Thursday, June 19, 2008

Inadequate Meeting

Reading through this report entitled Meet Your Average British Muslim Woman... from Asian Image on the preferences of the average Muslim woman in the UK reveals some interesting points about the ways in which Muslim women are viewed within the South Asian community. The reporter appeared "surprised" by some things and found other things "interesting" revealing that Muslim women in the UK are not well known.

For instance, the reporter found that "[o]ne of the most surprising findings was that British Muslim women, married and unmarried are still romantics at heart." Why is this surprising? Can Muslim women not be romantics? Is there something about the Muslim women in the UK that demonstrates that they cannot be romantics? Or are they falling for the harmful stereotype that Muslim women will unknowingly marry whomever is chosen for them only to fulfill their "religiously mandated" wifely duties? Can Muslim women not marry for love?

Of interest the reporter found that "while character and Islamic knowledge come top of the Muslim woman's wish list, racial background is ranked as one of the least important aspects." Does this mean that racial background is thought to be important to Muslim South Asian women? Granted, there is still much value placed on skin colour in the South Asian community, but that would not count as an emphasis on racial background. Could this imply racial tensions in the community?

Additionally, the reporter hints at negative views of Muslim men as well saying that "...contrary to some opinions only one per cent thought Muslim men were under-achievers." Do the Muslim men of the UK have such a reputation? Or is that the assumption is that Muslim women believe that Muslim men are under-achievers?

Although this report answers many questions about Muslim women in the UK, mainly those within the South Asian community, it leaves us with many more questions about the assumptions and stereotypes of these women in the UK.