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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 13 May 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Indian Supreme Court Hearing: ‘Triple Talaq like Burying Alive Muslim Women’

New Age Islam News Bureau

13 May 2017

Muslim students at Hamtramck high school in Michigan threw a girls-only prom this year for students who would normally be barred from attending the school's regular prom because of their culture



 Muslims Rally to Help Distressed Chinese Lady Driver

 No Hijabs Needed: Muslims Students Throw Girls-Only Prom at Detroit High School

 Shoura to Raise Pitch for Women Driving In Saudi Arabia

 A Cool Café Hangout for Sharjah's Women

 FO Given Five Days to Decide Indian Woman’s Application

 Explosion in Kabul City Leaves 2 Female Government Employees Dead

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Indian Supreme Court Hearing: ‘Triple Talaq like Burying Alive Muslim Women’

May 13, 2017

Advocating the need to hold “instant triple talaq” as violative of Islamic laws, former Union minister Arif Mohammed Khan told the Supreme Court on Friday that the practice amounts to burying Muslim women alive. “Through triple talaq, they want to bury Muslim women alive,” Khan, who is also a senior counsel, told a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, which continued to hear a batch of petitions challenging the practice for the second straight day.

Khan, who quit the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1986 to protest against its stand in the Shah Bano case, drew parallels to the practices which existed in pre-Islamic Saudi Arabia, where he said girl children were buried alive. He said triple talaq was the modern version of this. Answering the court’s query on whether it was fundamental to the practice of Islam, he said, “far from being fundamental or sacrosanct, it violates every good thing that the Quran prescribes.”

Related | No solid numbers for triple talaq, but divorce data show interesting trends

Khan, who had sought the court’s permission to intervene in the matter, also attacked the various schools of jurisprudence, saying “they had risen not in response to the requirements of Islam, but that of the empire…Those who overtook the state established by the Prophet after his death established the empire.” The counsel also targeted the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, saying “it had taken Islamic law to ridiculous levels”.

The court is hearing seven petitions, including five filed by Muslim women challenging the practice of polygamy, nikah halala and triple talaq in the community. The bench also comprises Justices Kurien Joseph, U U Lalit, R F Nariman and Abdul Nazeer. Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, who appeared for three of the women petitioners and the Forum for Awareness of National Security, a voluntary organisation, said the practice was “repugnant to the teachings of the Prophet” and violative of the Constitution. Reminding that the state had an obligation under the directive principles of state policy enshrined in the Constitution to provide a uniform civil code to citizens, he said “at least start with giving a uniform code of marriage to husband and wife”.

Opinion | The battle against ‘triple talaq’

Secularism, he said, was nothing but the subjugation of religious doctrines to rule of law and added that the practice of instant triple talaq ought to be tested against Constitutional principles. Former Union minister Salman Khurshid, who the court had allowed to assist it as an amicus curiae, told the bench that the system of instant triple talaq “cannot be justified or given legal validity”.

He said the practice “was sinful but legal”, prompting Justice Kurien to wonder whether “something abhorred by religion can be made law by man”. Answering in the negative, Khurshid said, “speaking for myself, I don’t think any religious law will validate a sin”. “Are you trying to restate what Islam is?” Kurien asked Khurshid. The latter replied “yes”, adding that it would not amount to legislating or interfering in religion.

CJI Khehar, meanwhile, wanted to know if triple talaq existed outside India and whether any non-Islamic country had done away with it. The counsels pointed out that many Islamic countries had done away with the practice and that Sri Lanka was one of the non-Islamic countries that had banned triple talaq.



Muslims Rally to Help Distressed Chinese Lady Driver

May 12, 2017

PETALING JAYA: A group of civic-minded Muslim men rallied together to help push a stalled car belonging to a Chinese woman, away from a busy street as it was blocking traffic.

The incident, believed to have occurred in Penang, was captured on video and posted by Muhammad Bakhtiar on his Facebook page today.

“We live in (a) multicultural society. A car driven by a Chinese lady broke down in the middle of the road, and cause(d) slow traffic at Jalan Kelawai. A group of Muslim worshippers that were attending Friday prayers moved the car to the side,” he said in the online message accompanying the video.

Penang state assemblyman for Seri Delima, RSN Rayer, who spotted the video, posted a message saying, “I Love Penang di Pulau Pinang kita semua adik beradik tak kira Melayu Cina India saling membantu diantara satu sama lain !!!”

(I love Penang. In Pulau Pinang we are all brothers and sisters. We are ready to help each other regardless of whether we are Malay, Chinese or Indian).

