Here is Mehdi Hasan sparring with Douglas Murray on Question Time back in 2011, on the sensitive subject of forced marriages. Mehdi could not have been clearer where he stood on the issue:
“Four years later he [David Cameron] turns up in Munich of all places to tell us we need this muscular liberalism and to tell us, like Douglas, about forced marriages! Sorry, how many people have forced marriages in this country? And show me which cultural group defends forced marriages?”
Well those questions are answered, you might say, with passion, rigour and boldness by an article in this week’s New Statesman, written by one Mehdi Hasan.
“Child, or underage, marriage is very much a part of British society. And the inconvenient truth is that it is Muslims – not Christians, Jews or Hindus – who are responsible for much of it. There is no point pretending otherwise. Nor is it morally tenable to stand idly by as young girls in the UK are forced into marriages before they are physically or psychologically ready, against their will and against the law…
I can’t stay quiet. I’m the father of two young girls. When I hear of forced, underage marriages being carried out in the heart of major British cities, I think of my own daughters. And I feel sick.This is 2013. Not 613. Or 1813. Child marriage is a form of child abuse. It must be stopped.”
“There is no point pretending otherwise.”