23 January 2022
• Aliyah Wants To Be The First Female Arab WWE Superstar To Wrestle In Saudi Arabia
• Uzbekistan: Targeted For Being A Devout Muslim Woman, Added To The Preventative Register
• Conference On Women’s Role Held In Pakistan To Mark Birth Anniversary Of Hazrat Fatimah
• Conference On Women's Social, Educational Role In Islam Held In Baku
• Afghanistan: UN Pressures Taliban Over Missing Women’s Activists
• Police Resort To Force To Disperse Women Protesters In Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad
Aliyah Wants To Be The First Female Arab WWE Superstar To Wrestle In Saudi Arabia
Wikimedia | Https://Commons.Wikimedia.Org/Wiki/File:Jasmin_Areebi_Pwa.Jpg
January 22, 2022
Aliyah said in a recent interview that she hopes to be the first-ever female Arab WWE Superstar to wrestle in the Middle East. She was speaking with Denise Salcedo when she commented on hoping to be on next month's Elimination Chamber card from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“We’re heading to Saudi for Elimination Chamber, and no matches have really been announced. It would be an honour to be the first-ever Arab female superstar to perform in the Middle East. That’s always been a huge goal of mine.”
She also commented on facing legends like Lita, Mickie James, and the Bella Twins in next week's Royal Rumble. Scroll down to reveal what she said.
Uzbekistan: Targeted For Being A Devout Muslim Woman, Added To The Preventative Register
January 23, 2022
By Mushfig Bayram
Officials are harassing an 18-year-old Muslim from Tashkent who wears the hijab. The family complained to the President and others about her being added to the Preventative Register. Police told neighbours that the authorities do not like her and warned them not to associate with her. Muslim men who have had their beards forcibly shaved have also been added to the Preventative Register. “Muslims are indignant that the state is attacking their beards and hijab, which is a very private matter for each individual,” one Muslim told Forum 18. After anti-beard and –hijab talks in colleges, a Higher Education Ministry official claimed that “students will not be punished for a beard or hijab”.
In 2020, a then-17-year-old Muslim woman began wearing a hijab to her secondary school in the capital Tashkent. Officers then summoned her to Yunusabad District Police Station, where they made her write a statement about why she wore a hijab to school, the family told Forum 18. “She stopped wearing it until after she finished school, and began wearing it after she reached her 18th birthday.”
In December 2021 the family learned that Yunusabad District Police had added the name of the then-18-year-old Muslim woman to the regime’s Preventative Register. The family think it is “because our 18-year-old relative wears the hijab, and recently began studying the Arabic language.”
The young woman is being followed in the street and had photos taken of her without her consent. Police told neighbours that the authorities do not like her, and warned them not to associate with her. Relatives commented that “this additionally puts pressure on us, as we would like normal relations with our neighbours” (see below).
The family has repeatedly asked for explanations and complained to the local police, the President, the SSS secret police, Yunusabad District Hokimiyyat (Administration), the District Administration’s Women’s Committee, and the Interior Ministry. After the family complained to the State Security Service (SSS) secret police and the Interior Ministry, unknown people started calling and threatening the 18-year-old woman. They asked why she was complaining and claimed that the SSS know “everything about her” and can have her punished (see below).
The Presidential Administration referred the complaint to Yunusabad Police, and Inspector Inomjon Tajiyev “spoke to the family members rudely. He did not answer the family’s questions but asked why we complained to the President,” the family told Forum 18. “Inspector Tajiyev took photos of the 18-year-old-woman and her relative without warning,” the family said. “Asked why he is doing this, the Inspector answered that he needs to close this case and report to the Presidential Administration” (see below).
An SSS secret police officer (who refused to give his name) refused to answer Forum 18’s questions. “Some of the calls come from mentally disturbed people,” he claimed, “and when we investigate we find that their complaint was baseless.” Forum 18 insisted that the woman was not mentally disturbed and that the SSS should answer the family’s questions (see below).
