New Age Islam News Bureau
16 Jul 2012
• Islamists Don't Understand Imperative of Consent in a Sexual Relationship
• Egyptian NCW blames Islamists for exclusion of women
• Muslim Woman Sold Infant Son to Nepali Couple for Rs 62: Police
• Afghan Teen Honour Killing Spotlights Growing Violence against Women
• Arranged marriages or nothing in the Indian village that banned love
• Saving Face: The struggle and survival of Afghan women
• Australia Muslim Women’s Group Lashes out at Polygamy Claims
• Public Execution of an Afghan Woman Shows the "Civilized" West‘s Achievement
• Afghan Girls Study under Taliban’s Gaze
• Muslims Advised To Pay Special Attention to the Education of the Girl Child
• South African Elected First Female African Union Commission Head
• This Silence Hurts Turkish Women
• Iraq War Will Haunt West, Says Political Adviser Who Advised US Military
• Sudan to Release Egyptian Woman Journalist
• Supreme Leader of Iran Underlines Crucial Role of Women in Islamic Awakening
• Iran's woman trailblazer dreams of medal
• ‘Laila and Her Family’s Murder Was Pre- Planned’
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Photo: Afghan Teen Honour Killing Spotlights Growing Violence against Women
Malaysia women say Afghan adultery execution un-Islamic
Alisha Hassan | 12 July 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: Hana Cheng is a Muslim convert. She wears a headscarf and believes women are equal to men in Islam. For her, Islam was a personal choice. Being in Malaysia was instrumental for her conversion, she believe, because the “country is tolerant about religion.”
For her, the killing of an Afghan woman by the Taliban for alleged adultery underscores why she fears for women in other Islamic countries.
“Here in Malaysia we have a great system where women are free to wear what they want and live a peaceful life for the most part, away from anti-Islamic statements,” the housewife of a leading businessman in Kuala Lumpur told Bikyamasr.com. “But so many women face hardships because the men want to control everything.”
The public execution of an Afghan woman in Afghanistan recently has led to a massive outpouring of commentary and the usual Islamophobic statements about Islam. For Hana, and her two friends, one unveiled and wearing a short skirt, Islam is “more open in Malaysia.”
These women, all in their 30s, well-traveled, educated and by most estimates liberal, believe that world should look more towards Malaysia’s example of Islam as a bearer of tolerance and understanding.
“Sure we have our problems, but what country doesn’t,” said Iman, a childhood friend of Hana and by her own description, a “party girl.” At 32, she is unmarried and enjoys a drink after work.
“I am still Muslim. I believe in what is important, but here in Malaysia we don’t force any faith on people. There are issues about censorship and blasphemy we should get over, but for the most part, every Malaysian, Muslim or not, has their own personal freedom,” the 31-year-old copywriter at an advertising firm in the capital told Bikyamasr.com.
For her, the killing of the Afghan woman is the “worst kind of violence.”
She argued that “the man doesn’t get killed. Why? This is ridiculous and shows that the world, and the Islamic world, should understand that we cannot force people to act one way or another. It isn’t right.”
For women in Malaysia, the killing in Afghanistan has hit home. They feel a connection with the woman. They believe that the media doesn’t usually see Malaysia as an Islamic country and this “is wrong.”
“If the media truly did their honest reporting on Islam across the world, they would see that we in Malaysia and our neighbors in Indonesia are more open and tolerant about religion and this could go a long way in creating dialogue and understanding on how to create a better world,” added Cheng.
Islamists Don't Understand Imperative of Consent in a Sexual Relationship
BY FARZANA HASSAN
JULY 16, 2012
Women are "raw meat" waiting to be devoured by men because of their dress, declared an Australian imam in 2006.
Six years later, and in our own backyard, a young convert to Islam, Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana is proposing new laws in Canada that would require women to cover up "like Muslim women," concealing all but their eyes and hands. He contends that the high incidence of rape in North America is because of how women dress in Western countries. The new laws would make it "illegal for women to dress provocatively in the streets," and would thereby take away the freedoms Western women enjoy.
