Egypt’s Islamists, Muslim Brotherhood, Butt Heads Over Helping Wives At Home
Film on Daring Female Surfer Makes Waves In Bangladesh
Woman Accused of Using Muslim Student's Hijab to Attack Her in Portland, Oregon
Texas Restaurant Apologizes For Handling of Employee Sent Home For Wearing Her
Yemen Women Continue Tough Fight for Rights
Abused, Harassed and Cut Off: Bhutanese Women in Iraq
Compiled By New
Age Islam News Bureau
Islamists, Muslim Brotherhood, Butt Heads Over Helping Wives At Home
- The Muslim Brotherhood expressed disagreement with a Salafist campaign
encouraging men to help their wives at home.
drama between Egypt’s two largest Islamist forces began when the Salafist al-Nour
Party began an online campaign urging men to help their wives with household
will be demonstrating their love for their wives by helping them at home,”
campaign founder Abdurrahman Suleiman said.
received positive feedback from fellow Salafists who said they liked the idea
of challenging social taboos surrounding men taking on domestic
al-Nour members criticised the drive but many others began helping their wives
at home. Some men posted photos of themselves washing dishes. Others were
photographed cleaning floors and cooking.
women said they were grateful that the campaign encouraged their spouses and
male relatives to lend a hand at home.
returned home today and could not believe it when I discovered that my father
and my brother had cleaned the house for my mother for the first time,” one
woman wrote on Suleiman’s Facebook page.
Muslim Brotherhood responded to the campaign with ridicule and sarcasm, arguing
it was a distraction from Egypt’s more pressing issues and demeaning to men.
Abu Khalil, a Muslim Brotherhood member and TV host, said that, instead of
addressing Egypt’s deteriorating conditions, members of al-Nour were “washing
dishes and chopping jute mallow leaves for their wives.”
are 60,000 detainees in Egypt,” Abu Khalil said. “Do not you care about their
member of the Muslim Brotherhood mocked the Salafists for being “fossilised.”
the animosity between the two Islamist forces are deep political rifts that go
united after Egypt’s 2011 uprising, Salafists turned their back on former
Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi, a Brotherhood leader, when popular protests
broke out against him.
Morsi’s overthrow, Salafists curried favour with the Egyptian Army, further
antagonising the Muslim Brotherhood.
old political grudges are likely fuelling the rift, it is also revealing the
groups’ attitudes towards women, analysts said.
groups harbour nothing but disdain for women,” said Sameh Eid, an analyst
specialising in Islamist affairs. “They have a strong belief that women are
lacking at the intellectual level.”
Salafists have often faced criticism for denying women equal representation in
state institutions and in the judiciary.
2012 parliamentary elections, Salafist parties that fielded female candidates
did not include photos of the candidates in their campaign ads, using instead
pictures of flowers.
Muslim Brotherhood does not grant women equal status in the movement or allow
them to vote in internal elections. “Equality between men and women as an idea
is totally foreign to the Muslim Brotherhood,” Eid said.
and the Muslim Brotherhood greatly influence how Egyptians view women,
observers said. From the 1960s through the 1980s, the groups convinced many
women attending university or employed at state institutions to cover up. The
groups have been criticised for practising polygamy and marrying underage
two groups have always marginalised women and psychologically suppressed them,”
said women’s rights advocate and director of Egypt’s Liberal Democracy
Institute Dalia Ziada. “Tens of thousands of women paid dearly because of this
practice and also because of the edicts issued by Islamist scholars and
followed by the general public.”
on daring female surfer makes waves in Bangladesh
MAHMUD, Contributing writer
-- The new film "No Dorai" is based on the inspirational story of
Bangladesh's first female surfer, who beat most of the male surfers she
competed against. But the fictional name given to its lead character has
stirred up a religious storm that may result in the movie being banned in its
Tanim Rahman, 35, was busy promoting "No Dorai" -- titled "Dare
to Surf" for international markets -- when he was served with a legal
notice on Dec. 10 that led to the withdrawal of the film from cinemas in the cities
of Dhaka and Chattagram, where it had been showing since Nov. 29.
problem? The film's main character is named Ayesha, the name -- sometimes
written as Aisha -- of one of the wives of Muhammad, the chief prophet and
central figure of Islam. Huzzatul Islam, who filed a writ seeking the film's
ban as a lawyer at the Bangladesh Supreme Court, claims it portrays the
prophet's wife in a derogatory manner.