On 4 January 2022 several plain-clothes officials visited the 18-year-old woman’s Arabic Course and spoke to her teacher, without giving their identity. “They showed the teacher photos of the 18-year-old woman taken on the street, questioned and warned the teacher about her,” relatives told Forum 18. The authorities “refuse to explain to us why they are putting pressure on our family and our female relative. So far none of them have answered us and no one is ready to listen to our complaints” (see below).
One such man, who lives in Yangiyul in Tashkent Region, had his beard forcibly shaved twice in a police station between September and November. Some men were put on the Preventative Register after they were detained in November 2021, the man told Forum 18 on 10 January 2022. “I am keeping my beard very short so I do not get into trouble with the police again. I know many men who are either not growing beards or keeping them very short for fear of punishment such as the humiliation of being taken to a police station for warnings and forcible shaving” (see below).
One Muslim, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of state reprisals, commented to Forum 18 that “Muslims are indignant that the state is attacking their beards and hijab, which is a very private matter for each individual.” Muslim human rights defenders have told Forum 18 that the regime appears to have stopped the beard shaving campaign at the end of December 2021 (see below).
Various higher education institutions arranged meetings in mid-December 2021 where they threatened students with unspecified punishments if they wore a hijab or beards to classes. No action has yet been taken against students, and Forum 18 was told that the meetings were held on the orders of the Higher and Secondary Specialised Education Ministry. The Ministry claimed to Forum 18 that it had not ordered the warnings and that the Institutes all independently decided at the same time to issue warnings (see below).
Muslim prisoner of conscience Fazilkhoja Arifkhojayev is still in detention awaiting a criminal trial date, Forum 18 was told on 17 January 2022. He was initially detained in June 2021 after criticising a regime-appointed imam. Officials have repeatedly tortured him and denied him medical care for his poor health.
In July 2021, a Tashkent court handed 47-year-old Odilbek Khojabekov a five year labour camp sentence in absentia to punish him for returning from haj pilgrimage with Islamic literature. A first trial gave him a suspended sentence which was later removed for good probation behaviour. The SSS secret police then pressured ordinary police, prosecutors, and others into giving what the family insists is false testimony at a second hearing which ordered him jailed.
Khojabekov is in hiding fearing for his safety. The Supreme Court received his appeal on 12 December 2021 and must hear the appeal within six months from then, his family told Forum 18 on 17 January 2022.
In 2020, a then-17-year-old Muslim woman began wearing a hijab to her secondary school in Tashkent. Police officers then summoned her to Yunusabad District Police Station, where they made her write a statement about why she wore a hijab to school, the family told Forum 18. “She stopped wearing it until after she finished school, and began wearing it after she reached her 18th birthday.”
From 15 August 2018, a government decision imposed a secular dress code in all educational institutions. This meant a de facto ban on female students covering their heads by wearing a hijab.
In December 2021 the family learned that Yunusabad District Police had added the name of the then-18-year-old Muslim woman to the regime’s Preventative Register. The family think it is “because our 18-year-old relative wears the hijab, and recently began studying the Arabic language”.
The Koran is written in Arabic, and this Arabic text is the only text used in Islamic worship. So many Muslims consider that a knowledge of Arabic is essential to understand Islam.
The regime adds Muslims who regularly attend mosques and who are thought to be influential to the Preventative Register. This subjects people to a variety of “preventative measures” including: preventative talks; official warnings; “social rehabilitation”; referral for compulsory treatment; and administrative supervision.
“Our 18-year-old female relative noticed that, after she began attending an Arabic course, unknown individuals followed her on the street and photographed her without her consent,” the family told Forum 18.
Neighbours in Tashkent’s Yunusabad District told the family that local police officer Parakhat Bekmuradov has “gone around our neighbours warning them about our family and our 18-year-old female relative”.
