New Age Islam
Fri Dec 04 2020, 04:05 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 5 Nov 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslim Women Members of US Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Get Threats












Ilhan Omar, Muslim Woman Member of US Congress

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Ghazala Hashmi, Regina Romero Achieve Historic Firsts in US Elections 2019

Muslim Women Love To Travel Solo and it’s Worth USD 80 Billion

UN Official Calls For More Women Peacekeepers in Africa

French Fear and Loathing towards Muslim Women Reveal a Deeper Malaise

Jewish and Muslim Women Launch #WatchYourLanguage Campaign

Muslim Headscarf Debate Divides France, In Climate of Hate

SheTrades Initiative Equips Women Entrepreneurs in Mideast For Export Market

The Female Afghan Boxers Who Found Sanctuary in Spain

Jamila and Amina Tamer of Penn Women's Squash Are Egypt's Newest Power Duo

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-women-members-of-us-congress,-rashida-tlaib-and-ilhan-omar,-get-threats/d/120195

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Muslim Women Members of US Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Get Threats

by Sameer

November 06, 2019

Washington: The United States of America which boasts of its democracy and justice is facing communal problems, especially hatred against the Muslims. 

It was reported that 11300 twitter messages were found in social media in which threats were given to Ms. Rashida Talib.

Miss Ilhan Omar is the special target of the racist elements.

They are using immoral phrases against them.

No related stories.

It may be noted that President Trump had also criticized Ilham Omar. She is an immigrant from Somali. She is a famous political orator and a bitter critic of Israel.

After her criticism against Israel, a campaign was started against her.

Recently, a committee was constituted by the US Congress on the Kashmir issue. In the meeting of this committee, she targeted Govt. of India for violating human rights in Kashmir. A review of humiliating remarks against Ms. Ilhar Omar was made by the social science research council of the US.

https://www.siasat.com/muslim-women-members-us-congress-get-threats-1719768/

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Ghazala Hashmi, Regina Romero Achieve Historic Firsts in US Elections 2019

Nov 5, 2019

By Shubham Ghosh

Last year, the ‘Squad’ made the headlines by winning the congressional elections. The rise of progressive coloured women made a deafening impact on the politics of Donald Trump’s America. And this year, two more Democratic women have made it big yet again. Ghazala Hashmi defeated Republican Senator Glen Sturtevant in the Virginia state elections to become the first Muslim woman to get elected to the state senate. An Indian-American, Ghazala Hashmi is a former community college professor who had migrated to the US as a child and has a Bachelor’s degree and a PhD in English. She will represent Virginia’s 10th Senate District that includes Powhatan County and parts of Chesterfield County and Richmond. This is the first time that Ghazala Hashmi made a campaign for a public office and she turned out to be successful.

Ghazala's campaign

Ghazala Hashmi's campaign was primarily based on the issues of gun violence and education and she has been a supporter of the state’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s universal kindergarten proposals. During the campaign, she targeted Sturtevant over his opposition to Medicaid expansion.

After her win, Ghazala Hashmi tweeted that it was not her exclusive victory but of all those who wanted to see a positive change in Virginia. She said she couldn't wait to work in the state Senate.

Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

• 7h

Today we sent a message that the status quo is no longer accepted. Thank you all for your support and passion in helping me become the next state Senator for Virginia’s 10th District! I couldn’t be more honored to be apart of the change to come for Virginia.

Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

This victory, is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia, for all of you who felt that you haven’t had a voice and believed in me to be yours in the General Assembly.

185

8:14 AM - Nov 6, 2019

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Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

• 7h

Today we sent a message that the status quo is no longer accepted. Thank you all for your support and passion in helping me become the next state Senator for Virginia’s 10th District! I couldn’t be more honored to be apart of the change to come for Virginia.

Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

This victory, is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia, for all of you who felt that you haven’t had a voice and believed in me to be yours in the General Assembly.

185

8:14 AM - Nov 6, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

33 people are talking about this

Regina Romero is Tucson's first Latina mayor

Regina Romero also made history during the day. She became the first Latina to become the mayor of Tucson. She is also the second Hispanic to be elected mayor of the Arizona city since the Gadsden Purchase of the mid 19th century when Arizona became an American territory. Esteban Ochoa was the first Latino to become the mayor of Tucson in 1875.

Regina Romero defeated independent Ed Ackerley and Green Party candidate Mike Cease comfortably and will replace Jonathan Rothschild who refused to seek a third term. She received more than 56 percent of the total vote.

Regina Romero, who is the director of Latino engagement for the Center for Biological Diversity, is a three-term councilwoman and among the four Democrats who were elected to the Tucson City Council.

