New Age Islam News Bureau
5 Jan 2016
Photo: 96% of runaway girls are Saudis(Arab News)
• Global Association of Muslim Women slams Al-Nimr execution
• Woman stoned to death in Yemen on adultery charge
• Nabbed terrorist reveals another Daesh women wing in Karachi
• On the frontline of Pakistani women’s fight against online abuse
• ‘Breast cancer on the rise among Pakistani women’
• Al Qaeda stoned woman to death for 'adultry'
• Black Saudi woman activist faces death threats
• Empowering women key to combating climate change, expert says
• London man says child in Isis video is his grandson
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
96% of runaway girls are Saudis
5 January 2016
MAKKAH: A recent survey conducted in the Makkah region found that 96.3 percent of girls who ran away from their families are Saudis, while 3.7 percent are non-Saudi. The study showed 51.9 percent are female university students, 36.4 percent high school students, and 11.7 percent middle school students.
The study showed 54 percent of runaway girls are between the ages of 17 and 21 years; 24.6 percent between the ages of 22 to 26; 15 percent under 16; and 5 percent older than 27 years.
The study, conducted by academics from the University of Umm Al-Qura, showed that 86.1 percent of runaway young women who are not married; 10.2 percent are married; 0.5 percent are widows.
Of the unmarried young women, 81.3 percent live with their parents; 8.6 percent live with their mothers; 2.1 percent live with relatives; and 1.6 percent live with their fathers.
The study showed 45.5 percent live in families of between seven and nine members; 34.8 percent live in families of between four and six people; 13.9 percent live in families with 10 members or more; 3.7 percent live in families consisting of three members or less.
The study, which is the first in the Makkah area, shows that the reasons for running away were misuse of social media, bad friends, misunderstanding of freedom, copying other cultures, weak beliefs, lack of emotional security, a need for adventure, bad treatment by husband, lack of dialogue with members of the family, verbal abuse, poverty, no monitoring by parents, subject to violence from one of the parents or brothers.
An official of the Makkah Educational Directorate said everyone needs to feel safe and healthy, physically, mentally, and emotionally. A child who does not feel safe at a young age will grow up feeling insecure and unstable and without emotional security. The chairman of the team that conducted the research said the family is the first component of the community and its first building block and “here we focused on the role of families in cooperation with the problems of runaway girls, as well as the role of community institutions and the factors associated with girls escaping from their families.”
Global Association of Muslim Women slams Al-Nimr execution
3 January 2016
The Global Association of Muslim Women condemned Saudi Arabia's execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr despite international calls on Riyadh to revoke the religious figure’s death verdict, reported Taqrib News Agency (TNA).
«Of the believers are men who are true to the covenant which they made with Allah: so of them is he who accomplished his vow, and of them is he who yet waits, and they have not changed in the least » (Al-Ahzab, 23).
The Global Association of Moslem Women strongly condemns the heinous crime carried out by the Saudi government and calls on the whole world, thinkers, scholars, lawyers and institutions to declare their condemnation and express their attitudes toward the execution of Ayatollah Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr.
The Association also holds the global arrogance and the Zionist regime at the top of it responsible for such decisions and actions of brutality and terror in our Islamic world.
Glory and eternity for the great martyr of faith and shame on the tyrants and their associates «and they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back» (Al-Shuara, 227).
Woman stoned to death in Yemen on adultery charge
January 5th, 2016
ADEN: Al Qaeda militants have stoned a woman to death in a southeastern Yemeni city that they control after accusing her of adultery and prostitution, several witnesses said on Monday.
The militants on Sunday “placed the woman in a hole in the middle of the courtyard of a military building and stoned her to death in the presence of dozens of residents” of Hadramawt provincial capital Mukalla, one witness said.
A local journalist at the scene confirmed the rare stoning, saying that the gunmen prevented photography of the execution.
“This was the first time we have seen such a thing,” another witness said.
A copy of the purported verdict issued by the so-called Hadramawt court of Al Qaeda’s Ansar al-Sharia in December said the married woman had “confessed in front of the judges to committing adultery”.
