The worst harm to women and girls in Britain stems not from mythical gender pay gaps or ‘toxic masculinity’. It comes from the acceptance of imported misogynistic practices. Barely a murmur of protest is heard about this. Instead feminists are hogging the limelight with redundant and nonsensical claims of persecution and discrimination. Equal rights for women are enshrined in law and are vigorously enforced. What is not enforced is the prevention of ‘honour’-based violence against women and girls.
Immigrants are now an accepted part of our society. But state policies of multi-culturalism have failed. Integration is a better and more successful social practice and should have been implemented instead. Multi-culturalism has created parallel communities where immigrants adhere to the lifestyle and cultural values of their homelands and barely assimilate into their host country, to the detriment of all.
The disastrous result is seen in the growing rate, mainly among Muslim communities, of forced marriages, marriage slavery, female genital mutilation (FGM) and honour killings. These harmful cultural practices are frowned upon in more modern Muslim countries, so why are they allowed in Britain?
Vulnerable minority women and girls are further marginalised because they often don’t speak English and so can be kept trapped in abusive relationships. Good ideas such as teaching English to immigrant women are shut down with howls of protest by virtue-signallers. And so, because of do-gooders, these women are denied the language tools so vital for escape from servitude and potential honour-based violence.
Research by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation shows that from 2014 to 2016 the annual number of honour-based violent offences against girls and women reported to the police in Britain rose by 53 per cent to 5,105, yet only 5 per cent were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
There are approximately twelve honour killings a year in the UK, and FGM is increasingly rife. In England and Wales there are 137,000 girls and women living with FGM, and 144,000 girls at risk. FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985, and since 2003 so has taking girls abroad for this purpose. Yet so far only 36 cases have been assigned to the CPS, and there have been no successful prosecutions.
As I have written previously, FGM is not a religious requirement but a cultural one. The fact that these girls feel pressured into being cut is indicative of misguided tolerance of parallel communities here in the UK. We are rightly free to practise our respective religions here. But it is intolerable that vile and misogynistic cultural practices such as FGM have become entrenched and above the law. On this the UK government needs to be much clearer.
Marriage slavery is another form of abuse endured by vulnerable women which our authorities seem happy to ignore. Victims are made to live in conditions akin to slavery. Over 3,500 reports of forced marriages were made to the police between 2014 and 2016. The charity Karma Nirvana received 22,030 calls concerning forced marriages.
A review ordered by the government into Sharia law a few months ago recommended that the state regulates Sharia marriages by ensuring that Muslim couples legally register their marriages at the same time as their religious ceremonies. The government discarded this with the excuse that it would interfere with ‘freedom of religion’, even though Jewish marriages include a civil ceremony at the same time. The inclusion of a legal practice protects women. So it’s curious why our government does not want the same protection for Muslim women married by Sharia law only.
Just last week Baroness Cox questioned the government’s response in the House of Lords. Christian Concern has supported Baroness Cox’s Private Member’s Bill to require registration of religious marriages. We can only hope that the government acts swiftly to protect women’s rights in this way.
Why has there been such a low prosecution rate for the heinous crimes of honour-based violence and murder? Why is there so little help for these women and girls? Do the authorities fear being accused of racism? Whatever the reason, it is disturbing that so few of the perpetrators are ever brought to justice.
It should not be left to the state to help these women and girls. A major shift in the cultural paradigm is needed. Blind adherence to multi-culturalism has meant that the pendulum has swung the other way and that our own Western values, informed by the Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian ethos, are being sidelined. Instead, misogynistic, cruel and medieval cultural practices are being tolerated. The continuous denigration of our Western values does nothing to persuade immigrants to discard their more harmful practices in favour of adopting our cultural values of freedom, equality and tolerance.
It is truly time to discard political correctness and the fear of the contemporary accusation of witchcraft – racism – and shift towards integration. When will enough be enough if FGM, marriage slavery, forced marriage and honour killings have not yet been?
Part of our Judeo-Christian creed is to speak for the voiceless and to offer succour to the vulnerable and helpless. How many more women and girls need to suffer before we finally abandon multi-culturalism, in deed as well as word, and unite in a country which values itself instead of acting like an angst-ridden teenager? We cannot be silenced for fear of false accusations of racism and ‘Islamophobia’. Our government, and all of us, need to man up and stop the abuse and terrorising of British citizens.