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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 16 May 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Hizb Ut-Tahrir Steps Up Recruitment of Kyrgyz Women

New Age Islam News Bureau

16 May 2013 

Three-time Olympian and World Champion Lorrie Fair hosts a soccer clinic for the Afghan National Women’s Football Team. Image: U.S. State Dept


 Muslim men 'wed teen converts by phone'

 Nigeria police uncover second 'baby factor

 Protect our children from rapists

 Crackdown over Facebook, Google posts: SC of India to hear plea on content

 Filipino Maids rush to rectify status

 Daughter's Appeal to Young Gives Nawaz Sharif Power in His Own Right

 Girl Sports in Afghanistan Stays Popular Among Motivated Athletes

 Sonia lays foundation stone of girls’ hostel at Jamia campus

 Children in limbo after Saudi father cons mother and flees

 Nigeria Accounts for 10 Percent Global Maternal Mortality Rates

 Tanzanian Legislator: Prostitution Shames the Nation, It Must Be Banned

 Kazakh Woman Wins World Weight-Lifting Championship

 Saudi Woman Tortured, Murdered In Jeddah

 Arabic learning: Where have all the men gone?

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Hizb Ut-Tahrir Steps Up Recruitment of Kyrgyz Women

By Asker Sultanov


BISHKEK – The outlawed extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) is actively coercing Kyrgyz women to carry out its radical agenda, putting them, their children and families at risk, according to authorities.

Women comprise 7.4% of HT members in Kyrgyzstan, up from 6.1% in 2003, and women committed 15 extremist crimes in the first four months of 2013, Interior Ministry (MVD) Administration for Fighting Extremism chief Emil Jeenbekov told Central Asia Online.

Because the recruitment of Kyrgyz women into HT is increasing, he said, authorities are now being forced to deal with the problem. It's a worrying trend and has a negative effect on the families of those recruited and on society as a whole.

The average female extremist is between 25 and 30 and lacks higher education, he said.

Women are being targeted, in part, because they are at an economic disadvantage to most men, Jeenbekov said, adding that the extremists typically lure women into the organisation by offering material support or other incentives.

After the recruited women are trapped, HT forces them to repay their debt by making financial contributions to the organisation, he said. If they can't make donations, they have to recruit new members.

Most female HT members are arrested for participation in extremist activities related to distribution of propaganda, he said. The women themselves prepare material, take it from the internet, download videos about terrorism and then hold meetings to spread the ideology to others.

A 2012 study of female extremism in southern Kyrgyzstan revealed that the majority of women involved with such extremist activities are typically unemployed and have several children, Tazhikan Shabdanova, programme director at the NGO For International Tolerance, told Central Asia Online.

Their involvement is "motivated by financial self-interest… and other forms of indirect financial assistance (help with debts and medical bills, distribution of food, and prize drawings)," she said.

Women useful to HT

HT targets women because, once indoctrinated, they become the most effective propagandists and recruiters, who almost always escape punishment, said Vladimir Shkolny, a lecturer in international relations at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University who specialises in studying destructive and totalitarian cults.

Women's accepted social role in Kyrgyzstan, in part, is to blame, he said. The extremists consider women better candidates to recruit because they can move freely throughout the republic, with authorities less likely to stop them for questioning, Shkolny said.

"Recruiters also take recognise that women are willing to go to virtually any lengths of fanaticism for the sake of their children," he said. "The main source of recruitment to the female wing... is the family connections of [male] members of the organisation – wives, mothers, sisters, aunts, etc., as well as the family connections of the members' wives."

The MVD is keenly aware of the problem and is trying to reverse the trend. "Our directorate is constantly working to inform the public. We hold regular meetings... in villages, regions and towns," Jeenbekov said.

"We explain to them what the differences are between traditional Islamic beliefs and the banned destructive ones. We tell them what acts are criminal," he said. "The public is now well informed in this respect."

