Nightmare week

This week I have been dealing with a number of really heart-wrenching cases. Apart from the asylum cases that need support, and desperate emails and calls from people living under Islamism who fear for their lives and want to flee, I am also working on a case of a young woman (under 18 and a British national) who has been sent back to North Africa by her family because she is disobedient. Her passport has been taken from her and she is in danger of forced marriage. Doesn’t it make you wonder how it is possible that her school or social services have not registered that a young girl is missing and not been heard of or seen for months!?

And just today, I was asked to help a woman whose 5 year old son has been abducted by her abusive husband and taken back to the Middle East. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how small he is, how scared he must be and how lost she must feel without her baby… She had gone to the police a number of times warning them of his intentions but did they listen?

When I say that people have to take precedence over religion and culture, it’s not just a slogan. It is about saving lives, protecting rights and treating people equally no matter what their background…

Why is that so hard to understand?


Forced Marriages Dishonour Britain

Julie Bindel has recently published an article on forced marriages in Standpoint magazine. In it she says:

Maryam Namazie, an Iranian feminist and spokesperson for One Law For All, which campaigns against Sharia, believes that forced marriage is one of the main problems for Muslim girls and women. “In a place like Afghanistan a majority of females are in prison for ‘moral’ crimes, including refusing to marry the man chosen by their families,” she says. “This is increasingly a problem for women and girls here in Britain, especially with the rise of Sharia courts, which validate and rubber-stamp forced marriages.”

Criminalising forced marriages won’t end the practice overnight, admits Namazie but, as other supporters of the change have argued, criminalising domestic violence did not end violence against women in the home, and drink-driving still leads to death on the road despite the penalties. “But it will be an important start in battling it and making clear what is intolerable in our society. And it will help to protect countless citizens.” [Read more…]