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Integration – the value struggle of New Time


Ny Tid's main article in the previous issue on the Human Rights Service, over a total of five pages, concludes in a leading position that HRS is not needed in the debate on integration.

I must honestly admit that I personally experience Ny Tid's editorial as a new attack on my human dignity. I was born in Norway to Pakistani parents. Unfortunately, I am one of the many who have felt in body and soul several key issues HRS has put on the agenda. But I, and others with similar experiences in HRS, are disqualified by Ny Tid from the further public debate.

Norwegian integration policy has undoubtedly cost both my loved ones and myself dearly. Experience has given us a basis for believing that policy should change significantly. The views of religious advocates, such as Athar Akram of the Muslim Student Society and editor of Young Muslim, do not just seem to be precious to New Age. They seem sacred. As a young woman, born and raised in one of the world's leading countries in terms of combating gender discrimination and the influence of negative religious forces in people's daily lives, to which not least the socialists have contributed, I can not understand to the best of my ability Ny Tid's attitudes.

I have been actively involved in HRS since the organization's start-up. On the other hand, I have not been a public face, this to protect my loved ones. But after repeated outbursts against HRS, such as claims that we do not represent immigrants in general, and women in particular, I feel pressured to come more personally and openly on the field. In the past, I have anonymously raised the voices of the silent, especially in political forums, to help ensure that everyone in my country has the same opportunities and rights. I have east of both young people and, not least women, experiences – experiences based on the fact that we have a background in an extreme patriarchal society. The reader may be led to believe that this is about the country Pakistan. It does, too, but even more important to us in Norway is that both Pakistani (and other countries') oppressive traditions and values ​​have taken root here. I can hardly say anything other than that Ny Tid, by undermining completely factual and factual conditions, to a large extent contributes to such culture being continued on Norwegian, and so-called democratic, soil.

In my school days, I learned about pluralism. I also learned about techniques for derailing debates that one experiences as unpleasant, even debates that one does not want in spite of freedom of speech and democracy. Factual and sober information is set aside. Ridiculed, minimized, distorted. I learned about how extremist forces got rid of "troublesome" voices by stamping them out of the debate. Voices that point to conditions that shake a desired or wanted image of society.

Ny Tids editorial is based on Athar Akram's personal analysis of our report “Marriage through immigration” (HRS 2005), in which he deftly skips the core; the danger that we have acquired a widespread pattern of involuntary transcontinental marriages, and also that the documented continuous retrieval of new spouses in the countries of origin is a significant, and perhaps even devastating, brake on real integration. The basic material for this report is commissioned from Statistics Norway. Why we have ordered it is about our concrete experience with involuntary transcontinental marriages, where especially young Norwegian citizens are used in the trade in visas to the West. An issue that our cross-party leadership believes is completely undesirable. The New Age leader quotes Akram's analysis as if it were the truth itself. Our report should contain "several contradictions, and errors of varying severity, which either indicate a distortion of reality, exaggerations, incompetence, incompetence, conscious or unproven embezzlement of facts or a combination of all these." Akram's level of detail and desperate attempts at tiling to shift the focus away from reality are both obvious and pathetic, and a outright attempt at derailment. To claim, for example, that we have not taken into account that immigrants can also live in cohabitation is funny – and tragic. Some of the (very few!) Who live in "cohabitation," I know. For example, young women have allowed themselves to become their second wife because their boyfriends are forcibly married. They dedicate themselves paperlessly in the mosque. Show me a Muslim couple living in "cohabitation" without having been blessed with marriage in the mosque? In any case, the crucial fact is this: the majority in both 1st and 2nd generation enter into marriage in the country of origin. Can we discuss this? No, says Ny Tid. Among other things, they have decided that HRS believes that all marriages are involuntary marriages, which is not true at all. But if Ny Tid wants facts, the following quote from our report may be interesting: “Of course, we do not believe that all marriages er forced marriages, but we think the numbers may give an indication of the number, that is, many of these marriages can be forced marriage. ” (page 10).

Furthermore, Ny Tid's leader abuses statements from Statistics Norway, in which Statistics Norway is accused of having "accused" us of having "misinterpreted" their material. I wonder if the lead writer in Ny Tid has read the article in his own newspaper? As for the seemingly perpetual discussion with Statistics Norway's Lars Østby and his hypotheses, it falls too long to take here. I therefore refer to the comment of Rita Karlsen, general manager of HRS (, who also with her past as a researcher and method advisor in the Office of the Auditor General's performance audit should be qualified to think something about this, even though Ny tid and Akram will it different.

In HRS, we have addressed many and heavy issues that other actors might prefer to avoid in the debate. Yes, I can sign that parts of reality are unpleasant. Instead of devoting space to philosophizing hypotheses, I would therefore rather take this opportunity to point out actual and far-reaching challenges today. In various publications, we have shown that:

  • n women are often without the possibility of divorce because they have been deprived of the right in Islamic marriage contracts (at our embassy in Islamabad they have not "in a man's memory" seen a single contract that forms the basis for application for immigration, where the woman has had this right enshrined , whether the woman was born “here or there”),
  • n about three out of four in the 2nd generation marry in the country of origin,
  • n the group of children and adolescents in Norway from countries where involuntary marriage is a widespread phenomenon, now exceeds 80.000,
  • n About 8000 girls in Norway come from countries where genital mutilation is practiced, and as many as 6000 are from high-risk countries (at least 80 per cent prevalence), and this group is growing very fast. Estimates from other countries (also referred to by experts here) suggest that as many as 50 percent of high-risk girls are exposed to mutilation.

The negative social control in the environments has taken hold, which in particular has had great costs for the quality of life and opportunities for children, young people and women. In my opinion, Ny Tid's demand for a leadership position to change the debate, and to think that it is a debate that "we can and should manage without HRS" (who is really this "we?"), An unusually bad demand for more ways. Firstly, it is downright dictatorial to demand the exclusion of those who define themselves as opponents of opinion, and secondly, more than an oral settlement with this culture is needed, action is needed.

In HRS, we also have a strategy, which I believe many people have something to learn from: We have taken aim at never criticizing conditions if we do not at the same time have proposed measures. It may not be the factual conditions that HRS produces that create the sharpest reactions, but these are our action proposals. It is infinitely easy to criticize. It is far worse to come up with targeted measures.

Let me add for the sake of order: Fortunately, "not everyone" has experienced being abused in the name of the extreme patriarchy. But very many have it, and in HRS we are convinced that far more are in line "today and tomorrow." The question is: should we ignore them, since "someone" means to be able to decide both "who" will be allowed to speak and "who" will be listened to? In that case, it is nothing less than a farewell to freedom of expression, and a farewell to equality and gender equality.

But let me end with this: Ny Tid deserves praise for its openness about the values ​​the newspaper is fighting for.

Nighet Shafi, Human Rights Service.

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