Child marriage

(358 Posts)
FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:20:15

Why are so many imams in the UK willing to force fourteen year old girls to marry against their wishes? Don't ordinary muslims know what's going on?

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 12:22:07

Don't ordinary muslims know what's going on?

What makes you think they don't?

hiddenhome Mon 07-Oct-13 12:22:37

Of course they know wink

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:25:11

friday and hiddenhome - why don't they do anything about it then?

18 out of the 56 mosques approached agreed to do it - this is not a tiny minority by anyone's standards.

MaidOfStars Mon 07-Oct-13 12:25:21
hiddenhome Mon 07-Oct-13 12:27:44

Nothing is done because people don't like to rock the boat. The places I've worked in where blatant wrongdoing is going on, but it's impossible to change things because it's such a big thing to do.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:28:04

I, as an "ordinary" Muslim, have never come across this and am really shocked.

But why should ordinary muslims know what the sick ones are up to? It's not my job to police something I've never heard about or come across.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:29:00

Maid - Does the MCB actually have any authority over anyone? If so, who appointed them, and are they all men?

hiddenhome Mon 07-Oct-13 12:30:45

I've read a few autobiographies by muslim women who were forced into marriage and they all describe how the practise is well known about within their communities and the families go to great lengths to cover up what is going on. People can hide a great deal from the outside world and convince themselves that the outside world is hostile and 'won't understand'. Religious cults operate a similar system whereby their members are made to believe that the outside world is dangerous and wrong.

Trapper Mon 07-Oct-13 12:31:04

What about child abuse in the church - surely "ordinary Christians" should have known?

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:32:17

Hubb - I'm glad you've never come across it, but it seems to be more prevalent than people thought - like the abuse that went on at the BBC, which people turned a blind eye to.

BlingBang Mon 07-Oct-13 12:32:29

My two friends were told from the age of 8 who they would be marrying. So used to it by the time they married they probably never thought to question it. Both finally divorced their husbands who were born and raised in Pakistan so had a very different mindset - it was all really ugly.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:32:46

I'm Muslim and this is not known within my community.

I know for a fact our imam would not even be approached for such a marriage as he'd give them short shrift and alert the authorities.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:32:46

Glad you've used "a few biographies" as your backing for making such sweeping statements hidden

Exactly Trapper.......

hiddenhome Mon 07-Oct-13 12:33:08

I'm sure a great many ordinary Christians knew about Dodgy Priest A at X Parish and not to leave their kids alone with him. Stories soon get round about what is going on.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:33:53

Exactly, Trapper.

But this is all about 'those evil, child abusing Muslims' isn't it? Ffs there are abusers in all walks of life and all religions.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:34:06

Trapper - two wrongs don't make a right. You shouldn't excuse evil just because someone else has been doing it too.

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:34:11

It' s a Daily Mail report about Islam, a topic on which they are well known to have a particularly unpleasant agenda. Therefore I would take very little of this report as reliable without seeing the evidence.

However, as usual they have buried the most relevant bit in paragraph 19 -

"The Muslim Council of Britain’s Ibrahim Mogra said: ‘UK law does not allow the marriage of underage girls and that’s all that matters to us here. In this country, it is illegal, it is forbidden and no imam should be allowed to conduct the marriage of an underage child.’"

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:34:33

May be more prevalent than people thought...but how is it up to ordinary muslims to know about these things, which is what you hint at in your OP

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 12:35:15

Quite a roll on Mn recently

We've covered

The face veil
The babies in hijab
Halal slaughter
and now forced marriage of minors (thus far both the Muslim Mners on this thread have never heard of it in their communities, but apparently it's prevalent because everyone's read about it, so we're all turning a blind eye to it hmm).

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:36:11

like the abuse that went on at the BBC, which people turned a blind eye to.

What has this got to do with the topic? And why only refer only to the BBC when the perpetrators of the abuse were being allowed to operate much more in children's homes and hospitals with blind eyes being turned?

InspectorMagnet Mon 07-Oct-13 12:36:15

I wonder if the statistic of 18 out of 56 mosques is misleading. Presumably the invesigators only approached mosques where they thought it more likely to get agreement for a forced marriage.

Obviously, 18 mosques is 18 too many but it may be a far lower percentage than suggested by 18 out of 56 mosques.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:38:03

Cat - if we don't speak about what is happening, more young girls will be raped.

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:39:13

I'm sure a great many ordinary Christians knew about Dodgy Priest A at X Parish and not to leave their kids alone with him. Stories soon get round about what is going on.

Evidence? Surely you are aware that child abusers are unfortunately very good indeed at covering up what they do, not least by threatening their victims and making them feel guilty about what is happening.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:39:31

No one has said two wrongs make a right. Two wrongs make a wrong ffs - the fact that they're Muslim is totally irrelevant. Abuse happens in all areas of society.

Fuzzy, I'm not a Muslim and I'm finding some attitudes on here lately bloody terrible.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:40:48

So, Fruity, only Muslim girls will be raped and we have the power to stop all of that happening?


YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:41:46

I love how these threads start and then the OP always comes over all concerned for the 'poor Muslims'. Such a sham.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:42:02

Hubb - people are consenting to their daughters being forced into child marriage in the UK, therefore, people know about it!

BlingBang Mon 07-Oct-13 12:42:35

I don't think this common to all Muslims in the UK at all. But there are some sections where it is accepted and it is cultural, these girls are being let down. My friend was 17 or 18, in a foreign country (Pakistan) to marry an older man. She asked her mum not to leave her on her wedding night as she was scared and was told to get on with it. She had little choice and zero support.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:42:38

Speak out but don't make out like we all know what's going on but don't challenge it.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 12:43:40

What about child abuse in the church - surely "ordinary Christians" should have known?

I don't think their parents/sibling/friends were actually complicit, do you Trapper ?

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:43:54

Cat - They are girls who are being abused. Can you not see that? Why should we not mention it? If more people are aware of it, it will be easier to stop it.

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:44:17

Fruity: as I pointed out, you are taking every word of a Daily Mail report as gospel truth. Always a massive mistake.

I share Fuzzy's and YouTheCat's concerns about the number of threads that have been started lately which seem to have a racist and/or anti-Islam agenda.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:45:31

Some people know about it yes...what's your point? The rest of us bloody don't.

As youthecat says, how do we stop it then?

gordyslovesheep Mon 07-Oct-13 12:46:25

Oh a mildly hysterical thread about Muslims ...what a change.

It's not okay, its illegal, its not endemic, its not all Muslims, not every will be aware of it ...

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:46:27

Fruity no one is saying don't mention it

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:47:05

nennypops - how is it racist or islamophobic to express concern about forced child marriage and rape?

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:48:19

Society in general should be operating a zero tolerance attitude to all abuse - sadly it doesn't.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:48:25

"Don't ordinary muslims know what's going on" please explain your point OP

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 12:50:24

Don't ordinary muslims know what's going on please explain your point OP

You know, like friends, parents, brothers, sisters - ordinary Muslims.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:50:53

Hubb - some muslims must wonder why underage brides are turning up in their communities, and other muslims must realise that girls are disappearing from theirs. It's not rocket science!

Tweasels Mon 07-Oct-13 12:50:59

Another thread that looks like it's been written by the DM.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 12:51:04

The pressure of Underage sex is far more of an issue across all communities in the UK than the pressure of underage marriage.

gordyslovesheep Mon 07-Oct-13 12:51:23

Exactly what youthecat said ...all abuse is wrong.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 12:52:34

And I wrote 'across ALL communities', underage marriage in british 21st century muslim society generation is virtually unheard of.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:53:59

crescentmoon - You should be teaching your children that no one should be pressuring them into underage sex, just like you should not be forcing them into under age marriage and rape.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:54:51

I live in one of the biggest muslim communities in the UK and as I said have never heard of anything like this. So yes some people do know but it's not well known in general which is what the OP and a couple of first posters hint.

fairy1303 Mon 07-Oct-13 12:55:08

fruity it's not islamaphobic to be concerned about child abuse - it's islamaphobic that once again this is the daily fascist spreading yet more one sided anti Islam stuff making out that this is an endemic issue - child abuse of course is not ok - but it is not anything to do with religion

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:55:11

I wasn't aware that crescentmoon, was forcing her children into underage marriages or underage sex? What an odd thing to say. confused

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 12:56:33

Cat - I was speaking of the responsibilities of parents in general - not just crescent.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 12:57:32

You directly addressed crescent.

Ah the old "it's in the daily mail so must be true" angle OP I'm sure your as well meaning as you are dense. No doubt it's the gay mentally ill pedophiles that support fox hunting blacks that are really to blame.

And as for "if people talk about it it's easier to stop" just be sensible, people always 'know' and never do something.

Go back and read the next page and see if something more interesting is there eh?

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 12:59:18

Wonder if anyone heard about the latest gang convicted of grooming/underage sex?

They're white non muslims so it's not been widely reported at all. Why can't people realise why things are reported in this way? They Just accept the view that it's a widespread muslim problem in our communities

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:02:52

how is it racist or islamophobic to express concern about forced child marriage and rape?

It's Islamophobic when you single out adherents to Islam as being responsible for child rape when you well know that it is unfortunately in no way confined to Islam and the Christian church has a particularly bad record in that regard. It's Islamophobic when you suggest that all Moslems known about and condone it. And it's Islamophobic when you accept without criticism an anti-Islam report from a paper with a known Islamophobic agenda and a track record of inaccurate and biased reporting.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:03:22

*Wonder if anyone heard about the latest gang convicted of grooming/underage sex?

They're white non muslims*


fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 13:03:29

As a Muslim mother of girls I am incandescent that you OP have taken it upon yourself to tell me I am a party to such a horrendous crime.

I do not know a single child who has been forced into a marriage.

To say I do know and am wilfully turning a blind eye is hugely offensive, I don't know a single imam from several mosques across East and central London who would conduct a marriage of a minor or has done so.

Are you so blatantly xenophobic to Muslims in rl, or do you save your bile from the cowardly security of your computer?

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:03:50

Applauds Nenny

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 13:04:19

so many imams

How many? What proportion of all imams?

And how interesting to have yet another of these threads. Careful, OP, your agenda's showing...

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:08:25

Fruity, have you name changed for this thread or have you just joined MN?

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:09:23

fuzzywuzzy -save your incandescent rage for people who are forcing children into marriage. Now you know about it you can be on the lookout for it like the rest of us can't you.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:11:00

And you can be on the look out for child abusing priests then, Fruity. hmm

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:12:02

Cat - Yes, I can.

ReallyTired Mon 07-Oct-13 13:13:10

I imagine that the reported visited mosques known for extremism and there are hundreds of mosques in the UK. There are 18 bad apples among 100s of inams. Clearly even one corrupt inam is too many. I feel that this journalism has benefitted muslims by high lighting a problem in their mosque. However its wrong to tar all muslims with the same brush.

Regulating places of worship is a huge issue for child protection. Sexual abusers are of all creeds and colours. I would like to see all places of worship registered and all relgious leaders having to do child protection courses by law and undergo a CRB check.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 13:13:16

Hope this works I've never linked before.

Don't think there is any mention of their ethnicity or religion in the article

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:13:52

But what about me? I'm an atheist. Should I be on the lookout for non-religious abusers just to cover the gap? confused

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 13:14:12

fruity i, just like fuzzy, though you would wish to make us 'other', have, just like any mother of daughters in the UK, much bigger concerns to worry about for our daughters growing up than child marriage. are you getting on a soapbox and angry about the hypersexualisation of our daughters - collectively?

are you starting threads about the social pressure to have sex at earlier and earlier ages before the minds of teenagers matures?

or about how pornography skews the perceptions of teens from a young age about sex.

thats what scares me about whats facing my daughter growing up, thats what il be on the lookout for

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:14:48

I see fruitypops is either new to Mumsnet or has namechanged. There's a surprise.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 13:15:06

Oh definitely, YouTheCat. Those secular humanists are evil buggers, absolutely depraved.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 13:15:30

Fruity, I'd love for you to have the balls to tell me that to my face.

It is not prevalent in Muslim circles.

If I have never come across this practice in my life then as a Muslim woman, living in the environment this supposedly happens in, I am better placed to refute or support your spurious accusations, I refute it, it is not a prevalent practice within the Muslim community.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 13:17:17

it is not a prevalent practice within the Muslim community.

So why are a lot of Imams, in the UK, condoning it?

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 13:18:28

Definitely crescent!

I have no concern that my daughter, or any of my close female relatives will be forced to marry, let alone under aged. Don't know what else I can do on that front.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:18:31

Did you actually read the story?

Not a gang. They didn't know each other. Twelve paedophiles had sex with a thirteen year old after she put a profile on a dating website claiming to be 18. Independently of each other. How does that constitute a "gang"?

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:19:09

18 is not a lot.

Daisypolka Mon 07-Oct-13 13:19:17

I feel forced marriage is an issue that should be discussed without fear of being racist.

Im a teacher and we have been told professionally about this issue for many years, what to look out for etc

We need to protect young girls from this.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 13:19:54

How many imams are there?
How many can be shown to have condoned it?

Because depending on the answer we may have a serious problem (very unlikely), a limited problem (unlikely) or the kind of small number nutter fringe that infests most religions/large-scale movements (very likely).

No point getting knickers in a twists until we know which it is.

And yes, I know even one person advocating this is one too many, but that's not how the thread has been put.

gordyslovesheep Mon 07-Oct-13 13:19:58

18 is not a lot is it ?

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 13:20:04

FlapJack - we don't know! Why don't you ask the ones doing it?

Stop holding muslims in general responsible for the shit ones.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 13:20:06

18 is not a lot.

It's 18 too many though !

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 13:21:21

18 out of 56 is not every imam in every mosque in the UK is it?

those 18 imams should be sent to prison for aiding and abetting a crime.

18 imams out of 56 mosques, which the Dialyfail chose on the basis they would be most likely to agree, is not the norm.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 13:22:11

Hubb - what I don't understand is why the muslims in general do not shout and scream and say NO to the shit ones. Or do they, and it is never reported?

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 13:22:57

Ok the guys are unconnected, is it really less despicable, less newsworthy, less to do with their culture and religion? Honestly?

Fakebook Mon 07-Oct-13 13:23:12

Stupid thread. Yes, let's not ignore that this happens, but fgs, don't taint all Muslims with the same brush. There are certain communities in which this may happen, but Muslims aren't one big community. There are over 50 Islamic countries and in the world and quick google shows over 70 sects that all follow their own culture and traditions.

