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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 19 Sept 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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NGOs Urge Malaysian Govt to Follow Indonesia's Move by Prohibiting Child Marriages

New Age Islam News Bureau

19 Sept 2019

Ghadir Ghadir, a Palestinian feminist activist, helped organize volunteer drivers to get out the Bedouin women's vote. Many Bedouin women face political, logistical and cultural obstacles that prevent them from voting. Credit: Eetta Prince-Gibson/The World


  • Jewish and Arab Women Unite To Defy Bedouin Voter Suppression in Israeli Election

  • 'Islam Is Right about Women': Odd Signs Spark Confusion in Winchester

  • Bahrain Torturing Women in Detention

  • Assam: Police Strip, Torture 3 Muslim Women, Pregnant Woman Loses Baby

  • A Muslim Woman Comic Walks Into a Bar: Changing Perceptions Through Jokes

  • Karnataka Woman Gets Triple Talaq Over WhatsApp from Dubai, Files Complaint

  • Photo Fest To Feature Arab News Series On Saudi Female Success Stories

  • Israeli Police Shoot Palestinian Woman, Saying she Tried to Stab them

    Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




    NGOs Urge Malaysian Govt to Follow Indonesia's Move by Prohibiting Child Marriages

    By Audrey Vijaindren

    September 19, 2019

    KUALA LUMPUR: Local non-governmental organisations (NG0s) are urging the authorities to adopt effective measures to raise the minimum age for marriage, following Indonesia’s decision to set it at 19 to curb child brides.

    Women’s rights advocate and secretary-general of the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights, Ivy Josiah, said the education aspect on the issue should begin as soon as possible.

    “It is without question that we should raise the minimum of age marriage to 18 for girls. At the same time, there must be a sustained public education strategy to reach out to parents, girls and communities on the rights of children, the pitfalls of child marriages and the inadmissibility of culture as a social defence.”

    Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) said while some states had raised the minimum age of marriage, chief ministers and Syariah courts could still allow child marriages to take place.

    “Boys and girls are not ready for marriage. Such responsibility could be detrimental to children’s mental and physical health, education, future economic prospects and overall wellbeing,” said WAO’s head of outreach and capacity development Melissa Mohd Akhir.

    “The government should announce a timeline for when it plans to prohibit child marriage, in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that Malaysia has ratified.

    “If Indonesia can change its laws to prohibit child marriage, why not us?”

    WAO urged the government to take extra measures to combat poverty, such as the introduction of compulsory secondary education and effective social programmes.

    WAO also urged the government to commit to a timeline to enact a uniform minimum age of marriage in the country without exceptions.

    Sisters in Islam (SIS) communication manager Majidah Hashim said schools were not equipped with facilities to handle emotional, social and physical needs of underaged pregnancies as a result of marriages, forcing many girls to stop schooling.

    “The fact that child marriage is still legal contributes to these statistics. Most states in Malaysia have yet to take concrete steps to end child marriage in their states despite a directive issued by our Prime Minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) last year.

    “Clear intents and efforts have been shown in states such as Selangor, Penang and Sabah, but until today, none of the states in Malaysia has raised the age of marriage to 18 for all children in the states, with no exceptions.”

    Majidah said there was a lack of programmes aimed at the grassroots level to curb child marriages.

    “It is unfair that issues pertaining to children have become accessory to political ambitions, more so considering that Malaysia plans to submit its first CRC report next year.

    “We need active, concerted and collaborative steps to make meaningful, and not cosmetic, reforms to our education systems.

    “At the same time, we need to remove physical, social and psychological barriers that stand in the way of children to achieve their fullest potential.”

    Deputy Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh in late July last year announced that 14,999 child marriages have been recorded between 2007 and 2017, with Sarawak having the highest number of registered child marriages.

    Child Rights Coalition Malaysia reported in 2009 that 32 children under the age of 10, 447 children between 10 and 14, and 8,726 children in the 15 to 19 age group had undergone pre-marital HIV tests.

