The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict which took place at ExCel London has just ended this afternoon. A silent protest at the Summit, jointly organised by Komola Collective and the ICSF, highlighted the plight of the silenced birangona women, whose stories could not be shared in the official programme of the “Summit” on sexual violence in London. They posed this single question as the fulcrum of their silent protest:
Where Are Bangladesh’s Rape Survivors At This Summit?
Silent demand for an answer to an obvious question
In the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, more than 200,000 women and girls were systematically raped and tortured by the Pakistani Army and their local collaborators as part of the Pakistani Army’s war strategy. They are the Birangona Women. These women were then ignored by a society where rape is considered to be a source of shame for the victims. So the plight of these women goes untold.
This news is the top story of the moment with coverage in all newspapers leading with the Telegraph.
The most eye-opening aspect of the story is that this is not a takeover by hardline nutters, such as the Hiz-ut-Tahrir. This has been shown to be a strategy by those fluffy, harmless “community activists” from the Muslim Council of Britain. Using stealth tactics and intimidation to force out quality non-Muslim staff and bringing in “experts” such as Ibrahim Hewett, chairman of Interpal, to teach students about the Islamic obligation to stone adulterers and to severely punish fornicators and those who practice the “grave sin” of sodomy.
One school on the list has confirmed that it had been targeted. In a message to parents, Adderley said several head teachers had informed the authorities of “malicious and targeted campaigns to remove them” and that attempts have been made “to destabilise the school by a very small but well organised group of individuals”.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
In January, a report by the nondenominational Christian nonprofit organization Open Doors documented the 10 most oppressive countries for Christians; nine were Muslim-majority states noted for Islamic extremism, and the 10th was North Korea. These tyrannical regimes uphold archaic blasphemy and defamation-of-religion laws under the guise of protecting religious expression. In truth, these measures amount to systematic repression of non-Islamic groups.
Last year in Saudi Arabia, two men were prosecuted for the “crime” of converting a woman to Christianity and helping her flee the Islamic kingdom. According to the Saudi Gazette, one of the men, a Lebanese, was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes, and the other man, a Saudi, was sentenced to two years and 200 lashes. Those are relatively mild sentences in Saudi Arabia, where conversion to another religion is punishable by death.
Marwa has a missive directed at those worthy “anti-Western Imperialists” and so called “anti-Islamophobia” merchants who intentionally occlude the issues of Muslim women and minorities in Muslim-majority societies and countries which they have never lived in (and never will). The treatment of Muslim women and gays in Muslim societies, Arab imperialism and trenchant racism directed at non-Arabs are inconvenient facts which do not fit into the, essentially, racist and reductionist point of view of the “white wolf who cried Islamophobia”.
There’s a bee in my bonnet. Let’s talk about the racism of the white wolf who cried Islamophobia.
I’m tired of a certain faction of Western liberals, especially white guys, Westsplaining about how anti-Muslim bigotry and Western colonialism and imperialism and international geopolitics provide *essential context* for understanding the sources of Muslim problems, which don’t come from a vacuum, how there are striking *parallels* between liberal critique of Islam and right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry.
Greetings and salutations for Eid ul Adha 2013.
Join us in celebrating the day when, approximately 6,000 years ago, some desert patriarch misheard the voices in his head commanding him to slaughter his eldest son. He ended up inadvertently killing his favourite goat and, unluckily for four-legged cloven-hoofed animals, the anniversary of which is repeated to this day.
May your year be filled with love, resilience and tolerance and spare a thought for the brutal killing of animals by ritual slaughter.
From the Huffington Post:
A Muslim free school accused of enforcing hardline Islamic practice has closed on the first day of an Ofsted inspection.
Following the sudden announcement, Michael Gove’s free school revolution was branded a “minefield” by secular campaigners, who said the system was being “exploited” by religious groups.
The primary and secondary Al-Madinah school in Derby said it had closed because of “a health and safety issue”.
The Department for Education said it too was investigating the school, which opened in September 2012 under the government’s flagship free schools policy.
According to the BBC, Ofsted’s findings were “so damning” the school was closed immediately.
The BBC report does not elaborate on those ‘damning findings’:
The BBC understands Ofsted’s findings were so damning that the acting head of Al-Madinah, in Derby, had little choice but to shut it down immediately.
Derby Muslim free school (photo: mirror.co.uk)
A friend tells me that about a year ago his sister was considering sending her daughter (his niece) to a state-funded Islamic Free school in Derby. So he decided to visit the school in order to get an idea of what it was like. His visit lasted 20 minutes and when he got back he told his sister not to send her daughter there nor to consider it as a viable option ever again. That school is now in the national headlines for forcing non-Muslim female teachers to wear hijab and treating female pupils as second-rate, making them sit at the back of the class, at the back of buses and made to queue behind boys on day trips.
He says: “essentially they are preparing Muslim women to accept their second class status and become door mats for their future husbands. These are the same women that will grow up to claim the niqab is their choice of clothing that ‘liberates’ them”.
This is a cross-post of an article by Sumaya Ahmed Rafique, originally written for Hermanas magazine. (Hat tip: Isa in the comments)
Muslim communities around the world face many challenges, from both within as well as outside sources. Certain issues, such as poverty and substance abuse, are widespread amongst all races and religions. The Muslim community, however, also has problems unique to itself.
One particular phenomenon has come to be known as that of “marriage fraud” – a problem found in both the West and the Muslim world, although its occurrence has been more widely documented in the West. Most cases of “marriage fraud” are recorded to take place in certain areas of America, Canada, and the UK, although there is evidence that it also occurs in other Western and Arab countries.
Hugo Schmidt, occassional contributor to this blog, has his first piece published in Standpoint. And very good it is too.
The death of socialism has been like the fall of some rainforest giant, leaving a space for lesser growths. For most of the 20th century socialism — the government control of the economy — was the aim of most left-wing movements, no matter their disagreements about its form or the means to achieve it. With socialism discredited by its real practice and the success of capitalism, other movements, some of which would have once been anathema to left-wingers, have filled the ideological space. Where Marxism once promised industrial abundance, environmentalism condemns abundance as evil. Whereas once it was hoped that all divisions of race, nation and creed could be superseded by universal cosmopolitanism, identity politics proclaims that men are the inescapable product of their background and it is wrong to expect them to abandon it.
Two more installments from that age-old irrational obsession: ‘Blame the Jews’ for all that goes wrong in the Muslim world. The only mandatory rule is that no evidence will be required.
Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed, who else, the Jews for ousting the Muslim Brotherhood.
Turkey’s prime minister on Tuesday accused Israel of being behind the ouster of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, offering as the only evidence for his claim a statement by a Jewish French intellectual during a meeting with an Israeli official.
The Egyptian Cabinet rejected Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement as baseless and “bewildering,” saying its patience was running low with Turkey, one of the biggest critics of the July 3 military coup.
Israel said the claim wasn’t worth comment.