At the time of writing, the post has been liked by 344 Facebook users and shared 220 times.

This incident was in sharp contrast to last Friday’s case, in which a Chinese driver was assaulted by a group of Muslim men, who were enraged at his constant honking in front of the surau they were praying in.

Although the driver did apologise for honking continuously because his path was blocked by a number of parked cars, the incident left many at loggerheads with each other over the behaviour of both the driver and the men who assaulted him and vandalised his vehicle.



No hijabs needed: Muslims students throw girls-only prom at Detroit high school

12 May 2017

A Detroit-area high school located in the heart of one of America's largest Muslim communities hosted a girls-only prom this year, for students whose culture frowns on unmarried girls and boys dancing with each other. 

'Princess Prom' was started five years ago by a group of Muslim students at Hamtramck High School, an area which has a large Arab and Southeast-Asian population.

Students have continued the tradition, raising money and organizing the alternative prom largely by themselves while the school continues to host its regular prom. 

'We run it like an after-school club,' Caitlin Drinkard, a school counselor who helps organize the event, told MLive. 'We meet once a week throughout the year. The girls really carry it and lead the meetings.'

According to, the Princess Prom was created to 'create a comfortable and safe environment for girls how cannot attend the traditional co-ed prom for cultural reasons'.

Around 250 attendees attended this year's event, which was hosted on May 6. The event was open to all female students at the school, who were allowed to invite one female guest from another school. According to the website Start Class,the school has a population of 914 students.

Since both boys are banned from the event, attendees could literally let down their hair by taking off their hijabs. (Muslim women who wear the veil are only required to do so in the company of men who are not their husbands or immediate family members.)

Cellphones were also prohibited so that no photos of the unveiled girls could be posted on social media.

The prom included a special room where attendees could go to use their phones if needed.

Other than the absence of their male peers, the event is not unlike any other American prom - with food, drink, and girls dressed up in extravagant gowns and hairstyles.

There was also the added bonus of a henna tattoo artist and a photo booth provided by General Motors.

The students that organize the prom every year also partnered with other companies that provide freebies for swag bags.

This year, the organizing group also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the event and made more than $1,400 from the page. 

Drinkard said that the process of fundraising and organizing the event empowers the the girls. 

'I've gained a lot of business management skills,' Aisha Khanum, an 18-year-old student who worked on this year's event, said



Shoura to raise pitch for women driving in Saudi Arabia

May 12, 2017

It is preparing to hammer out a strong recommendation

Shoura Council members are planning to raise their pitch for allowing Saudi women to drive. They are preparing to hammer out a strong recommendation to ensure the issue gets utmost attention.

This comes close on the heels of a girl in Saudi Arabia helping save the life of a bus driver by driving the bus herself and averting an accident.

Sources said the discussion on the Interior Ministry's report was deferred on Monday by the Council to include the issue of women driving. It might take place before Ramadan now, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Sources said the Council's security committee is yet to draft a recommendation approving women driving to be included in the report. Last December, the Council members had turned down the recommendations made by the security committee as it didn't talk about women driving.

The Council had discussed the issue in its previous meeting which saw participation from 30 women.

In 2013, two members - Latifa Al-Shaalan and Haya Al-Manie - had taken up the issue of women driving for the first time. However, the security committee dubbed it inappropriate.

In April 2016, the two women members floated the matter again and called for amendment of the traffic law and to issue driving licenses to women too. But the Council's consultants rejected it again.



A cool café hangout for Sharjah's women

May 13, 2017

Local women girls can explore new ways of engaging with their community and sharpen interpersonal skills here

An exclusive spot for the UAE's young ladies and female public to hang out and meet likeminded peers, the 'Sajaya Café' was recently inaugurated by the Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah (Sajaya), a pioneer organisation in the emirate specialised in developing the skills and talent of young ladies in the presence of Sheikha Aisha Khalid Al Qasimi, director of Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah.

The Café is located at Sajaya's HQ in Al Qarayen, Sharjah, and is a step forward in the organisation's commitment to enhance the opportunities for young women to lead healthy and socially fulfilling lives.

Visitors to the Café will be offered an array of healthy gastronomic delights alongside a platform to enhance their communication skills and creativity. Here, the girls will be able to explore new ways of engaging with their community and, as a result, sharpen their interpersonal skills - qualities essential for realising one's true potential in life.