“At a time when our national politics have been sown with division, Tucsonans remain united by our shared desire to promote a safe, just and sustainable city that provides economic opportunity for our families and future generations. This movement is open to everyone — whatever your background, whatever your party, whoever you voted for — let’s work together! We will always be one Tucson — somos uno”, Romero said.

Tucson, however, had many Latino mayors when it was still under Mexico’s rule, said Arizona's former Democratic representative Tom Prezelski.

https://meaww.com/ghazala-hashmi-regina-romero-create-history-women-in-us-elections-2019

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Ghazala Hashmi, Regina Romero achieve historic firsts in US elections 2019

By Shubham Ghosh

Nov 5, 2019

Last year, the ‘Squad’ made the headlines by winning the congressional elections. The rise of progressive colored women made a deafening impact on the politics of Donald Trump’s America. And this year, two more Democratic women have made it big yet again.

Ghazala Hashmi defeated Republican Senator Glen Sturtevant in the Virginia state elections to become the first Muslim woman to get elected to the state senate. An Indian-American, Ghazala Hashmi is a former community college professor who had migrated to the US as a child and has a Bachelor’s degree and a PhD in English. She will represent Virginia’s 10th Senate District that includes Powhatan County and parts of Chesterfield County and Richmond. This is the first time that Ghazala Hashmi made a campaign for a public office and she turned out to be successful.

Ghazala's campaign

Ghazala Hashmi's campaign was primarily based on the issues of gun violence and education and she has been a supporter of the state’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s universal kindergarten proposals. During the campaign, she targeted Sturtevant over his opposition to Medicaid expansion.

After her win, Ghazala Hashmi tweeted that it was not her exclusive victory but of all those who wanted to see a positive change in Virginia. She said she couldn't wait to work in the state Senate.

Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

· 9h

Today we sent a message that the status quo is no longer accepted. Thank you all for your support and passion in helping me become the next state Senator for Virginia’s 10th District! I couldn’t be more honored to be apart of the change to come for Virginia.

Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

This victory, is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia, for all of you who felt that you haven’t had a voice and believed in me to be yours in the General Assembly.

202

8:14 AM - Nov 6, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

34 people are talking about this

Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

· 9h

Today we sent a message that the status quo is no longer accepted. Thank you all for your support and passion in helping me become the next state Senator for Virginia’s 10th District! I couldn’t be more honored to be apart of the change to come for Virginia.

Ghazala Hashmi

@Hashmi4Va

This victory, is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia, for all of you who felt that you haven’t had a voice and believed in me to be yours in the General Assembly.

202

8:14 AM - Nov 6, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

34 people are talking about this

Regina Romero is Tucson's first Latina mayor

Regina Romero also made history during the day. She became the first Latina to become the mayor of Tucson. She is also the second Hispanic to be elected mayor of the Arizona city since the Gadsden Purchase of the mid 19th century when Arizona became an American territory. Esteban Ochoa was the first Latino to become the mayor of Tucson in 1875.

Regina Romero defeated independent Ed Ackerley and Green Party candidate Mike Cease comfortably and will replace Jonathan Rothschild who refused to seek a third term. She received more than 56 percent of the total vote.

Regina Romero, who is the director of Latino engagement for the Center for Biological Diversity, is a three-term councilwoman and among the four Democrats who were elected to the Tucson City Council.

“At a time when our national politics have been sown with division, Tucsonans remain united by our shared desire to promote a safe, just and sustainable city that provides economic opportunity for our families and future generations. This movement is open to everyone — whatever your background, whatever your party, whoever you voted for — let’s work together! We will always be one Tucson — somos uno”, Romero said.

Tucson, however, had many Latino mayors when it was still under Mexico’s rule, said Arizona's former Democratic representative Tom Prezelski.

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514

https://meaww.com/ghazala-hashmi-regina-romero-create-history-women-in-us-elections-2019

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Muslim Women Love To Travel Solo and it’s Worth USD 80 Billion

By Kristin Mariano

Nov 6, 2019

An estimated 63 million Muslim women travellers spent over USD 80 billion on their journeys last year, a number only expected to grow as this demographic increases in size and influence over the global travel market.

28% of Muslim women journeys last year were solo travels, indicative of a growing younger demographic willing to experience the world, according to the latest report released by Mastercard and CrescentRating.

Two-thirds were 40 years of age or younger, an indication of how much young Muslim women drive this section of the tourism industry. Over half of them use some form of social media to scope out accommodation, logistics and dining.