The verdict said the woman also admitted “without any coercion that she practised prostitution, as a pimp... and that she worked with a group of women in brothels”.
She also confessed to smoking hashish, it added.
The verdict said that the woman was sentenced to be stoned to death for “committing adultery as a married woman... and eighty lashes for consuming hashish”.
On Friday, Al Qaeda militants killed a woman in the southern port city of Aden after accusing her of practising sorcery, a security source said.
Nabbed terrorist reveals another Daesh women wing in Karachi
January 05, 2016
After revelation of another group of women working for the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Karachi by arrested terrorist Kamran Gujjar, security agencies on Monday initiated a manhunt for the suspects.
According to reports, Gujjar, who belongs to Punjab, told his investigators that his wife and sister-in-law were working for Daesh.
Investigators said both these ladies were expert in brainwashing and had been collecting funds for the terrorist organisation in the name of a welfare organisation.
Gujjar further revealed that several other women had also joined the terrorist group.
On Sunday, Daesh’s Sindh head Umar Kathiwer, said to be involved in the Safoora bus carnage and other terror incidents, was apprehended. Kathiwer’s arrest came on information provided by the bus attack suspect Saad Aziz.
Sources said that Kathiwer had established an organised terror network in Sindh in 2011. The suspect can speak Arabic language fluently. Besides funding terrorists, Kathiwer used to facilitate al-Qaeda militants belonging to Arab countries. He, later, joined the ISIS. Reports added that Kathiwer’s wife also runs ISIS women wing in Sindh.
More high-value arrests are expected upon information provided by Umar Kathiwer during his interrogation. In December last year, the Karachi police had revealed that a 20-member group of women supporters of ISIS was active in the metropolis.
On the frontline of Pakistani women’s fight against online abuse
Jan 2, 2016
In few places is the contrast between the internet’s liberating possibilities and its most troubling hazards more sharply drawn than in Pakistan.
For its burgeoning online population of 30 million people, the universal promise of the medium as a link to a world without borders comes up against a raft of local restrictions imposed on the technology itself (YouTube and a range of other sites are blocked) and its use as a tool for surveillance of the user.
The tensions are particularly acute for women, whose digital lives, at least in some parts of the country, play out against the backdrop of a conservative culture where even the fact of being online can carry a stigma.
“It’s sort of fading away, but I remember when I started using the internet I wasn’t allowed to use it in my home,” says Nighat Dad (34), a lawyer who founded the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) and finds herself in the vanguard of a movement working to make the internet safer for women in Pakistan.
“Even when I started practising law, the only time I could use the internet was at my workplace. It’s the social context. Mostly families, especially from the middle class, think that using social media networks is harmful for girls because they can make relationships or friendships with men, which can hurt the honour of the family.”
Online harassment is a global problem but “the consequences and the risks vary from country to country”, Dad says. To illustrate her point, she recalls a call for help she received earlier this year from two distraught young women in Peshawar.
The women said they and a number of other female students at their university were being blackmailed by someone who had set up a Facebook account containing their personal information.
The page, which first appeared in 2011, included their phone numbers, photographs and details about their personal lives along with false claims that they were prostitutes.
The perpetrators told the women they would take down the pages only if they were paid via online money transfer or if they divulged other friends’ personal information.
At first Facebook said it could not remove the pages because they were not in violation of its rules.
“These women got in touch with me and they said: ‘Some of the girls have been beaten up by their fathers, some have stopped going to university’,” Dad recalls. She contacted Facebook and within a week the pages had been taken down. Two men were later jailed in relation to the case after they were traced by Pakistan’s Federal Investigations Agency.
“It was a success, but at the same time it raises a lot of questions about platforms’ policies and how they deal with violence against women on their platforms,” Dad says. Facebook’s policy team lacked anyone who could read Pashto, the language in which the pages were written. It is essential for platforms to understand the social and cultural contexts in which they work, Dad says.
