be found here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/forced-marriages-the-trail-of-misery-and-fear-in-britain-942820.html

    15. Edna Welthorpe — on 19th July, 2009 at 3:38 pm  

      Well, even a mere twenty forced marriages a day would involve at least one or two with a certain amount of yelling and shrieking.

      Anyone with any knowledge of Muslim wimmin from the subcontinent would agree that sustained submissive silence is not really their strong point; they can make their views known as forcefully as any New York Jewess in a state of rage.

    16. Edna Welthorpe — on 19th July, 2009 at 3:48 pm  

      Edna can sometimes resurrect buried memories. How about this one?

      There are posters made which - jolly sensibly - draw public attention to forced marriages.

      The governors of one school were told very clearly by the tribal chiefs and witch doctors of one immigrant “community” or another that they had jolly well better prevail on the school concerned NOT to display such posters “if they knew what was good for them.”

      The school governors conveyed their apprehensions sufficiently persuasively and the school decided that the display of such ‘hurtful and offensive’ posters would harm ‘community relations’ and they were promptly binned.

      Can anyone supply Chapter and Verse?

    17. inders — on 19th July, 2009 at 5:13 pm  

      What school ?

    18. Jerome Taylor — on 19th July, 2009 at 5:33 pm  

      If I remember right it was schools in Derby. Jasvinder Sanghera who runs Karma Nirvana has told me before that she’s always trying to persuade schools to put the posters up and regularly comes up against opposition from school governors.

      I simply can’t see how anyone could object to providing school girls with a number they can call if they are worried about FMs - but then the collective denial of both communities and local officials when it comes to FM and HBV is historically very strong and is only just beginning to be chipped away at.

    19. Don — on 19th July, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article3549159.ece

    20. Don — on 19th July, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

      The link above concerns the schools poster issue. I clicked ‘submit’ by accident and (without an edit facility) it looked peremptory.

      The Times article does imply another case of pre-emptive sensitivity, rather than actual pressure as Edna vaguely recalled. Not to say there wasn’t any, just that is isn’t evidenced in this report.

    21. inders — on 19th July, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

      Not one school named in the times article.

      As for Karma Nirvana, Schools have no obligation to put up any posters from 3rd sector organisations. I have a hard enough time getting them to pass on information for local government purposes.

    22. Yahya Birt — on 19th July, 2009 at 6:03 pm  

      Here is the statistics section from the executive summary of the report. Forced marriage at least from this data is an “Asian” phenomenon in Britain, two-thirds of reported cases relate to pre-marriage situations (so this means potentially that there is more confidence to go for outside help?), the cases overwhelmingly involve women, and over a third involve women under 18 years of age. The reported range is high but also wide and it shows that the researchers have not been able (unsurprisingly) to provide a very accurate figure:

      + Based on the data on the number of FM cases (either actual FM or the threat of FM) encountered by local organisations and the key national organisations, the national prevalence of reported cases of FM in England is estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000. This estimate does not include a potentially large number of victims who have not come of the attention of any agencies or professionals, since a large general population survey would be required to estimate the prevalence of these ‘hidden’ victims.

      + Of the FM cases reported to local organisations, almost two-thirds related to threats of marriage (62%) and just over one-third (38%) related to marriages that had taken place.

      + Whilst FM is not exclusively an issue for Asian communities, 97% of those seeking help or advice relating to FM from local organisations were identified as Asian. This closely reflects the data regarding country of origin held by the FMU for the cases which have come to their attention, where in 2008 64% of cases related to Pakistani victims, 15% related to Bangladeshi victims, and 8% related to Indian victims.

      + 96% of FM cases reported to local organisations related to female victims and only 4% to male victims. This represents a smaller proportion of male cases than reported by both the FMU and Karma Nirvana (the largest national organisation providing support to victims of FM) whose proportions of male cases or enquiries in 2008 were 14% and 43% respectively.

      + Within local organisations, 41% of reported cases concerned victims under the age of 18.

      5000-8000 cases in 2008 is very high and very worrying.

    23. Rumbold — on 19th July, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

      Members of Derby Council were dismissive of forced marriage posters in schools. From my report on Jaswinder Sanghera’s evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee (Feb 2008):

      “One of the concerns about schools was that they were refusing to push DV education for fear of upsetting what they saw as ‘local’ opinion. Jasvinder Sanghera related her experiences with Derby Council. When appearing before them, several councillors ridiculed her for trying to force this issue on schools. A later question established that the offending councillors were British Asian. Some school governors did not want the information posters on FM and ‘honour’ killings for fear of stereotyping Asian pupils. Jasvinder Sanghera was suitably scornful. Martin Salter MP labelled Derby as the test case for how well these type of school initiatives will be accepted.

      Salter also pointed out the schools were reluctant to report pupils disappearing for periods of time, because it affects the school’s truancy figures. Jasvinder Sanghera argued that such an attitude was a form of racism, because if a white child went did not turn up for a while there was a vigorous investigation by the school, but with a brown child, less so.”

      http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1719

    24. inders — on 19th July, 2009 at 6:16 pm  

      Elected representatives are now ‘tribal chiefs and witch doctors’ ?

      How many people voted for Jaswinder Sanghera ? I’m a great believer in activism and activists, but not ones with a persecution complex.

      Its her job to persuade.

    25. Don — on 19th July, 2009 at 6:47 pm  

      Rumbold,

      Jasvinder Sanghera argued that such an attitude was a form of racism,

      I can see how one could make that case, but there is the question of practicallity. Schools are not set up for the level of social intervention which is increasingly expected of them. Quite often students will stop attending, phone calls and letters go unanswered, doors unopened. You can log a concern but there often isn’t the staff to follow it up.

      I regard myself as semi-anonymous here,(in that some regulars know my actual identity and it wouldn’t take Sam Spade to work it out) so I tend not to discuss work, but one aspect I have noticed is that some quite severely disabled male SE Asian students, once they have passed 18, will find an overseas spouse. Whether or not the actual role of long-term carer is a good deal for the spouse I don’t know. I guess it makes economic sense all round, situations differ on the human level.

    26. Edna Welthorpe — on 19th July, 2009 at 7:07 pm  

      Inders feels it is un-PC to refer to ‘tribal chiefs and witch doctors’ but I can assure Inders that it is in precisely this way that Labour has chosen to address certain minority communities and keep them as - it is hoped - a docile vote bank.

      Betcha that you will not easily corner George Galloway into talking about any of this very distasteful and unpleasant ghetto-culture stuff; GG would prefer to talk about Gaza and the Hindu Kush.

      Given the facts, who could blame him?

    27. Edna Welthorpe — on 19th July, 2009 at 7:14 pm  

      GEOGRAPHY #101

      Does Don mean S-Asia or S-E-Asia?

      And is this disablement stuff a result of genetic inbreeding?

    28. Don — on 19th July, 2009 at 7:37 pm  

      Oh dear, I’ve said something that requires an upper-case response.

      I did actually mean the sub-continent, but my mind was on other things. Well done, you win.

      And is this disablement stuff a result of genetic inbreeding?

      If by inbreeding you mean cousin-marriages, a topic which has been covered more than once on this forum, then I don’t know because I only have access to the same data as everyone else. On a large scale it does seem to be a factor.

    29. Rumbold — on 19th July, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

      Don:

      I agree that schools can only do so much, and that parents have to take a greater responsibility. However, while schools cannot be expected to spot things like forced marriage, they should circulate information on it widely- they could even treat it as part of PSHE (or whatever it is called this month).

    30. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 1:28 am  

      #5Rumbold no it isnt
      Forced marriage is forbidden in Islam as teh hadiths you quoted mention- it should be punished severly

      You are ducking the issue -What I find fascinating is that you (someone of Indian origin) felt the need to mention where the girls originally were from (Pakistan and Bangladesh) when this has f-all to do with anything (since weve already established this isnt an Islamic or Muslim thing as it effects Sikhs and Hindus too).

    31. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 1:31 am  

      Edna Welthorpe
      “Anyone with any knowledge of Muslim wimmin from the subcontinent would agree that sustained submissive silence is not really their strong point; they can make their views known as forcefully as any New York Jewess in a state of rage.”

      hehe - brilliant and spot on

      What makes me laugh is people saying Arab or North Africa women are submissive… ….good grief

    32. Shatterface — on 20th July, 2009 at 2:16 am  

      ‘You are ducking the issue -What I find fascinating is that you (someone of Indian origin) felt the need to mention where the girls originally were from (Pakistan and Bangladesh) when this has f-all to do with anything ‘

      It matters because THAT’S WHERE THE MAJORITY ARE COMING FROM.

      What part of that don’t you get?

      There aren’t thousands of Irish girls being forced into marriages with children of Irish immigrants, or Swedish girls, or Australians, but there are thousands of girls from Pakistan and Bangladesh. This is not an issue effecting all ethnic minorities equally.

      Can we possibly make that easier for you to understand?

    33. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:17 am  

      Shatterface,

      Can we possibly make that easier for you to understand?

