New Age Islam News Bureau
6 Feb 2017
''It is enough to look at the numerous photos of the students of the Tatar madrasas and maqtabs at the beginning of the twentieth century, the heads of whom were tied with veils in the traditional way.'' Photo: pkzsk.info
• Israeli Court Sentences 16-Year-Old Palestinian Girl to 6 Years in Jail
• 3,000 Muslim Women and Their Supporters Protest in Vienna against Austria's Face-Veil
• Dubai Royalty Is First Woman Pilot in Al Maktoum Family
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
''No Tatar theologian of early 20th century denied that hijab was prescribed in Islam'
The debate about Muslim hijabs, which started with the conflict in the Tatar village of Belozerye in the Republic of Mordovia, continues to escalate to the federal level. The list of those who expressed their opinions is impressive. Federal Minister and the head of Chechnya have already expressed their points of view to the representatives of influential media. Rezeda Safiullina, not only a scholar expert on Islam, but also a person who adheres to the rules of Islam, has also decided to express her opinion on that topic.
The level of fear
For three consecutive years on the first day of February, declared in 2013 as Day of Hijab, in the cities and settlements of our Republic there marches the campaign, participants of which cover their heads by wearing a veil in solidarity with Muslim women. If in previous years the campaign was purely educational and it had an image character, this year it is impossible not to notice that the event has acquired the character of a kind of act of protest against the statement by Minister of Education of the Russian Federation Olga Vasilyeva, who supported the ban on wearing hijabs in schools, citing cases in Mordovia and Stavropol.
The local leaders of these regions have banned the wearing of hijabs for students and teachers in school and the Supreme Court recognised these decisions as legitimate. As in the first and in the second case, the Supreme court's decision left thousands of people confused.
The statement said by Vasilyeva is worrisome
The extent of fear, which seized some of our compatriots in relation to a simple female veil, is striking, as well as the level of intolerance and xenophobia, which has been revealed in all its ugliness in the background of this story in a simple Russian school in the Tatar village, where students and teachers for refusing to remove a veil were subjected to obstruction, psychological pressure from the school management and officials.
I do not want to consider this event as a manifestation of Islamophobia at a household level, and yet such a behaviour of state officials may be regarded by believers as a manifestation of state policy in the sphere of religious freedoms. As rightly said the mufti of Tatarstan Kamil Samigullin, even if the attitude of the Minister of Education of Russia to the traditional Muslim veil is just her personal opinion and not the official position of the Ministry, such a statement is a dangerous sign, as ''it de facto indulge the marginal forces that want to create unhealthy tension in our society and to break the fundamental unity of the multinational Russian people through the practice of religious discrimination.''
Such precedents with the ban of hijabs seriously alarmed the Muslim community. Believers regarded these facts as the intensification of Islamophobia under the guise of a fierce fight against extremism and terrorism and they perceived it as open discrimination based on personal dislike of particular persons, and an insult to the foundations of their religion. The louder are voices on the bureaucratic lawlessness, restrictions against Muslims on religious grounds, insulting the feelings of believers and the infringement of the rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.
''To remove the hijab for her is the same thing as to be naked''
Supporters of the ban on hijabs don't want to hear and understand simple arguments cited by representatives of the Muslim religion, as well as by non-Muslim public figures, famous personalities, journalists, that the wearing of hijab does not contradict secularism and laws that the hijab is not a matter of religious paraphernalia, they do not place their faith on display. It is the prescribed norm, the failure of which is unthinkable for the believer.
The non-believer sees in this only the form, and the believers in those forms see the meaning of their faith. Any Muslim woman will tell you that hiding behind the hijab, i.e. veil, she feels protected from coveted looks, from the temptations. To remove the hijab for her is the same thing as to be naked.
Fortunately, we see that a large number of our compatriots, representatives of different nationalities and religious affiliation, still have a common sense. The evidence is the numerous interviews, the materials that have appeared in recent days in various media.
Hello to Channel One Russia
According to the results of a survey published by the Russian center of studying of public opinion (VTSIOM), every second Russian believes that the ban on wearing hijabs in schools is not right. This suggests that, overall, the country has a more tolerant attitude to the external manifestations of religion.
