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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 28 Sept 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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‘Honour at Stake’: Love in the Time of Blasphemy, 30 Christian Families on the Run
























Egyptian Cleric and Member of Assembly Says Girls Should Be Married At 14

North Mali Schools Open With Girls Seated Separately In Back

Muslim Girl Cannot Skip Swimming Class: German Court

Madina: Child Found Murdered At Home, Asian Maid Held

Afghans Rally against Public Lashings of Teenagers

Undercover Security: The Afghan Women Taking On the Taliban

Afghan ‘Bomb’ Baby Finds New Home after Polish Troops’ Rescue

Violence Stalks Women Workers in Afghanistan

British Woman Stands Trial for Cocaine Smuggling In Bali

Muslim-Jewish-Christian Women Continue Dialogue in Moline

Tibi's Resignation Letter to Egypt's Constituent Assembly Creates Controversy

Women Lawyers Allowed To Attend Hearing of Alleged Prescription Smuggler

Indonesia to Launch First Full Women-Only Trains in October

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo:  A picture from the family album shows four-year-old Tala with the Indonesian housemaid





‘Honour at Stake’: Love in the Time of Blasphemy, 30 Christian Families on the Run

By Rana Tanveer

September 29, 2012

LAHORE: In a village in Narowal district, a Muslim girl and a Christian boy decided to elope.

Now, in the aftermath, 30 Christian families are on the run.

Sana, 23, and Chand Masih, 25, eloped from their houses in Gadowal village on September 21, and went to an undisclosed location. The girl’s family searched for her for two days before a local cleric decided to intervene, and turn the heat on the entire Christian community.

Local clerics, under the leadership of Maulana Amjad Farooqi, reached the girl’s residence and convinced her father to take a firm stand against the Christians who, Farooqi claimed, had “pre-planned” the event.

Following that, a large number of people gathered in the village, called out the Christians of the locality, and warned them to bring back the eloped couple or else their houses would be burnt down.

Christians flee

The Christians fled the village and the locals locked their houses behind them. The area’s Muslim population also took the cattle of the family of Chand Masih into their custody.

After two days, they traced a few members of the fleeing Christian community and asked them to bring back the eloped couple. When the families expressed their inability to trace the couple due to lack of finances, the Muslims sold a cow of the accused boy’s family for Rs30, 000, and gave the family Rs10,000 to trace the couple.

Teaching them a lesson

Maulana Farooqi confirmed that a cow had been sold to trace the couple, while speaking to The Express Tribune.

He said he openly warned the Christians that they have already “hurt their [Muslims’] sentiments by releasing the blasphemous movie [The Innocence of Muslims] and now with this step, they have added fuel to the fire.”

Farooqi said in case they do not bring back the girl, “it would take 10 minutes to teach a lesson to the Christians” of the locality.

He said they had arrested one man, who was purportedly in contact with the accused, but the police released him. He added that the girl’s father is bound not to take any step without the clerics’ consent.

Fear spreads

The incident took place in Gadowal village, where only 15 Christian families are residing, but some families of adjoining villages have also fled after the threats, said Irfan Gill, a member of the Christian community, while speaking to The Express Tribune.

He said the Christians of the locality went to the influential Muslims in the area once, and apologised in return for their safety, but the Muslims were firm that they want the accused boy.

Boy converts to Islam

The accused boy, Chand Masih, has sent a court order and certificate of his conversion to Islam to the police station, said Raiyya police Chief Amanat Ali.

The court order says the girl married of her own choosing, and no one had kidnapped or compelled her to do so, he added.

Ali said the girl’s family was initially not keen on registering an FIR, but one was lodged nonetheless against three Christians. The girl administered intoxicants to her family through food at night and eloped with the boy, he added.

Community blamed for individuals

Human Liberation Commission of Pakistan chief Aslam Parvez Sahotra condemned the incident and termed it “a tool for victimisation of Christians”.

The Christian community held protests alongside  Muslim against the sacrilegious film but is still held responsible for the act of a single individual, he said.

Law-enforcement agencies must protect the minorities from communal punishments, he added.



