Muslim communities remain isolated because men keep marrying women from home countries, report warns
Dame Louise Casey
Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor
Telegraph, 5 December 2016 • 6:57pm
Muslim communities remain isolated even after decades in the UK because men keep marrying foreign wives, a Government adviser has warned.
Dame Louise Casey said that there is a “first generation in every generation” phenomenon in Muslim communities which is acting as a “bar” to integration.
The review also accuses Labour and local authorities of having “ignored or even condoned” harmful cultural traditions for fear of being branded “racist or Islamaphobic”.
It reports concerns that Sharia Courts in the UK have been “supporting the values of extremists, condoning wife-beating [and] ignoring marital rape”.
Dame Louise said that the Government must act to end the “misogyny and patriarchy” in some Muslim communities.
She said that police officers and midwives should be barred from wearing veils because she wants “to see their faces”, but added that people otherwise should be allowed to “dress how they wanted”.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I talk about the patterns of change in the population of the country and how the pace of immigration, in particular, in some areas has been too much.
“In Sheffield I didn’t find it difficult to find people really struggling with the vast numbers of people coming in from Eastern Europe and the Roma community.
“One school has gone from less than 5 per cent non-UK nationals to 95 per cent non-UK nationals within a few years. That type of change, the impact of immigration and other population changes has been huge and we haven’t been on an integration strategy.”
The review found one northern town where every councillor of Asian ethnicity had married a wife from Pakistan, while a study by Bristol University found that half of British Pakistanis married back in Pakistan.
It warned that although the Government has tightened up marriage visa rules, men are getting round them by living with their future wives in Europe then moving back to the UK with them under free movement rules.
It suggested that authorities have failed to tackle “harmful” cultural practices “in the name of multi-culturalism and tolerance”.
Dame Louise highlighted one northern town, which was not named, in which the local authority funded the work of a “representative” from the Muslim community who believed that Isil was not a terrorist organisation.
The review also referred to reports that Labour politicians addressed gender segregated meetings in the run up to the General Election.
It says: “This promotion and legitimisation of division between the sexes was denied at the time, but is undermined by photographs of the audience and statements on event advertisements.”
Demonstrators from Muslims Against Crusaders protest against democracy outside the US Embassy in London in 2011.
In other findings the report discloses that nearly a fifth of those who were officially designated as homeless last yea were foreign nationals, adding that it has “implications for who gets priority for social housing”. The report raises significant concerns about Sharia councils.
It says: “We heard about discriminatory practices against women which, in some cases, are causing serious harm. Some women’s rights groups have accused Sharia Councils and other parallel legal systems of denying vulnerable women and children access to equality and human rights.
“There have been claims that some Sharia Councils have been supporting the values of extremists, condoning wife-beating, ignoring marital rape and allowing forced marriage. It has also been claimed that their influence is growing.
“Some women’s rights groups have accused Sharia Councils and other parallel legal systems of denying vulnerable women and children access to equality and human rights. forced marriage. It has also been claimed that their influence is growing.”