Vilification of Faryal Makhdoom confirms outdated attitudes towards marriage break ups in South Asian communities

Vilification of Faryal Makhdoom confirms outdated attitudes towards marriage break ups in South Asian communities

By Aisha Ali Khan This is a cross-post The announcement by Amir Khan on Twitter that his marriage was over was shocking enough. But then he followed it up with a series of even more bizarre, disturbing and downright scandalous tweets in which he accused his now estranged wife  Faryal Makhdoom of not only being a gold digger, but also of cheating on him with a fellow boxer, Anthony Joshua. Khan’s last tweet reads: “Mans (sic) like (Anthony) Joshua can have my left overs” Calling the mother of your child ‘my…

Why Aren’t Women Taking Control of Their Lives?

Why Aren’t Women Taking Control of Their Lives?

By Faiza Yousaf The way I started living life changed a lot post-divorce. Ironically, I gained freedom in more ways than one. Other than the most obvious — freedom from a bad marriage — I also started living life in a way I should have a long time ago. The pivotal moment came for me when I decided I wanted to travel more and secondly undertake some aid work. Like most people, I fancied a partner in crime so waited around to see who would be free to join me….

The Mystery Woman

The Mystery Woman

By Jimmy Bangash   There was this time when I was younger and lived at home. I think I was 12 or 13 or 14, or thereabouts. Dad brought this woman home. She came to live with us for a while. She was from Pakistan, about my mum’s age, and spoke the same language. I didn’t understand why she came to live with us so I asked dad and he said she was there to help mum with the house work and he would be paying her. We were a…

From West to East

From West to East

By Jimmy Bangash   For honour for glory! Amidst Scottish highlands Kilts and the thistle Adorn this brave band   For honour for glory! We strap on our swords Our archers are ready Our steeds battle worn   For Kingdom and Country We give forth our sons Their spears are levelled Their futures undone   Our battle horn sounds The steeds gallop forth Arrows fly passed us And sing to the north   Spears pierce throats Blood curdling screams Seconds turn durée For hours it seems   For honour for…

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

By Iram Ramzan This is a cross-post from Integration Hub   A much-awaited report which contains no big surprises received reactions that were entirely predictable. From segregation and misogyny, to the child grooming gangs and Sharia councils, Dame Louise Casey’s lengthy, evidence-based report pulls no punches. Towns and cities with high Muslim populations, such as Oldham, Rochdale, Blackburn and Bradford are mentioned as places of concern. Some of them are areas with large numbers of people who came from Pakistani-administered Kashmir, particularly the rural region of Mirpur. They came to the former…

Of women and girls

Of women and girls

By Arshia Malik   There is no end to the hypocrisy of Muslims. On the one hand, every time, a daughter is born, the only thing that looms large in the minds of the subcontinental Muslims is the daughter’s marriage. From birth onwards, they tend to see the female offspring as somebody to shove off the minute she is of the ”proper marriageable age” which can be anywhere from 15 to the ‘old maid’ 28. At every waking hour the talk around the home is centered around the ”dowry” they…

The practice of shunning and its consequences

The practice of shunning and its consequences

By Dr Savin Bapir-Tardy   Humans are most commonly considered to be social beings by nature. This makes an individual’s social life critical in their mental well-being. In fact, an individual’s survival depends on having strong long-lasting relationships, based on mutual trust. Taking into account the importance of our social life, it would be obvious to state that when this is taken away, it can have harmful effects on an individuals’ mental wellbeing. This need is often used by communities, their leaders to be more specific, to ensure that everyone…

Women like Qandeel Baloch must not die in vain

Women like Qandeel Baloch must not die in vain

By Iram Ramzan   Yet another woman’s life has prematurely been taken in an ‘honour killing’. Pakistani internet sensation Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her brother on Friday night while at her family home in Multan, Punjab. After going on the run, her brother Waseem was later arrested. In his confession video, he expressed no regret. “I am proud of what I did. I drugged her first, then I killed her,” said Waseem.”She was bringing dishonor to our family.” Qandeel’s posts were considered to be controversial in Pakistan. She rose to fame…

Pakistan’s Women: Honour and Shame

Pakistan’s Women: Honour and Shame

By Muna Adil   In February 2016, Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won her second Oscar award for ‘A Girl in the River’, her ground-breaking documentary on the practice of honour killings in Pakistan. A spectacular personal achievement for Chinoy, a proud moment for Pakistan, and an excellent opportunity for much-needed awareness and dialogue. But not everyone was delighted at the win. The morning after the Oscars, ‘#WeDisownSharmeen’ was trending in the number one spot on Pakistani Twitter. The crux of the argument against Chinoy was that she was ‘unpatriotic’ for…

Murdered By My Father: A Review

Murdered By My Father: A Review

By Iram Ramzan   “Someone’s always watching. Trust me.”   These are the words uttered by college student Salma in the BBC 3 drama Murdered By My Father, as she warns her boyfriend to stay away before someone finds out that they are dating. We have all been there, have we not ladies? Most of us, from South Asian or Middle Eastern backgrounds, where the notions of honour and shame are so important, have always been — and always will be — on our guards whenever we leave the house. Because no matter…