      No, you couldn’t.

      munir is a quite crazy little nut job whose loyalties actually rest with BNP types. A sadly fucked up little individual…

    34. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:29 am  

      munir,

      Gloves off.

      You have religious certainties that no sane person shares, thus you are no better that the Reverend Iain Paisley, nor the Pope, nor anyone else who contains stupid beliefs that define them. I feel incredibly sorry for you. You are the living antithesis of sense. You are actually quite an evil little fucker, aren’t you?

    35. Vikrant — on 20th July, 2009 at 8:35 am  

      Ah yes Rumbold them evil Muslims (bad asians) so different from we good Asians (Hindus and Sikhs)

      Perhaps people fail to take into account the socio-economic and the educational status of immigrants from India as opposed to Pakistan. Plus south asian cultures aren’t monolithic. South Indian cultures are infact really open when it comes to women as opposed to say the Punjabi/Rajasthani feudal notions when it comes to honour/women etc… Plus its usually the emotional blackmail as opposed to physical violence that forces people into marriage. My grandmum, disappointed that her son married a non-Rajput, moreover a Maratha woman, torpedoed my parent’s marriage through sustained emotional blackmail…

      As for forced marriage, I knew this Kashmiri girl who was my playmate while growing up… I recently reconnected with her (thanks to facebook :) ), apparently she’s married and moved to Pakistan (she’s 19!!). A case of forced marriage i suspect!

    36. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 9:06 am  

      Vikrant,

      That is an extremely sad tale you had to tell. I hate all of that race or culturally based shite. And I do believe that affection should conquer all. Sadly, some evil bastards do have power. I think it is what makes them evil, folk that define their lives by interfering in the lives of others.

      And all done with the ‘best possible’ motives.

      Hatred of the ‘other’ with a religious or cultural gloss.

    37. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2009 at 9:27 am  

      Munir:

      I really don’t know what to say (apart from I am not of Indian origin).

      I think it is vitally important to highlight where these girls come from. Notice I did not mention Islam once in the piece, and indeed do my best to highlight the cultural nature of forced marriage rather than the religious one. But I will not sell these girls down the river just because you don’t like me saying where they are from. If they were from Norway and Brazil I would say so.

    38. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2009 at 9:30 am  

      And it is true that a significant majority come from Pakistan and Bangladesh, while there are a lesser number of cases from India. It is chilling that your first reaction when reading a piece about forced marriage is “how dare he tell us where these girls are from.”

    39. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 9:48 am  

      munir,

      And you get honesty from Rumbold. It is quite apparent that he would make the same comments if the women came from Norway or Brazil. A wrong, is a wrong, etc, etc…

      And no amount of cultural eyewash excuses it.

      For you are just a cheap apologist for wrongs, and your attempt to pretend that that it is not allowed by your religion, in the cultural milieu that it lives in, is just an apologia too far. Though, it is probably what they taught you in Hizby school.

      You are no mainstream muslim…..

    40. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:08 am  

      Just a bit of background. My daughter is about to marry a New Zealand carpenter. I had completely no say in her relationship with the guy. And neither should I have. If she finds love and affection there, as I assume she does, what right would I have to interfere?

      None, whatsoever, I’d have thought. I’d have thought that I ought to see New Zealand carpenters in a better light. He is, frankly, a very nice guy. But my judgement counts for zero, it is my daughters’ judgement that counts completely.

      I’d have thought.

    41. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:14 am  

      Congratulations Douglas. I hope she will be very happy.

      Will you be live-blogging the wedding, Suuny-style?

    42. Ravi Naik — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:15 am  

      You are ducking the issue -What I find fascinating is that you (someone of Indian origin) felt the need to mention where the girls originally were from (Pakistan and Bangladesh) when this has f-all to do with anything (since weve already established this isnt an Islamic or Muslim thing as it effects Sikhs and Hindus too).

      I have to say that your contribution in this thread has been disgusting to say the least. Rumbold never used the term “Muslim”, but mentioned a fact - a FACT - that the vast majority of women in cases of forced marriages are of Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds. Why are you making it a religious issue? Aren’t there other Muslims communities where this problem is not an issue? And since when FACTS are Islamophobic? What is really interesting is that the only comment you make about the 8000 cases of force marriages is how it looks on your religion. Shameful!

    43. Ravi Naik — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:19 am  

      Sorry Rumbold, I ended up repeating what you said in #37 and #38. I just read Munir’s #30 and started replying without reading the remaining comments.

    44. Ravi Naik — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:21 am  

      Can I say that I am really pissed that we do not have the 5-min “edit” function after posting a comment?

      Can we have an official update on this issue? Or did Sunny just gave up on that?

    45. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:22 am  

      Rumbold
      “It is chilling that your first reaction when reading a piece about forced marriage is “how dare he tell us where these girls are from.””

      “Chilling”? what planet are you on. And actually it wasnt my first reaction. What is “chilling” is that you chose to bring up the country of origin when as you yourself said in your subsequent backtracking it has zero relevancy (are you suggesting forced marriages are less worse if the involve Indian girls?)
      and thus change an issue that we all agree on as wrong (even Douglas Clark) into one divided along national, cultural and religious lines.

      Shame on you

    46. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:27 am  

      Hmm..

      Will you be live-blogging the wedding, Suuny-style?

      Only if you guys give me a channel.

      And when, exactly did the Master of the bearded Universe get married? Now that is an event I completely missed.

      :-)

    47. Ravi Naik — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:29 am  

      Douglas - it must be quite a moment to see your daughter getting married. All the best to your family. :)

    48. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:35 am  

      munir,

      It isn’t

      “Chilling”? what planet are you on. And actually it wasnt my first reaction. What is “chilling” is that you chose to bring up the country of origin when as you yourself said in your subsequent backtracking it has zero relevancy (are you suggesting forced marriages are less worse if the involve Indian girls?)
      and thus change an issue that we all agree on as wrong (even Douglas Clark) into one divided along national, cultural and religious lines.

      Not really the point, is it, munir? It seems to be the case that Muslim communities do, indeed, trade in their daughters. Which is frankly sad and bad. Perhaps you could agree with me on that?

    49. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:42 am  

      Ravi @ 47,

      Cheers mate. I am.

    50. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:42 am  

      Douglas Clark

      “And no amount of cultural eyewash excuses it.

      For you are just a cheap apologist for wrongs,”

      Are you mentally unwell Douglas (sorry rhetorical question)- who excused this evil practice? Read my post of #30 retard

      ” and your attempt to pretend that that it is not allowed by your religion, in the cultural milieu that it lives in, is just an apologia too far.”

      Ah ha NOW we reach the crux. Good grief you hate ‘Islam’ and Muslims dont you Douglas ?. Rumbold (“And you get honesty from Rumbold”) already pointed out this out in #5 its not allowed but you are such a hater you wont accept that.It is not allowed in my religion, Muslim hating turd. You are also such a brainless fvckit you think religion and cultural are the same when in this and many cases they oppose.

      My culutural mileau? My cultural miluea is London you BNP prick

      ” Though, it is probably what they taught you in Hizby school.”

      Yeah dont you know Douglas they teach us taqiyya so we can easier take over and make Eurabia a reality. you can read all about it on the Spitoon linked CSC website

      “You are no mainstream muslim…..”

      A mainstream Muslim being in Douglas Clark’s eyes someone who confirms his poisoned diseased idea that Islam is demonic and Muslims likewise or that Islam is what he has read it is in the hate propoganda he devours !

    51. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:45 am  

      Douglas Clark

      Not really the point, is it, munir? It seems to be the case that Muslim communities do, indeed, trade in their daughters. Which is frankly sad and bad. Perhaps you could agree with me on that?

      Thanks for making my point- that this thread is about Muslim bashing not about doing something to help these girls . There are many Muslims at the forefront of trying to stop these vile practices; but if you expect us to join with you in a Muslim-bashing session you can go and fvck yourself

    52. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:48 am  

      Ravi:

      No need to apologise. The more of us say it, the more Munir reads it. Maybe. Also, I don’t know what happened to the ‘edit’ function. I miss it too.

      Munir:

      “What is “chilling” is that you chose to bring up the country of origin when as you yourself said in your subsequent backtracking it has zero relevancy (are you suggesting forced marriages are less worse if the involve Indian girls?).”

      Of course it is relevant where these girls come from. How can it not be?

      Okay, I am going to give you the benefit of doubt and presume that you simply don’t understand. Let’s say a serial killer strikes in London. All of his 12 victims are female academics between 30-40 years of age, and all got their PhDs from overseas. Is this releveant information? Yes. The same with forced marriage. Most of us on this site oppose forced marriage, and we want to stamp it out. Therefore we look for what causes it, and any patterns. One of the patterns is that many girls are from Pakistan and Bangladesh. This, as Ravi said, is a fact. There are girls from other areas as well, and their forced marriages are just as terrible. But there are less of them.

      Douglas:

      “And when, exactly did the Master of the bearded Universe get married? Now that is an event I completely missed.”

      Oops. I didn’t mean he got married, just that he likes live-blogging.

