Forced marriage

Shakti Wellington need more help due to increase in migrant and refugee population

After the murders of two migrant women in Wellington due to domestic violence ( Sarwan Lata Singh and Mei Fan) Shakti Wellington opened a refuge in 2014. Last year it it helped over 350 women, with over 200 of their referrals coming from the police. Shakti advocates say they need government funding because of the growing migrant population and because their safe house is at full capacity.

Shakti Community Council is a non-profit organisation serving migrant and refugee women of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin. Shakti; meaning strength; works to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women of colour. It supports women to overcome the barriers that come with migration and inter-generational bonds of cultural oppression. Led by ethnic women for ethnic women, Shakti is dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights of both women and children and advocating social change.

Shakti-international.org

The government do not fund the safe house despite the government being responsible for the increase in the migrant and refugee population. By increasing the migrant and refugee population they are also increasing the amount of domestic violence.

As the women at Shakti point out in the radio interview, “one size does not fit all” as these women come from a different culture and have a ” different worldview” and have traditional and cultural barriers that they face so mainstream safe houses are not suitable for them. What they will not spell out but what is pretty obvious to me is that they are talking about Muslim migrant women and Muslim refugee women.

It is worth considering that although domestic violence occurs in families from many different ethnicities in New Zealand none of them requires their own special refuge to deal with their ” different worldview.” Ethnicity is clearly not the problem. The problem is the religion or culture of these migrant and refugee women.

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Forced and under age marriage in New Zealand exposed

screenshot-whaleoil.co.nz

screenshot-whaleoil.co.nz

I really object to the term “cultural” marriage. When  people use the word culture in front of anything it is usually to justify treating someone differently because of their ” culture. ” Not surprisingly the term cultural marriage is used in a New Zealand article about forced marriage. New Zealand lawmakers are having to tighten laws that have loopholes that are been exploited to allow “cultural” marriages, (a weasel word for forced marriage and child brides.)

Last night Newshub brought you the story about a Kiwi woman forced into marriage at the age of 15.

That’s prompted a debate over the rules that allow some 16- and 17-year-olds to marry.

Currently they need to get consent from their parents, but a private members Bill would push to make the Family Court have ultimate sign-off.

It would help “identify” and “weed out” any marriages where a young person may have been forced into it. This is already law in Australia.

In New Zealand in 2014, 33 females and 12 males aged 16 or 17 were married. Last year there were 36 females and 12 males. But these are just the number of “registered marriages”.

It’s understood there are many more cultural marriages carried out by religious leaders that aren’t counted in the official stats but are recognised for visa purposes.

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There should be no compulsion in religion, but wait – what about Pakistan?

Islamic Pakistan:

  • Pakistan’s persecution of Christians escalates
  • Government makes Islamic study compulsory in all schools and colleges
  • Kidnapping, forced marriages and forced religious conversions of Christians
  • Blasphemy charges and violent assaults on Christians and their churches
  • British Pakistani Christian Association reports grave abuses of Christian communities.

Jewish Israel:

  • Religious tolerance
  • Compulsory military training for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18 who are Jewish, Druze or Circassian; other Arab citizens of Israel are not conscripted. Other exceptions are made on religious, physical or psychological grounds.

Pakistan was formed to give Muslims their own country  but, unlike Israel, they show no tolerance for other religions. Even compulsory military training in Israel doesn’t apply to everyone. In Pakistan, on the other hand, there is forced religious conversion to Islam and compulsory study of Islam in all schools and colleges. Clearly, the religion of peace as practised in Pakistan is not a tolerant religion and does not follow Islam’s own precept that there should be no compulsion in religion. The regular kidnapping, rape and forced marriage and conversion to Islam of young Christian girls is a horrific but common practice in Pakistan. They also have modern-day slavery, known as bonded labour in Pakistan, despite a 1992 law being passed against it.  Also practised in Pakistan is the payment of a Jizya tax (Islamic protection money), which is a payment demanded from non-Muslims living inside an Islamic State.