Egyptian Cleric and Member of Assembly Says Girls Should Be Married At 14

Joseph Mayton

 29 September 2012

CAIRO: An Egyptian cleric and member of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution has said that girls 14-years-old are permitted to have sexual relations under Islam and has proposed reducing the marriage age limit as a result.

“It is permissible for the girl at the age of 9 or 10 to marry,” Yassir Barhami said in discussing a woman’s sexual reproduction and his interpretation of Islam.

The Salafist – ultra-conservative – preacher claimed that under Islam when a girl begins to ovulate she is ready for marriage.

He added during a television debate on Dream TV last Tuesday that “marriage of a girl would not be a supplement for education,” but added that it “was better” to marry a girl young “than falling into sin with customary marriage.”

The cleric cited the Qur’an in arguing that any girl who is menstruating should be married and begin having children.

At the same time of advocating the marriage age be dropped to 14-years-old, he argued that the Salafist Constituent Assembly is also pushing for a law that denies “slavery against women” in the new constitution.

Manal al-Taibi, a now resigned member of the Constituent Assembly, said that this call is the promotion of child marriage and is akin to rape.

She has resigned her position on the assembly in protest to the overuse of Sharia law, or Islamic law, permeating the drafting process.



North Mali Schools Open With Girls Seated Separately In Back

By BABA AHMED - Associated Press

Sep. 28, 2012

DOUENTZA, Mali -- Radical Islamists who control northern Mali are reopening some schools, though girls now must wear veils and are being seated separately in the back or coming at a different time altogether.

The separation of boys and girls in the classroom is the latest example of how the Islamists are implementing their strict interpretation of Islam in the vast north where al-Qaida-linked militants roam.

The town of Douentza fell to the Islamists during the months when school was out, and upon returning 13-year-old Techerif Toure had to take her place at the back of the room behind her male classmates. Still, she was eager to start the new year this week.

"Having the boys in the front and the girls in the back matters little. The important thing is to study," she said from her seat in the back row by the blackboard, her head covered in a plain black veil.

Her male classmate Madou Maiga said he liked the new arrangement because "the girls talk too much and that keeps us from concentrating on our studies."

Their teacher Toure Zala Baba said she is only following orders from the Islamists who now run Douentza, located just 175 kilometers (108 miles) from the government-controlled commercial hub of Mopti.

"Before were were colonized by the French who left behind their system of mixed classes," she said. "Today we are colonized by the Islamists and we apply their method."

Douentza students are among the lucky ones, as many schools in the north of Mali haven't reopened following summer vacation.

The Islamists began strengthening their grip on the region as large as France after mutinous soldiers overthrew the country's democratically elected president in March not long before he was due to stand down anyway.

The Islamists have imposed curfews and dress codes on women, and publicly whipped those who flout the regulations. In recent months, they've also amputated the limbs of at least eight suspected thieves and stoned to death a couple accused of adultery.

The political instability and fighting this year has forced nearly half a million Malians from their homes, including desperately needed teachers. Schools remain closed throughout the city of Kidal and many are also still shuttered in Timbuktu. Those who have returned to school there are attending class separately from classmates of the opposite sex.

So far students between the ages of 7 and 12 in Gao have returned to school as normal. However a teacher in Gao, Hamadada Toure, said "I have fear that when the Islamists reopen the schools for the older pupils they are going to separate the boys and the girls."



Muslim girl cannot skip swimming class: German court

Sep 29, 2012

BERLIN: A German court on Friday refused to allow a Muslim student to skip swimming lessons after she said she was uncomfortable being so close to bare-chested boys.

The 12-year-old, originally from Morocco but going to school in the southern German city of Frankfurt, had refused to take part in swimming lessons and had been marked down accordingly.

She filed to be given the right to skip the classes, her lawyer arguing that according to the Koran, she was not only forbidden from showing herself to boys but also from seeing the topless boys.

An administrative court in Kassel, western Germany, rejected her application.

It said in its ruling that she could wear the full-body swimsuit, known as the "burkini" already used by several girls at her school, which would be enough to guarantee her religious freedom.

The family had chosen to live in Germany where mixed swimming classes were the norm, the court pointed out.