Canadian women would have to be covered up in burqas, abayas and Hijabs. They would presumably also be segregated, and their male relatives would monitor and control their behaviour. So what is it about Islamist men and their preoccupation with sex that awakens such paranoia about women's garb?
First, many Islamist men do not understand the imperative of consent in a sexual relationship. They believe rape is a normal rather than a criminal reaction to female physiology, and assume that this would be every man's response to a glimpse of some skin.
The young convert also naively assumes that rape occurs in the Western world more frequently than in the Islamic world. He goes onto to suggest we "should take your example from the way Muslim women dress. Why does Muslim women who wear long dress and covers her head aren't targeted for sex attacks? Why is it that rapists and sexual predators only target women that dress so provocatively? Because Muslim women have nothing to show in regards to her body."
He is dead wrong.
While rape is more often reported here, it occurs with equal if not greater frequency and ferocity in the Middle East and South Asia. Women there suffer violent gang rapes and assaults. Even very young children are tormented by incestuous family members.
Statistical differences also involve definitions of rape. Is sex with a minor rape? Absolutely! Yet Middle Eastern countries like Yemen condone marriage with underage girls--children who are not old enough to give consent or even understand the concept. And what about marital rape? Since a Muslim wife is supposed to comply with her husband's sexual demands at all times, the issue of her consent becomes irrelevant under Sharia Law. Women can be beaten by their husbands if they refuse sex. They are forced, at times violently, to comply with their husbands' wishes.
All this occurs in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where women are required to cover up. In civilized countries on the other hand, men recognize the value of consent, a fact not altered by the aberrant behaviour of a minority.
No two cases of rape are identical. Rape may occur in situations where "signals" are mistaken as consent. At its worst, rape is of course a manifestation of criminal pathology. Here in North America we can at least be grateful that society rejects rape in any form, in any situation, and no matter what a woman chooses to wear.
According to Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana, men are so depraved that if given the opportunity, they will pounce on a woman if she is scantily clad. He requires Western women to change their attitudes in order to check the incidence of rape in North America. Yet it is really those like Atangana who need to change. They need to realize that the responsibility of rape rests entirely with perpetrators of the crime, and that women have the right to dress whichever way they like. His exhortation for everyone to embrace Sharia shows that he has no idea that sexual crimes persist, at a horrifying level, in the kind of society he advocates.
-- Dr. Hassan is an author and a former president of the Muslim Canadian Congress
Egyptian NCW blames Islamists for exclusion of women
Sat, 14/07/2012 - 16:24
The head of Egypt's National Council for Women, Mervat al-Tallawy, said Friday that Egyptian women are excluded from the revolutionary scene due to “social culture and the currents that have taken advantage of the revolution and taken positions, such as political Islam.”
Tallawy told Saudi satellite channel Al-Arabiya that political Islamists “always refuse to grant women their natural place, although all their statements say the opposite."
The said that appointing a woman vice president will not correct the situation, because the answer is in fixing the development of woman's rights in the Constitution rather than leaving it to gift giving by the president or Parliament.
Tallawy said supporters of Islamism in the Parliament have tended to undermine the rights acquired by women.
Full report at:
Muslim woman sold infant son to Nepali couple for Rs 62: Police
Jul 16 2012
Patna: A 38-year-old woman, mother of three children, allegedly sold her four-month-old son to a Nepali couple for Rs 62.50 (hundred rupees in Nepal currency) in Araria three days ago, police said here.
Shanno Khatun, a resident of Madanpur near Forbesganj, “sold” one of her twin sons “because she was unable to take care of two infants”, said the police. Shanno, whose husband Mohd Shaheed is physically challenged, has an eight-year-old daughter. She used to beg at the Forbesganj railway station where she allegedly handed over the child to the couple. GRP officials said Shanno confessed to selling one of her twin sons.
Sub-Inspector Saiyad Ahsan Ali said: “Though the woman claimed to have donated her child for his well being, we are verifying her claims.”
