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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 8 Jun 2024, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Indian Union Muslim League Issues 'Fatwa' To Women Cadre prohibiting Dancing After Parliament Win

New Age Islam News Bureau

08 Jun 2024 

·         Indian Union Muslim League Issues 'Fatwa' To Women Cadre from Dancing After LS Win

·         JamilahMcBryde, a New York Muslim Wrestler, Couldn't Go to the Olympic Trials Because of Her Hijab and Uniform

·         The First Female Muslim Second Lt. KhadyNdiaye US Army Chaplain Candidate Embraces Diversity

·         Mother, Halima FirozaHoosen, Murdered In Front Of 10-Yr-Old Daughter In Durban Due To Support For Palestine

·         Iran Tightens Control over Women Using AI Surveillance

·         Nine Bangladeshi Women Held InMumbai For Illegal Stay Along With One Who Provided Shelter

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Indian Union Muslim League Issues 'Fatwa' To Women Cadre from Dancing After LS Win

June 07, 2024

Screengrab from a video of Muslim Women dancing at Panoor while celebrating Shafi Parambil's (right)victory from the vadakara Lok sabha Constituency.


Kannur: A local leadership of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in Kerala has issued a fatwa to its women cadre prohibiting them from attending roadshows as part of UDF candidate ShafiParambil's thumping victory from the Vadakara constituency.

A voice clip from Shahul Hameed, General Secretary of IUML's Koothuparamba constituency committee, shared among the party's women members, has gone viral. In the clip, Hameed urges IUML's women cadre (Vanitha League) not to go overboard with celebrations during a roadshow in Panoor on Friday as it is allegedly prohibited under Islamic law.

“The Koothuparambamandalam committee of the UDF has organised a reception for our MP ShafiParambil at Panoor. Request our dear sisters to be present on the occasion. But, Vanitha League members shouldn't attend the rally or roadshow. The party does not seek your participation Onmanorama Staff

in such events as our religious rules do not permit us to go overboard with celebrations. But your participation is required in the programme. There will be the opportunity for you to offer your greeting to our beloved MP,” says Hameed in the clip. It is understood that the diktat comes in the wake of celebrations witnessed in Panoor on June 4 when the Lok Sabha results were declared. Shafi, who was pitted against CPM's popular candidate K KShailaja defied the odds to secure a popular mandate. He won with a majority of 1,14,506 votes. Muslim women were seen playing 'oppana' and dancing to 'Mappila' songs on the streets of Panoor.

It was just a reminder Hameed said his instructions were blown out of proportion. “An organisation like IUML has to follow some sort of religious responsibilities along with its political values,” Hameed told Onmanorama when asked about his discriminatory remark.

The local IUML leader has claimed his instructions were merely a call to be vigilant and should not be treated as a ban. “I have only tried to remind them that they have to stick to such religious values through a voice message sent to a WhatsApp group of Vanitha League members. There were attempts to depict the celebration of Vanitha League members in the victory celebration of Shafi as anti-religious from some corners.”

Vanitha League members Onmanorama contacted refused to comment on the matter. Onmanorama understands that they are also prohibited from commenting on the matter. MP Shafi was unavailable for comment. IUML had faced criticism on a similar issue during local body polls in Malappuram district.




JamilahMcBryde, a New York Muslim Wrestler, Couldn't Go to the Olympic Trials Because of Her Hijab and Uniform

JUNE 7, 2024

Nick Pope/Life u Athletics


On March 9, when Life University graduate student JamilahMcBryde won her first National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) women's wrestling title, no one was surprised — but the dominance with which she won did turn some heads. She went into the tournament as the number one seed in her 143-pound weight class, outscoring opponents 31-0 en route to her finals match against Emma Walker of Campbellsville University. Jamilah then put up another shutout: She won 10-0.

“It was just taking one thing at a time, one point, not getting too far ahead of myself…. Just trying to stay present and in the moment,” Jamilah said in a post-finals match interview. “It was really just pressure, pace, patience, and position for the whole tournament that I was trying to focus on.”

Even before Jamilah's dominating title win, she and her sisters, Zaynah and Latifah, had taken the rapidly growing women’s wrestling world by storm. The trio made the NAIA finals, but Jamilah’s title came with a special opportunity: It qualified her for the United States Olympic team trials, held on April 19 and 20, in State College, Pennsylvania.