Dorai," which means "not afraid" in Bengali, is based on the
life story of Nasima Akter, now 21 and is the first production from local
theater operator Star Cineplex. In the film, the character Ayesha takes up
surfing in defiance of the conservative Bangladeshi community in which she
took us four years to materialize the film from its chalkboard stage and it was
doing well after its release," said Rahman, known mostly for his
documentary productions for nongovernmental organizations as well as music
videos. "Then all of a sudden we got the legal notice and a subsequent
court order to withdraw the film from the market. The reason they cited for the
withdrawal was absurd."
to the writ filed by Huzzatul Islam, Ayesha appears in the film wearing
indecent clothes. She also swims -- an activity considered taboo for women in
most of Bangladesh.
hurts the religious sentiment of our predominantly Muslim country," Islam
told the Nikkei Asian Review.
filmmakers are due in court on Jan. 9 to argue that the film should not be
has made considerable progress in empowering women over the last decade. In the
World Economic Forum's recent "Global Gender Gap Report 2020," the
nation ranked tops its South Asia. The country was ranked 50th of 153 countries
economic participation has increased significantly in recent years, in part
because women account for more than 60% of the workforce of the country's
clothing factories, its largest export earner.
has been led by female prime ministers since 1991 and the current parliamentary
speaker and opposition leader are also female. The country has enacted a number
of policies to give women greater control over their lives and help them to
play a more influential role in society. By law, at least 50 of the 350 members
of parliament must be female.
these developments, girls in rural areas, which are home to two-thirds of the
country's 170 million people, are rarely allowed to go to school or choose
their line of work. Their families still need to pay dowries when they marry.
said he had nothing against female empowerment. "But I have a problem
against using this name," Ayesha, he said. "The name has to be
changed or the film has to be withdrawn."
rejects the notion that the film's lead character dresses inappropriately.
said Ayesha wore a bikini. It's a bizarre claim," he said. "Why
should I portray a poor Bangladeshi girl wearing a bikini in the film when I
tried to make the portrayal of the story as original as possible?"
even use the local dialect of Chattagram in the film instead of traditional
Bangla language so that the film remains true to its story," he added.
admits he did not actually watch the film before seeking its ban.
don't need to see it," he said. "I have seen its posters and
said he had read in a certain local newspaper that Ayesha wears a bikini in the
film, but no such article could be found by Nikkei.
ul Alam, a lawyer representing the filmmakers, told Nikkei that he will argue
in court that Islam's petition is unreasonable since Ayesha does not in fact
wear a bikini, her character is not portrayed in a derogatory manner and her
name is a common one in the country.
Rahman, the film's producer, said he decided not to use Akter's real name
because a documentary film has already been made about her by a foreign
director. So he named the protagonist after his mother.
wanted to portray a strong female character through this name," he said,
calling Akter an "extraordinary" personality.
Rahman, who is unrelated to Tanim, "I met her (Akter) in 2015 when I went
to learn surfing in Cox's Bazar," often referred to as the world's longest
was the best surfer and frequently bested her male peers in surfing," he
said. "I got curious and learned about the amazing journey she had in her
became homeless at the age of seven. After facing many difficulties, she found
hope in the surfing community in Cox's Bazar.
story ultimately ended on a sad note," Rahman said. "She got married
at the age of 19 and became a mother of two. She rarely surfs now. In my movie,
I wanted the protagonist to fight back and continue surfing."
Binte Kamal, who plays the character of Ayesha in the movie, said she was
shocked to hear about the potential ban. "I did my surfing in the movie
wearing salwar kameez," she said, referring to the traditional suit of
loose trousers and a long shirt worn by many South Asian women. "It is
absurd to claim that I wore a bikini."
movie is very important as in our country, women are still repressed and are
not allowed to do what they like to do," Kamal said. "By showing
Ayesha returning to surfing despite being forced into an early marriage, this
movie sends a message that women are advancing."
