New Age Islam
Mon Nov 30 2020, 12:42 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 26 Feb 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

'Racist' school bus drivers 'refusing to stop for young Muslim girls who are wearing the hijab'

Iraqi Women Struggling to Reclaim a Dignified Life

Should Women Be Caned? Muslim Nations Call For Debate

Burqa: Don’t let obscurantism abet poll-riggers

Hakim Quick: another Islamist bigot at King's London

Egypt State Council head ignores female judges ban

Woman Says Abercrombie Fired Her Over Headscarf

Muslim scholars rule female circumcision un-Islamic

Dancing The Divide: Interview with Pakistani Peacemaker Sheema Kermani

Cabinet affirms opposition to burqa ban

Now Karzai moves against women in Afghan politics

Seminar cum workshop on 'Rights of Muslim Women - Theory and Practice'

The New Anti-Capitalist Party criticised for bringing in a scarf-clad Muslim

Key panel's ban on women judges seen as retrograde

Fired from Hollister for wearing the hijab?

Girl burgles own house to pay off porn-MMS debt

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/-racist--school-bus-drivers--refusing-to-stop-for-young-muslim-girls-who-are-wearing-the-hijab-/d/2512

 

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'Racist' school bus drivers 'refusing to stop for young Muslim girls who are wearing the hijab'

By Carol Driver

26th February 2010

School bus drivers have been accused of racism after failing to stop for pupils wearing Muslim hijabs.

Young girls have claimed they are being bullied on board for dressing in the traditional veil which covers the head.

To avoid trouble, ‘cowardly’ drivers are allegedly ignoring pupils who wait at bus stops wearing the headscarf.

Following a police investigation, officers will now be drafted on to board the buses to protect the students from ‘racist’ taunts of other passengers.

The problems centre on Merseytravel and pupils attending West Derby's Holly Lodge Girls' College in Merseyside, where 10 per cent of the 11,274 11 to 18-year-old students are from ethnic minorities.

Members of the Muslim community said the issue was a long-running one.

Amina Ismail, who works at Liverpool John Moores University, was approached by the victims.

She said: ‘They said people driving past were being abusive because they were wearing the hijab.’

Ms Ismail said bus drivers refusing to stop were ‘cowardly’ and that ‘they should not push their own personal prejudices on young people’.

She urged people to ‘see past the scarf or skin colour and look beyond this’.

Holly Lodge has previously won praise from Ofsted for its ‘promotion of equality and diversity’.

Headteacher Julia Tinsley said: ‘There have been a small number of cases where ignorant people have directed racist comments at our pupils while they are on buses.

‘It is completely unacceptable and very upsetting for those involved and we have provided support to those affected.

‘We welcome the assistance from Merseyside police in tackling the mindless minority who think it is acceptable to make racist comments.’

Merseyside police has produced an action plan to prevent any further incidents, including looking at how victims can pass on anonymous information.

A spokesman said the force was committed to tackling racism, adding: ‘We will be putting police community support officers on public buses during the periods these incidents are happening to reassure passengers and deter would-be offenders.

‘CCTV will be routinely checked following allegations of any criminal offence.’

However, Colin Carr, regional adviser for Unite - whose members include bus drivers - said he would be surprised if they were failing to stop.

‘The union would condemn this kind of action, and equality and diversity is something we promote across the spectrum,’ he said.

Merseytravel said it condemned ‘all acts of racism’ and, after probing the claims, has ‘now drawn up an action plan to deal with and prevent any further incidents’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1253926/Racist-school-bus-drivers-ignoring-Muslim-girls-wear-hijab.html

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Iraqi Women Struggling to Reclaim a Dignified Life

By Hadeel Al-Tak

The events that have taken place here in Iraq since the US invasion has not distinguished between a man or a woman, an adult or a child. They have hit the country like a tornado, sweeping away what they knew and ending the lives of many people.

Human Rights Situation in Iraq

Since 2003, many people have fled Iraq, while others are keeping alive the hope that someday, there would be change, and that their country would be rebuilt. Civil society is a relatively new concept here, but recently many new organizations have been set up with the aim of helping the disadvantaged and the oppressed. These organizations are now providing education and health care, promoting peace building and human rights, and helping to empower people at all levels.

The people of Iraq know all too well that human rights are as important as the water they drink and as the food they eat. Without any rights, men, women, and children can be violated, humiliated, and oppressed. However, years of war has unfortunately forced many to turn their backs on the fundamental rights of others. Where human rights are not respected, supported, and put into action by all, the idea of human rights becomes just words on paper.

