“I have your nikah in my pocket”

Great god almighty – a new low for George Galloway. You wouldn’t think that possible, would you, but it is. Helen Pidd reports in the Guardian:

George Galloway has admitted ordering an intermediary in Pakistan to dig out the marriage certificate of his Labour rival in order to try to prove she had been 16, not 15, when she claims to have been forced into marriage.

Officials from his Respect party dispute that Naz Shah, Labour’s candidate in Bradford West, was forced into marriage, on the grounds that her mother was at the ceremony.

Who do they think does the forcing in forced marriage? The military? Strangers wearing masks? It’s the family that does the forcing. The fact that Mummy was at the wedding does not demonstrate the absence of force.

Shah and Galloway were at a campaign event Wednesday evening.

Galloway produced what he claimed was her nikah, her Islamic marriage certificate. Telling her she had “only a passing acquaintance with the truth”, Galloway said: “You claimed – and gullible journalists believed you – that you were subject to a forced marriage at the age of 15. But you were not 15, you were 16 and a half. I have your nikah in my pocket.”

So yaboosucks!

Is being forced into marriage at 16 and a half so dramatically less awful than being it at 15 that it’s worth digging up and gloating at? Being forced into marriage at any age is awful, and what kind of piece of shit do you have to be to try to minimize it?

The age difference mattered, he suggested, because it “slandered” the Pakistani community and played into “every stereotype”. He was cheered by a large contingent of the Bradford crowd and heckled by others.

Oh, right, that’s what counts, the reputation of “the Pakistani community” as opposed to the well-being of its individual members, even women. Yeah. By the same token, the reputation of “Thought Leaders” in the atheist movement is what counts, as opposed to the well-being of rape victims within that movement.

Asked whether Galloway disputed Shah’s claim to have been forced into a violent marriage as a teenager – be that at 15 or 16 and a half – and was repeatedly raped in that marriage, [Galloway’s spokesman Ron] McKay said: “In what sense was it a forced marriage? Her mother attended the marriage in 1990 as well as other family members and many witnesses did also, signing and giving fingerprints, so if it was forced presumably her mother and the others were part of that coercion?”

The mind boggles. It freezes into a lump of useless oatmeal. What does he mean “In what sense was it a forced marriage?” In every sense! Does he think it’s not a forced marriage unless there are strangers with machine guns present? Does he think he can successfully pretend to think it’s not a forced marriage unless there are strangers with machine guns present? Above all, why is Galloway hoping to win an election by belittling a woman’s forced marriage?

McKay said that if Shah’s first husband had been violent to her, “then as a British citizen in Pakistan she could have jumped on a plane and left him behind, although I do appreciate that is often extremely difficult. If he was violent to her here – I’m not aware when they came back to Britain – then she could have gone to the police, social services, an imam or whatever. I am not aware, are you, of any such report by her to anyone, here or there?”

But he said Respect was in contact with Shah’s first husband, who has “strongly denied any earlier nikah” or doing her “absolutely any harm”.

Oh well then – say no more. Case closed.

I look forward to thousands of blog posts complaining that I’ve smeared and defamed Ron McKay and George Galloway and Naz Shah’s first husband.


  1. Deepak Shetty says

    But you were not 15, you were 16 and a half. I have your nikah in my pocket.”
    What an asshole. Besides In places like India and Pakistan , it is ridiculously easy to forge anything from your birth certificate to your marriage certificate. Someone who is getting paid to get a document – he can make it say whatever he wants.

  2. Barb's Wire says


    …. not aware when they came back to Britain – then she could have gone to the police, social services, an imam or whatever. I am not aware, are you, of any such report by her to anyone, here or there?”

    Wow. This is identical to what the atheist slymepitters, MRAs and ggaters say about women who claim to have been raped, assaulted or threatened with death/rape/assault. They say to women,
    “If that happened, there would be a police report on record, right? Because you would have made one if you were really raped/assaulted/threatened. We need proof. No police report, no proof…. ergo, you are lying. ”
    So many parallels can be drawn between this situation and elements of the atheist community, showing the dirty tricks, flaunting of privilege, and the misogyny that are too prevalent.

  3. dmcclean says

    What the fuck? Is he trying to make the case that she was scamming the voters by telling them a trumped up story? I don’t even understand what he’s trying to do.

    Also, claiming that because family was there it couldn’t have been a forced marriage is beyond ridiculous.

  4. Blanche Quizno says

    Why, yes. A 16 1/2 year old CHILD can just “jump on a plane” and fly away. To where? With what money? Did she have her passport or ID? Sure, she’s technically a British citizen, but can she PROVE it? Often, abusers will confiscate their victims’ IDs. How could she even GET to the airport, since she no doubt needed a male relative escort accompanying her in order to leave the house??? What would she do once she arrived in Britain? Again, with what money? It is well known that abusive husbands keep their victim-wives captive by strictly restricting their access to money and other economic assets.

    So many questions…

  5. says

    If you want to be sick, read the comments thread here with a Galloway groupie called “neil” defending him:-


    I’m the “Rosie” there who it seems is secretly attracted to Galloway being the explanation for my finding him a disgusting piece of work. That’s an insult Galloway sometimes throws at women who criticise him.

    Helen Pidd

  6. Phillip Hallam-Baker says

    This is a spectacularly stupid attack because the legal age for marriage in Pakistan is 16. So of course a family that is forcing their daughter to marry at 15 is going to have to pay someone to make the documents appear legit.

    And as a rule of thumb, whenever someone suggests that it is an ‘insult’ to suggest that a government in that part of the world is corrupt in some way, everyone knows that the claim is absolutely true.

    In this particular case, all we have evidence of is the date the marriage was registered and the information given to the registrar. A father registering a marriage that he knows is illegal is not going to tell the truth. And if he does not know that the marriage is invalid, the registrar is going to tell him exactly how much ‘tea and sympathy’ it is going to take for him to make the necessary adjustments.

  7. says

    And for all this I still wouldn’t bet against him.

    He uses every dog whistle he can to stir up his base of angry disengaged young men who would be unlikely to vote if it wasn’t for a character like Galloway pandering to their prejudices.

    And on the other side you have the local Labour party threatening to use the Biraderi voting system* against Shah because Shah isn’t their approved candidate (ie: someone who will return the favour once in office).

    *a system that Labour is all to happy to take advantage of when its in their favour.

  8. says

    @ Danny Butts – yes, it’s depressing that this kind of thing gets cheers, as well as Labour disgracefully pandering to the Biraderi system not to mention the corrupt postal voting (which should be abolished except in cases of dire need).

    Galloay was supposed to break the Biraderi voting system by appealing to the voters as individuals and his followers. Salma Yaqoob was very good at galvinising the women voters. Bradford West was one ofthe most lively elections, with 1000s turning out to meetings. She then broke with him over his rape remarks vis-a-vis Julian Assange. I’m hoping (a) that the women who voted outwith the Biraderi system will vote against Galloway; (b) Yaqoob does a bit of public denunciation.

    Galloway is a vilely sectarian politician in Bradford yet in Scotland he warns against sectarianism of the Catholic/Prod sort. He is a total shit.

  9. johnthedrunkard says

    Well, he rants against Bush and Cheney, so there are Americans who STILL think Galloway is ‘progressive.’

    Most shocking and depressing is that this gobbet of slime has a constituency that elects, and re-elects him to office in a democratic government.

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