Bibi was finally acquitted and released to the great displeasure of many in a
conservative region of the Islamic country.
Women and Children Rescued From Boko Haram, Nigerian Military Says
Malaysia Must Not Regress On Female Genital Mutilation After US Setback
Tlaib Becomes First Muslim Woman To Preside Over House Floor
Bans Headscarf for Muslim Women
Is The Common Enemy Of Secular And Islamic Feminism
Women Triumph At Ramadan Women’s Sports Tournament
Al Messabi’s Vision To Become Female Olympic Fencing Referee
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Arrives in Canada to KILL 'Blasphemer' Bibi Who Fled Pakistan – Report
Bibi spent nine years on death row in a Pakistani prison after being falsely
accused of blasphemy – a grave crime in the South Asian country. In 2018, she
was finally acquitted and released to the great displeasure of many in a
conservative region of the Islamic country.
unidentified Islamist has published a video in which he claims to have followed
Asia Bibi, a Christian who barely escaped hanging in her homeland of Pakistan
over blasphemy accusations, to Canada with the intent to murder her. The
anonymous individual insists in the video that "blasphemer" Asia Bibi
would receive an award in Canada and would repeat her sacrilegious statements
man didn't show his face in the video and didn't specify whether he was acting
on behalf of a particular group. Canadian authorities haven't commented on the
threats against Asia Bibi, who lives at an undisclosed location since leaving
Pakistan for fear of her life.
Bibi, a Christian, was arrested in her homeland after a row with a colleague in
2009, which resulted in the latter accusing her of blasphemy against the
Prophet Muhammad. The argument began after Bibi drank from a well that was
supposed to be for Muslims only.
2010, a court sentenced Asia Bibi to death over blasphemy accusations — a grave
crime in Pakistan. The girl denied being guilty and struggled to appeal the
decision. Eight years later, the court ruled that there was not enough evidence
to prove her guilt and released her from prison.
decision, however, was not well received by local Islamists, clergy, and
conservative Pakistanis, who called for her execution. Muslim cleric Maulana
Yousaf Qureshie even set up a bounty on Asia Bibi, promising to pay 500,000
Pakistani rupees ($3,500) to anyone who kills her.
news of an Islamist possibly following Bibi to Canada appeared over a year
after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an open door policy on
immigration, welcoming everyone who was forced out of their homelands for
various reasons into the country. The decision spurred security concerns in the
North American nation.
women and children rescued from Boko Haram, Nigerian military says
Nigerian army has rescued 54 Nigerian civilians – 29 women and 25 children –
from the clutches of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, the African country’s
military announced Monday.
to military spokesperson Sagir Musa, troops retrieved the captives during a
clearance operation over the weekend in Borno State. The fighters are believed
to have fled in the area ahead of troops’ arrival.
Haram insurgents for years have waged war across swaths of northern Nigeria,
carrying out bombings of markets and large-scale assassinations, with mass
kidnappings also a hallmark of its bloody revolt.
years ago, the world’s eyes watched aghast after the group kidnapped almost 300
schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Last February, a further 100
schoolgirls were seized after Boko Haram attacked a village in the northeastern
state of Yobe.
protracted violence has prompted some 90,000 Nigerians to flee to villages in
Cameroon, which is struggling with its own internal conflict.
including leadership from the UN’s Refugee Agency UNHCR, this week were in
discussions to develop a “safe” repatriation process.
the past decade, Boko Haram is estimated to have killed more than 100,000
people, but in the past three years, the group has suffered blows to its
survival, with state forces stepping up its decimation of the ISIS-affiliated
JAYA: The US government's reluctance to defend the ban on female genital
mutilation (FGM) is a "slippery slope" that Malaysia should avoid,
say two women non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
US media reported that the Trump administration had decided not to defend a ban
on FGM that was passed more than 20 years ago.