    In July last year, a 41-year-old man from Gua Musang married an 11-year-old girl in Thailand.

    In September the same year, a 44-year-old man in Tumpat took a 15-year-old girl as his second wife with the approval from the Syariah Court.

    The Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 puts the minimum age for marriage at 18 but girls can marry at 16 after obtaining a licence from their state’s chief minister or menteri besar.

    Those under 16 are not allowed to get married. In addition, the law makes it compulsory for either party who have not reached the age of 21 to seek permission to marry from their parents.

    Meanwhile, the Islamic Family Law sets a minimum age of 18 for boys and 16 for girls. However, those under the legal age can seek permission to marry from the Syariah Court.



    Jewish and Arab Women Unite To Defy Bedouin Voter Suppression in Israeli Election

    September 18, 2019

    On Israeli election day, scores of women volunteers crisscrossed the dusty roads of Israel's southern Negev desert, using their own cars and gas, to bring hundreds of Bedouin women from remote villages to their polling stations to vote.

    Israel held elections for its parliament, the Knesset, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for snap elections after he failed to form a government following elections in April. 

    As of Wednesday, Sept. 18, with 90% of votes counted, Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party came in second with 31 seats, trailing the centerist Blue and White Party. This means Netanyahu could lose his position as prime minister.

    Netanyahu and Likud knew that a large Arab turnout could threaten their position in parliament, and so ramped up the anti-Arab sentiment and encouraged Arab voter suppression in his bid to maintain power, drawing on Israeli fears of terrorism and threats to Israeli statehood.

    Related: In Israel’s election, the Arab vote could be pivotal

    That’s why voting drives to help bus Bedouins to polling stations have been so critical. Zazim, a grassroots organization, planned to coordinate a system to connect Bedouin women with mini busses to the polls this year, much as they did in the April 2019 elections.

    Bedouin people are part of Israel's Arab citizenry, but because their villages are often located on tribal lands that are not included in Israel’s official planning documents, Israel refuses to provide them with paved roads, sewage, running water and electricity, public transportation, schools — and polling stations.

    On Sunday, Sept. 15, Central Elections Committee head Justice Hanan Melcer, in response to a petition from Netanyahu’s Likud party — and in rejection of the opinion of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit — ruled that to get permission to bus voters, groups must first register as an “organization active in the election” with the State Comptroller’s Office.

    “The situation begins with the absurdity that the state does not provide a solution for thousands of voters and doesn’t provide them with accessible polling stations," said Raluca Ganea, founder and director of Zazim. "It continues as Melcer refuses to believe that this is not a left-right political issue, but a question of democracy. And it ends with the victory of the right-wing, which is trying to suppress the Arab vote. But we are a law-abiding nongovernmental organization, and we have canceled our plans.”

    The Central Elections Committee's ruling may have intended to put an end to the get-out-the-Arab-vote campaign, but it achieved the opposite. Within hours, connected through social media and volunteers email lists, hundreds of volunteers organized and arranged to meet early on election day at a gas station in the Negev.

    Grassroots faceoff in the desert

    By the time the first dozens of volunteers arrived, the organizers, who insist that they had no official organization behind them this time, began taking action to coordinate and match drivers with Bedouin women voters.

    “Send your location on Waze [a navigational app],” requested one organizer, speaking vehemently into her cellphone. 

    “Oh, they [the women who are being taken to the polls] don’t speak Arabic? We’ll send a driver who speaks Arabic …” said another one on her phone.

    She turned to the crowd. “Who here speaks Arabic?!” Three women volunteered, received the location on their smartphones, and set out.

    Soon after they began sending out drivers, two men from Im Tirtzu, an extremist right-wing group, showed up at the gas station, wearing go-pros on their heads and armed with megaphones and notebooks.

    “We’re here to make sure that these traitorous, extreme leftists don’t disobey the law and aren’t part of that extremist organization, Zazim,” said Yehuda, one of the men, both of whom refused to give their last names.

    “Despite the ruling by Justice Melcer, they have come here to break the law to help people vote for the Arab parties and destroy Israel as a Jewish state.”

