Kvinner og likestilling

Nødskrik fra de britiske øyene

De er barn i skoleuniform. Og de er hustruer. Bare i en bydel i London skal minst 30 mindreårige jenter helt ned i niårsalderen ha blitt giftet bort i fjor. Det yngste eksempelt i Storbritannia omhandler ei jente på fem år. Familiene vil sikre seg at jomfrudommen tas av en mann de har pekt ut, typisk en venn av familien eller et familiemedlem. I tillegg handler det om penger: ”ektemennene” bidrar økonomisk til jentas familie. Myndighetene la forholdene til rette for at overgrepene brer om seg da shariadomstoler ble legalisert, og i dag benekter samme myndigheter at resultatet er parallelkle rettssystem. Organisasjonen One Law for All ber nå om støtte nasjonalt og internasjonalt for å sette kroken på dørene til islamistenes domstoler.

Hege Storhaug, HRS

Ja, vi snakker altså om Europa 2012, et Europa som historisk aldri har sett liknende tilstander. Og hvor mange ganger har vi ikke hørt fra imamer og dets like at islam forbyr tvangsekteskap – og at de selvsagt derfor er fullblods motstandere av en slik uislamsk praksis?

Her forteller ei jente på 12 år:

“I was forced by my dad,” she said. “He didn’t beat me or anything, he told me I was useless, no one would ever accept me anyway so I’d better just marry while someone wanted me because it wouldn’t happen again.

“I thought that if I didn’t do it I would just be taken away and married anyway, so it was better to co-operate and at least get to stay in England.

“Also, if I co-operated then if my husband treated me badly at least my family would support me against him. But if I said no, they’d say I was bringing shame on the family and wouldn’t support me no matter what he did, because I would have made them angry.

“My parents sorted out an imam to marry us quite quickly. The first one they approached said no, the next one said yes, and this was in Islington. I met my husband three days before my wedding, which only my close family was invited to.

“We were married in my parents’ house.

“He was a 37-year-old man from Birmingham [the Tribune understands he had come from the Middle East]. I told my parents that I had fallen in love with him and I was doing it for myself because my mum felt bad about what they were doing to me. That night I had to go to his flat and sleep with him because that’s what marriage is.

At barn giftes bort i private hjem, har vi også eksempel på i Norge, der denne banebrytende saken i fjor i Oslo ledet frem til strenge straffer. Også i dette ”ekteskapet” foregikk ”vielsen” i et privat hjme, utført av en imam. I Storbritannia, der praksisen ser ut til å ha langt bredere omfang enn i Norge, har overgrep som dette ikke ledet frem til liknende domfellelser.

Eksperter i Strobritannia sier at de fleste jentebarna ikke våger å fortelle sannheten, til lærere, sosialarbeidere eller andre. De frykter at de da enten blir drept av sine egne eller at barnevernet overtar omsorgen for dem og at de således mister familien sin.

One Law for All mener mange av jentene dette handler om, ikke kjenner til sine juridiske rettigheter under britisk lov, også fordi en del av dem ikke kan det britiske språket. Uansett: at britiske myndigheter ved justisdepartementet legaliserte shariadomstoler i 2008 – uten offentlig debatt – har selvsagt ytterlig styrket utviklingen av parallelle rettssystem, der særlig jenter og kvinner av muslimsk opphav blir de største taperne. One Law for All har nå kjørt i gang en underskriftskampanje (mottatt på e-post, under her), der de legger press på regjeringen om å legge ned alle religiøse domstoler og innføre en straffeparagraf med strafferamme på fem år for å sette sharialover over britisk familie- og straffelov.

The Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill will introduce an offence carrying a five-year jail sentence for anyone falsely claiming or implying that sharia courts or councils have legal jurisdiction over family or criminal law. The bill, which will apply to all arbitration tribunals if passed, aims to tackle discrimination, which its supporters say is inherent in the courts, by banning the sharia practice of giving woman’s testimony only half the weight of men’s.

Her er e-posten fra One Law for All, der man kan signere oppropet:

Dear Friend,

We are writing to you today to ask for your urgent and immediate support.

As you may have seen in the papers recently, there is growing evidence that young children – some as young at 5 years old – are being “married” to older men in Sharia courts across Britain. This is increasingly being sanctioned by the Islamists who run Britain’s network of Sharia courts, and there is evidence that this practice is growing.

Recent Investigations

A recent undercover investigation by the Sunday Times found imams in Britain willing to “marry” young girls, provided this was carried out in secret. The imams had been approached by an undercover reporter posing as a father who said he wanted his 12 year old daughter married, to prevent her from being tempted in to a «western lifestyle».

Imam Mohammed Kassamali, of the Husaini Islamic Centre in Peterborough, sanctioned the marriage, but stressed the need for total secrecy. He stated: “I would love the girl to go to her husband’s houses (sic) as soon as possible, the younger the better. Under sharia (Islamic law) there is no problem. It is said she should see her first sign of puberty at the house of her husband. The problem is that we cannot explain such things (the marriage) if the girl went tomorrow (to the authorities).”

Abdul Haque, who officiates at weddings at the Shoreditch mosque, east London agreed to carry out the formalities of the wedding. However, he told the reporter that he should “tell people it is an engagement but it will be a marriage”. He added: “In Islam, once the girl reaches puberty the father has the right, the parents have the right, but under the laws of this country if the girl complains and says her marriage has been arranged and she wasn’t of marriageable age, then the person who performed the marriage will be jailed as well as the mother and father”.

Earlier this year, it was also reported that at least 30 girls, some as young as 9, were “married” in sharia courts in one London borough alone.

Clearly, child “marriages” are an abomination; they are nothing short of religiously-sanctioned child rape and paedophilia.

Sharia proponents deceptively say that forced marriages are unacceptable under Sharia and that both bride and groom must choose to marry as if that is the issue at hand. Islamists have gotten away with years of misogyny against Muslim women under cover of “choice” and are now using similar language with regards children. Nonetheless, child welfare must take precedence irrespective of religious beliefs. This is something we must urgently remind the Government of. Sharia courts are a scandal and must be stopped.

Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill

One important way to tackle this matter is to galvanize support for the Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill introduced to the House of Lords last year by crossbench peer, Baroness Caroline Cox. The Bill is due for a second reading in October.

The Government has so far declined to support Cox’s Bill. They do not believe there is a parallel legal system in operation. They also insist that everyone has full right of access to the British courts. This is simply not the case. There are many with little or no English language skills, trapped by community pressure, who believe Sharia courts operate as real courts and who regard their decisions as legally binding. The idea that they can easily instruct a high street solicitor to help them access their full rights under UK law is far from reality.

The Government must be pressured into taking immediate action, including by supporting Cox’s Bill, and shutting down Sharia and religious courts. If child welfare takes precedence then the Government is duty-bound to take action.

Sign our new petition in support of Baroness Cox’s Bill; tell the Government that enough is enough!

Please sign it now.

Best wishes,

Maryam Namazie and Anne Marie WatersSpokespersonsOne Law for AllLondon WC1N 3XX, UKonelawforall@gmail.com