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  Home > Newsletter > MWNUK April 2014 Newsletter
MWNUK April 2014 Newsletter
Date: 30/4/2014

April 2014


Inspiring Women Event
(Downing Street)

In March 2014, The Prime Minister invited Chair of MWNUK, Shaista Gohir to a reception at 10 Downing Street to celebrate inspirational women from diverse fields of work ranging from the charities, business, arts & culture, sports, media, education and public life.  The event was also attended by a number of Cabinet Ministers.  Shaista was only one of the few ethnic minority women at the event.

Shariah Compliant Wills

(MWNUK Response)

In March 2014, The Law Society published Guidance on 'Sharia compliant wills' so that high street solicitors can use them when drafting wills in line with religious principles. This caused lots of debate and concerns were raised about inequality and attack on British values. MWNUK have put out a statement to clarify the matter, for example, Islamic law has not been adopted .  We have also highlighted that alternative gender-equitable Islamic interpretations surrounding the principles of inheritance also exist. Our response can be foundhere.

Unduly Lenient Sentence

(Mr. Maknojioa)

As you know, MWNUK wrote a letter to complain to the Attorney General about the unduly lenient sentence of Mr. Maknojioa , a Blackburn Quran teacher who sexually abused a girl .  We also followed this up with a second letter raising concerns about the CPS handling of the case in court.  We have now received a response from the Attorney General's office and the case will not be referred for appeal , which means the non custodial sentence will stand.  However, the concerns we have raised have been referred to the CPS.  We hope this will at least result in improvements in the way child abuse cases are handled in the future.  We again commend the bravery of the victim and her family for coming forward and we hope this will result in other victims coming forward and reporting too.

 In the Media
(Syria Campaign)

On 24th April 2014, the police launched a national campaign requesting that Muslim women help prevent British youth from travelling to Syria by warning them of the dangers of their involvement.  We supported the campaign because we are aware of Muslim women who have managed to persuade youth from going to Syria.  Although most youth are going abroad for humanitarian work, it is important to warn that even they are at risk of being manipulated while they are in Syria to get involved in fighting.  If they don't get killed then on their return they risk being arrested.  MWNUK participated in more than 25 media interview on that day on all the main radio and TV Channels. An interview by General Secretary, Mussurut Zia , can be foundhere.


MWNUK is pleased to announce three new grants.
  •  Rosa Charitable Fund has given 5000 to MWNUK to carry out an FGM project in Birmingham focusing on research.
  • The Barrow Cadbury Trust has given 13800 to raise awareness of the findings in Unheard Voices report that focused on the Sexual Exploitation of Asian Girls and Women.
  •  Garden Court Chambers has given us 1000 .
We of course continue to be grateful to the continued support from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust who continue to fund our core operating costs.

Annual General Meeting

A reminder to those who have not booked a place  for our Annual General Meeting , there are only a few places left.  The event will be held at Birmingham Council House on Friday 9thMay 2014 at 12pm to 5pm . This year's theme is Muslim Women and Mental Health.' You can find further details and to book your placehere.


Nottingham Muslim
Women's Network

On 16thApril Nottingham Muslim Women's Network held an event to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation of Asian girls amongst communities and professionals.  MWNUK Chair, Shaista Gohir, presented the Unheard Voices report at the event.  Other presentations included those from Nottinghamshire Police, NSPCC and the Green Academy Trust.  Another MWNUK member, playwright and poet, Emteaz Hussain recited a poem on the issue. The event was so popular that it was oversubscribed with 80 participants.  The event also made it into the local media such as ITV East Midlands and theNottingham Post.

Leyla Hussein

The Cruel Cut , Leyla Hussein's  Channel 4 film about Female Genital Mutilation has been nominated for a BAFTA Television Awards 2014 in the Current Affairs Category. Winners will be announced on Sunday May 18 2014  we hope Cruel Cut wins it would be a wonderful recognition of Leyla'a hard work! Do follow Leyla on Twitter and support her work at: @LeylaHussein 



 Muswah is a global Muslim Women's movement .  Read the latest Musawah Vision Newsletter (Issue 15 March) .  It includes information on how  Musawah challenged the ways the Governments of Bahrain, Qatar, and Iraq use religion to justify discrimination and non-compliance with treaty obligations at the 57th UNCEDAW(Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) session in Geneva.

UN Special Rapporteur Findings

 UN Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo travelled across the UK during a 16-day fact-finding mission into violence against women. MWNUK Trustee, Robina Iqbal attended the event organised by Eiman in Leicester. The Special Rapporteur found that legal and policy responses focused on harmful practices, such as early and forced marriages but ignored the harms coming from a "a sexist culture" that exists in the country. View Reporthere.

Happy British Muslims Video

A group of young Muslims called Honesty Policy produced a video showing British Muslims Dancing to Pharrell William's Happy song . Muslims from all walks of life took part in the video including scholars, activists, students and professionals, bloggers and simply everyday Muslims.  Although the video received backlash from some quarters, most Muslims have welcomed the video and it has had almost 1.5 million hits on Youtube so far. You can watch the videohere.