Women and children are some of the most vulnerable people in Iraq. Many wives have lost their husbands and children, leaving them struggling to survive under difficult conditions with very little support. They also suffer from a lack of education, low levels of literacy, poor health, and displacement.

Iraqi Women

Unfortunately, many women are also subjected to violence at the hands of their family and husbands. The conflict has deprived many women from the protection they once had and has left them vulnerable to all sorts of abuses by others. It has also led to a rise in violence on the psyche of the people, as they struggled to cope with the horrors around them.

Hanan (not her real name) has suffered the tremendous agony of losing her husband in the war and suffering violence in her own home. She is now a member of an Islamic Relief project that helps vulnerable women by providing training and support.

"My husband was killed in the war, and I was left to care for my four children on my own. After his death, I became a captive of my husband's family. They treated me along with my children in a very cruel way. My children had to drop out of school to work and pay money to their uncle. All of the money we earned went to him, and we were not allowed to save any of the money for ourselves," Hanan said.

"Two years have passed in this misery and deprivation. I knew that I had some inheritance left to me by my husband, but I was too scared to ask for what was mine. Then, by chance, I visited a center run by Islamic Relief that provides support to women like me, helping us to make a living. Actually, I was encouraged and supported to ask for the permission of my in-laws to work there. When they approved, it was the happiest day in my life," added Hanan.

Overcoming the Challenges

Hanan continued,

As the days passed, I learned more and more and worked hard in order to be able to give money to my brother-in-law while keeping some money for myself. This meant that finally my children were able to return to their school.

I also participated in workshops run by Islamic Relief about how to raise awareness about violence against women as well as the importance of psychological health. They told us that we should demand our rights, and never feel weak because we are widows.

Their talks encouraged me to ask my in-laws for my inheritance and my share in my husband's house. At first, they intimidated and threatened me, but I just kept on hearing my lecturer's voice in my head, and so I persevered until they gave me what was mine. Now, I am independently living in my own house.

Full report at: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1235339851879&pagename=Zone-English-Youth%2FYTELayout

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Should Women Be Caned? Muslim Nations Call For Debate

February 25, 2010

Malaysian Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil hoped the conference could be held in three months to address the issue.

"I will bring this up with the Cabinet as soon as possible," The Star quoted Jalil, as saying.

She said the ministry will organize the conference through the Secretariat for the Defence and Empowerment of Women, adding that Ulamas and NGOs would also have their forums at the conference.

The initiative for the caning comes after caning of three Malaysian women, who were found guilty of committing illicit sex in violation of Shariah law, caught immediate international reaction and interest, with a number of foreign media running articles and commentary on the issue.

The three women were sentenced to be whipped under Section 23(2) of the Federal Territory Shariah Criminal Offences Act 1997 (Illicit Sex) for engaging in illicit sex.

Several organizations in Malaysia, including Sisters in Islam (SIS) had earlier said the three cases constituted further discrimination against Muslim women in Malaysia.

Bar Council chairman Ragunath Kesavan urged the Government to abolish whipping and to comply with international norms and principles on it.

http://www.medindia.net/news/Should-Women-Be-Caned-Muslim-Nations-Call-For-Debate-65523-1.htm

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Burqa: Don’t let obscurantism abet poll-riggers

By NM Sampathkumar Iyangar,

25 February 2010

At a time when lakhs of lawsuits are pending for decades due to severe shortage of legal and judicial resources, leaving thousands of youth languishing in jail without trial, a Tamil Nadu-based lawyer PS Narsimhan has chosen to encash his legal calibre to their detriment. The legal eagle is straining the tottering judicial system, acting as the counsel of a Madurai resident Ajmal Khan. Ostensibly, Khan resents the display of the photographs of Muslim women – with their veil off – in the voters' list. Obviously, he has all the money in the world needed to pay a Supreme Court counsel.

The Supreme Court of India has deemed it wise to be seized of the matter that Narsimhan had petitioned on behalf of his client. A Bench under Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan has already squandered scarce judicial time, paid for by the public, in the suit that smacks of frivolousness and sinister mischief. As if long-standing scourges – runaway inflation, unemployment, societal conflicts, starvation, communal attacks, tyrannical overlordism, etc – plaguing the country of billion-plus people have been substantially tackled and neutralized, these thinkers are engaged in the issue, they apparently consider, as a matter of life and death for the 160 million Muslims!

"We are not against election officials having access to voters' list with the photographs of Muslim women, but the same should not be given to the public at large,” argued Narsimhan, adding that having their pictures printed on a public document was anathema to Islam. He pleaded that liberty be given at least those Muslim women who do not want their photographs on the voters' list to approach the Election Commission and seek the privilege. Mercifully enough, the plea was rubbished. However, it is not the end of the matter. His insistence that electoral rolls with the photographs of Muslim women must not be given to any poll agent in any form will still consume public resources.

