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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 5 Oct 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Major Car Brands Expected To Get a Fillip from Saudi Women

New Age Islam News Bureau

5 Oct 2017

Video shows Daulatzai refusing to leave the plane on her own, prompting officers to pull and push her down the aisle



 Major Car Brands Expected To Get a Fillip from Saudi Women

 Muslim Woman Claiming She Has 'Deathly' Dog Allergy Was Dragged Off a Southwest Flight

 Saudis Post Selfies with Women Relatives at the Wheel

 German Schoolgirl Who Married Isis Fighter Reveals She Was Groomed By A Girl

 4 More Women Attacked By 'Knifeman' In Karachi, Say Police

 Driving Licenses for Women Will Boost Economic Growth in Saudi Arabia: Experts

 Saudi Women to Drive Female Students to School, Work in Car Rental, Says Transport Chief

 Women’s Driving to Resuscitate Stagnant Car Market 3% in 2018

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Major Car Brands Expected To Get a Fillip from Saudi Women

5 October 2017

TOYOTA is the strongest car brand among women in Saudi Arabia, however when comparing the perception of car brands by gender, Chevrolet stands apart as more positively perceived by women compared to men in the Kingdom.

These are the latest findings from YouGov BrandIndex, the daily brand perception tracker which interviews consumers every day about nearly 500 brands in Saudi Arabia.

After the Saudi government announced last month that women will be able to drive in Saudi Arabia for the very first time from 2018, YouGov looked at the popularity of car brands among men and women over the past year in the Kingdom to understand which are most likely to be driven by women in the future.

When considering the overall health of car brands, Toyota, Mercedes and BMW come out on top among men and women, claiming first, second and third place respectively in our top 10 brands with the highest Index scores in BrandIndex. The Index score takes into account consumers’ perception of a brand’s overall Quality, Value, Impression, Reputation, Satisfaction and Recommendation.

Chevrolet is in seventh place in the Saudi women’s top 10, however, by comparison it comes in 16th place among men making it the car brand with the biggest difference in popularity by gender in the Kingdom. Also winning higher appeal among women is Bentley in sixth place in the women’s top 10, compared to eleventh place in the men’s rankings. — SG



Muslim Woman Claiming She Has 'Deathly' Dog Allergy Was Dragged Off A Southwest Flight

5 October 2017

A lawyer for a woman seen on video being dragged off a Southwest Airlines flight in Maryland said Wednesday she never claimed her allergy to dogs was life-threatening and that her eviction from the aircraft was motivated by anti-Muslim bias.

Forty-six-year-old Anila Daulatzai's lawyer says she agreed with crew members that she'd be fine with the dogs on the cross-country flight as long as they sat far apart.

But she says other Southwest employees told her to leave the plane.

The airline says that it required Daulatzai to produce a medical certificate, without which it could deny her the right to stay on board.

But Daulatzai's attorneys say that the airline never asked for a medical certificate, according to The Washington Post.

Instead, they say their client was 'profiled, abused, interrogated, detained, and subjected to false reporting and the trauma of racist, vitriolic public shaming precisely because she is a woman, a person of color, and a Muslim.'

'She survived sexism, racial profiling, and police brutality that fateful day,' according to her attorneys at the Reston, Virginia law firm of Hall & Sethi.

'Her mistreatment was particularly distressing because she is presently pregnant with her first child.'

Police were called and forcibly removed her. Other passengers on the flight to Los Angeles took video and posted it online.

A Southwest spokesman said she refused to leave, despite claiming a life-threatening pet allergy.

But her lawyers insist that Daulatzai told airline staff that she would be fine on the plane.

Nonetheless, officers from the Maryland Transportation Authority Police 'pulled her from her seat by her belt loop' and 'dragged [her] through the aisle exposed with torn pants.'

Her lawyers say Daulatzai is pregnant and required medical treatment after the September 26 incident at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

'Daulatzai has also received hate mail, including racist messages and threats of further violence,' her lawyers say.

'There was an attempted break in into her home. She has since left her home, fearing for her safety.'

Flight 1525 was preparing to leave from Baltimore to head to Los Angeles on Tuesday night when the incident occurred.

The incident was recorded by Bill Dumas, and in the video the woman can be heard demanding the officers to let her go.

At the start of the video, the woman apologizes and says that her father is having surgery as the officers mover her forward. 

'What are you doing?' she asks the officers as other passengers are heard telling the woman to leave the plane peacefully.

