May 16, 2013


Two cousins were flown to Britain to finish the job and eventually Banaz was strangled and her body buried hundreds of miles away in a suitcase in Birmingham.

The crime would have been unsolved if Banaz had not written down and videotaped herself naming the guilty relatives. Her testimony from beyond the grave brought her some justice. Her father and uncle were convicted and eventually so were the two cousins who did the deed.

The massive publicity of these and other cases has helped push the forced-marriage business into the public eye and”€”with the help of taxpayers”€™ money set aside to tackle the problem”€”it is now a big public-sector money-spinner.

Lawyers, activists, police, bureaucrats, and politicians have all seen the opportunity and gotten their snouts in the trough. There are conferences and seminars, roadshows and awareness campaigns, and confidential hotlines with translation available.

Beneficiaries of the government’s largesse include the New Vic Theatre, which has staged plays and workshops on the subject, the Southall Black Sisters who are providing advice, counseling, and training, the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council, and many more.

There are expensive marketing materials in print and online materials available in any language. There are educational resources and extensively written “€œmulti-agency guidelines”€ (also available in Welsh).

At the heart of this new industry is the well-staffed Forced Marriage Unit that sits in the Home Office and sends its employees across the globe sniffing out marital coercion. 

Much of the FMU’s work takes place abroad in places such as Islamabad, where it has an office in the British High Commission. New legislation has given courts the power to issue forced-marriage protection orders to prevent marriages from taking place.

The unit dealt with 1,485 cases last year and expects to be busier this year as, according to their website, “€œit is believed many other forced marriages go unreported.”€ The Forced Marriage Unit has now expanded into making short animated films warning of the evils of forced marriage that will be shown to bewildered Muslim teens in Pakistan.

And of course there is the publicity. 

Just as they would have leapt on the poisonings of yesteryear, the media have covered the forced-marriage issue in lurid depth. Hours of airtime and acres of newsprint have been devoted to it.

You might think that such a headlong collision between two of the most cherished liberal sacraments”€”feminism and multiculturalism”€”would give some liberals pause for thought.

They might ask themselves if multiculturalism is an entirely good thing. Is it quite the unalloyed benefit that our leaders have always maintained?

But you would be wrong. Britain’s progressives are able to see opportunity in every crisis, and for them the formation of a new victim group is an upside. In Britain today, power flows from victimhood and money flows from power.

You simply can”€™t have too many victim groups.



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