FGM in America: End cultural and religious based violence

FGM in America: End cultural and religious based violence

By Shirin Taber and Rickie Farnes, Middle East Women’s Leadership Network, in partnership with America Matters   Religious freedom — the right to practice your religion freely — is one of the greatest merits of the American experience. However, systematic abuses in the name of religion, committed daily against women, cut away at our universal rights and cannot be tolerated. A growing number of Islamists and male-centric communities inside the U.S. treat women as commodities for control and reproduction. Girls are taught that female genital mutilation (FGM) is a right…

State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

State of Neglect: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse in Pakistan

By Ammara Mustafa  This is a cross-post from Daily Times   Why does the State not take it upon itself to pursue cases of sexual assault? Does the fault lie in the judicial system or is it a deeper malaise? A child is full of curiosity, wonder and excitement when he or she opens their eyes into this new and alien world. A child who learns to walk by holding their parents’ hands and then later takes their first steps towards formal learning in educational institutions is a vulnerable being…

Muslim Man’s Marriage Manual

Muslim Man’s Marriage Manual

  By Jimmy Bangash   Crush her spirit Break her soul Teach this woman her new role   Curb her speech Teach her her worth Cooking cleaning birth and birth   Birth and birth and birth and birth Cooking cleaning birth and birth   Claim her children Quote 4:34 Keep her gaze upon the floor   Keep her fearing of Talaq This is how you make your mark   Keep her locked Within your home And all your antics are unknown   If she cries Call her a whore Sow…

We must punish those guilty of Female Genital Mutilation

We must punish those guilty of Female Genital Mutilation

By Shazia Hobbs   If you are unaware of what Female Genital Mutilation is, I envy you. Ignorance is bliss after all and I wish I lived in a word where FGM didn’t exist. Unfortunately The World Health Organisation website states:   More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated’ and More than 3 million girls are estimated to be at risk from FGM, annually.   UNICEF’s website states that out of…

It’s Not Ok

It’s Not Ok

By Shazia Hobbs   Writer Shazia Hobbs was invited to Cleveland Police HQ, in Middlesborough, to speak at a conference titled ‘It’s Not OK’. The event was about breaking the silence on sexual violence and how to better protect victims. Shazia was representing the Halo Project Charity, an organisation that supports victims of honour-based violence, forced marriages and FGM  Here’s what she had to say on the subject.   – – –   I had known for a few months that I was going to be speaking at the ‘It’s Not OK’ event…

Some of my best friends are Jewish, and other confessions of an ex-Muslim

Some of my best friends are Jewish, and other confessions of an ex-Muslim

By Yasmine   One of my earliest memories is of being bound to my bed as the soles of my feet were whipped. At five or six years old, this was my punishment for not correctly memorising surahs, chapters, from the Quran, or for missing one of the daily prayers. Lying on my bed, in the room that I shared with my sister, I would feebly struggle to free my feet from the skipping rope that bound them. But it was pointless. My strength was no match for the man…

No more silence on the abuse of children

No more silence on the abuse of children

By Shazia Hobbs   Where is the hashtag in solidarity for the Pakistani and Kashmiri children being raped here in the UK? I say Pakistani and Kashmiri because they are not necessarily the same — not all Pakistanis are from Kashmir and child rape occurs in both communities. You only need to follow Pakistani journalists, the ones who are living in Pakistan, on social media to hear of the horrors involving child rape in that country. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that importing huge numbers of people…

Female Genital Mutilation: Pakistan’s well-kept secret

Female Genital Mutilation: Pakistan’s well-kept secret

By Saima Baig   (This is a cross-post from The Nation)   On May 5, Nigeria took the historical step of outlawing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and its outgoing President, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the ban as one of his last acts before leaving office. According to the UN, one quarter of Nigerian women and girls have been subjected to FGM, a vile and misogynistic practice that creates many health issues for women. Globally more than 125 million girls and women are affected by this practice, which was banned by the…