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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 11 Sept 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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How British Jihadist 'Madams' Are Running ISIS Brothels

New Age Islam News Bureau

11 Sept 2014

hoto: Egyptian women adopt once male-dominated head wear


 Sixty British Women Join IS 'Modesty Police'

 Spain to Consider Burqa Ban

 Turbans: Egyptian Women Adopt Once Male-Dominated Head Wear

 IS Women Take up Jihad Cause on Social Media and in the Streets

 This Female MLA from India Rides a Bike, Carries a Dagger, Campaigns against Love Jihad

 Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Students’ Wing to Counter ‘Love Jihad’ Protests

 VHP Bid to Lure Hindu Girls Away From Muslims

 'I Fear I'll Never Return to Britain': Jihadi Mother Who Ran Away

 Tunisians Debate Niqab-Wearing Election Nominee

 'Helping Hands' Organizes a Ladies' Get-Together in Jeddah

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





How British Jihadist 'Madams' Are Running ISIS Brothels

11 September 2014

Thousands of Iraqi women are being forced into sex slavery in brothels run by a 'police force' of British women Jihadis, it has been reported.

As many as 3,000 women and girls have been taken captive from the Yazidi tribe in Iraq as Islamic State militants continue their reign of terror across the region.

Sources now say that British female Jihadis operating a religious police force called the al-Khanssaa brigade, that punishes women for 'un-Islamic' behaviour, have set up brothels to for the use of Isis fighters.

A source told the Mirror: 'These women are using barbaric interpretations of the Islamic faith to justify their actions.

'They believe the militants can use these women as they please as they are non-Muslims. It is the British women who have risen to the top of the Islamic State’s Sharia police and now they are in charge of this operation.

'It is as bizarre as it is perverse.'

The think tank MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institution) released a report saying that IS had taken many Yazidi women to be sold and used as sex slaves.

The al-Khanssaa brigade is a female-only militia set up by the Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria, with a key figure believed to be Aqsa Mahmood, 20, of Glasgow, who fled to the country last year.

Academics at King's College London have identified three other British females as members of the group - and say there are about 60 UK women who have gone to Syria on jihad.

Most of these women - including privately-educated Mahmood - are aged between 18 and 24, with al-Khanssaa said to be seeking out people engaging in Western culture in Raqqa.

It is believed that US hostages James Foley and Steven Sotloff were both beheaded in the desert near Raqqa - and therefore the British women in al-Khanssaa could know who killed them.

Melanie Smith, a research associate at King's College's International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, told journalists Robert Mendick and Robert Verkaik of The Sunday Telegraph: ‘Al-Khanssaa is a Sharia law police brigade. This is Isil’s female law enforcement.

'We think it’s a mixture of British and French women but its social media accounts are run by the British and they are written in English.

‘Given how small the community networks are - we know there are about 500 male British Jihadis out there - it is quite likely these women move in the same circles as the British killer of Foley and Sotloff.’

Confusion reigns over the identity of the Islamic State executioner known as 'Jihadi John' after security experts last week appeared to dismiss suggestions he was a former rapper from London.

The masked man, who speaks with a clear London accent, was originally thought to be ‘hip hop jihadist’ Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, but it is now understood to be another man.

British women are reportedly being given major roles within al-Khanssaa because Islamic State chiefs see them as the most committed of the foreign female Jihadis.

The Daily Mail reported yesterday how a growing band of young women have left their families in Britain to join the Jihadi cause in Syria.

Many have formed ‘intense friendships’ in the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Academics at King’s College said they have seen ‘a big uptake’ in the number of UK women going to Syria.

Among them are Salma and Zahra Halane, 16, twins from Manchester, and mother Khadijah Dare, 22, who is married to a Swedish jihadist.

Another is Muslim convert Sally Jones, 45, from Chatham, Kent, an unemployed mother who has ranted online about how she wants to behead Christians with a ‘blunt knife’.



Sixty British Women Join IS 'Modesty Police'

11 September 2014

British women and Islamist extremists have joined forces again, international media reported Monday - this time, to suppress women's rights in Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS) territory in Syria.