“We are afraid that the authorities are collecting false evidence on her to punish her,” the family said. “This has put psychological pressure on our family. Police told our neighbours in the mahalla [local district] that the authorities do not like our 18-year-old relative, and warned them not to associate with her.” Relatives commented that “this additionally puts pressure on us, as we would like normal relations with our neighbours”.
On 23 December 2021, the family called local police officer Bekmuradov, asking him why police are following their female relative and why they included her in the Preventative Register. Officer Bekmuradov “spoke very rudely over the phone and told us that we need to come and write a statement why we are complaining about police. He threatened that they will open an administrative case against us.”
On 25 December a relative wrote a complaint via President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s website, asking why the family has not been warned that their female relative was included in the Preventative Register, why the police put pressure on the neighbours not to associate with the family, and why their female relative has been followed and had photos taken of her without her consent.
The Presidential Administration referred the complaint to Yunusabad Police, who told local police officer Bekmuradov to “talk to us”. Officer Bekmuradov called a family member on 25 December and invited them for a talk in his office. “The relative told him that they do not trust him, and will only talk to his Chief.”
On 29 December 2021, Inspector Inomjon Tajiyev of Yunusabad District Police Station No. 2, to whom Officer Bekmuradov reports, by phone invited the 18-year-old-woman and a relative to his office.
“Inspector Tajiyev adamantly defended Officer Bekmuradov, and spoke to the family members rudely. He did not answer the family’s questions but asked why we complained to the President,” the family told Forum 18. “Inspector Tajiyev took photos of the 18-year-old-woman and her relative without warning. Asked why he is doing this, the Inspector answered that he needs to close this case and report to the Presidential Administration.”
Later on 29 December 2021, the family called the State Security Service (SSS) secret police to ask them to investigate the case and police inaction. The SSS called back the same day and asked why the family complained to the President. “They did not ask what happened to us, but kept asking why we wrote a complaint,” relatives said.
“An unknown woman began disturbing our 18-year-old female relative immediately after this. The unknown woman calls from an unidentified number, and calls our relative names and uses obscene words about her and her Arabic teacher,” the family stated. The unknown woman told the 18-year-old woman that a relative working for the SSS secret police knows everything about her. The caller also said that she can have the 18-year-old woman punished, without specifying what punishment.
“The unknown woman keeps calling, sending audio or text messages almost every night. She demands that the 18-year-old woman must stop wearing the hijab and attending Arabic courses.” The family think that the unknown caller might be an SSS secret police agent.
The duty officer (who refused to give his name) who answered the phone at SSS secret police headquarters in Tashkent refused to answer Forum 18’s questions, or put it through to any responsible officials.
“Your words are just words, and we receive so many calls during the day,” the duty officer told Forum 18 on 12 January 2022. “Some of the calls come from mentally disturbed people, and when we investigate we find that their complaint was baseless.” Forum 18 insisted that the woman was not mentally disturbed and that the SSS should answer the family’s questions. The officer then refused to talk more.
On 4 January 2022, several plain-clothes officials visited the 18-year-old woman’s Arabic Course and spoke to her teacher, without giving their identity. “They showed the teacher photos of the 18-year-old woman taken on the street, questioned and warned the teacher about her,” relatives told Forum 18.
“She decided not to apply for a university as we cannot pay for it, but decided to take two different Arabic courses,” relatives explained. “The 18-year-old woman’s teachers in both places were visited by officials.” The teachers were asked what she does in her spare time, who her friends are, and whether she studies the Koran.
Inspector Tajiyev on 12 January claimed to Forum 18 that “neither Bekmuradov nor I were rude to her”. Tajiyev claimed that the 18-year-old woman’s name is not included in the Preventative Register, and denied that police visited the 18-year-old woman’s Arabic teachers and questioned them about her. “I do not know of such facts,” he claimed.
Asked why the police will not investigate the 18-year-old woman’s case properly to find those who follow and make threats to her, Inspector Tajiyev replied “Let her complain to us in writing.” When Forum 18 pointed out that the family had complained to the Presidential Administration which had referred her complaint to him at Yunusabad Police, he replied: “I am not obliged to explain to you everything over the phone. She can complain about it.”
