Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Muslim Cleric Threatens To Kill Daughter Over Arranged Marriage

Muslim cleric Abid Hussain is on trial (along with two of his sons Nawab and Bahaud Uddin) for threatening to kill Rabiyah Abid, the 16-year-old daughter/sister after she refused to marry her first cousin. You might think this happened in Pakistan but, though Pakistanis, they all happen to live in Manchester, England.

Promised to his sister's son at the age of 15 (something common in those parts) Abid also allegedly physically attacked her for her disobedience, and for getting involved with a young student she met on Facebook. cxv

Mr Hussain, a dad-of-five, is alleged to have grabbed her by the throat and said, ‘follow my rules or I’ll kill you’, before hitting her on the head at the family home above the mosque he runs at Northmoor Road, Longsight, Manchester.

Mr Hussain, who denies assault, is on trial alongside two of his sons, Nawab Uddin, 23, and Bahaud Uddin, 21.

The two young men are alleged to have robbed their sister of the mobile phone she used to contact the boyfriend they disapproved of and to have beaten her until she was dizzy. They deny assault and robbery.

Opening the case, Henry Blackshaw, prosecuting, told the jury that the girl lived in a ‘very male dominated, patriarchal household’ where she was ‘exhausted’ by cooking and cleaning.

She had been ‘betrothed’ by her father to his sister’s son in Pakistan at just 15 years old, but ended up falling for a student she had met online months later.

In November last year, while her father was celebrating Eid in Pakistan, the student travelled from London to Oldham to stay with a pal and the girl left her home to stay with him.

This prompted her brother, Nawab, to report her missing. When police traced her, she told them of her fears that she would be forced to marry when she had finished her GCSEs.

When her father returned from Pakistan, he learned that she had stayed with her secret boyfriend, and to add ‘insult to injury’, was served with Forced Marriage Prevention Order that officers had helped her obtain.

Mr Blackshaw said Mr Hussain saw the order, which led to the girl’s passport being taken by the authorities, was a ‘combination of her and the UK judicial system depriving him of his right to choose her husband within his own family’. Weeks later, on December 26, he is alleged to have attacked her. In the aftermath of the incident, she sent a message to her boyfriend saying ‘I thought I was going to die last night’.

Describing the alleged attack to police, she said: “He used his right hand to grab my neck. It was quite painful. He said ‘If you don’t follow my rules I will kill you.’ He was quite angry, really angry.”

Two days later her brothers, Nawab and Bahaud, allegedly took her phone from her and struck her about the face and head, leading her to wear a veil to hide her injuries. The next day she reported them to police.

Mr Blackshaw said of Abid Hussain: “He is plainly a devout man retaining traditional values regarding family matters, which is the reason for what we say was the offending in this case, because his daughter was not going along with his wishes in following that cultural duty.”

This is the problem when people fail to assimilate- they hold on to traditional values that have no place in their new homeland. Arranged marriages are not a cultural norm or duty in the West, and certainly not marriage to one's first cousin.

I'm glad England is buckling down, and that the girl had to courage to contact the police.

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