This isn't just an Islamic problem, it's a cultural one too.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 13:23:35

What I don't understand is why the Christians in general do not shout and scream and say NO to the shit ones. Or do they, and it is never reported?

What I don't understand is why the football fans in general do not shout and scream and say NO to the shit ones. Or do they, and it is never reported?

What I don't understand is why the MNers in general do not shout and scream and say NO to the shit ones. Or do they, and it is never reported?

I can do this all day. Are you getting the point yet?

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 13:23:55

FlapJack, the shit ones do not head my masjids, they'd be run out pretty damn fast if they did.

They are a lunatic fringe which I nor may family or friends have ever come across.

Daisypolka Mon 07-Oct-13 13:24:02

Unfortunately this is not one "nutter". This was explained to us by CEOP personnel to be a specific issue in some ultra orthodox Muslim cultures.

I agree though, it's not a mainstream Muslim accepted practise but does seem to be happening enough that we as teachers are warned on the signs.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:24:08

Why would the Daily Mail want to challenge their agenda by reporting about Muslim people being decent, law abiding citizens? It'll never happen.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 13:24:16

im well used to the slant that the Daily Mail takes on any story involving british muslims...

ITV are going to show the programme this Wednesday..

in their article on itv news, they make a point of saying that:

"Two-thirds of those contacted refused to perform the marriage, *and many of them made clear they found the request abhorrent."

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor in the northwest has made forced marriage one of his big targets to reduce, and he's a self professed practising muslim, its not an issue that people want to disengage from, instead there are people from the communities themselves that are fighting forced marriage.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 13:25:38

Flap do you shout and scream and say no to the shit people from whatever groups you are part of?

Can you give an example of when you've done that? Cause I don't really know your point or what you're expecting us to do.

We speak out when we feels it's relevant, not on every single bad thing happening in the world, cause vast majority of the time it's nothing to do with us.....

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 13:26:48

the ITV news made a point of explaining the imams who refused, the daily mail made hte article only about the 18 who did. quelle surprise what else is new

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 13:27:44

Daisy forced marriages is not a Muslim crime it is a cultural one, I have heard of Sikh and Hindu girls being forced into marriage by being sent 'back home'.

If you spend all your energies concentrating only on Muslim girls because in you world it only happens to us, you will be doing a huge disservice to the other girls who are subject to this cultural practice.

There are over 1500 mosques in the UK so 56 is hardly a representive sample. Do we know what criteria were used to select the mosques? Was it random or targeted?

DH is North African and muslim and I am not aware of this happening in his community and certainly has not happened with any of his family or friends.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:28:13

crescentmoon - only two thirds of those contacted refused to perform the marriage? And this is going on in the UK!

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:29:17

That is a tiny percentage out of all the mosques in Britain.

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:29:38

So why are a lot of Imams, in the UK, condoning it?

We come back to the point I and others have made and which a number of contributors are studiously avoiding: the only information we have about this comes from the Daily Mail, a paper with a track record of twisting the facts when it comes to promoting their agenda, and a track record of trying to stir up Islamophobia. Therefore I will take their claim of 18 Imams condoning this with massive caution until I see it confirmed by someone much more reliable.

What is interesting is the contributors to this thread who seem happy to accept every word the Mail says as the absolute truth when it pursues that agenda. I wonder whether they accept the Mail's reporting on everything with such alacrity?

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:32:40

it is not a prevalent practice within the Muslim community.

It's an interesting example of how "Muslim" has become dog-whistle code.

The problem of women being treated as property is not a Muslim issue. It is, arguably, an issue for certain patriarchal cultural groups which happen to be Muslim. Accusing people of engaging in, say, rape as part of being Muslims is ludicrous, because no practicing Muslim would be doing that. It's like arguing that there's a problem with rape being condoned by Christians, just look at Peter Sutcliffe and Fred West (in the case of Sutcliffe, he actually dragged Christianity into his defence at one point).

There are small groups of notional Muslims from particular sub-cultures, mostly in the Indian sub-continent, where patriarchal values do persist. Shafilia Ahmed, for example, was killed within such a cultural bubble. It's unsurprising that most Muslims have no contact with this, just as most Christians aren't Amish. There are small communities that happen to be Muslim where these practices exist. They are not widespread.

I'm a huge fan of Salma Yaqoob, and if I lived in her constituency I'd have voted for her even though Respect were and are utter knobheads. It's vitally important that she be brought back inside the Labour fold and is elected as an MP. She's doing hugely important work to deal with Biraderi clan structures and the effect they have on women, and because she's from the Sparkbrook/Balsall Heath community herself she can do so without howls of racism. On the sadly related topic of "honour killing", she has been extremely convincing. It's about time that a fear of being deemed Islamophobic was replaced with a realisation that there is a problem with forced marriage in a tiny, unrepresentative sub-culture, but to tar the whole Muslim community with it is ludicrous.

nennypops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:32:58

crescentmoon - only two thirds of those contacted refused to perform the marriage? And this is going on in the UK!

But the question is what were the criteria for the people contacted? If, for instance, the reporter was sent out to ask around about Imams who might be sympathetic to the request, it follows that he would have been referred to a very narrow selection. I question whether this was randomised research, and I would also like to see the evidence of precisely what was said and by whom.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 13:35:54

Oh, friday16, that's a wonderful post. And, I suspect, completely wasted on this OP.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 13:35:58

out of how many mosques? 56 out of 1500 mosques (i didnt know there were that many actually!).

lets consider that they probably employed bias in the mosques they chose to contact, mosques in highly conservative areas, from some UK muslim populations that are known for this practise. just as there is forced marriage in the UK Sikh community. so really then, 56 is not statistically relevant, and so of course neither is the 18...

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 13:36:20

yes nenny i thought that too

MaidOfStars Mon 07-Oct-13 13:37:09

FruityPops Does the MCB actually have any authority over anyone? If so, who appointed them, and are they all men?

No authority, as far as I know. I usually look for their opinion on something, when a hysterical anti-Islam headline hits. They often guide me to what "normal" Muslims are thinking (in the absence of a quick opinion from a Muslim friend/colleague).

It's a shame such a council is necessary really, that we need to be told that 9/11 wasn't a general Islamic initiative, that not all Muslims condone child marriage, and so on...

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 13:37:57

Daisy, are you talking about the initiatives put into place following the new laws to prevent forced marriage that were passed about 5 years ago?

It was a religious and cultural issue that impacted on schools in Greater Manchester in the late 80s and 90s in my personal experience, as a teacher in a mostly first-generation immigrant area.
Evidence gathered then, and in other areas was part of the drive behind the laws being passed. Muslim friends of mine in London saw it as an archaic issue imported from rural areas in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and didn't see it as being any part of a British Muslim's experience.

If I wanted to show that racism was prevelent in British pubs and I targeted pubs that were the usual haunts of Combat 18, the EDL and the BNP I am sure I could show that at all or nearly all the pubs I visited racism was displayed.

It would be meaningless research because the sample chosen was biased rather than random.

That's why I want to know the basis of selection for such a very small sample of mosques.

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 13:40:54

'out of how many mosques? 56 out of 1500 mosques (i didnt know there were that many actually!). '

Crescent, we had several local mosques that were purely slightly adapted terraced houses. Tiny, but still fit for purpose!

Dobbiesmum Mon 07-Oct-13 13:42:10

I'm still waiting for the OP to target all Catholics who must surely have known what was going on behind closed doors while young children were being abused for decades by some Catholic priests, or did the entire church going population just turning a blind eye to that OP?

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:44:41

Sorry, and to clarify two points.

One is, forced marriage is cultural, not religious. In Birmingham it's a problem that schools are trying to address, but it is certainly not restricted to Muslim girls. It's also happening in nominally Hindi and to a lesser extent Sikh communities. The common factor is conservative, less well educated and less well integrated first generation immigrants from quite small geographic areas, not religion. The desire to "marry in" to preserve a cultural heritage in a "foreign" country is hardly unique to any one religion.

Secondly, when I gnomically said "what makes you think they don't", I was unfortunately looking a bit dog whistle-y. The point is that everyone reads newspapers or sees the television news. Muslims in Britain "know about it" in the same sense that I, as a white Briton, "know about" Fred West. As Eldridtch has pointed out, it is flat-out racist to say that people from group X should condemn every bad thing that other members of group X do, even if they claim to do so in Group X's name. It's McCarthyite, imposing a loyalty test on people just because of their ethnicity. Of course, the left is not immune to this - there's a tendency to demand that Jewish Britons have a position on Israel/Palestine, which is just as racist as the assumption that Muslims who don't start every conversation with a long list of condemnations are somehow friends of the Taliban - but it does seem that "othering" Muslims on the grounds that somehow their silence on forced marriage (or genital mutilation, or the veil, or whatever) is equal to support is a new, and nasty, tendency.

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 07-Oct-13 13:45:29

OP, YABU and your agenda is writ large.

I suggest posters just let Fruity and Flapjacks get on with fulminating away to each other.

Nothing to see here just a couple of Islamophobes

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:46:04

Muslim friends of mine in London saw it as an archaic issue imported from rural areas in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and didn't see it as being any part of a British Muslim's experience.


FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 13:46:08

Dobbiesmum - child abuse is never acceptable. But I am allowed to comment on forced child marriage. I saw it on the ITV news last night and thought it was terrible, so I started a thread on it.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 13:48:27

You are allowed to comment, of course.

And we are allowed to point out how wrong-headed, disingenuous and irritating your comments are.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 13:48:40

yes silver, i used to go to such a one as a young child. mosques are not run by dioceses or with a religious hierarchy as in Christianity, there are 'associations', 'councils', but no top down structure. i could quite easily open my own mosque, find and recruit an imam based on my own criteria, or, act as an 'imam' myself - because anyone who leads others in prayer is called the 'imam', start running classes, do marriages, it would be if people wanted to use it or not. theres nothing in mainstream islam that says one cannot do that whereas one would have to come out of the mainstream to make a synagogue or a church as i understand....

one can be an imam without studying religious law, not possible for a rabbi or a christian priest. its when it comes to divorce that we know which imam has legal training and authority, not when it comes to marriage...

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:50:42

So you joined MN just to say your piece on these terrible Muslims, Fruity? hmm

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 13:52:38

I usually look for their opinion on something, when a hysterical anti-Islam headline hits. They often guide me to what "normal" Muslims are thinking

Actually, the Muslim Mainstream is probably to be found on the "meh" side of the MCB. The MCB was formed in the aftermath of the Rushdie affair, and some of its earlier leaders were a bit excitable on that topic. Inayat Bunglawalah has recanted somewhat, but it's a serious problem that the impression of organised British Islam as being a bunch of book-burning nutters persists. I think he realises the harm that was done. But there are still forces around in British Islam who are wanting to re-fight the Rushdie affair (see here) and the MCB is not entirely free of this tendency.

I know a lot of fairly politicised Muslims, albeit mostly of the left (the people who joined, and then left, Respect) and I've not heard Rushdie mentioned in a decade. The MCB hasn't moved on quite as much.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 13:53:33

No, Fruity is also weighing in on the talcum powder, babies and ovarian cancer debate as we speak. Just in case we didn't think she was a proper Mumsnetter/Mumsnutter.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 13:55:19

She only joined yesterday.

Another poster did the same last week. All manner of comments on various threads but had only just joined (unless she had name changed) - most comments on the subject of Muslims funnily enough.

Dobbiesmum Mon 07-Oct-13 13:57:45

Fine, I understand that, my issue is that you are making a blanket assumption that it is a problem in one religious group which is known to happen by everyone within that group. It doesn't just go on here, it's all over the planet practiced by many different religious communities. It's happening right now. Specifically targeting one particular group does a massive disservice to young women and girls everywhere by making it seem like "it couldn't happen here".
Yo only have to look at what happened in the US in the FLDS under Warren Jeff's to see that 'nice white girls' (that statement was NOT intended to upset anyone, I'm just trying to get fruity to see a point!) can be forced into underage marriage as well.
This is a human/women's rights issue everywhere. We cannot fight it on one small front, it needs to be a global effort.
Which is why I'm linking to this:

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 14:01:24

I've not read the original article, but is it really based on dredging around a few fringe mosques and finding that even amongst those, only a minority may not quite have been clear in their condemnation of an obviously illegal practice?

Because in that case, Christians had better stand by their beds, boots blacked, and get ready to condemn on behalf of "the community". Because I bet that if you send reporters to 56 of the sort of fringe nutter churches that meet in school halls outside the structure of the better known Christian strands, you'd not need to wait long to get a litany of homophobic, creationist, "male headship", "christian discipline", "quiverfull", nonsense. Hell, before his website was mysteriously taken down, Richard Williamson (_who was a bishop in the Roman Catholic church, invited back by the previous pope_) could be found mixing holocaust denial with the claim that education and trousers were sinful for women.

You don't have to look too hard in most religions to find fringe nutters. It is not incumbent on others in that religion to have a laundry list of badness, and ritually condemn each one of them as part of their daily routine.

bakingaddict Mon 07-Oct-13 14:15:06

I would imagine the marriage wouldn't actually be totally legal in this country so while they may be seen as married within their community from a Muslim wedding ceremony perspective it is unlikely that official documents would bear the name Mrs X for a 14yr girl.

I might be wrong but I thought that if you partake in a Muslim, Sikh, Buddist, Hindi etc wedding you must also have a registry office wedding to satisfy the legal requirements for UK marriage. If you can marry in this way then and it be legally recognised in this country then it's for the authorities to intervene but I thought the youngest you can officially marry is 16 so it's a bit of a non-story DM wise as usual.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 14:21:20

bakinaddict - It's not a non-story if children are being raped in the name of forced marriage.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 14:24:17

Children are being raped in the name of all kinds of things.

You keep making this about Muslims when it has been pointed out repeatedly that it is not prevalent and it is a cultural issue and not one specifically about religion.

sashh Mon 07-Oct-13 14:26:22

10 men sent to Jail for abusing a 13 year old. Don't ordinary white folk know what is going on?

Oh and the RC church allows marriage by a man of 16 and a woman of 14, although there can be a locally agreed higher age, in the UK it is 16.

Daisypolka Mon 07-Oct-13 14:40:50

The CEOP lecture happened last year again in one of our refresher inset days, so the spectre of forced marriage hasn't gone away since the 80s/90s.

Lets just all do our best to protect young, vulnerable children from these very real dangers. An article in the Independent recently stated a UK charity is advising young girls to hide spoons in their underwear to allow them one final chance for escape while talking to Security before they are spirited abroad.