      *3.21pm: bride cmin up aisle. No sign of Mel Phillips. Lol*

    53. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:53 am  

      Rumbold perhaps it wasnt your intention to make this about Muslims by mentioning Pakistan and Bangladesh (though you still havent explained properly why you did) but the likes of Douglas Clark and Shatterface are clearly off message they clearly do want to make it about Muslims and indulge in Muslim bashing

    54. Ravi Naik — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:55 am  

      Munir - don’t make this thread about Islam.

      The reality is that there is evidence that we have communities in Britain with an insular mindset which allow this to happen. It is a fact based on the evidence that the vast majority of forced marriages happen in certain communities.

    55. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:57 am  

      Munir:

      This is a thread about forced marriage. The majority of girls involved in forced marriages are of Pakistani/Bangladeshi origin. You cannot hide from that. It’s like writing an article about the state of racist parties in Britain without mentioning the BNP.

    56. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 10:58 am  

      munir,

      If I am mentally unwell, then perhaps Sunny, or Rumbold or someone I actually respect, will tell me that, not a complete utter tit like you.

      A mainstream Muslim being in Douglas Clark’s eyes someone who confirms his poisoned diseased idea that Islam is demonic and Muslims likewise or that Islam is what he has read it is in the hate propoganda he devours !

      I don’t hate Islam, contrary to your beliefs, what I do hate is your version of it. There are a lot of sensible Muslims that write, commentate here. They have nothing to do with your stupidity.

      Let’s be clear, I think you are a nut job. I think you are yet another fool for religion, and perhaps another idiot in the defence of it.

      That is what I think, you pathetic little moron.

    57. chairwoman — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:03 am  

      Munir - Your appalling manners are a disgrace to your parents, whom I do not doubt for one instant, brought you up beautifully.

    58. chairwoman — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:05 am  

      dougie - Felicitations on your daughter’s upcoming marriage.

      He is a carpenter? That affirms my notion that she is a lady :) .

    59. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:15 am  

      chairwoman,

      Thanks.

      I didn’t even realise that I had mentioned her before.

      But thanks anyway. Did I mention that I have a lot of respect for you?

      Just so’s you don’t feel alienated on here. Which is what some strangers would like to us to be.

    60. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:17 am  

      I loved the edit facility, so I did..

    61. Jai — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:23 am  

      Since there are some statements in this thread (mainly by Munir) implying that “Indian” automatically equals “Hindu or Sikh”, it’s probably worth re-iterating that, although the vast majority of British Asian Muslims are indeed Pakistani or Bangladeshi, a small percentage of British Indians are also Muslim.

      The number of Muslims actually residing in India itself is of course comparatively higher — the latest figures are from the 2001 census and state that approx. 13.4% of the population is Muslim, which came to nearly 140 million people at the time.

    62. halima — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:31 am  

      The post is about forced marriage.

      I am from Bangladesh, indeed, was born there - and probably share some charcateristics of what women from those populations might be going through . I also understand that not all women from this population group go through the same pressures to marry, and even fewer go through the pressure of forced marriage.

      But the bottom line is that even if one young woman is forced to marry against her wishes - and family conspire to force her into it - that’s one woman too many, never mind the 8000 cases mentioned. It’s a disgrace and should be discussed as a disgrace so that families think twice about committing the same crime.

    63. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:38 am  

      munir,

      Rumbold perhaps it wasnt your intention to make this about Muslims by mentioning Pakistan and Bangladesh (though you still havent explained properly why you did) but the likes of Douglas Clark and Shatterface are clearly off message they clearly do want to make it about Muslims and indulge in Muslim bashing

      I do not want to make it about Muslims, some of whom are a tad different from you. It is you that tries to make it about your cultural or religious roots. Would I be wrong in saying that you did your best to scare Sonia off this forum? Because she didn’t meet you daft cultural criteria.

      Would that be right, you piece of shit?

    64. Jai — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:47 am  

      …..By the way, congratulations Douglas on your daughter’s impending marriage.

      *****************************************

      It is you that tries to make it about your cultural or religious roots.

      In order to place his comments into their proper context, along with enabling everyone to better understand the reasons for his objections, perhaps it would be helpful for Munir to clarify a) if he is South Asian in terms of his ethnicity, b) if so, which country in the subcontinent his ancestry lies in, and c) [optional] specifically which region of the country concerned his ancestry lies in.

      This is a genuine question, since the majority of the other regular Asian commenters here are already aware of the specifics of each other’s ancestry.

    65. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:49 am  

      halima,

      But the bottom line is that even if one young woman is forced to marry against her wishes – and family conspire to force her into it – that’s one woman too many, never mind the 8000 cases mentioned. It’s a disgrace and should be discussed as a disgrace so that families think twice about committing the same crime.

      That is obvous to thee and me. munir, whoever, begs to differ. I am an Islamphobe, allegedly..

    66. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:54 am  

      Jai,

      By the way, congratulations Douglas on your daughter’s impending marriage.

      Cheers mate. Don’t have a date yet…

    67. damon — on 20th July, 2009 at 12:13 pm  

      The figure of 8,000 does sound awfully high.

      Surely it should be talked about in schools in the same way that any other education about sex and relationships, or abusive behavior, might be discussed in the course of a child’s education.
      It should be relatively simple to get kids to at least understand the concept that to be forced into marriage is wrong, and that there is help available from outside agencies.

      And talking about marriage of all different sorts, I can immagine could produce a lively discussion in a classroom setting. ”Arranged marriage, cousin marriage, forced marriage: what’s OK and what isn’t?”

      Kind of like the ”Trisha” type programmes they’ve watched on TV.

    68. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 1:56 pm  

      douglas clark

      “That is obvous to thee and me. munir, whoever, begs to differ. I am an Islamphobe, allegedly..”

      I called you an Islamohobe for your comments like “they do it becuase they are Muslim men” and your comment on here ” and your attempt to pretend that that it is not allowed by your religion, in the cultural milieu that it lives in, is just an apologia too far.” when it was shown to an ignoramous like you that it is forbidden in Islam.

      ignorant tabloid-brained liar,how could I call you an islamophobe for condeming forced marriage when Islam agrees with your condemnation?

      and your attempt to imply I agree with forced marriage when anyone on here can see and easy check I explicitly condemn it just disminishes whats left of your credibility

    69. munir — on 20th July, 2009 at 2:10 pm  

      Rumbold

      This is a thread about forced marriage. The majority of girls involved in forced marriages are of Pakistani/Bangladeshi origin. You cannot hide from that. It’s like writing an article about the state of racist parties in Britain without mentioning the BNP

      Its interesting you mention the BNP as your modus operandi is exactly like there’s- focus on the identity of perpetrators of the crime rather than the crime itself

      In doing so you will alienate members of those communities much as if you mentioned the fact that black people are dispropritanetly involved in street crime or Jewish people in financial fraud would lose support from people of these communities This is fine if this is your aim-but you state it isn’t.

      If your attention is to focus on the crime not the group why do so?

      And your analogy with the BNP is perverse and revealing because the whole raison d’etre of the BNP is a racist party. Are you suggesting the whole raison detre of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities is to force their daughters in marriage?

    70. sonia — on 20th July, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

      Good post Rumbold and well said Ravi Naik and others.

      Munir - inescapable fact is that regardless of situation here for particular immigrant groups, everyone knows there is this idea floating around the the indian subcontinent still - which is that if you have daughters who are not married off this is a shameful thing and a burden to get rid of as soon as possible. Having unmarried daughters in the house for too long -is a no no. Even where the family has money to ‘keep’ the girl, there the issue of saving face and having unwanted {ugly} daughters (especially if they are dark-skinned, hai hai!)

      Regardless of religion/ethno-linguistic grouping this seems to be a strongly held view for too long across the subcontinent.

      Naturally this is a wide societal view going back centuries and now different people carry it to different extents. Some people who now are living in the UK (and elsewhere) and are (not suprisingly) trying to bring up their children in the way they were brought up. Some want a different future for their kids, are more self-reflexive, and want to try different things. Socio-economic status plays a big part in this dynamic and perhaps its not surprising that the poorer south asian immigrants Pakistanis/Bangladeshis are being flagged up. Perhaps they are liberalising less also because of religious ‘ideas’, either which way, yes perhaps it is significant to see how religion is wielded as a ‘powerful’ tool by community authoritarians who want to resist change.

      Anyway. It has been seen in most traditional societies around the globe. A lot has changed but in some places for some people it hasn’t changed all that much. Marriage is seen as the only future for a girl and if that is so then that pressure is enough to make a girl think hard about what “choices” she has if she refuses her parents/each suitor who comes along. which side is your bread buttered on, who will look after you, you are a burden on us, etc. etc. It is all about fundamentally emotionally abusing the person, into submission, by making them feel unfree and not having choices, and not having the right to make a choice, often.

      Whether physical violence occurs or not, that is an ‘additional’ factor. the main abuse has already taken place.

      Thankfully for girls in this country there is a state to protect them and they have rights. Issue is when people are emotionally abused they feel they have no rights, or right to take up their theoretical rights.

