Monday, April 04, 2005

Muslim Women Fare Little Better in Europe

While the plight of women in the Muslim world is fairly well known, conditions for Muslim women living in Western countries, especially Europe is often not much better.
Indeed, in some areas and regarding some issues, European Muslim women are no better off than their Arab Muslim counterparts. Here are just some examples of the abuse suffered by some European Muslim women:

- Forced to wear the hijab, i.e. headscarf

- Forced to marry someone according to the family's will

- Must undergo excision "procedure"

- Gang rapes for not "respecting" Islam

- Killed by a relative because for "dishonoring" the name of the family.

Most Muslim French women who wear the hijab are forced to do so by their family or because of pressure from the community. In many testimonies young women have stated that they were wearing it not to be "bothered" by the men in their community. There were multiple cases in the suburbs of Paris of gang rapes of women who were too "Westernized".

In a book entitled Wed By Force (Oh Editions, Paris, May 2004), Leila -- the author could not reveal her last name -- tells of her own nightmarish existence. She was raped by one of her brothers when she was quite young and did not tell anyone -- even her mother -- because she would have not been believed. She was regularly beaten up by her father because she was a little rebellious. She just wanted to behave like a girl her age but it was impossible because otherwise she would ruin the family's reputation. Like her other Muslim friends, she had to respect the law of silence. She also depicts how her family chose a husband for her. He was 15 years older than she and she does not know him.

You may guess that Leila lives in Saudi Arabia but she lives in the suburbs of Paris in 2005. She is a French citizen born in France of Moroccan parents. Unfortunately, Leila is not alone. Statistics do not lie: each year, in France, 50,000 women are wed against their will.

Horrific honor killings of Muslim women who did not toe the conservative Islamic line have occurred in Germany, Sweden and the U.K. The problem has grown to such an extent that, last year, European police agencies held a summit on the matter. Nor is the problem of Muslim honor killing restrained to Europe.
Do not think for a moment this only happens in Europe. In April 2004, in Scottsville, NY, a Turkish immigrant savagely murdered his wife and nearly killed his daughters because they had been molested by his brother. He allegedly told investigators that: "I was concerned that my family's honor was taken".
This is yet another example of the "great benefit" that immigration from the Third World provides to Western nations, and of the wonderfully tolerant and peaceful culture of Islam.


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