The café's menu crafted by a team of chefs with international expertise was unveiled, and includes an array of dishes, salads, desserts as well as a selection of hot and cold beverages specially created to satiate diverse tastes, as well as meet nutritional needs.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council; Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, director of FUNN and Director of Sharjah International Children's Film Festival (SICFF); and Reem BinKaram, Director of 'NAMA' Women Advancement Establishment, among others. The attendees were excited about this new initiative, and look forward to making the most of the added service Sajaya's facilities.

"Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, since its inception, has provided women an attractive environment and state-of-the-art facilities to nurture their full potential, to be able to function as leading citizens of society," said Sheikha Aisha Al Qasimi. "The new "Sajaya Café" will not only provide the visitors a beautiful space to express themselves and share their ideas and aspirations, but also train them on the important values of living a quality life, making healthy choices, and grow up to be confident and positive individuals in society."

Sheikha Aisha emphasised that the idea of Sajaya Café formed part of the ongoing development process of the organisation's facilities in the main building, with the aim of transforming it into a high scale development institution. It focuses on supporting the young ladies at the different aspect of their lives.

Originally founded in 2004 under the umbrella of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs as a subsidiary department of Sharjah Children Centres, then Sajaya Young Ladies became an independent body in 2012 to specially focus on the development of young ladies aged 13-18, based on the vision of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Chairperson of the Rubu' Qarn Foundation for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators. Sajaya Young Ladies was launched again in November 2014 with a deeper mission and vision, and a brand-new identity.

Sajaya's mission is to create a generation of promising young ladies capable of making the most of their futures and realise their complete potential with the distinctive skills and creative thought process.



FO given five days to decide Indian woman’s application


May 13, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed the Foreign Office (FO) to make a decision within five days regarding Uzma Ahmed’s application to return to India.

Through her counsel, Uzma filed a petition in the IHC seeking the court’s help in returning to India, exemption from police reporting and security from Islamabad to Wagah.

She has cited the foreign affairs secretary and her alleged husband, Tahir Khan as respondents in the petition.

When the case was taken up, her counsel informed the court the petitioner was currently residing in the Indian High Commission and wants to go back so she can see her daughter from an earlier marriage who is a thalassaemia patient.

He told the court that the petitioner feared arrest by the local police and that she should therefore be exempted from police reporting.

Indian citizen has asked IHC for help in returning to India, exemption from police reporting and security from Islamabad to Wagah

IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani remarked that the petitioner has a valid visa and will not be arrested just because she is an Indian citizen.

The counsel said that “Uzma is granted visa to the extent of Buner only”.

In the petition, Uzma has claimed that Tahir ‘sexually assaulted’ her in ‘connivance with his friends’. She has said she was intimidated and compelled to marry Tahir, who is already married and has four children.

The petition goes on to say that Uzma managed to escape and intimated officers of the Indian High Commission when she went there.

Uzma reportedly told the officials she will be killed by Tahir or will commit suicide if she is not allowed to stay in the high commission.

The counsel said the Indian High Commission has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to facilitate the petitioner and issue her duplicate immigrations sheets expeditiously, which is a pre-requisite travelling document along with a visa to present before the immigration officials at Wagah Border in Lahore.

He added that the ministry did not reply to several request made by the petitioner through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, the first secretary at the Indian High Commission who was accompanying Uzma, Piyush Singh was caught taking pictures of the judge and the court proceedings in the courtroom of Justice Kayani.

A police official, Syed Jaffar Hussein Shah, took notice and seized the mobile phone of the senior Indian diplomat while he was taking pictures of the judge during the hearing of the case filed by the Indian citizen.

The IHC judge ordered for Mr Singh’s phone to be confiscated when the incident was brought to his incident.

He later ordered for the phone to be returned to the diplomat after he tendered an unconditional apology.



Explosion in Kabul city leaves 2 female government employees dead

May 13 2017

At least two people were killed in an explosion in capital Kabul earlier today, the security officials said.

The incident took place in the vicinity of the 16th police district of the city after a magnetic bomb planted in a vehicle went off.

The head of the Criminal Investigation Department Mohammad Salim Almas confirmed the incident and said the incident took place after a magnetic bomb planted in the vehicle of the water supply directorate went off, leaving two female employees of the directorate dead.

No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident so far.

This comes as at least 8 people were killed in a suicide attack in capital Kabul nearly ten days ago.

The incident took place in the vicinity of Macroryan area of the city after a suicide bomber targeted a vehicle convoy of the coalition forces.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan, ISIS Khurasan, claimed responsibility behind the incident.

The group claimed that eight foreign soldiers were killed in the attack but the Afghan government denied the claims by the terror group and said only 8 civilians were killed.

Officials in the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan said at least 25 civilians were also wounded in the attack.




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