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Mehndi Designing, Haircutting By Opposite Gender: Is It Allowed In Islam?

New Age Islam News Bureau

11 Feb 2019

Muslim Girls Punched In the Face as Islamophobia Grips Europe. File photo



 Muslim Girls Punched In the Face as Islamophobia Grips Europe

 Riyadh to Host First Gulf Women’s Football Tournament In March

 Effat University Celebrates 20th Anniversary Graduating 1,100 Women

 Iran Revolution: 'I Wore a Hijab and Head-Banged To Nirvana'

 3 Muslim Girls Target of 2 Separate Racist Attacks In German Capital Berlin

 Why Supreme Court of Kenya Didn’t Ban the Hijab in Christian Schools

 Sudanese Rally to Urge Release of Women Protesters, Clash with Police

 Turkish Women in Belgium Arrange Aid Campaign for Yemen

 Meet The Female Activists Standing Up To Fundamentalism In Eastern Yemen

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Mehndi Designing, Haircutting By Opposite Gender: Is It Allowed In Islam?

By Sameer

Feb 11, 2019

Hyderabad: In recent days, there is an increase in the culture of women getting their haircut and Mehndi designed by men.

As per reports, parlours named as UNISEX are promoting such a culture. In these parlours, women are being engaged for the haircutting of the boys.

In order to make huge profits, multinational companies are making heavy investments on such beauty parlours.

It may be mentioned that on the occasions of marriages, brides are visiting these parlors as they are offering discounts.

As per details, many such parlours offer 50% discount if girls agree to have Mehndi designed by boys.

It is observed that due to this trend, the demand for expert Mehndi designers is on the increase. In view of this, boys from Hindi belt are being hired for such services as they are available at lower rates.

It is the duty of influential personalities of society and religious leaders to dissuade Muslims girls from going to such parlors as all such activities are anti-Islamic.

As per the tenets of Islam, women should not allow non-Mahram men to touch their hands as it is a sinful act.



Muslim Girls Punched In the Face as Islamophobia Grips Europe

February 11, 2019

Three Muslim girls were assaulted in two separate racist attacks in German capital Berlin, according to local police, Turkish publication Daily Sabah reported.

In one attack, two Syrian girls aged 15 and 16 said that they were repeatedly punched in the face in the Marzahn district late Friday. The teenagers have since been hospitalized and are receiving treatment for the injuries they sustained at the hands of a male suspect who has not been identified.

In a separate attack, a female perpetrator tried to rip the headscarf off a 12-year-old girl and attempted to stab her with a bloody needle.

The woman also threatened to use pepper spray on the frightened girl and fled the scene before the police arrived.

Investigations have been launched into both cases, police said.

According to the European Islamophobia Report 2017, a rising wave of Islamophobia has taken hold in Europe.

The report revealed 908 crimes, ranging from verbal and physical attacks to murder attempts, targeting Muslims in Germany, as well as 664 in Poland, 364 in the Netherlands, 256 in Austria, 121 in France, 56 in Denmark, and 36 in Belgium.



Riyadh to Host First Gulf Women’s Football Tournament In March


By Amal Al-Saeed

RIYADH — For the first time in the Kingdom, the Saudi Federation for Community Sports is organizing the first Gulf women’s football tournament from March 1 to 6.

A total of 16 teams will participate in the knockout tournament, titled “The Football Unites Us,” at the Green Hall of Al-Khobar Sports City.

Several women’s football clubs from within the Kingdom as well as from the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman will participate in the tournament, which will be held under the patronage of Prince Saud Bin Naif, Emir of the Eastern Province.

The Saudi clubs participating in the tournament include Al-Shuala Al-Sharqiyah, Al-Yamamah, Lourdes, United Eagles, Royals, Jeddah Eagles, and Kings’ Union.

Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Sanaa Al-Ateeq, general manager of one of the companies specialized in organizing exhibitions and conventions, said that the tournament will kick off with an official inaugural event, of which the major highlight will be a musical performance by 50 young Saudi women, titled “I come here” and this will be staged under the supervision of designer Hanouf Al-Duwaihi.

The inaugural event will be followed by two football matches. There will be four matches daily in the succeeding days.

Apart from football, sport events such as tennis, basketball and table tennis will be held at the venue in addition to musical programs.

Outdoor spaces will be made available for children’s games, healthy sports and healthy meals with the availability of food courts, and these will be meant not only for women, but also for their families, Al-Ateeq added.

Lima Al-Enezy, a player of Al-Yamamah Club, said that her team is ready to participate in the tournament and will compete for the title of champions of the first women’s football tournament at the Gulf level.



