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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 3 Sept 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Maldives' Court Sentences 16 Year-Old Girl to 100 Lashes for Sex Act



















In Sexy Fashion World, an American Muslim Designer Covers Up Her Models

Bail Eludes Rimsha, the Christian Girl in Blasphemy Case

No female speakers at Jamaat-e-Islami's Hijab Day rally

Saudi's First Female Director Seeks To Break Gender Taboos

Egypt's Sexual Harassment of Women 'Epidemic'

Official: Nigeria First Lady Hospitalized Abroad

From Virginity Test to Power: Many Struggles Faced By Egypt's Women

Culture Clash Emerges In Iraq as Conservative Clerics Battle Sassy Western Styles

Iranian Discus Medallist Refused To Shake Hand for 'Cultural and Religious Reasons'

With Ghazala Javed’s Death, Music Is Subdued In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Iran: The Case Of The Bandaged Nose

Sierra Leone: Kaffu Bullom Muslim Women Certify 65 Girls

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: In Sexy Fashion World, an American Muslim Designer Covers Up Her Models





Maldives' Court Sentences 16 Year-Old Girl to 100 Lashes for Sex Act

September 4, 2012

Male : A 16 year-old girl has been sentenced to 100 lashes, which she will face when she turns 18, by a Maldivian court for having sex.

The Hulhudhufaaru Magistrate Court in Raa Atoll also sentenced a 29 year-old man to 10 years imprisonment, after it found him guilty of having sex with the minor girl.

As she is a legally a minor, the court stated that the girl's sentence would be implemented when she turned 18, the Minivan News reported.

An official told the local media that the man travelled to the island after the girl invited him. The the girl's family noticed that she was not at home and went looking for her, the official said.

The pair were found that night in some bushes behind the island's power house, he added.

The court official said the the girl's family pressed charges, which were denied by the man. However the girl confessed, local press reported.

The man was sentenced under the Child Sex Abuse (Special Provisions) Act which states that if a person touches a minor with the intention of having sex, then it is a punishable crime. A person found guilty of such a crime can be sentenced to a term of 10-14 years in prison.

According to statistics revealed by the Gender Department in April this year, between December 2010 and October 2011, 1,138 cases of child abuse were reported from atoll family and children service centres. 1,005 of these cases involved minors while 133 of these cases involved victims aged older than 18, the report said.



In Sexy Fashion World, an American Muslim Designer Covers Up Her Models

September 4, 2012

NEW YORK: Designers love to push boundaries in the search for that sexy catwalk look, but Nzinga Knight, an American Muslim, takes an even more daring tack: covering her models up.

At New York Fashion Week, which starts Thursday, impossibly tall, slinky creatures will sashay down the runways at Lincoln Centre in clothes that can leave little to the imagination.

But when it’s Knight’s turn, forget about flashes of breast or thigh-high split skirts. There will be long sleeves, long hems – and they’ll be sure to get attention.

“Definitely in my work people look at it and say that it’s really different and fashion’s really about being different,” she told AFP at a studio in the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she was embroidering a romantic but decidedly modest black and cream dress.

Knight, 31, is a devout Muslim, praying five times a day. But the up-and-coming designer is more fashionista than preacher.

“The look of my work is sensual, mysterious, innovative,” she said, describing her target as “a woman who’s happy to be a woman.” The difference lies in how she creates that sensuality.

When she launched her line in 2008, she found designers were fixated by clothes that “show cleavage and back.” “I felt a lot of women were wearing things because that’s what the magazines told them,” she said. “It seemed each designer had the same point of view.” So Knight set out to combine Islam’s strict moral codes with her native New Yorker’s sense of style and quickly found she had what any enterprising young designers would crave: a niche.

“My aesthetic was something really missing in the market,” she said. “It’s very distinct and can give me an edge.” Her upcoming collection will feature 10 evening dresses and several blouses.

Various shades of off-white, black, pink and matte gold dominate, with beads hand-sewn in India added to the trim. One full length dress in black and oyster shell white features a ruffled lower hem, but only at the back, so that it comes as a surprise, like a mermaid’s tail.

It is modest clothing, but hardly fit for a shrinking violet.

Whoever wears them “definitely has places to go,” she said.

Knight’s original outlook makes her almost unique on planet fashion, where black designers are rare and black Muslims rarer. “There are basically none,” she says.

But with her exotic background she’s always comfortable navigating her own path.

Her father emigrated from Trinidad, her mother from Guyana, both of them converted to Islam after reaching New York, where they raised six daughters.

“The fact I’m in New York, a native New Yorker, and New York is very much about style, what’s fresh, what’s hot, and the fact that I come from a Caribbean culture that’s very vibrant and then the fact that I’m Muslim…” Knight had to pause to catch her breath.