    “We’re filming you,” Yehuda taunted Ghadir, a Palestinian activist from northern Israel.

    “You don’t scare me,” she said. "We will do what we must do, like any citizen should, anywhere in the world. I am a private citizen, doing what is right.”

    The two groups exchanged heated taunts and barbs. Both groups called the police, who came to the gas station and examined the identification cards of all involved. After several minutes, the police asked everyone to “behave nicely and according to the law," and left the scene, and so did the men from Im Tirtzu.

    And the volunteers persisted, coordinating with local villagers to match drivers with Bedouin women ready to vote.

    In the Bedouin town of Kesar-a-Sirat (population approximately 1,600), spread out over poorly paved roads and unpaved paths, Amal, 68, dressed fully in black, with only her eyes showing above her niqab, or face veil, walked jauntily out of the polling station.

    She refused a photograph and only and gave her first name and age because — she explained — she did not ask her husband’s permission.

    “My husband told me whom to vote for. But when I vote, I don’t have to listen to him. Being in the voting booth is the only other room where I can be alone,” she said.

    “Two nice, Jewish women brought me here,” she continued. “I don’t know their names.  I live in Abu Tlul [a village about 15 miles away], but this is my polling station. If these nice ladies wouldn’t have picked me up and brought me, I wouldn’t have been able to vote.”

    More than half of the approximately 160,000 Bedouins living in the Negev reside in so-called unrecognized villages that range in population size from several hundred to several thousand.

    To make matters more complicated, Bedouins are assigned to polling stations according to their specific tribal group, rather than their address.

    The Bedouin community is composed of dozens of tribes, scattered throughout the Negev. Thus, Alsanah, a woman from Rahat, a recognized Bedouin city, also has to travel to Kesar-a-Sirat, a distance of almost 30 miles, because most of her tribe lives there.

    “This is another way that the state makes their life so difficult,” says Nitza Hevroni, 70, from the central city of Rehovot, who has brought Alsanah from her home to vote.

    “Voting is a right, and so accessibility to voting is a right, too," Hevroni said. "This isn’t an issue of right or left — I did not ask her who she’s voting for. She has the right to vote. That’s what matters. So I’m volunteering to drive. No big deal — I’m in my air-conditioned car. Imagine what her life is like.”

    Campaign against the Arab vote

    The Arab turn-out may have been a significant factor in helping the center beat incumbent Netanyahu in this tightly-contested election.

    Netanyahu and the other right-wing parties used anti-Arab rhetoric in an attempt to both suppress the Arab vote and whip up support among the strident right. As a result, this election campaign has been particularly toxic for the Arab community.

    Throughout the campaign, Netanyahu complained about voter fraud in Arab communities in April elections — even though the only fraud found by an official committee favored Likud, Netanyahu’s own party. He planned to deploy over 1,000 activists with hidden cameras to monitor Arab voters in polling stations — as he did in previous elections — because he believed that it would suppress the Arab vote. This, despite the opposition of Israel’s attorney general, who views the cameras as voter intimidation.

    While the cameras were voted down in parliament, Likud and right-wing activists announced that they would turn up at Arab voting booths, equipped with cameras.

    Netanyahu has gone to great lengths to delegitimize the Arab vote. In 2015, he released a YouTube video late on election day declaring that Arabs were “running to the polls in droves” and that leftist organizations were driving them. The video suppressed the Arab vote by sowing fear, alienation and chaos and energized Netanyahu’s most right-wing flank.

    Throughout the most recent campaign, he has regularly “warned” against an alliance between “extreme hostile Arabs.” Last week, Facebook sanctioned Netanyahu’s official page, after a post called on voters to oppose a government composed of “Arabs who want to destroy us all — women, children and men.” Netanyahu denied the post and removed it, saying it was a staffer’s mistake.

    Haaretz reported that on Monday, more than 24 hours before exit poll results were announced, Netanyahu had already prepared a recorded message to be sent out on election day to hundreds of thousands of voters’ phones, warning them of very high voter turnout among Arab communities and in “left-wing strongholds."

