Photo: Barbie Wearing Hijab. (Photo courtesy: Instagram/hijarbie)
Barbie Wearing Hijab Becomes Social Media Star
Daesh Widow Charged Over US Hostage Death
Women Welcome at a Saudi Arabia Starbucks Shop after Temporary Ban
Hillary Clinton's Problem with Young Women
Haji Ali Women Entry Case: Bombay HC Asks Stakeholders to Submit Arguments in Two Weeks
Mehreen Jabbar's Short Film Lala Begum to Debut at Zee TV's Unity Initiative in India
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Barbie wearing Hijab becomes social media star
Rachael Revesz | The Independent | Feb 9, 2016
Barbie is normally a skinny, white woman in denim hotpants - this could be set to change after the discovery of Hijarbie, a Barbie wearing a Hijab.
The new Barbie doll for mini Hijab fashion has taken social media by storm after pictures of the doll with full-length dresses, veils and flowing abayas were posted by 24-year-old medical science student Haneefa Adam.
Speaking to CNN, Ms Adam said: "I thought I had not seen Barbie dressed in a hijab before so I decided to open an Instagram account and dressed Barbie up in the clothes that I made. I thought it was really important for a doll to be dressed like how I would be."
She added that the dolls were a great way to correct misconceptions that the majority of Muslim women are forced to cover up to express their religion.
She came across the Barbie Style Instagram page and decided to post her own photos with her Barbie wearing clothes she had made, ordering in Barbies from abroad as none were on sale in Nigeria.
The Masters student has 19,400 followers on social media and has received requests from around the world to buy the dolls.
Ms Adam, who recently completed a Masters in Pharmacology in the UK, described the Barbie as a "modest doll" - one that provides a role model for Muslim girls.
Last month Mattel transformed Barbie with a variety of skin tones and different body types.
"I'd have loved to dress up a black doll myself too. I've ordered for some internationally and they'll soon be here," she said.
Daesh widow charged over US hostage death
February 9, 2016
The widow of late Daesh group financial leader Abu Sayyaf was charged Monday for her alleged role in the death of US aid worker Kayla Mueller last year.
Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, a 25-year-old known as Umm Sayyaf, was accused of conspiring to provide support to the violent extremists, forcibly detaining Mueller and other captives in the couple's homes, where she was sexually assaulted by Daesh chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.
Bahar acknowledged that Baghdadi "owned" Mueller during her captivity at the Sayyaf residences, describing "owning" as equivalent to slavery, federal prosecutors said.
Read here: Kayla Mueller: The life and death of an aid worker
Daesh fighters claimed that Mueller, who was kidnapped in the Syrian city of Aleppo in August 2013, was killed in a February 2015 coalition air strike that buried her in rubble.
US officials say the circumstances of her death remain unclear. She was 26.
Abu Sayyaf was killed in May 2015 in a rare US commando raid inside war-torn Syria.
Bahar was captured during the operation, and US forces also rescued a young woman from the Yazidi minority and seized a stash of firearms, the complaint recalled.
Mueller and other female "captives were at various times handcuffed, held in locked rooms and given orders on a daily basis with respect to their activities, movements and liberty," according to a complaint filed in US District Court in Virginia.
"While in captivity, Kayla Jean Mueller was sexually abused by Baghdadi, who forced her to have sex with him," it added.
"The defendant (Bahar) knew how Ms Mueller was treated by Baghdadi when Ms Mueller was held against her will in the defendant's home."
The complaint also alleged that Bahar told the captives that "she would kill them if they did not listen to her."
Bahar admitted that she had sole responsibility for holding the hostages captive while her husband traveled on Daesh business, and that Baghdadi and other members of the group would stay at the residence at times, according to the complaint.
If convicted, Bahar faces life in prison. She is currently in Iraqi custody, facing prosecution for terror-related activities.
"We fully support the Iraqi prosecution of Sayyaf and will continue to work with the authorities there to pursue our shared goal of holding Sayyaf accountable for her crimes," Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement.
"We will continue to pursue justice for Kayla and for all American victims of terrorism."
Women welcome at a Saudi Arabia Starbucks shop after temporary ban
By Henry Hanks, CNN: February 8, 2016
(CNN)To the Western world, it's a surprising thing to see.
Until very recently, one Starbucks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, had a sign with the phrase, "Please no entrance for ladies."
The sign went up after a wall segregating families and single people when entering the coffee house fell down.
The temporary solution was to ban women from entering the Starbucks.
The full sign said, "PLEASE NO ENTRY FOR LADIES ONLY SEND YOUR DRIVER TO ORDER THANK YOU."