“Despite the increasingly ubiquitous Muslim women travel market, to date, little research has been done to better understand this fast-emerging segment and their specific challenges. This study provides the industry with a clear lens to understand their intrinsic and extrinsic travel motivations. This includes their unique travel behaviour driven by Triple E’s – Explore, Energize and Empathize. Together with interviews with multiple Muslim women travellers of diverse backgrounds and profiles, we trust the report will enable industry stakeholders to better cater to this segment,” said Raudha Zaini, head of marketing of CrescentRating & HalalTrip.

Lifestyle and community values are core to Muslim women’s trips

These women’s disposable income is on the rise, with most of the population setting off on trips two to three times per year. Leisure takes precedence (90%), followed by religious travel (21%) and business (11%). The study confirms that they exert considerable influence in trip planning regardless of their travel party, but most, i.e. 71%, travel with their families, and therefore prefer family-friendly destinations.

Safety and access to religious amenities take top priority

Female travellers constitute one of the fastest-growing segments within the global travel market and main needs, such as safety and security, match those within the Muslim women demographic.

However, Muslim women travellers also look to integrate religious amenities into their trips with 94% of survey respondents reporting halal dining as a travel priority. Accessible religious facilities with female-only prayer rooms (86%) and single-gender spas and beauty salons (79%) also factor highly into their itineraries. Social justice, an important part of their faith, also influences their journeys, with 73% seeking eco-friendly travel options abroad.

The Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019 ranks Thailand as the second most popular destination among non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (non-OIC) nations, and 18th most popular overall (including both OIC and non-OIC nations). The study also ranks Thailand among the top five safest and unrestrictive (for faith restrictions) non-OIC destinations for Muslim women travellers.

“Muslim women travellers are ready to see the world. This young and driven demographic is ready to engage travel industry providers who welcome them and curate experiences that keep their values and community in the forefront. Mastercard and CrescentRating’s newest report aims to inform industry stakeholders as they tailor their products and services to this up-and-coming demographic,” said Aisha Islam, vice president, market product management, Mastercard.

https://www.traveldailymedia.com/muslim-women-love-to-travel-solo-and-its-worth-usd-80-billion/

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UN official calls for more women peacekeepers in Africa

05.11.2019

Women serving as peacekeepers in Africa are of "critical importance", a UN official said in a call to increase the number of women in UN peacekeeping missions.

Briefing the UN Security Council (UNSC) on her recent Joint Solidarity Mission with the African Union, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on Monday said: "These women, against all odds, strengthen our protection efforts, increase the credibility of our efforts, engage in local level mediation and make communities feel more at ease."

Mohammed called for the addressing of practical challenges women might face while serving in UN security missions, such as lack of deployment opportunities, according to the UN official website.

"Much more can and should be done," she urged.

The UN aims to double the number of the women serving as military and police peacekeepers by 2020.

According to the latest figures issued by the UN, it has some 110,000 peacekeepers serving in 13 operations around the world, with 4% of those deployed being women.

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/un-official-calls-for-more-women-peacekeepers-in-africa/1635954

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French fear and loathing towards Muslim women reveal a deeper malaise

Karen Jayes

5 November 2019

It is significant that the latest vitriol towards the hijab in France has been directed against a mum out on a school trip at the seat of a local government council.

This affair and its aftermath raises a number of key issues: the inculcation into young children of tyrannical notions, such as “loyalty to the republic above all else”; the increasingly futile weapons that secularists will employ, particularly “feminism”; and the hypocrisy of leaders who will grasp at any fiction, including linking a piece of cloth over a woman’s hair to terrorism, to harness the “popular will” required to stay in power.

Amid this is the all-apparent courage and fortitude required to be a Muslim woman and mother in France today.

Tyrannical secularism

France’s current descent into tyrannical secularism is a sign of panic, stemming from deeply rooted notions of what Europeans are educated to believe are “enlightenment” philosophies. Springing from, among others, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “social contract”, these philosophies naturally bend towards the populism we see today.

It is essential for those in power to maintain the appearance of having the “general will” behind them, and to this end, they will muster every emotion necessary - in particular, hatred of Islam, which calls for a divine-centred system of accountability and behaviour that places others above the self.

The “general will”, as written by Rousseau, has inevitably morphed in our media landscape into what is now known as the “popular will”. The increasingly vocal demonstrations on the streets of France and elsewhere in the world show there is a keen difference between the two.

This philosophy easily took hold under Christian dogma within the limited media environment of the 18th century. Carefully constructed frames of “equality”, “liberty” and “rights” were used to raise the French population into a frenzy, pushing them to violently reject the church.

These notions have long since been shown to be false as far as modern France is concerned, although considering the deplorable treatment of women under the church, it is no surprise that “feminism” has is deployed as a weapon to overthrow divine law.

But in the new republic, the notion of women’s rights was harnessed only to serve the secular system.