Araria SP Shivdeep W Lande said: “Khatun’s daughter Shabina said her brother Shamin was sold off on Thursday. Khatun, however, does not know the identity of the Nepali couple.” He said the Nepal police had been informed but there was “thin chance” of recovery of the child. “There is no proof of the couple adopting the baby. Had their conscience been clear, they would have left their names and address with Khatun or the police,” said Lande. He said there had been cases showing such children being forced to beg along Indo-Nepal borders.
Afghan Teen Honour Killing Spotlights Growing Violence against Women
Jul 16, 2012
CHARIKAR: Pressing her cheek against the fresh grave of her newly married teenage daughter, Sabera yowls as she gently smears clumps of dirt over her tear-stained face.
“My daughter! Why did they kill you so brutally?” the mother screams in the sparsely filled cemetery in Parwan province, 65 km north of the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Sabera says her daughter Tamana was killed by a relative in a so-called “honour killing”, in what officials link to a wider trend of rapidly growing violence against women in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission has recorded 52 murders of girls and women in the last four months, 42 of which were honour killings, compared to 20 murders for all of last year.
Activists and some lawmakers accuse President Hamid Karzai’s government of selling out to the ultra-conservative Taliban, with whom it seeks peace talks, as most foreign troops prepare to leave the country by the end of 2014.
During their 1996-2001 reign, the Taliban banned women from education, voting and most work, and they were not allowed to leave their homes without permission and a male escort, rights which have been painstakingly won back.
Full report at:
Arranged marriages or nothing in the Indian village that banned love
By Barney Henderson
13 Jul 2012
A world away from the skyscrapers and Bollywood romance of Mumbai, a village in the heart of rural India has banned love.
Police are investigating the decision of the village of Asara, in the north-western state of Uttar Pradesh, to ban “love marriages” as opposed to those that have been arranged by parents. Women under 40 have been ordered not to go outside unaccompanied.
In a slew of draconian measures, the village council or “panchayat” also barred women from using mobile phones and insisted they cover their heads in public, in what has been described in local media as the “Talibanisation” of rural India.
A council member, Sattar Ahmed, said “love marriages” were damaging and a “shame on society”.
The orders have caused outrage in a country that is striving to modernise, but is shackled by conservative social traditions in many areas where women’s rights are non-existent.
The home minister, P. Chidambaram, condemned the orders, saying they had “no place” in a democratic society.
Full report at:
Saving Face: The struggle and survival of Afghan women
By Sara Sidner and Mitra Mobasherat
July 9, 2012
Kabul (CNN) -- When 18-year-old Mumtaz walks into a room, the first thing you notice about her is the patchwork of painful puffy red scars that stretch across her face.
"I feel so bad, I do not look at myself in the mirror anymore," Mumtaz said.
She is the victim of a scorned man who decided that if he couldn't marry her, he'd make sure no one else would want to. The man had asked for her hand in marriage, but Mumtaz's family declined the offer. One night, she says, several men showed up at their home.
They beat up her family, and finally two armed men held her, pulled her head back and let the man who had wanted to marry her pour acid all over her face.
"I was in the hospital for 10 days in Kunduz, and later they brought me to Kabul," Mumtaz said. "Most of my body was burned. When the doctor gave me medicine, I felt like I was being thrown into a fire."
Billions in cash leaving Afghanistan
A few of the men involved have been arrested but not the one responsible for changing Mumtaz's face forever. This was the first time she had agreed to show her face and tell her story on television, partly because she fears for her life.
Mumtaz has been through hell, which makes the second thing you notice about her all the more remarkable. She smiles every chance she gets.
Full report at:
Australia Muslim Women’s Group Lashes out at Polygamy Claims
Bikya Masr Staff | 15 July 2012
An Australian Muslims women’s organization has fought back against an Islamic cleric in the country telling women to accept polygamy if their husband wants to take another wife.
Joumanah el-Matrah, the executive director of the Muslim Women’s Center for Human Rights in Australia told the Mark Colvin show that this sort of argument is dangerous and should be condemned.
“The recommendation or the advice given in this posting is explicitly encouraging the woman to be accepting of a polygamist marriage but I think more implicitly is the request to the woman to basically stay in the marriage that is unhappy and not to put her needs forward as being important,” she said.
