Gina Khan knows the horrors of polygamy. Her mother was married off at 15 and only when her father took his new bride to the other side of Pakistan did Gina's mother discover that he already had another wife and five children. Later he married a third woman, but when Gina's parents came to Britain, her mother made him divorce the third wife: "She knew that there was a law in this country that protected her. He never did it again."
Gina's mother was traumatised, though, and would burst into tears at the recollection. But the family brush with polygamy doesn't stop there. Gina's sister suffered the same fate and ended up being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. And Gina, when happily married to a Pakistani man, had to endure him being forced by his family to take a second wife: his 16-year-old cousin. With reluctance, she divorced him.
I interviewed Gina for The Times a year ago, and she was determined to highlight the plight of Muslim women living in an utterly male-dominated community. She has had to endure persecution, including a brick through her window and threatening phone calls. But she won't give up. "We are in the 21st century; we're not in the 7th century." Yet, even though polygamy is illegal here, the Government still pays extra benefits to men with more than one wife, as long as the marriage was conducted in a country where polygamy is allowed. When John Hutton was Work and Pensions Secretary, he demanded a review: the conclusion, last December, was that it should remain.
Why, when ministers claim to be trying to empower Muslim women, do they support a barbaric tradition that is against women's interests and against the law? The DWP tries to play down the number of people able to claim such benefits, but its guidance still talks about "valid polygamous marriages". How can a polygamous marriage be valid in any circumstances here? This is just one example of Muslim women being denied the same rights as other women, in the name of respecting different faiths. The exaggerated attempt to embrace "diversity", exemplified by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is disastrous not just for social cohesion, but for many members of the Muslim community too, most of them female.
It is one thing to respect Muslims' need for halal butchery or for Sharia-compliant mortgages: these are genuine religious differences that harm nobody. But polygamy, forced marriages and (dis)honour violence are practices more cultural than religious. They are rooted in the culture of South Asian communities, often deeply rural, and have no place in modern Britain. They do not deserve respect or even toleration.
Yet still there are schools that refuse to put up posters giving warning of the dangers of forced marriages, according to a recent report by the Centre for Social Cohesion. Shazia Qayum, team leader at Karma Nirvana, a refuge in Derby, claims: "We approached schools to get posters up that let children know that there was help available. This was just before the holidays, which is the most critical time, because this is when girls get taken off to Pakistan or Bangladesh to be married. Unfortunately, none of the schools would let us put them up because they said it would offend the parents."
And still there is often collusion within the Asian community to prevent women running away from forced marriages. Taxi drivers taking battered women to refuges will sometimes report their whereabouts to their abusive husbands. John Paton, manager of the Lancashire Family Mediation Service, says: "It's extremely difficult for an Asian woman to go to a community worker or an agency where she knows that there are potentially people there who will report back to her family what she has said."
There have even been complaints about local councillors intimidating Asian women's groups. As the chair of a women's project, who wants to remain anonymous for her own safety, explains: "We have a lot of pressure from the local councillors in Bradford; they are the bad ones, because they abuse their power by trying to get details on who is staying with us and what they are doing. They give us a hard time, until we have to complain to the police and they back off. They are dominant males who are trying to bully us." Unfortunately, Britain's Asian community is full of dominant males, and unless we work actively to resist them, Asian women will continue to be bullied. Giving them the "choice" of using Sharia, when such a choice is likely to be forced on them by their husbands, fathers or brothers, is no help at all.
You don't just have to be concerned about women's safety to be alarmed. According to Nazir Afzal, the Crown Prosecution Service's lead on such matters: "If you had a map of the UK showing the location of Islamist groups - or terrorist cells - and you had another map showing the incidence of honour-based violence and you overlaid them, you would find that they were a mirror; they would be almost identical. It could be that this is simply because this is where South Asians live or it could suggest there is a strong link between these two attitudes." So we should all be concerned that life in Britain can be miserable for South Asian women. They are at least three times more likely to kill themselves than white women of the same age. We should not be encouraging them to use Sharia courts run exclusively by men, even for civil matters. Nor should we be worried about offending cultural sensitivities by standing up for their rights. We should be telling their menfolk that the traditions of rural Pakistan, Bangladesh and India are unacceptable enough over there. They are completely intolerable in this free country.