One of the aims of the school system was to promote integration and tolerance, the court added, citing a ruling by Germany's constitutional court.

The applicant would have to put up with the sight of her classmates in their swimming costumes, the court said.



Madina: Child Found Murdered At Home, Asian Maid Held

28 September 2012

An Asian housemaid in Yanbu was arrested after she allegedly decapitated the 4-year-old daughter of her employer with a cleaver on Wednesday. The parents were at work at the time the alleged crime took place.

The crime that shocked the community in the industrial town of Yanbu unfolded at the Alo’yoon district. On arriving home, the mother was unable to enter the house, the maid having locked it from inside. She called her husband who was at work.

He rushed home. Driving at high speed he collided with another car carrying a family. The collision killed one of the passengers and injured a young girl who was hospitalized along with the father of the maid’s victim. He had called Civil Defence before he left work, seeking their help to open his apartment door where his wife stood.

Full report at:



Afghans Rally against Public Lashings of Teenagers

By Frud Bezhan

September 24, 2012

Unmarried girls in Afghanistan -- one of the most deeply religious and conservative countries in the world— are often restricted to their homes and banned from having relationships with men outside their immediate families.

Brutal punishments often await Afghan women and girls who break the social norm.

Some women who are accused or found guilty of having a relationship with a man outside marriage or an extramarital affair are publicly flogged.

Meanwhile, others, particularly in Taliban-controlled areas, are tried by shadow religious courts and publicly executed or stoned to death.

But many Afghans consider these extrajudicial executions and floggings un-Islamic and unlawful.

Full report at:



Undercover Security: The Afghan Women Taking On the Taliban

Nick Hopkins

 27 September 2012

In Helmand, women are joining security forces in an effort to improve rights, and safety, as Nato troops prepare to withdraw

Gulalia Sherzad is an unusual woman with an unusual job.

She set up and runs a women's centre in Gereshk, the main town in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province, one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan.

The centre is part refuge, part meeting place. She is part tutor and part mentor to her visitors. But for the Taliban, she is all irritant: the insurgents have said they will kill her if they catch her.

Full report at:



Afghan ‘Bomb’ Baby Finds New Home After Polish Troops’ Rescue


GHAZNI: A newborn baby girl dumped on the side of a road in Afghanistan and rescued by Polish troops – who initially thought the little bundle was a bomb – has begun a new life as a treasured member of a childless family.

The baby, named ‘Pola’ by the Polish troops when she was found during a patrol on September 19, was first taken to the soldiers’ base in Ghazni province south of Kabul and then transferred to the local hospital.

“The soldiers noticed a small thing wrapped in a towel on the side of the road. At first they thought it was an IED (improvised explosive device), but when they got closer they found out it was a baby,” hospital director Baz Mohammad Rahmat told AFP.

“They picked up the baby and took her to their base and called us. We told them to bring her to the hospital. The baby was two days old and was in good health.”

Before going to the hospital, Pola was given a medical check and food by the Polish soldiers, part of Nato forces fighting the Taliban.

Full report at:



Violence Stalks Women Workers in Afghanistan

September 29, 2012

KABUL (Reuters) - Muzhgan Masoomi's attacker stabbed her 14 times with a thick blade used to slaughter animals, tearing wide gashes in her flesh before leaving the government worker for dead on the outskirts of the Afghan capital.

With a severe limp and no control over her bladder - caused by the blade scraping her spinal cord - the 22-year-old can no longer work at the Ministry of Public Works, where she was a financial assistant before the assault.

Women who pursue careers in ultra-conservative Afghanistan often face opposition in a society where often they are ostracized - or worse, brutalized - for mixing with men other than husbands or relatives.

Despite commitments to better the rights of women 11 years into the NATO-led war, some say the authorities need to do more to prevent violence against women who work, particularly in government roles.

Full report at:



British Woman Stands Trial for Cocaine Smuggling In Bali

September 27, 2012

Denpasar. The trial of a 56-year-old British woman accused of smuggling five kilograms of cocaine into Indonesia opened on Thursday but was adjourned as she was not accompanied by a lawyer.

Lindsay June Sandiford was arrested in May on arrival at Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport on the resort island of Bali after the drug was allegedly found in her bag.