This was in response to a Facebook posting by Melbourne’s Preston Mosque that promoted polygamy.
Full report at:
Public Execution of an Afghan Woman Shows the "Civilized" West‘s Achievement
Another public execution of an Afghan woman shows how little the "civilized" West has achieved during10 years of the occupation of Afghanistan. The country lives under Sharia laws, in which a woman is like living goods without voting rights. President Hamid Karzai pledged to find the criminals, but it was only a publicity stunt to beg for money from Tokyo for doubtful reforms.
The video of the execution, which appeared on the Web, is shocking. It raises fear of the countries that make announcements about their transition from a secular to an Islamic state - the state that lives under Sharia laws. The video shot on a mobile phone, shows the kneeling woman, covered with a punjab, in the center of attention of the crowd, perched on rooftops and on the ground.
Full report at:
Afghan Girls Study under Taliban’s Gaze
July 14, 2012
Lashkar Gah A British-funded scheme to give computer and English classes to Afghan girls is expanding throughout Helmand province, apparently capitalising on hints of a shift in the Taliban’s notoriously oppressive policy on girls’ education.
Colleges teaching the courses, plus skills such as tailoring and embroidery, are opening this summer, in areas which only a year ago were known more for bitter fighting than education.
“I’m not sure it’s a softer stance, I think you would call it a more politically aware stance about their previous shortcomings on education”
Perhaps what is even more extraordinary is that these lessons are being held with the acceptance of the Taliban. Mercy Corps, the charity which runs the vocational colleges with the backing of 5 million pounds of British money, knows from local leaders that the Taliban is fully aware of the scheme.
During their hard-line Islamic government of the 1990s, Taliban leaders were notorious for forbidding girls’ education. But after lengthy deliberation within their ranks, they have raised no objection to these classes, staff have been told.
Full report at:
Muslims Advised To Pay Special Attention to the Education of the Girl Child
July 13, 2012
Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister, has called on all Muslims across the country to pay special attention to the education of the girl-child and desist from only seeing them as housewives.
He noted that even though a lot of progress had been made in recent years, there was still more to be done especially to check drop-out rate among females which seemed to be linked to early marriages.
“Our young ladies, I believe will have even better and more respectable marriages if they are well educated and we must not deny them the opportunity”, he emphasized.
Alhaji Sulemana was speaking during the launch of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Islamic Education Unit on Thursday in Wa under the theme: “25 years of Existence of the Islamic Education Unit: Challenges and the Way forward”.
The Regional Minister said the introduction of the Islamic Education Unit had made a meaningful impact on the education of Muslims in particular and the society in general.
Alhaji Sulemana said secular education had become very important and urged all Muslims not to deny their children that.
Full report at:
South African elected first female African Union Commission head
Jul 16, 2012
ADDIS ABABA: South African home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was elected on Sunday to become the first female head of the African Union (AU) Commission, ending a bruising leadership battle that had threatened to divide and weaken the organisation.
Cheers broke out at the AU's soaring, Chinese-built steel and glass headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as supporters of the ex-wife of South African President Jacob Zuma celebrated her victory over incumbent Jean Ping of Gabon.
"We made it!" a grinning Zimbabwean delegate shouted, reflecting the strong support Dlamini-Zuma's candidacy had received from fellow members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Ping, who had served in the AU post since 2008, was largely supported by French-speaking African states.
Full report at:
This Silence Hurts Turkish Women
JULY 16, 2012
Turkey's ban on caesarean births reminds us that rights we take for granted can also be taken away
"She was my mother's best friend," the middle-aged woman told me over a cup of coffee in a trendy cafe overlooking the Bosphorus. "She died bleeding in a back alley because back then abortion was illegal. Every Ramadan my mother would pray for her soul and ask us children to do the same."
Because abortion was only legalised in Turkey in 1983, there are many women who are old enough to have memories of the preceding period – and they have rather dark stories to tell today. The problem is, very few of these women are in parliament. Politics, both at the local and national level, remains a male-dominated arena.