Insider said the ongoing case against doctor Jumana Nagarwala who allegedly cut
the clitoral hoods of two seven-year-old-girls at the request of their mothers
was the first test of the US law that bans FGM for non-medical reasons.
Michigan federal Judge Bernard Friedman ruled the anti-FGM law unconstitutional
in November 2018 and dismissed the charges against Nagarwala.
Justice Department had an opportunity to appeal the court decision, but
Business Insider said they may not pursue it.
to the Trump administration, there aren't adequate grounds to defend the law.
US’ reluctance to have a strong stance against FGM demonstrates an
irresponsible lack of political will where sexual and reproductive health
rights are concerned," Sisters In Islam communications manager Majidah
disappointing move, coupled with the fact that the US still has not ratified
the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women
(Cedaw) and Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), reflects a
misogynistic disregard for the well-being of girls and women under the Trump
administration," she added.
said minorities are the most vulnerable to FGM in the United States, as it is
most common among its diverse immigrant communities.
needs to learn from the slippery slope that the United States has cornered
itself into where the health and well-being of its citizens are
concerned," she said.
Muslim-majority countries have completely banned all forms of the practice, and
we encourage Malaysia to urgently follow suit," Majidah said, adding that
FGM is a harmful practice with no Islamic basis or any medical benefits.
Resource and Research Centre for Women (Arrow) said it was unfortunate that
even the legal framework of developed countries such as the United States were
inadequate in affirming and protecting basic sexual and reproductive rights of
women and girls.
is regrettable that the US government does not have a comprehensive framework
for gender equality in place in order to ensure progress towards recognising
women's equal rights in society, which includes their sexual and reproductive
rights," its executive director Sivananthi Thanenthiran said.
Malaysia, the government had previously reaffirmed its stand that female
circumcision was part of Malaysian culture.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail reportedly said that female
circumcision in Malaysia was unlike the extreme FGM practised in some African
countries, but would look into the issue.
Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman to preside over House floor
(CNN)Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib notched another historic first on
Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first Muslim woman to preside over the House
turn on Wednesday leading the proceedings of the House of Representatives came
months after she, along with Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, became the
first Muslim women to join the US Congress.
told CNN ahead of the moment that her family would be tuning into C-SPAN to
watch from home.
excited, my family's excited," Tlaib said.
on the House floor are led by the speaker of the House or people presiding in
her sted from the speaker's party. House freshmen, like Tlaib, have been worked
slowly into the rotation recently of learning how to preside over the floor.
tweeted about the experience following presiding over the floor, writing,
"Not bad for a girl from Detroit that didn't speak English when I started
school & first in my family to graduate high school & college."
continued, "This was a proud moment & it sank in just a little more
that I am serving in Congress."
Friday, Tlaib's fellow freshman Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New
York, presided for the first time, becoming the youngest woman ever to do so.
I presided over the House floor for the first time. Every day here is a sacred
privilege + responsibility entrusted to me by my community. I never forget
that, and moments like these drive it home. Thank you to the people of NY14 +
beyond. This House belongs to all of us," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted after she
Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer also presided over the House for her first time
last week, and afterward, she tweeted that when she texted her parents about
watching, she found out they record C-SPAN "all day, every single day we
are in session."
I learned that my parents record CSPAN, all day, every single day we are in
session. So, that's adorable," Finkenauer tweeted.
has made waves since joining Congress, attracting attention for her efforts to
impeach President Donald Trump and recently finding herself under fire from top
Republicans and Israel's ambassador to the United Nations for comments about
Israel and the Holocaust that she and top Democrats said were misconstrued for
my words, twisting & turning them to ignite vile attacks on me will not
work. All of you who are trying to silence me will fail miserably. I will never
allow you to take my words out of context to push your racist and hateful
agenda. The truth will always win," Tlaib said in response to the backlash.