“Sometimes a post which they don’t think is violating someone’s privacy [or] they don’t deem as harassment can risk women’s lives in Pakistan.”
Such work is at the heart of Hamara Internet (Our Internet), a programme run by the DRF to teach women in the least developed parts of Pakistan about internet safety.
Dad points out that because so many women do not inform their families that they use social media, they are particularly vulnerable to harassment, intimidation or blackmail. Under the scheme, Dad and her colleagues visit colleges and other organisations, telling women about their legal rights and how they can report online abuse.
Nighat Dad is an accidental activist. When she divorced in 2007, she decided to put her law degree to use and joined a legal chambers to support herself and her six-month-old son.
Seeing so many women “sitting in corridors, helpless, waiting for their lawyers”, she gravitated to family law, in particular women’s rights. At first she began to volunteer with women’s rights organisations in her free time. Online harassment was a theme on which she was often called to give legal advice.
“That was when I started looking into different laws and policies in Pakistan [and] found there was no law on the subject . . . There was no education about how people can use it safely and securely. So that made me think I needed to do something in the digital world.”
In 2012 she founded the DRFDigital Rights Foundation, a Lahore-based outfit that carries out research and policy work and provides training for journalists, minorities and civil society groups.
Recently, its attention has been focused on fighting a draconian cybercrime Bill, which gives “blanket power” to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to ban any content it deems obscene, immoral, anti-army, anti-Islam or anti-state, “and we have absolutely no idea how they interpret all this terminology”, Dad says.
Pakistan already closely polices the internet. A report on internet freedom this year by US-based NGO Freedom House noted that Pakistani authorities frequently disabled internet access “during times of perceived political or religious sensitivity” and that YouTube had been completely blocked in the country since September 2012, when an anti-Islamic video sparked unrest around the Muslim world.
The report pointed to a lack of transparency about online censorship, with no published guidelines outlining why content is blocked or how to appeal.
Dad, who was in Dublin last month to address the Front Line Defenders conference of human rights activists, says she assumes her communications are being monitored. That has a chilling effect on what she says.
“I think 10 times before writing anything on Twitter or Facebook. Who is watching me? Why are they watching me? If they’re watching me, how will they interpret my message or my post on social media?”
On digital rights, Dad believes, the situation is only getting worse. Last month, a political party activist was arrested over a tweet the authorities said had breached a judge’s right to privacy – the first arrest for a tweet in Pakistan.
The Snowden leaks showed large-scale surveillance of Pakistan by the US and UK, but the revelations prompted barely a murmur of public criticism. “It didn’t make news in the major news outlets. It didn’t jolt people. Nobody raised questions of the government. To people like us, who did raise questions, the government didn’t respond.”
‘Breast cancer on the rise among Pakistani women’
January 05, 2016
Breast cancer is on the rise among younger women and even in unmarried girls in Pakistan, and alarmingly women in early 40s are being diagnosed with the lethal disease, unlike the rest of the world where the onset of the disease is usually seen in the mid to late 60s.
More alarmingly, one in nine cancer patients suffer breast cancer in Pakistan; and women and girls, whose mother or grandmother have been diagnosed with breast, colon or ovarian cancer, are at high risks of becoming victims of the disease.
For diagnosis of disease at very early stage, each girl after puberty should do self examination, and if any lump is found, she should immediately consult any specialist for check up and screening.
These views were expressed during second public awareness seminar titled "Breast Cancer: Is it preventable?" held at the PMA House Karachi on Monday.
The session was arranged as pre-seminar of the Pak-China Med Cong to be kicked off on January 8, which is being organised by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) in collaboration with the China Medical Association (CMA).
The congress will continue until January 10. Around 1,000 delegates including foreigners are expected to attend this mega event. The PMA and the CMA will also sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the congress.
On Monday, speakers at the seminar were breast surgeon Prof Dr Farah Idrees Rehmani, Prof Dr Muhammad Asif Qureshi and President PMA Karachi Dr Shaukat Malik.