      And naturally there is a varying degree to which various families are retaining or not retaining very old-fashioned ideas of family and marriage and rights of their children to be independent human beings. (this is where the oppressive family really mirrors oppressive authority (state or institution) apparatus).

      Pretending the status quo isn’t the status quo is futile, this is not a forum where no one understands what we are talking about: authoritarian family dynamics, the particular subservient role of women in the traditional family structure. Obviously people have to be able to critique their social dynamics without feeling politically correct: this is human behaviour we are talking about - human psychology and social dynamics.

      The sad thing is so many diasporas end up solidifying ancient traditions in stone because they are ‘somewhere’ else and worried of being tainted by the “Other” and so are more resistant to change than their counterparts who remained at home.

      Anyway the fundamental point for me again is that any individual of any gender, race colour whatever, needs to have a multitude of choices open to them and be free to have aspirations for themselves - this is a basic human right and essential for sane development into sane thinking adult with agency. Any institution (whether family, corporation or government) who instead of enabling this restricts choices for young people or even the belief in themselves to discover alternative choices - is problematic and abusive. In the end, no one benefits anyway as you develop weak societies where people are bitter and unhappy with the life choices they make (or feel they never really made, so then they don’t feel any agency - what a surprise! ) AND for women, this is particularly important and (depressing) because they are the ones who will bring up the future generation.

      Douglas - congrats to your daughter and she is lucky to have a dad like you *hug*

    71. Ravi Naik — on 20th July, 2009 at 3:19 pm  

      Its interesting you mention the BNP as your modus operandi is exactly like there’s- focus on the identity of perpetrators of the crime rather than the crime itself… Jewish people in financial fraud would lose support from people of these communities

      No, Munir. If there are communities where certain practises are seen acceptable or tolerated, then efforts should be channeled in such communities to discourage such practices. When the majority of 8000 cases happen in two communities, then you can’t pretend that it is just a coincidence and that there isn’t a cultural (not religious) link.

      Where did you read that Jewish people are disproportionately involved in financial fraud?

    72. halima — on 20th July, 2009 at 3:43 pm  

      I think most of us on this thread are on the same track , no? Ravi Naik, Munir, Sonia , Douglas et al.

      That forced marriage is wrong.

    73. Vikrant — on 20th July, 2009 at 3:49 pm  

      Where did you read that Jewish people are disproportionately involved in financial fraud?

      The protocols of Elders of Zion?

    74. sonia — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

      Apart from Munir who seems to be hell bent on the tack of ‘no such thing like this happens in OUR community’ = yes i think everyone is agreed that forced marriage is wrong.

      the question then seems to be about different people’s ideas of how this has all come about, what’s it connected to (e.g. some people seem to think it will ‘vanish’ and isn’t connected to the family’s social psychology, or that it will ‘disappear’ as the elder generation die as if somehow a family doesn’t pass its psychology down the line ) and how we can ‘tackle’ it.

    75. sonia — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

      Let me rephrase before Poor Munir gets a heart attack, i meant to say yeah everyone is generally agreeing but Munir is on the case of being the ‘community’ defender.

    76. halima — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:15 pm  

      Sonia

      I don’t think Munir is saying forced marriage isn’t wrong.

      On your comment about emotional blackmail resonated with me. The use of emotional blackmail in a parent-child relationship is abusive - and I’ve always wondered why parents feel this exclusive ownership over their children in this way? I don’t have children so I don’t know the sentiment. I understand the love between parent and child but not why it gives us right over children as property.

      Munir

      Correct me if i am mistaken - you’re concerned about the perceived way in which you think Bangladesh/Pakistan/Muslim has been presented in this report? I think Rumbold was stating facts, and I don’t think he intended anything else.

    77. halima — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:16 pm  

      Sonia

      I don’t think Munir is saying forced marriage isn’t wrong.

      Your comment about emotional blackmail resonated with me. The use of emotional blackmail in a parent-child relationship is abusive - and I’ve always wondered why parents feel this exclusive ownership over their children in this way? I don’t have children so I don’t know the sentiment. I understand the love between parent and child but not why it gives us right over children as property.

      Munir

      Correct me if i am mistaken - you’re concerned about the perceived way in which you think Bangladesh/Pakistan/Muslim has been presented in this report? I think Rumbold was stating facts, and I don’t think he intended anything else.

    78. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:22 pm  

      munir @ 68,

      I’ll stand corrected, but I’d assume that half of the followers of Islam are female. That a disgusting little homophobe such as you feels that you have the ‘right’ to speak on behalf of most muslims says more about you than it does about the religion. I repeat, you are a fundamentalist, fucked up, little retard. I do suspect you are an Al Quaida sympathyser, or somesuch fool, though you have never, exactly, gone there.

      Try taking that on board. You are a disgusting excuse for a human being. You lie for the sake of a religious belief that does, in fact, evolve, unlike you.

      There are numerous ‘nice’ muslims that comment here. For an idiot such as you to attempt to corral them is, frankly, offensive.

    79. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

      Anyway, my best chum on this internet thingy said it a whole lot better than I could:

      Anyway the fundamental point for me again is that any individual of any gender, race colour whatever, needs to have a multitude of choices open to them and be free to have aspirations for themselves – this is a basic human right and essential for sane development into sane thinking adult with agency. Any institution (whether family, corporation or government) who instead of enabling this restricts choices for young people or even the belief in themselves to discover alternative choices – is problematic and abusive. In the end, no one benefits anyway as you develop weak societies where people are bitter and unhappy with the life choices they make (or feel they never really made, so then they don’t feel any agency – what a surprise! ) AND for women, this is particularly important and (depressing) because they are the ones who will bring up the future generation.

      Whether that cuts across a religious perspective, and I’d assume it does, is neither here not there, for it is fundamentally right.

    80. Don — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:15 pm  

      Munir, your comment at #1 did strongly imply that in reporting just the most basic findings of the report Rumbold was somehow traducing your religion. That is very unfair, Rumbold is always meticulous in distinguishing between cultural practice and religious doctrine, as he showed in this very article.

      How can you produce a report on what we all agree is a serious social ill and not be allowed to mention geography? Most regulars here have taken the trouble to inform themselves about FM and are well aware that it is specifically forbidden in the Quran and hadiths.
      Unfortunately in some places (as is the case with FGM) people have found a way to reconcile these local traditions with their Islamic beliefs. Perhaps in these areas competent scholars are in short supply, or perhaps there are other reasons.

      If it is out of bounds to even mention where these places are then we are not going to make much progress in understanding and tackling the causes.

      I think we can agree that Islam as interpreted by competent scholars and Islam as practised in many cases are two very different things. Much like all religions, they tend to be plastic if that’s what it takes.

      The interpretations are of little or no interest to most non-moslems and of academic interest to the rest. I find them quite interesting, although as an atheist who obviously does not accept the central premise I’m not going to commit my finite time to a serious study. The practice is the aspect which most effects people and which is being questioned here.

      So we do actually understand that it is neither sanctioned by Islam nor unique to moslems. Given that, can we now look at the data?

      Oh, and Douglas, may I add my best wishes on your daughter’s coming nuptials? Is she thinking of moving to NZ? My niece, a nurse, just spent a year working out there and in Oz and has almost decided to go back and settle.

    81. damon — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:19 pm  

      I went to the Mela in west London last year (just to see how it was), and how about groups of activists being out at events like that pushing information and trying to talk to people about the issue?

      And out in Sothhall and Luton and Birmingham every saturday just like the Socialist Workers who you see doing their thing.

      Handing out leaflets with contact numbers and websites, and just talking to people from the South Asian community.
      This kind of street political activity is very rewarding (even if it leads to confrontation with people who don’t like to see it). I did some too for a while.

      We’ve seen with the Obama election how possible it was to mobilise volunteer activists to go out and work for a cause. I wonder if such a thing could happen with an issue like this.

    82. halima — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:25 pm  

      Douglas… when i talked about children - i left out the obvious, a very big congratulations.

    83. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:34 pm  

      Don,

      Oh, and Douglas, may I add my best wishes on your daughter’s coming nuptials? Is she thinking of moving to NZ? My niece, a nurse, just spent a year working out there and in Oz and has almost decided to go back and settle.

      Thanks.

      I don’t know what she thinks, to be honest. She is a qualified and practicing scientist, she is also very compitent in the service sector. Though the latter pays a lot worse.

      Still, her life is her own, I think. You shouldn’t apply your ideas to your kids, should you?

      Not that you ever have.

    84. Sofia — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:36 pm  

      Sometimes the truth is hard to take…if the facts state a prevelance in certain communities, then instead of sticking your head in the sand, think of a way in which to tackle it at grass root level. I don’t see why the posters can’t go up. That’s like saying, Asian ppl are dying of diabetes but we don’t want to stigmatise them, so we won’t create posters to educate them…I’ve seen forced, co-erced marriage close up and it’s not nice..and guess what, parents do use religion culture whatever to get their way…so if Islam doesn’t advocate forced marriage, then why are so many muslims practicing it…8000 is disgusting! It sickens me to the core to know that there are that many young ppl being forced into relationships where they have zero choice…and everything that then follows is even more awful to contemplate.

