Religious faith is an irrational belief, and as such is fair game for criticism and/or ridicule. We rightly respect the right of people to hold irrational beliefs, to a point – that point being where it infringes upon the rights of someone else.

Without wanting to detour into a discussion of the marriage of adolescent girls to adult men, the girl in question clearly did not consent, and was therefore the victim of a quite disturbing rights violation.

The fact that this rights violation was supported by a wider section of the  Bangladeshi community is one thing, but the fact that it was spearheaded by the very man who should have protected her the most is another.

Questions should be asked about how girls and women are viewed in Muslim culture. I say that, knowing the answer all too well. As an outsider I do feel kind of powerless to do anything, but Islam is one of the most pernicious mechanisms of patriarchy in existence today.