The Reality Behind the ECJ’s So-Called “Headscarf Ban”

The Reality Behind the ECJ’s So-Called “Headscarf Ban”

  By Tehmina Kazi   The debate on Tuesday’s European Court of Justice ruling on the “visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign” is riddled with misinformation. With headlines that scream, “headscarf bans,” and the fact that the law in this area is incredibly complex, is it any wonder that many observers are left scratching their heads? Let’s look at the facts. This ruling focuses on two different cases in different countries: Belgium and France. The Belgian woman had been working as a receptionist for G4S Secure Solutions…

Normalising the hijab

Normalising the hijab

By Arshia Malik There was recently a news report about Nike unveiling modest sportswear range – the Nike Pro Hijab . I recalled when we first got a male professional coach for basketball in 1988 and the all girls’ school team was being put together. Being the athlete that I was, I of course signed up and started looking for the usual: shorts; skirts; trainers and T-shirts — a requirement on the court. Gradually, the realisation that this was Srinagar and not New Delhi dawned as the first impediments to a normal,…

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….

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’…

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…

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 will…

British ‘subjects’ did not deserve legal equality with their colonial masters: Interview with Marieme Helie Lucas on Sharia Courts in Britain

British ‘subjects’ did not deserve legal equality with their colonial masters: Interview with Marieme Helie Lucas on Sharia Courts in Britain

  British MPs on the Commons home affairs committee have launched an inquiry into the operation of ‘Sharia courts’ in the UK to ensure their principles are compatible with British law. The announcement follows the establishment of a similar investigation by the Home Office last month. However, over 200 women’s rights campaigners and organisations recently signed a public letter to Prime Minister Theresa May criticising the government inquiry into Sharia councils. Whilst a review into Sharia bodies and their impact on gender equality and justice is long overdue, the letter…