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….

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…

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…

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…

Pakistani men are treated like kings at home

Pakistani men are treated like kings at home

By Shazia Hobbs   I recently watched a ten minute clip of a ‘discussion’ on some news channel featuring three Pakistani men, the voices of the Muslims in the UK. I forced myself to watch some more featuring others in the public eye.  No wonder Islam is a laughing joke in the UK if these ‘discussions’ are what the mainstream media is showing.  Most of what I have been watching is from a few years back and most of it is full of angry voices. The men, who shall remain…

An ex-Muslim’s brief recount of working with the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat

An ex-Muslim’s brief recount of working with the Khatm-e-Nubuwwat

By Zee Jay   August 2009. I finally touched down to the country that was regarded as providing opportunities for many. Here I was, ready to embark on exploring uncharted waters and break new mould. It was my desire to meet and interact with people and observe the British way of life. What I wasn’t expecting was to get drawn back into the web of Islam after already having left a strain of it when I left the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This was at the time I was still…

My issues with the Muslim Council of Britain’s alternative to the Prevent strategy

My issues with the Muslim Council of Britain’s alternative to the Prevent strategy

By Iram Ramzan   Critics of the Government’s counter-terrorism Prevent strategy often claim that it disproportionately targets and focuses on Muslims, despite the fact that it actually works on countering the far-right too. So what does the Muslim Council of Britain decide to do? It has decided to set up its own programme to target, er, Muslims. In a direct challenge to the government’s ‘controversial’ Prevent scheme, the MCB plans to start the Muslim-run counter-radicalisation scheme next year. The MCB said in a statement: In reflecting the wishes of a cross-section…

Dupatta

Dupatta

By Jimmy Bangash   Dupatta   I stand within the kitchen gazing up to watch my mother As she places back the huge black dustbin lid; having taken out a bowl of flour. White snow upon winter lands captured in her hands. She smiles down at me as I wait in anticipation. Then she begins; as she kneads the dough; a low hum in an octave so angelic telling tales of distant lands in languages I cannot speak And I smile. And I try to catch her tune with my…

They Called me Shameless

They Called me Shameless

By Scheherazade They called me shameless A disgrace For falling in love For wanting control over my own life The heart wants what it wants What could I have done? When I came home that night Trying to creep into my bed There they were Waiting for me instead. Rage on their faces. Slut Whore Beghairat, they said. All I wanted was to be free Soar with these wings Fly, wherever the wind would take me But I carried their honour Like a noose around my neck Which became tight Until…

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…