Effat University Celebrates 20th Anniversary Graduating 1,100 Women


JEDDAH — In the presence of Makkah Emir and Adviser to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Effat University celebrated its 20th anniversary, graduating 1100 students, including the first graduates of the Design, Master of Science in Finance and Master of Science of Energy Engineering programs, on the Thursday.

The ceremony held at the Effat campus was attended by many members of the royal family, including Princess Lulwa Al-Faisal, vice president of the board of trustees and the general supervisor of Effat University, and noted personalities, businessmen, businesswomen and the parents of the graduates.

Effat University is entering its 20th year with many achievements locally and internationally since its establishment as the first private college in the country in 1999 and then becoming a university in 2009. The university provided the girls in the Kingdom for the first time such programs as Architecture, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Visual and Digital Production, and Energy Engineering. Effat crowned its achievements by winning the King Abdulaziz Award for Quality in 2017, and then it was classified among the top 100 Arab universities in 2018.

Effat University was founded by Queen Effat Al-Thunayan, wife of King Faisal. The pioneer of the education and empowerment of Saudi women, Queen Effat started Dar Al-Hanan School, the first school for girls in Saudi Arabia in 1955, opening the door for women›s education in the Kingdom.

The ceremony began with the national anthem, followed by the students› march and the speech of Dr. Haifa Reda Jamal Al-Lail, president of the university. «Effat University has set its goals since it was founded in 1999, setting up developmental plans at every corner to achieve specific goals and sought to reach them with all its energy and so we are here today to celebrate all the achievements that we have made ... increasing the number of students from a mere 37 to more than 2,000 today,» Al-Lail said.

«The university began with not more than 15 people as teaching staff and administrators, and we are 400 people today. Effat grew from a college of four programs to a university with 13 Bachelor›s programs and four Master›s programs, most of them the first of their kind in the Kingdom. The most recent, for example, is the Master of Science in Energy Engineering with two branches — Petroleum Engineering and Renewable Energy Engineering,» she added.

Addressing the graduates, Al-Laid said: “I am proud of your success and know that you will graduate at a time of challenges across the world ... but I am confident in your ability to adapt the skills, knowledge and experience you have acquired to successfully overcome those challenges.”

Al-Lail pointed that Effat University was the result of the vision and pursuit of Queen Effat Al-Thunayan to educate women. She opened Dar Al-Hanan School in 1955 and her daughters in the school to encourage Saudi families to send their daughters to learn there. «Queen Effat continued her dream by establishing Effat College in 1999 to become an icon of education for Saudi women,” Al-Lail said.

Then she added: “The goal of this celebration is to highlight and strengthen the role of the university in the process of national development. We celebrate our achievements to document the continuation of the path of success, achieve sustainability and strengthen the identity of the university locally and internationally.»

Al-Lail›s speech was followed valedictory remarks by the students Al-Anoud Al-Shaikh and Lujain Al-Hibshi form the Architecture Department, and Farah Alesaie from the Design Department. They expressed their joy in graduating the same year Effat University was celebrating its 20th anniversary, whishing Allah to grant them power to follow in the footsteps of the late Queen Effat.

The celebration ended by honoring employees who dedicated 20 years of their lives to the university. — SG



Iran Revolution: 'I Wore a Hijab and Head-Banged To Nirvana'

By Feranak Amidi

Feb 11, 2019

On my first day of school in Iran we walked down a poorly-lit corridor. I was holding my mother's hand and crying. She was crying too. On my head I had a black hood, known as a maghnaeh, covering my hair. I was six years old and terrified. This was nothing like my kindergarten in Los Angeles.

I was born in the summer of 1979 in California, a few months after Iran's Islamic Revolution; my mother was in her early 20s and my grandmother was 50.

Millions of Iranian women took part in the revolution, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the men, but soon afterwards the tide turned against them. Some of the basic rights women had won during the regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi were revoked immediately.

The Family Protection Act, which had given women the right to divorce, was nullified and a mandatory dress code requiring all women to wear the hijab was introduced.

The uprising against the shah and the revolution had scattered our family across the world.

I moved back to Iran with my parents in 1984, right in the middle of the eight-year war with neighbouring Iraq and one of the most ideologically rigid periods in the country's recent history.

The dress code for women was strict; bright colours, lipstick, nail varnish or showing a strand of hair could get you arrested.

"I think the hardest thing for me was the hijab. I could never accept it," my mother says. "I never followed the strict dress code dictated by the state. I tried hard to have my own style."

My grandmother also struggled with the changes when she returned to Iran from the UK a few years after the revolution.

