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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 16 Jul 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Gang-Raping and Murder of Chibok Christian Girls-SOS to Obama, Hollande, Merkel, Putin

New Age Islam News Bureau

16 Jul 2014

The women will be part of a mission to secure the city of Kirkuk and its surrounding oil fields


 Kurdistan’s Female Fighters Take on ISIS

 'Muslim Women in Luton Are Prepared To Fight In Syria', Claim BBC

 Iran Army Vows to Fight ‘Violations to Hijab’

 Time to 'Drop the Knife' for FGM in the Gambia

 6 In 10 Saudi Women Find Work Hours Inconvenient — Survey

 Nigeria: Women in Da'awah Calls for Unity among Muslims

 Female Muslim Boxers Challenge Stereotypes

 Iran abortion rate hits 220,000 per year

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Gang-Raping and Murder of Chibok Christian Girls-SOS to Obama, Hollande, Merkel, Putin

Jul 16, 2014

This is a passionate pea to world leaders viz Obama, Hollande, Merkel, Putn, Jinping , Ban Ki Moon and other leaders to do something urgent before the Boko Haram Jihadists gang-rape to death the over 250 school girls abducted in Chibok in April and another set of teenagers and young girls numbering above 250 abducted in villages near Chibok in numerous other raids between April and June. Below are lists of what these Christian teenagers are facing in the hands of Jihadists who claim that they want to modify the secular status of Nigeria.

(1) The first hint of what these christian school girls are passing through was when a little boy of 15 years discovered two of the abducted girls tied to a tree, raped and abandoned to die in the forest about a week after their abduction. The crime of those girls was that they refused to convert to Islam and terrorists raped them either unto conversion or unto death. According to Baba Goni 'I heard the girls crying and telling the others that they had been raped, then just left there. They had been with the other girls in Chibok, all taken from the school in the middle of the night by armed men in military uniform' Baba Goni also said that the villagers told him that' four were dead, shot by their captors for being stubborn and uncooperative'

(2) Few days later a few girls escaped from the camp of the religious rapists and narrated that they are being raped up to 15 times in a day. According to Oladimeji Thomas, a christian Councillor working with other groups to help the traumatized victims, ' one of the girls I inter viewed told me that she was raped 15 times by 15 men in a day.' Going further Oladimeji said that ' is obvious the girl needs to be managed she looked confused. She found it hard to talk to me but after much prodding, she confessed to me that she was raped 15 times a day by 15 men throughout the time she was with the Islamic insurgents before she could escape from their den'

(3) Weeks later, another escapee christian girl who was earlier abducted some months before the Chibok abduction narrated her experience in the hands of the terrorist. According to this lady by name Rosemary( surname withheld to avoid victimization) who was captured months earlier around Maiduguri , but fortunately was able to escape Boko Haram, somewhere near Bama. She spoke to newsmen lying on a hospital bed. Rosemary narrated that over seven men slept with her every day for over two months.

The victim also confirmed that she was held captive with more than 30 other women and young girls. Rosemary that all the females were forcefully used by the insurgents as sex toys. The virgins ones and the very young girls were usually given to the leaders. The older women, or the married ones, were left for ordinary fighters.

Many of the abducted women and girls would never return. Rosemary confirmed that Boko Haram kills women for non-compliance to the sexual demands, punishes them regularly. Female hostages at terrorists' camps die from torture as well.

(4) Senator Ahmed Khalifa Zanna, representing Borno Central in Nigeria's legislative chamber revealed that some of the girls are being gang-raped and shot and the video is being circulated in Borno. According to Senator Zanna's testimony, 'actually the information I'm getting, some of them are very disturbing. Although I don't want to mention but they are just raping the girls on camera and even showing them on video, releasing it to the public'

Zanna explained further that 'Somebody told me that they were shown being raped, and in turn, it is the girl who was raped that came out kneeling down and begging the man to be patient. Do you know the reason why? They said when they rape them they shoot them. Therefore the girl after being raped, she curled down to the man, kneeling down and begging him to please be patient. So disturbing'.

(5) A Boko Haram commander who came to Borno to buy lorry loads of foodstuff for the insurgents by name Mallam Hassan Ali was apprehended in May and the sexual Jihadist. confessed to the Civilian JTF ( a volunteer group of locals against Boko Haram activities) that two of the abducted school girls were already married off to him, despite his advanced age. Later reports that the girls are being married off reached the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN). Senators Zanna and Ali Ndume from Borno State later confirmed that they are being married off .

