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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 4 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Female Iraqi Militant Held by Jordan Is Heroine to Jihadists

New Age Islam News Bureau

4 Feb 2015

A non-Muslim woman trying out a Hijab in Sri Lanka


 France’s Most-Wanted Woman Visited Mosques in Malaysia, Says Paper

 Muslim Woman in Jeep Ad Sparks Social Media Storm

 Freed From Fear, Lankan Muslim Women Observe World Hijab Day

 A California High School Celebrates Hijab Day to ‘Counter ‘Islamophobia’

 Nigeria Hijab - Inseparable Companion Of Muslim Woman - Amina Sambo

 How Irish Woman Brought Surfing to Iran

 All Around the World, Girls Are Doing Much Better Than Boys Academically

 Turkish Women Have No Representation In High Judiciary Anymore: CHP

 14 London Mosques Raise £17,000 Kids Charity

 Palestinians Urge Release of Children Jailed By Israel

 57,000 Children Work Over 40 Hours a Week in Turkey: Report

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Female Iraqi militant held by Jordan is heroine to jihadists

04 Feb, 2015

AMMAN/BAGHDAD- When her husband blew himself up in a luxury hotel during a wedding in Amman a decade ago, Sajida al-Rishawi was meant to die too, but her suicide bomb belt did not go off. Today, as a death-row prisoner in Jordan, she is a heroine to jihadists in the region, who may be willing to swap a Jordanian pilot for her.

Rishawi, now in her mid-40s, has an influential background in militant circles: she hails from a powerful Sunni clan in Western Iraq, and her brother was a top lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of al-Qaida's Iraq branch. Today, that group has since transformed itself into Islamic State, breaking off from al-Qaida and controlling swathes of Iraq and Syria.

One of her cousins, Abdul Sittar Abu Risha, was a major figure in establishing the Sunni Awakening, a tribal movement that joined forces with the US military and turned against al-Qaida.

Although she is just one of thousands of suicide bombers and would-be bombers who have been sent to kill and die by al-Qaida and its offshoots, her background has helped turn her into a symbol to jihadists, who would make the most of her release.

"She is an old woman, she does not have that much importance," said Sheikh Mehdi Abdel Sittar Abu Risha, another cousin and senior figure in her prominent Abu Risha tribe in Iraq's Anbar province. "But (Islamic State) has used this as a political matter to say, 'We take pride in our people more than you take pride in yours.'"

Winning her freedom would be an important victory for Islamic State's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdad, Zarqawi's successor, whose aim is to show that his organization is the foremost protector of Sunni militants across the Middle East, particularly among Iraq's tribes.

He has evoked her personally, vowing in a rare public address in the newly captured Iraqi city of Mosul in July to win freedom for female jihadist prisoners.

"He made the name of Sajida synonymous with the name of Baghdadi," said an Iraqi security source.


It is still far from clear that any prisoner swap can be negotiated. In statements released last week a Japanese journalist said his captors wanted to swap him for Rishawi, but any negotiations failed and he was beheaded.

Jordan has offered to free Rishawi in return for its pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh who was captured in December after his jet crashed in territory controlled by the militants in Syria. Islamic State has called for Rishawi's release in exchange for Kasaesbeh's life but has not said it will free him. Jordanian officials say they have not been sent proof he is alive.

Rishawi was sentenced to death in 2006 after surviving the attack on the Radisson Hotel in Amman, part of an operation that targeted four hotels across the city and killed 60 people, the worst hardline Islamist suicide attack in Jordan's history.

She confessed on Jordanian television days after the bombings but then pleaded not guilty at her trial.

"I have no one ... I am alone with Allah protecting me," Rishawi told the judge at the trial in 2006 where she appeared dressed in a long black coat and headscarf.

Her lawyer Hussein Masri told Reuters she had begged him to defend her staunchly, saying she would hold him "accountable in front of God in the day of reckoning" if he failed her.

Her importance to Islamic State stems from the links she had to late Iraqi al-Qaida leader Zarqawi, who was killed by a U.S. air strike in 2006 after leading the Sunni Muslim insurgency against US occupation forces. The hotel attack with her husband was the first ordered by Zarqawi outside Iraq.

"Zarqawi made a vow to free Sajida. Whoever fulfils this vow will win the sympathy of all the jihadists loyal to Zarqawi. This will be a point for (Islamic State) against al-Qaida," the Iraqi security official said.