Structural violence

Today, behind the terrible shaming and violent treatment of a Muslim woman and her son, is the ongoing structural violence against Muslims and other people who speak out against inequality and injustice, couched in the corporatisation of everything (including war, which must be maintained for the secular system to profit).

There is no accountability for those in power when it comes to their abuse of such people - for the illusion must be maintained that they are always acting for the perpetually manipulated “popular will”.

The necessary, wholesale hatred of Islam is wrapped up in a global reign of terror, deceptively labelled as the “war on terror”. Are those who seek to publicly undress Muslim women - in the same manner as Algerian women were publicly “unveiled” in the 1950s to baying, perverted European generals - to be considered “civilised”?

Many courageous Muslim women have spoken out about why they wear the hijab or niqab, often under interrogation by “feminist” news hosts and other confused people at borders.

By now, it should be clear that they do so out of obedience to their creator, and not to men. It is not a “sign of resistance” or an “assertion of political will”; this is an attempt to assign secular notions to what is firstly an act of obedience to God. This is a fundamentally liberating position, one that rests in the heart and that no man can touch, even if he claws at the cloth on the street, or demands from a gallery of pompous and cowardly manipulators of “popular will” that she undress herself.

In the long run, such acts only portray the brutality of the attackers and contribute to their decline.

Looking in the mirror

The more this happens, the more the “feminist argument” that the niqab or hijab as a form of “submission” to men is shown to be obsolete and absurd.

This brings to mind the case of award-winning French novelist Michel Houllebecq, who was brought to court on charges of Islamophobia in 2000 - but he refused to apologise, saying that France was a secular country and he was “free to insult a religion”.

And yet, his 2015 novel Submission hypothesised a not-altogether unpleasing, but highly unsettling, future Muslim France - more unsettling, since it was published the day of the Charlie Hebdo shootings. His most recent novel, Serotonin, in the words of critic John Waters, details “the strange death of a Europe that never really existed”.

“A civilization dies, says Florent-Claude Labrouste, the protagonist … ‘without worries or danger or drama and with very little carnage; a civilisation just dies of weariness, of self-disgust,’” Waters notes in his review.

Houllebecq’s caustic summaries of the secular condition, the chief casualty of which are humans themselves, includes disturbingly emotionless accounts of fornication, bestiality, child pornography and other modern sicknesses - the terrible endpoint of the endless worship of human “will” as a source of power.

Reading his work is not pleasant, but it is thought-provoking for those courageous enough - like Houllebecq - to look squarely in the mirror. His male characters are bored, castrated of their prowess and discernment by a system that allows anything, but demands no argument - only the endless, numbing co-operation with desire, and a congruent passivity in the face of predictable moral descent.

The French dilemma

In their unravelling, these characters make visible the gruesome reality of the world man has made in his determination to become his own deity.

A New York Times reviewer astutely observes that although Houllebecq has been the darling “Islamophobe” of the intelligentsia, popular mainstream and far-right, the main character in Submission appears to long for “faith in its purest form … directed beyond the human to the divine, the truly sacred … [which] is nothing other than itself”.

In the London Review of Books, Adam Shatz goes further, describing France’s literary star as a disappointed mystic, who “writes about Islam with curiosity … even a hint of envy”.

“For Houellebecq, France’s dilemma resembles his own: France has attempted to replace God with the secular religion of republican citizenship and laicite … [which] has left France without a sense of direction or purpose,” Shatz notes.

So look, dear France and Europe, at the arresting and unambiguous figure of the covered Muslim woman. Understand that you hate her because she is utterly separate from, and unperturbed by, the obedience to human will and desire that you have been taught to worship and commodify. Feel her God-centred beauty and power. 

As the years go by, you must realise that your violence throughout history has not been directed at her, though she has taken its brutal knocks. It has been, and is, directed only at yourself. 

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/french-vitriol-towards-muslim-women-reveals-countrys-deeper-malaise

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Jewish and Muslim Women Launch #WatchYourLanguage Campaign

Nov 6, 2019

Jewish and Muslim women have launched a #WatchYourLanguage campaign for the upcoming General Election – after labelling the words being used against women and minority groups as unacceptable, prejudiced and dangerous.

The call came at the first ever retreat held by Nisa-Nashim, the Jewish/Muslim national women’s network at the Woolf Institute in Cambridge.

Attendees agreed about the need to challenge the negative language that has already begun to characterise this election.

They also noted that the growth in both verbal and physical attacks against women has disproportionately impacted on the minority groups.

The delegates, all female from around the UK, shared their own personal experiences of abuse as a sign of solidarity and mutual support.

