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New mobile app to tackle forced marriage in UK

Tuesday, 5 March 2013
London, March 05:

A new government-funded smartphone app has been launched in Britain to protect potential victims at risk of being forced into marriage, including those of Indian-origin.

The 'Freedom' app has been designed with inputs from Scotland Yard to coincide with new figures released by the
Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) that indicate that youngsters between the age group of 16 and 25 fall in the high-risk

In accessing the Freedom app, the user is just two clicks away from getting life-saving help. It is a fact that
girls and boys of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi-origin are most at risk of being forced into marriages, when often all they want is to be able to complete their education," said Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity, which has created the free-to-download app on www.freedom.org.uk.

Hence it is all the more important to create worldwide awareness on the issue and we will also be travelling to India in the next few weeks," Prem said.

According to the 2012 statistics released by the FMU here, the maximum number of calls for help came from victims
of Pakistani origin (47.1 per cent), followed by Bangladeshi (11 per cent) and Indian (8 per cent).

We are not against arranged marriage, which is very different from forced marriages that are often linked to
domestic violence. These youngsters are often brought up in two contrasting cultures, which creates the problem," Prem added.

A two-year-old girl was among at least 250 children in the UK helped last year by the FMU, which is a joint
initiative between the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The 1,485 cases handled by the unit largely centred around London (21 per cent), followed by the West Midlands (16
per cent) but it is feared there are far more cases that go unreported.

The figures also showed 114 cases involved people with disabilities and 22 involved victims who described themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-gender.

Forcing someone to marry is an appalling and indefensible practice which is why the government is committed
to eliminating it, with young people particularly vulnerable.

We will use every means at our disposal, whether it's engaging with schools and communities or through using mobiles and social media to reach potential victims," said Mark Simmonds, FCO minister for consular policy.

A government survey carried out in 2009 estimated that between 5,000 and 8,000 young people are pressed into early or forced marriage each year in the UK.

Although most victims are of South Asian origin, the practice can also be found in other ethnic groups including
Turkish, Greek, African, Arab and people from former Soviet republics.

Though it is not yet illegal, civil courts in the UK have the power to prevent such weddings from taking place by
issuing Forced Marriage Protection orders.


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Duties of a Muslim

Are we fulfilling our Duty as a Muslim ?
Allah will not ask on the Day of Judgment if you have received all your rights but He will ask if you have done all your duties. Duties of a Muslim include:

The first and foremost duty is to Allah. There are three duties to Allah:

i) Not to associate partners with Him;
ii) Not to worship anyone but Allah, the Creator;
iii) Not to depend upon anyone for help but Allah the Merciful

Whenever there is interaction with another person there are mutual rights and duties. One person’s rights are other person’s duties. There are duties to parents, spouse, children, relatives and neighbors.


It is also our duty to defend the family, the community and the country.

In addition there are people who cannot provide for themselves, such as, the poor, orphans, widows, handicapped, refugees, prisoners and others whom a single person cannot support fully but the community as a whole can develop social institutions to provide them help in a consistent and organized manner until they stand on their own feet.

Every human being has five basic rights, namely, food, clothing, shelter, education and health maintenance; every able Muslim should join forces to provide the basic rights to all those who cannot provide for themselves.
It is our responsibility to demonstrate leadership and form effective Islamic Welfare Organizations to fulfill the above obligations and responsibilities and set an example to other communities.

Domestic violence is the

Domestic violence is the result of poverty and illiteracy. Those who focus on material education and do not provide character education are apt to become rogues, do not know how to work out on the relationship issues and resort to violence. Provide relationship counselling. Teach them Islam which defines the roles and responsibilities of wife and husband which can bring peace in the family and to the individuals.

You are paving the way for

You are paving the way for children to disobey parents and rebel and become outcasts.

Parents know and do what is

Parents know and do what is in the best interest of their children. They know better than people like you who want to make business our of these issues.

You force good things to

You force good things to avoid bad things. There is nothing wrong.
The cure you propose is worse than disease.

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