"I felt like I had moved to a completely different country, it was nothing like before," she recalls.

'Nothing like my school days'

Every morning before class we lined up in the schoolyard, raised our tiny fists in the air and repeated the words of our headmistress, who shouted into a megaphone: "Death to America! Death to Iraq and Saddam Hussein! Death to England!"

"The first day I took you to school I was shocked and disappointed," my mother says.

It was quite different from her own time as a young girl in Iran. My mother attended a school founded by French Christian missionaries, where the girls wore cute uniforms, played sports and music, sang and danced.

"The environment of your school was depressing and sad," she says. "It was nothing like the playful environment I remembered from my school days."

My grandmother was part of the first generation of girls who attended public schools in Iran in the 1930s. Until then most attempts to open up girls schools had failed due to fierce opposition by the clergy, who believed they would become dens of indecency.

"I was fond of school. It was fun and I can't remember anything unpleasant about it," my grandmother says.

Under the shah religion was a private matter. After the revolution, religion became part of the public sphere.

You were encouraged to show your devotion to Islam as a sign of allegiance to the regime. Women had to dress more modestly, men grew beards and people prayed in work places out of fear of being branded anti-revolutionary. The state controlled the most private aspects of our lives.

Living a double life

At schools, teachers were told to quiz students about their private lives.

We were asked whether our parents drank alcohol, listened to music, owned a video player, played cards, danced or took off their hijabs at mixed-gender family parties; all acts prohibited by law.

Most of our parents encouraged us to lie and I started to learn how to live a double life.

I wore the hijab to class and head-banged to Nirvana in my bedroom at home. I shouted "Death to America!" at school and bought Guns N' Roses cassettes from underground music dealers.

Growing up under the shah my mother had more social freedom.

"I could choose what I wanted to wear, the music I wanted to listen to and so forth, but there were still many limitations for women," she recalls.

My mother married when she was 17, which was not uncommon even under the shah. Women were still expected to conform to rigid social norms and the gender gap in the workforce was wide. Yet the winds of change were blowing.

"The shah was trying to change things and make society more modern," says my mother.

My grandmother grew up in an affluent family and was exposed to Western culture, but she was still very much bound to tradition.

She was married off after school and went on to have six children. She also didn't have many choices in her life. Marriage and motherhood were just about all a woman could do.

Compared to my mother and grandmother I have had more choices in life; I got a university degree, emigrated alone when I was 30, lived with my partner for four years, and got married at 35. But this is not the life experience of an average Iranian woman.

Officials say more than 50% of university students are women and that they are postponing marriage until their late 20s. But women make up only 19% of the workforce. Most women still have little choice but to get married and become housewives.

Female representation in parliament is only 6% and women have next to no rights in marriage. Strict gender roles are propagated by state-run media and women are told that their place is at home with their children.

Four decades after the revolution, it is hard to say whether Iranian women have made any real progress. One thing is clear: for every step forward there have been a few steps back, but the setbacks have never discouraged women to push ahead.



3 Muslim Girls Target of 2 Separate Racist Attacks In German Capital Berlin

February 10, 2019

Three Muslim teenagers were assaulted in two separate xenophobic attacks in Berlin, German police said Saturday.

In one of the attacks, two Syrian girls aged 15 and 16 were repeatedly punched in the face by an unknown male suspect in the Marzahn district late Friday, the police said, citing victims' testimony.

The girls sustained injuries and were transferred to a hospital for treatment.

In another racist attack, a 12-year-old girl was attacked by a female assailant for wearing a headscarf.

In her statement to the police, the young girl said the woman tried to rip her headscarf off her head and attempted to stab her with a bloody needle.

The female suspect also threatened to use pepper spray before fleeing the scene prior to the arrival of police, the young girl said.

German police launched official investigations into both incidents.



Why Supreme Court of Kenya Didn’t Ban the Hijab in Christian Schools

FEBRUARY 10 2019

On January 23, 2019, the Supreme Court of Kenya, by a majority decision, delivered its judgment on a case pitting the Methodist Church as sponsor of a school and three other persons.

No one could have foreseen the kind of recriminations that the decision has attracted from many Kenyans.

However, the Judges of the Supreme Court appear to have seen that the essence of the decision could be misunderstood and led to the level of obloquy seen and heard since that decision was handed down. They were also clear that the judgment would not be the last on the matter.

In the words of the four judges in the majority:

“We recognise that the issue as contained in the impugned cross petition is an important national issue that will provide a jurisprudential moment for this Court to pronounce itself upon in the future. … In view of this, it is our recommendation that should any party wish to pursue this issue, they ought to consider instituting the matter formally at the High Court.”