Since breaking away from al-Qaida, Islamic State fighters have sought to establish themselves as the main jihadist force in the Middle East, declaring a caliphate last year in land they control in Syria and Iraq.

Attempts to free her are also aimed at embarrassing Jordanian intelligence, widely seen as one of the most sophisticated agencies of its kind in the Arab world, the official added.

She is classed as a high security detainee and has been in solitary confinement in Jweideh prison since she was arrested, a Jordanian security official said. None of her relatives have ever asked to see her, another source added.

The Rishawis hail from the city of al-Khalidiya in Iraq's central Anbar province. Sajida comes from a pious family which brought her up under hardline Salafist doctrine. Her brother Haji Thamer, who was killed in Fallujah in 2004, was said to be a leading aide of Zarqawi. Two other brothers also died in Fallujah in 2004, site of seminal battles against the US Marines.

Rishawi and members of her Abu Risha family were treated as "VIPs" in Islamic State circles, a US government source following the case said. The Jordanians are worried about releasing her because of her importance to the group and the fear the pilot would remain in captivity, the U.S. source added.

Her release could win support from her tribe in Anbar, an important constituency for jihadists in Iraq.

"All her family are a jihadist family that gave many sacrifices and who are still in the Islamic State in Anbar. So she is a potent symbol from the first generation of al-Qaida in Iraq who formed the nucleus of present day Islamic State," Jordanian jihadist scholar Hassan Abu Hanieh said.



France’s most-wanted woman visited mosques in Malaysia, says paper

04 Feb, 2015

Hayat Boumeddiene, France’s most-wanted woman in connection with the Charlie Hebdo attack, had visited mosques in Malaysia, The Washington Post reported yesterday.

Boumeddiene left Paris on January 2, reportedly bound for a part of Syria controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), a few days before her husband, Amédy Coulibaly, killed a policewoman in Paris.

On January 7, two gunmen stormed into Charlie Hebdo's offices in Paris and killed 12 people, most of them journalists and cartoonists, over what they said were the cartoon's satirical portrayals of Prophet Muhammad.

The attack culminated in twin siege dramas that left 17 people dead.

Boumeddiene, 26, has now become a key target for investigators who claim she had detailed knowledge of the three days of violence that gripped France.

Coulibaly, 32, was a close of associate of brothers Cherif and Said Kouchai – architects of the Charlie Hebdo massacre – killed four of the 17 hostages at a Jewish supermarket before he was shot dead by French security forces.

His partner, Boumeddiene, now joins a number of women Isis supporters in the Middle East. UK paper, The Daily Mail, said the two had visited Malaysia for a holiday with the Post’s reports adding that Boumeddiene had visited mosques in Malaysia. In October 2010, the couple had gone on a pilgrimage in Mecca.

The one-time cashier was reportedly radicalised after meeting Coulibaly.

She told police who had interviewed her as part of their inquiries into Coulibaly’s murky dealings with Islamic extremists that in 2009, she had walked away from a low-paying job as a cashier in Paris.

After marrying Coulibay, Boumedienne “devoted herself” to him, the Daily Mail reported.

Interrogated by police in 2010, Boumeddiene said she was inspired by her husband and the radicals she lived with to “read a lot of books on religion”.

"When I saw the massacre of the innocents in Palestine, in Iraq, in Chechnya, in Afghanistan or anywhere the Americans sent their bombers, all that… well, who are the terrorists?"

She added that when Americans killed innocents, it was the right of men to defend their women and children.



Muslim Woman in Jeep Ad Sparks Social Media Storm

04 Feb, 2015

An advert by a leading U.S. manufacturer of SUVs featuring a Muslim woman has sparked a mixture of reactions on social media, with some detractors slamming it as “un-American” and defenders praising the commercial for depicting religious diversity.

Set to the tune of the American folk song “This land is your land,” the advert by U.S. automaker Jeep begins with images of American landscapes before moving around the world.

But the inclusion of a Muslim woman in the advert, which was produced for Sunday’s Superbowl, seemed a step too far for some people, British newspaper the Independent reported.

On the website YouTube one user wrote: “Who is in the advertising department? Fire them. This is an American song. AMERICAN. Why showing other foreign countries? Not only that I think it’s an insult to show Muslim women, rather anything Muslim related.”

“Maybe #Jeep can sell all their vehicles to MUSLIMS because good Americans shouldn't buy them,” @MilamBill, a Twitter user, said in one post.