It was first noticed in the social media world last Monday when someone going by "Manar M" tweeted, "#Starbucks store in Riyadh refused 2 serve me just because I'm a WOMAN & asked me 2 send a man instead."
Others began tweeting the sign, and it started popping up on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere.
"Unreal. Starbucks in Saudi Arabia refused to serve women," tweeted Muhammad Lila.
Manar M followed up by comparing the sign to signs from the segregated United States decades ago.
Starbucks issued the following statement to CNN: "At Starbucks, we adhere to the local customs of Saudi Arabia by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people. In addition, all our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu, and seating to men, women and families."
The statement continues: "We are working as quickly as possible as we refurbish our Jarir store so that we may again welcome all customers in accordance with local customs."
On Monday, Starbucks shared an update: "Starbucks welcomes all customers, including women and families, to enjoy the Starbucks experience. We have worked with local authorities to obtain approval to refurbish one of our stores in Jarir, which was originally built without a gender wall. That meant it could only accommodate men in accordance with local law.
"This was the only such Starbucks store in Saudi Arabia. During construction, the store could only accommodate and serve single men, and a poster was placed at the store entrance as required by local law.
The statement went on: "We are pleased to share that the store is now accessible to single men on one side as well as women and families on the other side. Starbucks has now 78 stores in Saudi Arabia and all stores cater to both families and singles, except for one that is exclusively reserved for women and families."
Hillary Clinton's problem with young women
By Jon Sopel: 8 February 2016
"There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other," says former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The comment was supposed to help Hillary Clinton but it has also exposed her problem appealing to women voters.
An email has just popped into my inbox from Hillary Clinton, asking "Are you by my side?" Well of course I don't have a vote in this race, but it's a question she should be asking the young women who do. Because there she has problems. And they're serious. She may have left millions of cracks in the glass ceiling when she ran to become the first female US president eight years ago, but it hasn't shattered yet - and it might not do so in 2016.
I'm sure a lot of people outside the US will look at this and reach for one word - misogyny. And yes, in the bars and cafes, and on the bleachers at football games, trackside at a Nascar race, and in myriad other places where men gather to sweat and swear you will find - err, how can one put this - a slightly less than fully developed feminist perspective on having a woman president. But it is much more than that.
Hillary and Bill Clinton meet voters in a New Hampshire dinerImage copyrightAP
I was in Las Vegas a few months ago for the first Democratic debate at the Wynn hotel. So where better to go to find out who was going to win the political jackpot than on to the casino floor. This is what we call a vox pop. I think in the American media they are called man-on-the-street interviews. They give colour and texture to a piece. Ordinary voices, giving unfiltered opinions. Except when we did this set of vox pops and asked people (rather surreptitiously, because the security guards would have kicked us off the casino floor very quickly) what these men and women thought of Hillary Clinton, they spoke with one voice: they didn't like her and didn't trust her.
Now normally when you do these type of interviews you go back and edit them - and have a script line, something along the lines of "some said this, and some said that" and you play the divergent views. Except in Vegas they didn't. The random group of people I approached ALL loathed her
Ok so far, so anecdotal. Let's look at some actual figures. In the Iowa caucus last week, 84% of women under the age of 30 voted for the 74-year-old Bernie Sanders; just 14% for Hillary.
The projection for New Hampshire is even more striking. 92% of that age group say they will back Sanders. Among women aged 30-39 it is not a whole lot better. Just 11% say they are going to back Hillary.
The American people feel they have known Hillary intimately for a very long time. And with any longstanding relationship feelings get complicated. For better or worse some people never forgave her for sticking by Bill when he was embroiled in the whole Lewinsky scandal. If she was a proper feminist, she would have left him, goes the argument.
All of which would be explicable if it was an older cohort rejecting her, but it is predominantly young women who say they're not going to vote for her - and for whom the shenanigans of Bill are ancient history.
Hillary Clinton with voters in Flint, MichiganImage copyrightGetty Images
Some people hate her for being a Clinton. A lot of people - men and women alike - think that the Clintons have had a modus operandi that is uniquely theirs, and that no other US citizen would be able to get away with. If you were to focus group these people, the words that would get bandied around would be - entitled, arrogant, elitist, rich, takers of shortcuts, legally dodgy.
These concerns were highlighted by the email arrangements Mrs Clinton had while secretary of state. All her communications were going through a private server. Something that is now the subject of an FBI investigation. Others in high office may have done similar things, but it fed the narrative of Clinton exceptionalism. That they do things their way. It may not be fair, but politics is not fair.