On 6 January 2022, relatives submitted in person written complaints to President Mirziyoyev’s Office, Tashkent Police, Yunusabad District Hokimiyyat (Administration), and the District Administration’s Women’s Committee, the family told Forum 18.
As these complaints were not even acknowledged, on 9 January the family made a written complaint to the Interior Ministry’s Crime Prevention Department, which oversees the work of the local police officers. An official of the Department called Anvar (who refused to give his full name) told a relative that within 10 days they would receive an answer.
“The very next day on 10 and on 11 January several unknown male and female individuals called our 18-year-old relative,” the family said. The callers did not give their names and asked her why she keeps complaining about the authorities. When other family members answered the phone the callers immediately ended the calls.
An Interior Ministry official (who refused to give his name) put the phone down when Forum 18 asked on 12 January to speak to Anvar of the Crime Prevention Department or another responsible official. All subsequent calls to them on the same day went unanswered.
The authorities “refuse to explain to us why they are putting pressure on our family and our female relative”, the family stated. “So far none of them have answered us and no one is ready to listen to our complaints.”
The regime is hostile to independent expressions of Islam, including wearing a beard or the hijab. From September 2021 police nationwide detained on the street men with long beards and forcibly shaved them. One such man, who lives in Yangiyul in Tashkent Region, had his beard forcibly shaved twice in a police station between September and November.
Police put some men on the Preventative Register after they detained them in November 2021, the man told Forum 18 on 10 January 2022. “In January 2022 police came to one friend’s home to make sure he lived at the same address he had given the police when he was detained in November. The police put his name on the Preventative Register.” He did not name the man or give other details for fear of state reprisals.
The man himself told Forum 18 that “I am keeping my beard very short so I do not get into trouble with the police again. I know many men who are either not growing beards or keeping them very short for fear of punishment such as the humiliation of being taken to a police station for warnings and forcible shaving.”
Major Jamol Akhmedov, Deputy Chief of Yangiyul Police, refused like other officers to explain to Forum 18 on 13 January why police detained men and forcibly shaved their beards.
While the anti-hijab and anti-beard campaign was taking place, state-controlled Zor TV on 14 December 2021 broadcast a concert where it blurred the heads of women in hijabs and men wearing beards. The TV station publicly claimed that blurring the concert footage was an internal decision, but Zor employees (who refused to give their names) refused to comment on the issue to Forum 18 on 17 January 2022.
One Muslim, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of state reprisals, commented to Forum 18 that “Muslims are indignant that the state is attacking their beards and hijab, which is a very private matter for each individual.”
Muslim human rights defenders have told Forum 18 that the regime appears to have stopped the beard shaving campaign at the end of December 2021.
The State Pedagogical Institutes in Jizzakh, Kokand and Navoi regions, as well as Samarkand State University, arranged meetings in mid-December 2021 where they threatened students with unspecified punishments if they wore a hijab or beards to classes.
In one video of a meeting, Bakhtiyor Urinov, Navoi State Pedagogical Institute’s Deputy Dean of Youth Affairs of the Natural Sciences Faculty, on 16 December 2021 is heard claiming that “those who wear longer beards look like a monkey (..), their beards are a breeding place for viruses and microbes (..)” He also warned the male students that they “may end up in prison as an extremist.”
Urinov also told female students not to wear hijabs to classes. “From next Monday, all of you come to the classes without beards and hijabs,” he stated.
“It was not my decision to talk to the students but it is the decision of the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education,” Urinov told Forum 18 on 13 January. Asked why he called male students with longer beards monkeys, he claimed: “I got nervous and could not control what I said.” He refused to discuss his comments further.
Sarvar Nazarqosimov, Vice-Rector for Youth Affairs of Jizzakh State Pedagogical Institute, claimed to Forum 18 on 13 January that warnings about beards and hijabs were “not a warning but a discussion”. He refused to explain why the Institute decided to “discuss” the issue with students, or who had ordered the “discussion”.