Rahman Gulzar, president of the Bangladesh Film Directors Association, called
the movie a "trendsetter" for the Bangladesh film industry. It
produces an average of 170 films a year, generating revenues of about $65
our association, we would like to lay out support for the movie," he said.
"Artists and directors must be given freedom to express their ideas."
Accused of Using Muslim Student's Hijab to Attack Her in Portland, Oregon
Ore. -- Authorities issued an arrest warrant Friday for a woman accused of
trying to choke a Muslim student with her headscarf and then harassing her by
stripping down at a train station in Portland, Oregon.
Renee Campbell, 23, has been indicted on hate crime, attempted strangulation,
harassment and criminal mischief charges for the Nov. 12 attack at a downtown
warrant was issued after she failed to appear in court on Friday.
Multnomah County district attorney’s office described the attack, saying
Campbell grabbed the religious head cover worn by the Portland State University
student to try to choke the student with it.
said Campbell then stripped down and rubbed the student's hijab over Campbell's
naked breasts and genitals while disparaging Muslims.
by phone, Campbell told KPTV that she wasn't trying to hurt the student, had
been drinking too much and is being treated for a mental health condition.
said the two women didn't know each other.
24-year-old Muslim woman, who is a foreign exchange student from Saudi Arabia,
said she now wears a hat to cover her head because she doesn't feel safe
wearing a hijab in public.
Restaurant Apologizes For Handling Of Employee Sent Home For Wearing Her Hijab
RALPH R. ORTEGA
fast food restaurant has apologized to a Muslim employee who was sent home by
her manager for refusing to remove her hijab.
Coleman, who also goes by the Muslim name Folake Adebola, says the manager at
Chicken Express in Saginaw, Texas took issue with her on Monday after she
arrived at the branch wearing the modest head covering.
attorney Rhett Warren has since said that the manager's decision to send
Coleman home was made due to a lack of training, and that he has been
'is not facing discrimination for her decision to wear a headscarf for being
Muslim', Warren wrote in a statement to ABC News.
unnamed manager, 'unfortunately did not take religious liberty into
consideration,' Warren writes.
a video taken by Coleman, her manager is heard saying: 'Your job is your job.
Your job has nothing to do with religion.
a second part of the clip, which she said was taken after he spoke on the phone
with the area coach, he added: 'The job requires a specific uniform. [The
hijab] is not a part of the uniform; you as a paid employee cannot wear it.'
woman - who goes by her Muslim name on Twitter - converted in August and
started working at the restaurant in October. She only debuted her hijab this
week after a set she had ordered arrived in the mail.
converted to Islam not too long ago and I started wearing my hijab, I went to
work today and was kicked out because my hijab was not apart the 'dress code'
apparently and I wasn't allowed to wear it', she posted on Twitter. 'Don't come
to the chicken express in Fort Worth!!'
added in another tweet: 'This is discrimination at its finest! I will not
tolerate this at all.'
has not named the boss despite requests online. The company has not named him.
woman said: 'I told my manager that I am Muslim and that I was waiting on my
hijabs to come in. And everything was cool until it was brought up again
between him and another employee.'
I clocked in, the manager said 'Take off anything that doesn't involve Chicken
Express,' which I knew he was talking about my hijab,' the woman told CNN.
I didn't react, I just went to the back and took off my jacket and my purse.
Five minutes later, he called me into the office telling me that I have to take
it off because it's not a part of the work uniform.'
claimed that after she cut off her camera, the manager said: 'If it isn't
branded by Chicken Express you can't wear it, we don't care about your religion
because it has nothing to do with the store.'
regards to issues of health and safety raised by Twitter commenters, Coleman
said she works on the front counter: 'I barely deal with food'.
added: 'In the hand book they say they have 'equal opportunity for every
religion' so yes I FELT comfortable working there.'
company's handbook states that 'only the Chicken Express hats or visors may be
worn' but does not include guidelines on religious exceptions.
said she believes the manager was 'targeting' her after social media users
noted they'd seen staff working at Chicken Express wearing a hijab.