    This is in direct contradiction with Israeli law, which prevents politicians from issuing electioneering statements on days before elections. Exposed by the press, the statement was not released.

    But the delegitimization campaign seemed to have had an effect, at least within the Arab community, where polls were predicting a low voter turnout within the Arab community.

    Record Arab voter turnout

    Emerging election results show that voter turnout in Arab communities rose to 60% in this election, compared with 50% in the April elections, and that the Joint Arab List, a bloc of Arab parties, is now the third-largest party in the Knesset.

    Grassroots organizing between Jewish and Arab women likely had something to do with it.

    “I don’t want to romanticize women’s political activity,” said Hevroni, the driver from central Israel. “But women identify with other women, with not being able to vote. And we recognize the day-to-day difficulties, like lack of access or freedom of mobility. And maybe there is something very real about our thinking — this is just the right thing to do.”

    Details from specific polling stations will not be available for at least a week, but activist Ghadir said she is “convinced that more Bedouin women voted than ever before. The Jewish volunteers gave us hope, and showed us that the only way to bring change for the better for everyone is for Jews and Arabs, and especially Jewish and Arab women, to work together.”



    'Islam Is Right about Women': Odd Signs Spark Confusion in Winchester

    Sep 18, 2019

    WINCHESTER, Mass. - A slew of controversial signs posted across one local town has been drawing more confusion than outrage.

    In Winchester, signs that read "Islam was RIGHT about women" has residents scratching their heads to figure out exactly what the poster meant by those words.

    Winchester Police and upset residents spent a good part of their Wednesday afternoon removing signs from several poles across the town.

    While offensive to some, police said that, while it's technically illegal to post anything on a street sign, it's a tough law to enforce. Due to freedom of speech and because the signs in question aren't threatening, police say it's like posting a sign about a lost cat.

    "I assume it's negative," said Dorothy Kruger, a resident. "That's not cool, that's not a cool thing to do."

    Police said they received multiple calls about the signs, but since they removed them, no other signs have popped up. Nevertheless, authorities are still investigating the incident.

    "I think somebody just wanted this to happen right?" said Stacey Irizarry. "To get some kind of response. The sign itself is confusing it is subject to interpretation."

    While many say they are offended and bothered by the signs, others say they don't really know how to feel about them since the signs don't make a lot of sense.

    "I really don't know because everybody has their own opinion and I respect it," said Syeda Tahsina Mahmud, who is Muslim. "Everybody's entitled to say whatever they want."

    "What is the intent behind it and what are we trying to prove by putting it on this pole so ambiguously," said Shakeelur Rahman, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Burlington. "There is not a lot of clarity in it. I hope the person was trying to encourage people to look it up maybe or research it."



    Bahrain Torturing Women in Detention

    Sep 18, 2019

    Bianca Rahimi

    According to the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy and Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain that released a damning report on September 11, Bahrain’s political allies in the west are failing to hold the oil-rich nation accountable for multiple reports of human rights abuse.

    Ebtisam al-Saegh and Najah Yusuf say, after refusing to work as informants, they were assaulted during an interrogation at the Muharraq Security Complex. The Director of the complex was a beneficiary of a £16,000 UK taxpayer-funded training in 2015.

    According to human rights organizations the treatment of female prisoners is just one of the Bahraini monarchies methods of crushing descent and maintaining power. Arbitrary arrests, imprisonment without trial, torture and executions are reported in Bahrain on a daily basis.

    Forced disappearances are common and interrogations are reportedly conducted without any legal representative present. Ms. al-Saegh says her interrogator boasted of his reputation for inflicting torture and pain on detainees.

    Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the World Organisation Against Torture contributed to the report that documents the suffering of these women.

    The UK has failed to address the abuses perpetrated against them in any public way, instead relying on statements released by the Bahraini Embassy in the UK that dismisses torture and ill-treatment allegations levelled against Bahraini authorities. And the UK and the US governments continue to supply arms, training and political support to the Bahraini regime.