I come away from these training days very depressed sometimes about all the things young students have to be aware of now FGM, online bullying, forced marriage etc

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 14:49:43

Daisypolka - At least people are bothering to address these problems with training days. If everything is brought out into the open, we can all do something about it.

Lots of people besides some muslims must have been turning a blind eye to forced child marriages (teachers / social workers / health professionals) or we would have heard a lot more about it in the past.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 14:57:58

You still haven't got it, have you? Forced, underage marriages happen in some cultures - not necessarily Muslim ones. And they are most definitely not the norm.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 15:02:12

Lots of people besides some muslims must have been turning a blind eye to forced child marriages (teachers / social workers / health professionals) or we would have heard a lot more about it in the past.

Occam's razor says things aren't heard much about because they are very rare. For example, you don't hear much these days about satanic ritual abuse, even though a couple of decades ago it was (apparently) sweeping the country like wildfire. That was because it didn't, at least the form claimed, exist. Cases of forced marriage of underage girls are very rare. That doesn't mean they don't happen, but their rarity doesn't imply that there's a conspiracy keeping silent about them.

bakingaddict Mon 07-Oct-13 15:02:13

I for one do not see the rape of children as being a non-story but what I do see as a non-story is a known right wing newspaper having a certain agenda with regards to something that perhaps is seen by it's readers as belonging to a particular culture.

I would like to see a global moratorium outlawing child marriage and FGM but know it would be very difficult to implement and police.

However, the DM as a reliable source of independently verifiable statistics on forced under-age marriage I don't take for granted. If they have sound information and evidence that it's a common practice in this country then they should take it to the authorities. There are taskforces that exist to prevent forced marriages

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 15:23:09

Right so by the ops logic as I am RC I should have known about all the paedophile priests and how women were mistreated in laundrys.

IMO underage marriage isn't exclusive to Islam nor is it widespread in this country.

Out of interest what signs do teachers and ss look for, for girls at risk

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 15:54:15

Out of interest what signs do teachers and ss look for, for girls at risk

You probably won't get a proper answer Wannabe. I've asked 2 questions on this thread that none like crescentmoon nor hubb have answered (and they were questions about which I would like proper information). They just scream and shout their usual reterick.

GoshAnneGorilla Mon 07-Oct-13 16:01:54

I do feel that everythibg has already been said. AFAIK, many of the bigger mosques will not marry a couple unless they have already/have definite plans to have a UK civil marriage, quite right to IMMO*

I am completely opposed to child marriage and support measures to combat it. What I do not support is skewed reporting and the smearing of the entire Muslim community.

*In My Muslim Opinion.

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 16:02:06

Some of the signs were in the government link that I posted

'Warning signs
Young people rarely feel able to disclose their feelings about forced marriage. However there are some warning signs that may indicate the possibility of an impending forced marriage:

extended absence from school/college, truancy, drop in academic performance and motivation,

excessive parental restriction and control of movements
history of siblings leaving education early to marry

poor attendance in the workplace, poor performance, parental control of income and limited career choices

evidence of self-harm, treatment for depression, attempted suicide, social isolation, eating disorders or substance abuse

evidence of family disputes/conflict, domestic violence/abuse or running away from home

A young person demonstrating any of the above may not be necessarily at risk, but if you feel concerned about a potential forced marriage you should contact us

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 07-Oct-13 16:07:47

"... none like crescentmoon nor hubb...''

Oooh, you mean self-confessed muslims?

I really hadn't noticed those two posters doing any screaming or shouting.

<controls impulse to correct 'reterick'>

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 16:09:21

<controls impulse to correct 'reterick'>

grin But not quite well enough to not comment on it?

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 16:13:25

Ah, at last - getting personal, eh? Can't think of anything better to say or do?

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 16:19:09

Personal? No, but if you are going to use a tricky word to make a point, you might as well use spellcheck.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 16:20:44

Yes, personal about my spelling. Really goes against the MN ethos.

I don't think it's a 'tricky word', but you obviously do.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 16:21:56

That's really helpful silverapple

I can't remember the name of the charity but there was one that was advising youngsters being taken abroad for forced marriages to put a silver spoon in their underwear so they got stopped at security. I thought it was a genius idea and it was very irresponsible of the mail to publish it.

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 07-Oct-13 16:22:41

I don't think my post was "getting personal" but I apologise for commenting on the typo.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 16:24:26

Really goes against the MN ethos

Whereas unpleasant Islamophobic goady-fucking doesn't?

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 16:28:46

I wasn't talking about 'unpleasant Islamophobic goady-fucking' Eldritch - I was talking about a PERSONAL attack.

If you want to talk about ^^ then start a thread on it.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 16:28:51

Flap, show us where crescent and Hubb have been shouty? I've been on this thread since page one and have read every post and seen nothing like that from those posters.

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 16:29:12

Some children have trouble spelling certain words with Greek roots for example. So they are tricky words, because it takes a bit of thought to remember how to spell them if not phonetically.

You don't think rhetoric is tricky to spell?

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 16:33:38

You're doing it, FlapJack.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 16:34:34

Doing what Eldritch ? Ummmm.......huh?

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 07-Oct-13 16:35:33

If you think my post was a personal attack, then report it.

I have apologised for drawing attention to a typo. It's not something that I usually do and I shouldn't have done it here but it was in no way a personal attack.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 16:36:03

Doing unpleasant Islamophobic goady-fucking, of course.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 16:37:06

Flap, you've been here less than a week. Maybe you should read the talk guidelines? hmm

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 16:37:35

You accused crescentmoon and hubb of screaming and shouting, without proof. That probably counts as a personal attack, doesn't it?
<considers whether that is a rhetorical question and decides that it isn't>

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 16:41:04

Ummmm YouTheCat - I can assure you I've been here a lot longer than a week. And I know the talk guidelines. And NOTHING I have said can be construed as goady.

All I did was ask a couple of pertinent (see, got the spelling right) questions that no-one answered !

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 16:44:36

So you name changed. Big deal.

I think you could do with re-reading the talk guidelines.

SecretWitch Mon 07-Oct-13 16:45:35

I applaude Crescent, Hub and Banshee for their polite thoughtful responses to clear Anti Islamic attacks. Civil discourse is to be encouraged, disingenuous postings designed to create ill will should be surgically dismembered by intelligent MNer's as quickly as possible.

FlapJackOLantern Mon 07-Oct-13 16:49:57

Ok YouTheCat - I have obviously got the talk Guidelines wrong. I may have misinterpreted them. So, please, will you put in black and white what I have said that is wrong?

alemci Mon 07-Oct-13 16:55:06

last week this was on the bbc london news at 6.30 and a journalist was interviewing a young girl in hiding who had been taken on holiday and made to marry against her will. not good.

agree that the church can be sexist as well towards women.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 16:57:33

You probably won't get a proper answer Wannabe. I've asked 2 questions on this thread that none like crescentmoon nor hubb have answered (and they were questions about which I would like proper information). They just scream and shout their usual reterick.

This^ Personal attack just because someone hasn't come back and answered your question. Maybe they are busy? Not everyone sits around waiting for you to proclaim your nuggets of wisdom all day.

I haven't seen them scream or shout and you have also been asked questions which you have ignored.

slug Mon 07-Oct-13 16:57:48

I used to teach in a community where forced marriages weren't unheard of. The problem is, it can be difficult to tell as within the particular cultural group I have worked with, girls don't really have any expectation of choosing their own husbands anyway. Nor do the marriages happen in the UK. Typically the girl is sent 'home' on holiday, to see ageing relatives or to attend a funeral and does not come back until she is married.

In terms of what to look out for it can be very difficult as often they are simply not told they are going back to the home country for a visit and when they do they are often isolated in villages far away from modern communication technology and are given a fait accompali. The only thing we could do was help the girl if she found the tickets and suspected something may be up. (I made many phone calls to Southall Black Sisters during my years working there.) Of course, it is entirely possible, and not infrequent, for the trip to be short notice for legitimate reasons (funerals, ill relatives) or for family holidays. Finding tickets with their name on them was in no way an indication of a forced marriage in the offing.

It's also dangerous to assume it's only young girls who are subject to family coercion to get married. The one case I had most to do with was a colleague who was in her early 20s. Her father controlled her bank account, kept her bank card, and paid for her wedding out of her own salary. She didn't want to get married, strongly objected to it, but gave in in the end because, to her mind, the pain of being ostracized by the family was too much to bear. She agreed to give it a try, but went to the GP first (with me in tow for moral support) to get the depo provera injection first so she wouldn't get pregnant and wouldn't be seen to be taking contraceptives.

Apart from my colleague who managed to divorce her husband after a year, most of the girls who went on holiday and came back married seem to just shrug. They may not have wanted to get married, may not like their husband, but they seemed fatalistic about the whole thing since they never expected to choose their own husband in the first place.

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 07-Oct-13 16:59:12


I don't mind taking one for the team.

Flapjack, you are a twat.

Fruity, you are also a twat.

I might as well make it count now I suppose, so can I just add that when I say twat, my actual meaning is that you are a pair of goady fuckers; each trying to make some strange point about how bad the general muslim population is because apparently less than 4% of UK imams (no doubt carefully chosen from the very edges of what could be described as the muslim community) have agreed to perform an underage marriage.

I suppose I should also add stupid to the goady twat bit.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 17:07:48

pardon flapjack? where have hub or I screamed and shouted our rhetoric. we've tried to be pretty mild mannered through this and i really appreciate comments by other posters because it shows its worth it.

what questions have you put to us that we have not answered except with our usual reterick? illiterate...

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 17:08:25

The point is, slug, that this is only about Islam in the sense that the Baby P case is about Christianity. There are parts of the world in which women are treated extremely badly. Cultural issues like that are incredibly hard to deal with, because even if you strip away a lot of rather nasty "oh, who are we to judge?" silliness (the point about universal human rights is just that, that they are _universal) you're left with the problem of just what you intend to do about it. As you say, women raised in those communities tend to be very fatalistic or, to be more charitable, accepting, and although you can mutter about "false consciousness" and "patriarchy", it's a hell of a long way from there to solutions.

I don't, absolutely, utterly, don't believe that women born into repressive cultures have fewer rights than me, and I don't, absolutely, utterly, don't believe that it is in any way "cultural imperialism" to assert that rape (and genital mutilation, and denial of education, and the rest) are in any way OK if the oppressors are brown rather than white. However, once we have all condemned oppression and asserted our solidarity and talked about rights and possibly, to show we really care, bought a wristband, we're left with the question of what to do about it. Condemnation is pretty cheap, and there's a lot of it around; solutions are in rather shorter supply.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 17:13:57

less than 4% of UK imams (no doubt carefully chosen from the very edges of what could be described as the muslim community) have agreed to perform an underage marriage.

Actually, I doubt they even "agreed". I suspect that the reporters found some fringe imams whose first language isn't English and whose second language isn't either, who are at the weird obscurantist end of proceedings and whose constituency is almost entirely also non-English speaking. They then asked a convoluted question, perhaps even a reterickal question, which if you pried it apart with forensic tweezers could be read by a very skilled user of English to imply that an underage marriage was requested, maybe.

I doubt that the reporters turned up with a fourteen year old girl and said "look, here's her birth certificate, what about a marriage?" Like a lot of this sort of sub-NotW journalism, the question that is asked is a lot vaguer than the story that's then built on the answer.

SecretWitch Mon 07-Oct-13 17:14:03

Crescent, it is enraging to see anti Islam nonsense posted here. We must speak out against the lies spoken by racists.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 17:20:18

The BBC is taking forced child marriage of UK girls seriously.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 17:21:35

I know this is probably a stupid question but I define rape as someone having sex with you against your will or without your consent.

As in some forced marriages both parties are forced into them and have sex against their will due to pressure from their families have they both been raped?

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 17:23:46

Thanks Ipanema your post made me smile

Thanks to all the other posters who have responded to Flap as well, it has become quite entertaining since I signed off for a break!

Flap, you haven't responded to a question or two yourself. And what do you mean by a. Shouty and b. My usual rhetoric, as I rarely post on here, especially about Islam.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 17:23:48

"Actually, I doubt they even "agreed". I suspect that the reporters found some fringe imams whose first language isn't English and whose second language isn't either, who are at the weird obscurantist end of proceedings and whose constituency is almost entirely also non-English speaking. They then asked a convoluted question, perhaps even a reterickal question, which if you pried it apart with forensic tweezers could be read by a very skilled user of English to imply that an underage marriage was requested, maybe. "

over the last decade there has been more effort on the part of various british muslim communities to train and retain british born, british educated imams to lead mosques. instead of sending for and hiring an imam from a village in the country of that local community e.g pakistan, bangladesh etc to see to the prayer services in the mosque. which was very frequent before. the main problem was money, its much easier to pay peanuts to a foreign imam than a 'native' imam so it has made our way of financially supporting mosques different. the other problems were that the imams were often out of touch with social problems of british muslims, the young people felt alienated from them, women felt alienated, because they were really from the same mould as their fathers except that they had memorised the Quran.

nowadays imams are hired not just because they have memorised the quran or can lead a madressah, but also because they know religious laws, they can counsel, they can mediate in marriage and family problems with knowledge, they can settle disputes etc. but still, from 1500 "mosques" and some of them are just converted portacabins or semi detached houses - there are still imams who are not fluent in english brought to serve a generation of muslims whose first language is not english.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 17:25:03

So are we. No one is saying it isn't wrong, or doesn't happen. We are questioning your OP which seems to be assuming all Muslims are involved in it, i.e. that it is widespread and broadly accepted by British Muslims.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 17:25:47

thanks alot secretswitch, if there is anything good in these threads its to reinforce my belief in the inherent fairness of most of my fellow british citizens.

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 17:26:33

slug, it looks as if your experiences echo mine quite closely.
I'm also sure that had we been working in a different culture with a practice of arranged marriage seen as the norm, much of what you posted would still be valid.
And I also agree with Friday16 :
'I don't, absolutely, utterly, don't believe that women born into repressive cultures have fewer rights than me, and I don't, absolutely, utterly, don't believe that it is in any way "cultural imperialism" to assert that rape (and genital mutilation, and denial of education, and the rest) are in any way OK if the oppressors are brown rather than white.'

To me the answer lies largely with education, so that the passive acceptance of unequality ends, and that girls are given alternative, real options for their futures.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 17:29:35

By the way...a question about which you would like proper info?