    85. Don — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:43 pm  

      #80

      affects, not effects, obviously.
      d’oh

      Sunny, in the name of Dawkins, give us back the edit feature.

    86. anobody — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:46 pm  

      Rumbold, thanks for the link. Those who are interested can read the full report here:

      http://publications.dcsf.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/DCSF-RR128.pdf

      I am in no doubt that FM is a despicable act and those implicit in perpertrating this gross practise should be castigated.

      However, I am in agreement with Tad, post 4. What really gets to me is how the figures such as 8,000 are reported, by our government. The report itself is littered with numbers based on assumptions, which come with caveats, which are then extrapolated to form the 5000-8000 figure, yet before we know it it’s the 8000 being brandished all over the gaff.

      The executive summary of the report says this:

      “The majority of FM cases take place among South Asian communities, such as Pakistani,
      Bangladeshi and Indian communities. However, FMs also take place among other
      communities, especially from Africa, the Middle East and parts of Eastern Europe.”

      Yet the forced marriage site you link to Rumbold, as well as here there is special emphasis on the Bangladeshi & Pakistani community. Why feed into the already apparent, although subtle, sentiments which many in the UK hold about the Bangladeshi/Pakistani community, and by extension Muslims? I’m not saying we ignore these practices within these communities, but if the report itself does not single out the Bangladeshi/Pakistani community, why is it necessary here?

      Even the section dedicated to the quantitative profiling of FM, does not make this distinction of seperating Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi in its summary. The summary to the section says this:

      “This chapter describes an estimate of the profile and prevalence of reported cases of FM in
      England. Whilst FM is not exclusively an issue for Asian communities, 97% of those seeking
      advice or help relating to FM from organisations were identified as Asian.”

      No breaking down of the Asian is there?

      Where there is a distinction it says:

      “This reflects the data regarding country of origin held by the FMU for the cases which have come
      to their attention, where in 2008 64% of cases related to Pakistani victims, 15% related to
      Bangladeshi victims, and 8% related to Indian victims”

      Clearly Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indian are all chucked in together totalling to 87%. So there are 13% of other unknowns which form part of the cases reported to the FMU.

      Why don’t we highlight this also when reporting?

      When we are talking about comparisons what’s the difference between 8% and 15% compared to 64%? Surely the clear majority is the Pakistani FM cases (which has increased to 70% based on 2009 so far FMU site), so if we’re talking about majority why not say just Pakistanis with 64%?

      Also if do a quick google on ‘forced marriages 8000′ there are countless articles that are reporting upto 8000 actual force marriage cases, when the report does not specify this figure for actual forced marriages.

      You’ve got the loonies also picking up on this with headlines like, “In England, Girls Vulnerable To Islamic Law…8000 Forced Marriages England 2008!

    87. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:47 pm  

      Halima.

      I’ve seen forced, co-erced marriage close up and it’s not nice..and guess what, parents do use religion culture whatever to get their way…so if Islam doesn’t advocate forced marriage, then why are so many muslims practicing it…8000 is disgusting! It sickens me to the core to know that there are that many young ppl being forced into relationships where they have zero choice…and everything that then follows is even more awful to contemplate

      And that is acceptable to munir and his ilk? I think not.

    88. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 5:54 pm  

      Oh!, for fucks sake anobody,

      There is absolutely no-one here that is in favour of forced marriages, or haven’t you noticed?

    89. halima — on 20th July, 2009 at 6:10 pm  

      Douglas

      ‘If Islam doesn’t advocate forced marriage, then why so many Muslims practising it?’

      I don’t think Islam is the cause and forced marriage is the effect.

      If that was the case in so many parts of the world where Muslims are the majority - Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, India to name but a few, we’d see forced marriages.

      I do, however, agree with comments where people have explained there is a prevailing acceptance of forced marriage and an abuse of women’s rights in South Asia. I’ve often wondered why women’s rights are so poorly defended in South Asia - and this is a region represented by Buddhism, Islam, Hindusm etc. The common factor to me is South Asia - and it’s worth reflecting why.

      I’ve known friends in families that have been forced into marriages - and the girl in question has succumbed, I’ve known girls from school that have been pressured into arranged marriages - and I say extreme pressure here, not just wider kin exerting pressure, but Dads and Mums going on hunger strike.

      It’s terrible. None of these parents ever preyed in their adult life. Yes, they subscribed to a religion and in this case it was Islam. But I see their behaviour more as a set of values about women, and not the religion they wear as a cloak for their sexist and abusive behaviour.

      I am disgusted at the practice, and I have challenged as a child, then as a teenager and now as an adult. But in no way can i accept that a religion allows or sanctions such a practice. Religion is convienently used to hide a multitude of sins - and because it has so much potency among its followers.

      Yes, I am aware someone will throw a quote at me from the scriptures, but much of the scriptures quoted in isolation make little sense. In any case, quotes and in-depth knowledge are not my strength. But i do know something about the way in which society will dream up any excuse to undermine women’s rights.

    90. Don — on 20th July, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

      Douglas,

      To be fair, Munir has not said that he finds FM acceptable. He very clearly said it is both morally abhorent and against his religious beliefs. He just seems to be over-sensitive to the imagined implication that FM = Islam.

      In reality, for the general population, there may well be the perception that FM, FGM and ‘Honour’ killings are an integral part of Islam. On this forum that misconception is not generally held, so I agree he over-reacts but he certainly doesn’t defend the practice.

      @anobody,

      The press will always go with the most arresting figure. In fact the press should not be allowed to even look at a serious academic or scientific study without someone who actually understands it standing over them with a metal ruler ready to rap their knuckles at the first sign of sloppy or lazy thinking.

    91. anobody — on 20th July, 2009 at 7:16 pm  

      douglas clarke, you said this:

      “Oh!, for fucks sake anobody,

      There is absolutely no-one here that is in favour of forced marriages, or haven’t you noticed?”

      Where have I said there was anyone here in favour of it?

      I’ve been reading this site on and off for 6-12 months and I have to say you’re quite guilty - in my humble opinion - of misrepresenting what people have actually said.

      I beg that you do not start with me!

    92. Rumbold — on 20th July, 2009 at 9:22 pm  

      Thanks to everyone for their kind words.

      Munir:

      I shall say this one last time. If a large proportion of people who commit a particular crime come from a particular background, then it is right to mention that, It does not mean that everyone from that background commits that crime, but it does highlight where the problem is most prevalent.

      Anobody:

      87% of cases is pretty high.

    93. douglas clark — on 20th July, 2009 at 11:50 pm  

      anobody,

      I am saying that you are being overtly defensive. It wasn’t all that long ago that Catholics and Protestants who loved each other had to kow tow to religious sensibilities. If you agree with me that FM is wrong, then just say so, instead of trying to pretend that there is a different agenda behind it. Which is what you did at 86. That sort of victimhood positioning is pretty passé.

    94. Jai — on 21st July, 2009 at 5:30 pm  

      Rumbold,

      Kudos for staying (relatively) calm under extreme provocation.

      Incidentally, no response to the second half of my post #64, I notice.

      **********************************

      Halima,

      parts of the world where Muslims are the majority – Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, India,

      *ahem* I’m assuming the last one is a typo and you meant Pakistan and/or Bangladesh — India is actually a Hindu-majority country and over 80% of the population there is not Muslim.

      Anyway, forced marriages do also occur in parts of the Middle East and Africa. Perhaps, at least where the UK is concerned, the practice appears to be particularly prevalent amongst the population with roots in South Asian because South Asians are the largest non-white ethnic group in Britain.

      And forced marriages were common amongst the upper classes/aristocracy here in the West too until the early 1900s, so perhaps it is more to do with similar prevailing social/cultural attitudes which occur (or occurred in the past) in many/all of the parts of the world where the practice is or was prevalent, rather than necessarily something entrenched and unique to South Asia.

      ***********************************

      When we are talking about comparisons what’s the difference between 8% and 15% compared to 64%?

      There is clearly something going particularly wrong in some quarters of the British Pakistani population if the percentage of victims of forced marriages is apparently a staggering 8 times the percentage of British Indian victims.

    95. Jai — on 21st July, 2009 at 5:48 pm  

      so perhaps it is more to do with similar prevailing social/cultural attitudes which occur (or occurred in the past) in many/all of the parts of the world where the practice is or was prevalent, rather than necessarily something entrenched and unique to South Asia.

      Having said that, if the majority of cases of forced marriage do indeed occur in South Asia, factoring in the percentage of marriages which are forced in relation to the total number of marriages along with the population of the specific country as a whole, then it would be a good idea to research & analyse specifically why this is the case.

    96. halima — on 21st July, 2009 at 5:58 pm  

      Jai

      Not so much typo as me wanting to go with countries begining with I and being poetic in my writing so even worse than a typo.