Other Twitter users defended the commercial; with some saying it celebrated religious diversity.

“Thank you @Jeep for celebrating diversity by featuring a Muslim woman in your #SuperBowl ad!,” one user using the Twitter handle @mpac_national said.

“I've always been a big fan of #Jeep ... And I'm a Muslim Women! The #JeepCommercial was perfect,” @amas_d, another Twitter user said.

“I find it utterly disappointing that there are individuals who are upset about a Muslim woman being in the #Jeep commercial. #SuperBowl #Smh,” Twitter user @InnominateMe276 said in a post.

“Oh no! A Muslim is smiling in a Jeep commercial! Hurry, let's all be offended! Only racist morons are upset by that ad. #JeepCommercial,” @enciteout, another Twitter user, said in a post.

Not everyone was annoyed because of religious prejudices in the commercial; some had other concerns:

“So Jeep did an ad that had a Muslim woman and ppl are mad? Ok, I'm mad too! Bc why does that Muslim lady hate the environment? #GreenDeen,” @HindMakki said in a tweet.



Freed From Fear, Lankan Muslim Women Observe World Hijab Day

 04 Feb, 2015

COLOMBO: Symptomatic of the sea change in the atmosphere in Sri Lanka following the overthrow of the sectarian government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, young Lankan Muslim women publicly observed World Hijab Day on January 31 without any fear of being targeted by government-backed Buddhist extremist outfits like the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS).

“Lankan Muslims are breathing a sigh of relief. They want to feel free,” said Hilmy Ahamad of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL), commenting on the successful “Hijab Awareness Exhibition” held at the Race Course here.

And Ahamad ought to know, for in the heyday of the Rajapaksa regime, the MCSL had been forced to appeal to Muslim women to abjure black abayas (cloaks) so as not to invite the wrath of the BBS. 

Hundreds of Muslim and non-Muslim men and women thronged the stalls exhibiting colorful headscarves and abayas of every hue. Muslim girls from English medium schools  explained to visitors why they cover themselves up; what benefits accrue to women who cover up; and how covering up is not a reflection of female subjugation. Placards said: Before You Judge, Cover Up For a Day.

“Over 250 young women, including Buddhists and Christians, tried out the outfits, and over 200 hijabs were lapped up. We had to close only because the stalls ran out of hijabs!” an organizer told Express.

Shaahidah Riza refuted the view that covering up is an expression of Muslim identity or is a rebellion against Western culture. “It is just an expression of our love for God and the Prophet,” she said.

“ It is like protective armor. Men don’t mess with covered up women,” added   Salma, a social worker.

Zaneeta Razaq saw covering up as a liberating devise. “Being covered up, people judge me not by my looks, but by my abilities,” she said.

But for Faizun Zackariya of Muslim Research Forum, covering up is part of the “homogenization” of Islam riding roughshod over Islamic cultural diversity. She warned that defining religious communities narrowly through enforced dress codes, could unleash forces like the Boko Haram of Nigeria.



A California High School Celebrates Hijab Day to ‘Counter ‘Islamophobia’

04 Feb, 2015

A California high school’s Muslim Student Association held a Hijab Day last week to call attention to what they call “Islamophobia,” and to urge students to judge Muslim women “by what’s in her mind, not what’s on her head.”

The Natomas Pacific Pathways Charter High School held the day at the behest of several senior girls, whose senior project centers on “Islamophobia.” One “Hijab Day” was held right before Christmas and another just last week.

The student newspaper said the day would attempt to expel Muslim myths:

Stereotypes about Islam prompted MSA club members to educate their NP3 peers that women are not oppressed by, or forced to, wear the Hijab.

As the Daily Caller reports, when parents began hearing about the observance in school they wondered about a religious double standard. But the principal of the school, Tom Ruttan, told Fox News 40 it was a student led event:

It’s not school sponsored, it’s not school run, we’re not forcing an opinion on anyone. Hijab Day is a way of teaching tolerance and understanding of others.

Rutten told Fox News 40 he’d received many calls from angry people from around the country:

Some people just wanted to yell. Pretty closed-minded.

Senior Samantha Masters has spent part of her senior year wearing the hijab. The student, who also interns at the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), says she was very pleased with the participation. But, she says, the complaints are the reason observances like this are needed:

The irrational reaction by some intolerant individuals is similar to the many manufactured controversies nationwide over the teaching of basic information about Islam, the faith of one-fifth of the world’s population, in public schools. In many other cases, any discussion of Islam or American Muslims brings about this reaction.