Using #WatchYourLanguage, the women called out politicians, media outlets and users of social media who are generating hate rather than acceptance and polarisation rather than social cohesion. The hashtag is already being amplified on social media.

Laura Marks OBE, Co-founder and Director of Nisa-Nashim said: “We fundamentally reject the narrative of division.

"As women from different faith groups and cultures, we know how easy it is to divide and we utterly refuse to support any political voices which fuel it.”

Chair Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal MBE DL added: “In an increasingly polarised world, it is imperative that as Jewish and Muslim women living in Britain, we do not let our friendships and our good will towards each other be affected by those who seek to divide us.

"As Nisa-Nashim, we will stand together to ensure our voices are heard above the cacophony and we will call out those whose language is divisive.”

The Nisa-Nashim retreat also saw sessions on women’s leadership, how to challenge hatred and the Israel/Palestine conflict as well as consolidating their friendships which they believe to be key to their success – ending with both Asian and traditional Jewish dancing.

https://www.asianimage.co.uk/news/18016117.jewish-muslim-women-launch-watchyourlanguage-campaign/

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Muslim headscarf debate divides France, in climate of hate

Nov. 6 2019

PARIS — When a far-right French official disrupted a regional council meeting to demand that a Muslim woman accompanying a group of schoolchildren be ordered to remove her headscarf, "in the name of our secular principles," her own child buried his head in her shoulder and cried.

The scene has triggered a venomous national debate that is scrambling questions over the headscarf, Islam, immigration and radicalization.

The clamor reached a crescendo with the shooting and wounding Monday of two Muslims outside a mosque in southwest France by a suspect with past links to the anti-immigration National Rally party. The 84-year-old alleged gunman told investigators he attacked "to avenge the destruction of Notre Dame," Paris' grand cathedral ravaged by fire in April — which he blamed, inexplicably, on Muslims.

In other times, the Oct. 11 confrontation at the council meeting in Dijon might have been but one more installment in France's decades-long battle with itself over how to define, and enforce, secularism, a principle inscribed in the constitution more than a century ago to ensure neutrality regarding religions.

But today's uproar illustrates the growing unease — even contempt — by some sectors of society toward those Muslims seen as failing to join the French melting pot. Such views aren't limited to the far right: The conservative-led Senate approved a bill Tuesday banning mothers from wearing headscarves on school field trips, and a survey by the Ifop polling firm published Sunday suggested that eight out of 10 French think secularism is in danger.

Some contend this shows the normalization of Islamophobia in France.

"The veil (headscarf) is seen as the symbol par excellence of religious visibility" and is "seen by some as linked to radicalization," said Nicolas Cadene, No. 2 in the government's Observatory of Secularism.

"We're in a climate of a meeting of fears, emotions, instincts," he said in an interview.

For Cadene, French society is growing polarized as one part increasingly turns away from religion while another, notably Muslims, grows more visible. The attack inside Paris police headquarters early this month by a Muslim intelligence employee that left four dead raised already percolating tensions, he said.

In all cases, he said, the debate shows the confusion over the 1905 law separating church and state, the basis of the country's unusually important secular identity. He said the law is not meant to protect a "mythical identity, white and of Catholic culture" promoted by some.

Islam is the No. 2 religion in a largely Catholic nation where many, especially the anti-immigration far-right, hone to France's roots and view its Muslim population, which grew from the nation's colonial past, as intruders and a threat to the French way of life, including secularism.

Fifteen years ago, France forbid students from wearing "ostentatious" religious signs in classrooms, including headscarves. Seven years later, it became illegal to wear face-covering veils in French streets. While all showy religious signs are included in the 2004 law and all garments covering the face are banned in the 2011 measure, it has never been a secret that Muslims were the target.

The mother who was the focus of National Rally official Julian Odoul's anger at the Dijon regional meeting has said she decided to accompany a class because her son implored her to go.

"What he told me when he was crying is that he felt everyone was against me," the woman, identified only as Fatima E., told the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, which published the interview.

"I felt a rejection I've never felt before," she said. "Today, I have a negative opinion of what is called the Republic."

A caustic political climate five months before municipal elections is feeding today's debate. A tattered mainstream right is trying to rebuild itself by playing the anti-immigration card , while a newly strengthened far right tries to lure them to its ranks.

The French Senate approved a bill Tuesday proposed by the mainstream right that would oblige women wearing headscarves to remove them when accompanying school outings. The bill has almost no chance of becoming law since the lower chamber, controlled by President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party, will almost certainly axe it.

But the issue sparks discord even within Macron's government. For Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, "it is not desirable" for a mother to wear a headscarf on a field trip. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe says that it's fine — as long as the mother doesn't proselytize.

Macron has shown cautious opposition to the idea.