Dunno what you might be on about, but may be you aren't in the right place asking the right people anyway, crescent and I have already stated we don't have any experience or knowledge of forced underage marriage etc, again why is it up to us innocent muzzie bystanders to combat this stuff and also fill the gaps in your ignorance.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 17:31:24

Gaps in your knowledge*

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 17:31:35

This is what ITV News has to say about it:

There is a programme on ITV about it on Wednesday night at 10.35pm.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 17:32:19

hubb I'm really sorry if my question offended I didn't mean for it to be about religion I just thought someone on this thread would know more about law then me

Nicetobenicetothenice Mon 07-Oct-13 17:33:28

Oh dear a reasoned number of different opinions boils down to bog standard mumsnet-royalty newbie bashing. Yawn.

This is a serious issue and I worry there isn't the breadth of intelligence here to debate it. Radio 4 did a much better job without resorting to personal attacks and race card waving.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 17:34:06

i know from religious scripture, that a woman who comes forth to say her marriage was forced has the right for it to be annulled. but culture is a powerful thing amongst some muslims, it can displace religion often, there maybe a huge cultural pressure not to, because you have to report it first.

EldritchCleavage Mon 07-Oct-13 17:36:15

Race card waving? Ha!

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 07-Oct-13 17:36:50

and? confused

I know a man who knows another man work for itv and can confirm that a lot of what goes on the telly box, is, in fact, totally made up grin

But that's irrelevant.

It's your strange theory that somehow the law breaking activities of some are the collective responsibility of all muslims.

I. Just. Don't. Geddit.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 17:37:21

Nice - the people who have been insulting me are mumsnet-royalty? Is this site not really worth bothering with?

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 07-Oct-13 17:37:52

X post.

that's to Fruity.


YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 17:38:02

I'm not Newbie bashing. I'm racist bashing.

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 17:38:23

Oh wannabe that wasn't aimed at you!

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 07-Oct-13 17:38:56

I can also confirm that I am not MN royalty.

At all.

You are a twat though.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 17:39:46

Not MN royalty either, at all.

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 17:41:29

It's also the ramifications of potentially losing links with your community and with your family. Some people who break the taboos of their particular culture (homosexual, unmarried mother, refusing to conform etc) lose everything.
It is a huge undertaking in some instances.

BlingBang Mon 07-Oct-13 17:42:14

I spoke earlier of friends who had their marriages arranged at 8 yrs old. The pressure was from family. When my friend wanted out after 10 years, the only support she had was from an imam who stood up for her and challenged her parents that their actions were actually unislamic. With his help she got her divorce.

SilverApples Mon 07-Oct-13 17:42:31

Me, me I'm Royalty.
Off with their heads then.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 17:50:04

It's your strange theory that somehow the law breaking activities of some are the collective responsibility of all muslims.

I'd just like it on record that I realise that some people who wear jeans most of the time have committed crimes, so I'm completely completely opposed to all of those crimes, whatever they might be, on behalf of the jeans-wearing community. We are all guilty. Us moderate jeans-wearers must speak up, once we have accepted that we are not doing enough.

The McCarthyism is just appalling. Every Muslim is essentially being asked to sign a pledge to not blow shit up, not abuse their children and not attempt to murder authors. It's a Test Act for our times. There are sufficiently many Christians who have engaged in violence against abortion clinics for it to be a problem, but I don't feel an urge to race into my nearest Methodist church speak loudly and clearly into the microphone so it gets to their hearing aids and demand that everyone there repudiates bombing. Stalin was a bad man who was responsible for a lot of killings, but I don't think we need (pace the Daily Mail) to demand that everyone to the left of Attilla the Hun should repudiate the Gulag.

crescentmoon Mon 07-Oct-13 18:19:21

grin at friday16 last sentence.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 18:23:41

So most muslims have absolutely no idea that forced child marriage is going on in the UK. It's a good job I started this thread then.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 18:31:01

But, Fruity, it is not (as has been pointed out numerous times) a Muslim 'thing'. There are other religions that have forced marriages. It is not the norm in this country. British Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus do not go in for this.

But you are determined to tar Muslims with this responsibility.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 18:31:23

So most muslims have absolutely no idea that forced child marriage is going on in the UK.

So what? Most Christians have no idea about "quiverfull" lunatics preaching in school halls. Why do you think that people should be interested in, responsible for or expected to condemn the activities of the lunatic fringe? It's guilt by association: either you believe that all Muslims secretly support child "marriage", or that all Muslims have a responsibility, merely because they are Muslim, to noisily condemn the activities of their co-religionists.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 18:50:32

Fruitypops, have you considered the possibility that none of us mozlamic MNers on this thread have come across this phenomena because it does not happen in our circles?

What pray tell do you want us to do now you have alerted us to this apparently prevalent practice?

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 18:50:51

Cat - I'm not "tarring all muslims", but these imams were muslims, and the parents of the girls were muslims, and their extended families were muslims. Therefore, some muslims in the UK knew about it.

We are told on this thread that not many UK muslims know about this problem. I think more should be done to inform them.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 18:55:22

Fuzzy - can't muslims try to convince other muslims that forced child marriage is unislamic? It's worth a try isn't it?

Hubb Mon 07-Oct-13 18:59:53

Fruity - the point is all of the muslims we know already think it is unislamic

This is turning into a sad joke now, your last few posts can not be genuine.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:14:50

but these imams were muslims, and the parents of the girls were muslims, and their extended families were muslims. Therefore, some muslims in the UK knew about it.

Precisely, and exactly, the same could be said of the 7/7 bombers. The imam of the Birmingham Central Mosque, who is most certainly not a fringe player in a semi-detached house, still claims that 7/7 was an inside false flag job done to discredit Islam (his views on 9/11 are sufficiently vile as to not be repeatable). What do I deduce from this? That Muslims I work and study with all secretly want to blow me up? Don't want to blow me up, but are indifferent if someone else does? What?

Of course, just to complicate matters, Samantha Lewthwaite's extended family certainly weren't Muslims, but let's not let that stop the general purpose racism of your position. They're brown, right, so they must be up to no good, and the ones that aren't obviously up to know good need to prove that they're not secretly plotting, eh?

can't muslims try to convince other muslims that forced child marriage is unislamic?

Perhaps more Christians should have devoted effort to convincing Peter Sutcliffe that Jesus was not, in fact, telling him to murder prostitutes.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 19:19:57

Friday - I have not mentioned skin colour. Who cares what colour someone is? I have a problem with imams in the UK agreeing to force children into marriages. It is happening, and every one who knows about it should be trying to stop it.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 19:24:26

Friday - Sutcliffe was one man, and if any right-minded christians had known what he was doing I'm sure they would have tried to stop him.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 19:24:39

So what about the Sikhs and Hindus? What about all those abused Catholic children?

It is not a Muslim problem.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 19:27:54

Cat - surely you mean it is not an exclusively muslim problem.

TheGirlFromIpanema Mon 07-Oct-13 19:28:56

Fruity, lots of people know lots of things about bad shit happening.

Your point is?

You are a fool, easily ignored, if your rhetoric wasn't so plainly agenda'd and hateful.

Do fuck off now.


YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 19:29:42

What about some of the states in the US?

In New Hampshire this is the law: A female between the age of 13 and 17 years and a male between the age of 14 and 17 years can be married only with the permission of their parent (guardian) and a waiver - but they can marry.

There are other states where it is legal for a child to marry.

What about Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his 13 year old first cousin?

But would any of us say that the whole of America is rife with child brides? And all Americans are complicit in this?

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 19:39:26

YouTheCat, we don't need to be crossing the Atlantic and going into weird Blue State USA. In the Vatican City, girls of 14 can marry. Perhaps every Catholic should be quizzed: are they all guilty, I wonder?

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 19:42:07

True. Just making a point though.

Pixel Mon 07-Oct-13 19:42:44

The charity Karma Nirvana, which supports forced marriage victims, says it has helped with girls as young as eight. It receives more than 600 calls every month.
That's an awful lot for something no one knows anything about hmm.

I think there's a difference between a dodgy priest abusing children as generally he will try and keep it secret. It's not the same as marrying off a child with full knowledge and consent of the family!

Fruity: as I pointed out, you are taking every word of a Daily Mail report as gospel truth. Always a massive mistake.
Er..actually these people agreeing to perform marriages for underage children were caught on reporters from ITV's Exposure programme. But of course because it's the Mail they've made it all up without a shred of evidence. Right.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 19:46:30

Ipanema - your foul mouth and lack of moral compass are probably viewed as admirable traits by your fellow posse members here on mumsnet.

Fortunately, the rest of the UK seems to care about vulnerable children more than you do.

fuzzywuzzy Mon 07-Oct-13 19:51:16

Pixel were all these girls from Muslim families exclusively?

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 19:53:17

And your agenda is vile.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 19:58:13

fruitypops everyone here is disgusted by forced marriages. As a mother I can't imagine ever wanting to force my daughter into a marriage she didn't want, her happiness means more to me then "honor".

The thing is this isn't a practice of just some people's warped idea of Islam it's also a practice of some Hindus and Sikhs yet as much as I love it the mail does seem to have a very anti-Islam agenda.

I'm sure if they deliberately targeted mosques which are more extreme, for example the heckmondwike mosque is very close to dewsbury where there are some Muslims with extremist views

Pixel Mon 07-Oct-13 19:58:22

I'm not sure Fuzzywuzzy, I was just quoting the original link, but the website is * here]]. I haven't had a chance to read it all yet but it's rather sad that the founder started it after her sister committed suicide to escape an arranged marriage and she didn't want her death to be in vain. sad

Pixel Mon 07-Oct-13 19:58:45

Sorry here

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:05:41

The founder of Karma Nirvana, Jasvinder Sanghera, was from a Sikh family, not Muslim.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:18:38

As, by the way, about two seconds' thought (-or rather longer for thick as shit racists-) would reveal: Karma and Nirvana both being pretty much the sine qua non of "things that other Indian religions believe in but Islam rejects".

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 20:20:55

Friday - and yet they still help lots of muslims according to their website.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:25:33

Friday - and yet they still help lots of muslims according to their website.

Do they publish a breakdown? Because a swift Google for "muslim" rather implies they don't. Indeed, they're very, very careful to be even-handed and make this a child protection issue, not a religious issue.

But if you've been reading their website, you'll realise you need to spread your blame net wider: fuckwit liberals are just as much a problem.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 20:25:47

They help lots of people, some of them happen to be Muslim, some of them are not.

It doesn't mean that forced child marriages are endemic amongst Muslim people.

SecretWitch Mon 07-Oct-13 20:30:42

Everyone will agree that terrible child abuse occurs in all nations across the globe. I am thinking specifically of Thailand and the child sex industry. We need to be vigilant in our fight against abuse towards women and children.

Concern thinly and poorly veiled as race baiting will never be tolerated on this board. We have a collective of bright, verbal women and men willing to speak up against such hatred. Go peddle your racism somewhere else.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 20:40:35

SecretWitch - What has racism got to do with this thread? It's about some imams in the UK agreeing to force underage girls into marriage.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:50:39

Don't be disingenuous Fruity. What you want to do is imply that every Muslim who isn't vocally condemning child marriage (in the time they have left over from condemning FGM, condemning blowing up Russell Square tube station and all the rest) is somehow complicit in, or at least turning a blind eye to, a shocking crime.

Child marriage is a fringe doctrine amongst the fringiest of the Muslim (and Sikh, and Hindu, and other sub-continent cultural groups) community. The evidence you have for the involvement of imams is sketchy (forced marriage is a criminal offence, and the CPS are slavering at the bit on such cases, so the lack of prosecutions is a case of the gun that didn't smoke) and so far as is known, the main channel for forced marriage is moving children overseas, often in the school holidays. Yes, parents who force their children into marriage are criminal abusers. And Tracey Connelly was a criminal abuser when she killed her son, too, but no-one sane is screaming "we are all guilty" or "white Londoners must all condemn this".

Let's spell this out. To identify something which is associated with a small part of a particular community and then to claim that everyone in that community needs to "take a stand" or "stand up and be counted" or "condemn rather than remain quiet" or whatever, is straightforwardly racist. It's essentialising: it's implying that anyone who is from a similar background has more in common (by virtue of that background) than they have different (through not being a terrorist/child abuser/etc). What next: "should Stevie Wonder condemn knife crime in Newham?"

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 20:51:01

fruitloops I don't think this thread is racist but I do think its faithist (know its not a proper word but it fits) pps keep pointing out this isn't widespread amongst British Muslim communities and it isn't just a custom within some Islamic communities but within other religions as well but you are just not taking on board anyone else's opinion

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 20:55:41

True. Islam is not a race.

So it's just bigoted then.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 20:57:15

Wannabe - I am listening to what people are saying, and I know that it is not just a problem among some muslim people. But it IS a problem, and it needs dealing with.

As for this thread being faithist, it's the imams in question bringing their religion into disrepute, not me.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 20:58:31

They aren't doing it in the name of religion. It is not part of Islam.

You are wrong. Totally wrong.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 20:58:52

YoutheCat - it is better to be falsely accused of bigotry than it is to turn a blind eye to child abuse.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 21:00:12

YoutheCat - I think your argument is with the imams in question, and not with me.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 21:01:37

I'm not turning a blind eye to anything. But you are. And you are blaming a religion for it as well - which is totally untrue.

That's bigotry.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 21:06:46

YoutheCat - One of the imams in the investigation actually says "We're doing it because it's ok through Islam".

So tell HIM he's wrong. I don't care why he's doing it, I just want him to stop. And that goes for all other people doing it under the guise of other religions too.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 21:08:30

One of the Imams? You do realise that an Imam doesn't have to have any religious training don't you?

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 21:11:23

YoutheCat - One of the imams in the investigation actually says "We're doing it because it's ok through Islam".

Oh FFS. The people that shoot doctors working in abortion clinics claim to be doing God's work. No-one sane blames your local Methodists for it.

gordyslovesheep Mon 07-Oct-13 21:11:55

so how much time do you dedicate to helping abused women and children - do you give your time free to staff helplines or do you donate time and money to charities supporting women escaping abuse?

or do you just hand around internet forums casually Muslim bashing while refusing to see the bigger picture?

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 21:13:05

I am probably the most ignorant and least articulate person on this thread but even I can see that forced marriage isn't anything to do with religion, some people may try to find religious scripture to support their warped ideas but its nothing to do with religion. I think it's more of a cultural/tribal/village thing.

As someone who had an abusive childhood I would never turn a blind eye and I've nearly got my head kicked in a couple of times for not turning a blind eye.

YouTheCat Mon 07-Oct-13 21:16:32

Wannabe, you aren't ignorant or inarticulate at all.

