This morning Toby Young I think tweeted that “muslim women are trolling David Cameron on the speech he made”, I was not sure what he meant ,so took a look around and there are quite a few articles by highly educate, articulate, and well placed muslim women on this subject, presenting very well written and argued text .
I have no such qualifications, am an ordinary woman who has lived in this country almost all my life,worked, raised a family and have had more than one career and have been very involved in the local community and hence gained a lot of insight into a lot of things, as they say from the university of life.
I do listen to various radio stations, debates and read more than one newspaper.
Here are the facts from my experience,they can be corroborated.
! The BBC’s Asian network does regular phone ins, where Asian men and women speak freely. One man once declared that if his wife was disrespectful to his parents,he will beat her, and this is justified.
When the PM made the speech, one chap kept repeatedly calling the PM, moron”and imbecile, and stated that women should not go out on their own, not even to drop their children at school or shopping,without their husband,it was a mans job,and a woman should stay home! This he said was the Sharia law it should be followed. Not one male came and said that women are equal and should be given equal rights.
This morning on the phone in, they wee discussing mosques and their management committees, the presenter kept pressing, but not one mosque’s decision making committee had a single woman on their panel
Would this be tolerated in any other decision making in the UK? NO, so the PM is right to say that women are sidelined and undermined. If you watch some of the satellite channels beamed in here,and a staple diet of the Asian community, the segregation is encouraged.
2. Women who have lived in this country and have not leant the language are disadvantaged, they have to take their children or husband even for a doctors consultation ,so their real grievances are never heard. They can not encourage/support or help their children with their studies.
They can not get to know the friends their children make,hence only the children who speak the native language are allowed to come to their house, their own children miss out a whole lot by not being able to mix with children who are not from their own background, and hence never learn to mix and be part of the wider community.
I have met health visitors /health professionals and community workers from the part of the country where there is a majority of immigrants,and they talk about how helpless they feel,when they are not allowed access to the women,.
I have experience of this, I was a member of the standing committee for the local health authority,the community liaison officer asked me for help, they had some young Bangladeshi women ,who have been recently arrived ,having been married to some British Bangladeshi men, the women spoke no english, one of them was pregnant, the health visitor wanted to talk to them about check ups, vaccination ,benefits etc,but were not allowed by their husbands.
The health visitor wondered ,if I accompanied her,might she be allowed?
I did, and was told in no un certain terms by the husband,at the door; that he certainly didn’t want his wife to become like me,so he didn’t want her to see me!
That told me!
In 2006 or so a parliamentary report concluded that nearly 300,000 Muslim women of working age were neither employed or were in any training or education.Perhaps these were the spouses freely admitted under the Blair regime.( As most Asian women who themselves didn’t speak the language ,travelled to their native land to bring a spouse for their sons and daughters), Lord Desai ,set up a fund of half a million pounds to set up a scheme, to bring these women into education and training for jobs. I was invited to the meeting in London , the plan was to set up a satellite unit in every county to bring in these women, I couldn’t do much as we didn’t have any such women in my area,but I know Bristol did. A laptop was given as an incentive. Am not sure what became of that scheme, but it was not heard of again.
There is of course a link with terrorism and women being isolated and suppressed.
A mother has a huge influence on her child from infancy,in fact a mother is the only and the first role model for her child. Most of these women have never got out of the four walls of their homes, they have no idea what is this country they are living in is about. They fear this “alien” culture, they believe they are different,and their way of life is better and can never be like the promiscuous western society.
A child grows up with a huge conflict, he is constantly made to feel that he should for the outside world,because his mother is naturally frightened of the unknown.
Could it be that so many young men have grown up confused and angry? They dont know where their loyalties are, they have never been taught to love the country they are in, because that country has been and is alien to their parents.
Only Muslim women can change their lot, no one else can. The Prime Minister has a point, and instead of “trolling” or getting up in arms, Muslim women will do better to take heed.