Tens of female jihadists from the UK have joined IS's al-Khaansa Brigade which operates to punish women 'deviating' from strict moral and modesty codes in the IS headquarter city of Raqqah.

Of those, four women have been positively identified by academics at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, at King’s College London, according to the Mirror. They are Aqsa Mahmood, 20, from Glasgow; Sixteen year-old twins Salma and Zahra Halane, from Manchester; and convert to Islam Sally Jones, 45, from Chatham, Kent.

ICSR researchers believe as many as sixty women with UK citizenship have joined the "modesty police" forces in Syria, mostly between ages 18-24.

Little is known about al-Khansaa, but researchers say they may be linked to the same British IS terrorists who likely killed American journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff.

“Al-Khanssaa is a sharia law police brigade," Melanie Smith, a research associate at ICSR, told the British Telegraph. "This is IS’s female law enforcement."

"We think it’s a mixture of British and French women but its social media accounts are run by the British and they are written in English," she added. “Given how small the community networks are - we know there are about 500 male British jihadis out there - it is quite likely these women move in the same circles as the British killer of Foley and Sotloff.”

The brigade is tasked with walking through the streets of Raqqa and breaking up 'inappropriate' gatherings between men and women and quashing any connection to Western culture.

At least one report, from the US-based Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, states that each woman receives just $120 per month for her services in the Brigades, and are forced to wear back robes. 

The dress code, at least, has been corroborated by Twitter photos from alleged members of the modesty squad - and show women fully clad in dark robes and burqas.

Oddly enough, women in the brigades appear to enjoy a normal social life, and to blend jihadist and extreme ideals with stereotypically Western views on womanhood, according to Smith.

Smith, like others at ICSR, has based the data on small studies of about 25 women positively identified as al-Khansaa terrorists and British emigrants in Raqqa. At least one group of about four women, including Umm Farriss above, has their own social group in the brigades.

"They tweet pictures of suicide belts but then they also talk about food and clothes and going out and other gossip,” Smith stated. “They are doing normal girlie things like going shopping but set against a context of jihadi war. It’s bizarre.”

The pledge rate from Britain to IS to participate in these brigades is skyrocketing, researchers add. Women are flocking to IS not only to join the Islamist cause, but to find marriage as well.

Women have gained greater prominence in media coverage of IS - both their oppression and their participation in the brutal terror regime. Last month, another British jihadist, 22 year-old London native Khadijah Dare, made headlines after tweeting for 'equal rights' to kill terrorists for IS.

Women's decision to leave Western culture for IS has made headlines for the oddity of the choice, as well, as international media has widely covered the terror group's brutality to women under its reign, where women have largely been ordered to cover up completely and stay at home, and forcible rape in the early days of IS was - and may still be - a common occurrence.



Spain to consider burqa ban

World Bulletin / News Desk

11 September 2014

Spain may be considering a ban on burqas as part of the country's Citizen Security Law, Interior minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told a press conference on Wednesday.

According to Spain's 20 minutos newspaper, Diaz said that it was a "good moment" to obtain "a level of consensus" to introduce the ban into security reforms.

The local government of Catalonia, which later this year plans to hold an independence referendum, has already made steps to ban the burqa and face-veils in the region.

A wave of proposed burqa bans have been sweeping Europe since the Strasbourg court ruled in France's favor in July, prompting similar efforts in Norway and Austria.

The head of Spain's Islamic federation, Riay Tatary, responded by saying the ban was "unnecessary," The Local reported.



Turbans: Egyptian women adopt once male-dominated head wear

11 September 2014

Ahram Online looks into the trend for turbans among young Egyptian women

Do you think of turbans as traditional head wear worn by men, mainly sheikhs and religious scholars? Think again!

Now times have changed, and turbans are very trendy head wear for upper class women in Egypt.

Heba Shedeed, a 19-year-old student at the American University in Cairo, says that her choice of turban comes from a certain muse. “Hundreds of Arab girls, not only in Egypt, are followers of the instagram accounts of famous young turban-wearing fashion bloggers, like Farah Emara or Ascia, whom we consider real fashionistas, presenting themselves with an ever changing bold style, dominated by the 'turban look'. These were my inspiration."