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 21:19:23

Thank you! I feel a bit out of my depth on this section sometimes but I want to educate and stretch myself

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 21:21:51

Wannabe - So if it's a cultural/tribal/village thing, would that make someone who speaks out about it racist? If so, how are we ever supposed to end the abuse?

gordyslovesheep Mon 07-Oct-13 21:26:52

because you keep banging on about MUSLIMS rather than recognising a) it's not simply a Muslim issue and b) ignore the issue that the abuse of children and women is a world wide issue effecting ALL cultures and societies

Wannabestepfordwife Mon 07-Oct-13 21:29:53

I don't think it's racist to bring people's attention to what's happening its a practice which needs to be stopped.

I think better training needs to be given to teachers, hcps, and ss to help girls and boys who are at risk needs to be given and we need to make it clear to potential victims that we as a society are against forced marriage they are protected by British law and we will do what we can to help them rebuild their lives.

On the village theme if someone who lived in the next village to you, whom had different values to you committed a crime would you be happily blamed for it.

Indonesian Muslims are completely different to Saudi Arabian Muslims the same as me being RC is completely different to the WBC

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 21:32:03

I agree with what wannabe says.

friday16 Mon 07-Oct-13 21:47:57

Let's put this to bed. This is a manufactured moral panic. Marriages of underage children essentially aren't happening in the UK. Here's why.

It's perfectly possible that you can find an illiterate imam at a benighted, primitivist mosque frequented by old men, who thinks that marrying children is fine and dandy. It's what he did "back home" and as he barely speaks English and knows nothing about British laws, he probably thinks he could still do it. With the slight problem that no-one has asked him to do it. Why not?

Well, what's the market for forced marriage? Why do you think Karma Nirvana are focussed on foreign travel in the school holidays? Why do you think the FMU is located in the Foreign Office, not the Home Office? The answer, of course, is that the main market for forced marriage is people wanting to bring family and clan into the country. By marrying daughters (usually) off to a Pakistani citizen, they obtain (at some point) right of abode in the UK. That marriage has to be legal in the country in which it's contracted.

So a sketchy imam providing a sketchy religious marriage in a sketchy mosque in Rochdale is of no value: it doesn't provide any form of right of abode. So the only people who might end up being "married" in such ceremony would be some bizarre hypothetical case in which two families in the UK conspired to "marry" (but not actually marry) their children for some nefarious purpose. If there's some underground culture of British citizens marrying their British citizen children off in shady illegal ceremonies for the purposes of, well, I don't know, "legitimising" (in their own eyes, at least) underage sex, then let's have it out on the table and see some evidence. Because I call shenanigans on that: I don't believe it's happening.

The problem of forced marriage in the UK is mostly associated with immigration, and therefore requires a legitimate (for some value of legitimate) marriage certificate. A religious marriage in the UK would, on many levels, not help that purpose. Hence it isn't happening. There are some ignorant, ill-educated imams to whom the news hasn't yet penetrated, who think that were such an event to occur, they'd be up for it. But it isn't, so they are only guilty of being ignorant, which we knew already.

If it's claimed that underage marriages are actually being performed, let's see the evidence.

FruityPops Mon 07-Oct-13 22:18:29

Let's watch the telly - Exposure: Forced To Marry - ITV Wednesday at 10:35.

I agree that forced marriage to aid immigration into the UK is a big problem.

SecretWitch Mon 07-Oct-13 23:38:40

Let's keep banging on about our "concern" about all those forced underaged marriages. This thread is a sham and all the intelligent poster's here know it.

SilverApples Tue 08-Oct-13 02:33:19

The other way it can be used is as a method of controlling girls and young women by men.
'She's gone to xxx to learn how to be a good girl' was a phrase I heard several times about an older sister. She sometimes came back married.
Many parents were worried, terrified by the growing divisions between them and their westernised children as they grew up, and the difference in expectations of relationships and roles. So getting your girl married was a way of 'letting her know her place'
Still wrong, but many evils are done in the name of love in all cultures.

crescentmoon Tue 08-Oct-13 05:15:44

Very true about the link between immigration and forced marriage which the UK government did heaps to stop when it made it compulsory to be aged 21 to bring a spouse to the country and also that one needs to be working and earning a certain threshold before being able to do it. The requirement of age- 21 instead of 16, and the requirement of work not 'savings' - I thnk around 20 000 itself decreases the dependency that a victim might have on their family.

The ITV article made a point of mentioning the strenuous objection of the imams who objected the daily mail article said absolutely nothing of those who said no just focused on the 18. But they didnt explain how they selected those mosques. As someone said earlier the sampling of mosques chosen was probably pre picked to fulfil an agenda as someone trying to make a programme/article about racist pubs would pre pick EDL pubs to go and do their research in.
There isn't a electing an imam, or a culture of tithing to mosques as there is for other places of worship. Increasingly some mosques allow people to vote in the committee that run the mosque but mosques are still run as benevolent/or not gulf monarchies. In that its the people who pay the salaries who call the shots. so as its often the wealthier of the older male muslim generation who pay the salaries of the imams they are more likely to be at their behest rather than of younger people/ Muslims of other nationalities etc. it's changing slowly especially with the requirement of more and more imams having religious legal training not just memorisation of and teaching of the quran.

Anyone who leads a ritual prayer is called the 'imam' of that prayer. But in Judaism or Christianity they wouldn't be called the rabbi or the reverend - 'who will be the 'imam' for us?'. So in the past some mosques recruit all they ask is for a hafiz (full memorisation) who can lead all 5 of the daily ritual prayers full time. The requirement for pastoral care and also formal religious legal knowledge and training has been more of a focus in the last 10 years in the recruitment of imams. Whose loyalty is to the British Muslim community not to the continuation of whatever the culture from back home there is.

alemci Tue 08-Oct-13 08:36:22

silver do you think this will eventually change in the next generation or will the married young girl be co-erced by her spouse to do exactly the same 20 years later with her own dd

SilverApples Tue 08-Oct-13 08:55:48

I've seen it change in many many families, the children of 10 that I taught in 1990 are now 33, bilingual and aware of the legal rights and opportunities that they are entitled to.
Their children are unlikely to end up in forced marriages, the trend is for arranged marriages with someone much closer to your own age and education level, for them to happen in your twenties and for both sides to have the right of vetoing a potential partner.
There are also a large number of individuals choosing their own partners, but still with parental approval seen as hugely important.
The other development has been first generation parents becoming aware of the fact that girls, if educated, can become respectable professionals and earn a decent salary. Which some was inconceivable. smile
It just takes a while if fundamental changes are going to be truly effective rather than surface compliance or legally enforced and then flouted.
You need the laws and the proactive intervention whilst the communities slowly, slowly adapt to a new way of thinking.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:00:09

do you think this will eventually change in the next generation or will the married young girl be co-erced by her spouse to do exactly the same 20 years later with her own dd

All we have is anecdote.

Firstly, a lot of the forced marriages won't achieve their long-term intent. Educated, English-speaking girls have been coerced into marriages to semi-literate village cousins from Pakistan. You don't have to read MN very long to see threads about such marriages, and it's quite obvious that much less power is wielded by their husbands than was by their fathers. It isn't impossible to force a 40 year old English-speaking woman educated in the UK, living in the UK, to stay in a loveless marriage and then condemn her daughters to the same. But it's a hell of a lot harder than in the previous generation when the mothers often spoke little or no English and didn't really want to be in the UK anyway.

The converse situation, where girls from Pakistan are coerced into marriages with boys in the UK, may be harder to deal with: there is a problem in primary schools of mothers who don't speak English because they were imported at sixteen and then isolated within the community, but there are initiatives to deal with that.

But the changes to immigration legislation that crescentmoon points to are going to solve the problem pretty effectively, even though they are a sledgehammer to crack a medium-sized nut and there's going to be a lot of collateral damage. In order to obtain right of residence for your non-EU spouse, you will need to be 21 and able to show a taxable, legal, non-benefit, income of £20000. That will mean that any woman subject to family pressure to enter into a forced marriage will be 21 and have an income of £20000 per year (and therefore be educated). Parents have far less control over people in that situation.

It won't necessarily solve the problem of young women being brought to this country to marry British Pakistani men (although, again anecdotally, there's a strong suggestion that young Pakistani men don't want to marry illiterate village girls anyway) but it will certainly address the problem of British Pakistani women being married off to men from "back home" (on the assumption that none of the women want this).

There's a good PhD for someone to go out into the Pakistani/Bangladeshi community in the midlands and northern England (the reason for Mumsnet regulars who are Muslim not seeing this issue is probably because MN's demographic skews London-wards) and do some fieldwork on attitudes to marriage amongst people currently in their forties (ie, with children of marrying age) and in their late teens and twenties (ie, of legal/likely marrying age). My gut feel is that we're seeing the last convulsions of this problem and it will be gone in fifteen to twenty years, but evidence is desperately needed.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 09:04:42

The other development has been first generation parents becoming aware of the fact that girls, if educated, can become respectable professionals and earn a decent salary. Which some was inconceivable

Isn't there some evidence that in fact there's been an inversion of roles, and that Pakistani-heritage women are doing very well in school, university and the workplace, even those from quite "traditional" backgrounds, while men from a similar background are less likely follow these paths? I think the reasons adduced are about machismo, education being seen as "women's work" and so on, but it all seems a bit stereotype-mongering. More research needed.

SilverApples Tue 08-Oct-13 09:27:52

I know that all I have is anecdotal, first-hand experience and that more research and data collection is essential.Preferably by members of the community that is being studied. smile
I was remembering the confusion of a Bengali father in his 60s, trying to get his head around the fact that his daughter, with a good education, could be a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant and that these high-status jobs were not unobtainable because of her sex.
He wasn't the only one I talked with who had not thought of his daughter being able to achieve anything other than a good marriage and many children. Preferably male.

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 09:39:26

I think it is optimistic to think that the longer a person is in the UK, the more they will adopt the UK's laws and moral attitudes. The opposite often seems to be happening eg younger women wearing veils when their grans and mums never did, and young men trying to create sharia law zones.

People naturally want to insulate their families from the evil they perceive in society. The problem is that some people see the host culture as mostly evil.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 09:48:33

I used to work with a Man who was forced to marry a girl from back home, this was about 17 years ago, he'd been taken to Bangladesh on pretext of a holiday. He married the girl and came home (UK), then refused point blank to have anything to do with her, no telephone calls or anything.
Poor man and poor girl back home. I often think about him and wonder how it all panned out.

Forced marriages I agree do happen, not exclusively in Muslim households, I'm all for the more stringent visa requirements currently in place.

I do think it is petering out as second and third generation immigrants from the Indian subcontinent are growing up having their own children the links with 'back home' are becoming weaker. Many don't even speak their mother tongue.

I certainly would not expect my children to marry anyone from' back home', I wouldn't even do the arranged marriage thing, it's not my life I'm not the one who will have to live with this person and have children with them. I imagine I'd help with introductions etc. if my girls want that (as adults after finishing their education and having a fulfilling career I hope), altho to be honest I'd have no idea where to begin.

slug Tue 08-Oct-13 10:25:18

Funnily enough I know several young men who were coerced into marriage as well. The belief on the part of their parents and community was the responsibility would calm them down.

You don't see TV programmes about that though.

<<have I just come up with the 'wot about the menz' argument?>> <<faints>>

crescentmoon Tue 08-Oct-13 10:39:28

"That will mean that any woman subject to family pressure to enter into a forced marriage will be 21 and have an income of £20000 per year (and therefore be educated). Parents have far less control over people in that situation."

exactly, like fuzzy im also all for the stringent visa requirements because in getting to that age and also getting to that level of education/salary a woman can really examine and ask herself whether she really wants to marry the man her family have found for her.

"Their children are unlikely to end up in forced marriages, the trend is for arranged marriages with someone much closer to your own age and education level, for them to happen in your twenties and for both sides to have the right of vetoing a potential partner. "

yes silverapples thats the trend in my generation, in my children's i dont expect that il be much involved. although already there are very popular and successful muslim marriage websites for individuals to find their own partners where family connections and networks cannot help. this article is about the situation in Dubai,

but many muslims have the same problem in the UK also. which is why, in this intermediate level, theres still a reliance on arranged introductions both for men and women.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 10:46:30

Funnily enough I know several young men who were coerced into marriage as well.

Much, much easier for them to extricate themselves from, though. I'd say that the woman was in large part the victim there as well. Either they end up not speaking English in England married to a man they don't love (bad) or they end up with a husband who barely speaks English whom they don't love (bad). In both cases, family pressure will make separation, even if both parties want it, very challenging. Just as "why didn't she just leave him?" is an unhelpful response on DV, so it is here.

To see the human cost of this sort of thing (arranged, forced, the difference is less clear cut that people want to imply):

alemci Tue 08-Oct-13 10:47:13

would you happy for your dd to marry a non moslem or co habit or would that be unacceptable?

crescentmoon Tue 08-Oct-13 10:51:58

is that to me alemci?

EldritchCleavage Tue 08-Oct-13 11:24:27

would you happy for your dd to marry a non moslem or co habit or would that be unacceptable?

What's that got to do with anything?

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 11:34:50

Some muslims might be happy for their child to marry a non-muslim, and others might threaten them with death.

It's the same as when someone wants to convert to another religion. There is not one standard response to any given situation.

EldritchCleavage Tue 08-Oct-13 11:48:43

There is not one standard response to any given situation

Well quite.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 11:56:15

Its a horrible horrible practise. It should be stamped out but wont be until its brought out into the open.

Some are claiming they dont know anything about it (really!), some are trying to divert back to the Catholic Church and their priests.

But this thread is talking about 'child marriages'. Are we trying to justify by saying that other people do other horrible things therefore its Ok for us to do this.....

crescentmoon Tue 08-Oct-13 11:58:04

iv got guests coming this morning so il answer as if you meant it to me...

knowing your feelings on muslims alemci having seen your posts around Mumsnet for a long while, i dont think you'd be, to put it delicately, happy if your dd brought home a muslim partner. you'd probably give him a very hard time, marriage you'd accuse him of wanting to control her, cohabit and you'd probably say he was just going to use her until he was bored.

but il touch on it generally anyway...

if my three children leave home committed to the 5 pillars of islam il be very happy. theres a saying of muhammad (pbuh) to do with child rearing...

