LEYTON: Mosque elections delayed as 'women excluded'

First published in News

ELECTIONS for a new committee at the embattled Lea Bridge Road mosque have been postponed after it was discovered women could not vote.

Following a meeting of the election committee, which includes members of the two rival groups at mosque, it was found that there was a breach of the Sex Discrimination Act.

Those wishing to vote had to register themselves at the mosque as Sunni Brailvi Muslims but registration did not include women.

It was reopened after women from the mosque submitted a petition to borough commander Ch Supt Mark Benbow, who heads the election committee.

A member of the current committee of the Waltham Forest Islamic Association (WFIA), who did not wish to be named for fear of repercussions, said: “The petition was received on July 8.

“It's against the law in this country to exclude women from voting.”

Scuffles also broke after the announcement of the delay was made as each group blamed the other, the committee member said.

He also claimed the opposition group was at fault for excluding women in the first place – an accusation the group fiercely denied.

Tariq Mahmood, who acts as spokesman for the opposition group, said: “I feel strongly that this is a move to sabotage and delay the election.

“I just wish these women had woken up six weeks earlier so that we could have entertained them then.”

Mr Mahmood added that extra costs would be incurred because of the delay, which would have to be met by WFIA funds.

Voting was set to take place on July 12 following three months of police mediation, which concluded in May.

The election will now be held on August 16, more than a month later than planned.

The WFIA's committee governs the mosque and has been locked in a power struggle with an opposition group since 2006.

Opposition group members claimed the committee refused to hold elections or an AGM and problems escalated when some of its supporters were barred from the mosque this year.

The committee has continued to defend its position, saying it was always willing to hold elections.

A number of protests were held and the Charity Commission also launched an inquiry into the purchase of a building using WFIA funds.

A report detailing the inquiry's findings has yet to be published.

Comments (17)

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4:57pm Fri 10 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

Why hadn't Ch Supt Mark Benbow noticed the inherent sexism in the system he was supposed to be overseeing, I wonder.
Why hadn't Ch Supt Mark Benbow noticed the inherent sexism in the system he was supposed to be overseeing, I wonder. Techno2
  • Score: 2

5:31pm Fri 10 Jul 09

Fresh Gravee says...

If that was a golf club, members would be hauled before the courts.

I could imagine a WPC being told that she could not vote in a Police Union Election.

Did not realise we had shiria law in Leyton

Why is the Borough Commander ignoring this sexism.
If that was a golf club, members would be hauled before the courts. I could imagine a WPC being told that she could not vote in a Police Union Election. Did not realise we had shiria law in Leyton Why is the Borough Commander ignoring this sexism. Fresh Gravee
  • Score: 2

10:46pm Fri 10 Jul 09

Redfox says...

It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces.
It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces. Redfox
  • Score: 0

8:29am Sat 11 Jul 09

Fresh Gravee says...

Redfox wrote:
It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces.
Are you going to the Barbers today for some hair splitting?

I was merely expressing an analogy.

The Mosques, unlike the Police as you have noted, do not operate
within modern Law and do not encompass natural progression.

They seem to act as though they are still in medieval days.

Even golf clubs have been forced to move with the times.

It is a massive hurdle to climb for Muslims to treat woman as equals and everyone knows that it is a sensitive issue.
[quote][p][bold]Redfox[/bold] wrote: It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces.[/p][/quote]Are you going to the Barbers today for some hair splitting? I was merely expressing an analogy. The Mosques, unlike the Police as you have noted, do not operate within modern Law and do not encompass natural progression. They seem to act as though they are still in medieval days. Even golf clubs have been forced to move with the times. It is a massive hurdle to climb for Muslims to treat woman as equals and everyone knows that it is a sensitive issue. Fresh Gravee
  • Score: 1

10:43am Sat 11 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

Fresh Gravee wrote:
Redfox wrote: It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces.
Are you going to the Barbers today for some hair splitting? I was merely expressing an analogy. The Mosques, unlike the Police as you have noted, do not operate within modern Law and do not encompass natural progression. They seem to act as though they are still in medieval days. Even golf clubs have been forced to move with the times. It is a massive hurdle to climb for Muslims to treat woman as equals and everyone knows that it is a sensitive issue.
Everyone seems to know except Mr Benbow apparently. Its all very uncharacteristic.