After her national title match, Jamilah thanked God and her sisters; she had accomplished getting a shot at an Olympic dream, a once in a lifetime opportunity for most. Jamilah's mood, though, was largely somber and reserved. She had no expectation of actually getting a chance to compete for a spot on Team USA.

Jamilah, like her sisters, competes in hijab, the religious head covering worn traditionally by women of Muslim faith, and covers her arms and legs. Modifications to her head covering and uniform to comply with her faith would ultimately bar her from competing at the Olympics.

The McBryde sisters are among several devout Muslims in the sport who compete in a uniform that covers the entire body. But United World Wrestling (UWW), the sport’s governing body, announced on April 17 that the sisters' modified uniform is unacceptable in international competition, excluding Jamilah from her shot at the Olympics because, the organization claims, the uniform provides the McBryde sisters with an unfair advantage over opponents.

The McBryde sisters beg to differ. They have been wrestling in hijab since they were young children in Buffalo, New York. Their father, Mustafah, was a high school and collegiate wrestler at the University of Buffalo. At a time when women's wrestling was still uncommon, most women who wrestled had to train and compete with men up to the Olympic and world-class level. Given the McBryde family's faith, that was unacceptable; physical contact between a man and woman is prohibited outside of the family. So the McBryde sisters just wrestled together.

“I found there was this prevailing thought that, in order for girls to be any good, they had to grapple or wrestle with guys,” says Mustafah. “And I was like, ‘Well, that's stupid, right?’”

Though the McBryde sisters didn’t compete at school like other young athletes might have, wrestling bred a competitive nature within them from an early age. “It could get a little heated,” Latifah recalls. “I'd get beat up by Jamilah, and then I'd beat up Zaynah, but then we’d both be beat up by Jamilah.”

Though women’s wrestling was not common when the McBryde sisters were growing up, it is now. As interest has skyrocketed, 45 states have sanctioned women’s wrestling as an official high school sport. According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the number of women who wrestle in high school has grown from 804 in 1994 to more than 50,000 in 2023.

The collegiate level is now following suit. The University of Iowa, one of Division I NCAA wrestling’s most dominant and historic programs, added a women's team in 2023, and the NCAA has declared that its first women's wrestling championship will be held in 2026.

“It's just been immense — I think that’s probably the best word,” says Ashley Flavin, head coach of Life University and the McBryde sisters, referring to the growth of women's wrestling. "The talent pool is so high and their skill set is so strong because now they have access to wrestling at the grassroots level, which is something I never had, and something most female wrestlers didn't have until the last, probably, 10 years.”

That growth in participation presented the McBryde sisters with a real opportunity to compete against women in a manner that complemented their faith. After obtaining special permission from USA Wrestling to compete in a modified uniform that featured a dry-fit shirt, loose-fitting sweats, and a hijab with a wrestling singlet underneath, the trio competed for two straight years at the World Team trials, rattling off win after win, seemingly out of nowhere. The three sisters — who, in their entire lives, had competed in only one local tournament up to that point — began beating some of the biggest young names in the sport.

“They really took the world kind of by storm," Flavin says, "because it was completely unexpected for them not just to be there, but to, as the saying goes, show up and show out.”

In 2022, at the sisters' second World Team trials, Latifah made the United States Pan American team, which also marked the first time the McBryde sisters’ hijabs became an issue. Just minutes after she stood on the podium, Latifah was informed that she would not be able to compete for Team USA.

“After we went to go get medals and everything, the organizers came up to me and said, ‘Well, UWW wants to have a conversation. We don't know if you're going to be allowed to go,’” Latifah recalls. “No reasoning on why they even let us compete in 2021 or 2022, and then why, all of a sudden, that we actually did something… we're not allowed to compete.”

According to the McBrydes, they competed in 48 matches before being recruited to wrestle at Life University, all with the express permission of USA Wrestling — prior to being told, at the end of the 2022 season, that their modified uniform was illegal.

In correspondence that dates back to 2022, UWW wrote to Team USA and the McBrydes that proper testing of the advantages and disadvantages of the sisters' uniform could not be completed in time for the Pan American games.