Dr Farah Idress told that there were many misconceptions attached to breast cancer among public, since it was wrongly perceived that the patient felt immense pain and it could only be diagnosed was only diagnosed at the terminal stage.
“Breast cancer starts as a small lump, more often without pain," she clarified.
“In other parts of the world, usually women older than 60 years are reported as breast cancer patients, but unfortunately the situation is very different in Pakistan as breast cancer cases are being witnessed in younger age group in the early 40s.
Of all the breast cancer cases diagnosed in Pakistan, around 15 percent cases are of unmarried girls”, she said.
“Prolonged use of estrogens like oral pills of birth spacing can also trigger the risk of breast cancer in next generation of such woman. Woman delivering first baby after age of 30 years also have increased risk of breast cancer.”
Every woman after age of 40 years should get her screened for breast cancer once a year.
“People consider that the disease spreads after getting biopsy done while many avoid accepting the disease visit quacks.
“Breast cancer is also diagnosed in one in every 100 men. Awareness among masses is increasing, but still patients are visiting hospitals at later stages. People should not be afraid of disease as it is treatable and patient can lead a normal life.”
Prof Dr Muhammad Asif Qureshi said nowadays mammogram was a routine diagnostic tool for diagnosis of breast cancer in women of 40 years age.
“This is the least harmful, but very important in diagnosis.”
Dr Shaukat Malik said screening and diagnosis facilities were better in public sector hospitals in Karachi, which needed to be replicated in other parts of Sindh as well.
"A study done by the Kiran Hospital recently has found that in every 100 cases, 40 are of breast cancer, which is very alarming," he added.
Al Qaeda stoned woman to death for 'adultry'
January 05, 2016
A woman has reportedly been stoned to death in Yemen by al-Qaeda after being accused of adultery and prostitution.
The woman, who was married, was killed publicly in the city of Al Mukalla, on the country's southern coast, which is under the control of a branch of al-Qaeda operating in the Arabian peninsula.
As AFP reported, the militants "placed the woman in a hole in the middle of the courtyard of a military building and stoned her to death in the presence of dozens of residents," one witness said.
In the handful of nations where stoning still takes place, either as a judicial or extra-judicial method of execution, it is often handed down as a punishment for adultery. Although the law applies to both genders, the vast majority of stoning victims around the world are women.
It is typically carried out by militant groups like al-Qaeda or unauthorised local courts, but it remains on the statute books in a number of more developed Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates, where several people have been executed in this way in the last few years.
A number of people have also been stoned to death in Isis-held territories in Syria, most of them women accused of adultery.
Al-Qaeda has been weakened in the last few years after the loss of a number of key figures, but their Arabian offshoot is active in Yemen, destroying ancient artefacts in Al Mukalla and harshly punishing local residents for minor crimes.
Black Saudi woman activist faces death threats
5 January 2016
RIYADH: A well-known black Saudi woman, who is a family counselor and pilot, has been targeted online by racists, including with images of monkeys and gorillas, questions raised about her citizenship, and death threats.
Nawal Al-Hawsawi said that her work to help victims of domestic violence on social media, including 50,000 followers on Twitter, has been the target of mainly racist men who appear to hate women, foreigners and those who are not members of certain tribes. “In addition, pictures of my family and children have been leaked, threatening their safety.”
Al-Hawsawi said the most recent attack was launched by someone who goes by the name “Saudi Conscience” and operates under the Twitter handle @saudi100d100. He and his followers have blamed foreigners for various socioeconomic problems, including unemployment and gasoline and electricity price increases, she said.
They are a self-proclaimed “National Guard,” divide the country into three groups: “Original Saudis” (certain Bedouin tribes), “Vomit of the Seas Saudis” (Saudis of foreign descent or Saudis that are not members of certain Bedouin tribes), and “Strangers” (all legal residents and foreigners in Saudi Arabia).
They have called for the deportation of all “Strangers,” and for the citizenship of those who are not supposedly “pure” Saudis to be revoked, in addition to immediate deportation.