"Play with your children for 7 years, then teach them for 7 years, then be their friend for 7 years, then let them go as you've discharged your duty to Allah".

its an old naration but not given much attention to by some of the earlier muslim generation who might have tried to control the adult lives of their children. i dont expect to...

even in my own generation, the percentage of retention of the muslim faith from one's parents is 77 per cent, and even then, i have a very different slant on religion and practise than my parents, and so i accept that my children may have it differently to me. i can only give them both the religious upbringing and also the same access to a high quality education that i had, and then leave it to go as it will.

as for marriage vs cohabiting, id much rather the former for my sons as well as my daughter. i wouldnt talk hellfire and brimstone, i would just say to them the prophetic saying that 'the best thing for two people who love each other is marriage'. (hadith Abu Dawud). but there are many atheist non religious mumsnetters who also prefer marriage to cohabitation for themselves, i do not know about for their children. happy about a non muslim man for my daughter? iv seen such marriages work in my own generation, and iv heard the quoting of scripture interpreted in a different way to before.

id hope that he wouldnt drink, because neither us her parents, nor her grandparents drank, and id hope he wouldnt feed pork to my grandchildren. a muslim man wouldnt denigrate the religion of his christian or jewish wife because there is still reverence for their holy figures, id hope that there would be mutual respect for different faith traditions.

DH would probably offer him alot of money to get circumcised grin, and and encourage him to Islam in the way Toula Portakolous's dad in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' does to her boyfriend to get baptised, "its your lucky day to be baptised in the Greek Orthodox Church..."

(my favourite line from the movie). failing that, we'd probably buy them a house next door to ours as a wedding gift!

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 11:59:30

handcream I know as much about it as anyone does from having read about it.

It does not happen in my community.

crescentmoon Tue 08-Oct-13 12:01:43

"Some are claiming they dont know anything about it (really!)"

why is that so hard to believe. should an ordinary lay christian be made to answer for any breaking of the law other christians do? i would never expect that, why cant you give us that same benefit of the doubt?

EldritchCleavage Tue 08-Oct-13 12:04:32

Oh, I think we all know the answer to that, crescent.

YouTheCat Tue 08-Oct-13 12:04:35

Handcream, are you a Christian? Do you accept responsibility for anything the Catholic church might have done wrong in the last 30years?

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 12:10:36

It does not happen in my community.

The reason you're being asked is because those asking you are flat out bigots, guilty of essentialising Islam.

When Amanda Hutton was convicted of the manslaughter of her child last week, the response on MN was not "Why don't white people know more about this?" Long before Hutton is viewed as "white", she's viewed as "an alcoholic", "a DV victim", "having PND" or, indeed, "a killer of children". No-one attempts to argue that we can learn from her case anything about what it is to be a white woman today, and no-one starts implying some sort of Test Act which says that there is one true response to the story, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a secret abuser. Oh, OK, the last: people who attempt to contextualise it will always clash with people who just see it has unmediated evil, but I don't think that each side in that conflict thinks the other has a chamber of horrors in their bedroom.

But when there's a story about Muslim family dynamics, it's immediately about Muslims. The most extreme cases (Shafelia Ahmed, say) are used as sticks to beat the entire Muslim community (or, more to the point, all the disparate Muslim communities, plural) as though every Muslim mother secretly wants to marry her child off in Pakistan or kill her in the process. Rather than it being seen as a case as far off the scale as the Amanda Hutton case, it's seen as somehow a metaphor, or something more concrete, for "how Muslims live today".

There are, of course, people who are nominally Muslim who also abuse their children. That's true in every community. Fred West had neighbours and friends, too. The gross racist libel comes when in the aftermath of accounts of abuse, the implication is made that "they" are all up to it really, and that the utterly abhorrent attitudes towards children, women or whatever the topic is are widely shared and implemented amongst "them".

Sure, as Crescentmoon outlines, lots of people would like their children and their grandchildren to follow their values. But to take from that the idea that they would enforce those values through abuse is crazy. There are, of course, people who do enforce them, who are crazy. But they are no more common, no more accepted and no more excused amongst the Muslim community than anywhere else.

What a surprise, another Muslim bashing thread.

None of the Muslims I know were forced into marriage. One lovely colleague stopped talking about her husband because ignoramuses assumed she'd been forced to marry him.

OP, you've been told a lot of times that forced marriage (and other child abuse issues) are not exclusive to Muslim communities. I do not believe that you care, because you're all about Muslim bashing.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 12:41:25

I am not anything at all, but it does seem that if anything is brought up like this people claim they dont know anything about it, start pointing fingers at other religions or claim it is racist.

Child marriage is completely unacceptable regardless of who you are. It just so happens it's an issue with some Muslims.

Just like the abuse in the Catholic Church where people pretended that its wasnt going on. Equally as disgusting.

If you really dont think these issues are going on, sex workers being brought in by Eastern European gangs, abuse by priests within the Catholic Church then we have no hope in fixing these issues

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 12:43:05

Its NOT Muslim bashing tbh. Its bashing CHILD MARRIAGES. Just because you dont know someone who has been forced into it doesnt mean it isnt going on!

YouTheCat Tue 08-Oct-13 12:49:23

But it isn't a Muslim issue. It's a cultural issue. Child marriages and forced marriages span quite a few different religions. It isn't a massive issue in Britain. It is an issue around the world.

Would you tar all Christians by the actions of the Westboro Baptist church because they are Christians? So why tar all Muslims because this might have happened in a very few extreme cases?

No one has said child marriages are a good thing. Have you even RTF?

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 12:50:28

Child marriage is completely unacceptable regardless of who you are. It just so happens it's an issue with some Muslims.

In which case, you'll be able to produce a case that's happened. All we need is one. Not "someone said they'd do it when asked by a journalist", but a real case involving real people, happening in this country.

Actually, a real case involving a British Muslim even happening overseas would be an interesting data point.

So far, the case that has been brought up by name, that of Karma Nirvana founder Jasvinder Sanghera and her sister, involves a Sikh family. Not Muslim at all. Why aren't you spitting equal venom against the Sikh community?

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 12:53:00

Child marriages do not happen in my community, I'd have noticed if my friends disappeared.

Child marriages are not a Muslim crime, it's rife in India amongst the Hindu community out in the rural villages, the Indian government has attempted to address it (half heartedly), I would suggest by what I have read, it is rife in poor rural third world countries.

EldritchCleavage Tue 08-Oct-13 12:54:00

Jasvinder Sanghera wasn't married off underage though, was she?
So no case at all.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:14:42

An example of a case of arguably forced marriage is [[ Bedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU & Anor [2013] EWHC 2350 (Fam)]]. The case is something of a car crash, with problems of exactly who has standing to plead what, but you can't help but think that the sixteen year old girl at the centre of the case is still in an appalling position.

However, the girl in question was 16 throughout (born October 1996). It's clearly a case of at least arguably forced marriage, and it's fairly obvious that the parents were intending, at least, to transport her to Pakistan and have her married there. You would have to question, pace crescentmoon and others, quite what the 500 attendees at the ceremony thought they were attending. But she was 16. There was a prohibited steps order in place, which is why the police attempted to have the ceremony ruled in contempt (the outcome of the case is deeply unsatisfactory). But this is not a case of child marriage per se, and although it's deeply troubling, it's noticeable that the parents waited until the girl was sixteen before proceeding. The problem here is not sketchy imams, etc, it's poorly drafted legislation on prohibited steps orders.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:15:18

*Jasvinder Sanghera wasn't married off underage though, was she?
So no case at all.*

True dat.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 13:20:16

Friday, the thing is, if the girl is not willing only the close family members will know about it, the family aren't going to advertise it.

When I got married there were 1,000 guests, I didn't know any it was in India, apparently we were all related hmm.

In this case unless the girl is screaming for help in public (which I doubt she would), there's no way of the guests knowing this is not a happy occasion.

Perhaps jail for a minimum term for all members of the family colluding in the coercion might be a more successful deterrent?

BlingBang Tue 08-Oct-13 17:00:19

Surely there is some form of coercion if like my friend, she was told whom she would be marrying from the age of 8. She was excited and went to Pakistan willingly at 17. Her mother left her to get on with it on her wedding night when she asked her not to leave her.

She wasn't a child and wasn't 'forced' (though wedding night seems dodgy'. But I'd say there is a lot of coercion and abuse here. Strangely, though now divorced she wants her child to marry a family member she approves.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 17:07:01

It extremely difficult to go against your family wishes at such a young age. If your family are looking for an arranged marriage for you or that you be married to someone double your age who do you flag this to if you dont want to do it.

Probably no one.

If culturally your family for generations have had child marriages/arranged marriages at 11 are you really going to fight it.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 17:09:05

Surely there is some form of coercion if like my friend, she was told

There is. And we can all see that a sixteen year old (or, indeed, a twenty year old) in that sort of situation is probably neither a free agent nor giving informed consent. But drafting legislation to deal with it is incredibly hard.

There comes a point where you have to accept that people are capable of giving consent on their own behalf. If a marriage is not a sham contracted for reasons of immigration status, which is a different issue, then it's best to assume that it's being freely entered into unless there is massive, massive evidence to the contrary. Getting courts involved in "is this wedding a good idea?" judgements risks immense unintended consequences.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 17:14:40

Friday is correct. Even if it is left to 16 is it really OK to not question the girl who is been taken to another country to get married to a man double her age whom she has never met.

Maybe we arent allow to 'judge'. It doesnt sit well with me tbh but I do understand how difficult it is to legislate.

78bunion Tue 08-Oct-13 17:18:05

First of all we need to equalise the law. C of E, Jewish, Catholic weddings are one thing - state and religious marriage all in one. Muslim marriages are not. This means some women think they are married with all the protection English law gives and instead find they are just religiously married so on divorce have fewer rights to property etc. If we made Muslim and Christian marriages treated equally under English law that would be a very good start.

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 08-Oct-13 17:25:44

handcream the OP on this thread is

Why are so many imams in the UK willing to force fourteen year old girls to marry against their wishes? Don't ordinary muslims know what's going on?

If you cannot see this is muslim bashing (sic) then there is no hope of the reasoned debate you purport to wanting.

Did you read the thread before posting?

I agree that any type of forced marriage is absolutely abhorrent, but beginning a debate with the type of inflammatory language demonstrated by the OP and others of her ilk is hateful and nasty, plain and simple.

Friday I doff my cap to you. That's some serious staying power you have got there grin

The trouble is that it is difficult to argue with bigoted idiots - they will wear you down and beat you with experience wink]

alemci Tue 08-Oct-13 17:28:53

hi crescent to you or silver, do you think this may happen over the generations smile I think it is a perfectly reasonable question.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 17:29:00

Have I mentioned Muslim's in my last post!! I mentioned forced marriage regardless of religious beliefs.

This is exactly why you cannot have a debate easily. People get defensive and start pointing fingers at other issues.

SilverApples Tue 08-Oct-13 17:32:34

I responded to your question at around 9 o'clock this morning, alemci.

alemci Tue 08-Oct-13 17:34:53

thanks for answering crescent I appreciate your answer. yes maybe my posts are a bit insensitive at times. smile

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 17:36:28

Even if it is left to 16 is it really OK to not question the girl who is been taken to another country to get married to a man double her age whom she has never met.

We're running around in circles.

We don't get to set marriage legislation in other countries. How they contract marriages is their problem.

There is existing legislation to deal with people being coerced into marriages abroad, with Prohibited Steps Orders the outcome. The legislation is fairly effective in dealing with removal from the country. The changes to the immigration legislation probably reduce the benefit to the perpetrators, too. So as things stand, someone can be prevented from being taken overseas to be married, or for any other purpose, up until the age of 21 and the marriage can be made ineffective for immigration purposes (both because of the "21 and £20k" rule, and more forcefully via the "primary purpose" test).

The case I cited is of a non-legal "marriage" conducted in the UK by someone who is not an agent of the state, which has no legal force or standing, where the participant in question is the subject of a prohibited steps order, but is also over 16 and claims to be a willing party. The issue of whether a prohibited steps order applies, or can be enforced, is a matter for the courts. But it's an incredibly invasive measure to injunct people to not hold a private ceremony which looks vaguely like a wedding, and the threshold for preventing that necessarily has to be high. It's perfectly legal for a sixteen year old to sleep with a man. If she refuses consent it's rape. No legal marriage was being contracted. All the rest is, to a great extent, window dressing.

We routinely hold thirteen year olds Gillick/Axon/Fraser competent to consent to, or refuse, potentially life-altering medical treatment, and we don't worry too much about checking that they're making those decisions in some sort of idealised bubble of perfect information, free from undesirable influences, mostly because we can't.

So I'm not sure what it is we want to protect people against. Being taken overseas for forced marriage? Prohibited Steps Order. Being married against their will in the UK? Plenty of legislation. Being slowly convinced over a period of years that they really want to do this, even though an external observer says it's bad for them? Well, we can stand around being outraged, but do we really want the courts intervening?

alemci Tue 08-Oct-13 17:38:49

thanks silversmile been mega busy today

TheGirlFromIpanema Tue 08-Oct-13 17:53:34

handcream my point is that you simply cannot open a conversation the way the OP has and then expect a reasoned debate.

I never said you mentioned muslims in your last post either. I questioned your earlier deliberately obtuse position of Its NOT Muslim bashing tbh. hmm




FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 18:08:58

Ipanema - These are reasonable questions. Many more people in the UK are asking the same questions. This issue is in the papers at the moment and is the subject of a tv programme to be aired tomorrow night.

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 18:13:52

I have realised that muslims are not one homogeneous mass in the UK, and that some advocate child forced marriage while others abhor it.

YouTheCat Tue 08-Oct-13 18:16:18

A very small 'some' as well. Very very small.

handcream Tue 08-Oct-13 18:17:14

Didnt know there was a documentary tomorrow. Still, some will come on saying whoever is the frame for investigation will have been 'picked on' and what about this, that and the other.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 18:19:16

If you had written "I have realised that Christians are not one homogenous mass in the UK, and that some advocate blowing up abortion clinics while others abhor it" how magnanimous do you think you sound? Did you seriously believe previously that child marriage was (a) prevalent or (b) approved of by anything other than the fringiest of fringe nutters?

78bunion Tue 08-Oct-13 19:06:17

I would certainly like to see a lot more of the muslims in the Uk who do not cover their head argue their points vocally - women in particular, that there is no requirement in Islam to use a headscarf at all and that women can have careers etc etc.. The UK is full of full time working muslim women who don't cover their heads but they never seem to get heard in public, plenty of them are feminists and want women's rights. We need to hear their voices an awful lot more.