(6) Mallam Abubakar Shekau had said in his televised video that he will sell off the girls as slaves because in his own words Allah told him to do so. According to Shekau' 'I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,'. Going further the murderer said that 'God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions,'. This came weeks after those girls, most of them virgins, have been sexually molested to heights beyond hellish comprehension ostensibly on the orders of Allah.

(6) Former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo had alluded in a controversial interview that the many of the abducted girls will never return alive (probably those being shot or raped to dead for failing to convert to Islam, and those who converted earlier and after heights of inhuman sexual molestations, decided to recant their conversion). He also talked of those already pregnant with children. Obasanjo claimed that government failed to act on time to rescue the girls and inferred that his attempt to negotiate the release of the girls was not accepted by the Nigerian government. These girls are just abandoned in the hands of Jihadist rapists.

(7) Two weeks ago, Chibok Christian residents disappointed that the over eight hundred thousand personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces could not deliver their precious daughters from the hands of the Jihadist rapists despite empty promises, resorted to prayers to intercede for God to save their children. Boko Haram would have none of their prayers, they attacked them in their churches on a Sunday morning and by the time the violence was over, nine churches were burnt down and over eighty worshipers killed, including some relations of the abducted girls

(8) Chibok is literally dead, the town is deserted, residents are hiding inside the bush, parents of the abducted girls are dying one by one, as at last count, nine have died while the rest are walking corpses. The rest of the nation sees the Chibok issue as stale news, politicians are looting treasury, including funds meant to fight the insurgents, and political spokespersons of government and the opposition are hypocritically throwing tantrums at each other.

(9) Going by the account of the few escapees, they are raped by 15 men, 15 times daily, a harrowing experience for teenagers of age ranging from 12-18 years. 15 different men raping a little school girl 15 times daily translates to 1350 different men having forced carnal knowledge of each girl within the 90 days they have been kidnapped.and if by the next ten days, when they would have clocked 100 days in detention, there is no negotiated or forced release from the den of the Jihadists, they would have been raped 1500 times by 1500 different men.

(10) Nigeria's government of Goodluck Jonathan and his entire armed forces have shown cluelessness concerning the Chibok issue and the false hopes they gave the victim's parents ( many of whom have died as a result of heart break) that their daughters will soon be back, prevented these parents from seeking self help solution. Government preoccupation is funding and winning the forthcoming presidential election, scheduled for first quarter of 2015, and Chibok abduction have ceased to be an important factor, except for few pubic relations rhetoric.

The Islamic leaders of Nigeria have equally failed to mobilize the Muslim populace to stamp out this group committing atrocities in the name of Allah, and continued to deny that the perpetrators are their members. The international community should close all differences and save these innocent girls abandoned to an evil fate by an insensitive Federal Government and Islamic Leadership living in self-denial.

Obama, Hollande, Merkel, Putin, Jinping, Please Save These girls

This crime of using multiple inhuman gang-raping to force people to convert to Islam is another export from the Nigerian brand of Jihadists, and if the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and indeed the entire developed nations do not join hand to rescue these girls and prosecute those responsible, other Islamic militias all over the world will adopt the ideology of kidnapping and raping school means of prosecuting warfare. I enjoin world leaders like Barrack Obama, Francois Holande, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Ban Ki Moon and other world leaders to either authorize the storming of the terrorist hideouts and release the girls or directly initiate negotiations to effect their release, whichever is more expedient.

Obinna Akukwe



Kurdistan’s Female Fighters Take on ISIS

Jul 16, 2014

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have moved into parts of northern Iraq abandoned by the army in the face of an advance by jihadist-led rebels. The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil met members of an elite female unit as they prepared to go to the frontline.

Morning assembly is in full swing at a military facility on the outskirts of Sulaimaniya, a city in the autonomous Kurdistan Region.

The troops look serious and focused despite the scorching heat of the Iraqi summer.

Standing straight in their fatigues with Kalashnikovs on their shoulders, this looks no different than any other training camp.

But it is the long hair tied back in a bun under caps, and the hint of make-up on some faces, that spells out the difference.

Ready for battle

This female unit of the Peshmerga - the Kurdistan Region's security forces - is undergoing intense training.

Some of its members are getting ready to go to the frontline to fight militants from the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis).

The unit commander, Col Nahida Ahmed Rashid, says the unit was formed in 1996 to fight loyalists of former President Saddam Hussein.

