Saturday, August 15, 2009

UK:Politician Walks out of Muslim Gender Segregated Wedding

Usually when we read an article about Islam in the UK we read about politically correct Brits catering to Islam, while ignoring their own beliefs. This time it is different though, as a government minister has sparked controversy by walking out of a Muslim wedding, because they would not let him sit with his wife. Personally I do not blame him one bit.

Hat tip to the Wrath.

MP defends Muslim wedding walkout

A government minister has defended his decision to walk out of a Muslim wedding in east London because he was told he must sit apart from his wife.

Jim Fitzpatrick, food, farming and environment minister, left a ceremony at London Muslim Centre, Whitechapel.

The MP for Poplar and Canning Town told the BBC the segregation showed a degree of intolerance in the East End.

Mr Fitzpatrick, whose constituency is home to a large Muslim community, blamed the tough stance on the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) - an organisation that calls for Sharia law - which is based in the same building.

He told the BBC's Today: "This is a very exceptional occasion, it's a new occurrence.
"It perhaps demonstrates that there is a degree of intolerance - certainly exclusion rather than inclusion, which we are trying to build in the East End.

"Certainly the vast number of my Muslim constituents who've contacted me have expressed sympathy that I was placed in this predicament."

Mr Fitzpatrick is the local MP and a family friend of bride Mahbuba Kamali and groom Bodrul Islam.

The couple said they decided on a segregated wedding out of respect for some of their elderly relatives.

Mrs Kamali said: "It was a private party so if we want to make these requests we are not imposing it and saying we want it to go nationwide and for everyone to be segregated.

"If we wanted to we could have had a fancy dress party and ask all our guests to come this way, and I'm sure he would not refuse."

Mr Islam said he was "upset and embarrassed" by the incident.

"I don't think anyone deserves to have their wedding hijacked for political purposes, or any other purposes," he said.

Mohammad Shakir, a spokesman for the centre, said: "Segregated weddings have always been popular in the Muslim community - the London Muslim Centre has facilitated them for over five years.

"It is part of the attraction for Muslim families so they can celebrate their happy day in a religious atmosphere.

"We have always allowed non-Muslim guests to be seated together without segregation, but this is entirely at the discretion of the families who hire the halls."

Link to Article

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