“I embody a lot of things,” she said.

In some Muslim countries, head-to-toe black robes, or abayas, are obligatory for women in the street, something that horrifies many Westerners.

But Knight says her experiences make her sympathetic. On a trip last year to Dubai, where one of her sisters lives, she recalls discovering the apparently uniform black fabric contains a multitude of subtle, individual differences.

“No two women were the same,” she said.

She also realized that at home, women take off their robes to reveal the latest in high fashion they’d been wearing underneath.

“They are vibrant and wear amazing colors. Only their special friends get to see them though,” Knight said. “I think it’s sexy for a woman to have secrets, good secrets.” In Western society, she argues, women are not as liberated as they may think they are.

Knight gave the example of pop stars, saying men are judged largely on their singing talent, while female performers have to go an extra step.

“I think that women in this society aren’t allowed just to stand on their own merit,” she said. “For most of the women who really make it, you know, they have to take their clothes off. That’s the game they have to play.” In her own work, she’s looking to shift the rules of the game.

“I’m telling a story that people aren’t telling,” Knight said.



Bail Eludes Rimsha, the Christian Girl in Blasphemy Case


September 3, 2012

Hopes of an early release from prison for the 11-year-old blasphemy accused — following a statement that the incriminating evidence had been planted against her — were dashed on Monday when the session’s court hearing her case adjourned the matter till Friday owing to a lawyers strike.

Now, she will be in jail for the rest of the week even as the Pakistan Ulema Council reiterated its support for the minor girl suffering from Down Syndrome. Referring to media reports suggesting that the government was delaying her release for fear that she would be harmed if released, Council chairman Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said his organisation would guarantee her security.

The Council also demanded a joint investigation into the entire case that resulted in the girl being arrested under the blasphemy law over a fortnight ago after she was allegedly found carrying some burnt pages of the Quran. Over the past weekend, three people from the slum cluster where she lived have testified that the pages of the Koran were put into the packet she was carrying by a cleric of the area mosque.

The cleric has since been jailed and his arrest on Saturday had raised hopes of the girl’s ordeal being cut short. However, the lawyers strike has delayed the matter further which had forced 300 Christian families to flee the cluster fearing a backlash. They have begun to return amid speculation that the entire episode had been orchestrated by a section in the cluster to evict the Christians.



No female speakers at Jamaat-e-Islami's Hijab Day rally

September 4, 2012

LAHORE: The Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan (JI) women wing organised a rally in Lahore to celebrate World Hijab Day on Tuesday, however no female speaker addressed the gathering.

Led by Samia Raheel Qazi, president JI Women and Family Commission and Afia Sarwar, assistant secretary general JI women wing, around 200 veiled women participated in the rally – which was addressed by JI secretary general Liaqat Baloch and JI Lahore head Amirul Azeem.

Addressing the female participants, Baloch said Islam has given a high rank to women. “No man can torture a woman, deprive her of the chances to progress and acquiring education.”

However, he said that the ways of living for women and men are different.

Claiming that it was not the West which gave liberty to women but Islam, Baloch said the West is ruining world civilisation by utilising women for commercial purposes.

“This practice has also ruined the institution of family; women are driven away from their real goals in the name of progress,” he said.

Praising Dr Aafia Siddiqi and condemning the US authorities for punishing her, the JI leader mentioned a Turkish female parliamentarian who opted to quit from her post instead of compromising over her Hijab.

Calling the news of forceful conversion of Hindu women in Sindh a sham, Baloch said that the NGOs have exaggerated the issue in a bid to dent the image of Islam.

“Jamat-e-Islami wants Islamic rule in Pakistan and no one can stop them from this noble cause,” he added.

Calling Hijab a part of Pakistan’s civilisation and an important feature of Muslim women’s identity, Azeem during his speech said that anti-Islam elements have always used different tactics to harm Islam and create an identity crisis amongst Muslims. “The West is now trying to separate Hijab from Muslim identity,” Azeem said.

Criticising advertising agencies and multi-national companies for using women in commercials for various products, Azeem mocked the presence of female models in advertisments for shaving razors.



Saudi's first female director seeks to break gender taboos

3 Sep 2012

Saudi Arabia's first feature film, created by AUC-educated Haifaa Al Mansour, is a major breakthrough in a country where showing films in public is illegal

The female director of Saudi Arabia's first feature film, showing at the Venice film festival, has explained how she beat the odds to produce the heartwarming tale of a girl's quest to own a bicycle.

In Haifaa Al Mansour's landmark film "Wadjda," 10-year-old Waad Mohammed plays a girl who is also testing the boundaries of a woman's place in a highly conservative society where her love for Western music and fashions land her in trouble.

