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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 11 Oct 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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All 366 Registered Saudi Women Candidates Warned Against Addressing Voters Directly

HISTORIC: Women registered for voting for the first time in this election.


 All 366 Registered Saudi Women Candidates Warned Against Addressing Voters Directly

 German Broadcaster Defends Image of Angela Merkel In Mock-Islamic Garb

 Islamic State's 'Most Wanted' Woman, Vian Dakhil, Arrives In Britain despite Huge Price on Her Head

 Malaysians Prefer Modest Hijabi Fashion

 Women Shouldn't Suffer In Silence but Seek Police Help: Delhi Police Commissioner

 In An Indian Village, a Bold Conservation Movement by Women

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




All 366 Registered Saudi Women Candidates Warned Against Addressing Voters Directly

Sunday 11 October 2015

JEDDAH: Election officials have warned all 366 registered women candidates against addressing voters directly. They have asked them to appoint agents to do this on their behalf.

The officials have also directed these candidates to create separate sections for men and women at their campaign headquarters.

The officials said that violators of gender segregation rules will be fined SR10,000.

The elections will take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Dec. 12 with the results being announced the following day.

Judiea Al-Qahtani, the election commission spokesman, has asked all female candidates to acquire permits for their advertising campaigns, and to allocate special sections for men in their election headquarters.

He also requested them to abide by Shariah law by not mixing with men at their election headquarters. He also urged them to avoid publishing their photos in any election campaign material.

Al-Qahtani stressed that both male and female candidates who wish to present their election programs to male voters should appoint representatives or contract special companies to manage their advertising campaigns on their behalf.

“The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has a special section for issuing permits to companies that manage advertising campaigns for election candidates,” he said.

According to Al-Qahtani, the election commission bylaws define a number of violations that are punishable by imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of SR50,000, or both. These violations include using force or threats to obstruct election procedures or to prevent workers from performing their duties; hiding or destroying election documents or ballot boxes; buying votes or selling them, or offering gifts or money to voters; inflicting harm on election facilities or their technical apparatus; receiving funds from foreign bodies; impersonating others during the voting process; inflicting harm on the election headquarters of other candidates or their advertising campaigns.



German Broadcaster Defends Image of Angela Merkel in Mock-Islamic Garb

Tuesday 6 October 2015

German TV bosses have defended their decision to depict Angela Merkel wearing a black Islamic cloak against a backdrop of minarets on the Berlin skyline during a news item about refugees.

The ARD television programme Bericht aus Berlin was inundated with complaints on Tuesday after the photomontage of the German chancellor wearing the full-length cloak often worn by Iranian women was used as a backdrop.

Many accused the public broadcaster of anti-Islamic propaganda. The onscreen display accompanied an item by presenter Rainald Becker about the threat to German values.

Becker asked: “How is life changing? Indeed, how do we react when refugees have problems with equality, with women’s rights, with freedom of the press and free speech? These are questions for which we don’t have an answer, and questions that stoke fear.”

But ARD rejected the criticism, saying that the photomontage had been misunderstood “on many levels”.

Germany expects up to 1.5 million asylum seekers in 2015, says report

A statement posted on its Facebook page, said: “The graphic had a direct connection to the presentation by Rainald Becker of a report about the values of our society. He was speaking about the achievements of our western society: freedom of speech, press freedom and equality. These freedoms were reflected in this graphic.”

It admitted its aim had been to polarise, but said it “decisively rejected any accusation that we are peddling anti-Islamic propaganda”.

The row comes in a week in which it has been estimated Germany may receive as many as 1.5 million refugees this year, and amid growing concerns as to how the country will cope in both the short and the long term with the challenge of integration.



Islamic State's 'most wanted' woman, Vian Dakhil, arrives in Britain despite huge price on her head

10 OCT 2015


Iraq's only Yazidi member of Parliament, The woman who tops Islamic State's "most wanted" list has arrived in Britain to publicise the continuing atrocities against her people in Iraq.

Vian Dakhil has dedicated her life to rescuing victims of the genocide of the Yazidi minority carried out by the Islamic State.

She has survived a helicopter crash and the price on her head rises every time she saves women and girls from gang rape, torture and kidnapping by the terrorists in her homeland.

Dakhil, the only female Yazidi MP in the Iraqi parliament, told The Times of the heartbreaking calls she receives from girls on a weekly basis.

"They say they need help," she said. "They say the men believe raping them is a prayer to heaven.

GettyIraq's only Yazidi member of Parliament, Vian Dakhil on September 20, 2014 in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern IraqMordern-day Emmeline Pankhurst: Dakhil says protecting Yazidi girls is a 21st century struggle

Dakhil is in London with her sister, Deelan, a doctor who treats traumatised women in refugee camps in northern Iraq.

Her life has been threatened ever since she stood up in Iraq’s parliament to beg for intervention after thousands of Yazidi were left stranded on Mount Sinjar by Islamic State's ethnic-cleansing campaign.

But she is determined not to give up the fight for help.

"I saw some of myself in Emmeline Pankhurst in the film Suffragette, " she said. "This is 21st century struggle."

Visiting the UK with her sister Deelan, 25, they told the Times of a 22-year-old medical student kidnapped by ISIS last month. She was made to dress-up and put on make-up before a routine of rape and torture.

"She slit her wrists instead. Being a doctor she knew how to cut the radial arteries. They didn't realise until they saw blood coming underneath the door," said Deelan.