Full report at: http://twocircles.net/2010feb25/burqa_don_t_let_obscurantism_abet_poll_riggers.html

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Hakim Quick: another Islamist bigot at King's London

By Douglas Murray

February 25th, 2010

As I write, King’s College London is hosting yet another Islamist extremist bigot on its campus. Since King’s has in recent years enjoyed the distinction of having two of its undergraduate Muslim students graduate into suicide-bombing you’d have thought they’d try to be more circumspect about this sort of thing. But no.

Tonight’s speaker at the Islamic society is named Abdullah Hakim Quick (true, even though, I know, it sounds more like an order).  The Islamic society students at King’s will be able to hear many wise things from him, including, perhaps, his past pronouncements that gays should be killed, and that Jews and other non-Muslims are “filth”. More details here.

It is wonderful they way that our money is going to pay for British students to be educated like this. And that the university authorities at King’s facilitate it. This gives me such hope for the future of this country.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/douglasmurray/100027544/hakim-quick-another-islamist-bigot-at-kings-london/

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Egypt State Council head ignores female judges ban

Lina Attalah

25/02/2010

A group of activist women belonging to NGO's, standing in front of State Council, Giza, February...

The controversial issue of appointing female judges to Egypt's authoritative State Council took another turn on Monday, when State Council head Mohammad el-Husseini ignored a majority vote by the council's general assembly barring the appointment of female judges to the council.

The State Council, or Majlis Al-Dawla, was established in 1946 and is considered Egypt's highest legal body. It is tasked with deciding administrative disputes with regards to the exercise of state power.

The general assembly ruling was seen as a step backwards by Egyptian women's rights activists.

According to Khaled Ali, head of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, the issue first came to the fore in the summer of 2009, when some 300 women applied for positions as judges. They were subsequently screened and interviewed.

As a result, 95 judges requested an emergency meeting of the general assembly last February to discuss the question of hiring female judges. At a 15 February meeting, 334 out of 380 judges voted against the appointment of women to the council.

“The judges opposing the appointment of women were empowered after they saw the call for male-only applicants by the Public Prosecutor in January,” Ali said.

Full report at: http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/egypt-state-council-head-ignores-female-judges-ban

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Woman Says Abercrombie Fired Her Over Headscarf

February 25, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO—A Muslim employee of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. alleges she was fired for not removing her headscarf.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday it filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint on behalf of Hani Khan.

Khan had worked for the store’s outlet in San Mateo, Calif. A call to the New Albany, Ohio-based company was not immediately returned.

Khan says she was initially told she could wear a hijab, or headscarf, but a visiting district manager said scarves were not allowed during work hours. Khan said she was fired when she refused to take it off.

A 2009 suit filed in Oklahoma against Abercombie alleged that a Tulsa store refused to hire a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf. That lawsuit is pending.

For additional information, stay with NBC 4 and refresh nbc4i.com—Where Accuracy Matters.

To submit a story idea or news tip, e-mail stories@nbc4i.com .

http://www2.nbc4i.com/cmh/news/state_regional/article/woman_says_abercrombie_fired_her_over_headscarf/32485/

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Muslim scholars rule female circumcision un-Islamic

By Segun Otokiti

26 February 2010

A Egyptian conference of Muslim scholars from around the world declared female circumcision to be contrary to Islam and an attack on women, and called for those who practice it to be punished.

The conference, organised by the German human rights group TARGET, recommended that governments should pass laws to prohibit the tradition and that judicial bodies prosecute those who mutilate female genitals.

“The conference appeals to all Muslims to stop the practice, according to Islam’s teachings which prohibit inflicting harm on any human being,” the participants said in their final statement.

Egypt’s two top Islamic clerics, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, the foremost theological institute in the Sunni Muslim world, and Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, attended the conference, which drew scholars from as far afield as Russia.

Female circumcision, which involves cutting the clitoris, continues to be practiced in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa as well as Egypt, Yemen and Oman, despite numerous campaigns against it.

Those who support the tradition believe it lowers a girl’s sexual desire and helps maintain her honour. They also believe it is required by Islam.

The scholars said circumcision inflicts physical and mental harm on women, adding that Islam considers it to be an aggression against women.