 United World Wrestling has long maintained stringent policies on uniforms, down to the color of singlets. In a sport that is as up close and personal as wrestling, limiting the potential for fabric to interfere with grappling is considered paramount. This has led to multiple incidents in which scholastic and Olympic wrestling has struggled with accommodating diverse hair, body, and clothing styles.

Jamilah’s brother, Muhamed, lost time for NCAA eligibility while wrestling at the University of Buffalo because he refused to shave his beard, defying an NCAA rule that requires all wrestlers be clean shaven — a rule the NCAA removed just two years later. In 2019, New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson was forced to cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit a match in a viral video that made national news.

Says Afsoon Johnston, the first woman to win a world medal in wrestling, in 1989, for the United States, “I think we need to work with UWW in helping them realize and [make] changes to the current uniform so that it opens up opportunities for all girls and women from all backgrounds and religions all over the world.” Johnston competed on high school and Division I NCAA men's teams after fleeing her home nation of Iran due to the Islamic Revolution. She also coached the women’s freestyle team during the Rio games, where the US team won its first gold medal.

Johnston has personally experienced the stern nature of wrestling’s long-held regulations on hair and uniforms. In her first high school match, the referee decided her hair was too long and forced her to cut it. Although she supports a modification of the uniform that would permit hijab, Johnston feels the regulations the McBryde’s are seeking, which would also permit looser-fitting clothing, are going too far. “At what point do you go, ‘Okay, this is the sport of freestyle wrestling. We've made accommodations. We've made compromises,'" Johnston says. "'But you [the McBrydes] have to also make compromises.’”

Rather than enable women in hijab and other modest uniforms to compete in a wider world championship, UWW has opted to introduce “classic style” wrestling for use in predominantly Muslim countries, like Iran, featuring similar rules to women's freestyle wrestling that allow for a modified, more modest uniform. However, while this is an available option, there’s little to no competition in countries that aren’t predominantly Muslim.

Since Latifah first bumped up against the uniform rules, the McBryde sisters have competed in dozens of matches, each wearing their modified uniform at Life University. The McBrydes and their coaches argue that the uniform gives them no advantage; actually, they believe it does the opposite. In a sport as physical as wrestling, every piece of extra cloth, anything that might get twisted up in the contorting of bodies, can be a liability.

“A couple months ago, I had a girl grab my hijab. I shot a single and I was in on her leg, and she grabbed the back of my head, and grabbed my hijab, and started smashing my face into the floor while grabbing my hijab,” Zaynah says. “So it was just like, ‘Where's the advantage?’ There's pictures and evidence of girls grabbing our uniform, of us trying to go into something and then, like, [they] pull on fistfuls of our shirt.”

Jamilah agrees: “It's not like it changes the sport. It's not like…you can't [do a certain move] on me because I'm wearing pants. It's not like you can't throw me on my head. Everything still works, and it doesn't change the score at all.”




The First Female MuslimSecond Lt. KhadyNdiayeUS Army Chaplain Candidate Embraces Diversity


FORT LIBERTY, N.C. – The U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains commissioned the first female Muslim Chaplain Candidate in the Army during a three-day Army Chaplain Experience event at Fort Liberty.

Second Lt. KhadyNdiaye was commissioned on June 5 at the All American Chapel by Maj. Gen. Bill Green, the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains.

“I joined the Army because I wanted to do something different at first,” said Ndiaye, representing the American Muslim Army Forces. “My main purpose now is to maintain the well-being of Soldiers morally and emotionally.”

Ndiaye will now have to complete her chaplaincy training and join an Army Reserve unit at Fort Totten, New York City – and, she hopes, inspire the men and women who protect our nation.

In the heart of our nation's military, among the challenges of duty and the trials of service, there's a group of individuals who go above and beyond the traditional role of a Soldier. The Army Chaplain Corps embodies the ethos of "Our Army, Your Calling," offering spiritual leadership, moral guidance, and pastoral care that extends beyond the battlefield into the hearts and souls of those they serve.

“Army Chaplains currently serve over 200 religious faith groups while caring for the entire Army family,” said Green, “The Army family includes all Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and their Family Members regardless of their personal beliefs.”