For Salma El-Garhy, an arts student, her choice of the turban look comes purely for comfort reasons. "Although I always associated turbans with older women rather than girls of my age, the hot weather dominating almost all year long makes the turbans as a headscarf, a perfect, more relaxed choice," she says.

"The stylish headscarf has taken many turns in the past years, with girls moving from one look to another. Tying a turban is simple. Basically it is the normal rectangular or square shaped headscarf that is pulled from behind the neck, across the two sides of the head, before winding the ends right above the temple," says Samia Sharbatly, a stylist and owner of a chain of scarf shops in Cairo.

Nevertheless, she says that most girls now buy the ready-made pieces, whose sales have doubled through the past summer season."They have been flying off the shelves." Sharbatly adds that for the optimum stylish look, a turban should be teamed up with statement big-framed sunglasses and "a shot of bold lipstick," which gives the look a vintage Hollywood elegance.

"Indeed women are prone to change trends and try new looks, but it is notable that throughout the past decade many "hijab trends" were invented by Egyptian women from the upper echelons of society to differentiate their style from other social categories," Dr Rages El-Khafif, consultant in psychology, tells Ahram Online. "What happens is that a trend starts, it becomes a fashion staple amongst young veiled upper class girls, and just as the tend spreads out and catche momentum grows among a broader spectrum of girls, a newer one surfaces. We have seen that with the Spanish head band, the back-neck scarf, and the same thing will occur with the turban trend, its interesting."

According to a statistic announced by the Egyptian Cabinet Information Centre in 2010, the headscarf is worn by more than 80 percent of women in Egypt. It is worn for religious, social and economic reasons.



IS women take up jihad cause on social media and in the streets

11 September 2014

THEY are flocking to the jihad cause from across the Middle East and the Western world.

They carry weapons and actively expouse their beliefs on social media.

These are the real housewives of IS.

Laws prohibiting mixing between genders has limited women’s presence on the front lines, but they are increasingly recruited for support roles as doctors, nurses and engineers.

Some work to communicate the militants’ message to the world using platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Kik. Others have joined one of several female brigades, reports New York Magazine.

Female units are tasked with catching men from the opposition sneaking through checkpoints disguised in female clothing, since men cannot touch women under Islamic law.

They also enforce IS’s strict standards of dress and morality on other women.

A woman named Umm Layth (thought to be 19-year-old Aqsa Mahmood from Scotland) is among the leaders of an all-female militia brigade called al-Khanssaa, which was set up in February.

Mahmood previously complained on Tumblr that there was not enough fighting even to satisfy male IS members hungry for battle, let alone the women.

Now she works for al-Khanssaa in the city of Raqqa, where ISIS has its Syrian headquarters.

The ultrareligious group singles out women for punishment based on “un-Islamic” behaviour.

Several other British and French women also appear to be part of the police force, having used Twitter to express an interest in joining.

These women represent a new wave of modern IS “wives”, wearing the veil while earning a monthly salary of 25,000 Syrian pounds ($175).

Still, the main purpose for women is still seen as prodiving sex, marriage and reproduction.

A militant named al-Khanssa provides advice on Tumblr to potential recruits — her suggestions include bringing a hairdryer and warm clothes — but adds: “The main role of the muhajirah [female migrant] here is to support her husband and his jihad and [God willing] to increase this ummah [Islamic community].”

IS have also been known to take less willing wives, including Yazidi refugees.

These partners have come more willingly, attracted by offers of marriages, as in the case of 19-year-old American Shannon Conley, 16-year-old Manchester twins Salma and Zahra Halane and Mahmood, a former private schoolgirl who married a fighter.

One named Umm Ubaydah noted at that many people were proposing marriage on the question-and-answer site

Austrian teenagers Sabina Selimovic, 15, and Samra Kesinovic, 16, reportedly fled their home in Vienna for Syria last year — leaving letters saying they were prepared to die for Islam.

