A letter from For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters to Woman's Place UK, in response to their statement on sharing a For Britain member's tweet.
Dear Woman’s Place UK,
You recently posted a statement on your website claiming that you have been subjected to ‘smears and lies’ because someone from your group retweeted a message from an activist at For Britain.
We at For Britain can sympathise, because we too are subjected to lies and smears and have been since the founding of our party. It’s a shame that Woman’s Place UK continues to smear others using the same methods that are being used to smear you.
You do to For Britain exactly what is done to you.
To give you some background, I also came out of the Labour movement, I too was a trade union activist, an activist for the NHS, a feminist, and a gay rights campaigner. The only difference is that I stood up for women of all colours, and treated them as my allies, regardless of the threat they faced to their freedoms – even if this threat came from their religion.
For Britain is routinely smeared as ‘far-right’ (including by yourself) by people with no knowledge of the fact that our party is made up with people from all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
Would it surprise you to know that one of our founding members, and the party’s deputy chair, is a Pakistani-heritage woman who joined us because of the way she and thousands of British women are treated under the sharia system in our country? Do you care?
Do you think that those who call us ‘far-right’ have ever worked tirelessly for Pakistani and Saudi women, even in their own countries? I wonder if those who call us ‘far-right’ have ever been the sole confidante of a Saudi girl who was directly assisted, by myself, to escape Saudi Arabia? She was not the only girl I helped to escape the threats she faced at the hands of her own family. Do you think my critics can say likewise?
I wonder if those who call us ‘far-right’ have ever stood with ex-Muslims, or even allowed themselves to recognize the plight of ex-Muslims, as we do at For Britain?
As a feminist group, are you aware of the sharia court system in the UK and its treatment of women? Will you allow yourself to be informed of this? Why do you not stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the women who want to escape the vile treatment they receive under sharia? Do you consider it ‘far-right’ to stand with Muslim women who want to leave Islam? Or any Muslim who wants to leave Islam?
I am routinely accused of caring only about white women, which is odd, considering that I am one of the few to have highlighted the treatment of women under sharia (not usually white women), girls subjected to FGM (not usually white girls), and little children forced to marry older men for a life of sexual and domestic servitude (not usually white girls). Why would I have devoted my life to speaking out against these atrocities, and facing lies and smears (including from yourself), if I only cared about white women? Has anyone thought this through?
As a feminist organisation, are you aware of the rape crisis in Europe? Are you aware that open borders have made women significantly less safe by allowing mass migration from societies where women can be stoned to death for being victims of rape? Do you understand that social attitudes to women vary in countries across the world, or are you wedded to the illusion that ‘we are all alike and all cultures are equal’? Are you aware that following the mass sexual assault (including gang-rape) of women in the German city of Cologne, carried out exclusively by Muslim migrants, local government advised women to change their behaviour to avoid assault? Do you know how many men were successfully prosecuted for this crime? Are you aware that the same occurred in Sweden? That women were told to alter their behaviour to avoid assault by migrant men? Do you believe it is a positive or negative development that new entrants in to European society view women as subordinate and that those who exercise freedoms are ‘asking to be raped’? Do you think it is a positive or negative development that European countries feel the need to provide ‘classes’ to migrant men to inform them that raping women and girls is a criminal offence?
You say you oppose racism in all its forms. So do we. This is not about racism, but belief, and significantly, belief about women. It is our opposition to racism that causes us to stand in solidarity with the victims of FGM, sharia law, honour violence, forced marriage, and others who want to escape life under the religion of Islam. It is we who provide support to ex-Muslims; our critics ignore them. They, and you, are apparently too busy smearing us as ‘far-right’.
Eventually, this smearing will come full circle and those who send it round will see it come back to them. Those who call others far-right will eventually be labeled it themselves, as you have just experienced. You can see how easy it is, you can see how effective it is – accusation equals proof. It’s a shame you have decided to indulge in the behaviour that you simultaneously complain of.
For Britain is the only political party that recognizes the danger of self-identification, and the impact this will have (and is already having) on women’s rights and freedoms. We would welcome the opportunity to put smears aside and work together on this vital issue. Do you have the courage to listen to us? To hear us out rather than following the herd?
I’ll leave you to think it through, if you are willing to.
Anne Marie Waters
For Britain Movement