The woman then tells the officers that she 'needs to close' her pants. But she accuses one officer of 'ripping' them as he tried to escort her off the plane.

In the video, one officer is then seen grabbing the woman and pulling her away from her seat.

'I will walk off! Don't touch me!' she yells as she clings to the back of her seat. 

Eventually, passengers on the plane turned on the officers, yelling at them for pushing the woman forward.

'She's walking!' one passenger is heard saying as the cop tries to push the woman down the aisle.

After a few moments, the woman turns around and tells the officers that she's a professor, but the cops ignore her and move her forward toward the plane's exit.

Southwest Airlines told that the woman was asked to provide her medical certificate to prove the allergy, but she was unable to provide that document.

'There was one emotional support animal and one pet onboard the aircraft. Our policy states that a Customer (without a medical certificate) may be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction and cannot travel safely with an animal onboard,' a spokesperson for Southwest told

According to the airline, the flight crew 'made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the Customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved'.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police said in a statement that '[d]espite her clear attempt to resist a law enforcement officer, Ms. Daulatzai was professionally removed from the aircraft within the guidelines of the MDTA Police.

'This remains an open case that will be handled in the appropriate venue, not through various media channels.'



Saudis post selfies with women relatives at the wheel

October 4, 2017

Dubai: Saudi men have taken to social media to post selfies taken being driven by their mothers, sisters or wives.

Saudi director Fahad Al Sharif snapped a picture of him with his mother driving as the two were heading to Saudi Arabia from Kuwait’s Al Raqe’i border crossing.

His post was retweeted more than 3,000 times. Many Twitter users encouraged more people to share their own pictures under a hashtag in support of women driving.

Al Sharif is a director who has a master’s degree in filmmaking from Hollywood and has won several awards, including for ‘The Arab Swan’ and ‘Cockroach.’

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz issued a royal decree last week reversing a ban on women driving. The move was widely hailed globally and analysts expect more Saudi women to join the workforce as a result.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has launched an ambitious reform plan to help the Saudi economy boost its non-oil revenues.



German schoolgirl who married Isis fighter reveals she was groomed by a girl

4 Oct 2017

Linda Wenzel, who left home last year to marry Abu Usama al-Shishani, could still face the death penalty having been captured in Iraq.

According to Al-Qatha’a, a newspaper run by Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, Wenzel, 16, was persuaded to convert to Islam by a girl named Fatema. The two girls got talking on Isis forums, with Fatema introducing Wenzel to her now-dead husband, it is reported. Abu Usama, who advised her how to rig travel documents to get to Turkey, had fled when she arrived in Syria, so they got married over the phone.

Wenzel claimed she lived only as a ‘housemaid’ and had nothing to do with combat, in contrast to the claims of Iraqi intelligence. The teenager is currently being detained in a Baghdad prison and is desperate to return to Europe.

But she may still face the death penalty, according to Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi, who said it is ‘a case for the courts’. Wenzel was one of a group of foreign women found when rebel forces captured the city of Mosul from jihadists. In total, hundreds of non-Iraqi women with links to Isis are being held in prison on suspicion of carrying out terrorist attacks.



4 more women attacked by 'knifeman' in Karachi, say police

Imtiaz AliUpdated

October 04, 2017

Four more women were stabbed and injured by the "knifeman" in Karachi in the vicinity of Aziz Bhatti and Shahrah-e-Faisal police stations on Wednesday, bringing the official number of victims to 10, a police spokesperson told Dawn.

Fear and panic prevailed among the residents of the area as police authorities fail to arrest ostensibly a lone attacker who has been on a stabbing spree since last week in Gulistan-i-Jauhar and adjoining areas.

Fear gripped residents after reports surfaced of a “knife attacker” targeting women in the area. Subsequently, the police had launched a manhunt and an investigation into the motive and identity of the attacker.

The latest attacks come after the Karachi East-Zone Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sultan Ali Khowaja announced that police officials were deployed in at least 30 points in Gulistan-i-Jauhar along with decoy teams in order to prevent the attacks and arrest the culprit, a day before.

According to the police, a woman was stabbed near Millenium Mall in the Gulistan-i-Jauhar area. Another woman was attacked at Aziz Bhatti Park in Gulshan-i-Iqbal. Both attacks occurred in the jurisdiction of the Aziz Bhatti police station.

A third woman was attacked in Gulshan-i-Jamal that falls under the Shahrah-e-Faisal police station.

