The Obedient Wives Club
Do you know which “Greenwich restaurant” is the HQ for this organisation? I’d hate to give them my custom by mistake!
In case you’re in the dark about the Obedient Wives Club, read this article on the BBC Website. It’s pretty radical stuff and, yes, Greenwich does have the dubious pleasure of housing the movement’s HQ. It’s called Nur Mohamed and it’s in the old Kerala Zone restaurant in Trafalgar Road. The cult’s raison d’etre is to convince Muslim women to act like high-class prostitutes so that their husbands won’t go to real ones. It’s also known as the Global Polygamy Club and I’ve been having quite a conversation with Sebastian, who’s actually been there, about it.
Seeing a new restaurant in East Greenwich, Sebastian and a few Malaysian pals went along to test it out – and let’s face it – wouldn’t any of us? I’d certainly been past it a few times and was most intrigued – especially when I went past in the mornings and the awning was pulled down over the window like a blind. I know that the old Kerala Zone used to have people sleeping in it – I went past one day when a particularly disgusting, multi-stained-with-heaven-knows-what secretions mattress was being removed from the kitchen (I don’t want to even think about who was sleeping on that – and in the kitchen – eeek!) Of course these owners are new – and I haven’t had the gall to lift the awning and take a peek myself (but oh, am I tempted…)
The first thing ‘a bit odd’ Sebastian noticed on entering was a large birthday cake. He was curious to know who the lucky recipient was and was told it was Global Ikhwan’s founder, of whom a large portrait can be seen on the wall. Nothing too strange about that – except that he died last year.
There was a plasma TV screening Muslim pop videos interspersed with interviews with Malaysian women followers talking how they’ve come to accept the polygamous marriages the cult’s committees arranged for them. An amusing diversion while waiting for your food…Except you might end up waiting for your food longer than you expect.
Granted I went with a group of 15 and we ordered a few dishes but my main failed to arrive despite my numerous reminders. I left 2 hours later without getting my food! (Maybe it was a ploy to get the wives in our group to see the joys of polygamy!)
Sebastian’s pals all being Malaysian, they were bound to have pretty high standards. He says it was ‘acceptable, given the price,’ but it sounds pretty iffy to me.
Our satay was undercooked (parts of it were red raw) though the peanut sauce was good. My curry puff was tasty. My friends who got the “paprik” rice/laksa dishes they ordered were not ecstatic but unoffended, though undercooked chicken appeared in some of their dishes.
Sebastian reckons that as long as you lower your expectations on the food front the visit could be quite entertaining, especially the dodgy videos. For my part, and admittedly I can’t speak from experience, I am less inclined to be so indulgent. The food may be just about acceptable, but I’m not sure I can say the same for the beliefs of the restaurant owners. There’s a point where lifestyle choice becomes coercion and I’d want to know that people, especially women, joined this cult from an absolutely personal decision.