Which leaves the Clinton campaign with difficult questions about why they are failing to win this demographic group, which early on in the campaign I bet her team would have had down as low-hanging fruit. Is it a post-feminist generation who feel that the gender of their next leader is irrelevant? Is it that they want something shiny and new - and yes, I know it's a stretch to describe the veteran Bernie Sanders as anything other than wrinkly, but he was an unknown quantity six months ago. Is it that people are yearning for change, and Sanders certainly offers that with his socialist prescription for America?
So what does she do about it? Well what she did this weekend was to go to Flint in Michigan where there is the mother and father of a public health scandal over the supply of clean water to a predominantly black and impoverished population. The African American constituency has always turned out for the Clintons - and when the protracted primary race turns to the Southern states, this is where she hopes she will be able to do Sanders most harm - and ultimately win.
Hillary Clinton laughs at comments by Madeleine AlbrightImage copyrightAP
But what you DON'T do is laugh uproariously with Madeline Albright when she's campaigning alongside you in New Hampshire and opines "there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other".
Because that is like saying: "You should vote for Hillary because she's a woman."
Or worse: "Any woman supporting Bernie is betraying the feminist cause."
Telling the voters they're wrong is not a good look, and never ends happily.
Haji Ali women entry case: Bombay HC asks stakeholders to submit arguments in two weeks
February 9, 2016
Haji Ali, Women Entry, Sabrimala temple, Shani Shingnapur, women empowerment, gender equality, Bomba high Court, mumbai, sanctum sanctorum, Islam The dargah, which houses the tomb of Iranian saint Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, is said to have been built in 1431. (Vasant Prabhu)
Reserving its judgement on the ban of entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali Durgah in Mumbai, the Bombay High on Tuesday asked all the parties to submit their arguments in writing in two weeks.
The division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite Dere made the observation after hearing the arguments of the parties concerned.
The Durgah Board said that the sanctum sanctorum of the durgah houses the grave of a male saint and in Islam it is sin for women to touch male saint, and hence, women are barred from touching the tomb.
Petitioner Raju More, however, contended that as per Haji Ali’s website, no one is buried inside the tomb, hence, it is not a graveyard of a saint.
“I also gave the court a print out of what is officially mentioned on the Haji Ali’s website in support of my argument,” he said.
The State Advocate General, on the other hand, said unless the Durgah Board is able to prove that ban is part of their religious practice with reference to Quran, women should be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali.
The court on February 3 had asked the state government to express its opinion on the PIL challenging the decision of Haji Ali Trust to ban the entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of the historic durgah.
This is for the first time that the state has been asked to give its views on women’s entry into a shrine.
The HC had indicated last month that it would wait for the Supreme Court’s ruling on entry of women in Sabarimala temple in Kerala before deciding on the plea.
A petition in the apex court has sought entry for all women and girls in the Sabarimala temple which, as a practice, does not allow girls after attaining puberty to enter the premises. The temple, however, allows only those women to enter who have reached the menopause stage.
Mehreen Jabbar's short film Lala Begum to debut at Zee TV's unity initiative in India
February 9, 2016
Titled Zeal For Unity, the initiative sees six Pakistani film directors introduce hour-long works to an Indian audience
Before Mehreen Jabbar began work on her sophomore feature film Dobara Phir Se, she had quietly begun work on a short film titled Lala Begum. It was said to star Marina Khan, Sonia Rahman and Humayun Saeed, Syed Mohammed Ahmed was writing its script, and the film was intended to screen at a short film festival organised by Zee TV. Interest was piqued, but Mehreen kept mum about the project - until now.
In a conversation with Images, Mehreen describes Lala Begum as a family drama, but not the kind we're tired of seeing on TV.
" [Lala Begum] is a story of two estranged sisters who meet after a long time," Mehreen tells us, and we're immediately relieved that the film focuses on familial relationships outside the context of marriage and its trappings.
Sonya Rehman, Humayun Saeed and Marina Khan in scenes from Lala Begum
"I was asked by Ms Shailja Kejriwal and Mr Vikas Sharma from Zee Zindagi to be part of [the Zeal for Unity venture]," Mehreen shares about her participation. "Actually Ahmed saab had written this as a short 40-minute film which I was going to work on with Marina and Sonia but when the opportunity with Zee came along, we felt that this would be an ideal film to showcase there."
The official poster of Lala Begum
Despite the ennui surrounding cultural endeavours for Pak-India peace, Mehreen still believes that films can help our neighbours get to know us better.
"Cultural exchange is one of the strongest and most effective ways of promoting understanding and respect while learning from what we can offer each other. I think this is an amazing venture and probably it's the first time that such an initiative has been organized," Mehreen said.
The Zeal for Unity initiative will see 12 directors from Pakistan and India screen their short films in film festivals across India, reports Mumbai Mirror.
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