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Despicable

November 14, 2009 @ 12:02

There are three things that make my blood boil. Wife beaters, animal abusers and forced marriages - in no particular order I might add, it all depends on the situation.

I got up Saturday morning and went through the various e-papers and happened upon an article in the Toronto Star about forced marriages and it made me shake by head - and of course, made my blood boil.

Talk about infuriating, and from so many angles. In its purest form, a forced marriage is not only archaic and selfish and silly, in most cases it's racist.

Imagine your average white Canadian man refusing to let his daughter marry someone because of their colour or religion? He immediately would be labeled an intolerant, trailer park Archie Bunker asshole. But for some reason, when it happens within the South Asian community, where it's most prominent, there's an air of understanding or tolerance.

Like most things that deal with race and religion in our confused little country, there's always politically correct attempt to understand it as long as it doesn't involve the white guy.

It's culture they say. It's tradition. It's the way it's always been done. Cool, and I'll accept all that if it doesn't happen on Canadian soil. It doesn't make it right that they're still living in the dark ages in India, but there are enough things in Canada to fix without having to worry about a third world country with something as oppressive as a caste system.

In Canada, forced marriages should be declared illegal. Any attempt by parents to force their child to marry someone against their wishes should be reported to authorities and be dealt with severely. This is no better than the slave trade or human trading that every decent society has worked so hard to prevent or snuff out.

Maybe I'm too rational, or I've always been too distanced from religion, but as the human species evolves I can't help but think that rationality should take over in many instances.

In the year 2009, regardless of race or religion or status, the idea of one person forcing another to marry someone against their wishes is simply not acceptable. There is no excuse for it, there is reason for it and there should be zero tolerance for it.

It is wrong.

The stories referred to in the Star article are shocking and we should all take notice because it's happening all around us. Cultural strength within some communities has reduced some children to objects, objects to offer someone else to keep a culture or a race intact, objects to satisfy prehistoric beliefs.

And this should be far reaching. If parents coerce their children out of the country and force the marriage of a Canadian child on foreign soil they should be charged immediately upon their return and the marriage should not be recognized and any documentation initiated to bring the "new husband" to Canada should be dumped into the garbage.

That's another motive of these forced marriages, easy access to Canada.

And let's not try to play games through this. In the Star article the point is made that this problem is a cross-cultural and cross-racial issue. If you want to beat the bushes long enough you can find examples of forced marriage within every race, religion and culture including the polygamists out in BC who are conveniently referred to in the Star.

Of course this is an attempt to draw white boy into the fray, but make no mistake about it, this is decidedly a South Asian practice.

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in BC is a cult and can't be compared to the systemic practices of the South Asian community. Neither is right, but one vastly differs from the other.

And I have to laugh at the headline of the Star article. "Forced to wed: 'They think they're doing what's best for the child." .... To my mind just another politically correct attempt to justify this on some level.

Anyone with half a brain in their head knows this is wrong and no level of rationale can justify it.

Don't kid yourself, these parents do it for themselves because they're very selfish, extremely intolerant but mostly racist.

Category: Racism | Stuff

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93 Responses to "Despicable"


Curtis
November 14, 2009 / 14:41

Right on Freddie. It's a disgusting practice that has no place in Canada.


Percival
November 14, 2009 / 15:28

Not much different than sending your kid to private school meet other rich kids for business and marriage.


Gene
November 14, 2009 / 16:51

Percival, you're kidding aren't you? You've got to be kidding! Or are you part of the discontent underachievers who resent those who did.


@Percival
November 14, 2009 / 16:57

Seriously man! One is coercion in the extreme, where an entire family force one member to marry a man she's never met. The other is monied individuals sending their kids to monied schools and HOPING they will marry someone monied. When did you last hear of a Bishop Strachan girl being taken out of the country and not being allowed to return without marrying the guy they'd chosen? It's not happening.


Gene
November 14, 2009 / 17:00

One is forced, the other is hope.. big difference.. and to be honest, you lost me with the Bishop Strachan bit.


Doug
November 14, 2009 / 17:32

Who could forget St Elsewhere when the Indian Doc had an arranged marriage. It fell apart and no one wanted to talk to him about it. Finally one expressed their condolances and he said `that`s ok, she was one ugly broad`.