It is made up of several hundred fighters, all volunteers. Few have seen combat, but many have been telling their commander they want to fight since Isis captured large swathes of northern and western Iraq last month.

Col Rashid says that her female troops have been training daily and are ready.

"They've been trained with SWAT teams and with the special forces. Some have already fought alongside their male colleagues on the frontline and I'm sending others to Kirkuk soon. I was in Kirkuk myself recently."

'Areas of conflict'

The Peshmerga have been instrumental in securing the Kurdistan Region.

Over the past month, they have also moved into disputed areas abandoned by Iraqi security forces during the Isis advance.

They have also recently seized control of oil production facilities at Bai Hassan and Kirkuk - the female Peshmerga will now be part of a mission to secure the city and its surrounding oil fields.

"They've taken up arms and gone to battle to protect Kurdistan, but also to say that there's no difference between men and women," Col Rashid says.

"A lot of women are volunteering to fight with us at the moment," she adds. "They join because they want to defend other women in areas of conflict."

Capt Mujdat al-Hameed, who led the day's training, is about to head off to Kirkuk.

She is a mother of three and says both her children and her husband are proud of what she is doing.


One of the women in her unit is Awas Tawfiq. She is also about to head to the frontline.

"I'm very happy - I've been training for eight years for this," she says. "I'm not afraid, I know I'll be defending my land, I'm very excited to go."

Ms Tawfiq is a divorcee and a mother of two teenage boys.

She spends two days a week at the military camp and the other four with her children.

She says they know she is fighting for a good cause and are very supportive.

Many people in Kurdistan believe the region owes much of its safety to the efforts of the Peshmerga.

Col Rashid says families are quite supportive of the decision of their daughters and female relatives to join the force.

"I have a daughter - she's 10 years old - and when she sees the videos of Isis attacks on Facebook and on the internet, she tells me: 'Please mum, when you go to fight on the frontline, please just take me with you.'"



'Muslim Women in Luton Are Prepared To Fight In Syria', Claim BBC

Jul 16, 2014

MUSLIM women in Luton have told the BBC of their desire to fight in Syria.

A reporter from the Today programme spoke to them following concerns about the role of British women in the conflict. It follows the disappearance of teenage twins from Manchester who are believed to have fled to the country to join the fight.

The BBC say they met one petite woman wearing a burka outside the Islamic Centre, off Luton's Bury Park Road, who was waiting for a friend so they could go inside to pray.

Asked about the conflict in Syria between rebels and the government of Bashar al-Assad, she is said to have told the BBC: "I would go today if I could - whether to help or fight to help my brothers and sisters, inshallah (God willing)."

The 20-year-old woman, who refused to give her name, but is described as 'strong, intelligent and articulate', added: "I would definitely fight for them because what's happening to them is not all right. . .If I could go today, I would."

The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, based in King's College London, is said to be monitoring 40 women who have travelled to Syria from Europe in recent months. While most of them are from France, at least eight are thought to be British.



Iran army vows to fight ‘violations to Hijab’

Jul 16, 2014

The Iranian armed forces' chief of staff says it is prepared to fight what it describes is the appearance of "moral and cultural rebellion" and “violations to the Hijab.”

In a statement Friday carried by the Iranian Mehr news agency, the chief of staff said one of the aims of the "soft war" against the Islamic Republic was to spread "vice" and encourage "rebellion" against the country’s values and religious laws.

"This soft war against Iran begins with targeting chastity and Hijab via media outlets and satellite channels," the statement said.

It also criticized citizens failing to adhere to the advice of Iran’s supreme leader regarding the "cultural attack and soft war" targeting the country.

The statement also voiced the command's "complete willingness to maintain cultural and religious values and to confront those rebelling and violating sanctities and religious laws."

The Iranian armed forces' staff command, which is headed by Maj. Gen. Hassan Fairuz Abadi, falls under the supervision of the supreme leader who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Hijab-related problems are most common in the summer season when conservatives insist on punishing women failing to adhere to the traditional veil.

Several hundred people demonstrated in Iran’s capital on Saturday to demand that state television boost “the culture of the veil and chastity” in its programming.

Under Islamic law in force in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, women must wear loose clothing and a Hijab, a veil covering the hair and neck.

A police “morality” unit is responsible for enforcing the law and can impose fines or even arrest those who defy it.

But recent years have seen many women wearing a thin veil that covers the hair partially, tight clothing or coats reaching mid-thigh instead of the long coat or chador.