YouTheCat Tue 08-Oct-13 19:07:40

What has that got to do with this? hmm

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 19:52:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 20:03:17

I would certainly like to see a lot more of the muslims in the Uk who do not cover their head argue their points vocally

Another Test Act. Why? You're essentialising: you're assuming that women who work and raise families and post on MN but happen to be Muslim are Muslim first and foremost, and should be concerned about all the ills of global Islam. Perhaps they're more interested in glass ceilings at work, or breast feeding provision, or nuclear disarmament, or getting funding for their local Sure Start centre, or getting the Tories back into (or back out of) office, or just spent all last year failing to get onto #gbbo. Why should they, just because they are (or were raised) Muslim be concerned about that particular issue?

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 20:09:17

Immigration has a lot of safe guards in place already, when I was getting married, I had an interview with an imigration official. It was done in the privacy of a seperate room, she was really lovely. I'm pretty sure if I'd expressed fears to her or been even a little upset or agitated she'd have helped me.

This was a long time ago, presumable the checks have become more strignent not less over the years.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 20:12:25

How on earth can anyone even tell from a computer screen which one of us covers their head? Or is sitting draped in a veil or is stark staring naked, why does sartorial choice even matter when entering into this discussion?

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 20:17:08

And now Muslim women without headscarves don't get heard?


And why should these women tell the women who choose to cover their heads that they shouldn't?

It's like islamophobe bingo here.

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 20:21:52

In my above post I was explaining that Mohammed is alleged to have married a child and consummated that marriage. This is used by lots of muslims around the world for justification of child marriage. That's why I asked the questions in the opening post.

Did Mohammed not really do this?

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 20:25:48

I don't know why my earlier post got deleted - the info is on Wikipedia.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 08-Oct-13 20:27:05

Fruitypops, the age of his wife is debated and in those times and in that place the age of marriage was not the same as it is here and now. She was past puberty.

If the marriage had been anytihng but normal then the enemies of the Prophet would have used it against him right then, but they never did because it was the way of those times it was normal.

You have not yet actually shown us where a single Muslim under age child has been forcibly married on this thread.

And Pixie Karma Nirvana founder is Sikh so her sister who committed suicide was Sikh, not Muslim.

YouTheCat Tue 08-Oct-13 20:29:02

I'd say it's because you link that to 'lots of Muslims around the world use that for justification' - which is hogwash.

Fuzzy, HOUSE!

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 20:41:48
FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 20:51:25
friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 21:05:24

It's like some sort of weird racist hinterland, where almost every trope that full-on racists use is being recycled dressed in Boden.

Could you explain, roughly, what the pronouncements of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force have to do with people going about their daily business in England? Do you think the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force are a major influence? A dangerous fifth column in Tower Hamlets? Why do you think British Muslims, born in Britain, should be held accountable for what happens in Yemen or Saudi Arabia, just because they share a nominal religion?

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 08-Oct-13 21:08:58

I've read it all now.

Muslim women who cover their heads shouldn't get to give their opinion - and by only letting certain muslim women speak this is somehow meant to free Muslim women from oppression.

What sort of logic is that?

The patient people on this thread who have posted so many wise and sensible comments - thank you.

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 21:09:36

friday - I was answering Cat's post. Read the previous page and it will become clear. It's not racist to answer a post.

YouTheCat Tue 08-Oct-13 21:09:41

Yes, hogwash. Your view that lots of Muslims use Mohammed's marriage as an excuse for child marriages, is bull.

And an article in the Guardian doesn't make anything a fact.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 21:17:58

It's not racist to answer a post.

It is if your response is "those Muslims are all up to no good, I know they are, look, here's a couple of accounts of the lunatic fringe in sub-Saharan African and amongst the Wahabbist hardcore, so it's just like that in Luton and Rochdale".

What is wrong with the following syllogism?

Gerry Adams was a terrorist.

Gerry Adams was a Catholic.

Therefore, many Christians are terrorists.

FruityPops Tue 08-Oct-13 21:25:04

friday - I repeat - I was answering Cat's post. Read her post and my responses if you can be bothered.

nennypops Tue 08-Oct-13 22:29:54

Oh, not the old one about Mohammed marrying a child. You do realise that in some countries in Europe the age of consent is 14, don't you? And that historically the UK's age of consent has been 12 and even considerably younger?

YouTheCat Tue 08-Oct-13 22:30:29

It's 12 in Spain, I think.

friday16 Tue 08-Oct-13 23:39:07

And that historically the UK's age of consent has been 12 and even considerably younger?

Richard II married a six year old. In 1396CE. A fact that people wanting to wave around the marriage to Aisha as criticism of Islam in 600CE conveniently forget. No one appears to think that the long list of underage marriages in the British Royal Family, of which Isabella of Valois is just the most egregious example, is evidence of a deep-rooted paedophilia in England. Catherine Howard may have been as young as 13 when she married Henry VIII: it didn't save her from being executed two years later, either. Isabella of Angoulême was 13 when she married King John, as was Eleanor of Provence when she married Henry III (and had children before she was sixteen, too). Edward II's wife was 12 when they married, Edward III's 14 (and had children almost immediately).

But, oddly, racists fixate on Aisha. I wonder why that is?

78bunion Wed 09-Oct-13 11:27:45

Many Muslim women don't cover up. The new Radio 4 presented who is muslim does not cover her head. Plenty of Muslim women think those who cover their head have got the Koran wrong and are not doing God's work which may well require women to support equality if you read the Koran correctly. We need all women to feel they can freely speak whatever their views.

(I would support a reduction in age of consent to 14 in the UK as long as the partner is within a few years of that but that's a separate topic for another thread.)

fuzzywuzzy Wed 09-Oct-13 12:01:47

I find it interesting all these non Muslim posters speaking on behalf of these 'many' Muslim women who feel those of us who cover have mis-read the Quran (that will be a five year education wasted for me then).

Interestingly in RL, we all tend to get along just fine without anyone casting aspersions on anyone else's grasp of pretty straight forward Arabic.

YouTheCat Wed 09-Oct-13 12:14:13

I don't think it's anyone's business whether a Muslim woman chooses to cover her head or not.

EldritchCleavage Wed 09-Oct-13 12:22:56

It is an issue we can have views on in a general way, which doesn't translate into have some entitlement to challenge any individual Muslim woman to justify her position, whatever it is, and require her to respond and explain.

friday16 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:47:00

It is an issue we can have views on in a general way

Indeed. What is unreasonable, however, is starting from the assumption that (somegroup) need ("us") to speak up for them, unless there's massive, massive evidence to believe that (somegroup) can't speak for themselves. See, for example, all the concern trolling over niqab, with people wringing their hands and saying that people can't possibly be wearing it of their own volition, and therefore need to be protected from whatever it is that is forcing them to do so.

It would be equally reasonable (or, as it is, unreasonable) to suggest that, say, some women wear short skirts because of pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and therefore need to be protected from their own "bad" decision-making caused by false consciousness. But oddly, white women in miniskirts tend to be assumed to have moral agency, and if criticised are criticised for making "wrong" decisions, while (largely) non-white women in veils tend to be infantilised and assumed to be in the thrall of their menfolk. Evidence for this tends to be, shall we say, thin.

slug Wed 09-Oct-13 12:53:00

I think the issue with Aisha's age is twofold

1. The early marriage itself isn't such an issue as there was a definite issue of protecting the weak involved in an early marriage. But she herself stated that she was 9 when she put away her dolls and started sleeping with Mohammed (at his instigation)

2. As the founder of a religion and by default the person who sets moral tone for the followers, unashamedly sleeping with a vulnerable 9 year old sets one hell of a precedent about when and if women are ever allowed to have a say in their own lives.

friday16 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:59:28

But she herself stated that she was 9

Given that the ages of the nobility who were intermarrying with English kings nine hundred years later aren't documented to a precision better than a five year window, you're placing an awful lot of faith in the literal precision of what's written in a text from 600CE. It's not exactly an uncontested topic.

YouTheCat Wed 09-Oct-13 13:05:49

Slug, it was over a thousand years ago - almost 2 thousand. Should Mohammed have thought 'oh wait a minute! This might not be socially acceptable in a few millennia.' How silly.

Mary, Jesus's mother, is supposed to have been about 11/12 when she had Jesus. So if you are looking at it from that respect, even God was at it.

Wannabestepfordwife Wed 09-Oct-13 13:30:20

Didn't Richard II marry Princess Isobel of France when she was 6?

slug Wed 09-Oct-13 13:33:49

<<sigh>. If you set yourself up to be the head of a religion then you have to expect your actions to be scrutinised. It's OK to look at your religious founder and say that part of their behaviour was less than ideal, they are human after all. (unless you are talking about Christianity of course) What is not so good is to blindly excuse their faults, especially when the net result of some of their actions is a belief within their followers that it's OK to treat half the population as permanant children, incapable of making decisions for themselves.

Child marriages without consumation are well known in many cultures and especialy in royalty where alliances are sealed with a marriage. Consumating these child marriages, however, is a completely different matter.

It's highly unlikey, given the state of human nutrition in the seventh century, that Aisha was menstruating by the time she was summoned to Mohammed's bed. Whatever the culture and whatever the times a child is still a child and consumating marriages with children has not been condoned in any human culture that I am aware of. An 11/12 year old is capable of bearing a child.

Isabelle of France may have been married at 7, but the church decreed, as they did for all dynastic early marriages that the marriage could not be consumated until she was 'of age' which at that time translated roughly as 12, though in practise meant as soon as she had had her first period.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Oct-13 13:46:38

one of the main reasons i want to learn arabic is to read the book 'Tahrir al Mara fi Asr al -Risala' which in translation is "The freedom of women during the age of the message". and so that i can teach this book to my daughter.

It was written by a great hadith scholar called Abdul Halim Abu Shaqa who set out to write a book to try and show modern women how women at the time of muhammad (pbuh) were very modest, homely, etc. when he began his research however, he was halfway through before he concluded that 7th century muslim women enjoyed far more rights than 20th century women in Saudi Arabia - where they are not even allowed to drive. He ended up writing a 6 volume work on women who were warriors, scholars, trades women, physicians, nurses, and also women involved in the formation of the first Islamic state, namely Medina.

This scholar went on to become one of the many critics of how Islam is taught to women in Saudi Arabia and his work is a classic to many scholars not just muslim feminists as it draws upon rigorously authentic hadith (as mentioned before he was a hadith scholar).

one of the most remarkable women of that time, but she is one of many, is Lady Aisha, the one always referred and reduced to 'that 9 year old girl', and the effect of only that fact being told about both her life and that of Muhammad (pbuh) so heavily skews the legacy of both of them.

she had an extraordinary role in the formation of early Islam and in question of succession. she was considered highly intelligent even as a young child, she went on to live and teach 2 generations after the dath of Muhammad (pbuh), and he even told his followers 'take half of your religion from Aisha'. She did not just fade into obscurity, or once she joined his house become invisible. Muhammad (pbuh) himself made sure she was educated, she is revered in sunni islam as an expert in poetry, medicine, she was deferred to on all kinds of religious issues not just 'personal religious matters'. even politics and justice. at the battle of the Camel sixty thousand male companions chose to fight with her against the Caliph, she inspires me on many issues. she was also someone who defended the rights of women in the muslim community and many would go to her for access to the prophet (pbuh).

from muhammad (pbuh), his first and only monogamous marriage that lasted over 2 decades was with an older widow, with which he had his only surviving daughters. after her, he married divorced women, widowed women, when the arabian culture of the time and until now throughout much of the muslim world is to shun those types of women for marriage in favour of young virgin women.

muhammad (pbuh) even married women with children and took care of them as a stepfather, to show an example. just as islamophobes focus on the age of Aisha, misogynistic muslim preachers focus on the fact she was the only one of the wives of muhammad (pbuh) who was not married before, and that is always culturally preferred. though logically much more should be made of the fact his most loving marriage was with the widow Khadija (rah).

friday16 Wed 09-Oct-13 13:48:05

Indeed, Wanna, as I pointed out upthread. Although it's unlikely it was consummated at that stage (or at all, in fact). Canon law tended to delay consummation until at least 12 (girls) or 14 (boys) and by the time Isobel was 12, Richard was dead.

Wannabestepfordwife Wed 09-Oct-13 13:52:57

I always agreed with the theory he was gay and he married her so he could delay sleeping with her

Sorry for the derail

crescentmoon Wed 09-Oct-13 13:54:09

as for her age, i always find it interesting that i find it interesting that not even the most backward low educated da'ee, or village imam, has ever argued for a return to the institution of slavery even though, to be honest, the Quran and the hadith whilst making lots of regulations about slavery,
and lots of sins that could only be forgiven by freeing slaves,
and that one could win the love of a supernatural invisible God by freeing slaves
or avert the wrath of a supernatural invisible God by freeing slaves

the Quran never actually forbids slavery. yet, every single muslim country has made it haram - though it took Britain and the western world to take the lead against it. and not taleban, not ayatollahs, not grand muftis, even say lets bring it back.

but when it comes to issues about bringing rights of muslim young women and girls forward to the 21st century, it is always 'we cant forbid this', even though, there are many things that are no longer done that were done in the past, and things we do now in the present that were not done now. to me it always shows the bias because as with so many things we could have been modern leaders on, its taken the West to lead on it as britain did with slavery in the 18th/19th century

fuzzywuzzy Wed 09-Oct-13 14:15:33

She was past the age of puberty when she went to live with the Prophet. I love how the posters getting their info via the infallible google are taking that as the gospel (hah).

We have always been taught that she had reached puberty when she went to live with the Prophet, given the time; almost 2000 years ago, the environment and type of diet and life expectancy it's likely.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 09-Oct-13 14:20:16

Taking a free man as a slave is forbidden in Islam.

Given all the expiations of sins entailing setting slaves free along with the above, Islamically it's very difficult to practice slavery.

handcream Wed 09-Oct-13 14:25:25

Can I bring this back on track. Do some on this thread believe that child marriage doesnt exist in this country and there is no proof that it has ever occured?

alemci Wed 09-Oct-13 14:31:38

You the Cat

where did you get the idea that Mary was only 11/12 when she had Jesus? I have never heard that. teenage mum maybe but not as young as that.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Oct-13 14:32:57

what i know about and is not uncommon amongst british muslims, is not child marriage, nobody takes that from the marriage of Aisha and Muhammad. but the preference still within muslim cultures to prefer non previously married people for previously married people, especially women. sometimes extremely markedly as in asian cultures or arab cultures. its part of the topsy turvy nature of muslims opposite islam the religion, alongside other things that are, quite frankly, hard to explain to non muslims because even we muslims struggle to understand where it went wrong with us.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Oct-13 14:48:21

Yemen and India are two countries known for the practise of child marriage of young girls, in both countries it is to marry girls off so as to have one less mouth to feed. but the inner reasons are different and cultural based, not religious.

