Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ni Putes Ni Soumises and Gina Khan

Well the students at Clare College, Cambridge may be running scared of religious authorities, but it is encouraging to report that not everyone is so cowed.

A Muslim woman in Birmingham, Gina Khan, 38, is leading a fight against extremists in her own community after forming a group that is determined to celebrate being British.

She described how she had been subjected to a forced marriage at the age of 16 and how this had subsequently become a polygamous arrangement. She believes forced and polygamous marriages are rife throughout Birmingham and need to be rooted out because of the damage they cause.

"People tell me I should be careful but I'm not scared, why should I fear speaking the truth? I'm not criticising the Quran, I'm challenging an interpretation of it. If we tackle the hidden epidemics of forced marriages to people from abroad and polygamy, which happen in the name of our culture, then we can tackle jihadists that also operate under the same banner."

Gina said too many young Muslims and even politicians were obsessed with the situation in the Middle East and not looking closer to home.

"I'm not saying I don't have empathy with these people but we're not taking care of our own and they're going astray. It took the London bombings for me to realise, this isn't all in my head. We're mobilised through fear not to challenge practises within our religion and culture. But our parents came to this country to escape strict regimes."

Predictably she is being attacked by Islamophobia Watch for her 'outspoken views'.

She must be doing something right.

More encouraging news from France this time. A feminist movement called Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores Nor Submissives) are committed to facing radical Islam and their misogynistic thugs in the banlieues. They are fighting the increasingly common mantra amongst the yobs that

"all women are whores except my mother"

The movement focuses on four areas;
  • Gang-rapes
  • Pressure to wear the hijab
  • Pressure to drop out of school
  • Pressure to marry early without being able to choose the husband
Founder Fadela Amara is dedicated to ‘fighting the rise of fundamentalism on all sides’ and keen to press home a key point, so absent on the Left and amongst the majority of so-called feminists in the West, that

“The first victims of fundamentalism are women. I don’t care if it’s Islamic fundamentalism or American evangelism. A fascist is a fascist”.

Good luck Gina and good luck NPNS.

But where are your equivalents in Australia?

via A Tangled Web and the Pub Philosopher.