addition to the hijab incident, Coleman claimed that several weeks ago she was
taken off the schedule after she had an anxiety attack at work and was having
said it caused a slow down in the store because I had to walk off and all
down,' she tweeted. 'Instead of making sure that I was okay he took me off the
schedule for TWO WEEKS!'
said that by Tuesday she hadn't heard back from corporate team but the 'guy
that runs the store called me this morning and apologized'.
said he 'asked would I like to help rewrite the handbook so this doesn't happen
claimed the store owner asked her to remove her social media videos that went
viral with tens of thousands of views and reactions, because they have been
'getting calls from other CE stores about this situation', however she
said she hadn't gone to HR about the matter but returned to work Tuesday and
faced more discrimination.
lady who I worked with today was making racists comments AFTER the store owner
left,' Coleman claimed.
I walk behind the counter and an employee is talking about me to another worker
calling me a fake Muslim and that the Muslim community should hate me. So
instead of saying something I let her talk. She continued on to say that there
is no such thing as black Muslim women,' Coleman continued. 'And laughed at me
while I was adjusting my hijab.'
cried all day yesterday because I just couldn't believe it happened to me like
it's 2019 almost 2020 this needs to stop.'
reached out to Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with the videos for
advice on filing a lawsuit and Equal Employment Opportunities Commission now
has her case.
'southern businesses love discrimination', one Twitter user said past and
current employees should come forward with their cases of discrimination.
Coleman tweeted: 'That's the thing nobody in my job will come forward about
anything. Because they are all too scared'.
called for the offending manager to be fired and for Chicken Express to settle
a lawsuit quickly, citing Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act about
practicing religion at work.
Express, which is franchised, initially declined to comment.
restaurant said it would 'retrain' the manager who is one of three at the
branch and is still employed by them.
said the manager 'was using a strict interpretation of the company policy that
does not allow derivations from the standard employee uniform, and he
unfortunately did not take religious liberty into consideration'.
was paid for the full number of hours she intended to work Monday and was
allowed to return the next day wearing her headscarf, the lawyer said.
also was asked to participate in developing training 'so that a mistake like
this will not happen again' Warren continued.
said the manager had been with that particular restaurant location for just
over a year and that the franchise owner was a Chicken Express franchisee for
about 15 years.
meanwhile, told ABC that the response to her video was '50/50', with some
support for the Muslim community. She said she has received some racist
comments on Twitter.
pay no mind to it because I know what I'm doing is right and can help other
women like me'. she told ABC.
added that she hopes this serves as a lesson 'for employees [to] be strong and
fight for your rights and for employers [to] study the hijab and what it means
to Muslim women'.
women continue tough fight for rights
recent popular uprising in Yemen has brought new opportunities for women who
have been under-represented for years.
months after the protests of the so-called "Arab Spring", the success
of Tawakul Karman, the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, continues
to push Yemeni women to work towards ending centuries of discrimination.
Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbara reports from Sanaa.
harassed and cut off: Bhutanese women in Iraq
the government be able to help us?”
a hushed tone, Choden asked. She sounded desperate.
she called Kuensel yesterday, she said she was in a kitchen of a home in
Baghdad, Iraq. She had not eaten since morning. It was almost mid-day there
when she made the inquiry.
has gone to Iraq in September last year.
other similar stories, she was fiddling her mobile phone and checking social
media sites when she received a message from a friend asking if she was
interested to go abroad to work.
heard many stories of people who went abroad and earned good income. She has
also seen her neighbours receiving money from their children living abroad.
thought this was an opportunity to help my single mother and sister and make
our lives better,” Choden said.
friend then gave her a Facebook account of a woman, who sends girls abroad to
work. “The moment I added her, she asked me if I had passport,” she said.
woman asked her to process her passport and to tell officials she was going to
study abroad. She met two friends and went to Siliguri.