Time to 'Drop the Knife' for FGM in the Gambia

Jul 16, 2014

Banjul — Women's rights activists in the Gambia are insisting that more than 30 years of campaigning to raise awareness should be sufficient to move the government to outlaw female genital mutilation (FMG).

The practice remains widespread in this tiny West African country of 1.8 million people, but rights activists believe that their campaign has now reached the tipping point.

Two years ago, GAMCOTRAP, an apolitical non-governmental organisation (NGO) committed to the promotion and protection of women and girl children's political, social, sexual, reproductive health and educational rights in The Gambia, and one of the groups behind the anti-FGM campaign, sponsored a draft bill which has been subjected to wide stakeholder consultations.

Several previous attempts to legislate against FGM have failed, with no fewer than three pro-women laws having had clauses on FGM removed from draft bills. But activists now appear determined to make the final push and hope that when introduced this time round, the bill will go through.

The time has now come for final action, says Amie Bensouda, legal consultant for the draft bill. "There can be no half measures. The law has to be clear. It's proposed by the law that FGM in all its forms is prohibited. This discussion cannot go on forever. The government should do what is right."

"The campaign has reached its climax," Dr Isatou Touray, executive director of GAMCOTRAP, told IPS. "A lot of work has been done. I am hopeful of having a law because women are calling for it, men are calling for it. I know there are pockets of resistance but that's always the case when it comes to women's issues."

"In 2010, we organised a workshop for the National Assembly," she continued. "They made a declaration, pledging to support any bill that criminalises FGM. I am happy to report that, since 2007, more than 128 circumcisers and 900 communities have abandoned the practice. This trend will continue to grow."

Seventy-eight percent of Gambian women undergo FGM as a 'rite of passage'. However, after more than three decades of the anti-FGM campaign in Gambia, a wind of change is blowing, sweeping even conservative rural communities.

Sustained awareness-raising programmes have resulted in public declarations of abandonment of FGM by hundreds of circumcisers. Babung Sidibeh, custodian of the tradition in her native Janjanbureh, the provincial capital of Central River Region, 196 kilometres from Banjul, was one of them. The old woman assumed the role after the death of her parents, but she has since "dropped the knife", as no longer practising FGM is known here.

Sidibeh did so after receiving training in reproductive health and women's rights. "Soon after we circumcised our children in 2011," she told IPS, "Gamcotrap invited me for training. I was exposed to the harm we've been doing to our fellow women. If I had known that before what I know today, I would never have circumcised anyone."

With a tinge of remorse, she added: "We've caused lots of suffering to our women. That's why I told you that if my grandparents had known what I know today, they would not have circumcised anyone. Ignorance was the problem."

Mrs Camara-Touray, a senior public health worker at the country's heath ministry confirmed to IPS that her ministry has since taken a more proactive role on FGM.

She explained: "The ministry has created an FGM complication register. We've also trained nurses on FGM. Until recently, when you asked most health workers about the complications that can arise with FMG, they would say it has no complications.

That's because they were not trained. Since 2011, we've changed our curriculum to include these complications. After we put the register in place, within three months, we'd go to a region and see that hundreds of complications due to FGM had been recorded."

In March, Gamcotrap organised a regional religious dialogue that sought to de-link FGM from Islam. Touray said that the workshop was a prelude to the introduction of the proposed law in parliament.

"Islamic scholars were brought together from Mali, Guinea, Mauritania and Gambia," she told IPS. "We had a constructive debate and it was overwhelmingly accepted that FGM is not an Islamic injunction, it's a cultural practice. It was recommended that a specific law should be passed and a declaration was made to that effect."

However, there is resistance in some quarters. An influential group of Islamic scholars, backed by the leadership of the Supreme Islamic Council, continue to maintain that FGM is a religious injunction.

With a large following and having the ears of the politicians, these clerics have in recent times also intensified their pro-FGM campaign.

"It will be a big mistake if they legislate against FGM," Ebrima Jarjue, an executive member of the Supreme Islamic Council, told IPS.

"Our religion says we cut just small. We should be allowed to practise our religion. If some people are doing it and doing it bad, let them stop it. Let them go and learn how to do it. If circumcising the girl child when she's young is causing problems, then let's wait until she grows up. That's what used to happen."

Meanwhile, the Women's Bureau, the implementing arm of the Ministry of Women's Affairs, is hesitant about legislating against FGM.