      But there was a serious freudian slip there perhaps. In my mind I also think of India as very Musllim. The reason being is that India is home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia(209m)& Pakistan(169 m).

      “And forced marriages were common amongst the upper classes/aristocracy here in the West too until the early 1900s…”

      Really?

    97. sonia — on 21st July, 2009 at 6:16 pm  

      yes apologies if my comment suggested i thought munir had said he thought fm was acceptable - he didn’t.

    98. Edna Welthorpe — on 21st July, 2009 at 8:29 pm  

      Can anyone dig out a dogeared copy of Jilly Cooper’s ‘CLASS’ - now a real period piece and VERY out of date in some ways?

      She wrote of how the British aristocracy normally insisted on endogamy and - occasionally - this entailed forced marriage.

      A VIGNETTE:

      Aristocratic daughter tells Mama that she is in love with an impoverished painter and cannot possibly marry her Mama’s decreed aristocratic choice.

      Mama: “Nonsense! It’s all arranged! You’ll marry Freddy Derbyshire [softening] and we’ll see what can be managed about the painter later on.”

      Harold MacMillan married a Duke’s daughter but several of her children were allegedly fathered by Lord Boothby, a man who was certainly an associate of gangsters and - reputedly - bisexual.

    99. Edna Welthorpe — on 21st July, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

      Those who can get hold of Kitty Kelley’s ‘THE ROYALS’ will recall that some people quietly suggested that Andrew more closely resembles Lord Porlock [the Queen's racing manager many years ago] than he resembles Philip.

    100. Rumbold — on 21st July, 2009 at 9:17 pm  

      Jai:

      Munir has trouble dealing with reasoned arguments. That’s why he tends to ignore them.

    101. Jai — on 22nd July, 2009 at 9:55 am  

      Rumbold,

      Munir’s persistent paranoia and self-centred tendency to start aggressively lashing out at anyone he (frequently falsely) perceives to have “slighted” him or Muslims in general, often using the most calculatedly sadistic methods he can think of and deliberately involving completely fabricated “accusations” (which he already knows are false) in an attempt to bully the target into submission, are all getting more than a little tiresome. And his behaviour towards you on this thread was disgusting, to the point of being psychotic. It was nearly as bad as his recent remarks about Amrit’s parents, or the way he started making quite sick comments to Ravi due to having mistaken him for a Hindu.

      I think he needs to learn about respecting other people’s boundaries (literal and psychological), especially when they’re virtual strangers whom he’s never seen and has never met apart from “blind” conversations across the internet, otherwise sooner or later someone is going to decide “enough is enough” and retaliate in kind. It’s pointless — not to mention hypocritical — for him to be so conspicuously sycophantic towards God (coupled with continuously quoting this-verse from the Quran and that-verse from the Hadiths, or this-scholar and that-Arabic term) if he’s going to simultaneously treat his fellow human beings like complete dirt, often at the drop of a hat and using the slightest excuse.

      It’s a shame he has this problem, because recently he’s been making some extremely good points on multiple topics, and he has also been absolutely brilliant when counteracting some of the BNP trolls.

      As for the curious silence in response to the polite request to him to clarify his own background, I wonder what he’s hiding.

    102. Jai — on 22nd July, 2009 at 10:15 am  

      Halima,

      “And forced marriages were common amongst the upper classes/aristocracy here in the West too until the early 1900s…”

      Really?

      Good God, yes. Parentally-forced “marriages of alliance”, marriages for “political” reasons etc etc have been common amongst the upper echelons of society all over the world, for a very long time (it goes back thousands of years), including here in the West.

      It is most definitely not just a “South Asian” thing. Not by a long shot.

      Other variants included so-called “shotgun weddings”, although that was usually due to the woman in the premarital relationship having become pregnant, resulting in her father forcing the unlucky couple to get married, using a suitable weapon to prevent the groom from trying to back out. Obviously it’s much less common now due to there generally being less stigma associated with pregnancy out of wedlock in the West these days.

    103. Rumbold — on 22nd July, 2009 at 10:36 am  

      Jai is right. There were plenty of arranged marriages, forced marriages, etc. Marriage was primarily an act to strengthen something, whether it was political economic etc. There were also love marriages.

      A good example were monarchs. Their marriages were almost always arranged marriages (with some undoubtably forced).

      Jai:

      ” And his behaviour towards you on this thread was disgusting, to the point of being psychotic.”

      Whenever I read Munir’s comments my overwhelming feeling is one of sadness. How can anyone have such a twisted and narrow mindset? I feel sorry for him more than anything else, because there is nothing you, me or anyone can say to make him change. No, he is not a nice person, and that is why we should pity him.

    104. chairwoman — on 22nd July, 2009 at 11:16 am  

      Jai - I said something very similar to munir #70 on the ‘What Muslim Women Want’ thread.

      As we’re both infidels he will no doubt ignore us completely :)

    105. Jai — on 22nd July, 2009 at 11:23 am  

      Rumbold,

      I do wonder exactly where Munir has got his interpretation & understanding of Islam from, especially as it is apparently the basis for his own attitudes and behaviour (as an individual and towards other people); apart from the fact that it’s extremely “academic”, it bears little resemblance to the way, generally-speaking, Sufism has actually been practiced by its most sincere and/or well-known adherents in the subcontinent (especially in the north) over the centuries and even in the present day, despite Munir’s own claims to have a comprehensive grasp of South Asian Sufism himself.

      He also persistently mis-spells Hindutva as “Hinduvata”; coupled with the considerable gaps in his knowledge of South Asian history as a whole (irrespective of his false claims that anything contradicting his interpretation is a result of “Hinduvata propaganda”) along with the culture & religious beliefs/practices of non-Muslim South Asians (including very basic aspects which Muslim South Asians in general are usually perfectly aware of), all this does raise further questions about what his own background actually is.

      However, as I said earlier, he has been truly superb at attacking and debunking the assertions of many BNP supporters who have recently commented on PP. It’s a shame he does not apply the same level of decency, integrity, and desire for justice to everyone else he interacts with, and not just in relation to responding to “attacks” (real or imagined) either. He’s a smart guy, he often has a great sense of humour, and he clearly has the potential to be a highly insightful and decent individual, so perhaps this is something he should make an effort to work on, for his own sake and for everyone else’s sake too.

    106. Jai — on 22nd July, 2009 at 11:55 am  

      Chairwoman,

      As we’re both infidels he will no doubt ignore us completely

      I think that’s the basic problem — it’s a fundamental lack of respect for anyone who is not a Muslim (or “the right type of Muslim”, in his eyes). Munir’s attitude towards — and treatment of — such people is disturbingly similar to the way, for example, white supremacists & racists in general behave towards everyone who is not a white Christian; both parties treat their targets as though they were practically subhuman.

      As I said in #105, I think that if Munir channelled his aggression and intelligence more constructively, along with revising his mentality towards non-Muslims as a whole, then it would be much better for him and for everyone he interacts with; at the moment, most of the time, the more people stand up to his attempts to calculatedly hurt them and brutally bully them into silence, the worse his own behaviour gets towards them (and as I said before, at some point he’s going to cross the line with someone smarter, stronger and — most pertinently — more ruthless than him, to the extent that the latter will retaliate online in a way which will truly eviscerate him). Using his own intelligence and instincts to think for himself would definitely be a good start, rather than relying so heavily on religious texts along with the second-hand opinions of various “scholars” as “instruction manuals” for absolutely everything he thinks and does. God did not create him to be a sheep.

      I get the feeling that Munir does not trust his own independent judgement and critical/reasoning faculties, and is also afraid of God’s disapproval and punishment/retribution if he “steps out of line” or questions anything which he has been told is “the word of God” (or derives from the latter and/or Mohammad’s own precedent).

      Personally, I think that quietly and sincerely listening to the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan would do wonders for Munir’s state of mind and level of empathy/emotional intelligence, but that’s just a friendly suggestion. Millions of other people in/from South Asia and around the rest of the world have certainly benefitted enormously from the late Sufi maestro’s message and truly heartfelt, poignant and uplifting music.

    107. halima — on 22nd July, 2009 at 4:37 pm  

      Jai and Rumbold

      Thanks .. strange thing, i was aware of the marriages in the past of powerful elites, kings and queens and aristocrats in Europe which somehow seems to have escaped my memory.

      but it seems when i think of the idea of forced marriages i think predominantly in South Asia. Ooops. Must break the habit!

    108. halima — on 22nd July, 2009 at 4:49 pm  

      On the one hand i think posts that are negative should be challenged.

      But we should stick to critiquing contributions, not the contributer.

    109. Raymond Terrific — on 23rd July, 2009 at 9:36 am  

      Why can’t these retarded knuckle-draggers just find a God that tells them to be nice to folk?

      They’re vile, forced marriages are vile. Can’t we move forward?

    110. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2009 at 11:34 am  

      halima @ 89,

      Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. Your views are obviously heartfelt and do resonate. But you seem to me to be close to a Stockholm syndrome when it comes to the religious mindset, or indeed philosophy.