She was expected to be indicted for multiple drug-related charges at the Denpasar District Court but presiding judge Amzer Simanjuntak adjourned proceedings after learning Sandiford did not have an attorney present.

Full report at:



Muslim-Jewish-Christian women continue dialogue in Moline

By Jennifer Willems

September 28, 2012

MOLINE -- When Pope Benedict XVI recently visited Lebanon, he called on Catholics to dialogue with their Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim neighbors. He could not have known that 65 people would be doing just that in Moline last Monday night and had been committed to the peace-building process since 2006.

“I know that dialoguing here in our small, little community may not solve definitively all of the problems of the world, but I sincerely believe it plants those little seeds of understanding and respect that will blossom and beautify our little corner of the world,” Dr. Talia Alvi said as she welcomed people to the Seventh Annual Muslim-Jewish-Christian Women’s Dialogue. This year’s gathering was hosted by Masjid-al-Ihsan, the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities.

Acknowledging that coming to the Moline mosque might have taken some of the participants outside their comfort zone, she commended them for their willingness to share their faith and learn about other religions.

Full report at:



Tibi's Resignation Letter to Egypt's Constituent Assembly Creates Controversy

Bassem Sabry

26 Sep 2012

Bassem Sabry provides English-language translation of Manal El-Tibi's controversial resignation letter to Egypt's Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting new national charter

Nubian human rights activist Manal El-Tibi's 24 September resignation from Egypt's Constituent Assembly (tasked with drafting a new constitution) – and her strongly-worded resignation letter – have unleashed an avalanche of controversy, commentary and speculation. Following her resignation from the assembly, some have called her a genuine heroine who took a difficult stand, in hopes that more assembly members might follow her example to protest what they describe as encroaching Islamist domination of the constitution-drafting process.

Others, however, have harshly criticised El-Tibi, both for her resignation and what they see as her "unfair and improper" resignation letter, while also accusing her of orchestrating a "media stunt" for her own benefit.

Full report at:



Women Lawyers Allowed To Attend Hearing of Alleged Prescription Smuggler

 29 September 2012

A Jeddah General Court judge allowed four female law graduates to attend a hearing in the case of Ahmad Al-Gizawi, an Egyptian citizen, on Wednesday.

Al-Gizawi was arrested at Jeddah’s airport and accused of attempting to smuggle drugs. The King Abdul Aziz University’s newly graduated lawyers recorded the proceedings during the court session.

Full report at:



Indonesia to Launch First Full Women-Only Trains in October

September 29, 2012

Train company KAI Commuter Jabodetabek (KCJ) is set to launch Indonesia’s first women-only trains on Monday, following the “success” of women-only carriages that commenced operations in 2010.

KCJ spokeswoman Eva Chairunisa said in a press statement on Saturday that eight commuter-line journeys serving Jakarta and its satellite city of Bogor would exclusively serve women from Monday to Saturday, increasing the number of daily trips that KCJ operated to 539.

KCJ is a subsidiary of state-owned train firm Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI). It currently operates 531 train journeys daily connecting Jakarta with its satellite cities of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi.

Full report at:





Total Comments (3)

  • 3 .
    It is a common problem among the uneducated and educated lot with more fundamentalistic view.
    It reminds me of the case where a pakistani couples killed their daughter because she was friendly with her english class mates
    Human has to learn the art of giving up from the animal which brings up the child but let them go in their own way.  Only humans have the nasty habit of getting attached and create more problems for themself and the off springs.
    By satwa gunam 29/09/2012 21:19:11
  • 2 .
    I agree and appreciate the comment of Mr. Ghulam Mohiyuddin Saheb.
    By ريحان نظامي 29/09/2012 15:16:30
  • 1 .
    "In a village in Narowal district, a Muslim girl and a Christian boy decided to elope.

    Now, in the aftermath, 30 Christian families are on the run."

    This is a terrible indictment of our society. Similar shocking stories can be found in India also. Babu Bajrangi, who was recently given a life sentence for the Gujarat massacre, was a leader of a gang who "rescued" Hindu girls and beat up their Muslim lovers as well as their families. 

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin 29/09/2012 14:03:53