Dozens of Muslim women have spoken out against the systematic use of death threats and sexual violence by Muslim men within Britain’s Labour Party. They accuse the party of doing little to address the problem.
One woman alleged that Labour councillors covered for a businessman caught sexually abusing “white girls” on camera. Others, she said, forced abused Muslim women to return to violent husbands, and many others said intimidation was used to block Muslim women from local politics.
The anonymous, female Muslim, who was blocked for becoming a councillor, said local Labour politicians overlooked “inappropriate behaviours going on of a sexual nature between young white girls and Asian males” because the perpetrator was a supportive “Asian” businessman.
She said it was a “regular occurrence”.
Sexual slurs, intimidation and even death threats were used by sexist Muslim men to stop females entering local government.
Many of the women also told of the “clan politics” perpetrated by these patriarchal communities, the so-called “biraderi”, imported from the South Asian subcontinent whereby votes are delivered in blocks.
One ex-councillor explained how she was ousted: “I’ve no doubt I was deselected by Pakistani clan politics. There were around 100 people in the room. One of the local councillors had been recruiting family and friends to deselect me.”
The Muslim Women’s Network UK (MWNUK) has written again to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying it is “disappointed and unsatisfied” with Labour’s response to the charity’s calls for an inquiry.
Five weeks ago, MWNUK wrote to the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, protesting the “open secret” of large numbers of male Muslim Labour councillors blocking Muslim women from entering politics.
Since then the Party has put individual areas into “special measures”, effectively meaning the selection process is taken out of local hands. Only a few councillors have been reprimanded.
A Labour Party Member of Parliament has subsequently spoken out, saying that he “felt pressured” after criticising the Muslim misogyny within the party.
“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”, Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South, told the BBC.