Malaysians Prefer Modest Hijabi Fashion

Sunday, 04 October 2015

KUALA LUMPUR – Amid growing number of Hijabi Muslim women in Malaysia, the demand for stylish modest fashion is becoming bigger, with many looking to be more fashionable while wearing the Islamic headscarf.

“Choosing to cover up isn’t supposed to create more stress on women, and nor is it the climax of our spirituality,” Mimpikita head designer and founder, Nurul Zulkifli, told Malay Mail on Sunday, October 4.

The 33-year-old designer believes that the popular modest fashion in Malaysia helps veiled women to be fashionable which creates a niche market for entrepreneurs.

About five million Muslim Malaysian women wear the Islamic headscarf and dress modestly, According to Moslema In Style co-founder Emy Yuzliza Yahya.

“In our database, we have 500 hijab and Muslim fashion brands,” Emy Yuzliza, whose company organizes Islamic fashion shows, said.

Islamic fashion designers from the UK, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Brunei, Egypt and Indonesia will participate in the Moslema In Style Fashion Forward 2015 fashion show that will be held by Yuzliza Next November in Kuala Lumpur.

“Malaysia is more simple and modest,” she said.

The Global Islamic Economy 2014-2015 report by Reuters showed that Muslim consumers globally are expected to spend US$484 billion on Islamic clothing and footwear by 2019, up 82% from 2013.

Earlier this month, an advert for H&M has created lots of debates, after featuring the first Hijabi Muslim model in modest attire.

The advert is expected to bring new customers to the giant retailer, with regard to the fact that Muslims spent $266 billion on clothing and footwear in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters.

The lucrative modest industry appeals to non-Muslims too, offering comfortable and fashion designs.

“To me, when I design aere pieces, the most important aspect is that it must be comfortable, practical, versatile and of course stylish,” aere founder Raja Nadia Sabrina said.

“I usually play with a loose or relaxed fit, long sleeves and full length skirts and pants. These are designs that are hard to find currently, and that’s something I believe makes aere very attractive to people,” the 31-year-old fashion designer added.

Citing western designers and actresses who prefer modest clothes, Sabrine said: “So it’s not a Muslim-exclusive market. I’m also delighted to have received a lot of support in terms of non-Muslims wearing and buying aere pieces.

“aere pieces are designed to enable a lot of mixing and matching with what you already have in your wardrobe.”

Choosing more modern hijab trends, many young women prefer to wear long-sleeved blouses and full-length skirts instead of a jubah (a long loose Arabic robe).

“I feel it’s actually more fun because I get to play with more things — hijab, tops, accessories,” Dewi Dahlia said.

Islam sees Hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

Malaysia has a population of nearly 26 millions, with Malays, mostly Muslims, making up nearly 60%.

Ethnic Chinese and Indians - most of them Buddhists, Hindus and Christians - make up about 35 percent.



Women Shouldn't Suffer in Silence but Seek Police Help: Delhi Police Commissioner

Delhi | Press Trust of India

NEW DELHI:  Delhi Police chief B S Bassi today emphasised on the importance of adequate safety and security for women and said that they should not suffer in silence but seek the help of police in times of crisis.

The Commissioner of Police, who gave a presentation on women safety and security before a gathering of representatives of about 200 Self Help Groups, said, "Safety, security and reporting of every crime against women are priorities of the Delhi Police."

The programme, organised by Delhi Police's Special Unit for Women and Children (SPUWAC), was attended by over 800 representatives of different SHGs, a senior police officer said.

The powerpoint presentation given by Bassi also focused on women safety initiatives, gender sensitisation, data on crime against women and self-defence training for them.

It was followed by a short documentary on 'Himmat' App which was launched by Delhi Police for women in distress.

Delhi police chief Bassi also interacted with women during the over three hour long programme and assured them that necessary action will be taken on the suggestions and complaints made by them.

Several other senior Delhi Police officers, including Senior Special CPs Dharmendra Kumar, Dipak Mishra, Special CPs Amulaya Patnaik, S Sundari Nanda Taj Hasan, Joint Commissioners of SPUWAC, Crime and different Ranges, DCPs were also present in the programme.



In an Indian Village, a Bold Conservation Movement by Women

All India | Written by Tazeen Qureshy: October 11, 2015

NAYAGARH:  In Gunduribadi, a nondescript tribal village of Odisha's Nayagarh district, a self-appointed women's group spearheads the forest conservation movement. Their 'Forest Protection Committee' has helped in regenerating more than 500 acres of forest land and has made their village self-sufficient.

Armed with bamboo sticks and axes, women from all the 27 village households protect the forest from timber mafia and neighbouring villages.

The patrolling or 'thengapalla' as it is called locally, happens daily without fail. If someone is caught, he has to pay a fine and promise to never venture into the forest again.

"Forests satisfy all our basic needs. So, we decided to protect in from outside elements. We start patrolling from 6 am and continue till evening. It is our forest, so we don't seek anyone's help to guard it," says 65-year-old Ramaa Pradhan.

Started in 2000, the women of the village took over the charge of guarding forests after the male members failed to do so. "If the men objected to the illegal cutting of woods, they would get beaten up. But, we were not harmed. So, we took over forest patrolling from them," says Ramma.

The success of this movement is evident - the 'Sata Bhai' or the 'Seven Brothers' hill which was barren until a few years ago is alive once again.

"In our country, there is more stress on Joint Forest Management than Community Forest Management. We fail to realize the power of our communities. When the forest resources started depleting, the people of this village opted for its conversation. Now, the produce is surplus and the villagers even sell a part of it," says Kailash Chandra Sahoo.