Others joined the cause because their fathers and husbands were fighters.

Now they have formed close bonds with each other, and Western women are proving among the most committed and adaptable to a military lifestyle.

They have become known for hard line tweets and blog posts glorifying in beheadings and praising IS’s most sickening actions.

IS originally did not women to play such prominent roles, but changed their minds because they could help enforce Sharia Law, according to Time magazine.

But these women are not the first prominent female jihadists.

The extremists are desperate to see the release of “Lady Al-Qaeda”, a US-educated doctor named Aafia Siddiqui who is serving an 86-year sentence in America for plotting to murder Westerners in 2010.

IS offered to trade James Foley for her, as well as previous hostages, including Bowe Bergdhal.

She is thought to have married a man who masterminded the 9/11 attacks and is said to be “the most wanted woman in the world”.


This Female MLA from India Rides a Bike, Carries A Dagger, Campaigns Against Love Jihad

11 September 2014

Though she occasionally rides an old Kawasaki bike and always sports a Kataar (dagger) gifted by the family members of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh more than two decades ago, BJP legislator from Indore Usha Thakur rarely comes across as a fierce nationalist.

‘Didi’ to all her supporters, the 48-year-old BJP leader has caught the nation’s eye with her prescription to control ‘love jihad’ by keeping Muslim men off garba venues. She quotes a ‘survey’ that every year 4.5 Lakh Hindu women convert after the festival of nine-nights during which Muslim men enter Garba venues by sporting a Tilak on their forehead and a sacred thread on their wrist.

The BJP vice-president and in charge of party’s culture cell has campaigned for traditional songs and clothes during Navratri in the past but it is the first time that convener of Samagra Kranti Chetna Manch has included ‘love jihad’ in her scheme of things and suggested a solution to allow only Hindu men by checking their electoral photo-identity cards.

She began her activism in 1989 when she was named the Boudhik Pramukh of Rashtra Sevika Samiti in Indore. An M.Phil and a post-graduate in education and history, she has been an active member of the Durga Vahini.

“I chose not to marry. Since childhood I wanted someone from my family to devote his or her life to the cause of religion and nation,’’ says Usha, who is one of the five children born to her parents, both of whom taught English. After his retirement, her father built a Gaushala on Sanver Road, which she calls “an old age home for cows”.

In 1990, four years before she was elected a municipal councillor, Bhagat Singh’s family gifted her a Kataar, which she describes as the most memorable moment of her life. She carries the weapon even to the Assembly when it’s in session. “I feel incredibly powerful when I wear it even today”. The “inexpensive and beautiful bike’’ was bought in 1994.

She says she is associated with 100 Bhajan Mandalis and organises Sunderkand every week in Indore-1 and Indore-3 constituencies. She was elected to the Assembly for the first time in 2003 from Indore-1 and for the second time in 2013 from Indore-3. Going by her affidavit, she was the poorest BJP candidate declaring assets of just Rs 1.37 Lakh.

She shifted her constituency, much to the dislike of several contenders who said she stood no chance against Ashwin Joshi. But she won by a comfortable margin of more than 13,000.

“Who gave her the mandate to engage in moral policing? When girls aged 18 or more willingly marry into other religions how could that be objected to,’’ says Joshi.



Jamaat-e-Islami Hind Students’ Wing to Counter ‘Love Jihad’ Protests

11 September 2014

In an attempt to counter protests against “love jihad” by saffron organisations, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind students’ wing will start a 10-day campaign next month in all 28 districts of western Uttar Pradesh, spreading among youth the “real and pious” meaning of words love and jihad?

Activists of Student Islamic Organisation (SIO), which has strong presence on the Aligarh Muslim University campus and among other Muslim students, would visit colleges in the region spreading the message “bridge the gulf, bring the change” and also how certain Hindu outfits are “trying to draw political mileage out of these protests (protests against love jihad), many of which have taken a violent and communal turn in several towns so far”.

