Inside the world of UK Muslim women

A major survey shows most want to marry their soulmates and enjoy high street fashion, while keeping a delicate balance with their Islamic values. She wants to marry her soulmate, shops in Primark, TK Maxx and Topshop, and dreams of starting her own business. Meet the typical Muslim woman in Britain today. A thousand women throughout the country have responded to the biggest lifestyle study of Muslim women undertaken in the UK. It appears to show that Muslim women have established a delicate balance between a desire to live a contemporary lifestyle and tap into consumer trends while sticking to values underpinning the Islamic guide to life. The survey shows that 58 per cent of Muslim women do not think the racial background of a partner matters, although two-thirds believe it is very important for their man to be knowledgeable about Islam. Success to 37 per cent of women means being a good Muslim, while 32 per cent say it is about combining work with family life, with 52 per cent wanting to run their own businesses. When asked which Muslim causes were most important, 70 per cent of women said matters affecting Muslims in their own community or in the UK were a priority against 21 per cent who said that the Middle East was the most important issue facing Muslims today. Talat Ahmed, 32, from Redbridge in east London, is a married with a three-year-old daughter and works in human resources for a charity. She said: ‘I become so English when the Rugby World Cup is on. We’re British and we love it here. Nick Mathiason and Huma Qureshi report.

Outcry after French Court Annuls Marriage Because Bride Not a Virgin

A ruling ending a Muslim couple’s union has stunned many in France and for some has raised new concerns about the country’s secular values. In its ruling in April the court concluded that the woman had misrepresented herself and that, in this particular marriage, virginity was a prerequisite. France’s Justice Minister Rachida Dati has since formally requested the public prosecutor’s office to appeal the Lille court ruling which annulled the 2006 union of two Muslims because the wife admitted to having lied about being a virgin. Many have denounced the court’s ruling as an affront to the legal equality of mean and women and as a violation of the woman’s privacy. Prime Minister Fran_ois Fillion stated that while he understood the reason for the judge’s ruling the case merited an appeal. Fadela Amara, minister in charge of the country’s suburbs and herself Muslim has called the ruling, a fatwa against the emancipation of women. Dati who herself had a marriage annulled in France that had been arranged by her family has, as of June 6, received a petition from 150 European deputies denouncing the dangerous precedent of the decision. Both the woman and the man in question are opposed to an appeal.

Public Prosecutor: Wilders did not violate Dutch discrimination law

Geert Wilders will not be prosecuted on charges of inciting hatred of Muslims for his anti-Quran film _Fitna’ and for comments written for a Dutch newspaper. Dutch prosecutors said that they would not take action, because Wilders is protected by the right to free speech. The prosecutors received dozens of complaints for an investigation following his film and comments. Prosecutors released a statement saying: That comments are hurtful and offensive for a large number of Muslims does not mean that they are punishable […] Freedom of expression fulfills an essential role in public debate in a democratic society […] “Than means that offensive comments can be made in a political debate.