Rep. Steve Scalise and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the second and third-highest
ranking House Republicans, each falsely accused Tlaib of saying the Holocaust
gave her a "calming feeling," although in fact, she referred to it as
her comments, however, Tlaib did appear to make ahistorical claims about
Palestinians providing a "safe haven" for Jews fleeing Europe ahead
of the establishment of the modern state of Israel, despite deep-seated
opposition at the time to Jewish settlement there and the ongoing conflict
between Israel and the Palestinians.
Austrian MPs just passed a law which prohibits Muslim women from wearing
headscarves in primary schools. This decision will not affect the Sikhs and the
move was proposed by the ruling government. This was done supposedly in order
to prevent accusations of discrimination against Muslims.
Schneider, an MP stated that this was a step taken in order to free girls from
hardship. FPOE Education Spokesman Vendillin Moeller said that the law was
enacted in order to combat political Islam.
two years back, Austria had placed a ban on burqas. The public is still divided
on this matter for so long. Many still believe that wearing a veil means the
person has “something to hide”. There have been numerous conflicts between
Muslim women and the police after the law was passed. Let’s watch out for the
response this one begets.
Hosts Sharjah Women’s Sports Club were crowned basketball champions at the 11th
Ramadan Women’s Sports Tournament (RWST) following a lopsided 66-25 win over
Brunei Airlines here on Tuesday. The Sharjah Police team secured the bronze
with a 35-19 win over the Tasamuh team.
Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, chairman of
Sports Council, was joined by Nada Askar Al Naqbi, Director General of SWS,
Khalid Eisa Al Midfa, Assistant Secretary General of the General Authority for
Youth and Sports Welfare, Salim Rashid Al
Mutawa, General Secretary of UAE Basketball Association,
and Saeed Al Ka’abi, Director of Sharjah Education Zone, at the presentation of
awards and trophies at the end.
Elite Volleyball Academy had won the gold in volleyball leaving the Italian
team Espera Moonves for the silver and hosts Sharjah Women’s Sports Club with the
by Sharjah Women’s Sports (SWS) under the patronage of Shaikha Jawaher Bint
Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al
Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of
Sharjah Women’s Sport (SWS), the annual tournament witnessed competitions for
women in basketball, volleyball, shooting and archery. Held from May 8-14, the
four disciplines saw the participation of 340 players from 25 teams from across
Ashwaq Al Messabi is businesslike in her approach as the youngest, and also the
only international woman foil referee in the entire Gulf region.
an emirati fencer with the Bani Yas Club’s Fencing team, Al Messabi has the
aura of having achieved something way beyond her years. Though her first love
is the competitive part, the 21-year-old final semester student from Zayed
University decided to take up the officiating side of fencing to meet her own
too comfortable with male referees officiating ever since she started
participating some seven years back, Al Messabi teamed up with fellow fencers
at Bani Yas Club Alanoud Al Sa’adi and Mariam Salah to take the national-level
test for referees in 2017. A year later, all three girls opted for an
international licence in refereeing putting themselves among the rarer commodities
of sports officials in the region.
don’t have anything against having a male referee, but we felt it’s much better
to have a woman officiate at matches involving women,” Al Messabi told Gulf
News on the sidelines of the fencing competition of the Nad Al Sheba (NAS)
Ramadan Sports Tournament.
all three of us are in demand at every fencing competition taking place in the
Gulf region. There is a lot of fencing in Saudi Arabia and we need to travel
there quite frequently,” she added.
frequent travels, coupled with her varied experiences while on tour, have given
the young emirati fencer a deeper knowledge of her sport. “There is so much to
be done for fencing, especially among the women competitors,” she remarked.
aim is two-fold. I am in a very strategic position at the moment. I am an
athlete and I am an official, and both allow me to see the UAE flag flying
everywhere I go. I have my ambitions as a fencer, but I think my future lies as
an official perhaps one day making it to the Olympic Games,” she smiled.
