The most recent scandal surrounding the sexual exploitation of Muslim women by Islamic religious leaders in the UK is yet further proof of the way in which Britain is turning a blind eye to horrific practices going on right under its nose.
A BBC investigation into “halala” — a ritual enabling a divorced Muslim woman to remarry her husband by first wedding someone else, consummating the union, and then being divorced by him — revealed that imams in Britain are not only encouraging this, but profiting financially from it. This depravity has led to many such women being held hostage, literally and figuratively, to men paid to become their second husbands.
This ritual, which is considered a misinterpretation of Islamic sharia law even by extremist Shi’ites and Saudi-style Salafists, is practiced by certain Islamic sects, such as Hanafis, Barelvis and Deobandis. When a husband repeats the Arabic word for divorce — talaq — three times to his wife, these sects consider a Muslim marriage null and void. For such a woman to be allowed to return to the husband who banished her, she must first marry someone else — and have sex with him — before the second husband divorces her.
These divorce rites, despite the laws of the land, are common in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Asian countries, where a majority of the people belong to the Hanafi, Barelvi or Deobandi sects. Nevertheless, local seminaries, mosques and online services openly advertise and promote halala with impunity; it is accepted by society and rarely monitored by state authorities.
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Paul Nuttall hasn’t had the best week. On Monday, he launched the party’s platform on integration at the Marriott Hotel in Westminster, and then had to flee as journalists tried to find out whether he was going to stand for Parliament. One of his frontbenchers stepped down soon after in protest over his “misguided” new proposals, which included a burka ban. So it was bold of the Ukip leader to return to the Marriott today to launch his party’s election campaign.
The launch was no less controversial, as anti-racism protesters managed to get inside the event. They were swiftly thrown out, chanting as they went that Ukip was a “nasty, racist party”. What about the substance? Mr Nuttall made clear that he would stand for Parliament, although refused to confirm where. “Bring your bucket and spade” his aide told journalists, in what is now being taken as a hint that it will be Boston and Skegness. Such a target would be a big test for the Ukip leader. Voters in the constituency heavily backed Brexit, yet its incumbent MP Matt Warman (a former Telegraph journalist) backed Remain. If Ukip can’t win there, a seat it spent more money on trying to win in 2015 than any other seat in the country, then where can it win?
Ukip’s popularity has been on the wane in the polls, so it’s tempting to be sceptical of how well the party could do in this election. Douglas Carswell isn’t holding his breath, as he writes for the Telegraph that the Liberal Democrats could do much better than his former party as “they know how to count…[and] are very good at converting what votes they do get into actual seats because they know about targeting and messaging”. If Mr Nuttall can defy the odds by taking a seat, Ukip will show it doesn’t need Mr Carswell in order to have a voice in Parliament.
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March 1. A new Channel 4 documentary series called “Extremely British Muslims” showed the inner workings of a sharia court inside Birmingham’s Central Mosque. In the first episode, viewers witnessed the case of mother-of-four Fatima, 33, as she sought permission to divorce her drug dealer husband she says has abused her throughout their 14-year marriage. According to sharia law, Muslim women must plead their divorce cases in court, while Muslim men need only to say the words “I divorce you” three times to obtain a divorce. Birmingham Central Mosque said it allowed the sharia proceedings to be filmed in an effort to “break down misconceptions about Islam.” Some 100 sharia courts in Britain are now dispensing Islamic justice outside the remit of the British legal system.
March 2. English actor Riz Ahmed warned that the lack of Muslim faces on British television was alienating young people, driving them towards extremism and into the arms of the Islamic State. Delivering Channel 4’s annual diversity lecture in Parliament, Ahmed said that television had a pivotal role to play in ensuring that Muslims felt heard, and valued, in British society:
“If we fail to represent, we are in danger of losing people to extremism. In the mind of the ISIS recruit, he’s the next James Bond right? Have you seen some of those ISIS propaganda videos, they are cut like action movies. Where is the counter narrative? Where are we telling these kids they can be heroes in our stories — that they are valued? If we don’t step up and tell a representative story we are going to start losing British teenagers to the story that the next chapter in their lives is written with ISIS in Syria.”
March 3. The Amateur Swimming Association changed its swimsuit regulations to allow Muslim women to wear full body outfits, after a request from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation. The rule was changed to encourage more Muslim women to take part in the sport. Rimla Akhtar, from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation, said:
“Participation in sport amongst Muslim women is increasing at a rapid pace. It is imperative that governing bodies adapt and tailor their offerings to suit the changing landscape of sport, including those who access their sport.”
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I wrote about this story earlier this month.
Operating out of a Livonia clinic, Jumana Fakhruddin Nagarwala abused unknown numbers of little girls. The end came when law enforcement traced calls to her from a Minnesota number. Then they followed the trail to a hotel in Farmington Hills; a Michigan city at the center of an Islamic Center controversy.
It was Friday evening; the holy day of the Islamic week when Muslims are told to “leave off business” and “hasten to the remembrance of Allah.” That is what the two women leading two little girls to be mutilated thought that they were doing. Muslims believe that on Friday, angels stand outside the doors of mosques to record who shows up for prayer. But it was the hotel surveillance cameras that watched and recorded as the two little girls arrived, unaware of the horror that was about to happen to them.
The 7-year-old girl had been told that she was going to Detroit for a “special” girls’ trip. Instead her special trip turned into a nightmare. After the Muslim doctor allegedly mutilated her, she warned the child not to talk about what was done to her.
There have been two more arrests since.
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