“The government of Pakistan has announced plans to force Islam on young people by making Quranic study compulsory for all school and college students, which is contrary to the country’s constitution and the Islamic precept that there should be no compulsion in religion. This is the latest escalation of the country’s bias against Christians, other minority faiths and non-believers,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

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Face of the day

Today’s face of the day is an ex-Muslim who is warning Europe to ‘deport anti-democratic Islamists’

‘Forced marriage is a continuous rape’

Child brides from Syria aged between 12 and 15 live in the tent city in northern Syria

Child brides from Syria aged between 12 and 15 live in the tent city

The Refugee/Migrant crisis in Europe has yet another controversial aspect to it. In Holland over 3 child brides a week are arriving at Dutch Asylum centres. Currently 20 are between the ages of 13 and 15. The problem is not only in European migrant centres. Save The Children have also reported an ‘ alarming increase’ in the number of Syrian child brides amongst refugees in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

European countries are not handling the issue in the same way. Lets’ be frank. We all know that child marriage is forced marriage. These girls do not have a choice. Any child in a forced marriage is being raped on a continuous basis. There is no consent to sex. Furthermore and this is the most distressing aspect, according to Western values and morals having sex with a child is pedophilia and is abhorrent and wrong. The ideology of Islam and the ‘culture ‘ of Islam says that it is not only okay but good as the perfect man the prophet Muhammad married a 6 year old girl. How then are these countries protecting these sexually abused girls from the religion of peace?

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UPDATED: Face of the day

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Asha* and her daughter in the garden in southern India. She is determined not to give in. ARUN JANARDHAN/Indian Express

Today’s face of the day Asha* cannot show her face. She has no status in Indian society without a husband and like another case from 2008 she has been told to marry her rapist under the misogynistic, Islamic law of Sharia. * UPDATE: I assumed this, I cannot confirm that this case was tried under Islamic law like the other case mentioned in the article.

 

Three words, no rape victim ever wants to hear, have thrown a young woman in a remote part of India into turmoil.

Having tried to put the rape of 2008 behind her and to get on with raising the little girl born nine months later, 21-year-old Asha* has been troubled by memories and disturbed by the judge’s shocking suggestion: marry your rapist.

“When the judge took his pen and wrote this, did he think even once of my plight?”, she asked an Indian Express journalist in a video interview in the garden of her one-room home.

The judge in question, Justice P Devadas of the Madras High Court, has been hearing the bail appeal of V Mohan, the man convicted of raping Asha. On June 23 he agreed to the bail request on condition that Mohan try “mediation” with Asha. Mediation in a rape case is aimed at marriage.

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Face of the day

Patron of Shakti Helen Clark

Patron of Shakti
Helen Clark

Today’s face of the day is Helen Clark who is the Patron of Shakti. I may not share Helen Clark’s politics but I share her support of Shakti. More people need to know of its existence.

A woman close to my family came to New Zealand from Syria many years ago to an arranged marriage. She had never met her groom and neither had her family. She arrived in New Zealand unaware that she had rights and there were people who would protect her. If Shakti had been around then and if she had been aware of it she would have been able to escape instead of being trapped by the fact that she could not speak English and knew no one. Shakti are specially for women, children and families of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin.

I did not know of Shakti’s existence until I watched an Australian show called Four Corners about Forced marriage. One of the stories was about a group of sisters rescued from forced marriage in New Zealand by their school’s guidance counselor and Shakti. Their story will move you.

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Face of the day

Nada al-Ahdal is my face of the day. This brave little girl has more courage in one little finger than the French President has in his entire body.

Nada-Al-Ahdal

Nada-Al-Ahdal

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Married Pedophiles allowed to bring young girls into UK

Home Office powerless as legal loophole leaves underage child brides free to join husbands in Britain.

Actions not words: Home Secretary Theresa May delivers a speech at a child sexual exploitation conference

Actions not words: Home Secretary Theresa May delivers a speech at a child sexual exploitation conference

If the girl is wed lawfully in her homeland her husband cannot be prosecuted under UK law, Theresa May’s Home Office said.

Officials made the admission after the Bishop of St Albans Alan Smith asked the House of Lords what steps the Government was taking to protect girls already in under-age marriages from coming into the UK.

Schools minister Lord Nash told him social services and police might be involved if there were child protection issues, but the law as it stands cannot stop child brides entering the UK in the first place.

Might be involved? Might! They are pedophiles.These young girls are being abused. No Nation with any decency would recognise a child bride as a legal marriage. This is insanity.

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