this file photo taken on September 27, 2016, activist Aziza al-Yousef is
pictured checking her phone during an interview in Riyadh. (AFP)
Not Mandatory in Islam: Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen
Woman Who Converts To Islam Goes On Trial
Court Releases Four Additional Women Accused Of Undermining Security
Female Landlord Who Refused To Rent to Muslim Men Settles Lawsuit
Ban: Muslim Women from Mumbra Protest against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut
Women Emirati Doctors Honoured
Demands That Saudi Arabia Free Remaining Women Activists in Jail
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Should Be in the Kitchen’: At Afghan Assembly, Women Are Told They Don’t Belong
Fatima Faizi and David Zucchino
Afghanistan — On the second day of a traditional Afghan assembly this week, a
delegate rose to speak on the topic at hand, peace in Afghanistan.
bearded man from Kandahar ordered her to shut up.
told her: ‘Peace has nothing to do with you. Sit down! You should be in the
kitchen cooking!’” recalled Behnoh Benod, 31, a male delegate who witnessed the
assembly, known as a loya jirga, was convened by President Ashraf Ghani to
debate Afghanistan’s path to peace. Organizers proudly pointed out that 30
percent of the 3,200 delegates were women.
several female delegates said they felt ignored, marginalized or patronized.
They were told that men should lead the jirga’s 51 committees and women should
serve as secretaries. Some women complained that they were groped and fondled —
not by men, but by women who patted them down during security checks.
women said they had been confronted by male delegates who claimed to support
women’s rights, but only under Shariah, or Islamic law — a view shared by the
asked them which Shariah law, the Taliban Shariah law or ISIS Shariah law,”
said a delegate, Sakina Hussaini, referring to the Islamic State.
men didn’t accept women as human beings and I had to scream at them,” she said.
Benod said just 16 of the delegates on his 108-member committee were women. A
male delegate was selected as committee chair. Of the 51 committees, 13 were
headed by women, and 28 elected women as committee secretaries.
many women, the jirga got off to a dismaying start when Mr. Ghani appointed as
chairman Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, a combative former warlord known for his
harsh views on women’s rights. Things quickly went downhill when a female
delegate complained directly to Mr. Sayyaf and was hustled out by security
guards. Other delegates hooted and clapped to drown out her protest.
television, RTA, which broadcast the proceedings, posted a banner on Twitter
showing images of Mr. Ghani and Sher Mohammed Abas Stanekzai, the chief Taliban
peace negotiator. Beside them were photos of two women with their faces covered
— one by a niqab, a veil that leaves the eyes visible, and the other by a
burqa, the all-encompassing garment forced upon women under the Taliban regime
that was toppled in 2001.
a torrent of complaints on social media, a new banner appeared. Mr. Ghani and
Mr. Stanekzai were still depicted, but four smiling women wearing head scarves
that left their faces uncovered were added to the two with their faces
on Monday, as the jirga opened, some female delegates arrived dressed in
of these women have come from provinces and they have no idea why they are
here,” said a delegate, Taiyaba Khavari.
Khavari and other women said they grew disillusioned as they were insulted or
interrupted by male delegates.
45, a delegate who goes by one name, said she had been pleased to be among war
victims invited to Kabul. She said her 18-year-old son, a police officer, had
been killed by the Taliban.
Torpekai said she had planned to tell delegates that she wanted the Taliban
punished if a peace deal gave them a role in a postwar government. But the men
who dominated the jirga did not bother to listen.
one would hear me out,” Ms. Torpekai said. “They said women shouldn’t be here —
this isn’t a discussion for women.”
was not just women who felt disillusioned by the jirga. Social media lit up
with arch commentary from Afghans who dismissed the assembly as a patronage
tool for Mr. Ghani. Some critics said the jirga usurped Afghanistan’s Parliament.
government shut down the capital for five days, giving government workers the
week off while other Afghans fumed over blocked roads and security sweeps. Taxi
drivers complained that they were cut off from fares. Shopkeepers moaned that
customers could not reach them.
jirga was caught up in a bruising presidential election campaign, in which Mr.