As a researcher, in recent years I have been engaged in comparative analysis of the religious discourse of the Muslims of the Volga-Ural region of Russia. The study of any institutional discourse allows to determine the current situation in society, formulating the criteria of objectivity, impartiality, credibility, truthfulness in the presentation of information and knowledge.
In this regard, it is puzzling to observe how the media systematically distorts information and incites, do not be afraid this word, the hysteria against Islam and Muslims.
The question arises, why are they doing this? Who needs it? I have an impression that we are witnessing the formation of a virtual information space, which has little in common with the existing reality. It is true that ''people who could multiply knowledge, they work to the falsification of knowledge'' — the words of the head of the Department of new media and theory of communication department of journalism of the Moscow State University Ivan Zasursky, which he cited, speaking about manage of knowledge, its openness and accessibility to the modern society in his speeah at the expert club polls Platform.
The internal significance of wearing hijab
In recent years, secular Tatar national intelligentsia actively is actively discussing and is strongly transmitting historical and cultural construct, according to which the Tatar women did not wear hijabs in the last century. Their typical headdress was a small kalfak. The custom to cover hair with hijab is a tribute to modern fashion and foreign influence. The failure of these arguments appeal to historical traditions of the Tatars is obvious.
It is enough to look at the numerous photos of the students of the Tatar madrasas and maqtabs at the beginning of the twentieth century, the heads of whom were tied with veils in the traditional way. Many of us remember our grandmothers, who did exactly the same.
The Koran mentions the word ''hijab'' in two meanings: 1) a robe covering the whole body except the face and hands (Surah An-Nur, ayah 31 and Surah al-Ahzab, ayah 59); 2) ''covering'', ''covering of honour'' (Surat al-Ahzab, ayah 53). It was written by a famous Tatar theologian Musa Bigiev. The scholar calls for a broad understanding of the word ''hijab'': it implies not so much physical covering (the cover of the face or body), but the moral side of the issue, i.e. the hijab, according to Bigiev, means respect for women, the need to respect the rights of women, protect their honour, reverence for women.
This understanding of hijab was also expressedthe by Supreme mufti of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin: ''Veil is not a hijab, it is an honor of women.'' With regard to the discussions in the Tatar society of the early twentieth century on this subject, Musa Bigiev oppose hijab as ''veil of honour, pride, garments of good breeding and greatnes'' to nikabu — veil covering the face, the need for which some conservatives, traditionalists, and the Tatar Muslim press were trying to defend at the time after the discussion on the topic of mandatory or non-mandatory niqab was open. Galimdzhan Barudi, Muhammad Hanafi Muzaffar, Riza Fahretdin and many others speculated on that topic.
So the question how a Muslim woman should look and what dress should guard her chastit, worried the Tatar community more than a hundred years ago as well.
But, as we see, they were concerned about slightly different aspects of this issue, namely, whether a Tatar Muslim woman must cover her face with niqab. As for the hijab, no Tatar theologian of the early twentieth century denied that it was prescribed in Islam. Disputes caused a question as to whether the hijab must or not cover the face.
Who will win in the veil war: common sense, secularism or clerics?
As for modern information space, the topic of hijab in recent years has been one of the most urgent in the news, publications and comments on the pages in social networks. It's like a debate between supporters and opponents of different forms of hijab (one way or another, fashion is changing, and this applies to the Muslim community as well) and the problem of persecution or infringement of the rights of Muslim women for wearing the hijab. A reflection of all of this has appeared in recent days, publications and past events.
Apparently, in the recent situation with the hijab in school when, as they say, it found diamond cut diamond, there is one obvious advantage for Muslims. The Minister of Education of Russia, apparently, managed to do what nobody has been able to do in recent years: to awaken and mobilize the minds on the unity of opinion on a specific issue. Now depending on how will be resolved the problem with the hijabs in schools, it will be possible to draw a conclusion what tendency has prevailed: 1) common sense 2) militant pseudosecularism with the Orthodox hue, or 3) clericalization, as such precedents strengthen the position of clerics who will try to exploit the situation to their advantage. Well, time will tell.
Israeli court sentences 16-year-old Palestinian girl to 6 years in jail
Feb 5, 2017
An Israeli court has sentenced a 16-year-old Palestinian girl to six years in prison on charges of possessing a knife and planning an alleged stabbing attack in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds in December 2015.
