Sunday, January 06, 2008

From Allende's Lips to Blears' Ears

Muslim Women in Whitehall (UK) could get a voice soon. (via the Sunday TImes)

Hazel Blears, community secretary, is requesting a piece of the 70 million pound government fund set up to combat extremism be put towards courses for Muslim women. The courses would teach "confidence building, communication and mediation skills."

"Muslim women will be offered work placements with business leaders and top athletes (?) to imbue assertiveness and leadership and help them to advance their careers. Funding will be available to set up local Muslim women’s groups to provide a “safe space” where they can discuss their concerns."

"Half of all Muslim women have never worked..."

Some people are scared shitless: “The government at first wanted our imams to act as spies on young British Muslims and now they seem to want Muslim women to do the same,” said Inayat Bunglawala, the council’s assistant secretary-general.

Comments below the Sunday Times article reveal a distinct dislike of the "Labor left," which they feel this is a product of.

Sure, Muslim women have basically no rights, but this could give them a voice. Whether they're mothers, laborers, or government workers, this could give them the confidence to fight back. I'm finding it hard to believe anyone could think this is a bad thing.

I've long held the belief that education is extremely empowering. If this actually happens, it will give these women the opportunity to increase their influence and make their voices heard.

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