Tunisian feminist and academic Kaouthar Darmoni remembers her fondest childhood
memories as when women gathered together, away from the male gaze, and danced.
would be practising the oldest feminine ritual in the world - stepping back to
Mesopotamia 4000 years ago when the society was matriarchal and women were
watched the women as a little girl and wished she could be just like them.
"They looked so wild, and so sensual, and so beautiful and so alive,"
as soon as the same "glorious goddesses" stepped into the public
space, they would "literally and symbolically cover their femininity with
a veil" because they were seen as "a threat and disturbance".
well-known feminist scholar, and one of the early pioneers of Islamic feminism,
Fatema Mernissi, challenged the assumption that the condition of Arab Muslim
women was evidence of their subordination and weakness.
her popular book Beyond the Veil, she wrote: "The whole system is based on
the assumption that the woman is a powerful and dangerous being. All sexual
institutions (polygamy, repudiation, sexual segregation, etc.) can be perceived
as a strategy for containing her power…"
who grew up in a harem in Morocco, wrote mainly to defend women's rights in the
East but did not exempt the West from criticism. She argued that the supposedly
free West had harems of its own.
domestic harem of the East, Mernissi explained, were not how the West
popularised them in their films and literature. They were not places where
nubile women fought over each other to offer their male master sex on demand.
That was just Western men's wishful thinking.
parents were in a monogamous marriage and the harem she was brought up in was
simply a set of secluded living quarters in the family's expansive home. The
female members of the family were not allowed to venture outside unless veiled
and escorted by a male relative.
her book Scheherazade Goes West: Different Cultures, Different Harems, Mernissi
posited that harems were a way of controlling women - and where the East
discriminated against women by controlling 'space' - the West discriminated
against them by controlling 'time'.
Western man declares that in order to be beautiful, a woman must look 14 years
old. If she dares to look 50, or worse, 60, she is beyond the pale. By putting
the spotlight on the female child and framing her as the ideal of beauty, he
condemns the mature woman to invisibility."
who died of cancer in 2015, is considered "the pride of Islamic feminism
in modern times".
undertook a deep and systematic study of the Quran and the Hadith (records of
traditions and sayings of prophet Muhammad) and concluded there was no
scriptural basis for the subordination of women. It was Mernissi's view that
Muslim women were discriminated against largely due to the centuries-long
patriarchal interpretation of religious text by male leaders.
is not new, of course. We know feminist interpretations always matter.
in New Zealand, a new book co-edited by two University of Canterbury academics
showed in almost all areas of law, from criminal to environmental law, feminist
and mana wahine perspectives can influence the reasoning and therefore the
final decision on a given case.
gave her feminist interpretation of the Quran in her book The Veil and the Male
Elite: A Feminist Interpretation of Women's Rights in Islam:
Muslim women can walk into the modern world with pride, knowing that the quest
for dignity, democracy, and human rights, for full participation in the
political and social affairs of our country, stems from no imported Western
values, but is a true part of the Muslim tradition. Of this I am certain."
Islamic feminism has given many Muslim feminists in North Africa and South Asia
the strength to fight for their rights within an Islamic framework but Islamic
feminism is not without its perils.
a secular Muslim, my concern is that the continual foregrounding of Islamic
influence in Muslim majority countries overlooks the importance of the social,
economic and political complexities that affect women's rights.
agree with prominent Iranian lawyer and Noble Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi's
view that Muslim women can be feminists and there is no incompatibility between
Islam and feminism, but this is not the same as saying that feminism has to be
believe, while dialogue and continual debate should be encouraged, setting
secular and Islamic feminism in bitter conflict with each other only benefits
the patriarchal forces that seek to subjugate women.
fact is that equating faith and religion with anti-feminism is just as
misinformed as equating secular and modern with feminism.
is a universal force and if we are to make this world a better place for
everyone to live in, we need inclusiveness, coalition-building, pluralism and
diversity. He waka eke noa.
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