Mohammed's impish personality and resilience in the face of adversity add to the poignancy of the story and left some of the film's first viewers in tears.

"She had this vulnerability and she embodied what a Saudi teenager is," Al Mansour said, speaking in the lush courtyard of the Excelsior hotel.

"I wanted to show the tension between modernity and tradition," she said.

Full report at:



Egypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic'

3 Sep 2012

Campaigners in Egypt say the problem of sexual harassment is reaching epidemic proportions, with a rise in such incidents over the past three months. For many Egyptian women, sexual harassment - which sometimes turns into violent mob-style attacks - is a daily fact of life, reports the BBC's Bethany Bell in Cairo.

Last winter, an Egyptian woman was assaulted by a crowd of men in the city of Alexandria.

In video footage of the incident, posted on the internet, she is hauled over men's shoulders and dragged along the ground, her screams barely audible over the shouts of the mob.

It is hard to tell who is attacking her and who is trying to help.

The case was one of the most extreme - but surveys say many Egyptian women face some form of sexual harassment every day.

Marwa, not her real name, says she worries about being groped or verbally harassed whenever she goes downtown. She says it makes her afraid.

Full report at:



Official: Nigeria First Lady Hospitalized Abroad

September 3, 2012

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The wife of Nigeria's president remains hospitalized in Germany following a severe bout of food poisoning that's lasted for days, a government official said Tuesday.

A government official told The Associated Press that Patience Jonathan fell sick about 10 days ago, following her hosting a summit of first ladies from across Africa. As her case of food poisoning worsened, she was flown to Germany for medical treatment, the official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity as information about Jonathan's illness had yet to be officially made public, despite numerous newspaper reports and rumors circulating on the Internet. Ayo Osinlu, a spokesman for the first lady, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

President Goodluck Jonathan has made no public comments about his wife's health.

Jon Gambrell report from Lagos, Nigeria. He can be reached at



From Virginity Test to Power: Many Struggles Faced By Egypt's Women

G Willow Wilson

 3 September 2012

The road to democracy is rarely smooth, but for Egyptian women, it has been exceptionally bumpy. Another barrier was thrown up last month when President Morsi appointed General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi as minister of defence.

Sisi is most famous outside Egypt for defending the so-called "virginity tests" administered to female protesters. In March 2011 a group of 17 women were detained, beaten and forced to submit to humiliating vaginal exams. Later they were declared to not be virgins. Sisi justified the tests as a safeguard against abuse while they were being held.

He said: "The procedure was done to protect the girls from rape as well to protect the soldiers and officers from rape accusations."

The argument was perplexing. Not only did it underline the view that only virgins could be "raped" it paraded a warning to the female population of Egypt: if you oppose the interim military government, you are clearly a loose woman. Now that power has been handed off to Egypt's first freely elected president, it is disappointing to see how little has changed.

Revolutionary youth leader Gigi Ibrahim says: "Of course it doesn't make any sense … but in his understanding, if you're not a virgin, you can't be raped. Which just shows you how stupid [Egypt's military leaders] are."

Full report at:



Culture Clash Emerges In Iraq as Conservative Clerics Battle Sassy Western Styles

04 Sep, 2012

BAGHDAD — For much of Iraq’s youth, sporting blingy makeup, slicked-up hair and skintight jeans is just part of living the teenage dream. But for their elders, it’s a nightmare.

A new culture rift is emerging in Iraq, as young women replace shapeless cover-ups with ankle-baring skirts and tight blouses, while men strut around in revealing slacks and spiky haircuts. The relatively skimpy styles have prompted Islamic clerics in at least two Iraqi cities to mobilize local security guards as a “fashion police” in the name of protecting religious values.

“I see the way (older people) look at me — they don’t like it,” said Mayada Hamid, 32, wearing a pink leopard-print headscarf with jeans, a blue blouse and lots of sparkly eyeliner Sunday while shopping at the famous gold market in the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Kazimiyah.

She rolled her eyes. “It’s just suppression.” So far, though, there are no reports of the police actually taking action.

This is a conflict playing out across the Arab world, where conservative Islamic societies grapple with the effects of Western influence, especially the most obvious — the way their young choose to dress.

Full report at:



Iranian Discus Medallist Refused To Shake Hand for 'Cultural and Religious Reasons'

3rd Sep 2012

 By Laura Chubb

An Iranian discus medallist who refused to shake Kate Middleton's hand when she presented him with his medal at the Paralympics Games said his refusal was for "cultural and religious reasons".

Mehrdad Karam Zadeh won silver in the F42-class discus at the London 2012 Paralympic Games yesterday morning.

But when the Duchess of Cambridge presented Zadeh with his medal yesterday evening, the Iranian would not shake her hand.