Full report at: www.compassnews.net/Ng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=42117:muslim-scholars-rule-female-circumcision-un-islamic&catid=38:life-a-style&Itemid=689

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Dancing The Divide: Interview with Pakistani Peacemaker Sheema Kermani

by Aditi Bhaduri

February 25, 2010

• Pakistani dancer and peacemaker, Sheema Kermani. Photograph courtesy of Tehrik-e-Niswan. Photograph by Lesley D. Biswas. •

With her large flashing eyes rimmed with kohl and flowing hair, she is the quintessential dancer. Despite her chain-smoking, she is the picture of health and surprisingly agile. But then again, she has been breaking down traditional stereotypes for years as an acclaimed dancer in a country where dancing is frowned upon. Moreover, she has distinguished herself by performing "Hindu" dances in a country whose arch-rival is “Hindu India”.

Pakistani danseuse Sheema Kermani, who has used her passion for dance to create Tehrik-e-Niswan (The Women’s Movement) to fight for women’s rights in her country where they are under duress, has now turned to bridging the divide between Pakistan and India. She spoke with me recently while on a goodwill tour to Kolkata, India (and again via email following the recent terror attack in Pune) about how she came to learn "Hindu" dance forms and why she is performing in India when ties between the two neighbors are at their lowest. Her work couldn't come at a more critical time - today in New Delhi, the foreign secretaries of both countries will finally resume talks for the first time since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

You are an expert in "Hindu" dances like Bharatnatyam and Odissi. What made you learn them when it is difficult to be a professional dancer in Pakistan?

Full report at: http://www.thewip.net/contributors/2010/02/dancing_the_divide_interview_w.html

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Cabinet affirms opposition to burqa ban

Feb 26, 2010

The Swiss government still refuses to impose a ban on burqas, the head-to-toe garment that some Muslim women wear in public.

In a written response to a parliamentary question, the cabinet said on Friday that few women would actually be concerned by this measure, and it would be difficult to enforce.

It also pointed out that it would be unfair to distinguish between women living in Switzerland and tourists.

Asked if wearing a burqa could be a hindrance to integration, the government admitted that visual contacts are more difficult, but added that for those women, it allowed them to get out rather than be forced to stay at home.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/politics/Cabinet_affirms_opposition_to_burqa_ban.html?cid=8377594

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Now Karzai moves against women in Afghan politics

February 26, 2010

News that Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a decree changing his country’s election laws has stirred controversy over his removal of independent foreign members from the Electoral Complaints Commission—the watchdog agency that uncovered cheating by Karzai’s own campaign in last year’s presidential elections. Now, another dubious element in the decree is

coming to light. Karzai is giving his operatives the authority to reduce the number of women in the Afghan parliament. Up to now, women were guaranteed two seats per province in the lower house of parliament, a mechanism designed to promote women’s rights in a country where they have often been under siege. It’s been a bragging point for countries, like Canada, touting

the emergence of Afghan democracy. But Karzai’s decree would apparently waive the two-per-province quota where not enough women were on the ballot.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/02/26/now-karzai-moves-against-women-in-afghan-politics/

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Seminar cum workshop on 'Rights of Muslim Women - Theory and Practice'

February 26, 2010

Malegaon: The Institute of Islamic Studies and the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism , Mumbai is going to organize a seminar cum workshop on ‘Rights of Muslim Women- Theory and Practice'.

According to the statement released by Asghar Ali Engineer, the seminar has been organised for those who are actively involved in promoting and working for the awareness of Muslim women’s right in their respective areas.

"This training highly necessary for those working in the field will equip them with adequate knowledge and skills to do their work more effectively and efficiently", says the statement.

The topics that the seminar will cover include Islam and its origin and development, Position of Women before Islam, Concept of Women in Quran, Position of Women in Shariah, Freedom of expression for women in Islam, Personal Law in India and Personal Law reforms in Islamic countries and Supreme Court Judgments in favour of Muslim Women.

"These subjects will help them to grasp how the Shariah was evolved, what steps can be taken for reforms and what are the possibilities of empowerment and liberation of Muslim women", says the statement.

Full report at: http://www.ummid.com/news/2010/February/26.02.2010/seminar_on_muslim_women_rights.htm

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The New Anti-Capitalist Party criticised for bringing in a scarf-clad Muslim

By Siraj Datoo

26 February 2010

The New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) has recently announced that 21 year-old Muslim woman Ilham Moussaïd is running for an election in Avignon (South-East France).

The issue has sparked much controversy online and in the press; the right-wing newspaper Le Figaro has called it an “absolutely revolutionary action”. Yet the NPA have publicly underplayed this, arguing that a woman can be a “feminist, secularist and a scarf-wearer at” the same time. “Faith is a private matter that does not preclude participation in our (party’s) struggle,” although a communiqué by the Party stated that Moussaïd was only chosen “after a serious and complex debate.”