The Army Chaplain Corps offers a non-judgmental ear, a safe space for Soldiers to express their fears, hopes, and aspirations, and a source of strength in the dynamic and often stressful environment of military service. The impact of the Army Chaplain Corps extends far beyond individual counseling sessions or religious services, as chaplains usually embed within units, offer solace and moral guidance, and contribute to the overall readiness and resilience of the force. Furthermore, the Chaplain Corps extends its care to the families of Soldiers, providing support during deployments, reunions, and the challenging transitions of military life.

Over 100 guests, including family members, attended the commissioning ceremony virtually and in person. Four other candidates took the Oath of Office, which included PrezmysalwFratczak, representing the Coalition of Spirit-Filled Churches; Alante Thomas, representing the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministry International; YuwariWisala, representing the Coalition of Spirt-Filled Churches and virtually, Robert Keys, representing Liberty Baptist Fellowship.

“Future Soldiers, you will join the ranks of thousands of military officers who have raised their right hand and sworn this honored oath,” said Col. Renee Kiel, Chief of the U.S. Army Chaplain Recruiting Division. “All oaths are inherently solemn, but when you as people of faith swear this oath, it is especially profound because, for people of faith, oaths are promises made to others and God.”

As we look to the future, the Army Chaplain Corps continues to adapt and evolve, embracing new technologies and methodologies to meet the changing spiritual landscape of the military. Their adaptability and pursuit of innovative means to foster spiritual resilience underscore their dedication to the calling of serving "Our Army." The Army Chaplain Corps remains a cornerstone of the Army's moral fabric, ensuring that no soldier has to face the challenges of service alone. Their role transcends the temporal confines of duty and conflict, emphasizing the timeless truth that there is a profound need for hope, faith, and spiritual camaraderie in every calling of service.

“Through the Army Chaplain Experience, our Army Chaplain Corps hopes to strengthen meaningful and enduring relationships with our community partners, connect with potential influencers, and raise awareness about the Army Chaplain Corps,” said Green.




Mother, Halima FirozaHoosen, Murdered In Front Of 10-Yr-Old Daughter In DurbanDue To Support For Palestine

June 4, 2024

A 10-year-old girl, who witnessed her mother’s death at their home in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday, told police they were attacked due to their support for Palestine.

Grayson Beare, 44, is accused of stabbing Halima FirozaHoosen to death and critically injuring her husband and 14-year-old son.

Police spokesperson, Colonel Robert Netshiunda, stated that the motive for the violence is currently unknown however, a ten-year-old survivor – thought to be the victim’s daughter – reported to police that the suspect claimed he was attacking them because they supported Palestine.

“The man also allegedly threatened to rape the little girl,” Netshiunda added.

“Police responded to reports of a stabbing on Hyder Road in the early hours of Sunday morning. Upon arriving at the crime scene, they found a man in possession of a blood-stained knife.”

“A woman was lying on the floor bleeding, so were two men who also had stab wounds. The woman was declared dead at the scene and the two injured victims were rushed to a nearby hospital.”

In a video spreading online, Beare, who is seen in ankle shackles after his arrest in what appears to be a hospital, is heard saying he has family in Israel and linking the attack to his alleged victims’ views on the war in Gaza.

“Once triaged paramedics found that a female, believed to be in her forties, had sustained multiple fatal stab wounds to her body and there was nothing paramedics could do for her and she was declared deceased on the scene.”

He added: “Two men, believed to be father and son, were found to have multiple stab wounds to their body and were rushed in a critical state to hospital for further care.”

AlieKomape, campaign manager of Africa4Palestine, emphasised that the incident highlights the violent and aggressive actions of some Israeli supporters in South Africa.

Komape pointed out that this was not an isolated event, mentioning multiple attacks on Palestinian demonstrators in cities like Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg since the beginning of the Israeli campaign in Gaza.

“In light of these heinous crimes, we call for calm and composure in our communities. We trust our legal justice system to swiftly prosecute the perpetrator and deliver a sentence fitting the crime,” stated Komape.