If only Kenyans were keen enough to read this judgment, then we perhaps would have avoided the premature recriminations and blame upon the court that arises from a lack of understanding of the judgment and secondly just going with the season — blame the Judiciary for everything.


The case arose from differences regarding the issue of whether female students of Islamic faith could be allowed to wear the head covering which female Muslims are required to wear in public, also known as the hijab.

The Church was the sponsor of Kiwanjani Mixed Secondary School in Isiolo County, which had a student population of diverse religious backgrounds.

The school has a uniforms policy for to which all students subscribe on admission. Sometime in June, 2014, a request was made by the Deputy Governor of Isiolo County for the school to consider permitting female students of the Islamic faith to wear the hijab and white trousers in addition to the prescribed uniform.

This request was followed by an incident in which anonymous persons supplied hijabs and trousers for the girls in the school. The school administration resisted this attempted action which led to protests by the students of Islamic faith to the local education offices seeking approval for the hijab.

Shortly thereafter, the County Director of Education directed the School’s Management and the Parents’ Teachers Association to meet and discuss the issue with a view to an amicable resolution.


A majority of 18 out of the 22 who attended the meeting voted for the retention of the school uniform policy — that is to reject the request for hijab.

In disregard of the result of this vote, the county education boss directed the school to permit the Muslim girls to wear the hijab and trousers. The director also ordered the school’s principal to be transferred to another school.

The church filed a petition in court against the Teachers Service Commission, the said director and the Isiolo sub-county education officer.

After the petition was filed against the above three respondents, Mr Mohamed Fugicha, a parent in the school, joined the suit as an interested party. In law, an interested party is a person who was not originally a party to the suit either as a claimant or defendant, but who has interest or some rights at stake in the outcome of that case.


In that petition, the church sought orders that the director’s decision to allow Muslim students to wear the Hijab was discriminatory and unconstitutional and also for an order to prohibit the said director from interfering with the church’s administration of the school in its capacity as sponsor as well as other reliefs.

The essence of the case was whether the county director’s order could apply over the church’s uniforms policy and whether it was constitutional.

It is after the case was filed that Mr Mohamed Fugicha, the father of three girls in that school, applied to be joined as an interested party.

He was allowed to join the case. He filed an affidavit to support his interest. An affidavit is a written statement signed by a person under oath for use as evidence in court. In that affidavit, the parent of the girls said “I am also cross-petitioning that Muslim students be allowed to wear a limited form of the hijab as a manifestation, practice and observance of their religion.

The words “cross-petition” in that affidavit would form the peg on which this case would turn at the Supreme Court.


At the High Court, the church succeeded and the judge ordered that the county director’s decision to allow the wearing of the hijab in the school was discriminatory, unconstitutional and contrary to the school’s regulations.

The judge also found that words in the parent’s affidavit regarding the cross-petition were defective as it did not comply with the rules as to how a cross-petition should be filed.

The parent appealed to the Court of Appeal. He said that the High Court’s decision to dismiss his cross-petition because of requirement of procedure was against the Constitution which requires that justice be applied without undue regard to procedural technicalities.

The Appeal Court decided that a proper reading of the affidavit did not warrant the striking of the cross-petition despite the procedural shortcoming.

It then set aside the orders of the High Court and substituted them with its orders which allowed the cross-petition.

It found that to the extent that the school’s uniform policy made it impossible for the Muslim girls to wear the hijab and pursue their right to education, it was reverse discrimination against the girls.

The effect of this therefore was that the school would be compelled to permit the wearing of the hijab.


Being aggrieved by this decision of the Court of Appeal, the Church appealed to the Supreme Court.

One of its grounds of appeal was that the Appeal Court had made a mistake by considering the contents of the affidavit with regard to the cross-petition despite the fact that it was not fully compliant with the regulations on how petitions should be drawn and presented in court.

The main issue that the Supreme Court directed its attention at was whether the Court of Appeal was right to hold that the matters raised in the affidavit as a cross-petition could still be considered even though the procedure had not been strictly adhered to.

The Supreme Court was divided on this issue. Four of the five judges who heard the appeal thought that the non-compliance with the regulations on how to present a cross-petition in court was fatal and the Court of Appeal had erred by sidestepping the issue of procedure.

One of the reasons for the majority decision in the Supreme Court was the technical legal issue that an interested party may not raise a new issue apart from those already raised by the petitioner.


Though there were other grounds of appeal, the Supreme Court did not find it necessary to go into them having decided that the procedural question was fatal to the case.