"As far FGM is concerned, the position of the Women's Bureau is that there's need for more sensitisation and dialogue to push the course forward," Neneh Touray, information and communication officer of the Women's Bureau, told IPS. She declined to comment on whether the bureau thought that the bill was premature.




6 in 10 Saudi women find work hours inconvenient — survey

Jul 16, 2014

More than 62 percent of women employees are forced to consider leaving their jobs in women’s shops in Riyadh owing to the inconvenient working hours. This startling revelation was made when the preliminary results of a survey conducted by the Survey Center were announced recently.

While the detailed results of the survey are expected to be revealed soon, initial findings indicate that 70 percent of the women do not suffer from any harassment at the workplace.

More than 79 percent believe that that the current salary is not commensurate with the long hours of work. The salaries of the study sample revealed that 95 percent of the women earned about SR5,000 or less, 41.3 percent earned SR3,000 or less and 53.7 percent earned between SR3,000 and SR5,000.

The study also concluded a number of other statistical results that will help official authorities in making strategic decisions regarding feminization of shops.



Nigeria: Women in Da'awah Calls for Unity among Muslims

Jul 16, 2014

Muslim women under the aegis, Women in Da'awah have urged the Muslim community to unite and formulate a better strategy in tacking the present challenges by reverting to the path and guidance of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in all their actions.

The group gave this recommendation in a communiqué issued at the end of its 9th annual national conference with the theme "Living and depicting Islam in the 21st century-challenges and way forward" held in Zamfara state.

The group called on wealthy individuals to provide support to training of Muslims, saying it is an obligation and not a choice.

The group also tasked the government to give utmost attention to the present state of insecurity, unearth the culprits as well as rehabilitate and resettle the victims.

They called for the introduction of socio -economic policies that will create employment and access to regular and vocational education for youths at local, state and federal levels.

Part of the communiqué reads: "The educational system in Nigeria with respect to the curriculum and methodology should be fine-tuned to suit needs in line with religious, cultural and individual needs.

"Government and private schools operators need to understand and respect the God-given rights of the Muslims on issues of morality and decency in connection with school uniforms and the use of the Hijab in order not to exclude a vast majority of the population from access to education."



Female Muslim Boxers Challenge Stereotypes

Jul 16, 2014

Common Wealth theatre company return to Fringe with play designed to entice non-theatre going audience at Sandy's Boxing Gym

After glorious success with their site-specific work about domestic violence, Common Wealth are off to the gym for a drama featuring female Muslim boxers. Malcolm Jack hears why preparations will continue right up to the first bell

The inspiration for what would eventually become No Guts, No Heart, No Glory reached Common Wealth theatre company co-founder Evie Manning from an unlikely source: her next-door neighbour, a 35-year-old Muslim and mother-of-nine. ‘She said to me that she was doing boxing and would I like to go along,’ Manning recalls. ‘I was really shocked, but then I thought “God where did that come from: why am I so shocked?”’

You can’t blame her for feeling at least a little surprised by the idea of a mum-of-nine thwacking a punch bag. But it was more so the religious dimension which caused Manning to chastise herself for being so taken aback. After all, who says a Muslim woman can’t pull on a pair of gloves and get in the ring?

It transpires that there’s a growing number of female Muslim boxers like Manning’s neighbour around Britain. Their experiences inform this smart, energetic and switched-on piece, which takes place in a real Edinburgh boxing gym to a thumping live electronic score. The original title was Girl Boxer and then changed to Us Champions before the company settled on No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, a name which suggests the play is not simply about sport. Despite the setting, it’s concerned more with inspiring women (Muslim women in particular) to do whatever they want and to be whomever they want to be, dealing stereotypes and erroneous preconceptions a fat lip in the process.

The likelihood of this presenting one of the most interesting and important productions on the 2014 Fringe increases when you factor in its site-specific setting, and Common Wealth’s proven commitment to successfully engaging non-theatre audiences. Our Glass House was the Bradford-based company’s troubling rumination on domestic violence, staged at last year’s Fringe on a council estate in Wester Hailes to an exceptional response. No Guts, No Heart, No Glory will also occur on the fringes of the Fringe. Specifically, Sandy’s Boxing Gym at Castle view Community Centre in the south-east Edinburgh suburb of Craigmillar.

‘The Fringe has never been to Craigmillar before,’ says Manning. ‘Just as, until last year, it had never been to Wester Hailes. The interesting thing is that we’re making quite experimental works, but people in these areas totally get it. I spoke to a journalist the other week, and she asked “what are the barriers of getting in a non-theatre audience?” And I had to be honest: there aren’t any barriers. People want to see the work, so it’s about coming to them.’