In addition, the government has devised various programmes to prevent women from falling victim to HT and other extremist organisations. "We are attracting women into [non-extremist] religious associations. This will allow women to work with other women, conducting preventative work such as holding meetings and conversations... as well as providing psychological support," Jeenbekov said.



Muslim men 'wed teen converts by phone'


16 May 2013

A schoolgirl who secretly converted to Islam left home to live with an older man after being forced to marry him over the phone, it was claimed today.

The 15-year-old, whose British father is a Christian, is set to give evidence against seven men arrested in Mulhouse, eastern France.

All are accused of removing a child from her parents' care while running a sinister online dating site for Muslim converts.

After being introduced to young girls on the internet, men who subscribed to the site were allowed to wed them over the phone.

In the case of the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, she completed her marriage vows and then immediately left home to live with him.

Detectives believe she was forced to convert to Islam in secret, along with three female friends aged 17, 18 and 19.

The girl's father informed local prosecutor Herve Robin after his daughter started wearing a burka and expressing 'extreme Islamist views', according to prosecutors.

'She had converted without her parents' knowledge after browsing social network sites on the internet,' said a source close to the case. 'Her father, who is British, was deeply shocked when he found out what had happened.'

Mr Robin confirmed that the schoolgirl was forced to marry the unnamed Muslim man, who is 28, 'over the phone'.

It was on May 6 that the girl's father first called police to tell them that his daughter had run away.

Using a signal from the 28-year-old man's mobile phone, police were able to trace him to an address in Valence, some 300 miles from the girl's home in Mulhouse.

When police raided the property they found the man living with his new teenage 'wife'.

She told investigating officers that it was her second 'marriage' on the site, and that her 'first husband' had denounced and rejected her.

The girl is now back in the care of her parents, while assisting police and prosecutors with their enquiries.

Her convert 'husband' has, meanwhile, been remanded in custody, along with four of the seven other suspects who all face prison sentences if found guilty.

Redad Rabih, a spokesman for the Muslim regional council in Mulhouse, said: 'Islam and the Muslim community had nothing to do with these despicable practices.'

He added that such internet sites, together with the abuse of young girls, made a 'mockery' of Islam.



Nigeria police uncover second 'baby factory'

AFP | May 15, 201

LAGOS: Nigerian police on Wednesday said they had found six pregnant teenage girls in a raid on a house and arrested three people suspected of planning to sell their babies.

It was the second so-called baby-factory uncovered in a week in the west African nation.

"We acted on intelligence information and raided the house in Enugu (city) where we met six girls, under 17 and all pregnant, and freed them," police spokesman Ebere Amaraizu in southeastern Enugu state said.

He said two men and a woman believed to be operating a child trafficking ring were arrested during the raid on Monday and were cooperating with police.

Amaraizu said the girls had been "lured into the house with a promise of some money after" delivering a child.

"Investigation will unravel the details. We have to know how they came about the pregnancy and where they came from," he said.

Monday's raid came five days after police in nearby Imo State freed 17 pregnant girls and 11 small children from a home in the town of Umuaka.

The girls, aged between 14 and 17, told police that they had been impregnated by a 23-year-old man who is currently in custody. The owner of the building is on the run.

Nigerian police have uncovered a series of alleged baby factories in recent years, notably in the southeastern part of the country, but the intended buyers of the children have not been established.

Human trafficking, including the selling of children, is the third most common crime in Nigeria behind fraud and drug trafficking, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ( Unesco) has said.



Protect our children from rapists

May 16, 2013

THE alleged rapist: a 40-year- old restaurant manager, the victim a 13-year-old girl.

According to The Star and the Sabah Daily Express on May 8, the man was applying for the withdrawal of the rape charge before the Sessions Court in Kota Kinabalu as he is going to marry the girl.

Shockingly, the Deputy Public Prosecutor had not objected to the case being withdrawn, pending the marriage approval before the Syariah Court.

Is this the way our society treats underage girls where an alleged rapist may be allowed to escape jail sentence by promising marriage?

