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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 23 Aug 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistani Cleric Cuts Wife into Pieces: ‘She Challenged God’s Orders’

New Age Islam News Bureau

23 Aug 2013 

Madinat Aliyu's roadside car wash in Gusau, northern Nigeria. Photograph: Monica Mark for the Guardian


 Kurdish women Guerrillas on Front Line of War against Sex Slavery in Syria!

 Women Occupants Kicked Out Of Charity Building in Mecca

 Female Car-Washer Makes a Living in a Man's World in Northern Nigeria

 Israeli Women Outraged At Misogynistic Ad Claiming Haaretz' New Website Is Better Than Sex

 Enough of Shahrizat, Plead Women’s Gender Activist Groups

 Number Of Syrian Child Refugees Reaches One Million Says U.N.

 Divorcee Accuses NSHR of Ignoring Paternity Dispute

 Dublin Muslim Woman Who Was Told Not To Pray In Park Fears Others Face 'Hurtful Abuse'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Pakistani Cleric Cuts Wife into Pieces: ‘She Challenged God’s Orders’

By Owais Jafri

August 22, 2013

MULTAN: A cleric cut his wife into pieces on Wednesday for refusing to wear a veil and sending their children to school, police said.

They said the body was recovered from near their house. They said they found his confession on the body and had also recovered the weapon he had used.

The body has been handed over to the family following a post-mortem examination.

A case has been registered against the confession-killer, who the police said had been missing.

Ahmad Aziz, father of the deceased Farzana Bibi, 36, said that she married Muhammad Sharif, 42, a resident of Bakkhal Bhir in Mumtazabad Colony.

They had three children.

Aziz said that Sharif led prayers at the neighbourhood mosque and also gave Quran lessons at their home. He said Sharif was short-tempered and would often beat up Farzana Bibi. He had been telling her to cover her face when she left the house.

Aziz said Farzana Bibi wore an abaya (gown), but did not want to cover her face.

He said they often quarreled over the matter.

Police said Aziz was informed about the incident by the police shortly after they found Farzana Bibi’s body. Police said it had first been seen by a neighbour, who informed the police.

Police said in his note, Sharif had confessed to killing Farzana Bibi.

He wrote that he had deemed his action the best way to “punish his wife for rebelling against Allah’s orders”. He wrote that he wanted all women to learn from their example.

He said he had not wanted his children to study at a school. Instead they should have gone to a religious seminary. He said Farzana Bibi had enrolled their children into an English medium school against his will. He said he had wanted to punish her for that, too.

He said he had been telling her to cover her face with a veil when she stepping outside, but she had not listened. He also wrote that he did not want to be responsible for her sins and thus killed her.

He said it had taken him time to make up his mind for this.

On Wednesday morning, after the children left for school, he wrote, he attacked her with a sharp knife, used to slaughter animals. He later cut the body into 10 pieces.

The station house officer said a police team was looking for Sharif. He said the children had been handed over to the parents of the deceased.



Kurdish women Guerrillas on Front Line of War against Sex Slavery in Syria!

By Hamma Mirwaisi and Alison Buckley

23 August 2013

Ever since Lamech, the father of the patriarch Noah according to Hebrew Bible, defied his God Yahweh, and took two wives, specific religious doctrines have sought to justify the denigration and oppression of women. Some Islamic religious laws, currently imposed on compliant or non-compliant populations, are more severe than those of other religions. In Western countries women have achieved a degree of freedom but they are yet to gain true equality. However, deep in the recesses of Middle Eastern politics, Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, the son of Kurdish peasants, has devised teachings giving women full equality and freedom, and the impetus to fight in the Syrian War.

Consequently, we are appealing to feminists, and all others who have compassion and respect for their sisters and fellow human beings to support peace for the Kurdish people, and victory for their forces in Syria and other parts of Kurdistan as they struggle against attacks, especially on women, from Islamic terrorist organizations. The desperate situation in Syria is all too familiar to the Kurdish people who, after 1400 years of oppression, will likely soon make their last stand against it, in what might become a much wider conflict.

To inform readers about what is really happening in Syria we offer the following short background history of the conflict between the Aryan Kurds and the Islamic powers.

Since the establishment of the Islamic Arab religion by Muhammad ibn Abdullah (born into the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca in today's Saudi Arabian kingdom), to our time, the Kurdish people have been ideologically and territorially victimized by the Arabs, Persians and Turks.

During the era of the second Caliph (or "Khalifa' meaning king or president of the Islamic Arab Empire) Umar  bin al-Khattab, the Islamic army conquered Arab tribal lands and converted them by force to the Islamic religion. Refusing to tolerate any other religion, the Islamists believed theirs was the last one bestowed on humanity by almighty God. According to Muhammad's teaching, the Islamic religion was obligated to destroy all other religions and force humanity in its entirety into the Islamic religion.

Unaware that the Arab tribes originally came from Africa to conquer the Aryan peoples' Middle Eastern lands, Umar  bin al-Khattab led the imposition of monolithic power on both the original Aryan owners and their conquerors. Then, mistakenly assuming that the Roman Byzantine and Sassanid Empires were the occupiers of Arab, not Aryan lands, he used Arab nationalism and the Islamic religion to politically unify the Arab tribes (1). Umar bin al-Khattab's cunning appropriation of Islamic Arab intentions to rid the land of the Roman Byzantine and Sassanid Imperial occupiers further empowered him and his movement. Throughout this process the Aryan peoples' hopes of retrieving their lands diminished.

