Muslim Parliament logo
Muslim Parliament
The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain
Links Links go to homepage

In the media

Compulsory lessons urged on forced marriage and 'honour' violence

Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
Friday June 13 2008
The Guardian

Lessons about "honour"-based violence and forced marriage should be an explicit statutory requirement in British schools and become a compulsory part of the sex and relationships curriculum, MPs said today.

A report from the all-party home affairs select committee said education on these issues seemed to be "at best variable, and at worst nonexistent", with some schools apparently resistant to discussing them, owing to fear of offending parents and communities. It said there was evidence to suggest that children were in danger of being removed from school or further education and forced into marriage.

The committee acknowledged the significant steps taken to stop domestic and "honour"-based violence; however, it criticised the government's disproportionate focus on the criminal justice system.

Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: "We are still failing victims in different ways: through a shortage of refuge space; through the ignorance or disbelief of professionals; or by allowing the continued abuse of some of those forced into marriage by granting visas to their spouses."

There needed to be a shift in focus towards education, prevention and early intervention, he added. "We educate our young people about the dangers of drugs or road safety but not, it seems, about domestic and 'honour'-based violence and forced marriage, which will affect a quarter of all women in their lifetime and many men too."

Posters and other publicity material should be sent out to schools by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, rather than waiting for a specific request from teachers, the report said.

The MPs also suggested there should be a wide-ranging public education campaign about all the issues involved in domestic violence, along the lines of a road safety campaign, and that doctors and nurses should undergo training in identifying victims of domestic violence.

Other recommendations include a specialised victim protection programme, similar to witness protection, for women fleeing "honour"-based violence and refusing visa applications in the case of reluctant brides or bridegrooms.

Domestic violence cost the UK £25.3bn in 2005-06 in terms of expenses incurred on public services, losses to the economy and costs to the victim, the report said, with the true cost likely to be much higher as not all crimes are reported to police.

Yesterday saw the second in a series of national roadshows organised by the government to tackle "honour"-based violence. The event, in Cambridge, brought together police, officials from the Crown Prosecution Service and charities to raise awareness of the problem.

The Home Office minister Vernon Coaker described "honour"-based violence as a "heinous crime" that had no place in society. "I recognise the scale of the problem is largely unknown since so much of it remains underground.

"These roadshows will help authorities identify the problem more readily, helping some of the most vulnerable people in the country."

The government's Forced Marriage Unit deals with 5,000 inquiries and 300 cases of forced marriage every year. About a third of these concern under-18s and 15% are men. Home Office figures suggest there are about 12 "honour" killings each year but the report says the total is likely to be far higher.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2008




Media archive

Shariah Queries Pose Challenge

Gaza and the radicalisation of British Muslims

Law to protect the young must cover madrassas as well

This is no way to fight terror

A marriage of convenience will not do

Frustrated love and forced marriage

Changing the face of Muslim family life

New model Muslim marriage contract ‘revolutionary’ for UK women

British women who paid dearly for not registering their marriages

New Sharia law marriage contract gives Muslim women rights

Is this the beginning of a new European Islam?

Compulsory lessons urged on forced marriage and 'honour' violence

Law and principle are lost in the crazy politics of 42 days

A shaming victory - Brown 42 days

Islam's holiest city set for 130-skyscraper redevelopment

No more mosques, says senior Synod member

Muslim reformer's 'heresy': The Islamic state is a dead end

Intellectuals condemn fatwa against writers

Met 'let down' victim killed by her family

Divisions In Our World Are Not The Result Of Religion

Home secretary accused of putting off vote on terrorism bill

Muslim leader says families must help catch honour killers

Blasphemy caused by cuddly animals

Mistake to curb liberties in response to 7/7, says minister

Asim Siddiqui: Beyond Hizb ut-Tahrir

Naomi Klein: Why failure is the new face of success

Naomi Klein: The erasing of Iraq

Naomi Klein: The age of disaster capitalism

Special units to crack down on honour killing

Can Culture Be Bought In the Gulf?

Luxury timeshares on offer at Islam's holiest pilgrimage site

The shortest route to peace… is through Jerusalem

Pope and Islam - Muhammad's Sword

Pope and Islam -
Roots of rationality

Removal of men from holiday flight condemned

How Islam got political: Founding fathers

MPs fear police terror raid will hit community relations

Muslims question terror raid tactics

A pantomime in Forest Gate

Sudan’s Turabi - Muslim women can marry Christian or Jew

Faith leaders unite to champion supportive care for terminally ill

Warning on Muslim schools 'abuse'

Government urged to introduce registration scheme for religious Islamic schools

Call for national register of mosque schools

A call to protect Madrasa-goers from abuse

Abuse widespread in Islamic schools, says Muslim leader

Madrassa children ‘at risk of abuse’

Islamic schools in denial about child abuse

Muslim rally organisers tell extremists to stay away

Calls to scrap holocaust day slammed

The destruction of Mecca: Saudi hardliners are wiping out their own heritage

Britain to rebrand ethnic minorities

Live chat with the leader of the Muslim Parliament in Britain

Religious leaders braced for more faith-hate attacks

Police investigate 'backlash' attacks

Fanatics realise worst fears of Muslims

Muslims, do not be fooled by this law

Prisoners freed a year ago struggle to rebuild their lives

Muslim leaders consult other faiths for advice on stamping out abuse

Could the tsunami disaster be a turning point for the world?

Muslim men use law loophole to get a harem of ‘wives’

Novice imams must be vetted, Muslim leaders say

End these detentions

Muslim leaders blame Blair’s war on Iraq for growing alienation

End this internment now

Under siege on all sides, Muslims plead for peace

Islamic weddings leave women unprotected

Muslim leaders attack extremists' claims

Talking Point Forum interview with Dr Siddiqui

Focus on forced Asian marriages

British High Court judge condemns forced Asian marriages

Islam and the voice of reason

Passionate debate on a landmark in race relations

Leave us Muslims out of the anti-terror laws