She said her work is a threat to the “hate agenda” of these Saudi “neo-Nazis." "I represent everything that they hate. I am a Saudi married to an American and they are openly anti-American. My husband is white and they condemn inter-racial marriages. I am black and they believe all black people are slaves who should ‘remain in their place.’”
“I am a native Saudi from Al-Hijaz, born and raised in Makkah, and they believe people from Al-Hijaz are not real Saudis. I am a Ph.D. student, but they claim that women are not intelligent and shouldn’t be allowed to work. I also hold an FAA pilot’s license while living in a country that does not allow women to drive cars.
“They don’t like to see a strong woman standing up for women’s empowerment, undermining their misogynistic and gynophobic platform. They have successfully bullied many activists into silence in the past and they are trying to intimidate me. But they picked on the wrong person,” Al-Hawsawi said.
Al-Hawsawi said she has filed a complaint with the authorities about the death threats and the comments under the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law, overseen by the Communications and Information Technology Commission.
Some of her tweets that have been attacked include a message received from a Pakistani resident who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and wanted to marry a Saudi, but her brothers objected because of the nationality of the groom.
She also posted a question received from a Saudi teacher being physically abused by her unemployed brother, who had forced her to give him money by taking out bank loans and buy him a car. He had also refused to allow her to marry an Egyptian man because of his nationality.
“Again, this was done in the name of protecting the ‘pure lineage.’ With the victim’s permission, I posted pictures of her bruises and injuries sustained when her brother beat her.”
Empowering women key to combating climate change, expert says
January 5, 2016
Abu Dhabi: Empowering women is the best way to combat global warming, an expert has said.
“Not only do women better understand the harmful effects of climate change especially on the lives of those in rural and impoverished areas, but empowered women are one of the most effective responses to this phenomenon,” Dr Nawal Al Hosani, Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize (ZFEP), Director of Sustainability at Masdar, told Gulf News.
In developing countries and much of the Third World, women feel the effects of climate change more significantly than their male counterparts, Al Hosani said. There women must also gather food and water — but because agriculture has been gravely affected by climate change, these resources are becoming scarce and difficult to attain, she said.
The health consequences of power shortage, and subsequent reliance on other sources of energy can be damaging, especially for women. This is because cooking fuels like kerosene produces fumes that cause chronic respiratory illnesses, she said.
This was one of the conclusions reached by the United Nations Environment Programme report in 2011, Al Hosani said.
Experts also feel that there is a need for more women in the sustainability sector.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report 2015, 41 per cent of tertiary-level students and graduates in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) studies are women and so are 60 per cent of PhD graduates.
“In the UAE, the enrolment of women in fields pertaining to renewable energy is relatively high. However, in many other cases, women often step away from engineering into more administrative roles or leave the field altogether to stay at home and take care of their families,” Dr. Al Hosani had said earlier.
The ZFEP is aiming to bring about this change. The Zayed prize will be held alongside the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week from January 16-23.
Two finalists of the eighth Zayed Future Energy Prize awards, which will be held on January 18, are Nigerian Green Energy and Biofuels company and Kopernik of Indonesia.
Green Energy and Biofuels produces ethanol-based cooking fuel from biomass waste products and has provided sources of income for women in Africa thereby creating positive health and environmental benefits for users.
Green Energy and Biofuels currently includes 25,000 women entrepreneurs across 1,700 communities.
Meanwhile, Kopernik a non-for-profit organisation which provides green technology solutions to people in remote areas by relying on innovative product distribution, development and finance.
Since its launch in 2010, Kopernik has reached 24 countries, helping 700 women to receive training on business development and maintenance of its technologies.
Ewa Wojkowska, Co-founder and COO, Kopernik, said: “In Indonesia, we are scaling up our award-winning Wonder Women initiative that helps to empower women to become micro-social entrepreneurs by selling clean energy products in their communities. Winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize would create a positive impact by affording us prestige and credibility to promote our work further, access to a new network of like-minded individuals and organisations for collaboration and additional financial resources to scale up our impact.”