The fourth incident was reported in Gulshan-i-Iqbal, where a 13-year old girl was stabbed and injured.

She was taken to Jinnah hospital for treatment. The hospital’s executive director, Dr Seemin Jamali said that the girl sustained minor stab wounds on her back.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took notice of the continued attacks on women and called provincial police chief A.D Khowaja.

“What is happening and why the police have failed to arrest the culprit,” said the chief minister, adding that the attacks appeared to be a move to trigger fear and chaos in the metropolis.

Separately, the IGP Sindh directed the SSP East to take concrete steps to ensure the arrest of the attacker.

Moreover, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar told Dawn that the police have gathered some "clues" and will catch the culprit with the help of technical surveillance.

Repeating the DIG's statement, Mahar said that the attacker was probably suffering from psychological problems.

He added that so far, 11 attacks had taken place, however, only 10 were reported to the police.

“We don’t deny that these incidents are taking place but it is our request to the media not to blow these events out of proportion,” the AIG said.

He pointed out that similar attacks had also taken place in Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.

“By giving extra coverage to these incidents, the attacker has gotten cheap publicity and possibly encouragement to commit more attacks,” he insisted.



Driving licenses for women will boost economic growth in Saudi Arabia: Experts


5 October 2017

RIYADH: Introduction of driving licenses for women will steer economic growth and reduce dependence on foreign labor in the Kingdom, according to a panel discussion held at the Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh on Tuesday to mark the opening of the new office of Fitch Ratings.

There are 1.3 million foreign house drivers earning salaries of SR33 billion ($8.8 billion) annually. Most women are dependent on these drivers for daily transport to their work places and for their shopping needs.

The discussions were moderated by Ian Linnell, president of Fitch Ratings, and supported by Tim Cooper, a global economist, and James McCormack, managing director and global head of the Sovereign and Suprarnatural Group at Fitch Ratings.

Empowerment of women is part of Vision 2030, which is a highly ambitious program designed to diversify the Kingdom’s revenue sectors and encourage developing non-oil products for necessary exports.

Linnell said the company’s Riyadh office is its second office in the Middle East after Dubai. “We got the license to operate in the Kingdom from the Capital Market Authority (CMA) to conduct credit rating activities in the Kingdom.

“We are delighted to be increasing our commitment in the region with an on-the-ground presence in the Kingdom,” Linnell said, adding that the company has had a solid footprint in the Kingdom for the past two decades covering Islamic finance. He also said that the company intends to hire local analysts to carry out its functions in the Kingdom.

With a leading global financial institutions franchise, Fitch Ratings has a leading market share in financial institutions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

Earlier in the day, there was a panel discussion on the “Saudi Arabian economy and the evolving debt capital markets in the Kingdom.” Besides Linnell, McCormack and Cooper, participants at the panel discussions included Fahad Al-Deweesh CEO J.P. Morgan Saudi Arabia; Khalid Al-Hussan, CEO Tadawul; Jadwa Chief Economist Fahd Al-Turki; and Ayman Al-Sayari, SAMA deputy governor for investment.



Saudi women to drive female students to school, work in car rental, says transport chief

5 October 2017

RIYADH: Certain transportation activities may possibly be limited to women, like female teachers’ commutes, since women will be able to drive school buses and microbuses, Rumaih Al-Rumaih, the president of the Public Transport Authority (PTA), said.

Al-Rumaih also highlighted that transportation activities are available for both men and women, “and as soon as women are permitted to drive and start applying for driver’s licenses, they will have the right to work in all related activities.”

“The PTA does not intend to hire foreign female drivers because the Saudization rate in the transport sector is quite low. We also aim to end the monopoly in this sector,” Al-Rumaih said. “It is not a requirement that women work only driving vehicles; there are many other activities and jobs, like car rental offices and others.”

Through Saudization, the PTA aims to improve service, according to Al-Rumaih, “More than 220,000 Saudi men provide car-hailing services, and we are very likely to hire women among them.”

“Transport regulations were not introduced for men alone, but for men and women equally, and job requirements in the field of transportation are the same for both genders,” Al-Rumaih said, “We are also considering limiting certain activities to women, such as female teachers’ commutes.”

Speaking of his future expectations for women’s status in the transport sector, he said, “The decree was issued a week ago, so we still need to further study implementing it.”

During the launch ceremony of Uber’s new office in Riyadh, Al-Rumaih explained that the company will provide 140,000 part-time and full-time jobs, and the authority is very keen on achieving a high Saudization rate in the sector.

