Muslim councillors accused of ‘systematic misogyny’

Muslim councillors accused of ‘systematic misogyny’

Last month the Muslim Women’s Network (MWN UK) wrote to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, complaining about ‘the systematic misogyny displayed by significant numbers of Muslim male Labour councillors’.

The letter followed a political storm that erupted when Birmingham’s Lord Mayor elect Muhammad Afzal, above, told the group that forced marriages were no longer a problem; that the British Prime Minister was an “Islamophobe”; and that domestic violence was happening:

Mainly in the Christian community because they get drunk.

Shortly afterwards he resigned, but Afzal, who is chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, claimed:

Recent publicity in the local media has given rise to unfair and indeed untrue comments being ascribed to me. I have tried to put the record straight but sadly it has not been possible to do so as rumour and innuendo has replaced facts.

If Afzal and his cronies thought that was the end of the matter, they were wrong. Allegations of  threats and intimidation against female Muslim councillors by a cabal of male Muslim candidates over a period of many years were followed up in a Newsnight investigation aired by BBC2 last Friday.

During the course of the programme, Labour MP for Luton South, Gavin Shuker, said he was “disappointed” by his party’s response. He told BBC Newsnight:

In recent weeks, when I’ve spoken up about this issue, I felt extremely pressured to be silent on the things I know to be true.

Shuker raised his concerns in response to claims made by MWN UK concerning the “blocking” of vocal, independent Muslim women by male members of the Labour Party who are of Pakistani heritage.

Shuker added:

I’ve been disappointed with the response of the Labour Party. I would like robust action from the leadership – both from the NEC and from the leader of the Labour Party to say ‘If there are these practices, we will take time to root them out.’

When people come forward with legitimate concerns, they should be backed, not silenced. This is not just a moral imperative; it’s an electoral imperative. We can’t carry on treating the Muslim community as fools – we need to serve up great candidates at every single level. The community knows when there are abuses of power.

One Asian woman, a former Labour councillor, agreed to be interviewed by BBC Newsnight as long as her identity was kept hidden. She claimed Pakistani-heritage councillors on the English council where she served, who are still sitting councillors, regularly protect corrupt Asian businessmen, including one who ran a club in which:

Inappropriate behaviours of a sexual nature were going on between young white girls and Asian males.

Newsnight spoke to other women who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions. Many talked of clan politics perpetrated by these patriarchal communities, the so-called “biraderi”, imported from the south Asian subcontinent, in which votes are delivered in blocks.

Many said threats and intimidation were used to force them out of politics. One woman said:

I was standing to be a councillor and the big man of the Asian councillors came to my house to convince my husband to get me to stop down. It was frightening … They were threatening and scaring my family into getting me to step aside.

Another said:

I complained to Labour branch but they sided with the men. These men told them they would get more votes and members for them. My life was made hell after the complaint. The aggression was too much to bear. I’m a single mum and was worried about my daughter’s safety. These men were capable of anything. In the end, I was deselected, despite all my commitment to the party.


MWN UK’s Shaista Gohir, above, told Newsnight:

What’s worrying, these men have become a law unto themselves. That can’t be in a vacuum, it’s been going on for decades. Muslim men are saying to us ‘We’re glad you are saying what we’ve all known about. It just gets brushed under the carpet by senior Labour officials.’

But the Labour Party said it had been:

At the forefront of the fight for women’s equality.

It added:

We have transformed the representation of women in politics and championed equality for women in the workplace.
Any complaints or evidence of sexism, intimidation, received by the Labour Party are dealt with fairly, according to our procedures and the law.

Labour Party elected representatives are expected to maintain the highest standards of behaviour and conduct at all times.

Any allegations of individual elected representatives whose behaviour falls short of that should be reported to the Labour Party or the appropriate authorities.

Hat tip: Antony Niall

15 responses to “Muslim councillors accused of ‘systematic misogyny’”

  1. John says:

    As a former member of the Labour Party – and a former elected Councillor – I can vouch for the accuracy of this report. It has always worried me that by importing third-world tactics into UK politics we will end up with the same degree of narcissism, corruption and nepotism which are found overseas.
    These practices are not restricted to just one religious cult.
    Having 26 people in the second legislature as-of-legal-right obviously is a corrupting influence for and of the established church of england.
    Zionists inside the three main parties wield disproportionate influence on behalf of a foreign and hostile power, not for the UK.
    British politics obviously needs cleaning-up – and quick!

  2. Cali Ron says:

    Religion ruins everything, especially politics. Religion and it’s dogma run counter to democracy and freedom, being repressive politically, socially and intellectually. This is just more evidence of the insidious nature of religion when allowed in politics and government.

  3. L.Long says:

    Well over a year ago I thought the English tolerance laws (blasphemy) would get them into trouble and that the isLame would take advantage and push themselves into positions of power then start taking over. Did know I was psychic.
    The thought that this is in England, I read it twice before seeing the Birmingham, is sad and somewhat scary.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Labour went to great lengths to expel members of Militant Tendency from its ranks, but Muslims and followers of some other religious persuasions have much in common with such “entryist” groups (and I’m not talking only about the Labour party, nor even of politics alone). That’s the plain truth, but what one can do about it without infringing upon individuals’ personal liberties I don’t really know. Certainly this sort of blatant discrimination needs to be condemned in the very strongest terms, but saying “Leave your religion at the door” will never work because they just can’t do that.

  5. Broga says:

    Reading some history on the rise of the Nazis and their methods from 1933 onwards is instructive. People who knew what was happening, and were often suffering, asked, “Why was this not recognised for what it was?”

    We will recognise what is happening: the persecution, the censorship, the infiltration into positions of power when it is too late. It may be too late now as we passively ignore the events before us.

  6. Bertie says:

    One thing muslims excel at is playing the victim.

  7. Bertie says:

    And male muslims excel at treating women very badly indeed.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    Corbyn won’t act – he’s paralysed by his own innate compulsion to avoid offending any members of a minority group, regardless of whether those members are playing by their own rules or not. Political correctness has resulted in the British political left becoming mired in a kind of vapid, vacuous torpor which will enable the likes of Afzal and his mates to continue to follow their own agenda and behave as they already do, with absolute impunity.

  9. Broga says:

    @AgentCormac: I agree. Any hopes about Corbyn seem more in hope than expectation. The British political left are enmeshed in a fantasy that somehow, sometime, somewhere their endless acceptance of, and support for, minority groups will result in some eventual political reward.

    They are being used and abused and taken for a ride. The rules are skewed against them and their response to being taken advantage off is to smile prettily, nod happily and let it continue. Truly desperate and profoundly foolish. A reality check awaits.

  10. AgentCormac says:

    @ Broga

    Perhaps there is hope beyond Corbyn.

  11. John says:

    For the anti-Corbybists who want to use this story to attack Corbyn, just bear in mind the fact that your way was tried in 2010 and 2015 – and proved spectacularly unsuccessful electorally on both occasions.
    Also, look at opinion poll data being reported today which suggests that Labour under Corbyn is now level with the Tories.
    See for details.

  12. Michael Glass says:

    The fact that women are speaking up, despite the threats and intimidation, is a hopeful sign.

  13. Raul Miller says:

    Religious bigots who treat women like property…same as it ever was.

  14. Maggie says:

    Multiculturalism has failed. And giving prominence to failed cultures is a recipe for disaster.

  15. The Left uses minorities to further its own agenda, and some minorities use the Left to further their own agenda. I wonder what all of this will lead to in years to come?