When it's in his interest I am sure he can put on the tuxedo and go to dinners in order to 'talk the equal opportunities talk' with his political friends in the Labour party till the cows come home. But for some reason when talking to Muslims he failed to notice the unfairness in ignoring muslim females who are equally affected as men by the serious governance issues he's supposed to have been sorting out.
[quote][p][bold]Fresh Gravee[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Redfox[/bold] wrote: It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces.[/p][/quote]Are you going to the Barbers today for some hair splitting? I was merely expressing an analogy. The Mosques, unlike the Police as you have noted, do not operate within modern Law and do not encompass natural progression. They seem to act as though they are still in medieval days. Even golf clubs have been forced to move with the times. It is a massive hurdle to climb for Muslims to treat woman as equals and everyone knows that it is a sensitive issue. [/p][/quote]Everyone seems to know except Mr Benbow apparently. Its all very uncharacteristic. When it's in his interest I am sure he can put on the tuxedo and go to dinners in order to 'talk the equal opportunities talk' with his political friends in the Labour party till the cows come home. But for some reason when talking to Muslims he failed to notice the unfairness in ignoring muslim females who are equally affected as men by the serious governance issues he's supposed to have been sorting out. Techno2
  • Score: 1

12:56pm Sat 11 Jul 09

mdj says...

It's one of those occasions where you wouldn't want to join a club that WOULDN'T have you as a member.
It's one of those occasions where you wouldn't want to join a club that WOULDN'T have you as a member. mdj
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Sat 11 Jul 09

inézc says...

They take every opportunity to play the race card but when it comes to excluding 50% of the human race they are quite happy to do it. Definitely a club you wouldn't want to join. Women in this country have had the vote since 1928 - if you are living in this country then you abide by our laws
They take every opportunity to play the race card but when it comes to excluding 50% of the human race they are quite happy to do it. Definitely a club you wouldn't want to join. Women in this country have had the vote since 1928 - if you are living in this country then you abide by our laws inézc
  • Score: 1

7:28pm Sat 11 Jul 09

NT says...

It would be interesting to know if Mr. Benbow's involvement is ex gratia or at the public expense.
It would be interesting to know if Mr. Benbow's involvement is ex gratia or at the public expense. NT
  • Score: 1

7:30am Sun 12 Jul 09

jack de large says...

Apart from the obvious problems I might have win the anachronistic and unfair practices which are well covered by others above. I find it worrying that these are the people who, I suspect exert a great deal of influence over who is selected and elected to be councillors in Labour and Liberal Democrat wards in Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone, therefore, in one way, running the borough.
Apart from the obvious problems I might have win the anachronistic and unfair practices which are well covered by others above. I find it worrying that these are the people who, I suspect exert a great deal of influence over who is selected and elected to be councillors in Labour and Liberal Democrat wards in Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone, therefore, in one way, running the borough. jack de large
  • Score: 1

10:57am Sun 12 Jul 09

What_a_Dump says...


What I dont get about this club is how all the members seem to get friday off work!
I asked my boss for friday off to go to the club and he just laughed.
What I dont get about this club is how all the members seem to get friday off work! I asked my boss for friday off to go to the club and he just laughed. What_a_Dump
  • Score: 1

12:59pm Mon 13 Jul 09

Fresh Gravee says...

Techno2 wrote:
Fresh Gravee wrote:
Redfox wrote: It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces.
Are you going to the Barbers today for some hair splitting? I was merely expressing an analogy. The Mosques, unlike the Police as you have noted, do not operate within modern Law and do not encompass natural progression. They seem to act as though they are still in medieval days. Even golf clubs have been forced to move with the times. It is a massive hurdle to climb for Muslims to treat woman as equals and everyone knows that it is a sensitive issue.
Everyone seems to know except Mr Benbow apparently. Its all very uncharacteristic.