Ghani is struggling to stay relevant while his government is excluded from
peace talks in Doha, Qatar, between the Taliban and the United States. The
militants refuse to meet with the government, calling it illegitimate.
of Mr. Ghani’s political rivals boycotted the jirga, among them Abdullah
Abdullah, the president’s partner in the unity government. Mr. Abdullah is
running for president against Mr. Ghani.
Nabil, another presidential candidate who boycotted, called the jirga a waste
of money and a campaign rally for Mr. Ghani.
organizers said it was an effective exercise in grass-roots democracy that
incorporated a wide range of Afghan society. Among the delegates were urban and
rural residents, victims of war and terrorism, young people, traditional
elders, and ulema, or Islamic religious scholars.
said that with the government sidelined at the peace talks, the jirga produced
a national consensus on conditions for peace with the Taliban. The assembly’s
recommendations are not legally binding.
our sacred tradition,” said Mohammed Umer Daudzai, who organized the gathering.
“I doubt that anybody will say consensus-building or dialogue is a bad idea.”
jirga has a long and contentious history. After delegates to a secret jirga in
the late 18th century conspired to replace the Afghan ruler, Zaman Shah, he had
them all killed. In 1987, a gunfight erupted outside a jirga hall, killing or
wounding 30 people.
2002, some 200 female delegates attended a jirga that elected Hamid Karzai
president. But many women had to jostle with male delegates for public
microphones. Others said they had been threatened by government intelligence
the close of the jirga on Friday, Mr. Ghani accepted its recommendation to seek
a cease-fire, a goal of the Doha peace negotiations. He urged the Taliban to
negotiate within Afghanistan and said he would release 175 Taliban prisoners.
other recommendations accepted by Mr. Ghani was a demand that any postwar
government honor the Afghan Constitution and protect the rights of women and
children. He thanked the delegates, “especially the women.”
delegate, Wazhma Tukhi, 25, said she was satisfied. “The Constitution protects
our rights, and that’s all Afghan women want,” she said.
another, Masuma Bahar, 24, said the jirga should have made a stronger case for
preserving women’s gains over the past 18 years.
were women on the board and they should have raised their voices, but they
haven’t done anything,” she said.
The Muslim Educational Society decision to ban ‘Niqab’ or any dress that covers
the face for girls on its campuses has found a mixed reaction.
Nadvathul Mujahideen (Markazudawa), a prominent Muslim organisation, has said
that there is no need to create a controversy over the decision as covering the
face of women is not mandatory in Islam.
state president E K Ahamedkutty and general secretary C P Umer Sullami said in
a statement that it was not desirable to ignite a row in the name of Islam as
the religion gives freedom to women to wear any modest dress that covers the
body parts except the face and forearms.
can wear any dress that are not tight-fitting and does not reveal the ups and
downs in the body. There is no insistence that they should wear purdah,” it
It’s time to introspect Higher education minister K T Jaleel said it was time
that Muslim religious organisations introspected if there is a need to follow rules
not prescribed by Islam. “Even during haj and prayers, women don't cover faces,
but some people are particular that women should wear the burqa, which is not
right,” he said.
do not cover their face for haj or umrah’ Sullami told TOI that the
face-covering dress came to Islam from the local traditions in Arabia. “Slaves
were not allowed to cover their face and other parts of the body there. Elite
women used to cover the entire body, including the face, to distinguish themselves
from the slave women then,” he said.
Kerala Jem-Iyyathul Ulema had earlier said it was part of the faith to cover
the face when confronting other men.
pointed out that women do not cover their face when they go for Haj or Umrah
but said there are certain stipulations in Islam, like women being advised to
avoid provocative dresses, to prevent adultery.
(women) are not allowed to move out of their house without the companionship of
a mahram (a close relative) when they travel for more than a day. In earlier
times, women had to use camels for travel and had to camp in tents,” he said,
adding that this has been relaxed now as women have the facility to travel in a
group of their own.
some extreme Salafi groups have opposed the MES decision. Niaf bin Khalid, a
Salafi preacher, said some people were trying their best to “present themselves
as progressives and to get applause from Kafiirs.”
a post in the Facebook page Al Aswala, Niaf said women who covered their faces
have accepted Ayesha, the wife of Prophet Muhammad, as their role model. He
also quoted several Hadees to argue that covering of faces was indeed mandatory
for women in Islam.