A good pre-nup can now stop predatory divorce claims in Britain
Husbands one, two and three have already netted her 18 million pounds but Susan Crossley's efforts to secure a slice of her fourth husband's œ45 million fortune hit the buffers last night. On the eve of a keenly awaited court hearing, Mrs Crossley, 50, abandoned her claim on the fortune of her estranged husband, the property developer Stuart Crossley, 62. She had signed a prenuptial contract originally, saying that she would not claim a penny if the marriage, which only lasted 14 months, broke up. Hours before today's High Court hearing at which Mrs Crossley intended to pursue her claim, her lawyers announced that she had dropped it and will walk away with nothing. The decision is a boost to the status of prenuptial agreements, which lawyers had predicted would be certain to be upheld by the courts in her case.
Last night her solicitor, Mark Harper, of the London law firm Withers, said: "Mrs Crossley has abandoned her claims." Privately Mrs Crossley has accepted that she stood no chance after a Court of Appeal ruling before Christmas in which judges made clear their view that the prenuptial agreement was valid. Mrs Crossley, whose previous husbands were Kevin Nicholson, heir to the Kwik Save fortune; Peter Lilley, adopted son of Thomas Lilley, chief of Lilley and Skinner shoes; and the racing magnate Robert Sangster, had tried to argue that she was entitled to half the share of Mr Crossley's wealth because, she claimed, he had not disclosed every aspect of his assets.
She maintained that the prenuptial agreement was invalid because he failed to tell her about "tens of millions" he had in offshore accounts. But in a ground-breaking ruling in December, three Court of Appeal judges dismissed her challenge to a judge's ruling that the "prenup" should first be evaluated before looking at any further claim she might have. Mrs Crossley had argued that this denied her access to the courts.
Her lawyers had described the streamlined one-day hearing to look first at the "prenup" as a "knockout blow" because it meant that her claim for a share of her husband's wealth would probably be thrown out. Lord Justice Thorpe, who made the decision with Lords Justices Keene and Wall, said that judges had a duty to shorten the trial process where "very rich people are demanding full scale trials" and were straining the courts' overstretched capacity. At the time Mr Harper said that the ruling was "a significant step forward for prenuptial agreements" and Mr Crossley said: "This is a fair decision. I am upset that our marriage failed. Sadly, my wife is a career divorcee." Alex Carruthers, a family lawyer with the London firm Hughes Fowler Carruthers, said that in future judges would be likely to be "more forthright in upholding prenuptial contracts, if the circumstances are right".
Mr Crossley had met his future wife in the summer of 2005 and they were married in early 2006. He had four children, Mrs Crossley had three, one by each of her previous marriages. By March 2007 the Crossleys had separated and in August she filed for divorce.
Lord Justice Thorpe, giving judgment in December, said that before they married they employed "highly experienced lawyers" to write their "pre-nup", which allowed them to walk away after a divorce with what they had taken into the marriage. "This seems to me to be an entirely appropriate step for the parties to take."
Horrors: Alleged 'Islamophobia' on the Rise in Holland
Post below lifted from Jammie Wearer. See the original for links
More garbage from purported human rights watchdogs, courtesy of the terror lovers at the Associated Press.
Islamophobia has increased dramatically in the Netherlands following recent terrorist attacks in Europe, a human rights watchdog warned Tuesday, with Muslims the subject of stereotyping, stigmatization and frequent racist violence.We have ourselves a bit of a dichotomy here, folks. So we have recent terror attacks by a certain unnamed group, but it causes stereotyping of Muslims.
Hmm. Maybe the fact it was Muslims terrorists perpetrating the terrorists acts has a direct correlation to the alleged stereotyping?
Seems pretty clear to me.
In a harshly worded report, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance said even Dutch politicians have resorted to derogatory remarks about Muslims in recent years, and that racist discourse has remained "as a rule" unchallenged by mainstream political parties.Seems quite rational to me for the Dutch to have a fear of such radicalism when one of their own is murdered in the streets for expressing his beliefs.
The report comes as the Netherlands is embroiled in a debate on what some Dutch politicians call an "Islamization" of the country, which has traditionally welcomed immigrants but put little pressure on them to embrace Western values.
Some in the Netherlands say the country's multiculturalism and tolerance have provided a breeding ground for Islamic radicalism. Fears of such radicalism crystallized after the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh for his movie "Submission," a fictional study of abused Muslim women with scenes of near-naked women with Quranic texts engraved on their flesh.
Talk about living in denial.
Read the rest
The "religion of peace" in Australia
'Terror plot to kill 1000'
The leader of an alleged home-grown Muslim terrorist group talked of an attack that would kill 1000 people, a Melbourne terror trial heard today. Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 47, said that in order to make the Government withdraw Australian troops from Iraq a large-scale operation was needed.