@Gene
November 14, 2009 / 17:32

Sorry I lost you there. Bishop Stachan is a private school very well known to the Eatons and the Bassetts and the Rogers' and other well-monied families in Toronto. http://bss.on.ca/v2/


Horonymous
November 14, 2009 / 18:30

I like when new Canadians bring some of their customs & traditions with them when they hit our shores.
However the oppressive attitudes towards their wives, daughters and women should be left behind.
Embrace Canada and make our some of our customs some of your new ones.


Pam
November 14, 2009 / 19:11

Compelling post, Fred.
Once again we see the Star acting as an apologist on behalf unacceptable immigrant practices. And I'll repeat your word - that is despicable. You'll find their editors screaming louder for the rights of Omar Khadr.
I don't know where to start here. For me, this is a gender issue more than anything - where a woman is served up to the highest bidder. It is sexual slavery. As Canadian citizens, these women are entitled to protection, their tormentors deserve jail, but I don't see that happening, because any politician that gets that ball rolling will lose the South Asian vote.
The high school I went to in the 70s had a large italian population. I had two girls in my class in grade 9 who were engaged to older men they had never met. Both girls were to be married after grade 10, once they turned 16. Although both girls had engagement rings, neither one was happy about their fate. I remember being so shocked and disgusted and wondered how their parents could be so cruel...


Rick C in Oakville
November 14, 2009 / 22:09

This is so despicable on many levels. Along with Genital Mutilation and other old world practices, as a father of a teenage daughter it sickens me to what value these parents put on their daughters.

I just did a Google search on women fleeing these marriages and it is happening all over the world, large number in England. The number of family honour killings is just outrageous.

I hope any girls living here with an arranged marriage hanging over their heads flee, as there are people in their communities set up to help them. The isolation and the sense of disgracing the family seems to stop most.

Our WW1 & WW2 vets fought so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have, just because a group of newcomers has a sickening Cultural tradition we should not cave to the Multi Cult apologists, this practice has no place in Canadian society and should be banned.


Romy
November 15, 2009 / 06:17

Right on Freddie. Pam, you clearly didn't read the Star piece - at least not the one I read. It in no way apologises or downplays the injustice of the practice of forced marriages.

From the article:

Forced marriage can also be a matter of family honour. "It's acceptable if the son is dating someone, but God save you if you, a girl, have a boyfriend," says Amandeep Kaur, manager of Punjabi Community Health Services.

"It's totally unacceptable."

and:

"Parents think if they marry their daughter off to someone who was born and raised in, say, Pakistan, it will help preserve the culture," says Mattoo. "What they don't understand is that they are wreaking havoc on their kids' lives."

I'm not getting your "once again the Star acting as an apologist" thing you refer to ...

Not everything liberal (note the small "l") is bad boys and girls in right-wing land. How about kudos to the Star for researching and writing the story? They've flagged the issue up, which is more than any other media outlet in Canada has done.


murph
November 15, 2009 / 11:32

No kudos to the Star. I am chosing not to read the paper anymore, and not browse their site. I have read too many anti police, anti Canadian troop stories and dont want my 'hits' on their site making them money. I encourage all to do the same.


Bopper
November 15, 2009 / 14:55

Re Khadr...it's not normal for a large newspaper to put him on the front page 5 days of 7. And to hit the supreme court? This is an extremely rich and powerful family who is not a friend of the west.


Ralph
November 15, 2009 / 15:02

Our caste system has people with Mercedes Benz and BMW's. They live in rich areas. Think they are the priveleged lot. They send their kids to private schools not only avoid riff raff but to meet other rich kids who will be business contacts and to marry a rich mate.


Right Uppercut
November 15, 2009 / 15:12

Ralphie: what's wrong with being successful, making money and enjoying the benefits of same?

As for arranged "marriages..." rah rah, just another very dubious "benefit" of forced multi-cult, another legacy from Chairman Mao... er Pierre.


LEW
November 15, 2009 / 15:48

Don't forget the Catholics hate your way of life Fred; allowing divorce, using contraceptives instead of seeding every spring – maybe you can help your brothers and sisters understand that eventually the religious zealots are exposed for their misgivings and our great Canadian culture is eventually adopted – give them your warm shoulder, not the cold one.
I love that old South Asian song – Match maker match maker make me a match…..


Argie
November 15, 2009 / 16:10

Lew: Man, you're awesome. You're using that tired old liberal tactic called "relativism". That's where you take something so despicable and wrong like arrange marriage and honor killings and compare it to a Christian belief (or in this case, Catholic) that doesn't condone g@y marriage or abortion.

