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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 21 Sept 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Is ISIS Selling Iraqi Yazidi Sex Slaves In Saudi Arabia?

New Age Islam News Bureau

21 Sept 2016

The Iraqi militias claim the women are sold at auction. File picture


 The Pilgrimage to Mecca from a Woman’s Perspective 

 ‘Muslim Women More Susceptible To Violence in West’

 Muslim Women Face German Job Barriers - Discrimination Study

 Ten Years On From Straw's Veil Comments More Young Muslim Girls Are Wearing the Niqab

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Is ISIS Selling Iraqi Yazidi Sex Slaves In Saudi Arabia?

20th September 2016

The horrifying discovery was unveiled when a jihadi was killed in fighting at the town of Al-Shirqat, which was taken over by the terror group in 2014.

Members of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Units, a state-sponsored militia fighting to liberate the town, recovered his mobile phone and claimed to have found horrifying images of the sickening trade.

The Arab nation is part of the international coalition fighting Islamic State alongside the UK and US but wealthy Saudis have been accused of sponsoring the terror group for years.

Britain also sells weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns the hard-line Muslim nation is committing war crimes in Yemen – and it “seems inevitable” they involve UK weapons according to a report leaked earlier this month.

The kingdom has also faced numerous accusations of human rights abuses, including torture, degrading punishments and savage executions.

A spokesman for the PMU told Sun Online: “Our investigation officer was appalled at the set of images involving what we believe to be an Iraqi Yazidi (an ethnic minority in the region) woman taken as sex slave.

"Images were of the auction in Saudi Arabia of the woman and sexually explicit materials of the fighter and the woman in a hotel.

"Location data was observed on the image file as enabled by default on many smart phones.

"Further images involved ISIS members in Iraqi areas occupied by ISIS including Mosul and Baiji which indicates this fighter has been with ISIS for a long period of time as Baiji was liberated by us months ago."

The fighters are now desperately trying to track down the woman's family and launch a rescue attempt.

"We are engaging with our Yazidi members to find the family of the woman, location and health status," the spokesman added.

"We hope to liberate her and all Iraqi women taken as sexual slaves by ISIS within Iraq or outside of Iraq as their basic human rights are being denied.

"We cannot allow this, as the force dedicated to the defence of Iraqi citizens."

Sadly, it is not the first time the accusation that ISIS sells rape victims to Saudi Arabians has emerged.

An 18-year-old Yazidi sex slave who escaped ISIS claims she was sold in an international auction.

The teenager, Jinan, was abducted from her village in Northern Iraq last year when ISIS troops stormed her village and took her prisoner before torturing and sexually abusing her and the other captives in the terror group’s stronghold of Mosul.

She said said dozens of women were being held in a large room, and it was not only Iraqis and Syrians trading women but also Saudis and Westerners, whose actual nationality was not clear.

Potential buyers, she wrote in her book 'Daesh's Slave' would inspect the women "like livestock".

The Saudi Ministry of Justice has been approached for a comment.



The Pilgrimage to Mecca from a Woman’s Perspective 

20 SEP 2016

The annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the “Hajj,” sees a massive gathering of Muslims at the holy place. This gathering is a meeting point for Muslims from all ethnic groups, countries and cultural backgrounds. Hajj is a religious journey that every Muslim, male and female, has to undergo at least once in his or her lifetime. In a religion that non-adherents view as being highly patriarchal and discriminatory in terms of gender, how exactly does the woman pilgrim fit in this religious obligation? The Pilgrimage to Mecca from a Woman’s Perspective TWEET THIS Muslim scholars note that pilgrims of both sexes are given equal rights in the Hajj. However, certain differences do exist, which scholars note, are in place to protect women and not to suppress them. For one, a woman pilgrim has to be accompanied by a “Mahram,” a male Muslim partner. Without a Mahram, the pilgrimage of a woman is not considered valid. In fact the Saudi government does not allow women below the age of 45 to undertake the pilgrimage if they do not have a male guardian. Exceptions are made for women over 45, in which case they can do the Hajj accompanied by an older woman. In all other ways men and women are treated fairly equal. It is interesting to note that while in Muslim places of worship everywhere in the world separate spaces are allotted for worshipers of either sexes, the same is not true of Hajj. During the pilgrimage, men and women are allowed to roam freely together. This includes going around the “Kaaba” seven times, throwing stones at the “devil',” climbing the sacred mountain and other such rites. Dress code is relaxed for women pilgrims. One of the most special features is that women are not required to cover their faces with veils or their hands with gloves. Besides this, women are allowed to wear whatever clothes they want, irrespective of color. However, the clothes must be faithful to religious requirements of modesty and Islamic decency. Despite what is generally understood of Islam's take on the rights of women, experts on Islamic theology have often argued that women have an equal place in the Islam. In fact, the Prophet is believed to have urged equal and fair treatment of women during his final sermon before passing away. Muslim women have equal rights to education, to become scholars and even experts on Islamic law.