When it's in his interest I am sure he can put on the tuxedo and go to dinners in order to 'talk the equal opportunities talk' with his political friends in the Labour party till the cows come home. But for some reason when talking to Muslims he failed to notice the unfairness in ignoring muslim females who are equally affected as men by the serious governance issues he's supposed to have been sorting out.
If there was a club within his station, even a snooker club, that excluded wpc's (well hows that for an example? They call them all PC's now not WPC's)
The offending Plod's would be out on their ear. They get away with murder in the name of Islam.
[quote][p][bold]Techno2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fresh Gravee[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Redfox[/bold] wrote: It would be impossible for a WPC to vote in an election, in the scenario painted by F-G in the last item, for a WPC whether a member of the Met or City police forces does not now exist and has not done so for many years. Women were fully integrated into each of those police forces in the last century and rank equally alongside men with the title of police officer. They are highly regarded as is exemplified by their front-line role illustrated every day of the year, a situation which does not yet apply to women serving in many units of the British armed forces.[/p][/quote]Are you going to the Barbers today for some hair splitting? I was merely expressing an analogy. The Mosques, unlike the Police as you have noted, do not operate within modern Law and do not encompass natural progression. They seem to act as though they are still in medieval days. Even golf clubs have been forced to move with the times. It is a massive hurdle to climb for Muslims to treat woman as equals and everyone knows that it is a sensitive issue. [/p][/quote]Everyone seems to know except Mr Benbow apparently. Its all very uncharacteristic. When it's in his interest I am sure he can put on the tuxedo and go to dinners in order to 'talk the equal opportunities talk' with his political friends in the Labour party till the cows come home. But for some reason when talking to Muslims he failed to notice the unfairness in ignoring muslim females who are equally affected as men by the serious governance issues he's supposed to have been sorting out. [/p][/quote]If there was a club within his station, even a snooker club, that excluded wpc's (well hows that for an example? They call them all PC's now not WPC's) The offending Plod's would be out on their ear. They get away with murder in the name of Islam. Fresh Gravee
  • Score: 1

11:19am Tue 14 Jul 09

Walthamstow noob says...

“I just wish these women had woken up six weeks earlier so that we could have entertained them then.”

That attitude says it all really. "Those silly women should have gotten their heads out of the clouds and seen us discriminating against them weeks ago!"
“I just wish these women had woken up six weeks earlier so that we could have entertained them then.” That attitude says it all really. "Those silly women should have gotten their heads out of the clouds and seen us discriminating against them weeks ago!" Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 3

12:00pm Tue 14 Jul 09

enna says...

Walthamstow noob wrote:
“I just wish these women had woken up six weeks earlier so that we could have entertained them then.” That attitude says it all really. "Those silly women should have gotten their heads out of the clouds and seen us discriminating against them weeks ago!"
Should have seen US discriminating against them week ago.
They should not have had to wake up six weeks ago becasue,
YOU SHOULD HAVE NOT BEEN DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THEM FULL STOP.
This is a country where women have fought very hard for their say to matter, if they or you don't respect this then you should really assess if this country is the right place for you to be living.
[quote][p][bold]Walthamstow noob[/bold] wrote: “I just wish these women had woken up six weeks earlier so that we could have entertained them then.” That attitude says it all really. "Those silly women should have gotten their heads out of the clouds and seen us discriminating against them weeks ago!"[/p][/quote]Should have seen US discriminating against them week ago. They should not have had to wake up six weeks ago becasue, YOU SHOULD HAVE NOT BEEN DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THEM FULL STOP. This is a country where women have fought very hard for their say to matter, if they or you don't respect this then you should really assess if this country is the right place for you to be living. enna
  • Score: 1

1:13pm Tue 14 Jul 09

Walthamstow noob says...

Just to clarify in case you were directing that at me, as a male (who avoids organised religion at all costs) I find their attitude abhorrent.I was merely mocking their pathetic attempt to blame the women rather than themselves.
Just to clarify in case you were directing that at me, as a male (who avoids organised religion at all costs) I find their attitude abhorrent.I was merely mocking their pathetic attempt to blame the women rather than themselves. Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 2

1:54pm Tue 14 Jul 09

enna says...

Sorry about that it was the way you worded it. It sounded like you were sticking up for them.

Please do accept my apologies
Sorry about that it was the way you worded it. It sounded like you were sticking up for them. Please do accept my apologies enna
  • Score: 2

3:16pm Tue 14 Jul 09

Walthamstow noob says...

No harm done, you're right, I could have worded it better.
:-)
No harm done, you're right, I could have worded it better. :-) Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 2

1:42pm Fri 17 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

Walthamstow noob wrote:
No harm done, you're right, I could have worded it better. :-)
No, I think you worded it just fine and that enna just didn't get your point.

You are very chivalrous though for letting her think you were in the wrong when it was her.
[quote][p][bold]Walthamstow noob[/bold] wrote: No harm done, you're right, I could have worded it better. :-)[/p][/quote]No, I think you worded it just fine and that enna just didn't get your point. You are very chivalrous though for letting her think you were in the wrong when it was her. Techno2
  • Score: -1

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