Both the bronze medallist, Lezheng Wang, and gold medallist, Aled Davies, did shake Kate Middleton's hand when she presented them with their medals.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the Iranian delegation has told Games organisers Zadeh did not shake the Duchess's hand because of cultural conventions in Iran, which prevent a man from shaking the hand of a woman he is not related or married to.

It is understood that, had a male been presenting the medal, Zadeh would have shaken his hand.

Full report at:



With Ghazala Javed’s death, music is subdued in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Kiran Nazish

04 Sep, 2012

A little over two months ago, news of a popular Pashtun female singer’s death streamed local and global media, fuelled by rumours of the Taliban’s involvement in her murder. Ghazala Javed, 24, and her father were shot dead on June 18, in Peshawar’s Dabagari Garden area.

“She was shot six times by gunmen as she left a beauty salon,” said a police officer working on the case. These shots were not fired by the Taliban. The police claim that her ex-husband, who had remarried and would force his first wife to quit singing, was the prime suspect and was hence arrested last week. Her sister, who filed the FIR said, “When Ghazala found out that he had a second wife, she asked for a divorce. This really annoyed him as it is against family honour for a husband to be asked to leave.” Although Javed’s family did not specify their suspect, local police claimed her ex-husband’s involvement with much confidence.

According to her cousin Wajid Omer, who plays harmonium in Peshawar, “She was killed by unidentified men. There were two bikes, and four men and they opened fire when she was leaving the salon. Since her father was also there he got targeted too. Both got hit and killed then and there.”  Ghazala’s sister was admitted in to a local hospital for several days due to trauma.  Cousin Wajid explained, “She couldn’t take the pain of two funerals in the house.”

Ghazala’s death has raised several questions about the law and order condition in KPK, the government’s responsibility in dealing with the issue of security and the threat of extremism, all of which squeezes the margin of survival of musicians and artists in the area.

Full report at:



Iran: The Case of the Bandaged Nose

September 4, 2012

It seems like I am in some surreal movie, you know the ones where every consecutive scene is more bizarre than the one preceding it. Each time I turn, I see a young woman --- girl would be more apt, really -- with a bandage on her nose.

At first, I think it is the same young lady, confused as I am by the numbers of women with identical nasal injuries that I encounter. Then, I realise that these ladies would need to be tele-mobile to be in different Tehran locations at almost the same time. It is thus that I stumble on the Case of the Bandaged Nose.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, a woman must cover every part of her body in a chador, a shapeless black or brown coat, and ensure that her hair is shrouded in a hijab. Only the face can be left uncovered. The regime's morality police rigidly enforce these diktats that came into force shortly after Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in February 1979.

Until then, under the Shah of Iran's otherwise despotic rule, Iranian women were used to wearing the latest fashions from the West. Now there is an entire generation of women -- more Iranians today have only known one ruler; the ayatollahs and their religious quirks -- who are dependent on touching up their face, by cosmetics or surgery -- to enhance their facial appeal.

Full report at:




Sierra Leone: Kaffu Bullom Muslim Women Certify 65 Girls



In a bid to motivate children to work within the tenets of Islamic teachings and also try to broaden their knowledge on the Islamic rule that restores the dignity and respect of women commanded by Allah to take up the Islamic covering (hijab), the Kaffu Bullom Voice of Islam Women's Wing has graduated 65 girls after a 10-day camping on Islamic covering at the African Muslim Agency orphanage compound at Royeama, Lungi.

In his keynote address, Paramount Chief of Kaffu Bullom Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III expresses his profound gratitude to the Kaffu Bullom Voice of Islam Women's Wing for their great strides in helping his chiefdom restore the dignity and respect of the girl-child, adding that because of this, incidences of rape have reduced drastically in his chiefdom.

PC Gbereh III assured the organization of his unflinching support and prayed that by the next camping they will be able to bring together more than 200 girls as the session has increased Islamic covering (hijab) in his chiefdom. He lavished praises on the president, Woman Inspector M'balu Mansaray for her effort in restoring the dignity and respect of the girl-child, adding that despite her assignment in Sudan, she still thought it wise to keep the momentum of Islamic propagation in the township.

Full report at:





Total Comments (1)

  • 1 .

    The sexual abuser is seriously sick and will continue abusing children sexually until he is caught. The child must be empowered this is his right to stand up for his Allah-given rights not to be abused. They have a right to be educated. If a person touches a minor with the intention of having sex, then it is a punishable crime. A person found guilty of such a crime can be sentenced to a term of 10-14 years in prison, but what was the guilty of the girl, being minor she was not aware of the repercussion of the act. The Prophet   said: “Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock; a woman is the shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for her flock…” [Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others]

    By Sonika Rahman 04/09/2012 15:01:53