Manning recognises that the Fringe might leave people who don’t naturally gravitate to the centre of Edinburgh feeling a bit isolated from everything that’s going on in August. ‘For us, it’s about going into an area and saying, “this is yours and this is for you”; it’s all about creating that buzz. We get local people in who, despite the Fringe taking place every year in their city, might never have been part of it before.’

Devised in collaboration with four 16 to 19-year-old Muslim female performers, No Guts, No Heart, No Glory unfolds at pace in non-linear, non-narrative fashion, through a tapestry of real experiences woven together from the testimonies of female Muslim boxers around the UK, all of whom Manning and Common Wealth have searched out and interviewed.

One of them is 19-year-old Ambreen Sadiq – a former British Junior National Boxing Champion with serious ambitions of fighting at the Olympics and one day turning pro – who proved such an inspiration that she’s been brought in to effectively ‘coach’ the girls, ensuring their boxing and their stories feel authentic. ‘I don’t see them as actresses, I see them as boxers,’ Sadiq declares of her charges, with a natural, plainspoken assertiveness and earnestness that, like so much she says, belies her years. ‘It’s a play, but I see it as a ring, and they want their coach there to corner them.’

Sadiq has had to fight to get where she is today in more ways than one. Initially attracted to the gym because she was being bullied over her mixed Portuguese-Asian heritage, boxing has now divided her community and family.

She’s received death threats from strangers over the phone and internet, and Sadiq’s own uncle has fallen out with her because of those sporting ambitions. ‘They wouldn’t say it to my face,’ Sadiq comments on the cyberbullies and disapproving friends and relatives, ‘but they’ll say it to my parents or behind a screen. It just makes me push even harder. I want to inspire girls. I’ve never really been involved in a play before but it’s great to do something different. I really want to get my story across to girls my age and inspire them to follow their own dream even if it’s not boxing. Just to do what they want to do, and not what everyone else wants them to do.’

This all suggests a knockout victory for No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, though there is one small complication to overcome. ‘We can only start rehearsing from literally the 1st of August,’ Manning reveals, ‘because it’s Ramadan throughout July and we can’t do that much because the girls are fasting. So we’ve got a two-week period in which we can put it together, and it’s going to be absolutely mad. It’s quite scary, but I thought that was what the Fringe is about. You’re not meant to go there with this perfect play; it’s about putting it on and seeing what happens. Our shows are not made until you put an audience in there anyway.’

Our Glass House garnered excellent reviews last year, and assuming the challenges of a kamikaze rehearsal schedule can be successfully tackled, Manning is confident No Guts, No Heart, No Glory will be equally as well-received. Even if that’s scarcely the point about a piece of community-minded theatre which, as she explains, strives for more direct human outcomes than critical approval. ‘The feedback from local residents makes our day. It’s brilliant to get the reviews that Our Glass House had. But the thing that makes us buzz most is when our next-door neighbour comes around and gives us a thank-you card.’

No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, Sandy’s Boxing Gym, Craigmillar Castle Avenue, 0131 226 0000, 18–21, 25 Aug, 2pm, 22–24 Aug, 4pm, 8pm, £12 (£6).



Iran abortion rate hits 220,000 per year

By Milad Fashtami

Jul 16, 2014

Annually 220,000 abortions are being carried out in Iran.

Deputy Health Minister Ali Akbar Sayyari said on July 15 that only 7,000 cases out of the mentioned figure are performed legally and the rest are carried out in places without legal licenses, Iran's IRNA News Agency reported.

He went on to note that if the government stops providing necessary services, the situation will get worse in future.

"Financial problems and women's desire to continue their studies without being forced to take care of babies are the main reasons behind the abortions," he said.

Iranian parliament has passed a bill to increase the country's population. It is while the government is against the plan.

Iranian Parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, previously said that abortions are dangerous, adding that financial problems are no excuse to carry out abortion.

"The country's population growth is desirable now, but the high rate of divorces and the gap between marriage and having a child are not good," he said.

Iranian lawmakers say population levels are dropping - and to reverse that, they want to ban vasectomies and scale back abortions.

The leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has been critical of the nation's open door to contraception for years, saying allowing women to abort and men to sterilize is too Western and that it would lead to a dwindled population level in the nation.

The Guardian reported that about 70 percent of Iran's population are younger than 35.

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