“Love and Jihad are separate and pious words, but by putting the two together some organisations are trying to serve vested interests and trying to drive a wedge between the two communities. There never had been such a mistrust between the two communities in western Uttar Pradesh towns, but it was deliberately created during and after riots in Muzaffarnagar,” Nazeer-ul-Islam, west wing chief of SIO, told The Indian Express over phone from Aligarh.

“We never do any discrimination on religious lines and this can be surmised from our 10-day campaign during which volunteers will not go to colleges only belonging to our community, but also to other colleges where the majority of students belong to the other community,” said Nazeer.

The SIO’s move comes after recently BJP’s students’ and youth wings — Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha — along with Vishwa Hindu Parishad formed a “shared forum” which would have units in all districts of western Uttar Pradesh to fight alleged conversions, abductions and mass rapes in the name of love jihad.

The forum has opened its first unit Meerut Bachao Manch, under which volunteers took out a peace march and handed over the copy of a memorandum to the local administration appealing for an immediate check on “love jihad”.

This forum plans to hold debates and seminars from September 15 in schools and colleges warning students, especially girls, against love jihad.



VHP bid to lure Hindu girls away from Muslims

11 September 2014

It might not be a word of caution about love jihad but it is a step further cautioning  parents for taking care of their grown up girls and keeping them away from Muslim youths. 

A Gujarati pamphlet has statistics and figures of the increasing number of Hindu girls being lured away by Muslim youths and how they were being convinced to get married and remain as the second, third or fourth wives in the families.

The pamphlet goes on to say  how large amounts of money were being made available to Muslim youths so that they could be trained to lure Hindu girls from colleges, schools and work places.

It describes that many a time young Hindu girls get lured by the well-dressed youths and it is only after marriage that most of them come to know about the religion when they are forced to get converted.

The pamphlet further says all possible support to parents would be extended and for that they would need to keep their daughters away from vulgar beauty competitions.



'I Fear I'll Never Return to Britain': Jihadi Mother Who Ran Away

11 September 2014

The British mother-of-two who joined Islamic State extremists after running away to wage jihad with her toyboy husband fears she will never be able to return to Britain.

Muslim convert Sally Jones, 45, of Chatham, Kent, who has spent a lifetime on state benefits, said she was now raising her ten-year-old son Jojo under the Islamic State.

The unemployed mother, who was once an aspiring rock musician, claims to have joined bloodthirsty jihadis roaming the lawless border between Syria and Iraq.

She married convicted computer hacker Junaid Hussain, 20, upon her arrival in Syria, and told journalist Dipesh Gadher of The Sunday Times: ‘I had been travelling for 24 hours… lol and we got married the very day I got here. My little boy became a Muslim too that very day.’ 

She added: ‘Becoming a Muslim changed my life. I can’t help but be militant when all they do is kill us for being Muslim. 

'You know they killed 1,220,550 innocent Muslims in the illegal Iraq war. The US and UK government - it’s that wot [sic] did it for me… It’s them that’s the terrorists, not us.’

It is not clear how Mrs Jones - who has abused Jews and praised Osama bin Laden - obtained the inflated civilian death toll figure.

Jones revealed that she had left her other son, aged 18, in Britain - but added that she will be jailed if she tries to return to the UK, saying: ‘I can’t ever go back, they will throw away the key.’



Tunisians debate niqab-wearing election nominee

11 September 2014

The recent announcement that a niqab-wearing woman is to run in Tunisia’s upcoming legislative elections has sparked debate, with proponents claiming her face covering could hinder her ability to communicate and could make it difficult to prove her identity when in public.

The debate on whether a woman who wears the face covering suitable to run for elections began after the newly formed, mainly Islamist, National Independent party nominated its face-veiled candidate.

One day after the formation of the National Independent party, its head Bilhasan al-Naqash told al-Quds newspaper in an interview published Sept. 8 of the news, which is an unprecedented move in Tunisia.

The news has not been well-received by some women who support secularism.

Bakhta Bilqadhi, head of the non-profit organization Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates, criticized the nomination.

She described the Islamist party’s nominating a niqab-wearing woman as merely “political calculations and marketing.”

