Muslim women fighting for women’s rights have been largely abandoned by the left, by human rights organisations, and by anti-racist campaigners. That sums up the basic argument put forward by Gita Sahgal at a meeting held in Glasgow on 28 October as part of Black History Month 2010. Sahgal left her post of Head of Gender Unit at Amnesty International earlier this year after Amnesty had ignored her complaints about the organisation’s collaboration with Islamists (specifically, Moazamm Begg and his “Cageprisoners” organisation).
The Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has reported an increase in the number of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) teenagers coming forward to ask for help from them: This year, the FMU has dealt with 29 confirmed cases of forced marriage involving gay men and women. Last year, the unit offered support and advice to nearly 1,700 cases in total. Just how many of those involved lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) victims is unknown, because not everyone is willing to divulge their sexuality. However, it is thought this emerging trend is just the tip of the iceberg, as more gay men and women seek assistance.
As part of the British Government’s drive to cut costs and increase transparency, accountability and efficiency, the role, size and scope of government quangos have formed part of a broad Coalition Government review.
فوجئت الأوساط الثقافيّة والفنيّة في العراق بنبأ اغتيال التشكيليّة العراقيّة غادة حبيب في منزلها في لندن. الفنانة التي فقدت حاسة السمع في الـ 14 من عمرها، كانت تستعد لإقامة معرضها في العاصمة البريطانية، قبل أن ينتقل إلى بغداد، لكنّها لقيت حتفها بطريقة مروّعة زادت من الأسى على رحيلها بعيدةً عن وطنها. الناقد التشكيليّ صلاح عباس لفت إلى «أنّ مجموعة من الفنانين داخل العراق وخارجه طالبت بتأليف لجنة للتحقيق في اغتيال فنانة نالت جائزة سفيرة السلام عام 2008». ويأسف عباس لكون ردود الفعل على اغتيال غادة حبيب، في الإعلام العراقي، جاءت باهتة قياساً إلى حجم الفجيعة: «وزارة الثقافة لم تضع حتى لافتة نعي على مبناها، وجمعيّة الفنانين التشكيليّين العراقيّين لم تقم بدورها. كأنّ الفنان العراقي غريب خارج البلاد وداخلها».
Some British Asian gay Muslims are embracing a new identity, based as much on race and religion as on sexual orientation with a number trying to do it with the help of their local imams. When Khalid Habib decided it was time to come out about his sexuality, the first person he chose to confide in was not anyone in the family but his local imam. "It was really important to me because I am a practising Muslim. It was about my personal relationship with Allah," said the 35-year-old media professional from the north of England.
A woman led Muslim prayers in Oxford last week. Her actions and those of others like her, across faiths, deserve our support. Only Muslim women from abroad dare lead men in Friday prayers in the UK.Canadian, Raheel Raza, became the second Muslim woman to do so at the Muslim Educational Centre in Oxford last week. African American convert, Amina Wadud, was the first Muslim woman to lead mixed prayers at the same centre in 2008. It’s not surprising that British Muslim women are not brave enough to follow their footsteps - both have been demonised, labelled as heretics and have received death threats after leading men in prayers in their own countries.
Press Release: Roj Women is an umbrella site that seeks to publicise the work of Roj Women’s Association, a women’s charity working on community development in the UK, and of its political branch, Roj Women’s Assembly, that campaigns for far-reaching legal and political reforms in Turkey. Roj Women strives to give Kurdish women, whether in their countries of origin or in the diaspora, a voice to publicise the gender and racial discrimination they face. Beyond raising awareness at the national and international levels, Roj Women campaigns for change and offers services to support Kurdish women and child victims of male and military violence.
Le 09 avril 2010, Amnesty International annonçait mon départ de l’organisation. Selon notre déclaration commune, « il était convenu que Gita quitte Amnesty International, en raison de différences irréconciliables de points de vue entre Gita Sahgal et Amnesty International sur les relations entre l’organisation et Moazzam Begg et Cageprisoners ».
The picture shows Aqila, aged 18, celebrating her marriage in front of relatives and friends. At the time she dreamt of coming to England for a happy, long life with her new husband and his family. Two years later, the young bride is stranded in her village in Pakistan after, a court has heard, being drugged and forcibly taken back by her husband and father-in-law without her newborn baby. Aqila, 20, was dumped outside her parents' house in March without her passport and British visa, leaving her stranded with little hope of return, the High Court was told last week.