Human rights defenders told Forum 18 that no action has been taken between 16 December 2021 and 18 January 2022 against students who wore the hijab or beards. No students are known to have been intimidated into not wearing a hijab or beard.
The Higher and Secondary Specialised Education Ministry referred Forum 18 on 13 January to Shukhrat Urumbayev, Head of the International Section. He insisted that the Ministry had not ordered the warnings and that the Institutes all independently decided at the same time to issue warnings. He would not explain why so many made the same decision at the same time, or why institutions had told Forum 18 it was done on the orders of the Ministry.
Urumbayev then claimed that “our Minister said that hijab or beards cannot be banned. We can only recommend to our female students to tie a head cover around the neck in a different style, but it is their decision whether or not to follow it.” He also claimed that whether or not male students grow a beard “is their individual decision”. He then claimed that “students will not be punished for a beard or hijab”.
Source: Eurasiare View
Conference on Women’s role held in Pakistan to mark birth anniversary of Hazrat Fatimah
January 23, 2022
The office of the cultural attaché of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Pakistan organized a conference on Women’s role in the society to mark the birth anniversary of revered daughter of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Fatimah (AS).
The birth anniversary of the great lady of and the birthday of Imam Khomeini (RA), Founder of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, was organized by the Cultural Consulate of Iran Embassy in Islamabad. The program was held at the Iranian Culture Center in Rawalpindi.
Cultural attaché of Iran in Pakistan Ehsan Khazaei, after reciting verses from the Holy Quran, and poetic versus about Hazrat Fatimah (AS) greeted the audience on the happy occasion.
Expressing his views the diplomat highlighted some characteristics of Muslim women and the imposed models of Western societies for women.
He noted the position of women is clear in the Holy Quran, in our religious teachings and in hadiths and narrations, but what is important is up to what extent we have been able to act on these great and heavenly principles in our lives.
Tayibah Bokhari a famous speaker and religious scholar while congratulating on the occasion of the blessed birth of Hazrat Fatimah Zahra (AS) recited poems by Allama Iqbal Lahori describing the virtues of the daughter of the holy Prophet (PBUH).
She emphasized that in the present era, when we are witnessing the cultural invasion of the West, it is necessary to follow the life of Hazrat Zahra (PBUH) to prevent this phenomenon and expose the conspiracies of the enemies of Islam against the young generation, especially women.
During the event a video clip based on the statements of Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, about the status and greatness of Hazrat Fatimah Zahra (AS) was also played.
Conference on women's social, educational role in Islam held in Baku
Jan 23, 2022
Baku, IRNA – On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Hazrat Fatimah (PBUH)
recognized as Mother’s Day in Iran, a conference about the social and educational role of women from Islamic perspective was held at Cultural Center of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baku.
Iran's ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan, local religious figures, representatives of Iran, and the followers of Ahl al-Bayt (AS) took part the ceremony.
Cultural Attache of Iran in the Republic of Azerbaijan Ghorban-Ali Pourmarjan congratulated on Hazrat Fatimah Zahra's birth anniversary (PBUH) and Mother's Day and said that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) regarded enmity with Hazrat Fatimah Zahra as enmity with himself and that Imam Ali (AS) was always proud of her.
Iranians celebrate Hazrat Fatimah Zahra's birth anniversary, designated by the Islamic Republic of Iran as Mother's Day in the country.
Afghanistan: UN pressures Taliban over missing women’s activists
By: Deutsche Welle
January 23, 2022
The United Nations said it was concerned about the disappearance of two Afghan women’s rights activists. Taman Zaryabi Paryani and Parawana Ibrahimkhel were reportedly abducted from their homes by the Taliban on Wednesday night.
“We urge Taliban to provide information on their whereabouts & to protect rights of all Afghans,” the UN’s Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement on Twitter.
The video shows a visibly scared Paryani, as men claiming to be from the Taliban’s intelligence department, pound on the front door.
