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…

Imams Online Conference: Excellent Initiatives but Thread of Gender Inequality Marred Progression

Imams Online Conference: Excellent Initiatives but Thread of Gender Inequality Marred Progression

  By Amina Lone   On January 11, Faith Associates and Imams Online hosted a ‘Digital Summit’ at Google UK’s London Event Space which was attended by over 150 attendees. This event’s aim was to bring together a diverse cross-section of Muslims which included senior religious leaders, male and female scholars, community activists, civil society actors, heads of charities, technologists, students and educationalists. Amina Lone went along on the day and shared her thoughts for Sedaa.    I attended a conference. Not extraordinary in itself but this one was held at Google…

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…

Being an Apostate at Christmas

Being an Apostate at Christmas

By Zara Shaen Albright “Don’t tell them you took me to Church yesterday and for God’s sake, don’t bring up Christianity.” These were the words hissed at me a few years ago by my mother, as we prepared for the onslaught of relatives coming over for dinner. If I am spending it with my mother’s side of the family, then this is how the standard Christmas Day begins — and this conversation sets the scene for the rest of the day. For those of you that are wondering, I left…

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 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…

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…

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…