Prosecutor Richard Maidment SC said that Mr Benbrika, in conversation with another member of the terror group, said an attack was needed that "would make the Government sit up and take notice". "They were intending something big," Mr Maidment told the jury in his opening statement. "To cause maximum damage. To cause the death of a thousand.... by use of a bomb."
The group of Melbourne men bent on violent Jihad planned terrorist attacks on football games or train stations to maximise deaths, the jury was told. And the director and leader of the alleged terrorist group in Melbourne gave them permission to kill women, children and the elderly, the court heard.
The prosecutor said that according to Mr Benbrika Australia was a country at war and used the term 'Kuffur' to describe infidels who did not believe in violent Jihad. Mr Maidment said that Mr Benbrika believed that it was permissable in pursuit of violent Jihad to kill and steal from the Kuffur. "Their blood and money is fair game," Mr Maidment said.
In his opening of the Crown case against 12 men accused of a number of terrorist offences, Mr Maidment said the group was prepared to launch an attack overseas but Australia was the preferred target. He told the jury much of the evidence they would hear was contained in recordings of intercepted telephone conversations and from hidden listening devices.
From these conversations it was clear, he said, that the accused became concerned that their conduct was being monitored by authorities. They used a number of conversational, security and anti-surveillance tactics to try and conceal their activities. Mr Benbrika used at least 10 different mobile phones and eight of those were registered in false names and addresses. Another accused, Aimen Joud, 23, had 13 different mobile phones , 12 of them in false names and registered at false addresses.
Mr Maidment said Mr Benbrika's concerns that their activities were being monitored by ASIO and police played "a not insignificant role" in slowing the group's activities and may have stopped them carrying out a terrorist attack. The prosecutor said that although Mr Benbrika was the leader others in the group were not "shrinking violets". They would argue and make their points of view quite clear to Mr Benbrika. "They should feel comfortable about the killing of innocent citizens," prosecutor Richard Maidment SC, told the Supreme Court.
He said that the group's leader, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, who was also known as Sheik Abu Bakr, used the term Kuffar to describe infidels who did not believe in Allah or subscribe to violent Jihad. According to Mr Benbrika the term 'Jihad' had only one meaning in the Koran and that was fighting the Kuffar. Mr Maidment said that in a secretly taped conversation another accused, Abdullah Merhi, asked Mr Benbrika if killing their intended victims would be pleasing to Allah. Mr Benbrika replied:"You are pleasing the Almighty".
On trial are 12 Muslim men, accused of a number of terrorist offences including fostering or preparing an attack involving the use of explosives or weapons.... The prosecutor said in one secretly recorded conversation between Mr Benbrika and another accused, Abdullah Merhi, Mr Benbrika said they were planning something big. In the conversation, Mr Benbrika says they are not talking about "one or two or three" deaths. Mr Merhi says "like Spain?". Mr Maidment said it was the the Crown case that Mr Merhi was referring to the terrorist attacks in Spain in 2004 where 191 people were killed and 2000 were injured.
Mr Maidment said Mr Benbrika was also heard in a conversation saying Osama bin Laden was a "great man" and praising al-Qaida. The prosecutor warned the jury that Islam was not on trial and Mr Benbrika's views did not reflect the true views of Muslims or of any other religious group. An undercover operative attempted to infiltrate the group, Mr Maidment said in his opening of the Crown case, and had a meeting with Mr Benbrika where ammonium nitrate was discussed. The operative suggested that 250kg of ammonium nitrate could blow up a large building and Mr Benbrika asked the operative if he could get hold of 500kg for him.
Mr Maidment told the jury videos, CD's and other material found in the homes of some of the accused gave a strong clue about the "glue" that held the group together. It was pro-violent Jihad and murder, praised the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and provided "a revealing window into the kind of matters that interested the accused", he said.
On trial before Justice Bernard Bongiorno are: Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 47, of Dallas, Shane Kent, 31, Meadow Heights, Majed Raad, 23, Coburg, Abdullah Merhi, 22, Fawkner, Aimen Joud, 23, Hoppers Crossing, Ahmed Raad, 24, Fawkner, Fadl Sayadi, 28, Coburg, Ezzit Raad, 26, Preston, Hany Taha, 33, Hadfield, Shoue Hammoud, 28, Hadfield, Bassam Raad, 26, Brunswick and Amer Haddara, 28, Yarraville. The charges include intentionally being members of a terrorist organisation involved in the fostering or preparation of a terrorist act.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.