"The wearing of a veil (head covering) in public spaces is not my affair," he said last week. "Laicite (secularism) isn't about that."

The real concern, he stressed, is stigmatization of Muslims, the majority of whom have adopted the French way of life.

Macron has concentrated on fighting radicalization and the apparent growth among Muslims of a community-based identity, which the French widely view as fertile ground for the propagation of political Islam.

For some, the issues are linked.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen views the constant debate over the Muslim headscarf as a result of "massive immigration," which, she contends, leads to such closed communities.

"The veil is an ideological marker. It's a marker of identity," she said recently, also calling it a "political weapon."

For Muslim groups, the mosque attack was the culmination of a growing climate of hate.

Abdallah Zekri, council member and head of the Observatory for Islamophobia, decried those who criticize Islam to build their reputations via TV talk shows. Barely a day goes by without a new round of soul-searching over secularism by politicians and pundits getting an unfiltered hearing in the French media.

A noted Lyon-area imam, Kamel Kabtane, denounced what he said was the "fractious and dangerous media and political campaign against Islam and Muslims."

Muslims fear more of the same from "the entrepreneurs of hate and violence" who want to "pit French against French," he said.

http://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/international/story/2019/nov/06/muslim-headscarf-debate-divides-france-climate-hate/802911/

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SheTrades Initiative Equips Women Entrepreneurs in Mideast For Export Market

November 5, 2019

Dubai: In another bizarre incident, a woman was beaten in public by a feudal landlord in Faisalabad on charges of having illicit relations.

A video of the beating incident also went viral early this week.  Aqib (alias Kali), a feudal landlord in a village in the outskirts of Faisalabad in Punjab province of Pakistan, had reportedly accused the woman of adultery and having illicit relationship with her neighbour. He also ordered that she should be beaten with a stick as punishment, Geo TV reported.

Ghulam Abbas Shah

@ghulamabbasshah

In the #tragic of events, landlords in #Faisalabad district of #Punjab have tortured a woman over having alleged illicit relations

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6:09 PM - Nov 5, 2019

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The victim’s father-in-law, Saleem, explained that the feudal lord had accused his daughter-in-law of having an extramarital relationship with his neighbour.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has taken notice of the incident of violence against women and sought a report over the incident from the regional police officer.

Later, police arrested at least two suspects, including Aqib (alias Kali), the feudal landlord.

Violence against women

Pakistan is the sixth most dangerous country in the world for women, with cases of sexual crimes and domestic violence recording a rapid rise.

According to statistics collected by White Ribbon Pakistan, an NGO working for women’s rights, 4,734 women faced sexual violence between 2004 and 2016. Over 15,000 cases of honour crimes were registered. There were more than 1,800 cases of domestic violence and over 5,500 kidnappings of women during this period.

According to media reports, more than 51,241 cases of violence against women were reported between January 2011 and June 2017. Conviction rates, meanwhile, remain low, with the accused in just 2.5 per cent of all reported cases ending up being convicted by courts.

The chief justice of Pakistan has recently announced that 1,000 courts would be set up to deal with the cases of violence against women.

Pakistani women’s rights activists like Mukhtaran Mai who herself is rape victim earlier told media that it’s a systemic problem.

“Women police stations and other facilities are set up in cities while the majority of the violence cases take place in villages,” Mai said. “In rural areas, feudal landlords call the shots; the administration and police are subservient to these feudal chieftains who view women as commodities. So how can justice be delivered in such cases?”

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/pakistani-woman-beaten-in-public-by-a-feudal-lord-on-charges-of-illicit-relations-1.67643477

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The Female Afghan Boxers Who Found Sanctuary in Spain

5 NOV 2019

“We couldn’t stay there,” explains Shabnam Rahimi, 26. “In Afghanistan, women have no rights, no life. I got tired of crying day and night. We were living in fear for much of the time. We went out to box in the mornings and we didn’t know if we would get back alive at night.”

Shabnam is the third child in a family of four sisters and one brother. She is sitting on a sofa in an apartment in the south of Madrid, which she shares with her younger sister, Sadaf, 24. The pair fled Afghanistan in July 2016. Only their parents knew that their trip to Spain was one-way. None of their siblings were told and neighbors, friends and teachers were also kept in the dark. Even now, they believe they went abroad to study.

This is quite an achievement given the obstacles that were thrown in their way. “Their request [for asylum] stated persecution on the grounds of gender; the agent of the persecution was the state and the motive was gender. If they had been men, they would never have been persecuted,” explains Paloma Favieres, a lawyer with the Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR), and who dealt with the case.