    Assam: Police Strip, Torture 3 Muslim Women, Pregnant Woman Loses Baby

    Sep 18, 2019

    Assam: In a horrific incident, a pregnant Muslim woman and her two sisters were allegedly stripped and tortured inside a police station in Assam's Darrang district. The pregnant woman started to bleed and lost her baby, after being kicked in her stomach by a police officer.

    Th incident took place on September 8 and caught an eye on September 17.

    According to a report by India Today, after the alleged torture, the pregnant woman was admitted to a hospital where she lost the baby due to miscarriage.

    “Darrang district police picked up three sisters - Minuwara Begum, Sanuwara and Rumela from Sixmile area in Guwahati on September 8 night in connection with a kidnapping case and took them to Burha police outpost,” reported India Today.

    On September 10, Minuwara Begum filed a police complaint with the Darrang district Superintendent of Police,  alleging that the three sisters were picked from their homes by a police team led by the officer-in-charge of Burha police outpost, Mahendra Sarma, on September 8 night.

    "We were brutally beaten up by stick and shoes and the police officer stripped our clothes touched our private parts. The police officer threatened us by showing his pistol and warned us from filing any complaint against him," the woman said in her complaint.

    Though the woman had filed a complaint with the Darrang district Superintendent of Police on September 10, their case was not registered.

    The woman also said that she repeatedly pleaded with the officers who ignored the appeals and went on with the torturing. "When the police officer kicked my pregnant sister, she started bleeding and her pregnancy was terminated. My elder sister was two months pregnant. We were also forced to sign our signature in a blank paper at gunpoint," said one of the sisters, India Today reported.

    Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered an inquiry into the case while the Assam State Commission for Women has also taken up the matter suo motu.

    Amrit Bhuyan, SP of Darrang district said, "We received a complaint on September 11 that the woman was tortured when she was at the Burha police outpost. I already directed our DSP to make an inquiry into the incident. If we find that police used additional forces on the women we will register a criminal case. We will also at the medical report."

    To conduct an inquiry into the case, DIG of Central Western Range, Brajenjit Sinha has been directed by Assam CM.

    The accused officer-in-charge of Burha police outpost and the lady constable have been suspended.



    A Muslim Woman Comic Walks Into a Bar: Changing Perceptions Through Jokes

    September 18, 2019

    It’s intermission, and the Comedy Clubhouse is buzzing with conversation. Young people in business attire or hipster T-shirts have refreshed their drinks and are settling into plastic chairs. One woman stays perched on a corner bar stool, sipping water and chatting. She’s wearing a yellow sweater – and a hijab.

    When the lights go dark, the host introduces her as Mariam Sobh, the only Muslim woman to take the stage tonight. Walking to the microphone, Ms. Sobh already has a good idea of what’s on the minds of audience members. She goes right at it.

    “I was crossing the street in my neighborhood and this guy walked by me, muttering ‘ISIS’ under his breath,” Ms. Sobh says.

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    There’s a brief, uncomfortable pause and a few sparse chuckles in the crowd of about 20 people. “So I turn to him and said ‘Allahu akbar!’ I mean, if you really thought that I was a terrorist, would you want to provoke me?”

    The room bursts into laughter. Ms. Sobh has corralled the elephant in the room, the same one that shows up nearly every time she performs. With that out of the way, she owns the space for the rest of her five-minute bit, leaving patrons in stitches with jokes about headscarves, terrorism, and patriarchy in conservative Muslim families.

    Generations of comics have used stand-up to educate the broader society about their culture or ethnic group. Now, Ms. Sobh, a radio anchor whose mother is from the Midwest and father is Lebanese, is part of a growing wave of performers across the U.S. using comedy to puncture stereotypes of Muslim women and to show how much they have in common with their audiences.