The Supreme Court majority judges then reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal.

The court directed in its final orders that the school’s management should immediately consult stakeholders to initiate a process for amendment of the school rues to accommodate students whose religious affiliation require them to wear particular clothing in addition to the school uniform.

This, in itself, is an indication that the court appreciated the concerns of the students and ordered that the regulations on uniforms be reviewed.

At the very least, it puts the lie to the claims that the court simply engaged in evangelistic jurisprudence and left the concerns of the students with regard to the uniform at the altar of a technical procedure.


The Supreme Court also ordered that the judgment be served upon the Cabinet Secretary for Education to formulate rules and regulations for the better protection of fundamental rights and freedoms from discrimination for all pupils in Kenya’s education system.

The overall effect of the decision is that the Supreme Court has sent the authorities of the school and the cabinet secretary to engage on consultations to find ways of redress around this issue.

What is rarely said about this case was that there was dissent: Prof Justice Ojwang’ thought that the procedure should not have been let to stand in the way of the substantive issues in that case. He agreed with the Court of Appeal in saying as follows: “It is my standpoint that the scheme of jurisprudence outlined by the Appellate Court, is appositely pragmatic and rational and well reflects the desirable judicial stand.

It would, therefore, be incorrect to state that the Supreme Court has decided that hijabs cannot be worn in a school sponsored by a church.



Sudanese rally to urge release of women protesters, clash with police

Feb 10, 2019

Police in Sudan have clashed with anti-government demonstrators demanding the release of female political prisoners.

Police used tear gas on Sunday to disperse hundreds of protesters who marched on a women’s prison in Omdurman — the twin city of the capital, Khartoum — calling for the release of female detainees arrested by police in earlier anti-government protests.

“We are fighters, we will complete our mission,” the protesters chanted while the women ululated and men flashed the victory sign, witnesses said, and as they rallied to call for the release of the women who had been arrested by police in previous demonstrations against the long-time President Omar al-Bashir.

After a first demonstration was dispersed, the protesters launched a second rally in another area of the town. Protesters also staged a brief rally in a district of Khartoum but were swiftly dispersed by police.

A government decision late last year to triple the price of bread has triggered ongoing protests in Sudan.

The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which is spearheading the protest campaign, said it organized the Sunday march.

The SPA, an umbrella body of doctors, engineers and teachers, called the Sunday march the “Rally for Women Detainees.”

“Women are taking the lead in the protest movement,” a female protester taking part in the Sunday rally told AFP, without revealing her name for security reasons. “The SPA has called today’s march in honor of female detainees and this will inspire us to continue until we achieve success.”

Bashir on Wednesday pinned the blame for the unrest in part on Sudan’s decades-old public order law but also acknowledged that growing economic hardships had angered the youth and sent them out into the streets.



Turkish women in Belgium arrange aid campaign for Yemen


By Yusuf Hatip


The final event of a humanitarian aid campaign for Yemen launched by Turkish women in Belgium was held on Sunday.

The campaign was launched by the female members of the Union of International Democrats (UID) in Belgium in collaboration with the Turkish Red Crescent.

They collected nearly €48,200 (approx. $54,500) at the Sunday’s event held at the Turkish Red Crescent’s Brussels office to help needy people in war-devastated Yemen.

Speaking at the program, Turkish ambassador to Belgium Zeki Levent Gumrukcu, hails “praiseworthy” support of Turkish women.

"You show sensitivity to the tragedy of humanity thousands of kilometers away while sitting in your warm house, it is praiseworthy, deserves every support," he added.

Gumrukcu stated that the humanitarian tragedy in Yemeni could not get enough space in the media due to the power controversies of some interest groups in the country.

Founded in 2004, the UID has undertaken efforts to ensure the active participation of European citizens with Turkish background/citizenship in political, administrative and economic fields and has endeavoured to raise their standard of living.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The ongoing violence has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as one of “the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.



Meet The Female Activists Standing Up To Fundamentalism In Eastern Yemen

February 10 2019

Under cover of darkness, we pull up outside a hotel and are welcomed by opulent pillars and neon signs. But this is no flashy bolthole for a city break; I have just arrived in eastern Yemen to meet a group of women who will shatter my understanding of their power in this deeply conservative Muslim country.

I am wrapped in a long black abaya of the kind worn by women across the Middle East, and given simple yet precise instructions. The photographer Simon Buxton and I are the only British journalists in the eastern province of Al Mahra, here without permission from the Saudi-backed Yemeni authorities. The men who have just helped us cross the border — armed locals, supporters of a former deputy governor of…




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