      So, name me a religion on this planet that did not, or does not covet it’s women? The former were only dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th c by women themselves. The latter will also be dragged in that direction because it is the flow of freedom. Because what you describe is slavery. And half of any religion, must, by definition, be the victims of this contemptuous mis-use of religious texts. Why do you think the Taliban blow up female schools? It is not because of a white hot fear that it is against Gods will, for the Koran says otherwise, (http://www.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php/_c-307/_nr-19/i.htmlit), it is because they wish to retain their male dominated culture.

      Does any religion actually look for genuine sexual and religious freedom for it’s participants? I cannot think of a case. It is a shameful part of all religions that they would attempt to place restrictions on what the USA describes as ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’, whether that is, in itself, a warped view of ‘Gods Will’, or not.

      Incidentally, I find it almost impossible to comprehend a God that was so absolutely not omnipotent that they had to make rules about other belief systems.

      And they all do it, don’t they? What do you think my chances would have been of being heard in Catholic Spain during the Inquisition or even nowadays by people who, in my view, are all totally deluded?

      Not a lot, methinks.

      I should apologise to munir, for I have taken his usually contemptuous attitude to anything that he sees as an attack on Islam and it blinded me to the case he was actually making. But, there you go, I should have known, by now, never to type when a red mist is descending on me.

      For that is what munir achieves in otherwise reasonable people. You could call that a skill, of sorts.

      Not, of course, that this will make a blind bit of difference to him.

    111. munir — on 23rd July, 2009 at 11:49 am  

      Sofia
      “so if Islam doesn’t advocate forced marriage, then why are so many muslims practicing it”

      retard. Its like saying “if Islam doesnt advocate drinking why are so many Muslims doing it”. As if what a religion says and what its followers do are the same

    112. munir — on 23rd July, 2009 at 11:58 am  

      chairwoman
      “As we’re both infidels he will no doubt ignore us completely ”

      Didnt take long to lift the kippeh on your Islamophobia

      Since we are all goyim, Shiksa and Shaygetz (Jewish terms for non-Jewish females and males meaning unclean animal; loathsome creature, abomination ) why do you care?

      Some of us are even “schvartze”

    113. Kismet Hardy — on 23rd July, 2009 at 12:00 pm  

      In my experience, my statistics show most Indian parents are far more likely to have a drink with their kids to discuss marriage than the pakistani/bangladeshi lot (who I’m from), who prefer a ‘visit to a sick relative’ as a ruse to get their kids carted off. It isn’t a religious thing. Just that the backward massive in Pakistan and Bangladesh tout religion as their reason for their barbaric behaviour towards their children. Visit a DV centre someday. Compare the number of Muslims there to Hindu or Sikhs and you’ll get a clearer idea as to just what a big pile of scum our men are

    114. Rumbold — on 23rd July, 2009 at 12:07 pm  

      Munir:

      I recommend (and I am sure Jai et al will second this) that you re-read some of your comments on this thread. You should consider whether you really want to be the person that thinks like that. Is this the way you want people to describe you?

    115. Sofia — on 23rd July, 2009 at 12:08 pm  

      Munir, thank you for calling me a retard, you are rude, offensive and pretty much like most muslim men I come across. If you claim you aren’t then calling women offensive names is pretty much to type isn’t it. My question is legitimate. If Islam advocates something, and these people are using religion to force men and women into marriage then surely religion should be used to counteract what these people are saying…
      And to go back to your ‘point’ about drinking alcohol, well the Muslims who drink aren’t using religion as their crutch are they? where as Muslim parents forcing their kids to marry someone ARE

    116. Sofia — on 23rd July, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

      “Does any religion actually look for genuine sexual and religious freedom for it’s participants?” - what do you mean by religious freedom Douglas? Do you mean religious freedom to those who choose to follow a particular faith system?

    117. Sofia — on 23rd July, 2009 at 12:17 pm  

      “I think that’s the basic problem — it’s a fundamental lack of respect for anyone who is not a Muslim” - Jai, unfortunately that is a problem in this day and age…my parents are from India and we have close family friends who are both Christian and Hindu…we all know what the other believes, but that does not mean we cannot be friends or have basic respect for one another…
      It’s ridiculous to ‘define’ somebody solely on the basis of what their belief system is. I think human beings might be ever so slightly more complicated than certain people on this blog think.

    118. munir — on 23rd July, 2009 at 12:52 pm  

      Jai

      I think that’s the basic problem — it’s a fundamental lack of respect for anyone who is not a Muslim (or “the right type of Muslim”, in his eyes). Munir’s attitude towards — and treatment of — such people is disturbingly similar to the way, for example, white supremacists & racists in general behave towards everyone who is not a white Christian; both parties treat their targets as though they were practically subhuman.

      No its a fundamntal lack of respect towards Islamophobes. I have nothing but the highest respects for non Muslims who arent Islamophobes; you yourself
      said the same on Harrys Place thread and Ive been pretty hard with Faisal a Muslim- hence making this comment …..

      As I said in #105, I think that if Munir channelled his aggression and intelligence more constructively, along with revising his mentality towards non-Muslims as a whole, then it would be much better for him and for everyone he interacts with;

      invalid

      at the moment, most of the time, the more people stand up to his attempts to calculatedly hurt them and brutally bully them into silence, the worse his own behaviour gets towards them (and as I said before, at some point he’s going to cross the line with someone smarter, stronger and — most pertinently — more ruthless than him, to the extent that the latter will retaliate online in a way which will truly eviscerate him).

      hilarious- you ignore the fact my posts are nearly always responses to vicious (even genocidal) attacks on Muslims or our religion - you ignore these perhaps because anti-Muslim sentiment is a part of your religious tradition

      Using his own intelligence and instincts to think for himself would definitely be a good start, rather than relying so heavily on religious texts along with the second-hand opinions of various “scholars” as “instruction manuals” for absolutely everything he thinks and does. God did not create him to be a sheep.

      Great so when are you going to throw away the Guru Grath Sahib and start thinking for yourself? I mean how stupid and unhygenic to not cut your hair!!

      You are also a hypocrite because when someone suggested Aurangzeb(ra) nomination for Guru was the true one you jumped on them in defence of Sikh Orthodoxy

      I get the feeling that Munir does not trust his own independent judgement and critical/reasoning faculties, and is also afraid of God’s disapproval and punishment/retribution if he “steps out of line” or questions anything which he has been told is “the word of God” (or derives from the latter and/or Mohammad’s own precedent).

      The Quran is the word of God. Someone who doesnt believe this is not a Muslim. And are you seriously suggesting there is a better teacher of the Quran than the one it was revealed and explained to- the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) ? (Oh wait I forgot you think Muslims should learn their religion from Nanak!)

      With regards independent judgement I reached the notion that its superior to follow scholars based precisely on this - seeing it as being far more rational to follow them then depend on my own “ideas” for the same reason any sane person would go to a doctor for medical tips rather than treat themselves or go to a lawyer rather than defend themselves in court. As rational sane people we utilize experts in every field of life- why on earth would we suddenly do otherwise in religion?

      This is the idiotic protestant/wahabbi notion which is alien to all religious tradition

      I actually used to be like the idiot DIY mujtahids- Id read the Quran (in English) then make up my own ideas and rulings - its only when I actually started studying
      did I realise how absurd this was. I have studied Arabic for many years and have a pretty good understand- but even with this can only scratch the surface of how deep the Quran is.

      The same goes for ijma (consensus of the ulema) on issues like the obligation of hijab or homosexuality being a major sin - to reject this one would need to believe that thousands of the most brilliant Muslims
      scholars across the world (including all the companions of the Prophet (pbuh)) across different times misunderstood clear Quranc verses which were only properly understood by some gay guy with a Muslim name in 21st century scotland. As I said previously it would be like saying that Holocaust or climate change deniers had a point despite the mountains of evidence against them

      But you are right -Muslims should abandon what the Prophet, his companions and those great scholars they taught told us Islam was and instead followa bunch of ignorant non-Muslims in the 21st century who need basic Islamic terminology explained to them!!!

      In any case the idea that we have “independent judgement” is an illusion - we massively influenced by our environemnt. Look at your take on homosexuality being OK in Sikhism. Do you seriously think that “independent judgement” wasnt influenced by your environemnt? That if you lived in rural Punjab you would think the same.

      Personally, I think that quietly and sincerely listening to the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan would do wonders for Munir’s state of mind and level of empathy/emotional intelligence, but that’s just a friendly suggestion. Millions of other people in/from South Asia and around the rest of the world have certainly benefitted enormously from the late Sufi maestro’s message and truly heartfelt, poignant and uplifting music.

      You forgot to mention Bullent Shah!

      Seriously you are such a parochial fvckwit- because you know of one area of the Muslim world you think that even Muslims from that area are only going to take religion from people of that area - forgetting that Islam is a univeralist religion not a localized cult associated with a particular race and province as with certain religions (ahem) . This means a scholar from Muslim Spain or Mali is as much “mine” as a Muslim scholar from the subcontinent.