    Muslim women are still behind men such as Hasan Minhaj and Ramy Youssef, who have established themselves on the comedy scene, says Yasmin Elhady, an Egyptian-Libyan American lawyer and part-time comedian in Washington, D.C. Mr. Minhaj’s Netflix special, “Patriot Act,” aired in late 2018 and Mr. Youssef starred in his original comedy series, “Ramy,” released this year. Ms. Elhady expects Muslim women to follow suit, bringing their lives into the mainstream via comedy, the way Ellen DeGeneres did for the LGBTQ community.

    “I just don’t think standing in a protest line and fighting for our rights is the best thing for Muslims right now,” Ms. Elhady says. “People both in the industry and out are very excited about us [female Muslim comedians]. I’ve only been met with kindness and support since I started in comedy two years ago.”

    Early struggles

    Things were different when Ms. Sobh started her career in Illinois 15 years ago. She wanted to expose people to Muslims in the arts, particularly in the post-9/11 era, when she was a student at the University of Illinois.

    She hoped to start her career as a television news reporter but was turned down repeatedly.

    “They would tell me off the record that I didn’t get the job because of my hijab,” she says. “That’s just how it was when I was starting out.”

    So Ms. Sobh went to work for Illinois public radio station WILL-AM, and soon performed at open mic events and shows. She has been on the stand-up scene in Chicago for about four years.

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    “When I started out, none of my jokes were about being Muslim,” Ms. Sobh says. “But then I realized I needed to address the elephant in the room, which is me wearing a scarf, because a lot of people made assumptions once they saw it. I figured it was my chance to dispel the assumptions that people make about Muslims.”

    Some audience members say they left Ms. Sobh’s show with a better understanding of what Muslims experience on a daily basis.

    “A lot of the jokes were really funny, and at the same time, this lifestyle and culture are very different from my own,” says Jonah Dagen. The performance “made me a bit more conscious.”

    Another audience member, Margaret Larkin, says she could relate to Ms. Sobh’s struggles with misconceptions and microaggressions. 

    While it’s a bonus when people walk away from her shows having learned something, Ms. Sobh says she’s just “an American woman who tells jokes and makes people laugh.”

    At the Comedy Clubhouse, Ms. Sobh even took on a topic conservative Muslim communities shy from: sex.

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    “Something that is taboo in the Muslim community is the topic of sex,” she says. “It’s kind of ironic because if you look at all of the really religious communities, they are the ones who are doing it all the time. You look around and you see like, what, 10 kids?”

    Comedy as commentary

    Sabeen Sadiq, a 28-year-old Pakistani American also on the Chicago comedy circuit, says she feels the tension between confronting stereotypes and wanting her audience to understand that she isn’t so different from them.

    Performing onstage is one way she can control the narrative. In a highly polarized society, comedy helps lessen some of the tension surrounding her faith, she says. Ms. Sadiq hosts and performs her bits at various bars across the city – a point of contention in her jokes.

    “It was hard telling my conservative mom that I did stand-up in bars,” Ms. Sadiq joked during one of her late-night shows at Chicago’s iO Theater. “I’d be like, ‘There’s a curtain with guys on one side and women on the other – and we serve tea.’”

    For Mona Aburmishan, a Palestinian American veteran of the Chicago comedy scene, comedy allows her to deliver the truth “in a lovable way.”

    “When you want your kids or dogs to take their medicine, you hide it in food,” she says. “A lot of my jokes are kind of like that. They are really intentional, and I’ll make these subtle jokes where people don’t really process it till they walk out of the room.”

    She attributes the growth in American Muslim women comedians to the need for Muslims to speak out in a more casual way, to get their message across without facing backlash.

    “A lot of us Muslims are sick and tired of going to rallies and protests,” she says. “It doesn’t leave you feeling awesome. But if you can make somebody laugh, you’re the most powerful person in the room.”



    Karnataka Woman Gets Triple Talaq Over WhatsApp from Dubai, Files Complaint

    September 19, 2019

    Bengaluru: A Muslim woman in the district headquarters town of Shivamogga in Karnataka has approached police accusing her husband of giving her "triple talaq" from Dubai over WhatsApp.