‘Muslim Women More Susceptible To Violence In West’

Wed Sep 21, 2016

Press TV has conducted an interview with Anthony Hall, a professor at Lethbridge University, to discuss a new study in Germany, revealing job discrimination against Muslim women amid a rising wave of Islamophobia in the country.

Here is a rough transcription of the interview:

Press TV: Are you at all surprised by the findings of this study?

Hall: Of course it is not surprising. The situation in Europe and especially Germany now, since the arrival of the huge migrant infusion, has changed. The situation for all the immigrants who went through procedures to come into the country and of course [for] Islamic women [who] are especially hard hit because of the dress code [which] makes it more obvious who is or is not [a] Muslim. So this is a factor as well.

Here in Canada, I think women who wear Islamic clothing tend to be more susceptible, more targeted, to violence actually than men. So unfortunately, this is an expression of a well-developed pattern.

Press TV: What does this say about the trajectory that German society is headed in?

Hall: The German society has been subjected to a shock. We just heard about the European Union and the trade deals and how people feel left out and betrayed by their elites and the fact that this migration happens outside the proper political processes and people were sort of surprised by the sudden infusion of migrants. It is not all from Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan and it is largely from Africa, South of the Sahara, I discovered when I was in Germany recently. So this is a misrepresentation that should be addressed. I have heard it before on Press TV.

So all in all, we are dealing with a situation where in Europe there is a sense that things should be secular, especially in the government public sphere. There should be no special treatment or appearance of special treatment to any particular religious group. Obviously, this comes against other perceptions and other orientations to the state, to legitimacy, to how culture and society should operate.

Press TV: Germany needs these immigrants or refugees as well for the sake of its economy and its ageing population and shrinking workforce. It is not so much as an attack on secularism, is it? Because not all of these refugees are Muslim and they are not taking over government posts or government institutions?

Hall: Yes, there is a variety of areas, of course, in the work sphere. This is an issue that has arguments on both sides. But can Germany develop a sense of itself as a partly Muslim country? And, of course, this challenge to globalize our perceptions and to develop higher, more inclusive pictures of ourselves while retaining some sort of respect and embrace of our various heritages and traditions and nevertheless adapting to the other and to our closer proximity and our mixing emerging identities? This is a challenge all over the world. 

Press TV: Would you say that this xenophobia from European society, not just Germany, is a direct result of this refugee crisis or did it exist from before and is now only coming to the fore because of the presence of these refugees?

Hall: Xenophobia is as old as human kind. But without a doubt, this new situation [has been] funded by the George Soroses of the world. It is not really even a government decision. It –the situation] seems, at some level, to have to do with, for instance, Rothschild banking interests. But the reality [is] that in the industrialized world, people do not procreate, that every two people usually do not create two other people to renew the population. [Therefore] immigration is necessary and, in many ways, a positive development and necessary to grow economies and keep political economies in a healthy situation.

That is an important point that Europe does need an infusion of younger people willing to move into the economy, including jobs, and this has to be embraced and accommodated and in fact celebrated on some level.



Muslim Women Face German Job Barriers - Discrimination Study

20 September 2016

A university researcher sent 1,500 identical CVs to German firms - except that some bore the name Meryem Ozturk and others the name Sandra Bauer.

In 18.8% of cases Sandra Bauer was invited for interview, whereas the figure for Meryem was just 13.5%.

When the photo of Meryem showed her in a headscarf only 4.2% invited her.

The study was published by the Institute for the Study of Labour, in Bonn. The researcher was Doris Weichselbaumer from the University of Linz, in Austria.

The findings are especially significant in light of Germany's current efforts to integrate record numbers of Muslim migrants, many of them refugees from the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

More than a million asylum seekers reached Germany last year, and there has been a backlash from nationalist groups, especially Pegida and Alternative for Germany (AfD).

With an estimated three million people of Turkish origin, Germany is home to the largest Turkish diaspora.

'Modern-looking' headscarf

In her study, Ms Weichselbaumer said that "a very modern binding of the headscarf was chosen to signal that the applicant was a young, modern woman who could easily fit into a secular environment".