“I was very scared. Someone in the Boxing Federation was threatening me, saying things like, ‘If I find you alone in the street, I am going to throw acid on you.’ It was all very difficult,” says Sadaf, who prefers to keep the identity of her would-be assailant out of the media.

“They threatened us and our father [from within the Federation],” says Shabnam. “They wanted to close down the female boxing category but we wouldn’t accept that. We wanted to keep going. We wanted to make sure that women could box too and do sport. The Taliban think that is feminism. They don’t want women to have a role in society. They sent a letter out to all the girls in the school warning us that if we carried on boxing and weren’t closed down, they would attack all the women.”

The female boxing team was established in 2007. Sabir, the trainer who put it together and who has also fled Afghanistan, went around all the schools in Kabul to find girls prepared to sign up. To begin with, only four came forward, among them, the Rahimi sisters. But then his initiative gathered momentum.

Sadaf and Shabnam had just returned to their country after almost nine years in Iran, where their parents sought refuge when the Taliban came to power. “I got into boxing in Iran,” Sadaf explains. “I saw Laila Ali [the daughter of Muhammad Ali] fight and I said to myself, ‘If this girl can do it, so can I. One day I will do what she is doing’.”

Sadaf was selected for the London Olympics but the Afghan Olympic Committee cancelled her place on the team a month before the Games without any explanation, replacing her with a male boxer.

Glove giveaway

The female national team was set up with the permission of the government and initially had the support of the Afghan Olympic Committee and the Federation. “Then things began to change; they didn’t want us to get better or to go far,” says Shabnam.

The changes coincided with a shift in the political situation and more conservative groups gaining power and influence, not just in the country but also within the Federation. The authorities took a poor view of women boxing, despite the fact the Rahimi sisters were bringing home trophies from international tournaments. Once the sisters left Afghanistan, female selection ceased to exist.

Sadaf and Shabnam kept boxing despite the threats because the sport was everything to them in a country where women “were made for marriage, having babies and doing housework and could not have responsibilities outside the home.”

Boxing was their way of fighting against their circumstances, a fight that was supported by one teacher at school, their trainer, Sabir, and their parents. They trained in the Olympic stadium in Kabul, the same venue the Taliban used to execute women. They did so three days a week. They would have trained more but they needed to train alone and there were no other time slots available to do this.

Careful to avoid detection, they hid their gloves in their backpacks and changed their clothes in the stadium. “Nothing could give us away as boxers because, if it did, we would be threatened and insulted,” says Shabnam. “One day on the bus on the way home, Sadaf’s glove came out of her backpack. A woman started to shout, ‘They’re boxers!’ Immediately, all the men on the bus came towards us and surrounded us so we couldn’t get off.”

They boxed because they liked it, because they were good, because they didn’t see anything bad in doing sport, because they dreamed of competing in the Olympic Games, and because they wanted to set an example to other girls and women. “Many [women] want to get out of the house, but they can’t. They have no rights. Their fathers and brothers tell them they can’t; and when they marry, their husbands tell them. I wanted to show them that they could,” says Sadaf.

In 2013, a year after the London Olympics, the Women in Sport association invited the two sisters and Sabir to take part in a competition in the UK. Sadaf was already a familiar face in the country; she had been on TV and her story had been told by reporters traveling to Kabul to cover her preparation for the Olympics.

Though it was never stated, the reason she had not been allowed to take part was due to the fear she would defect. Thereafter, any trip had to be rubber-stamped by the Federation and the Afghan Olympic Committee. The invitation to Britain in 2013 was considered illegal. Both the Federation and the Afghan Olympic Committee began to depict the Rahimi sisters as traitors and they no longer enjoyed the reputation they once had.

“When we got back from a competition in Mongolia, there was talk within the Federation that I had had sex with the trainer,” says Sadaf. “I swore it was a lie. I couldn’t take any more. It was impossible to fight it. I stopped boxing for several months due to the situation. When we went abroad, rumors would start that we were having relations with someone.”

They boxed until they couldn’t box any more, which was when they took advantage of the premier of the Boxing for Freedom documentary to take a one-way trip to Spain. The documentary charted their sporting achievements and the obstacles they had to overcome over the course of four years, and after its premier at the 2016 Goya cinema awards in Madrid, they applied for asylum, staying for the first two months with the documentary’s directors Silvia Venegas and Juan Antonio Moreno, who had processed the visas for them to come in the first place.

“I told Sadaf that if we went back to Kabul, we would not be able to live; we would not be able to leave the house,” says Shabnam, who convinced her sister it would be better to stay in Spain. “Before getting the plane, we asked our translator to ask Juan and Sylvia if they would mind us staying and applying for asylum. They said go for it and that they would help us.”