Should parents be allowed to marry off their girl-child for reasons such as poverty, culture or tradition?

Surely, laws like the Child Act 2001 and the Penal Code are legislated to protect our vulnerable children and the Government has a duty to protect them and ensure that justice is served.

When rape happens to a Muslim child, should she be treated differently from a non-Muslim girl?

Last October, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, made strong statements about amending criminal laws so that mandatory jail terms will be imposed on those found guilty of statutory rape to address the high incidence of rape involving underage girls and to protect them against such vulnerability.

The Government must take action beyond talk to stop alleged rapists and paedophiles manipulating religion and culture to escape jail sentences.

In the Sabah case, since the permission to marry is allegedly pending before the Syariah Court, the issue is whether the Syarie judge should allow a man charged with the serious crime of rape to marry the victim?

Secondly, how would a girl-child who is only 13 years old said to be “ready for marriage”?

It is well documented that underage girls who are married off are more likely to face domestic violence and sexual abuse, and that there is an increased risk of death in childbirth for young brides.

At the end of the day when a child needs protection and justice, laws and institutions have failed when a marriage certificate is used to legitimise sex with children.

What happens to society when the promise of marriage is a means to escape prosecution for statutory rape?

Can we expect an alleged rapist to treat his victim-wife with decency and respect, worse still if she is a child?

The Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Syariah Court should exercise their good judgment and discretion to prevent such deplorable acts from continuing and preventing abusers from manipulating the justice system.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) unequivocally calls for the following:

 That the Syarie judge reject the marriage application for the 13-year-old girl, due to her inability to give a valid consent or that she is mentally unfit for marriage;

 The Public Prosecutor to reconsider allowing the withdrawal of rape charges merely due to marriage, based on the existing clear facts of statutory rape, taking note of the huge age gap and the power differentials between the accused and the child;

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) prohibits all child marriages and betrothals. As Malaysia has acceded to CEDAW, the Government must take action to ensure all Malaysian laws comply with this principle; and

Immediate protection, counselling, support and assistance be provided to the victim and her family by the relevant authorities. The Child Protector should be using the full powers of the Child Act 2001 to intervene in the best interest of the child.

Laws and practices that are harmful to children’s well-being must be challenged and rectified.

We cannot allow our children to be sexually assaulted and yet do nothing to stop it. Our children need protection and we have a duty and obligation to protect them at all costs.


on behalf of Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG)

JAG comprises the following: Women’s Centre for Change Penang, Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group, Women’s Aid Organisation, Sisters in Islam, All Women’s Action Society, Perak Women for Women and Persatuan Sahabat Wanita



Crackdown over Facebook, Google posts: SC of India to hear plea on content

May 15 2013

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea seeking to restrain government authorities from taking any coercive action against anyone for posting alleged objectionable content on social networking sites like Facebook and Google.

An application was filed before the apex court seeking its direction to the authorities not to take action for posting such comments during the pendency of a case before it pertaining to constitutional validity of section 66A of the Information Technology Act in India.

The section states that any person who sends, by means of a computer resource or communication device, any information that was grossly offensive or has a menacing character could be punished with imprisonment for a maximum term of three years, besides imposition of appropriate fine.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra will also hear the plea for release of Hyderabad-based woman activist who was arrested and sent to jail over her Facebook post in which certain "objectionable" comments were made against Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah and Congress MLA Amanchi Krishna Mohan.

Jaya Vindhayal, the state general secretary of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), was remanded on May 13 in judicial custody for 12 days following her arrest the previous day under section 66A of the IT Act for the "objectionable" post.

According to the police, she had also allegedly distributed pamphlets making objectionable allegations against Rosaiah and Mohan before posting the comments online.

The matter was mentioned before the bench by law student Shreya Singhal, seeking an urgent hearing in the case, saying the police is taking action in such matters even though a PIL challenging validity of section 66A is pending before the apex court.

