When she was 12, Inshana’s mother sent her to Bangladesh to marry a much older cousin whom she had never met before.
As the cousin’s family tried to force her into marriage, she became terrified. She was so distressed that the family gave up, afraid that the authorities would find out it was a forced marriage.
Back home in Britain Inshana’s mum was under constant pressure from her Bangladeshi Muslim friends to force her into marriage. They told her that family honour was at stake—because she was separated from Inshana’s dad, Inshana had to marry to provide a male head of the family.
When Inshana reached 16, another attempt was made to force her to marry. This time the man (whom she didn’t know) was a wealthy Bengali businessman in his 40s. He taught the Koran in Muslim homes and was well respected in the local Islamic community.
Inshana remembers thinking that she would rather kill herself than go through with the marriage:
“The memory still makes me feel physically sick. If I shut my eyes I can almost smell him and see him sitting opposite me, licking his lips with delight. Incredibly, in the eyes of the Muslim community, this appalling union was going to bring honour to my family. I only just escaped with my life and my sanity intact.”
Around this time Inshana’s aunt, who had become a Christian some years earlier, heard about the attempt to force her niece into a marriage. She gave Inshana a way out. In the middle of the night Inshana slipped out of her home and went with her aunt to live many miles away in northern England.
Inshana later converted to Christianity and is now happily married to a Christian.