I really thought you were smarter than that. You should be writing for the Toronto Star instead of just wasting away on pot in BC.


Ralph
November 15, 2009 / 18:15

Right---I don't support either. Arranged marriages are draconian. Sending your kids to private schools. I would do it if I could. But for a quality education.


Pam
November 15, 2009 / 22:46

Romy - you are wrong - as of Sunday night , the online Star hasn't published one letter in response to the article. That tells me they are being careful not to offend the special interest groups.


Line of Sight
November 16, 2009 / 09:10

Jason Kenny has it right. If you don't agree with this then don't comer here. Plain and simple.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/discover/section-04.asp


Pam
November 16, 2009 / 11:12

Just an update for Romy: not one reader letter in the Star about the South Asian forced marriage article. Not one editorial demanding the community end this practice.
There is however, as I pointed out in an earlier post, an outraged demand on behalf of Omar Khadr....


Mike from Lowville
November 16, 2009 / 11:15

In the Muslim faith, a Muslim man can marry a child as young as 1 year old and
have sexual intimacy with this child, consummating the marriage by 9.

The dowry is given to the family in exchange for the woman (who becomes his slave) and for the purchase
of the private parts of the woman, to use her as a toy.

Even though a woman is abused she cannot obtain a divorce.

To prove rape, the woman must have (4) male witnesses.

Often after a woman has been raped, she is returned to her family and the family must return
the dowry. The family has the right to execute her (an honour killing) to restore the honour of the
family. Husbands can beat their wives 'at will' and they do not have to say why.

The husband is permitted to have 4 wives, and a temporary wife for an hour (prostitute)
at his discretion.

The Shariah Muslim law controls the private as well as the public life of the woman.

In the West World, Muslim men are starting to demand Shariah Law so the wife
cannot obtain a divorce and he can have full and complete control of her. It is amazing and alarming
how many young women attending Canadian Universities are
now marrying Muslim men and submitting themselves and their
children unsuspectingly to the Shariah law.


Frank the Tank
November 16, 2009 / 12:11

Pam I fail to see the point you are trying to make. Must be nice to live in a world where there is only way of seeing things.


Jake
November 16, 2009 / 13:23

The Star doesn't always allow letters online particularly around their front page pal Omar Khadr. Did they allow letters for arranged marriages?


Romy
November 16, 2009 / 13:23

Pam - No newspaper - NONE - enable comments for any racially sensitive piece (for obvious reasons). Like it, or not, it isn't just an issue for the Star. The Globe nor the Post would enable comments for that story either. Again, you're missing my point: The Star DID the story, which is so obviously critical of arranged marriages (just read the piece); no other paper has done that. Congrats to their people for shining a light on a shameful practice.


Gus
November 16, 2009 / 13:26

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/725781--forced-to-wed-they-think-they-re-doing-what-s-best-for-the-child?bn=1#comments

there were lots Jake


Trish
November 16, 2009 / 14:52

Maybe I'm wrong but last time I looked, readers of the Post were free to reply to "sensitive" issues of race. This forced marriage thing was a big Saturday news feature at the Star a few years back. After that article, a follow-up interviewed and photographed supposedly happy victims of arranged marriages. Please, let's not give the Star credit for recycling stories.


Anonymous
November 16, 2009 / 17:29

Sigh, Yes, there were lots of comments Romy, as Gus has pointed out. What I am asking is where is the Star's official editorial stance on this issue? There isn't one yet, just another on Omar Khadr....


Ted
November 16, 2009 / 21:04

The Khadr family won't allow comments.


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Studios
August 12, 2010 / 18:58

I was just speaking to my older sister with reference to this yesterday. I also saw an article on this over at the topa website. Isnt it weird how these things show up in waves. to be candid, it is kind of creepy.


Studios
August 12, 2010 / 19:11

they were talking about this over at the puntz forum. it was in the first stages to become a firey conversation.


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August 12, 2010 / 19:25

people were arguing this over at the puntz forum. it was in the first stages to turn out to be a hot battle.


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August 12, 2010 / 19:31

I was just talking to my baby siss on the subject of this the other day. I also seen an article on this over at the mopa forum. Isnt it odd how these things pop up in bunches. to be honest, it is sort of creepy.


Studio
August 12, 2010 / 19:48

I was just talking to my big brother regarding this the other day. I also seen a blog on that over at the bowa forum. Isnt it comical how these things pop up in waves. to be frank, it is kind of menacing.


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