London man says child in Isis video is his grandson
5 January 2016 0
The child shown at the end of the latest Islamic State propaganda video is the son of a south London woman who converted to Islam and left for Syria several years ago, according to her father.
Henry Dare, also known as Sunday, said that he recognised the child from the film as Isa, one of the sons of his daughter Khadijah, who has also been used as a figurehead by Isis.
Isa has been previously used for propaganda purposes when a posting on social media account linked to his mother showed him holding an AK-47 rifle.
Speaking to Channel 4 News from his home in south-east London, Dare said: “I can’t disown him. He’s my grandson. I know him very well.” There is no independent verification of his claim.
The child appeared at the end of the 11-minute video that surfaced on Sunday. He was wearing military fatigues and warned in English: “We are going to go kill the kafir [non-believers] over there.”
The video apparently showed the murder of five men and was fronted by a masked man with a British sounding accent, saying that he had a “message for Cameron” and threatened attacks in the UK.
Dare accused Isis of “just using a small boy”. He added: “He doesn’t know anything. He’s a small boy. They are just using him as a shield.”
When asked whether he had spoken to his grandson on the phone, Dare said: “Well, he doesn’t like it over there,” referring to where he is believed to be, in an Isis-held area of Syria.
Khadijah Dare, who grew up in Lewisham to Nigerian Christian parents, converted to Islam as a teenager before leaving for Syria. In 2014, she posted a photograph on her personal Twitter account of her then four-year-old son Isa, meaning Jesus in Arabic, smiling with an AK-47 rifle.
Videos in which she talks about her new life in Syria, practises firing a Kalashnikov or appears with her young son and jihadi husband, have been in the frontline of the propaganda war.
Either her account, or those linked to her, are known for posting pro-Isis messages on various social media sites encouraging other young women to make the journey to the war zone and she is one of the first known western women to have travelled to Syria. He said he had recently spoken to his daughter, who was christened Grace before she converted to Islam, “weeks ago, when she called me”. “I keep on ignoring her calls because she has brought shame to our family and to herself,” he said.
Dare comes from a devout Christian household. In 1987, her family moved to Britain from Nigeria. Her mother, Victoria Dare, said in an interview with the BBC last year that her daughter had been someone who had previously been zealous in practising her Christian faith. “She loves church. She was the one who was dragging me: ‘Mum I found a good church again.’”
At college in London, she studied media studies, film studies, psychology and sociology, and enjoyed watching football on television. But her life turned, her parents say, when her behaviour began to change – the then teenager one day announced she had converted to Islam and changed her name.
Just before Grace turned 18, she came home and made an announcement, according to her mother. “She just said: ‘I’m now a Muslim,” her mother recalled and said she reacted by saying: “Muslim? What for? What happened?”
When she got to Syria, she met and married Abu Bakr, a fighter from Sweden, in a wedding believed to have been arranged by his mother.
Broadcast footage has shown her and her new militant husband playing with her son in Isis-controlled territory by an inflatable paddling pool. They compare their firearms, with her husband saying: “My Kalash is better than yours”. Khadijah replies: “No, it’s not.” She was expecting a child with her new husband at the time.
She speaks in her London accent about her marriage. “Alhamdulillah, [praise to God] I couldn’t find anyone in the UK who was willing to sacrifice their life in this world for the life in the hereafter. I prayed and Allah ruled that I came here to marry Abu Bakr,” she says to the camera, standing next to her new husband who is holding her young child. He is believed to have been later killed in fighting.
Lewisham council said: “We are unable to confirm the identity of the boy in the video. The matter is clearly one on which the police are leading. The council is liaising with the police and we are deeply concerned about any suggestion of a link between these abhorrent acts and our community.”
The Metropolitan police said in August that more than 30 children from the UK had been made the subject of family court orders over fears they might be radicalised . At that time, judges had considered cases involving 12 families.
Assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the country’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, saidsome children were “almost babes in arms”, with ages ranging from two or three up to 16 or 17.
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