Knowing what they were about to do, the sisters made sure to pack their qualifications. “When I finish work, I take a class to study for my [high school] certificate as my diploma is not recognized here,” says Sadaf, who currently is working as a street cleaner with Madrid City Hall. Meanwhile, Shabnam, who hopes to study Social Sciences, has a job at the cash register in a supermarket. “It’s fine as a way of getting by but we want something better in the future,” she says.

Psychological help

In 2012, they dreamed of going to the Olympic Games, of going far, of boxing and learning to play guitar. Seven years later, they are dreaming of a better future and are happy just to be able to go out and enjoy their freedom. At 26 and 24, they are rebuilding their lives. Shabnam has sought the help of a psychologist to do so.

“I have forgotten about how scared I was and how much I cried. But when I got to Spain, I started to see a psychologist because I was scared to go out; scared of people. Now that I am here I realize what we had to go through in our own country,” she says. Sadaf adds that she is still scared of men. “I can’t talk to them if they are drunk,” she says. “I move away. The people I’m with call me old-fashioned but I need time to change.”

There are some boxing gloves in their new home but they hardly get used. The only other trace of their sporting prowess is a framed photo with the word “LOVE” from a training session in Badajoz in 2016 before they spoke Spanish.

“The first time I saw them, they were just two very frightened girls,” says Favieres. “I explained with the help of a translator the process and the consequences of getting refugee status; they can’t return to their own country. I don’t know what went through their heads at that moment, but what I saw was the fear of two young girls faced with a new world.”

Sadaf and Shabnam’s parents, who supported their bid for freedom, their love of sport and study, and their refusal to agree to an arranged marriage, are still in Afghanistan with their three remaining children.

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/11/04/inenglish/1572866890_870963.html

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Jamila and Amina Tamer of Penn Women's Squash Are Egypt's Newest Power Duo

By Noa Ortiz

Nov 6, 2019

A powerhouse sibling duo is taking Penn’s women’s squash by storm, as Jamila and Amina Tamer have joined the ranks of high-performing Egyptian squash players pursuing athletic and academic excellence in the Ivy League.

The pair’s dynamic impact at Penn is the latest twist in their long and successful squash career together. The sisters began their athletic journey at an early age and have never played apart from one another. This has given both sisters the chance to compete constantly and push each other to new levels.

“We started at seven,” said sophomore Jamila, the oldest of the two.

“No – she started at six, I started at five,” said freshman Amina. “It was very early. Squash is big in Egypt, everybody loves and supports squash, so it was a very natural process.”

“We started at the same time,” Amina said. “[Jamila] kind of got into stuff first, because she was older, but everything was always together. We were always in the same club.”

The duo drew on Egypt’s national love of squash to inspire their athletic careers.

“There are only two sports that are big in Egypt," Jamila said. “There’s soccer and squash. So here it would be like football and basketball. Like, a lot of people are still more into soccer, but because of how good Egyptians are at squash right now, people are getting more and more into it.”

The pair was drawn to Penn by the promise of a great education and the opportunity to perform at a high level, both as students and as athletes.

“Normally if you want to go pro you don’t really go to university because in Egypt you have to play more than 10 hours a day," Amina said. “You don’t have that time here.”

The sisters agree that in the past, having a professional squash career and getting a high-level education was impossible, but now an increasing number of top Egyptian squash players are making waves in the Ivy League.

“In the past few years, people are starting to have this mentality of doing both at the same time. It’s always been like, you go pro or you go to school," Jamila said. “Now, a lot of people are like, come to the U.S., you can do both at the same time. A lot of people say it won’t work, but there are exceptions.”

Jamila was the first to commit to Penn. Amina followed her sister the year after and never really considered other schools, saying that having Jamila nearby was a big part of her decision.

“It was mostly Penn," Amina said. “At the end of the day, you want someone you know and who understands you.”

Both sisters agree that family is something they rely on, and the support they get from one another is a crucial aspect of their lives at Penn.

Jamila describes her experience before her sister Amina enrolled this year.

“It was a different experience last year because I was alone," she said. “It was like, try to manage, try to figure everything out. America is a completely different experience than Egypt. Completely. The American lifestyle is so much faster, in Egypt it’s much more chill.

“Last year [I was] adjusting to things. This year I feel like she’s adjusting but I know what’s happening and I’m here for her.”

With two full years left at Penn for Jamila and three for Amina, the pair is looking forward to chasing the best of both worlds, motivated by each other and a vibrant international community.

https://www.thedp.com/article/2019/11/penn-womens-squash-egypt-recruiting-pipeline-tamer-sisters

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-women-members-of-us-congress,-rashida-tlaib-and-ilhan-omar,-get-threats/d/120195

 

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