In yemen where a campaign is on to raise marriage age to 18 dowries are given from the groom to the bride but also a monetary gift to the family of the bride, with all the issues about age. in India its the opposite, brides family have to give a dowry to the groom, so poor families marry their daughters off young in order to reduce the dowry they eventually have to pay, the longer they wait to get the girl married off the more they will have to pay the future in laws.

YouTheCat Wed 09-Oct-13 14:57:44

I didn't get the idea. I googled it and looked at a few different sources and just about all reckoned she'd be about 11/12 years old.

Does Slug think that Mohammed set out with some career plan to become the head of a major religion? That's a really feeble argument. You do realise this all happened nearly 2 millennia ago, don't you?

If Mohammed did, then Jesus must also have set about with the intent that he was going to begin a new religion.

Do any of the people refuting the idea that Jesus's mother could have been 11/12 actually understand how different a rather major factor like life expectancy was back then? An ordinary person wouldn't have lived past about 30/35 if they were lucky. So people started getting married and having children much much earlier because they didn't have the luxury of time that we have now. By 12 you would be a woman in society's eyes.

I am in no way condoning child marriages just pointing out how different things were such a long time ago.

78bunion Wed 09-Oct-13 15:01:03

Yemen used to have 18 as the minimum age for marriage - UK has 16 and then they abolished a minimum age entirely. Some people are trying to get it back to 18.

There are huge numbers of sexually active 13 - 15 year olds in the UK of course on every council estate and indeed many a rich area in the land.

crescentmoon Wed 09-Oct-13 15:08:05

i dont get hung up on the age because of the fact that it was the cultural norm 1400 years ago, as it was in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia until the late 19th/20th century. some of our female ancestors would have married at such ages. biblical sources put Mary as a young teen and Joseph as an almost elderly man, we still put kids in costumes and have them play joseph in the nativity, nobody calls him a pervert, or a paedophile.

our modern British civil law is subjective based on our interpretation of when a young person is old enough to make the decision to have sex/marry, in other modern western european countries they have different subjective interpretations. is there a consensus in modern europe on age of consent let alone marriage? would you call spanish people perverts, or French people perverts because they have a lower age of consent that the UK? in 2013 they still decide on the age of consent differently. that teacher who had an affair with the young girl, they fled to france as the age of consent there is 15.

alemci Wed 09-Oct-13 15:13:26

yes you cat had a look too. anywhere between 12-16. I just hadn't thought about it before.

78bunion Wed 09-Oct-13 15:15:08

I think most adults think there is a huge difference between sex with someone before the age of puberty and sex after. Whether you put the age at 14 or 16 may not be that relevant in my view and plenty of 14 year olds in the UK want to be and are sexually active even if their protective mothers and fathers are not very keen that that is so.

YouTheCat Wed 09-Oct-13 15:16:26

I must admit my comment about 'God being at it' was me being tongue in cheek.

But still you can't judge one religious figure but today's cultural norms and not another.

YouTheCat Wed 09-Oct-13 15:16:59

by not but

alemci Wed 09-Oct-13 15:19:09

not sure about Joseph being that old crescent. thought this link was interesting

YouTheCat Wed 09-Oct-13 15:32:58

Most girls from that time would have been married by age 12, according to Jewish custom.

peacefuloptimist Thu 10-Oct-13 06:25:45

Here we go again with all the crocodile tears. Alemci what a surprise to see you here. hmm

Well lets see here I see most people have all the most pertinent points. That most biblical scholars put Mary at age 11 when she gave birth to Jesus (pbuh) (dont even think about 16 thats just christians who want to whitewash the history of their own religion). Joseph in the earlier church was depicted in paintings as being an old age pensioner. Well how else would early christian leaders shake off the the accusation that he was the father of Jesus (pbuh). But since we are dredging up history from over a millenia ago and judging it with todays moral standards why dont we go further hmm.

Lets see Prophet Solomon according to the bible had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Now in those days Im sure concubine was not really a career move most would take so how do you think he acquired them. According to our day and age what would he be considered? Many of the Jewish prophets similarly had a harem full of concubines and many wives.

Prophet Lot PBUH, a pivotal prophet in both the Jewish and Christian faiths according to both their holy books had sex with his daughters (I dont know what age they are said to have been). And you want to point the finger at the Muslim faith for something that may or may not be true (its not in the Holy Quran and as far as I know the hadiths differ on exactly how old she was.

But lets go even further. Romeo the most famous romantic hero in English Literature. Rapist. Why? Well Juliet was only about 13/14 years old and you know in our day and age that would be illegal and abhorrent. You see where your stupid game playing gets everyone. Many British people don't even want to be judged by what their empire did 100 years ago and you want to make all Muslims take the blame for what happened 1400 years ago.

My aunt got married at 14 to a man more then 10 years older then her. 60 years down the line they are still happily married and had 7 kids. Now would I want that for my 14 year old daughter. No. Would I want to be married at 14. No. Did my aunt get any of her own daughters married at 14. No. But at that time, in that place there were little or no options for women besides marriage. My aunt did not like school and was not doing well so to guarantee her future my grandfather thought the better option was to marry her to a good person who would give her a stable and happy life and that was exactly the outcome. Im sure over 100 years ago people in the UK would have barely batted an eyelid to a 14/15 year old marrying a much older man but that definitely would not be the case today.

You need to stop being such arrogant, hateful, cultural imperialists and grow up and look at your own damn history before your start pointing fingers at a man who lived 1400 years ago.

YouTheCat Thu 10-Oct-13 07:11:29

Excellent post, Peaceful.

alemci Thu 10-Oct-13 09:33:43

Hi Peaceful

haven't spoken to you before.

Interesting post. I would say that this was a long time ago.

Do we want it to be happening now?

alemci Thu 10-Oct-13 09:37:48

To be fair Peaceful

I haven't said anything about the prophet or his wife if you look at my posts. All I stated was that I wasn't aware of the things that You Cat said about Mary and Joseph and tbh I don't think it is that important because we weren't there and we will never know.

Paintings aren't always accurate and they are just the painters spin on it.

Did you see the link I posted earlier?

I just don't think young girls under age should be forced into marriage if they don't want it or to be pressurised into having sex if they are not married whatever their culture

I think I have been tactful on here and fair.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 10-Oct-13 09:45:49

Alemci, so far there's been no proof that it is happening now in England amongst British Muslims. Which is the whole premise of this thread.

That's not to say its not happening anywhere in the world in all sorts of religions and cultures. There are massive on-going governmental campaigns trying to stop it.

Even in the UK, we have the 'let children be children' campaign to stop the overt commercialisation and sexualisation of children, the UK not being a Muslim state this is clearly not a Muslim scourge.

alemci Thu 10-Oct-13 09:50:53

I agree Fuzzy about the over sexualisation of children in our society and the pressure on teenagers.

A while ago I went to a Stop the Traffic fundraiser and it was shocking about how girls were treated as a commodity and one British girl had gone travelling and fallen prey to this situation.

SilverApples Thu 10-Oct-13 09:56:32

Did anyone watch Exposure: Forced to marry on ITV last night, at 10.35pm?

peacefuloptimist Thu 10-Oct-13 11:34:59

Oh really SilverApples shall we really go there.

NSPCC statistics on child sexual abuse October 2013

18,915 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2012/13.

In 2012/13 the police in England and Wales recorded:

5,156 offences of rape of a female child under 16

1,138 offences of rape of a male child under 16

4,171 offences of sexual assault on a female child under 13

1,267 offences of sexual assault on a male child under 13

6,634 offences of sexual activity involving a child under 16

176 offences of abuse of children through prostitution and pornography

373 offences of sexual grooming.

I think we have much bigger problems in the UK then 18 Imams who were theoretically willing to marry a 14 year old girl and thats assuming they fully understood what they were being asked as many Imams in the UK are foreign nationals/new immigrants so may not have even understood it. Smell your own s* before you complain of how bad someone elses stinks.

peacefuloptimist Thu 10-Oct-13 11:55:07

Look Alemci I apologise for targeting you specifically there are obviously worse offenders then you kicking about here but I just remember reading one of your posts on another one of these types of threads.

I just don't think young girls under age should be forced into marriage if they don't want it or to be pressurised into having sex if they are not married whatever their culture

After briefly reading through this thread I have to say I don't see anyone disagreeing with you. But lets deal with the root causes of it as I have already established and many others before me that this is not to do with anyones 'culture' as child marriage was not long ago prevalent here in Judeo-Christian European culture.

The root causes are not religion or culture they are poverty and lack of education. If I go back to the example in my own family, my aunt did not get any of her daughters married as teens (in fact two of them are middle-aged now and still not interested in marriage) because by that time the situation for women had markedly improved. They had access to a quality education they were able to work. In fact from my mothers generation to my generation the situation completely reversed with most of the young women getting married later on in life and that is all as a result of the fact that opportunities for women had vastly increased.

I watched a programme the other day where a Kenyan woman who was part of the Masai Mara tribe talked about how she had narrowly missed becoming a child bride. However she didnt blame her mother and father who got her bethrothed at age 5/6 to a much older man and were planning to get her married at 11. She explained on the show that they knew nothing else. Her mother had got married at that age all her own peers were getting married at that age. She explained that people were just not educated about the effects of child marriage and even though they could see the consequences for some of the young girls giving birth at such a young age they could not put two and two together and work out that it was because they were married so young before there bodies were physically mature. But she managed to persuade her parents to instead let her continue with her education and get married later on. In India, Yemen and Kenya where do you find child marriages occuring and amongst who? Amongst the poor, the uneducated, those living in deprived areas, villages where there is little access to education or jobs for men let alone women.

In these countries parents who take part in child marriages do not necessarily hate their children. On the contrary they may think they are doing the best thing for them. Until the main causes, such as lack of education and poverty, are addressed we will not be able to eradicate this problem.

SilverApples Thu 10-Oct-13 12:00:55

Wow, you are very aggressive for a peaceful optimist!
You are saying that we should look to our own issues and problems first, those that directly impact our own families and culture, and leave the rest alone?
That sounds very similar to all the reasons given by the NF, EDL and the anti-immigrant groups for not supporting 'others,' or bothering with issues affecting other countries such as Syria. We should spend our time and money fixing problems in our Anglo-Saxon communities?
What about the female British citizens of south Asian origin whose rights are being abused?
Where do they fit in your world view?

alemci Thu 10-Oct-13 12:17:32

thanks Peaceful smile

and what you are saying does make sense.

peacefuloptimist Thu 10-Oct-13 12:19:50

Your purpose and others of your ilk is not to help those who are suffering the consequences of child marriage. Its about cultural imperialism. Its about saying look how much better we are then them. Promoting and maintaining this us and them mentality is not going to protect British girls here of White/ Black/ Asian/ Chinese origin from being sexually abused. You want to help end child marriage? Put your money where your mouth is and go do something to support this charity

who are working to end child marriage wherever it occurs not just in South Asian communities. But if like most of your other predictable posts on threads such as this one you are just here to mouth off about how bad those mozlims are then I am going to be aggressive. To borrow a phrase from my christian cousins 'don't suffer fools gladly'.

SilverApples Thu 10-Oct-13 12:22:12

Have you read any of my posts specifically, or are you just up for polemic ranting?

peacefuloptimist Thu 10-Oct-13 12:24:25

No problem alemci and apologies again for targeting you earlier.

peacefuloptimist Thu 10-Oct-13 13:20:32

'To me the answer lies largely with education, so that the passive acceptance of unequality ends, and that girls are given alternative, real options for their futures.'

We seem to be saying the same thing SilverApples. I think I may have confused you with someone else who also has a food in the last part of their name. Sorry blush. That teaches me not to post without reading the whole thread.

crescentmoon Thu 10-Oct-13 13:51:17

Peace peacefuloptimist, ive found silverapples posts have been very thoughtful and nuanced throughout this thread. she makes the same points about access to education and and the ability to work for themselves as you have done. actually, its been such posts by her and friday16 that have made me feel more open to discuss issues here.

alemci i hadnt read your reply to my post on marriage, im glad you appreciated it. i read through that article from that link libertygospeltracts, its in the same style as those written by muslims questioning the historical age of Aisha. there are differences of opinion on it but even the widely touted age of 9 has never phased me, because it was probably the last thing i learnt about her after hearing of her achievements and exploits in the desert arab society she came from. whereas to most non muslims, the first and only thing they hear about Lady Aisha is her age, nothing else she did in her life. many muslims name their daughters after her and when they do so its because they hope that girl child will be as intelligent and high achieving in life as Lady Aisha was.

until last month the difference between consent/marriage age in Spain : age 13, and Malta: age 18, was 5 years, and they are both western european countries. but now spain has just increased it to 16, leaving Austria and Germany now as Europe's lowest age with 14. i hope that closing of the differences in min marriage/consent ages happens in other parts of the world also, but they will never be the same because of different cultural norms.

but actually, i didnt watch the programme, how was it then?

alemci Thu 10-Oct-13 15:49:33

without sounding like a walking cliche, I think we can all learn from each other and I think alot of societies problems are to do with girls and boys not being allowed to be that and being put under so much pressure to have sex when they are not emotionally mature enough and not adults, ITMS.

brettgirl2 Sun 13-Oct-13 09:50:48

This thread is shocking I think. Islamaphobia-bashing any religion-bashing getting in the way of discussion about forced marriage. I find the attitudes of those dismissive just shock .

A young woman (may be 29 or 15) is forced into marrying, often by being coerced/ occasionally threatened into going abroad. She has to marry, to not marry would mean being cut off from her family or in some cases violence (honour killings although rare happen). She usually will then against her will have to have sex with her husband. The young woman is seen as belonging to her in laws, it is very difficult to leave for the same reason she had to marry in the first place. It also happens to young men.

People on here say it doesn't happen in their circles (probably uneducated, poorly integrated people are less likely to be on mn). People say it is not just Muslims (again correct, it's cultural not religious, absolutely). It only happens to a very small minority true. Other bad things happen - true. However none of these mean there is not a problem.

To the people who don't believe it there are loads of books written by victims and its just awful sad . Forget about fruity's islamophobia and open your eyes.

I don't think anyone was saying there isn't a problem brettgirl, it's just that the OP was focused on forced marriage as a 'Muslims problem'. It's a societal problem.

I do know someone who was coerced into marriage - a vulnerable young Hindu woman. It's one of many shitty things her 'loving' family have done to her sad

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