She had filed the PIL after two girls - Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Shrinivasan - were arrested in Palghar in Thane district under section 66A of IT Act after one of them posted a comment against the shut down in Mumbai following Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray's death and the other 'liked' it.

On November 30, 2012, the apex court had sought response from the Centre on the amendment and misuse of section 66A of IT Act and had also directed the Maharashtra government to explain the circumstances under which the 21-year-old girls were arrested.

Pursuant to the notice issued by the apex court, the Centre had informed it that the controversial provision in the cyber law under which two girls were arrested for Facebook comments did not curb freedom of speech and alleged "highhandedness" of certain authorities did not mean that it was bad in law.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in its affidavit had said that an advisory had been issued to all the state governments, saying that due diligence and care may be exercised while dealing with cases arising out of the alleged misuse of cyberspace.

The Maharashtra Government in its reply had said the arrests of girls in Thane district were "unwarranted" and "hasty", which "cannot be justified".

The state government had also submitted an affidavit stating that the Thane police SP (Rural) had been suspended for arresting the two girls despite the instruction by the Inspector General of Police not to take such action.

The court had earlier issued notices and sought responses from governments of Delhi, West Bengal and Puducherry where a professor and a businessman were arrested under section 66A of the Act for a political cartoon and tweeting against a politician respectively.



Filipino Maids rush to rectify status

 16 May 2013

Hundreds of Filipino domestic workers are flocking to their consulate here to rectify their status.

They are not part of the group of 2,000 Filipinos camped outside the consulate seeking emergency travel certificates to go home.

The women are working in the city and want to remain here. They are taking advantage of the grace period and labor concessions announced recently by the government.

There were long queues yesterday inside and outside the consulate, with workers holding their Philippine national identity cards and other documents in their hands. They were waiting to get their passports that had been handed over to the consulate by the Saudi authorities for renewal. The consulate workers have been working long hours to process the passports.

Philippine Consul General Uriel Norman Garibay told Arab News that the consulate was working long hours to process the passports. “The Philippine consulate is issuing on average 500 passports a day and staff members are working until midnight.” He said they only have three machines to process passports. Another one has been requested from Manila.



Daughter's Appeal to Young Gives Nawaz Sharif Power in His Own Right


 May 15, 2013

MARYAM Nawaz Sharif saw her father humiliatingly stripped of office and thrown into jail before following him into exile 14 years ago. Yesterday, standing in the marble halls of the family's lavish estate outside Lahore, the Cambridge University PhD student marvelled at a stunning comeback.

"This result is just incredible," she said. "It has exceeded all our expectations. But then we were following the media," she added with a mischievous smile, recalling predictions her father's party would fall short of an overall majority. Instead, it was confirmed yesterday that Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) would need no other party to form the country's next government.

Full report at:



Girl sports in Afghanistan stays popular among motivated athletes

Zahira Sarwa

13 MAY 2013

Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA, AMERICAS: Take a moment to reflect on what comes to mind when you hear or read the word “Afghanistan.” Some common things that often come to people’s minds if they have never personally been to Afghanistan include war or violence, poverty, drugs, oppressed burqa-clad women and girls who are not allowed to attend school.

Who can blame the average world citizen for believing these to be the only representations of Afghanistan when that is all the media publicizes? While there is some truth to the stories that accompany these images in the news media, what if I told you that wonderful positive things are also happening in Afghanistan economically, politically and socially?

Among them the popularity of sports amongst children, especially young girls.

At the Ghazi Olympic stadium in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, there is no shortage of young and motivated athletes. Although during the Taliban regime of the 1990s the stadium was used as a site for public punishments and executions, in 2011 the US government funded the renovation of the stadium.

Full report at:



Sonia lays foundation stone of girls’ hostel at Jamia campus

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 15, 2013

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of a new girls’ hostel at the Jamia Millia Islamia campus.

The new hostel — Jamia’s fifth — will be constructed with a Rs. 26 crore grant under the general development scheme of the 12th Plan, which Jamia vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung said had been made possible only because Gandhi had “persuaded the government to pursue our case.”