German woman, Sabine S, who converted to Islam and went to live under Islamic
State in the Middle East before returning to Germany, went on trial for
membership of the terrorist organisation on Friday.
S, 32, had lived in Syria and Iraq between December 2013 and August 2017,
federal prosecutor Stefan Biel told the Higher State Court in Stuttgart.
wanted to live under Islamic law, but not fight,’’ the defendant told the court
as the trial began.
was arrested in Baden-Baden in mid-2018 following her return.
leaving for the Middle East, Sabine S lived with the father of her two children
in Berlin, converting to Islam at the age of 22.
to her own version of events, she became radicalised before she left.
arriving in Syria, she married a high-ranking Islamic State fighter from
Azerbaijan, who was previously unknown to her, Biel said.
had two more children with this man, who died in December 2016.
to the charge sheet, she praised life under Islamic State in internet blogs.
is charged with participating in public executions as a spectator and with
having undergone training in the use of firearms.
is said to have done household duties and cared for her children, being paid
100 dollars a month and receiving 35 dollars a month from Islamic State for
each of the children.
had earlier successfully appealed against a federal court ruling that she
should not be held in custody while awaiting trial.
federal court initially ruled that merely living under Islamic State and
participating in daily life was insufficient for her to be held in custody.
Saudi court temporarily released on Thursday four women accused of undermining
the Kingdom’s security.
Arabia’s laws prohibit the official publication of the names of those accused
while on trial. The released detainees were identified by Reuters as Hatoon al
Fassi, Amal al Harbi, Maysaa al Manea and Abeer Namnakani.
join three other women released over a month ago, on condition they continue to
appear in court.
Arabia’s Public Prosecution issued a statement early last month that it had
concluded its investigation and prepared an indictment list against the
defendants, a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report said.
detainees were arrested by the Presidency of State Security after the discovery
of coordinated and organized attacks “to undermine the Kingdom’s security,
stability and national unity.”
June 2, the Public Prosecutor’s Office had announced the arrest of nine
suspects - five men and four women out of 17 wanted individuals - after
obtaining sufficient evidence mandating the arrests.
prosecution also said that the suspects admitted to having links with hostile
American landlord in Denver, Colorado, who was recorded telling her tenant not
to sublease her property to a Muslim father and son seeking to open their
second restaurant must pay the men $675,000 under a settlement.
men sued last year, generating local news coverage and online pleas to boycott
the woman's business, which mirrored the response to racist comments captured
on video across the US in recent months.
parties finalized the settlement in April. Rashad Khan said it was a relief
after more than a year of reliving his first experience of someone refusing to
work with him and his father because of their faith and race.
was born in England and came to the United States with his parents when he was
11. His father, Zuned, was born in Bangladesh.
dad and I just wanted to know that there's justice, that she can't do
this," Khan, 36, told The Associated Press.
to look at my name and assume everything in my life, everything that I
am," he told the AP. "I was angry, I was disappointed. I started to
have a little bit of self-doubt. It kind of creeps into your mind: Who else is
thinking these things? Is she the only one?"
earned a degree at the University of Colorado Boulder and worked in information
technology before teaming up with his dad.
Caldwell, who is white, began renting a building in 2016 but decided to close
his fried chicken restaurant there in late 2017. Caldwell had to continue
paying rent to Katina Gatchis, the building’s owner, for the five-year lease
unless he could find someone to sublease it.