It is normal in Germany to attach a photo to a job application, she pointed out.

The result of the experiment "implies that the candidate with the headscarf had to send 4.5 times as many applications as an identical applicant with a German name and no headscarf to receive the same number of callbacks for interview", she said.

Discrimination appeared to intensify when the job required a higher skill level. When Ms Ozturk in a headscarf was applying for a secretarial job she had to send off 3.5 times more applications than Ms Bauer. For the post of chief accountant Ms Ozturk had to make 7.6 times more applications.

Ms Weichselbaumer has found similar levels of discrimination in Austria. A female Nigerian job applicant was only half as successful as an Austrian woman in getting invitations to interview, her research showed in 2013.



Ten Years On From Straw's Veil Comments More Young Muslim Girls Are Wearing The Niqab

20 SEP 2016

Nearly ten years ago MP Jack Straw pointed out the growing number of women wearing the veils in his constituency of Blackburn.

A year after the 7/7 attacks on British soils the British media were quick to latch upon the issue and for months afterwards the veil, the burka, the niqab were terms used over and over again in countless reports.

Mr Straw stood by his comments despite local politicians in his own community being a little apprehensive about the argument.

It was all well for Mr Straw to say something about community cohesion but how dare he say something against the female head garment.

At the time he was vilified in some quarters of the Muslim community whilst at the same time large parts of the mainstream media were quick to commend him for raising the issue.

He had pointed out that the veil was hindering integration as it was a visible sign of segregation. He also admitted he asked women to remove the veil when he had an MP’s surgery.

At the time the comments were part of a barrage of opinions many mixed into anti-Muslim sentiments.

Ten years later the dress of Muslim women remains a contentious issue for some non-Muslims. Whilst most would agree that the ban on the Burkini was nothing short of ridiculous you will have less agreement amongst the wider population when it comes to the veil.

People would not call for a ban on the dress but there are concerns that the number of women wearing the veil is increasing.

In Lancashire ten years on there has clearly been an increase in the number of women wearing the veil. You only has to walk through the town centre and other parts of the town to see that more and more women are covering their face.

For some Muslims this is indeed something to celebrate but others sense that maybe Jack Straw had a point after all. The problem was we just didn’t want to admit it at the time because he was a British politician.

A British politician who had also led us in the illegal Iraq war. A British politician who was deflecting the attention away from the real issues facing Muslims and pandering to the right-wing press.

But let us face the facts of the argument here. Those who wear the veil are not a threat in any way to the British way of life. They are not extremists and in no way are leading to segregation.

They are not forced to wear the veil and most will do it of their own accord. One should also not fall into the trap of suggesting that Muslim men are forcing women to dress in a particular way.

Wearing the veil does not make one more religious nor should one think it does.

Quite clearly we have all met veiled women who do not act in the very way we feel they should act just because they are covering their faces.

And veil wearers are not these strange people who have a weird sense of judgement – most are highly educated and intelligent women.

On the same premise let us also realise that some women are being schooled to adopt the veil from a young age by female alimas. And there has been a growth in the number of girls wearing the veil too.

Should one be a little concerned when one sees young school girls wearing the full veil?

Let us also admit that those who might find the veil a little disconcerting are not racist.

A major issue within the Muslim community is how we are not able to challenge particular traits and developments because one senses that by doing so you are becoming ‘less of a Muslim.’ You shouldn’t criticise your own community particularly when it comes to issues like this as it may mean you are judged to be some sort of heretic. Quietly, carry on and turn a blind eye to developments.

A common theme has been that one should not discuss Islamic theology when one is not educated enough. It seems futile for some to even raise arguments.

Here, lies the problem. In ten more years more women will be wearing the veil in Lancashire and beyond. More young women will be educated at institutions which indirectly encourage them to wear the veil.

Particular Islamic schools of thought will encourage women to wear the veil as it is seen as obligatory.

Now, the aim here is not alarm anyone. On the whole you will find us almost oblivious to the fact that this is taking place within the community.

Is it a problem or something we should celebrate wholeheartedly because to not do so makes us a lesser part of the ummah?

Are we able to state that there are issues that need to be discussed more openly? When we close in on ourselves then we simply encourage more distrust in the wider community.

Ten years ago Jack Straw may well have been pointing out his opinion on the veil and at the time he was told in no uncertain terms to never raise the issue the again.

He set forth a barrage of resentment from sections of the population.

A decade on, nothing has changed in the way people wish to judge women who wear the veil.

In fact, the situation has exacerbated.

But should you be criticised for pointing out this out?



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