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The anthology confronts taboos, such as Shaista Aziz’s hard-hitting essay on “honor” killings in Pakistan, including that of Qandeel Baloch, who was strangled by her brother in 2016 for her risqué social media posts.More than 500 people - almost all women - die in Pakistan each year in such killings, usually carried out by members of the victim’s family for bringing “shame” on the community.LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - From a jaded TV chat show host to a Middle Eastern actress who longs to be cast as a ghostbuster, not endless jihadi brides, the stories in Sabrina Mahfouz’s anthology of British Muslim women all do one thing: challenge stereotypes.Mahfouz, a poet and playwright, brought together 22 women, with roots ranging from Pakistan to Palestine, to lift the lid on their minds and lives, which are often invisible in Britain.Their first encounter takes place in the mosque and is witnessed by her mum and sister Sabrina, who sit just a few metres away.At the end of their meeting she says: “He was lovely. He was kind of cute.” It doesn't prove fruitful but Bella isn't deterred and is determined to find someone - with the help of her family.“Our parents picked a better life for us over being with our families,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, describing how her parents moved from Khartoum to Bradford when she was just one-year-old.While most British Muslims were born overseas, the majority identify as British, according to the Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s largest umbrella Islamic organization.
To end a marriage a man only has to say “I divorce you” three times, but a woman must seek permission from the Sharia council.
The film narrator explains that British Muslim women are “facing a crisis”, because many are caught between modern life and the older Muslim generation keen for them to settle down.
Engineer Nayera, 30, has been looking for love for two years.
“Race isn’t important to me but religion is because it’s a fundamental part of who I am,” she says.
“So is being British because that is a fundamental part of who I am.” Nayera meets Hanaan, 35, who has been looking for a wife for five years.