A female Muslim councillor has been subjected to a hate campaign by Muslim men in her ward, leaving her unable to visit some of the streets that she represents.
Hasina Khan, 38, the only Muslim councillor in Chorley, Lancashire, said that she had suffered a barrage of threatening phone calls, verbal abuse and insulting graffiti because the men objected her public role.
Mrs Khan, a mother of three, said: “I've had to totally change the way I go about my job. I used to do ward walks all the time, but now there are some streets I can't even walk down.”
The hate campaign began when she put herself forward as a Labour candidate three years ago. “It is just a few members of the community who think I should be at home with a veil over my face, although if other people choose to do that, then I respect their choice,” she said.
“However, I feel that if it was a male Asian councillor then he would be treated as a hero. Because I am a woman I get the opposite treatment. They can't understand my mainstream views and those of ‘live and let live' and how the British culture should be respected ... It has been extremely hard for me and my family and if it wasn't for my British constituents, I don't think I would have been able to get through it.”
Kahn represents a potential for Islam to reform. For women to be considered equals at work and at home, joining the rest of world with the modern idea of human rights.
Her detractors represent Islam's current state, unchanged for 1400 years, and calling for death to anyone that dare questions it.
Modern communications have brought these ideas to previously isolated regions offering freedom of choice to long oppressed people under the thumb of sharia. Islamists will continue to lose arguments over basic human decency and will respond violently, thus proving the point that open debate and reason are superior forms of public discourse than stoning, terrorism, assassination and jihad.