Iran Tightens Control over Women Using AI Surveillance

 JUNE 8, 2024

Iran’s integration of AI in enforcing conservative dress codes signals an escalation in the government’s control over its citizens, particularly impacting women’s freedoms. Senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Behnam Ben Taleblu, described how the Iranian regime employs a sophisticated digital network encompassing facial recognition and comprehensive monitoring to intensify its crackdown on civil liberties.

The approaching Hijab and Chastity Bill, which is poised for ratification, is expected to deploy AI capabilities extensively, particularly endangering the privacy and autonomy of Iranian women. The legislation mandates that police utilize advanced intelligence systems, including a variety of cameras, to detect and persecute those considered to be infringing on the state’s conservative norms.

Private businesses could face severe financial penalties for non-compliance with the video surveillance demands, and women run the risk of heavy fines, social ostracism, and even long-term imprisonment for failing to adhere to strict hijab regulations.

The Iranian government’s approach extends beyond mere law enforcement into a form of economic and social warfare directed at women, potentially seizing properties and crippling financial assets to force compliance. U.N. experts have labeled these measures as a form of gender persecution.

In preparation for this, Iran has ramped up its installation of surveillance cameras nationwide since April 2023, and there have been reports of aggressive enforcement measures, including vehicle confiscations and the issuance of “morality” penalties based on AI-assisted monitoring.

This movement toward a digitally policed state underscores the dualistic nature of AI and technology at large: while it holds the potential to liberate, in the hands of Iran’s regime, it fortifies barriers and facilitates oppressive governance. The international community, led by the United States, is attempting to restrict Iran’s access to advanced AI through enhanced export controls, thus impeding the regime’s repressive capabilities.

Implementation of AI for Social Control

In Iran, the government’s use of AI systems to monitor compliance with sociocultural norms, particularly regarding women and dress codes, is part of a broader trend where states employ technology as a tool of governance and social control. By leveraging AI in their surveillance tools, the Iranian authorities aim to meticulously enforce their version of Islamic dress codes.

Important Questions and Controversies

Key questions surrounding this issue include:

1. How effective will the international community’s efforts be in restricting Iran’s access to AI technology for surveillance?

2. What are the implications of this technology on the privacy and human rights of citizens, especially women?

3. Could this type of surveillance technology be misused to further suppress opposition and dissent within the country?

The key challenges or controversies associated with this deployment of AI surveillance are largely focused on human rights violations, the establishment of an intrusive surveillance state, and the international repercussions of technology being used for repression.

Advantages and Disadvantages

While the technology discussed in the article primarily serves to enforce conservative norms, AI does have the potential to provide significant advantages when used ethically: improving efficiency in law enforcement, enhancing public safety, and managing cities better.

However, the disadvantages under the Iranian regime’s application are clear:

– It infringes on basic freedoms and personal autonomy.

– It may exacerbate gender inequality and discrimination.

– It creates a climate of fear and oppression.

– There is potential for abuse of power and wrongful persecution.

The implementation of the Hijab and Chastity Bill raises concern about the increasing readiness of some governments to exploit technology for authoritarian purposes, underlining the importance of international norms and agreements on the use of AI in governance.

For more information about Iran and its policies, consider visiting credible news sources or official documents provided by international organizations that monitor human rights practices:

– Human Rights Watch

– Amnesty International

– United Nations

These platforms provide reports and resources that delve into how technology affects freedoms and rights globally. Please note that while these source URLs are verified and commonly used for reference, it is always good practice to double-check the validity of any information found online.




Nine Bangladeshi women held in Mumbai for illegal stay along with one who provided shelter

Jun 8, 2024

MUMBAI: Ten women were taken into custody by the Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai-Virar police in Mira Road on Wednesday, according to an official statement released on Friday.

Nine of the women, all from Bangladesh, were apprehended for allegedly remaining in India without proper documentation. The tenth woman, who had provided accommodation to the group, was also arrested for her involvement.

The police acted on a tip and conducted a raid in the Shanti Nagar and Gita Nagar areas, where the women were found to be residing illegally. "The woman who had given them shelter was also arrested. The owner of the house is wanted in the case. We have charged them under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Passport Act and Foreigners Act," the official said.

The authorities are now searching for the owner of the house where the women were staying. All ten women face charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Passport Act, and the Foreigners Act. The investigation is ongoing, and further details are expected to be released as the case progresses.




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