The event received even more attention when it was mentioned on Jihad Watch, a website founded by Islam researcher and author, Robert Spencer.  The post suggested that readers contact the school to ask why a school would participate in an event connected to a radical organization like CAIR.



Nigeria Hijab - Inseparable Companion of Muslim Woman - Amina Sambo

04 Feb, 2015

Wife of the Vice President, Hajia Amina Namadi Sambo, yesterday said that the hijab is an inseparable companion of the Muslim woman, urging them to wear it with pride and faith irrespective of the challenges they might face in the society.

Mrs Sambo said this at the Annual World Hijab Day, organised by the Coalition of Nigerian Muslim Women held at the National Mosque Abuja.

She stressed that wearing the hijab is very important for all Muslim women in obedience to Allah's injunction, adding that some modes of dressings in the name of fashion are not only contrary to Islamic dictates, but indecent and immoral.

Coordinator of the group and National Ameerah of Women in Da'awah, Hajiya Maryam Othman, said that the hijab proclaims the identity of a Muslim woman as a conscientious and obedient servant of Allah, downplays her physical attractiveness and protects her and the society against all kinds of indecency and harm.



How Irish Woman Brought Surfing to Iran

04 Feb, 2015

Surfing was virtually non-existent in Iran when Easkey Britton first travelled to the 'ultra-conservative' country in 2010.

The Irish surfer expected to face anger and disapproval in the Muslim nation where televising female sports is forbidden. Just last year, a woman was jailed simply for watching a men's volleyball match.

But the 29-year-old was shocked to discover a welcoming country as eager to learn the sport as she was to teach them.

Overwhelmed by the reaction she returned three years later with filmmaker Marion Poizeau and two female Iranian athletes - professional snowboarder Mona Seraji and diver Shahla Yasini. 

Marion's documentary 'Into the Sea' charts their incredible journey to the shores of Baluchistan, an area considered so deadly 'even Iranians don't go there'.

Marion told MailOnline: 'In Tehran, people were saying you're crazy to go to Baluchistan because it's considered a very dangerous place.

'So when I screened my film in the capital, people were saying we didn't know you could go to Baluchistan and come back alive.'

Despite its fearsome reputation as a site of brutal secular fighting between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, there is little alternative to the region's 60-mile stretch of sand and five foot waves. For the country's surf-obsessed, it is becoming a necessary pilgrimage.

A large crowd began to gather during Mona and Shahla's first lesson under Easkey's expert guidance.

They predicted some opposition in the remote section of a largely male-dominated country, but the locals in Chabahar were simply intrigued.

Women are allowed to wear bathing suits in Iran's female-only swimming pools and baths, but traditional head-coverings are mandatory on public beaches where men are present.

Hundreds stormed the beach to watch the three women riding the waves in their wet-suits and hijabs. And soon the Baluchi locals were begging to take part themselves.

The growth of the sport means 'Baluchi girls and women are no longer on the sidelines' according to Easkey, a five-time national champion in her native Ireland.

She added: 'Fathers are asking me to take their daughters surfing.

'What is most inspiring is the enthusiasm and vision of young people here, with the young women playing an important change-making role, leading the way in a new frontier sport, writing a new narrative full of possibility despite being ignored by the world outside and limited by the constraints of their own country.'

But her first surf with Mona and Shahla caused quite a stir and when the village elders and a 'powerful' member of parliament requested to meet them Easkey expected the worst.

She was again overwhelmed by the tolerance shown by Yaqoub Jadgal, who said: 'Islam recommends sports, which are beneficial both physically and spiritually. It is not just for men, women can do sports too with the hijab and female instructors.

'We will ask female instructors to teach women this sport so they can benefit from this art.'

The 'thumbs up' from the community's senior figures mirrored the government's acceptance when they allowed for Marion's film to be screened at the Tehran Film Festival last year.

It had such a wide-reaching impact she's now involved in a bid to launch the country's first female surfing federation.

She said: 'Hopefully we can organise an international event in the future and convince more Iranians to come with us... but we don't know when it's going to happen because the administration is tricky.'

The sport's growing popularity has surprised Easkey, who 'never could have imagined' a religiously devout nation could adopt such a progressive sport into their hearts.

She says during 'Into the Sea': 'I came here three years ago and there was nobody surfing and now look at it. More and more people are on the beach every day - boys, girls, everyone joining in.