So large is the debate that the NPA has attracted criticism from both left and right-leaning politicians; cited in Libération, left-wing MEP, Jean-Luc Melénchon, said, “When one wants to be elected, one must be able to represent everyone, so it’s a mistake to stand for election by displaying a religious affiliation.”

The right-wing Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) Minister, Chantal Brunel, said, “It is a provocation and a manipulation of a religious practice for electoral purposes, it is shocking.”

The issue of hijab has become such a heated issue in France that even politicians from opposite ends of the spectrum are agreeing – headscarves have no place in French politics.

President of the French National Party (equivalent to the BNP) however, has mocked Olivier Besancenot and his “stunt” as “fancy dress”, brandishing him a “rather moderate revolutionary” – he should have presented “a woman in a burka” if he truly wanted to make a scene.

Full report at: http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=4555

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Key panel's ban on women judges seen as retrograde

By Raghda El Halawany

February 27, 2010

Many Egyptians saw that such a decision represents a setback to women's rights in Egypt, as Adel Naguib, 34, lawyer, told Gulf News.

Cairo: Justice in Egypt witnessed a regressive leap last week, when the general assembly "surprisingly" refused to allow appointing women to judicial positions at the key state council, which advises the government.

The Council of State's Association voted by sweeping majority (89 per cent) barring women ruling in the council, in a move that was subjected to a torrent of criticism by internal as well as external human rights activists.

Many Egyptians saw that such a decision represents a setback to women's rights in Egypt, as Adel Naguib, 34, lawyer, told Gulf News.

"With 334 judges in the assembly rejecting the appointment of females to judicial posts in the country and 42 agreeing, I feel that we are back again to square one concerning women's rights."

Step backward

In her speech at the emergency meeting held by the ruling party's women secretariat to discuss the resolution, the First Lady, Suzanne Mubarak, condemned the decision, calling on women to "defend their acquired rights and successes, which had been scored during the past five years".

Full report at: http://gulfnews.com/news/region/egypt/key-panel-s-ban-on-women-judges-seen-as-retrograde-1.589160

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Fired from Hollister for wearing the hijab?

San Francisco

A Muslim woman, apparently fired from teen clothier Hollister Co. for wearing the hijab, a religious headscarf, filed a federal complaint this week charging that she was wrongfully fired due to religious discrimination.

Hani Khan, a Bay Area college student, was let go from the clothing chain, which is owned by Abercrombie & Fitch, because her hijab violated the company’s “look policy,” according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which filed the complaint along with Ms. Khan.

CAIR said the termination violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires employers to accommodate an employee's religious practices unless it creates “undue hardship.”

The hijab, which is worn by Muslim women around the world as a symbol of their Islamic faith, has been the center of controversy before. It has sparked protests in Europe over its place in society as Muslim populations there grow. While many US Muslim women say there is growing acceptance for the hijab, discrimination is not uncommon.

But the hijab debate that has erupted in the Bay Area involving Ms. Khan, who was a part-time stockroom employee, and Abercrombie & Fitch could shine a new light on religious discrimination at the corporate level.

“Ideally we would have liked to have resolved this and chalked it up to a mistake," says Zahra Billoo, program and outreach director for the Bay Area branch of CAIR. She says when CAIR was initially made aware of Khan's case, it sent a letter to corporate headquarters explaining Khan's religious rights. Often, she says, once employers understand the significance of the hijab, they will accommodate their employees. In this case, she says, the termination "seems like a high-level concerted decision."

So far, Abercrombie & Fitch has not issued a comment about the case.

Full report at: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/0226/Fired-from-Hollister-for-wearing-the-hijab

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Girl burgles own house to pay off porn-MMS debt

February 27, 2010

A 16-year-old female student conspired with her two friends to burgle her own house in order to pay off a RM1,000 debt incurred from downloading pornographic clips on her handphone.

However, she got cold feet while police were investigating the break-in and later turned herself and her accomplices in.

District police chief Supt Kamaruddin Mohd Zakaria said the girl had told her friends, who had also supplied her with the clips, to break into her house in Jertih, Terengganu during a family trip to Kuala Lumpur last Thursday.

Although her parents had secured the house, the girl managed to loosen the lock so that her friends could enter.

The girl’s father lodged a police report upon finding a window pried open and the house in a mess upon returning home.

The police later recovered three gold chains, a bracelet and a ring belonging to the girl’s mother stolen from the house.

Supt Kamaruddin said the incident reflected the need to curb the downloading of pornographic clips, especially among students.

> Kosmo! reported that almost 80% of food premises in Penang did not have halal certificates issued by the country’s or state religious departments.

Full report at: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/2/27/nation/5758106&sec=nation

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