Charity compares women who don’t wear hijab to ‘unwrapped sweets’

Posted: Tue, 14th May 2024

One True Message Foundation compares women who do not wear hijab to 'unwrapped sweets' that have been 'treaded on'

OTMF via YouTube

A newly registered Islamic charity has compared women who do not wear the hijab to 'unwrapped sweets', the National Secular Society can reveal.

One True Message Foundation (OTMF), based in Feltham, West London, registered as a charity earlier this year under the charitable purpose 'the advancement of religion'.

In a now removed video titled Hijab vs Non-Hijab, Faisel Qarni, an OTMF trustee, says:

"I have two sweets, yeah, one I open the wrapper and I throw it on the floor, yeah, and I tread on it a little bit. The other one I leave in the wrapper and I throw it on the floor and I tread on it. One's in the wrapper one's not. I pick both of them up and I say take one. Which one are you going to choose? … Case closed"

The National Secular Society said the comments are "deeply misogynistic" because they suggest women who do not wear the hijab are "sullied".

Another OTMF video describes an "AMAZING SOLUTION" to "RAPIDLY reduce crime". Qarni relates how "there's no crime" in countries where "[they] chop your hand off, in public".

Amputation is used to punish theft in some systems of sharia law. The OTMF representative notes exemptions in cases of theft stemming from poverty, starvation and mental illness.

OTMF published a video interview with Sheikh Abu Usama last month. Usama says he "used to criticise Hamas" because he "wasn't informed". He claims pork is "the white man's food" that is "poisoning us, killing us".

Abu Usama previously described the World Cup as a ploy from the "Protocols of the Zionists" to distract the general public: "And that's why those people make all that money".

Green Lane Masjid, a mosque in Birmingham where Usama has preached, had a government grant of £2.2m paused last year amid allegations of antisemitism, homophobia and misogyny.

Christian charity: wives should 'submit'

The NSS has previously exposed Christian charities promoting misogyny. Earlier this year, it raised concerns about a sermon at Rosyth Baptist Church which said "a husband is the head of his wife" and a wife "that submits to her husband's leadership and respects him is easier to love". The Scottish charity regulator has not taken action.

In 2023, the regulator refused to take action over a sermon at Moray Coast Baptist Church, which said the "primary function" of a woman is "to be married, to have children, and to tend to household affairs – the cooking, the cleaning, the washing up, the preparing of meals".

NSS: Latest example of religious charity 'spreading misogyny with impunity'

NSS campaigns officer Alejandro Sanchez said: "This deeply misogynistic video suggests women who do not wear the hijab are somehow sullied as they go about public life.

"The law as currently implemented is allowing charities registered under 'the advancement of religion' to spread misogyny with impunity.

"Legislators should now urgently reconsider 'the advancement of religion' as a charitable purpose."

Maryam Namazie, a spokesman for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and One Law for All, said: "An OTMF video says if women dressed 'modestly', they wouldn't be raped or sexually assaulted. This is exactly why modesty culture is the extension of rape culture. It always blames the victim, never the perpetrator.

"Under the guise of promoting religion, Islamic 'charities' like OTMF continue to promote Islamist values, like Sharia rules, including on amputation and the imposition of the veil and sex segregation on women and girls.

"When will the Charities Commission and Government give precedence to the rights of minoritised women and girls? When will they stop enabling religious fundamentalists in their efforts to deny universal rights and normalise misogyny?"

Press coverage:

Watch: Islamist compares women without hijabs to 'unwrapped sweets' – The Telegraph

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Tags: Charity, Extremism, Women