'People say surfing is a selfish pursuit, it becomes kind of like an addiction and all you care about is finding the next perfect wave, but I really don't believe that anymore.

'I think the most powerful thing about surfing is being able to share that passion and connecting people. This is unbelievable.'

Marion added: 'It was very exciting the last day, half the village came to watch the girls surf and the kids were very enthusiastic.

'A lot of them were very shy at first, but by the time we got into the water, that was gone.

'It really breaks down the barriers when we go into the water, it's totally different from the beach. It makes people forget about the rules.'

Inspired by their own success, Easkey and Marion also set up the non-profit organisationWaves of Freedom.

In its own words, the charity 'uses surfing as a medium for empowerment, transforming the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society, especially women and girls'.

Through their first project Surf Seeds, they are trying to establish surfing in Baluchistan through the donation of equipment, formal lessons and workshops on how to build and create surfboards.

The two women also created the 'We Surf in Iran' group within the local community in Baluchistan.

Now, Iranians travel from all over the country to get lessons in the region they were once afraid of.



All Around The World, Girls Are Doing Much Better Than Boys Academically

04 Feb, 2015

Girls are academically outperforming boys in many countries around the world -- even in places where women face political, economic or social inequalities.

A new report from Dr. Gijsbert Stoet of the University of Glasgow in Scotland and David C. Geary of the University of Missouri found that in 2009, high school girls performed significantly better on an international standardized test in 52 out of 74 studied countries.

The researchers set out to explore the connection between academic achievement and a country’s levels of gender inequality, speculating that girls might do worse on the Programme for International Student Assessment in countries where they are typically treated unfairly. On the contrary, researchers found that girls have been consistently outperforming boys for the last decade, regardless of countries’ treatment of women.

"In a lot of these countries women are not allowed to do a lot of things, but what's interesting is even in these countries girls are doing better in school," Geary told The Huffington Post over the phone. The study notes the results extend to strict Muslim countries where there tends to be a "lack of opportunities for girls and women."

PISA is a test that has been distributed around the world since 2000 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Researchers found that on the 2009 test, girls performed better than boys in reading, math and science in 70 percent of studied countries.

Geary noted that the top male performers tended do better in math on the exam than the top female test-takers, which feeds into a focus on the gender gap in STEM-related jobs. But at the same time, he said, there has been a lack of focus on the fact that girls seem to be performing better on the whole.

"All debate and fretting over STEM stuff, where boys go into STEM fields and do better at math, that is all at the upper end of achievement," said Geary. "But there’s a whole lot of other kids in the world that are never going to go into STEM. When you look at all of those other 95 percent of the world’s kids, we see boys falling behind girls pretty much everywhere."

Geary said he worried about the study's implications for an increasingly complex labor market. Especially in non-developed countries, he said, there's going to be "a lot of boys who are going to become young adults with few employable skills."

"If you have countries with a large percentage of these types of men, crime rates go up," he said, including violent crime.

Geary said he hopes the findings bring more attention to the issue of boys falling behind in school.

"The boys' problems are overlooked," said Geary. "It's an important problem and a worldwide problem, and potentially has some serious implications ... it just hasn’t been addressed and is not even on people’s radar to even figure out why this is the case."



Turkish women have no representation in high judiciary anymore: CHP

 04 Feb, 2015

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Vice Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu has said women lack representation at the Constitutional Court, following the retirement of the sole female at the court due to a restriction on age.

Tanrıkulu also stated that women lack representatives in all fields of life under the current Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule.

Tanrıkulu said the Constitutional Court being without any female members actually shows the level of importance the AKP gives to women.

“In a process where women killings are unfortunately on the rise and when it is very important to create equal opportunities and implement positive discrimination toward women, traces of women have been erased from the Constitutional Court and the court has become male-dominant,” said Tanrıkulu in a written statement on Feb. 3, adding that like in all parts of the society, “woman had no representatives” in the judiciary system either.

“Women Have No Representatives” is the name of a legendary book by Duygu Asena, a best-selling writer and crusader for women’s rights in Turkey who died in 2006.

The influential book reached millions of women from different generations. Published for the first time in 1987, it printed 40 editions within that year. Currently, its 64th edition is on the shelves.

The book was banned in 1988 by the government, which found it to be lewd and obscene. The ban was lifted after a two-year battle in court.



14 London Mosques raise £17,000 kids charity

World Bulletin / News Desk

 04 Feb, 2015

Fourteen East End mosques in Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest have joined forces to raise an incredible £17,000 for local children’s charity Richard House Children’s Hospice.

The fundraising campaign took place in participating mosques on one of the busiest Friday prayers of the year. Mr Abdullah Dalal spokesperson for the fourteen mosques said:

“The Muslim community in East London has contributed to many charitable projects nationally and internationally. We decided to come together and raise money for a local charity, and selected Richard House due to its amazing work with children and young adults, and with its 15thyear anniversary being celebrated in 2015.”

So far an astounding £17,000 has been raised, with money still coming in.

Mary Meekings, Head of Community and Events at Richard House, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who donated money during Friday prayers. The fundraising total is incredibly generous and will make a huge difference to the families who use our services at Richard House.”

The mosques who participated in the fundraiser were:

Quwwat-Ul-Islam Society Masjid (Upton Lane)

Islamic Centre Upton Park (Selwyn Road, Plaistow)

Markaz ud Da’wah wal Irshad, (Plashet Grove, East Ham)

Seven Kings Muslim Educational Trust (Redbridge)

Ilford Muslim Society Masjid-E-Dawatul Islam (Balfour Road, Ilford, Redbridge)

Masjid-e-Tauheed (High St. North, Manor Park)

Masjid Al Falah (Kensington Gardens, Ilford, Redbridge)

Forest Gate Mosque (Romford Rd)

Masjid-E-Usman (Ashville Road, Leyton)

Leytonstone Masjid (Dacre Road, Leytonstone)

Newham United (Plaistow)

Masjid ul Hidayah, (Church Road, Manor Park)

East End Islamic Centre (Plashet Road, Plaistow)

At Taqwa Trust (Chadwell Heath)




Palestinians urge release of children jailed by Israel

World Bulletin / News Desk

 04 Feb, 2015

 Palestinian activists staged a protest on Tuesday in the West Bank to demand the release of 14-year-old Malak al-Khatib and all other Palestinian minors imprisoned by Israel.

Protesters gathered outside the Red Cross headquarters near Ramallah for a demonstration organized by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and other Palestinian factions.

Protesters, including prisoners' relatives and women's rights activists, held posters aloft of al-Khatib, who was sentenced to two months in prison in January for possessing a knife and throwing stones at Israeli troops in the West Bank.

"Israel's detention of Malak is a shame on the occupation, which considers itself above the law," Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s committee on detainees, told the Anadolu Agency at the protest.

"Israel violates international law by detaining children and subjecting them to military trials and forced confessions with no regard to children's rights," he said.

On Jan. 21, al-Khatib became the youngest of 280 children being held in Israeli jails after an Israeli court sentenced her to two months behind bars and fined her 6,000 Israeli shekels (roughly $1,500), according to the Ramallah-based Ahrar Center for Prisoners' Studies and Human Rights.

The 14-year-old was detained by Israeli forces on Dec. 31 of last year while on her way back home from school in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israeli forces routinely carry out arrest campaigns against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank on the pretext that they are "wanted" by the Israeli authorities.

Over 7,000 Palestinians are currently languishing in prisons throughout Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.



57,000 children work over 40 hours a week in Turkey: Report

 04 Feb, 2015

Around 57,000 children work over 40 hours a week in Turkey, according to a new study by Bahçeşehir University’s Center for Economic and Social Research (BETAM).

The 2012 Children Workforce Survey, released on Jan. 3, said 292,000 children were in the workforce in the country, and 75 percent of them worked in family business without receiving any financial compensation.

Around half of the children laborers worked for an average of one hour per day, according to the study. However, around 47,000 children worked more than 40 hours a week, generally for very low wages. Around 10,000 children worked over 40 hours a week at home.

“Even if these children continue to go to school, it is very likely that they will suffer and receive a poor quality education,” said the study, warning policy-makers and researchers of the negative effects of child labor.

Turkey needs to take measures to gradually decrease the number of child laborers in the country and put an end to the issue in the long-term, in line with the agreements it signed with the International Labor Organization in 1992, added the study.

The latest figures show that little progress has been made in recent years, it also stated.

The number of children workers decreased by 28,000 from 2006 to 2012, but this did not create a big difference as the total fertility rate had also been decreasing in the country, leaving essentially untouched the rate of child laborers aged 6-14 relative to the entire population, at around 2.6 percent.