It was the comparison by the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, of abortion with murder in May that sparked off heated debates across the country about women's bodies and reproduction. In the same speech in which he described termination as a crime, Erdogan declared he was against C-section births. Women's groups mobilised swiftly, organising numerous rallies to protest against a possible abortion ban, while commentators and academics have come forward to voice concern. After weeks of tension and ambiguity, the government seems to have taken the reactions seriously and the subject of abortion has been dropped.
Full report at:
Iraq War Will Haunt West, Says Political Adviser Who Advised US Military
15 July 2012
Exclusive: Emma Sky – British civilian who advised US commanders in Iraq – says Muslim world sees a war on Islam
A British woman who worked at the top of the US military during the most troubled periods of the Iraq war has said she fears the west has yet to see how some Muslims brought up in the last decade will seek revenge for the "war on terror".
Speaking for the first time about her experiences, Emma Sky also questioned why no officials on either side of the Atlantic have been held to account for the failures in planning before the invasion.
Sky, 44, was political adviser to America's most senior general in Iraq, and was part of the team that implemented the counterinsurgency strategy that helped to control the civil war that erupted in the country. The appointment of an English woman at the heart of the US military was a bold and unprecedented move, and it gave her unique access and insights into the conduct of one of the most controversial campaigns in modern history.
Full report at:
Sudan to Release Egyptian Woman Journalist
JULY 16, 2012
Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Adel, who has been detained in Khartoum since 3 July, is due to be released, possibly today, and will then be deported from Sudan.
Adel, a reporter with the independent Egyptian daily Al-Watan, was detained while covering student protests against Sudan's austerity measures.
She was accused of entering Sudan without a visa and working as a journalist without obtaining the proper permissions from the authorities.
Her case was taken up by Egypt's president, Mohamed Morsi, who contacted the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir.
Adel, 25, has covered several Arab Spring revolts and was injured while on assignment in Syria. After her arrest in Sudan her mother went on hunger strike while staging a sit-in outside the Sudanese embassy in Cairo.
Supreme Leader of Iran Underlines Crucial Role of Women in Islamic Awakening
TEHRAN (FNA)- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei hailed Muslim women for playing an "unparalleled and unique" role in great Islamic movements.
In a meeting with more than a thousand outstanding Muslim women from 85 countries who had participated in the International Conference on Women and Islamic Awakening, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the conference was a good opportunity for women throughout the world of Islam to become acquainted with each other. He urged the participants to use the conference as a tool to launch an effective and permanent movement to revive the [Islamic] identity of Muslim women.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the West has been making comprehensive efforts over the past 100 years to isolate Muslim women from their Islamic identity, further stressing, "The efforts by outstanding women of the world of Islam to revive this identity are the greatest service to the Islamic Ummah. This is because sense of identity, awareness and insight among Muslim women will have a major effect on Islamic Awakening and the dignity and honor of the Islamic Ummah."
Full report at:
Iran's woman trailblazer dreams of medal
16 July 2012
TEHRAN: Iran's first woman to compete in table tennis at the Olympics, Neda Shahsavari, says she is "thrilled" to be going to the London Games, and dreams of winning a medal for the Islamic republic.
Petite and agile, the 25-year-old physical education student from the western city of Kermanshah made history for Iran when she beat Kazakhstan's Yelena Shagarova at the Middle Asia Olympic qualifying tournament in Tehran in January.
"I was thrilled when I made it, beating Yelena, since she had beat me two months before. It was an indescribable feeling," she said after a training session for the London Games, which begin on July 27.
"I have made it but I hope I won't be the last Iranian woman making it to the Olympics in table tennis," said Neda, who joins seven other women representing the Islamic republic at the Olympics.
Full report at:
‘Laila and her family’s murder was pre- planned’
By Aditi Raja
Jul 16, 2012
PARVEZ Ahmed Tak, the man who killed actress Laila Khan and her entire family did not commit the murder spontaneously. It was a well- planned, pre- meditated murder, the Mumbai Crime Branch officials now say.
Until recently, Tak had been claiming that he had accidentally killed Laila’s mother Saleena Patel first and when the other members in the family saw him committing the crime, he killed them to silence them.
Full report at: Mail Today