    119. Rumbold — on 23rd July, 2009 at 12:56 pm  

      Munir:

      “You ignore the fact my posts are nearly always responses to vicious (even genocidal) attacks on Muslims or our religion.”

      Yes, talking about forced marriage is a vicious (even genocidal) attack on Islam. Not that there was any mention of Islam, but not to worry.

    120. douglas clark — on 23rd July, 2009 at 1:11 pm  

      Sofia,

      Sorry is that was not as clear as I meant it to be. I mean the freedom to marry whoever you please without being held up to religious and community contempt, or worse. So, if a Muslim and a Catholic wish to settle down together, why should either religion or community care? Is it an issue about numbers or about immortal souls? I suspect the former, and a fear of change, whereas others would argue that they have a ‘religious right’ to interfere. I have no truck with the latter interpretation….

      But they do, somewhat desperately, it must be said.

    121. Jai — on 23rd July, 2009 at 1:18 pm  

      Rumbold,

      I recommend (and I am sure Jai et al will second this) that you re-read some of your comments on this thread. You should consider whether you really want to be the person that thinks like that. Is this the way you want people to describe you?

      I do second your comment, although the message clearly hasn’t sunk in as far as the primary recipient is concerned.

    122. Jai — on 23rd July, 2009 at 1:26 pm  

      Sofia,

      Munir, thank you for calling me a retard, you are rude, offensive

      Apparently Munir believes that having a theoretical, academic understanding of Islam & its history is much more important in the grand scheme of things and a much greater demonstration of piety than having enough basic human courtesy, empathy and manners to refrain from talking to you that way.

    123. Jai — on 23rd July, 2009 at 3:24 pm  

      I have nothing but the highest respects for non Muslims who arent Islamophobes

      The problem, Munir, is that you have a huge problem with frequently being unable to tell who is a genuine Islamophobe and who is not — often quite randomly. And that’s before we even address the question of what made you think Rumbold is even remotely Indian, given the fact that, during several years of participation on this website, he has said absolutely nothing to indicate that he is even South Asian, let along specifically being of Indian origin.

      It’s indicative of a wider behavioural problem on your part, Munir. You persistently see things which aren’t there and, where there is either silence or an absence of information, you automatically assume the very worst. And you have a pathological issue with insulting and (attempting to) humiliate people even if there is no malice intended in relation their own conduct or querying of anything in relation to yourself, Islam or Muslims in general. Even if the other person is a Muslim himself/herself.

      I think that, most of the time (there have been a couple of notable exceptions), you have a basic problem with being unable to disagree with anyone politely. Any “response” or counterarguments on your part “have” to be backed up with insults and efforts to personally hurt the other individual — even on the occasions when, ostensibly, you are supposedly replying with a superficially “reasonable” response, which frequently turns out to be a Trojan horse for yet more carefully-calibrated barbs and sadistic insults.

      I don’t know if your conduct & attitude on PP is an accurate reflection of your behaviour towards people in real life or if, conversely, you treat commenters here this way because (for whatever reason) you feel unable to treat people like this face-to-face, but all this is seriously something you need to think about.

      And by the way, you might want to give the sycophancy towards Sunny a rest, along with your attempts at playing “divide and rule” where he and I are concerned. He’s not as gullible as you think and, apart from the fact that our respective stances on religious matters are far closer than you clearly presume, insulting people like me and Rumbold whilst simultaneously attempting to ingratiate yourself with Sunny is not exactly going to improve his opinion of you. As far as this website’s entire editorial team is concerned, you’re on far thinner ice than you think.

      Like I said before, you clearly have the capacity and the potential to be a far better human being than this, so don’t do yourself a gross disservice by continuing down this path.

    124. Jai — on 23rd July, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

      I was hoping that some of the ‘constructive criticism’ would have sunk in where Munir is concerned and I was going to draw a line under the matter, but since he’s made statements such as the following…..

      Seriously you are such a parochial fvckwit

      …..and #138 (along with the currently-ongoing “Harry’s Place” thread) is littered with deliberate insults and highly inaccurate assumptions about my own ideas of religion per se (both Islam and Sikhism, in this case), I think we’ll go with the following instead:

      *******************************

      Munir,

      Reading the Quran in Arabic and following the teachings of Muslim scholars from various parts of the world is perfectly acceptable and understandable if you believe it helps you understand and practice your religion better. Islam is, after all, very much an international faith in terms of both is history and its influence, as you correctly said yourself.

      However, you’ve also repeatedly claimed to have an accurate and comprehensive understanding of Islam (including Sufism) in terms of its history, interpretation, practice and influence in the Indian subcontinent, a part of the world which (combining India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) has more Muslims in total than any other country on the planet.

      Fine. Let’s test that.

      If your claims are correct, particularly in relation to your knowledge and understanding of South Asian Sufism, then it should be very easy for you to answer the following 5 random questions:

      1. Which parts of the subcontinent were impacted most heavily by Sufism, primarily in terms of the prevailing interpretation of Islam amongst the Muslim masses and secondarily in terms of the impact on the local culture involving multiple religious communities ? List the top 4 regions in descending order of impact if you can.

      2. With regards to the part of the subcontinent which was more heavily and widely impacted by Sufism than any of the other regions, what were the names of the two historical Sufi saints who were the most influential ?

      3. What was the name of the extremely famous historical Sufi figure who has been influential on multiple religious communities across northern India and is widely regarded as a direct predecessor to Guru Nanak ?

      4. What is the name of the semi-legendary Indian story which was most frequently used by one of the most well-known historical Sufis (note: a different individual to the person referenced in question 3) as an allegory for divine love in medieval qawwalis and kafis ? (Bonus mark if you can also list the other three most well-known stories integral to South Asian Sufism and the culture of the areas impacted, especially in the North).

      5. What was the name of the historical Muslim poet who wrote the most famous version of the aforementioned story ?

      I’ll also throw in three optional bonus questions so that we can all see how much of an ustad you really are when it comes to South Asian Sufism:

      Bonus question 1: What spiritual practice did Punjab’s most famous historical Sufi believe was much more constructive compared to, for example, someone ritualistically engaging in daily “panj namaaz” without any accompanying sincerity and genuine inner piety ?

      Bonus question 2: How did Sindh’s most famous historical Sufi get the name he is more popularly known by, and exactly why is he so famous and respected ?

      Bonus question 3: What was (and in many cases, still is) the general position of Sufi orders in the subcontinent in relation to non-Muslims who wished to join them, especially in the North ?

      Try not to ask anyone else or use Google or the internet in general to obtain the answers. If you really are well acquainted with this aspect of Islam in terms of the Indian subcontinent, then providing accurate responses should be an extremely quick and simple matter for you.

      Theoretically, it should take you no more than 30 seconds to correctly answer all of them, politely and without any of your usual aggression, rudeness or evasion. Assuming, of course, that you practice Islam in general and Sufism specifically as seriously as you claim to.

      And bear in mind that the topics covered above are a major part of the heritage and cultural background of many South Asians (both Muslims and non-Muslims) currently reading this blog, so they will already know the correct answers themselves.

      For the moment, we will ignore your ongoing and conspicuous evasion in relation to clarifying your own ethnic & ancestral background.

    125. Jai — on 23rd July, 2009 at 3:28 pm  

      …..and #138

      Correction: should say “#118″

    126. halima — on 23rd July, 2009 at 4:07 pm  

      Douglas

      Yes. My response was genuine - but it seems to me that your comment is rooted in a perspective that is deeply hostile to religious belief. This is fine but it’s not one I can argue with, or would want to - and certainly not on a blog. I took an undergraduate course on the philosophy of logic and western political thought once - and the subject of God took a long time to work out…

    127. Raymond Terrific — on 23rd July, 2009 at 5:25 pm  

      mmm…

      yet more mumbo-jumbo from the people who believe in the great paradise in the sky and the bloke who lives there (who is naturally their God and not any from the other dingbat religions). Come back when you’ve evolved your thumbs.

      there’s no hope for us

      Raymond (peace be upon me)

    128. Sofia — on 23rd July, 2009 at 5:29 pm  

      Douglas post 120…I agree with you that when two consenting adults choose to get married then they should have the freedom to do so…having an opinion on it is different.

      I don’t personally agree with mixed religious marriages..but I would have to qualify that by saying that I don’t agree with it if either one of the party inflicts their belief system or expects the other to nominally convert for the sake of the marriage ceremony…I also do not agree when one religion is chosen over the other when it comes to children in cases of mixed marriages..it’s confusing for children..

      Again, it then goes back to the individuals concerned getting married..I’ve seen it so often in my community where muslim men use the whole they can marry christians and jewish women…it’s a load of crap because they get married out of their faith and then expect their children to be raised as Muslim…what’s the point of that?? I’ve also met Muslim men who expect their non Muslim fiancees to convert..which I would personally find offensive..

    129. forcedmarriagedisaster! — on 23rd July, 2009 at 11:26 pm  

      forced marriage disaster!!!

      A white couple have been inconvenineced by this law meant only for darkies and c**ns! What a national disgrace

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8165684.stm

      The law must be scrapped sorry amended immediately

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