A witness told the AP news agency that ten armed men had carried out the nighttime raid. The witness said that four people were taken, including Paryani.
The Taliban have dismissed Paryani ‘s video as a fake, with a spokesman for police in Kabul, Mobin Khan, saying it was a “manufactured drama.”
On Monday, a panel of UN human rights experts said the Taliban’s leadership was “institutionalising large-scale and systemic gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.”
According to the panel, there have been a series of restrictive measures that target women since the militant group’s takeover of Afghanistan.
“Today, we are witnessing the attempt to steadily erase women and girls from public life in Afghanistan, including in institutions and mechanisms that had been previously set up to assist and protect those women and girls who are most at risk,” the panel of experts said in a statement.
On Friday, two local employees of NGOs operating in rural Afghanistan told the AFP news agency that the Taliban threatened to shoot them if they did not wear burqas.
The Taliban had given its assurances they would uphold women’s rights shortly after seizing power. The Islamist group has continued trying to garner recognition from the global community. To date, no country has recognised its government.
Source: Indian Express
Police Resort To Force To Disperse Women Protesters In Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad
Mohammad Hussain Khan
January 23, 2022
HYDERABAD: The Tando Allahyar police on Saturday applied baton charge to disperse women protesters who agitated against the arrest of their family members following a Friday night arson attack on a ‘15 police helpline’ centre in the city.
The police action invited a strong reaction from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leadership. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also took notice of the use of force by police against the women and asked the Hyderabad DIG, Pir Mohammad Shah, for an inquiry.
Tando Allahyar police have registered three cases against Asif Khanzada — presumably brother and complainant of Bholu Khanzada murder case — and many others at the A-Section police station of Tando Allahyar. An unspecified number of suspects were picked up.
On Friday night, an arson attack on the police centre occurred after the funeral of MQM-P activist, Khalilur Rehman alias Bholu Khanzada, who was gunned down at the gate of sessions court earlier in the day.
The centre is located near the main bus stop, Liaquat gate. Around 10 motorcycles and a private car present inside were torched. The car (BRA-904) belonged to a policeman, Altaf Rind.
The police claimed that intruders took away the motorbikes (case properties) and official instruments including charging devices of walkie-talkie sets.
A total of 60 suspects were nominated in the FIR and most of them were common in the three FIRs. About 25-30 suspects remained unidentified in one case. The number of unidentified suspects was not mentioned in the other case.
The arson attack prompted police to conduct raids on the houses of suspects. Pre-dawn raids continued till Saturday afternoon with police trying to break open doors of some houses. Raids were conducted in Unnar Para, Khanzada Colony, Islamia Mohallah and Hyderabad road.
They raised slogans against police highhandedness. In order to disperse the women protesters, the police started beating up them with sticks videos of which went viral and reached government functionaries.
“In fact male members were taking shelter behind women which is a common trend in rural areas in such cases,” said a policeman pictured in such videos. He said that police tried to disperse them. “Some looted gadgets were recovered from suspects’ families,” he claimed.
Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said that the CM had taken notice of police action against women in Tando Allahyar. He quoted the CM as saying that such attitude could not be tolerated. He regretted that the incident was being politically exploited.
DIG Shah rushed to Tando Allahyar to bring the situation under control and met PPP leader and ex-MNA Abdul Sattar Bachani, MQM-P MNA Sabir Kaimkhani, MPA Nasir Qureshi, Tando Allahyar SSP Rukhsar Khuhawar. Mr Bachani said after the meeting that innocent persons would be released but miscreants would be dealt with according to law.
MQM-P lawmakers met heirs of deceased. MNA Salahuddin told journalists that Murad Ali Shah should act as the CM of “Sindh” and not “Sindhis” alone to ensure justice.
MQM-P coordination committee convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, speaking at a press conference in Karachi, condemned police for using force against women and demanded the arrest of “terrorists”. He also demanded an end to the police operation.
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