The Jerusalem al-Quds Magistrate's Court passed the verdict against Manar Majdi Shweiki, from the East Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood of Silwan, on Sunday. The teenage girl has already spent more than a year in detention.
Shweiki was detained in the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan on December 6, 2015, after Israeli police claimed that she was carrying a knife in her school bag at the time, accusing her of planning to carry out an attack against Israelis.
Two days later, however, Israeli authorities released her, giving no explanation why they had stopped her and searched her belongings.
On December 22, they re-arrested Shweiki on the streets of the occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds, in the al-Sharaf neighborhood. It remained, however, unclear what prompted the Israeli regime to detain her for the second time. Since her detention, the teenage girl has been moved between Israel's Ramla and HaSharon prisons.
On Sunday, Hayat Shweiki, Manar’s mother, told the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency that the court had postponed the ruling twice since the beginning of this year.
The file photo shows teenage Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Saleh Manasra (C), who was given 12 years of jail term by an Israeli court in November 2016.
The Sunday ruling against Shweiki is the latest in an Israeli crackdown on young Palestinians of al-Quds area, many of whom women, who have been accused of carrying out alleged stabbing attacks against Israelis.
Israeli authorities have so far handed down lengthy prison terms to many Palestinians, even as young as 14 years old, in both East Jerusalem al-Quds and the occupied West Bank territories.
On November 7, 2016 an Israeli court sentenced a Palestinian teenager to 12 years in prison over an alleged stabbing attack last October, while giving 11 years' imprisonment to a Palestinian woman over alleged car ramming.
The Jerusalem al-Quds District Court sentenced 14-year-old Ahmad Saleh Manasra to 12 years in jail on alleged charges of attempting to murder a 20-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy in the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev in East Jerusalem al-Quds on October 12, 2015.
On January 31, an Israeli military court ruled that a 16-year-old Palestinian girl must serve an 18-month prison term for allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier last year. On January 4, a 17-year-old Palestinian girl was also sentenced to eight years and a half in prison on similar charges.
The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed tensions ever since Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015. More than 280 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of October that year.
Israeli forces have been under fire by international rights groups for using excessive force and extrajudicial killings of Palestinian people.
3,000 Muslim Women and Their Supporters Protest in Vienna against Austria's Face-Veil
6 February 2017
Thousands of Muslim women have marched in Vienna against controversial government plans to ban full-face veils in public.
An estimated 3,000 took part in the rally calling for the law change to be abandoned, accusing the government of Islamophobia.
Placards declared that wearing a veil is a personal choice, and protesters claimed that the measure is both sexist and anti-Muslim.
Last week Austria's ruling coalition said the niqab and burka ban will come into effect over the next 18 months.
It has widely been seen as an effort to counter the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) ahead of parliamentary elections next year.
At the protest, which passed peacefully, women marched under the slogan 'My body - My right of self-determination!'
They accused the Austrian government of attacking their freedoms, and RT reports that chants included: 'Hey, minister! Hands off my sister!'
The 'integration law' put forward will see full face veils banned in public places, as well as compulsory German language and 'value' courses for refuges and migrants.
Police officers and court officials are also banned from wearing head scarves in order to appear 'ideologically and religiously neutral', the coalition agreement states.
The document stated: 'Those who are not prepared to accept Enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society.'
France passed a similar ban more than six years ago, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ban on the full face veil.
Dubai royalty is first woman pilot in Al Maktoum family
February 6, 2017
The royal family kids are reaching for the skies and beyond.
The youth of Dubai's royal family are clearly reaching for the skies and beyond. A young woman in the Al Maktoum family earned a unique distinction earlier this month and became a trailblazer of sorts.
Apparently, Dubai princess - Sheikha Latifa - isn't the only female aviation aficionado in the family, who loves to fly and skydive, but another young woman is also making her mark in the aviation industry.
According to this Instagram post by Sheikha Lateefa, Moza Al Maktoum has become the first woman commercial pilot in the royal family.
It is noteworthy that UAE's aviation sector boasts of many women, from pilots to engineers.
In 2016, Etihad Airways announced that more than half the UAE nationals employed by the airline are women, including nearly 50 pilots.
In recent years, an Emirati woman fighter pilot - Major Mariam Al Mansouri - made headlines around the world when she led an aerial raid against Daesh in Syria.
Here's wishing more power and success to the young princess and Emirati women. Reach for the stars!
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