The hostel will house 400 girl students and will have a number of facilities such as triple bedded rooms, gymnasium, dining hall, multi-purpose functional hall and recreational open area.

Full report at:



Children in limbo after Saudi father cons mother and flees

May 16, 2013

MAKKAH — Three children are living in limbo after their expatriate father deceived their Saudi mother, took all her money and fled to Indonesia 15 years ago.

The mother died in 2009 and her sister’s husband Khalid Issa took care of her son and two daughters, who are all without Saudi citizenship.

Issa told Al-Sharq daily that the children could not obtain Saudi citizenship because the Civil Status Department requested them to submit their Indonesian passports. However, the Indonesian Consulate in Jeddah rejected their applications for passports.

The father cannot be traced in Indonesia and nobody, even his relatives, know anything about him, Issa added.

Full report at:



Nigeria Accounts for 10 Percent Global Maternal Mortality Rates


Indications emerged Wednesday that Nigeria accounts for 10 per cent of the world's maternal mortality, indicating that women were being shut out of the impressive economic growth.

The United Kingdom's International Development Minister, Ms. Lynne Featherstone, said this in Abuja yesterday at a media briefing as part of her schedule while in Nigeria to review the progress on the programmes of the Department for International Development (DFID).

The rate of maternal and infant deaths coupled with the increasing instances of domestic violence makes Nigeria one of the toughest places to be born female, she said.

Full report at:



Tanzanian Legislator: Prostitution Shames the Nation, It Must Be Banned

16 MAY 2013

A SPECIAL Seats legislator, Ms Catherine Magige (CCM), railed rather emotionally in the National Assembly on Tuesday at the proliferation of prostitution in Tanzania, a situation that reflects moral decay. This growing societal canker, she said, shames the nation.

The legislator was also bitter that there was no piece of legislation that would help fight the escalation of prostitution. She demanded to be told when the state would eventually be incensed by this rot and table a Bill in the House in a quest to eliminate it. We agree entirely with the feelings of the legislator.

Full report at:



Kazakh woman wins world weight-lifting championship


LIMA, Peru – Anastasiya Shvabauer of Aqmola Oblast, Kazakhstan, won gold at the 2013 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Junior Weightlifting Championships, held May 3-11.

Shvabauer, 19, competing in the women's <75kg category, lifted 224kg total in the snatch and clean-and-jerk. Her total was 10kg more than that lifted by the silver medallist, Jenny Arthur of the United States.

Shvabauer's next event will be the 2013 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Astana starting June 20, according to Novosti-Kazakhstan.



Saudi Woman Tortured, Murdered In Jeddah

16 May 2013

A 28-year-old Saudi woman was tortured, raped and beaten to death before her body was dumped on the road in the As-Samar District of Jeddah, according to Jeddah police and an autopsy report obtained by Arab News.

Two men, a 29-year-old school administrator, and his younger brother, 24, who works in the private sector, have been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the May 10 incident, police said.

The two suspected killers live in the Governorate of Khulais. The younger brother is accused of helping move the body from Khulais to Jeddah. The victim was employed as a nursing assistant at a Jeddah hospital. Her identity is being withheld by Arab News.

“We caught the two murderers on the dawn of Saturday, which is less than 24 hours after the body was found,” said Jeddah police spokesman Nawwaf Al-Bouq.

Full report at:



Arabic learning: Where have all the men gone?

Dhanusha Gokulan / 16 May 2013

About nine years ago, there used to be at least 600 students, mostly female, learning the classical Arabic language at the UAE University in Al Ain. Today the same class houses only 70 students, all women.

“Only one or two male students give in their applications to study the course. The university requires at least five students to set up a department. If you were to compare it to the 90’s, yes, the interest in learning classical Arabic or ‘Fusah’ has definitely dropped over the years. And only women show interest in learning the language. We don’t have any male students,” observed Fatma Al Braiki, the head of Arabic Language and Literature Department, UAE University.

Full report at: