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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 1 Jan 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Female Participation in Sports up One Hundred Fifty Percent in Saudi Arabia

New Age Islam News Bureau

01 January 2021

• A Pakistan Parliamentary Committee Orders Fresh Inquiry into Minor Christian Girl’s Abduction

• Muslim Outreach Group Berated By Woman on Islamophobia Rant In Vancouver

• Russia: Registration Of Girls To Muslim Youth Forum Opens In Kazan

• Turkey Shaken By Brutal Killings Of 3 Women In A Single Day

• Yemen in Focus: 'No Women, No Government' Movement Demands Political Participation

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Female Participation in Sports up One Hundred Fifty Percent in Saudi Arabia

January 01, 2021


12 Saudi women now in prominent international sporting positions


JEDDAH:  Female participation in sport in Saudi Arabia has shot up by almost 150 percent since 2015, the Kingdom’s sports minister revealed.

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said far-reaching changes as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan and the influence of Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan have been major factors in contributing to the success.

The minister hailed the princess as a great role model who had inspired her peers and country

through her sporting achieve- ments, playing a crucial part in promoting mass participation in sports and carrying out important work on the board and as a member of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) women and sports committee.

Princess Reema recently took part in the first Gender Equity and Women Leadership Forum, organized by the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) and the International Taekwondo Federation, that targeted women’s welfare in sports.

Following her lead, many female achievers have been elected as members of international sports organizations.

These have included Princess Haifa bint Mohammed, who became chair of the women’s committee of the Arab Union, and Princess Reham bint Saif Al-Islam who was appointed as a member of the Arab Swimming Federa- tion’s women’s committee.

The Kingdom’s first female boxing coach, Rasha Al-Khamis, became a member of the women’s committee for the Asian boxing organization, Abrar Bukhari sat on the women’s committee of the Asian Taekwondo Federation, and Sarah Al-Fayez was elected a member of the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) media committee.

Asma Al-Yamani, meanwhile, became a member of the World Tennis Tour Committee, Aseel Al-Hamad was nominated a member of the Women in Motor- sports Committee at the Interna- tional Motorsports Federation, and Haya Al-Dossary took on the role as a marketing committee member for West Asia of the International Table Tennis Federation.

In addition, Adwaa Al-Arifi became a member of the AFC and Arab Football Confederation, and Dr. Razan Baker was appointed chairperson of the International Bowling Federation’s women in sports committee.

Saudi sportswomen have also notched up around 100 medals in events at regional and interna- tional levels.

Fencing topped the list for Saudi female sporting achievements. The sport’s federation has been one of the leaders in investing in the training of women of all ages, with academies in Jeddah, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province.

Fencing has delivered around 29 medals including four bronzes in the epee event at the 2016 Arab Games held in Riyadh. In 2018, Saudi fencers bagged one silver and three bronze medals at the Juniors Arab Fencing Champion- ship in Jordan, and in the same year they brought home a bronze from the Arab Fencing Championship in Tunisia.

In Kuwait’s 2019 junior fencing championship, they scooped one gold, one silver, and five bronzes, and collected a gold and two bronzes in the Asian Qualifying Round of Fencing Champion- ship in the same year in Riyadh.

In 2020, they won two silver medals at the Arab Women Sports Tournament in Sharjah, and one silver and two bronze medals in Manama’s Junior and Youth Fencing Championship.

At the Virtual Confederation Championship, the women’s fencing team secured single gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Second place went to the judokas with 15 medals, all won in 2019. Two golds, two silvers, and eight bronzes were from the Estonia International Judo Championship; a gold, silver, and bronze came in the West Asian Judo Championship.

Not to be outdone in third place were the taekwondo ladies with one gold, two silvers, and four bronzes from the 2019 and 2020 GCC and Arab Taekwondo championships.

Tied at fourth place with four medals each were the female equestrians and weightlifters.

Equestrienne Dalma Malhas gave Saudi Arabia its first bronze medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore. Riders also collected two more bronzes and one silver at the Sharjah tournament in 2020.

The women weightlifters snatched their two golds, one silver, and one bronze in Gulf tournaments and the West Asian Championship.

Other sports where Saudi women broke into the medal column were: Rowing, through Kariman Abujadail, who won a gold medal at the Gulf Rowing tournament in Sharjah in 2020; boxing courtesy of Najd Fahad with a gold at the virtual Univer- sity World Cup in 2020 and Dona Alghamdi with another gold at the International Leaders Champi- onship in 2018 in Jordan; kick boxing through Zahra Alqurashi, who claimed first place at the International Clubs Champion- ship in mixed martial arts in 2019 in Jordan; and archery, from its women’s team that clinched bronze during the Sharjah Arab Women Sports tournament in 2020.

Elsewhere, the Saudi women football leagues were inaugurated, and saw participation of 10 teams last November in three cities. The football federation, in collaboration with the Leaders Development Institute, offered coaching courses to create oppor- tunities for Saudi women who were keen to become professional football coaches without the need to travel abroad.

The Saudi Archery Federation also launched a tournament featuring more than 25 women archers.


A Pakistan Parliamentary Committee Orders Fresh Inquiry into Minor Christian Girl’s Abduction

Jamal Shahid

01 Jan 2021

ISLAMABAD: Convinced that police have mishandled the case, a parliamentary committee on Thursday ordered a fresh inquiry into the abduction of a minor Christian girl in Faisalabad.

The 13-year old was freed five months after Muslim men allegedly abducted, forcibly converted her to Islam, and then one of them married her.

A meeting of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights was held under the chairmanship of Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar. The meeting discussed various issues of forced conversion and marriage and the death of a farmer in Lahore due to alleged police violence besides the murder of a member of the minority community.

Faisalabad police officials told the committee that they had received a complaint from the family of the girl that Khizer Hayat had allegedly abducted the girl. But the girl’s recorded statement said otherwise.

The police maintained that the girl in her statement recorded before a magistrate said she had left her home voluntarily and embraced Islam and got married. The police officials told the committee that the girl had also undergone a medical test and according to the doctor’s report she was between 16 and 17 years old.

However, during the committee meeting, the girl’s father presented the form “B” issued by Nadra which showed her as 13 years old.

Lawmakers question investigation process and also reject medical report declaring girl aged 16 to 17 years

Senator Khokhar and other members of the committee raised questions over the investigation process and declared that the certificate issued by Nadra was authentic proof of the girl’s age, rejecting the doctor’s report. As a proof, the family members also presented her twin brother’s Form “B”.

The girl’s father also registered a complaint with the committee about the behaviour of the police over which the committee expressed its regret.

The chairman of the committee apologised to the family of the minor girl and demanded that legal action be taken against those responsible and proper protection be provided to the family.

Senator Khokhar said: “The investigating officer has tarnished Pakistan’s image.”

The committee also directed the senior superintendent of police (SSP) Faisalabad to investigate the whole matter and submit a report to the committee on Jan 6. The SSP assured the committee that the matter would be investigated and a charge-sheet would be issued to the concerned investigating officer.

Regarding the murder of Dr Tahir Mahmood, a member of the Ahmadi Jamaat in Nankana, DPO Nankana Ismail Kharal informed the committee that Dr Mahmood was killed by a 16-year-old boy, living in his neighborhood. According to the official, those who provided the boy with a weapon had also been arrested and the case was pending in the anti-terrorism court.

The chairman of the committee declared the case sensitive, saying a committee of the entire Senate should discuss these issues with regard to the protection of minorities. He believed that strict action also needed to be taken against hate speech.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Zulfiqar Hameed from Lahore presented facts before the committee against allegation that Malik Ashfaq Langrial died after being tortured by the police during a protest by farmers.

The farmer’s condition deteriorated after tear gas shelling on protesting farmers at Thokar Niaz Baig. He later died in hospital.

The police officer informed the committee that the farmer was suffering from a heart condition and did not die in police custody. He said: “The police had nothing to do with it.”

He said the farmers’ representatives were on a strike and action was taken against them. No one was tortured, he claimed.


Muslim outreach group berated by woman on Islamophobia rant in Vancouver


Dec 31, 2020

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A local Muslim group trying to clear misconceptions and educate others about bigotry was confronted and verbally attacked by a woman over the weekend.

The Bridging Gaps Foundation was on Robson Street Dec. 27 with their “Meet a Muslim” initiative, which offers a chance for others to ask questions and have an open dialogue with them about Islam.

“We on the street talk to people about Islam and clarify misconceptions,” says Adnan Akiel, the group’s program manager, in a video posted to the foundation’s YouTube.

But a woman approached their table and went on an Islamaphobic rant.

The woman in the video yelled expletives, telling the group to “Go home,” and said she would drive them to the airport.

In one part of the video, she says she’s enjoying the interaction despite several requests for her to leave the table.

“What you think is not important in the country,” the irate woman yelled. “You need to understand that what you think is zero, dog. You’re a dog.”

She is shown yelling at the team members, saying “everyone hates Islam” because it is “against women and children,” while taking issue with prayer.

“And also we don’t want to see people’s butts in the air on the street in public. Take your butt out of our faces. Go pray in your mosque.”

A voice in the video tries to tell the woman the conversation isn’t productive and asks her to leave. She refuses and doesn’t seem concerned the encounter is being filmed for most of the interaction.

People walking by join in asking her to leave, telling her she’s being racist, which she argues isn’t true.

The video switches back to Akiel, who shot the footage of the woman, as he explains there’s never cause for this kind of behaviour.

“Every single one of us, whether Muslims or non-Muslims, we have a responsibility to ensure that our communities are safe and free from bigotry of this nature,” he says.

Akiel says in the video it serves as an example that bigotry is alive and well in our community, but can still be addressed, “if we ground ourselves in education, in knowledge, and general mutual respect and understanding.”

He calls the incident disheartening, saying people can disagree, but they must also coexist.


Russia: Registration of girls to Muslim Youth Forum opens in Kazan

December 31, 2020

Kazan plans to hold the XI Forum of Muslim Youth in January 20-24, 2021. This time, the annual gathering will be held separately for the girls.

It will be focused on the topic of healing. As the Almighty said in the Last Scripture: “The Day when neither wealth nor children will be of any benefit. Only those who come before Allah with a pure heart will be saved.”

During the four days courses the girls will study heart diseases: riya – show off in worship, ghaflat - carelessness, anger and envy.

Young Muslim women from 18 to 30 years old are invited to participate in the forum.

The forum program includes an interesting educational program: lectures, lessons, quest, creative, sports activities and communication.


Turkey shaken by brutal killings of 3 women in a single day

December 31, 2020

Three women in Turkey were brutally murdered by men on Tuesday, sending shockwaves across the country at a time when domestic violence has become a major problem, Turkish Minute reported.

One of the women, Aylin Sözer, 48, a lecturer in the preschool education department of a private university in İstanbul, was killed by a man named Kemal Ayyıldız, 32. Sözer’s family called the police when they hadn’t heard from her. The police had to break into Sözer’s apartment in the Maltepe district of İstanbul, where they found Sözer’s body. Ayyıldız, who was also in the apartment, tried to attack police officers with a flammable liquid. The police determined that Ayyıldız had stabbed Sözer to death and then set her body on fire. Ayyıldız was detained by the police and arrested on Wednesday.

Sözer’s family denied the existence of a romantic relationship between Sözer and Ayyıldız.

Sözer, who appeared on a TV program on Haber Global in April 2009, said at the time that the more acts of violence become widespread among society, the more widespread they become among children.

The second victim was a woman named Selda Taş, who was shot to death by her husband in the eastern Turkish province of Malatya on Tuesday. The third woman who was killed on Tuesday was Vesile Dönmez, who was shot by her son with a rifle in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.

The motivations for the murders are unknown and are being investigated by the police.

Two hundred fifty-three women in Turkey were killed and 715 others were injured at the hands of men between Jan. 1 and Nov. 21, according to a report on the Bianet news website in November.

These findings are based on reports in the Turkish media and may not include all the cases of the domestic violence that took place in Turkey in this period.

Women’s rights organizations have for years been trying to raise awareness about the increase in violence against women that has taken place in the last decade.

Many think it is linked to the policies and rhetoric of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has its roots in political Islam.

AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has long been accused by critics of seeking to erode the country’s secular principles and limit the civil liberties of women.


Yemen in Focus: 'No women, no government' movement demands political participation

19 December, 2020

Leading activists in Yemen have slammed the formation of a new government that left out women for the first time in two decades.

A feminist movement, which has stepped up a campaign dubbed 'No Women, No Government' in recent weeks, described the move as an "unfair discrimination against women’s rights to political participation".

"We hold the the president, prime minister and heads and secretaries of political parties and forces, as well as the Southern Transitional Council, accountable," a statement said.

"Yemeni women are the lifeline and partners in the battle to restore the state at all levels. They are the ones bear the responsibilities of their families on their shoulders, of which the burden has been doubled due to the war," the movement, comprised of more than 50 local women's groups across the country, said.

"We assure them that we will not abandon defence of their right to participate in the public sphere."

The statement was released after Yemen's internationally recognised government and southern separatists formed a new cabinet on Friday, forging a joint front against Houthi rebels who have seized much of the north.

The new government was formed under the auspices of Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against the Iran-backed Houthis, who took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014.

The new government includes ministers loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and supporters of the secessionist Southern Transitional Council (STC), as well as other parties, a government official told AFP, though no women are  involved.

"This campaign was launched to implement the National Dialogue Conference [NDC] outcome to grant women a quota of at least 30% in all decision making positions," Hooria Mashhour, former minister for human rights and current member of the technical advisory group for the UN envoy’s in Yemen told The New Arab.

"That came after leaked news that the forming of the new cabinet in Yemen excluded women totally," she added.

But more than anything, she said, "this is a political right."

“We have been striving since 2003 to connect women to decision making positions and the [NDC] outcomes emphasised that women should be granted a percentage of not less than 30% in all decision-making positions.

"This means the government and parliament for what is elected, the judiciary, as well as any national mechanism that is established, such as the Supreme Committee for Elections or the anti-corruption body," she added.

More than 100,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in Yemen's grinding five-year war, which has triggered what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

While the new government brings together all factions that oppose Houthi forces, deep divisions have grown between the forces, and the Riyadh-sponsored talks pushed a power sharing agreement designed to mend the rifts.

Prime Minister Maeen Said has retained his position in the new government, which comprises of 24 ministers, while changes have taken place in several ministries, including the foreign ministry.

But these changes are just not enough for those that want a complete overhaul of the government, including founder of Yemen Aid, Summer Nasser.

"We cannot support all women for the sake of supporting women - there are some that are just as corrupt as the men involved in the current cabinet," Nasser told The New Arab.

"Right now, the government is not functioning as a government - there is no sovereignty in decision making so we won’t be able to make any changes," she said. "Even the names on the cabinet have to be approved by outside forces.

"I do recognise women must be involved in decision making across the board, but the state is not in its normal function. Until that happens, we, as women, should throw some effort into recognising the corruption of this government, start building national sovereignty, then demand the right for political participation in the top posts," she said.

"It must start from the bottom-up, not up to bottom," Nasser noted.

"Women or man, if you have a questionable background, we shouldn’t support you," she said, noting this is counter-productive and continues an ongoing cycle of corruption and bad governance.

"We must break that cycle and bring in people that are clean - anything else makes no sense," Nasser added.




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