(Anti Muslim Prejudice Facts)

11 Interesting facts you may not know featured in an infographic foundhere.

Banaz Documentary

In October 2013 Banaz A Love Story' won the Emmy Award for Best International Current Affairs Documentary Film in Los Angeles.  Directed by Norwegian Pakistani Deeyah Khan , it is the account of an "honour" killing in south London in January 2006 when Banaz Mahmod , aged 20, was murdered by her family, Iraqi Kurds who felt she had dishonoured their community by deserting her abusive rapist husband and later falling in love with a man of her own choosing.  The documentary tells the story of the extraordinary police team who refused to give up, and finally brought her killers to justice .

For More About documentary film director Deeyah

You can view the Banaz filmhere.

(Note: It is also being shown at the UN in New York on 6th May 2014)

Poetry Anthology

 The Muslimah Speaks: Her Voice, Her Spirit is collected poetry written, edited and published by Muslim women and consists of poetry and also the poets' favourite verses from the Quran. This is a book written by religious women who believe it is important to reclaim their voices and their faith. And in this sense of reclamation and empowerment it is also a feminist book. It is available to buy onAmazon.


Mental Health Problems
Amongst Asian Women

Trainee Psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton is conducting research into the mental health help seeking experiences of British Born, South Asian women. if you are aged between 10 and 45, and are willing to share experiences about your barriers and how you over came them to seek help, then please contact: Mehmoona Ashiq (Trainee Counselling Psychologist) at


Diversity  - Gift of Islam

A joint conference is being held by Muslim Institute and Imaan on
Date: Saturday 10 May to Sunday and 11 May 2014
Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm

You can find conference details, speakers and bookinghere.

Campaigning Workshop

Whether you are challenging local authority social care changes or protesting about climate change - if you want information and advice about the next steps, then this campaign workshop is for you.

Date: 10th June 2014
Time: 9.45am to 4pm
Location: Nottingham

To find out more and to download a registration form,

Caroline Rose: / 020 7697 4046
Harmit Kambo: / 020 7697 4042

Islamic Psychology&
Mental Health Services

This conference aims to explore and debate the critical perspectives, themes and concepts that underpin Muslim Psychology' and models of mental health and illness and consider how these might relate to mainstream' psychological and mental health services in the UK

London (9th June 2014)

Manchester (11th June 2014)

Further details and booking

Urban Muslim Women's

Event celebrating many achievements and successes of Muslim women.

Saturday 14th June 2014
4.30 pm onwards at the Novotel in London

Early bird ticket: 36.00 including dinner (until 10th May 14) thereafter tickets will be 45.00.

To book your tickets call 0203 384 6839 or Book online:
For inquiries email us on


What is life like for
Gay Muslim Women?

Short video featured on Channel 4 News about about the prejudices faced by lesbian Muslim women in the UK.  To view video and short blog by Chair of MWNUK, Shaista Gohir, clickhere.

Middlesborough Project
(Honour Violence &
Forced Marriage)

Since launching in 2011, the response to The Halo Project , in central Middlesbrough , has been overwhelming with more than 100 victims coming forward for support and hundreds calling for advice. The Halo Project, now in its second year, provides The project provides support and, where necessary, intervention to protect those on Teesside at risk of honour-based violence and forced marriage . Clickherefor full article.

Anyone affected by these issues can contact the Halo Project by phone on 01642 683045 or via the website

200Girls Missing in Nigeria

Over 200 female secondary school students were abducted from their boarding school by a group of people who are believed to be a part of the extremist group  Boko Haram in Nigeria . Please sign this petition so that this situation can be given the right level of coverage in international media and be addressed as a priority issue by the UNICEF , UN Women and other international organizations that can put significant pressure on the Nigerian Government to intensify it's search efforts.

The petition can be foundhere.  Please share and encourage others to sign it.


Birmingham & Solihull
Women's Aid

Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid have a number of vacancies and the closing date is 7thMay 2014 clickherefor details.

MWNUK's commitment to furthering the plights of Muslim women in the UK is met with the ongoing challenge of funding our initiatives. We really need your financial support in bringing about justice for Muslim women in the UK. As a registered charity, number 1155092) you can donatehere.You can donate via text. To donate 5 text the following code NISA04 5 to 70070 

 In This Newsletter 

Inspiring Women Event
Shariah Compliant Wills
Unduly Lenient Sentence
In the Media - Syria
Annual General Meeting

Nottingham Muslim Women's Network
Leyla Hussein

UN Special Rapporteur Findings
Happy British Muslims Video

Tell MAMA Facts
Banaz Documentary
Poetry Anthology

Mental Health of Asian Women

Diversity - Gift of Islam
Campaigning Workshop
Islamic Psychology
Urban Muslim Women Show

Gay Muslim Women
Middlesborough Project
Girls Missing Nigeria

Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid

To donate 5 text the following code NISA04 5 to 70070 

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