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Islam Kills Women – No More Silence
First Published on Sedaa http://www.sedaa.org
By Shazia Hobbs
Where is the hashtag in solidarity for the Pakistani and Kashmiri children being raped here in the UK?
I say Pakistani and Kashmiri because they are not necessarily the same — not all Pakistanis are from Kashmir and child rape occurs in both communities. You only need to follow Pakistani journalists, the ones who are living in Pakistan, on social media to hear of the horrors involving child rape in that country. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that importing huge numbers of people to the UK from such a backward culture means you are also importing that culture.
Pakistan, we know, has a huge problem with the rape of children. There are continuous, dreadful stories of children being raped, gang-raped, murdered and even filmed in the process. We know it goes on. We watch some documentary or another, we get angry, we feel sad, and then we get on with our lives.
Pakistanis and Kashmiris living in the UK have a hate-hate relationship; there is little love between the two, especially towards those from Mirpur, Azad Kashmir*. Pakistanis, generally, refuse to see Mirpuris as fellow Pakistanis. The nickname given to Mirpuris when they arrived in the UK in the 60s, by the Pakistanis was “MPs”, in the sense of politicians. Living amongst Mirpuris in such large numbers for the first time, in towns and cities across the UK, the newly arriving Pakistanis concluded that many Mirpuris were, as Pakistanis often put it, ‘dodgy as fuck,’ like their namesakes.
First-cousin marriages, forced marriages and child marriages, discouraging girls from education and once married, discouraging them from working outside the home, are just some of the many Mirpuri “traditions” that Pakistanis frown upon. And although it is correct to describe Mirpuris as Pakistanis, many Pakistanis get annoyed when grooming gangs are described as Pakistanis, as the men are more than likely to be specifically of Mirpuri origin. (Actually, such is the weakness created by political correctness that the grooming gangs are often described as ‘Asian” instead of Pakistani anyway, and they are virtually never described as Muslims).
My background is Mirpuri. Like many other Mirpuris living in the UK, I have heard numerous stories of child sex abuse that occurs in the community, stories of children being sexually abused or raped. My fellow Mirpuris will be very familiar with these stories, which are really open secrets, stories that are whispered here and whispered there. Despite this widespread knowledge, abusers are never confronted and consequently they are allowed to continue raping.
The biggest obstacle in tackling and raising awareness of child sex abuse in the community is the fear of what ‘others’ will think. ‘Others’ can be anyone from members of the extended family, to other people in the community, to those outside the community. This fear of washing dirty linen in public outweighs all other considerations, including the only moral thing to do in these circumstances — putting a stop to child rape and ensuring the law punishes the rapists. That others might gossip about you because you have a paedophile in your family is enough for many families to let it continue. It would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic especially when you consider most sex abusers are well-known in their community but nothing is ever said to them, not even a quiet word to make sure the rapist stops.
As a general rule, nobody likes the community gossiping about them, and, nobody wants the police involved in their lives. I get that. But when it’s a matter of children getting raped, decent people – actually just psychology normal people – generally make an exception to this default setting of theirs. Not so the Mirpuri community. The raping continues because people do not want to be the ones being openly gossiped about, when in reality they are being gossiped about anyway. They would rather people gossip about them for child rape, than gossip about them for trying to do something to stop child rape.
Raping children is a sickness in humanity, regardless of racial or religious backgrounds. But if we do not even begin to have these conversations, if we do not admit that the rape of Mirpuri children, past and present, by Mirpuris, is a crime that should no longer be swept under the carpet, then how can we even begin to stop it?
Raising awareness of child rape is avoided under the guise of “honour” and “shame” when we know full well that in reality it is avoided simply to “protect” the Muslim men in our communities from the consequences of breaking the law. It is to protect Muslim men from that terribly oppressive expectation (which is no doubt racist and colonialist) that they too should meet the most basic standards of behaviour that people rightly expect of adults and young men in advanced democracies – in this case, not to rape children.
Women have not been given a voice. Hell, they are often denied an education so any voice they may have been brave enough to use has often been silenced. Many Mirpuri women are denied their rights in appalling ways while the Government looks the other way to please the men who are denying the women their basic rights and happiness. It would be easy for me to say Mirpuri women must take responsibility for their own actions – or rather, their lack of action but it is important to remember that many of these women have not been able to stand up for themselves against a forced marriage.