When asked about women’s driving schools, Al-Rumaih said: “Training drivers is the concern of the General Department of Traffic — our job is limited to licensing transportation activities.”



Women’s driving to resuscitate stagnant car market 3% in 2018

5 October 2017

RIYADH — Due to the permission granted to women for driving in the Kingdom, the sharp decline in the sales of the automotive sector will slow down in the first half of 2018, a report issued by the automotive unit at the W7Worldwide consulting agency found.

Starting at 3 percent, it is expected to increase to 4.1 percent by the third quarter of the same year.

Classified under the reference number CAR0017, the report identified that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s decree to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia will push cash payments for automotive companies and its local agencies after the sharp decline in its profits during the first half of 2017.

The recent Saudi report eased the anxiety and apprehension of automotive dealers that was initially caused due to the sharp fall in sales that further led them to layoff several employees.

The estimates pointed out that the current half of the year witnessed a 30 percent fall in the sales of cars in the GCC, where Bahrain was affected the most with 41 percent fall in sales, followed by Saudi Arabia at 38 percent and then Emirates at 28 percent. Moreover, seven of the most notable international car distributers faced a 32 percent drop in their sales that amount to a total of 116,000 cars as opposed to 170,000 cars in 2016.

The supervisor of the automotive unit in W7Worldwide, Yousef Inayat, mentioned in the report “The Saudi and the GCC Automotive Sales... Details of the First Half of 2017” that the natural drop rate of sales internationally falls between 10 to 20 percent. This falls amidst the expectations considering the approaching recession with hopes of recovery of especially the automotive market as a result of the introduction to the Value Added Tax in the GCC of 5% in the beginning of 2018.

The report of the agency relied on various reports of car sales that prompted the Gulf countries to reduce their imports of cars. Saudi Arabia accounts for half of the market of the Gulf car sector and has reduced imports at medium rates, where last year it imported 700,000 cars compared to 900,000 cars in 2015. This will coincide with the 11th EXCS luxury cars exhibition that is scheduled for Oct. 5-8 at Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh.

Yousef Inayat added that attempts by car dealerships and distributors in the region to offer to consumers, and to provide manufacturers with financial support to local distributors in the region have not succeeded in rising above the recession after the sharp drop in oil prices, which remain as the main source of income for the Gulf countries. This prompted Gulf governments to impose austerity measures and reduce public expenditure, which reflected on the incomes of citizens. Furthermore, the tension in the region, and rising fuel prices contributed to decline.

Among the offers approved by car agencies to resuscitate car sales in the Kingdom and the Gulf countries, the results of the launch of several promotional plans, including offers to extend warranty, providing free maintenance, providing benefits and services during sales and after-sale, without prejudice to prices, were disappointing. Less than half, in the second quarter of this year, led to a change in the price of cars, which failed to move the recession that hit the market.

The W7Worldwide report also attributed the reasons for the decline in sales of the automotive sector in the Kingdom: the decline in per capita income, the rationalization of public expenditure on projects, the decline of salaries of private sector employees, and the fees imposed on arrivals, which has made citizens and residents more conscious of their expenditure. These reasons have led the trend towards a saving culture in order to adapt to new variables.

At the forefront of reasons for the decline in Gulf sales was the rise in fuel prices. This resulted in reluctance of consumers to buy cars with large engines, and diverted their attention towards economical vehicles, which use diesel and electricity.

A deeper study of the reasons for the decline in Gulf sales also include the state of political tension in the region and the lack of rapid response acquired by car companies and agencies to curb the drop in sales. This would be the development of promotional plans based on reducing prices for consumers according to new indicators in the Gulf region.

Inayat highlighted the most crucial results of the decline in car sales such as the decline in employment in this sector, and the reduction of the number of companies and agencies’ employees by at least half. This was the inevitable result due to the demobilization of major car agencies operating in the Kingdom with over 1,200 employees.

The report does not expect a significant improvement in car sales in the Kingdom and the Gulf countries until 2019 due to two main reasons: the lack of significant changes in the economic structure, and the introduction of the VAT commencing in 2018. There is only a modest growth potential of not more than 5%. The report concluded that urban expansion and an increase in social requirements of Gulf families have contributed to the purchase of more than one car. However, the possibility of the return of major vital projects to Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, which require fleets of small and large cars, will revive sales and lead to stable demand for cars in the coming period. In spite of these perceptions, the best time for a consumer to buy a car is before the VAT is imposed. — SG




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