She further scorned the party when she said “it does not have any real plan for women’s participation and in all fields.”

Another observer, writer and political activist Raja bin Salah, posed questions on how the niqab-wearing woman would run in the elections.

In a message written to the head of Tunisia’s elections council, bin Saleh wrote on her Facebook: “It is not possible, according to my opinion, to accept the comedy of accepting niqab-wearing women in elections. How do we make sure that it is the same woman? What if her face was not luring enough? Or even her voice? Or will her husband stand beside her to give a speech on her bahlf, like I have seen in some countries?”

Meanwhile, Secretary-General for the progressive Islamic Reform Party and Development Mohammed al-Qomani told Al Arabiya News that what the person wears should not be taken as an excuse to discriminate between citizens.

While Qomani said the face-veiled woman has the freedom and the legal backing to enter the elections race, he too described the face covering as a hindrance.

One Twitter user summed up the general sentiment when he wrote: “Legally, it is allowed, but it hides and hinders identity.”



'Helping Hands' Organizes a Ladies' Get-Together In Jeddah

11 September 2014

JEDDAH — "Helping Hands," a social, welfare, and non-profit group, recently organized an Eid Milan (Eid gathering) and Jashn-e-Azadi (Independence Day) ladies program at a local restaurant here.

Hosted by the president and founder of the group, Rakshanda Puri, the event was attended by a large number of people from various nationalities.

At the event, Puri highlighted the work of the group and thanked her group members for their association and cooperation throughout.

She also told the gathering that her group is helping around 30 students to pay their academic fees; and they have also helped seven girls.

Afshan Aftab Khoker, wife of Consul General of Pakistan Aftab Khoker, was the chairperson.

She appreciated the constant efforts and social work of "Helping Hand" and encouraged attendees to become a member of the group.

Natasha Memen, wife of Vice Consul General of Pakistan and vice principal of Pakistan International School-Jeddah, Farhat Naeem, were among the guests of honor.

The event started with the recitation of a few verses from the Holy Qur'an by Saima Nouman.

Bintul Hasan, a senior teacher of PISJ and an active member of Helping Hands” was the master of the ceremony while Tayaba Amjid, Fouzia Fazal, Mumtaz Rafuq, Tajbano and Saba Choudhry hosted parts of the show.

Noor Almas, a prominent member of "Helping Hand," sang the national song "Ye Mera Pakistan Hai" and "Main tenu samjhawan ki." 

It was followed by a dance performance by a group of young ladies representing various part and regions of Pakistan.

An interactive skit was also staged by Rizwana Haider and Maria Qaseem, who asked questions from the audience and those who answered correctly were given prizes.

The event proceeded with a fabulous fashion show by Nishat Linen, a famous brand of women outfit and style accessories, where models walked the ramp and displayed the collection as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan “Afreen Afreen” played in the background.

Taj Bano and Aameena performed a parody for the guests. Apart from it, lots of exciting games and lucky draws were held for participants and guests.

Shazia Khaleel’s Boutique, A S Xpressions and Ruby Feroza's silver and gold plated Jewelry were also part of the event.

Gifts from Ruby Feroza Jewellery were given to those who helped the group in its various endeavors by Khoker.

The winners were Mirza, Sara Rohman, Lubna Javed, Shazia, Noor, Darakshan Yosuf, Amina Iqbal, Sara Sajid, Roshan Waseem, Razia Sikhander, Fouzia Fazal, Asma Maqsood, Nikhat, Seema Kareem, Doha, Taj Bano and many more.

At the end, Puri thanked the guests and especially acknowledged Bintul Hasan, Fouzia Fazal, Fouzia Ansari, Mumtaz Rafeeq, Tajbano, Kubra , Kulsum, Almas, Miher, Amara Irfan, Saima Nouman, Khadija Rafeeq, Soana Rafeeq, Mara Fazal, Safa Fazal, Mishal Mithwani, Arooj Tariq, Shareefa, Rizwana Haider, Maria Qaseem, Aamena Iqbal and Moina for their active participation and wonderful performances.