Many other Mirpuri women who may be aware and want to speak to someone may not speak a word of English, having arrived in the UK as a young bride from Mirpur, and will have no way of dialling 999. If Mirpuri women are unable to stand up to the men in the community and say, ‘”We want an education”, or “We want to choose our own husband”, the chances of them standing up, it seems, to end the rape of children is nil.
For those who want to deny that Mirpuri children are being raped in the UK, ask yourself this: what makes this race of people so special that they have no paedophiles or sex pests? Odd isn’t it? Such is the cover-up of this scandal that it makes you think that maybe when Mirpuris fly over from Pakistan to set up new lives in the UK, all the cultural baggage they bring over gets lost when they land at Heathrow?
Many stories have stayed with me, stories where mothers have walked into a room and witnessed their own son raping a helpless child, only to close the door and leave them to it. These mothers close the fucking door! What kind of mother closes that door, allowing her son to continue raping a niece, or a nephew, or other close family relation? Or anyone?
Hannah Shah (her name has been changed to protect her identity) is the author of The Imam’s Daughter. She writes about her life as that girl. Her father led prayers at the local mosque. She explains how he raped her from the age of five, with her own mother turning a blind eye to the horrific, bloody rape and abuse of her little daughter. She explains how even on a Friday, when he was done raping her he would then go to lead the Friday (Jummu’a) prayers — which is the busiest time at the mosque, like church on a Sunday. What an upstanding figure of the community.
Where is the hashtag for Hannah Shah, raped from the age of five years old until she escaped at the age of fifteen? She hasn’t really escaped though, has she? She has replaced one fear for another. She is in hiding — safe from rape, yes, but fearful now for her life. Where is the hashtag for all the other Hannahs, other five-year-old girls being raped? It is nowhere, because it is too much of a taboo subject. We have been conditioned to close our ears and eyes to the rape of little children.
The Imam’s Daughter is just one girl’s story and there will be many more like it. Mirpuri children, in the UK, are being sexually abused, raped and forced into lives of misery every single day and yet the debate we hear, the topics that make it into the mainstream media are Islamo-fauxbia and whether to hijab or not to hijab.
Look at Christianity before it reformed and before it was generally brought into the grip of the rule of the law. Christian families were prudish when it came to any talk on sex. The very same dysfunctional relationship we see between Islam and sex, Christianity has experienced, yet Christianity has generally moved forward to a stage where sex is not the big taboo subject it once was.
Yes, there are many Christian families who are conservative in their views but, on the whole, huge progress has been made – and the direction of travel now is only further progress. And even amongst conservative Christian families, there isn’t an epidemic of child rape and cover-up of child rape.
Such was the progress made that the widespread sex abuse by priests and the protection by the Catholic Church of the abusers, is known worldwide. A film about the abuse by the Catholic clergy even won a clutch of prestigious awards recently. Can you imagine the same luvvies clapping and cheering “bravo” in their $10,000 gowns if they watched a film about sexual abuse by Imams? They would most likely faint from acute Islamophobia. Come to think of it, can you imagine such a film even getting made in the first place, let alone winning a gong?
The scale and the length of time that the abuse was allowed to continue for was enough to destroy the reputation of the Catholic Church. Parents trusted their children, boys and girls, into the care of the Church, into the care of priests, these apparently morally superior men of God, only for these priests to repay that trust by raping and sodomising their children.
If I was a praying-to-god kind of person, I would be praying every day that mosques are not going to be the next Catholic Church. Parents trust their children into the care of maulvis (religious figures) at mosques. To many trusting parents, being a maulvi is in itself a sufficient credential for them to hand over the care of their children. I doubt that my prayers will be answered and I fear that it is a scandal waiting to be exposed.
The rape of children, understandably, is a topic most of us stay away from, preferring to live in a world where we pretend it doesn’t exist, or at least doesn’t exist on the scale that it does and with the widespread knowledge of the community. Amongst many in the Mirpuri community the discussion of sex and inappropriate touching is one that rarely takes place between parents and children.
Parents happily send their children for extra prayers to the local “friendly” maulvi. Mosques are a breeding ground, not only for the extremists that preach their hate but also for the monsters who rape the children, trusted to them by parents, to learn about Islam.
These mosques are becoming prisons. Given that our actual prisons now have a huge extremism problem, and are virtually becoming mosques, it seems sadly fitting that the mosques are also prisons.