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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 30 Jun 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Hijab-Wearing Muslim Girl Named Best-Dressed Student at US School

New Age Islam News Bureau

30 Jun 2015

Abrar Shahin, named best dressed among Clifton High School seniors, talking with friends before Friday's graduation. Any Newman/Staff Photographer


 In ‘First,’ ISIS Beheads Two Women in Syria

 Schoolgirls Kidnapped By Boko Haram 'Brainwashed To Fight for Group'

 Headscarf Ban Lifted For Muslim Women in Germany

 Muslim Women’s Council: ‘There Is Absolutely Nothing Islamic About Islamic State’

 Bangladesh Jaitya Party Chairman: Women Are Showpieces

 10 Golden Advices for Muslim Women

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Hijab-Wearing Muslim Girl Named Best-Dressed Student at US School


30 June 2015

NEW YORK: A Hijab-wearing Muslim of Palestinian descent has been named the best-dressed girl at a school in New Jersey State, according to a website.

Abrar Shahin, a student of Clifton High School, sports a black skirt and skinny jeans, ankle-high boots and a cropped white blazer in her yearbook photo.

Her make-up is just about perfect, capped with plum-toned lip stick, the said.

The website quoted Abrar Shahin as saying that “there are always cheerleaders who win and popular girls.

So I was very surprised it was me, being a hijabi”.

With her trendy style, Shahin, who holds a clothing-store job, has been shattering stereotypes about Muslims, but at the same time observing her religious traditions.

The “best dressed” vote also shows how acceptance has grown at one of the largest and most diverse high schools in the state.

The class of 2015, which graduated on Friday, includes many immigrants and first-generation students whose families hail from across the globe.

Out of the nearly 3,300 students at the Clifton High School, there are 52 per cent Hispanics, 35 per cent whites, eight per cent Asians and five per cent blacks.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2015


In ‘first,’ ISIS beheads two women in Syria

30 June 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) beheaded two women in Syria on accusations of "sorcery," the first such execution of women in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said Tuesday, according to Agence France Presse.

"ISIS executed two women by beheading them in Deir Ezzor province, and this is the first time the Observatory has documented women being killed by the group in this manner," Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

One of the women was beheaded along with her husband in Deir al-Zor city.

In al-Mayadeen city to the south east, the group beheaded another woman and her husband.

All of them were accused of sorcery, the monitor said.

ISIS has beheaded local and foreign men in Syria, including enemy combatants, aid workers and journalists as well as people it has deemed as violating its hardline interpretation of Islamic law.


Schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram 'brainwashed to fight for group'

29 June 2015

Some of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants last year have been brainwashed to begin fighting for the Islamist group, with many carrying out public beatings and even killings, other captives have told the BBC.

Women who claim they lived in the same camps as some of the 219 girls who were taken from their school in the town of Chibok last April told the Panorama programme televised on Monday that many are now administering punishments on behalf of Boko Haram.

Those punishments include flogging young girls who were unable to recite from the Qur’an, and slitting the throats of captured men. One witness says she has seen the Chibok girls carrying guns.

The claims have not been independently verified, but human rights organisation Amnesty International says their research also indicates that some girls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been trained to fight.

“The abduction and brutalisation of young women and girls seems to be part of the modus operandi of Boko Haram,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa director at Amnesty International.

Militants abducted 276 girls from their secondary school in north-east Nigeria in April 2014, with 57 later escaping. The remaining 219 have not been seen since a video was released the following month apparently showing about 130 of them reciting from the Qur’an.

Their kidnap sparked an international outcry, with global protests held against the perceived slow response of the Nigerian government, and the hashtag #bringbackourgirls shared more than five million times.

‘Miriam’, 17, told BBC Panorama that she met some of the Chibok girls while she was held captive for six months in a Boko Haram camp, although they were kept in a separate house to the others. She said they were “brainwashed” by the Islamist militants.

“They told us: ‘You women should learn from your husbands because they are giving their blood for the cause. We must also go to war for Allah.’ The ones I’ve seen are totally heartless. Even the men avoid them because they are scared,” she said.

Miriam claimed that some of the Chibok girls had killed several men in her village. “They were Christian men. [The Boko Haram fighters] forced the Christians to lie down. Then the girls cut their throats.”

Anna, 60, told Panorama she fled a Boko Haram camp in the Boko Haram stronghold of the Sambisa forest, where she too had seen the Chibok girls commit murder. “People were tied and laid down and the girls took it from there. The Chibok girls slit their throats,” she said.

Anna also claimed Boko Haram militants used the girls as teachers to administer brutal punishments. “They shared the girls out as teachers to teach different groups of women and girls to recite the Qur’an,” she said. “Young girls who couldn’t recite were being flogged by the Chibok girls.”

But she said she did not blame them. “It’s not their fault they were forced to do it. Anyone who sees the Chibok girls has to feel sorry for them.”

Amnesty says that at least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the beginning of 2014, with many targeted because they are Christians or attending school. Captives are subjected to rape, torture, forced marriage and religious conversion, according to a previous Human Rights Watch investigation.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has previously claimed on video that the Chibok girls would be married off to Boko Haram militants.

Faith, 16, another former captive interviewed by the BBC, said she had seen at least one Chibok schoolgirl married off. Miriam explained she got married after being told that any woman who refused would have their throats cut. After, she says she was repeatedly raped, and is now pregnant.

Boko Haram has killed about 5,500 civilians in north-east Nigeria during its campaign to attempt to establish an Islamic state in the region.

Hundreds of women and girls have been rescued in recent months as part of a Nigerian military offensive in the Sambisa forest.


