Marriage Jihad (Part I)

by Hugh Fitzgerald

One of the many ways that Muslims manage to enter and settle in the West is by marrying a Muslim who is already living in the West as a legal migrant or even as a citizen.

One version is that where Pakistani-British men return to Pakistan to find a bride, most often a cousin, who will be unused to Western ways, unlike Pakistani-British girls brought up in the U.K. For the Muslim girl, this arranged marriage appears not much different from the arranged marriage her family would otherwise make for her to a husband in Pakistan. In fact, she will come out ahead, because when her new husband brings her back to the U.K as his wife, even though she may live in a Muslim neighborhood, she will have more freedom of movement than would ever have been possible in Pakistan. She may acquire a better knowledge of English, offered by the generous welfare state of Britain. She may then have the further possibility of being able to work outside the house, depending on how liberal her husband is, and how great is the family’s need for money. She and her children will receive medical care far beyond what would have been possible in Pakistan. Her children will receive educations superior to anything they could get in Pakistan.

And in this way, many thousands of Pakistani girls and women are allowed into the U.K. each year — no one seems to know exactly how many — as the wives, in arranged  marriages, sometimes forced, of Muslim men already living in the country legally, thereby helping to increase the number of Muslims in Britain.

A different kind of arranged marriage is that where Muslim girls and women, who are legal migrants, or citizens, living in the U.K., are sent abroad by their families to marry Muslim men, who can return with them, as their husbands, on spousal visas. In order to make sure the girls are unable to back out from the marriages that have been arranged for them, the men deliberately rape and impregnate the girls, a way to seal the deal, and to prevent divorce, for the girls have now been rendered of less value — except to these “husbands” — on the marriage market. Furthermore, it is believed that a pregnant wife makes the marriage more legitimate in the eyes of British authorities.

These husbands from abroad now find that they are often (though not always) given that coveted thing, a spousal visa, by the Home Office, that allows them to remain in the U.K. as husbands of women who are legal migrants or  citizens. The couple can now be recipients of all the largesse the generous British welfare state provides. Their family can receive free or highly subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, family allowances, and more. But the main thing the men wanted they now have: they are able, with these spousal visas, to remain in the U.K.

Not all the women involved in these forced marriages are reconciled to their dismal lot. Some of these women have tried to get the British government to halt the practice of giving visas to their putative “husbands.”

Here is a recent story from The Times:

Women and girls raped after being sent abroad, then Home Office lets illegal husbands settle in UK.

British teenagers are being forced to marry abroad and are raped and impregnated while the Home Office “turns a blind eye” by handing visas to their husbands, The Times has found.

Officials received dozens of reports last year that women wanted to block visas for men they had been made to marry in countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates. In almost half of their cases the visas were approved, records show.

Yvette Cooper, chairwoman of the home affairs select committee, said she would demand answers from the Home Office over the findings.

Experts believe that there are thousands of victims in Britain as the vast majority are too afraid to come forward….

Thus, while recognizing the nature of these forced marriages, designed to help the husbands obtain residence in the U.K., and having heard the testimony of many of the women who have been forced into these sham marriages, and heard, too, their pleas not to give their “husbands” visas, the Home Office has nonetheless continued to approve visas for these men. Why? Is it because they don’t mind offending Muslim women, but are worried about offending Muslim men? Are there Muslims working in the Home Office who are used to the idea of arranged — and forced — marriages, and do not consider such marriages to be “sham”? Where is the justification for approving these visas for men who, at the very least, have been accused by their “wives” of having raped them, and whose main interest is clearly not the marriage itself, but the ability to receive the spousal visas that will allow them to remain in the U.K.?

These “marriages” have involved girls as young as 11 who were sent abroad from the U.K.  Sometimes they are “married” using Skype. As noted above, the deliberate attempt to impregnate these girls not only makes them less marriageable to others, so that they are more likely to stay in this forced marriage, but also to make their own “marriage” more legitimate to British authorities. Another consideration is that by having their daughters marry Muslim men from abroad, who expect strict adherence to Islam, the parents hope that will change the behavior of their daughters, if they give signs of becoming too Western in their ways:

“Imams in the UK and abroad have been conducting ceremonies using Skype – so girls can be married remotely before “being put on a plane and consummating the marriage at the earliest opportunity”, according to Freedom, a charity.

The marriage is often conducted with the promise of a visa to the UK for their new husband, it said.

The reason is to curb the behavior of their children when they become ‘too western’,” charity founder Aneeta Prem was quoted as saying by ‘The Sunday Times’.

“Once married, there is enormous pressure to get a spouse visa. The hope is the girl will visit (country of husband’s origin) and fall pregnant to make the union seem more legitimate before bringing the partner back,” she said.

To sum up:

Muslim girls in the U.K. are being sent abroad and forced to marry Muslim men, often much older, whom they do not know, and who have already been chosen for them, for three reasons. First, in order to make sure that their behavior remains islamically correct, and does not become “too western.” Second, so that the men they marry will be able to enter, and remain in, the U.K., on a spousal visa. Third, in some cases, these husbands-to-be pay the families of the girls for the right to marry them, mainly in order to get the benefits of that visa.

First published in Jihad Watch.