Most of you will have seen this by now but just in case you haven’t I reproduced below an article I wrote for the Huffington Post yesterday. To read it in full click here.
Be More British, Speak More English, Dress Like This – Another Normal Week for British Muslim Women
Another week and another barrage of politicians and newspaper headlines place various demands on British Muslims. This week’s disproportionately focus on Muslim women, calling on them to change the way they dress, speak more English more often, and reform Islam. Not asking for much then.
As unnecessary as they are tiresome, the real problem though is that this week’s demands merely regurgitate ideas and approaches that have previously been shown to be unworkable or have categorically failed. More concerning though is that they once again illustrate how British politicians and the British media have been complicit for more than a decade in appropriating Muslim women for political and ideological gain.
From research undertaken with Surinder Guru, we found clear evidence of how successive British Governments had instrumentally used the issue of gender when seeking to engage with Muslim communities. As we put it, far from empowering Muslim women it instead reduced them – as also their concerns and needs – to little more than a novelty sideshow that was being surreptitiously scripted by those with all the power.
This week’s announcements also fit this template.
To continue reading, click here.