Headscarf ban lifted for Muslim women in Germany

29 June 2015

The German Constitutional Court liberalized the head-scarf in North Rh ine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous federal state.

Two Muslim women, a teacher and a social pedagogue, felt they were being tormented because of the head-scarf ban. Since they desired to live their religious lifestyle liberally and in peace, the women had appealed to the German Constitutional Court so they could bring an important constituent of their faith into their lives.

The North Rh ine-Westphalia state`s head-scarf ban was discussed in the German Constitutional Court`s last session and ruled that the prohibition was not compatible for their constitution.

The original ban, first brought about in 2003, was based on the affect that headscarves can be influencing disruption in the classroom. Previously, it had raised questions about whether a teacher wearing a headscarf could remain neutral.

The teacher's head-scarf ban was also lifted before in Bremen. The new ruling will most likely set the pace for other states to follow suite.

In May, the Federal Constitutional Court overturned the headscarf ban saying the ban was not in line with the country's constitution.


Muslim Women’s Council: ‘There is absolutely nothing Islamic about Islamic State’

Jun 29th, 2015

The Muslim Women’s Council issued the statement following attacks that took place in France, Tunisia and Kuwait on Friday.

Attacks struck across three continents, leaving dozens dead just days after IS issued a call to arms in the holy month of Ramadan.

In Tunisia, at least 37 people were shot dead in what has been described as the country’s deadliest terrorist attack.

Tunisia Terror Attack

Image: chervonec/Instagram.

In Kuwait, 25 were killed and more than 200 were injured after a bomb went off inside a mosque as people prayed, while in France, a person was decapitated.

The Muslim Women’s Council said the attacks were a “complete contradiction to the true spirit of Islam.”

The council said: “There is absolutely nothing Islamic about IS and they are most certainly not a State. They are a terrorist organisation and should be treated as such, pure and simple. These three attacks again demonstrate that IS kills indiscriminately without regard to their victims’ faith.

“Our thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences go out to all those who have lost family members in these attacks, but in particular to the family members of the 30 confirmed British fatalities. We urge all communities in the UK to remain vigilant, but above all, to open lines of communication and work together in combating hatred, prejudice and extremism in all its forms.”


Bangladesh Jaitya Party Chairman: Women Are Showpieces

june 29, 2015

Jaitya Party Chairman Hussain Mohammed Ershad has branded women as showpieces, citing that they (women) were helpless outside their houses.

Participating in the budget discussion on Monday, the former autocratic ruler said: “We repeatedly talk about women empowerment. We often mention that our prime minister is a woman, deputy leader is a woman, speaker is a woman and the opposition leader is also a woman.

“But all of them are showpieces.”

After branding women as showpieces, the special envoy to the prime minister faced a strong protest.

Female lawmakers, especially the MPs from reserved seats, started speaking in a loud pitch.

Ershad however continued amid protest: “Women are helpless when they step outside their houses. This situation is prevailing everywhere. They [women] are so frightened that they even cannot visit the Shaheed Minar alone.”

At one stage, he was compelled to withdraw the “indecent comment on women.”

Later, the Speaker of the House expunged the word.

In the beginning of her budget speech, Leader of the Opposition in the National Parliament Rawshan Ershad, also the wife of the JaPa chief, apologised for her husband's comment.

Rawshan said: “Probably his [Ershad] choice of word was not right. I am sorry from my heart for this.”


10 Golden Advices for Muslim Women


Here are some reminders for the Muslim woman in Ramadan:

1. The Muslim woman believes in Allah and His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and manifests this her speech and deeds. She fears the consequences of her actions and is very careful not to provoke the anger of Allah.

2. The Muslim woman performs her ablutions and five daily prayers with humility and at their earliest times. The effects of performing the prayer displays itself in her personality and prevents her from any indecency or wrong-doing.

3. The Muslim woman is honoured to maintain her covering, and thanks Allah for purifying and protecting her with it.

4. The Muslim woman is obedient to her husband. She is tender and merciful towards him and invites him to all that is good. She does not raise her voice to him or speak to him harshly. The Prophet, pace and blessings of Allah be upon him, advised:

“If a woman prays her five daily prayers, fasts her month (of Ramadan), obeys her husband and guards her chastity, then it will be said to her: ‘Enter Paradise by whichever of its gates you wish.’” (Recorded in Ahmad)

5. The Muslim woman raises her children in obedience to Allah. She teaches them to love Allah and His Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. She is careful to guard them against negative influences or bad behaviour. Allah commands us:

“O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” (Surah At-Tahrim:6)

6. The Muslim woman does not allow herself to be alone in any situation with a strange man. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, advised:

“A woman does not find herself alone with a (marriageable) man except that Satan is the third party of their company” (Recorded in Ahmad)

7. The Muslim woman does not imitate men in things that are specific to him such as dress or appearance. It is related in Al-Bukhari that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, cursed those men who imitate women and those women who imitate men.

8 The Muslim woman calls to Allah amongst women with good words. She visits her neighbours and contacts others by telephone etc. She practices what she preaches and tries earnestly to save herself and others from the punishment of Allah.

9. The Muslim woman protects her heart from doubtful matters, and her eyes from unlawful things. She protects her ears from music and indecency, and her limbs from wrong-doing.

10. The Muslim woman does not waste her time. She is careful who she associates with and does not allow herself to become a backbiter or slanderer. Allah advises us:

“And leave alone those take their religion as play and amusement, and whom the life of this world has deceived. But remind (them) with it (the Qur’an) lest a person be given up to destruction” (Surah Al-Anam:70)

O Allah! Guide the women of Islam to that which you love and are pleased with and beautify their hearts with faith. Ameen.