Khans seemed like his solution. They hoped to open a second Indian restaurant,
replicating a fast-casual model that proved popular in the nearby city of
Boulder. But weeks went by without approval of the sublease agreement by
Gatchis. Caldwell said he was shocked when the woman's son blamed the Khans'
didn't believe it, and I didn't think anybody would believe me," said
Caldwell, who is 71.
decided to use a voice recording app on his mobile phone during his next
conversation with Gatchis.
person!" Gatchis said in the recording, provided to The Associated Press
by Caldwell's attorneys. "American person, I need. Good like you and
returned to see her a few days later. He hoped Gatchis would change her mind,
but she remained insistent in a recording of that conversation. "They
bring all the Muslims from the Middle East, and then I have a problem around
here, bam boom, bam boom," she said.
a court document filed in March, Attorneys for Gatchis said she admitted making
the statements "and that the recordings are accurate." Gatchis
acknowledged in the document that she "unlawfully discriminated"
against the Khans' company.
took the recordings of Gatchis to his business attorney. He referred Caldwell
to Denver attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai, whose firm often handles discrimination
claims and other civil rights cases. Mohamedbhai said proving discrimination is
often difficult and credited Caldwell for speaking up.
in Colorado and across the country should know that these laws are on the
books, they are highly enforceable, and that if they will discriminate, people
will stand up against them and tell them it is wrong," Mohamedbhai said.
Two days after Shiv Sena mouthpiece urged the Narendra Modi government to ban
burqa on the grounds of national security, Muslim women from Mumbra in
Maharashtra’s Thane district on Friday took out a protest.
women protested against Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut for his comment on the ban of
Sena leader Sanjay Raut is the editor of party's mouthpiece Saamana. In the
editorial, he had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban burqa after Sri
Lanka declared a ban on face coverings in the wake of Easter Sunday bombings.
Shiv Sena editorial has stirred off a major controversy. Interestingly, Shiv
Sena’s leadership has officially dissociated itself from the demand.
Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe, in a categorical statement, had said: “Today's
editorial has neither been discussed nor been announced by Uddhavji and thus it
may be a personal opinion of the editor on the current affairs in Sri Lanka,
but is not endorsed by the party President or the party.”
party’s ally, the Republican Party of India-A, also vehemently opposed the Shiv
all women who wear the burqa are terrorists, it is their custom and their
right, too. There should not be such a ban on the burqa in India," said
Union Minister and RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale.
first two Emirati women doctors to have graduated from the Arab Board of Health
Specialisations - Dr Fayeza Ahmad Yousuf and Dr Aisha Al Shiba - were honoured
by Dr Mohammad Salim Al Olama, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and
Prevention (MoHAP) at Kuwait Hospital on Thursday.
two doctors, who specialise in ear, nose, throat, head and neck treatment with
surgical and medical management, are considered the first batch of Emirati
Al Olama said the Ministry is proud of its medical competencies, while
stressing a commitment to attract and develop more Emirati talents in order to
fast-track Emiratisation in the healthcare sector.
is one of the country’s fast-growing sectors. In order to keep pace with
growth, we always bet on our national medical competencies that are equipped
with future skills,” Al Olama said.
International has demanded that six women activists held by Saudi Arabia
"must all be unconditionally and immediately released".
rights group said four women remain detained pending trial – Loujain Hathloul,
Maya’a al-Zahrani, Nouf Abdulaziz and Shadan al-Anezi – as well as two others
who have yet to be charged.
month, Hathloul’s brother, Walid, said the detained activist had no access to
call comes on the heels of Saudi Arabia’s conditional release of four women’s
rights activists the day before.
the time, the Saudi court said it ordered their release "after it studied
their requests submitted during the trial sessions", the state-run SPA
news agency reported.
has accused about a dozen women's rights advocates, several of whom had
campaigned for women's right to drive vehicles in the country, of harming Saudi
Arabia's national interests and being "agents of embassies".
women were detained last year as part of a wider wave of arrests in the Gulf
kingdom, as Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a
crackdown on dissent.
say some detainees, including Hathloul, were held in solitary confinement and
subjected to mistreatment and torture, including electric shocks, flogging and
officials have denied those allegations as "false".
who advocated for an end to a ban on women driving and the kingdom's male
guardianship system, was previously detained for 73 days in 2014, after she
attempted to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates.
driving ban was lifted in June, weeks after she was re-arrested. The
guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent of a male
relative for major decisions such as travel outside the country, remains
of other activists, intellectuals and clerics have been arrested separately in
the past two years in an apparent bid to stamp out opposition to the crown
prince, who has consolidated power partly through his sweeping
women's arrests have intensified international criticism of Saudi Arabia after
the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October in the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul sparked global outrage.
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