Siliguri, we met the woman and she brought us till Delhi. She took care of all
our expenditure and bought us goods. We thought she was a good woman,” the
23-year-old Choden said. “She told us Bhutanese are treated well in Iraq and
that Iraq is now under the United States and a peaceful country.”
and her friends stayed in Delhi for a week and reached Baghdad through Dubai at
night in trucks. “They brought us with loads covered under blankets.”
in Baghdad, they were not given proper food but lots of work. “We wake up at
5am and go to bed at 11:30pm. I fell sick many times and even bled from mouth
woman, Zangmo, also went to Iraq through the same woman, supposed to be an
said they were given leftovers, made to work without rest and did not even have
clothes to change. “Our luggage was taken to the police station but we were
transported in trucks under blankets.”
27-year-old woman said four of them went together from Bhutan. She is not aware
of where the other three are. “The clients confiscated all our local SIM. We
are not in touch.”
said one of the clients, who found her phone, broke it.
claimed they change clients to work for at night. “I am working with a man
these days. Besides the household chores, he makes me massage him every night,
touch me inappropriately and ask me to sleep with him.”
has been more than four months since she left Bhutan and she claimed that the
woman who sent them lured them by saying they would be paid USD 400 a month and
would get tips. “But we are not paid any salary.”
said when she told the middle woman that she wanted to return home, she asked
her to pay Nu 600,000. “When I told the agent here I want to return home, he
asked me to pay USD 17,000.”
said she feels like committing suicide. “If there is no way we could return
home, taking my own life is the only solution.”
woman shared a similar story of suffering in Sulamaniyah.
21-year-old woman from Wangduephodrang said a woman working there, who was
related to her brother-in-law, influenced her sister to send her down.
initially told me the work is in Qatar and I only knew it was in Iraq when they
handed us the air ticket in Dubai,” she said. “Two other girls came with me but
they are in different places now.”
has been three months since they were in Sulaymaniyah and the woman said they
were made to work without food. “When we complain that we cannot work, they
scold and beat us.”
said that when they told the two women, who influenced them to come down about
their suffering, they have been blocked from social media. “They are from
eastern Bhutan and they do not even put their real photo in social media
woman said she comes from a poor family and only has a mother at home. “She
cries when I tell her my plight.”
said they lodged a complaint to Royal Bhutan Police through social media
accounts more than a month ago. “We are still waiting for the response.”
the government would complete contacting all women placed in Iraq by two
Bhutanese unregistered agents and make arrangements for those who want to
return within a week, according to foreign minister Dr Tandi Dorji.
week the government, along with relevant agencies, drafted a standard operating
procedure (SOP) and Lyonpo said working on the cases have become easier through
said stakeholders worked over the New Year and the Nyilo to profile the girls
and ask them if they wished to return. “The government and the two recruiters
are working to get in touch with them.”
Tandi Dorji said the stakeholders met yesterday afternoon and discussed the
said the government has questioned the two recruiters, one in Thimphu and the
other in New Delhi. Both the recruiters are women.
15 girls sent through one agent have been identified and when asked most wanted
to remain in Iraq,” the minister said.
said that most of them placed in Bagdad want to stay. “It’s those in Kurdistan
who have problems and we’re profiling each of the girls and asking them if they
want to return home.”
Dr Tandi Dorji said three women had arrived in New Delhi from Iraq of which two
were pregnant and one was sick. “They knew they were pregnant only after they
reached Iraq in October.
said both the agents were also in contact with their partners in Iraq as well
and they are yet to understand the terms between the agents.
agents were also told that their business was illegal.
minister also said the foreign ministry has written to the Iraqi government not
to allow Bhutanese girls to work as maids. “Kuwait has already banned it. Soon
this restriction would extend to the whole of the Middle East.”
agents fooling the govt.?
Bhutanese maids in Baghdad are worried if the unlicensed agents are trying to
influence the government by saying that they wanted to stay there.
don’t know who the government is in touch with,” a maid said. “I only received
message from Prime Minister and I shared my plight. I got some hope when His
Excellency said the government would help us.”
maid said that those who are suffering do not have phones and are not on social
media. “I hope the government officials are not in touch with Bhutanese women
working for agents here and luring others to come down.”
said one or two women, who benefited from recruiting companies should not be
allowed to make decisions for them. “There are more than 41 women in Baghdad,
who want to come back. There are many others in other places.”
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