    The couple had been married for about 20 years, and the woman's husband had left for Sharjah-Dubai in January but did not come back, police said quoting the woman's complaint.

    On some issues the man is said to have repeatedly picked up quarrel with her during their conversations, and finally gave her talaq (divorce) in August, stating he "doesn't want" her, they said.

    "He had initially sent her talaq message over WhatsApp, and then called her to utter the same," police said.

    The couple, in their 40s, did not have any children and had adopted a girl child. The woman has not "accepted" the talaq and sought justice by lodging a complaint.

    "I don't have any financial support and have a daughter to take care of," she has said.

    A case has been registered under relevant sections of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019, and under section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code.

    Parliament had in July passed the triple talaq bill, making the practice of instant divorce among Muslims a punishable offence.

    The new law makes it illegal to pronounce talaq three times in spoken, written or through SMS or WhatsApp or any other electronic chat in one sitting.

    As the man was in Dubai, police will file a requisition with the magistrate for impounding of his passport, officials said, adding an inquiry is on and the legal process would follow soon.



    Photo Fest To Feature Arab News Series On Saudi Female Success Stories

    September 18, 2019

    SHARJAH: Pictures taken for Arab News featuring some of Saudi Arabia’s most successful professional women will go under the spotlight at a major photography event taking place in the UAE.

    Works from the newspaper’s The Face series, shot by Saudi lensman Ziyad Alarfaj, will be on display throughout the fourth edition of the Xposure International Photography Festival which runs from Sept. 19-22 at the Expo Center in the city of Sharjah.

    Titled “The Face: Portraits from the Kingdom,” the picture presentation includes striking photos that celebrate the groundbreaking accomplishments of Saudi women profiled in the regular section of Arab News.

    “I want to highlight women who aren’t relatively well-known because they’re too busy working for themselves and for their countries,” said Alarfaj.

    The cameraman’s main aim was to add a human element to his photographs. “I don’t want to place too much focus on their work. That’s why I capture them in their living rooms,” Alarfaj added.

    Expo visitors will be able to view shots of successful women from a variety of different careers, fields, and backgrounds. Among those featured are Sara I. Alissa, a professional organizer from Riyadh, Ahlam Alshedokhi, a medical doctor and artist, and university professor Dr. Dana Bakheet.

    Established in 2015 by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, this year’s event is set to be the biggest yet and will house an acclaimed selection of more than 1,000 images taken by 357 world-renowned photographers from the Middle East and beyond.

    “What makes Xposure special, is that it’s not any regular photography festival. I’ve been to many, and Xposure is one of the best,” said Alarfaj. “The participating photographers are among the best in the world.”

    In addition to works from the likes of British wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas, American cameraman Stephen Wilkes, emerging Emirati picture-taker Amer Al-Ali, and Brazilian snapper Gabriel Wickbold, Xposure has a packed program in store for photography enthusiasts.

    Unveiled by Sharjah Media Council Chairman Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Qasimi during a press conference, the festival will also include photography workshops, talks from industry professionals, public seminars, portfolio reviews, and competitions.



    Israeli Police Shoot Palestinian Woman, Saying she Tried to Stab them

    18 September, 2019

    Israeli security personnel shot a Palestinian woman who tried to stab them at the Qalandia checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Israeli police said, and Palestinian officials said she died of her injury.

    The West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood, has seen simmering street violence since US-sponsored peace talks with Israel broke down in 2014.

    Video circulated on social media, and which Reuters could not immediately verify, showed men with rifles confronting a woman. A shot is heard and she collapses, dropping something from her hand. One of the men then kicks the item out of reach.

    An Israeli police spokesman said on Twitter that a woman whom he described as "terrorist" attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at Qalandia checkpoint. He posted a picture of a knife on asphalt.

    The Palestinian health ministry said a woman shot at Qalandia had died.

    Medics treated her at the scene and then evacuated her for further treatment, a police statement said.

    Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital pronounced her dead.




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