Coincidentally, Umar  bin al-Khattab formulated Islamic laws used by prophet Muhammad to eliminate Jewish tribe of Bani Quraytha to justify his fight against non-believers, claiming that his followers were heavenward bound and therefore entitled to take the lands and wives of those whom they conquered. Today there are reports that Syria's al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) are declaring that any of their followers who kill Kurds based on Islamic Sharia law are also going to heaven and therefore free to take Kurdish women as sex slaves. Additionally, according to the report, the al -Nusra Front alone has massacred 450 Kurdish civilians, including one hundred children, in northern Syria.

The Islamic Arab tribes enthusiastically joined the Islamic Arab Army in the war against the Roman Byzantine and Sassanid Empires, driving the former out of Syria and totally annihilating the latter. The Arab Islamic army killed millions of Kurds and took a similar number of Kurdish women to be sold as sex slaves in the city of Medina, the capital of the Islamic Arab Empire. Arab tribes took most of the Kurdish people's land in Iraq and Syria. They destroyed the Zoroastrian Aryan religion (which had links to Judaism and later Christianity) and forced the survivors to accept Islamic teachings (2).

Many readers may not know or have considered that the Kurdish people have suffered longer and more at the hand of Islamic Arabs than any other national entity.  Even if it is not apparent to observers, the Aryan Kurds are certain they have born more Arab hatred and grudges than any other ethnic or racial group. The graveyards of many Arab leaders, killed by Kurds before they were forced to accept the Islamic religion, testify to this claim.

Tragically the Persians and the Turks have thoroughly learned the oppressive tricks of the religious domination trade; the Iranian Persians now use politicized Islamic Shi'ism to fight the Aryan Kurds, while the Turks base their anti-Kurd campaign on Islamic Sunni'ism.

But after nearly one and a half millennia of war and destruction the Aryan Kurds have survived; in fact they are very much alive and fighting under the leadership of Abdullah Ocalan. His teachings are not only uniting the Kurdish people, they are also igniting their hope as they see light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Ocalan is calling for the liberation of women before the liberation of Kurdistan. He believes that without freedom for women, Kurdistan will not be able to free itself from its occupiers.

Today millions of Kurdish women are joining his call, forming a formidable women's liberation force against aggressive, deadly male ascendancy, and strengthening the fight for the emancipation of their country from its occupiers.

Although Arabs, Persians and Turks are still attempting to use manipulative Islamic religious strictures and traditions for political gain, thanks to the teachings of Abdullah Ocalan the majority of the Kurdish people are no longer fooled by their deceptions. Instead, on high alert for treachery, lies and betrayal, they support or fight in a self-defensive war against those in Kurdistan who have chosen to remain their enemies.

Not since the era of King Cyaxares the Great (Kayxesraw of the Aryan Kurds), have the Kurdish people formed such a unified front. Abdullah Ocalan might soon be hailed as the modern successor to Kayxesraw, who in 612 BCE liberated his people from the Assyrian Empire, the equivalent of today's US.  Ocalan's teachings can easily be compared to the political genius of this humane founder of ancient Kurdistan, where women were accorded the same rights and value as men.

This article is soon to be supplemented by our upcoming factional novel, which will provide a comprehensive account of the life of a female Kurdish guerrilla fighting within the Islamic world for her own and her nation's liberation.



Women Occupants Kicked Out Of Charity Building in Mecca

 Ashwaq Al-Tuwairqi

 23 August 2013

 MAKKAH — A number of needy women who lived in a charity home in Makkah have been evicted by the building’s owner.

The evictees lived in the same compound of the Al-Wafa Social Protection Home where other similarly poor women were staying.

Dr. Hanim Yarkondi of Makkah’s Women's Welfare Society (WWS), which was supervising the building, said its owner wanted these women occupants out because of the numerous differences among themselves and also with female security officers.

She said the occupants were not adhering to accommodation rules, so they were asked to vacate the building. Yarkondi said the owner, whom she did not name, wanted to give his charity building to the social protection home, so he asked the occupants to leave. She said the society would rent out houses for these women because it does not have enough empty buildings at the moment.

Atwa Al-Abdali, who left the building before Ramadan with her three daughters, said she received many written letters and telephone calls from WWS Chairwoman Ihsan Mekki to vacate the building and look for accommodation elsewhere.

She said the society transferred her and her daughters to an old and cracked charity building in Al-Sabhan district that lacked the simplest services such as clean water.

"The district is far away from the inhabited areas in Makkah. We have to walk long distances when we want to shop, as there are no means of transport," she said. Al-Abdali said the man in charge of the building asked her to pay SR600 every month in rent. She said: "What shall I do in this case?

“I am not able to pay the rent and cannot go back to the charity home because the society asked me to leave and never to come back."

Aisha Allam said she rented an apartment at SR22,000 a year.

"I paid half of the rent and I have to pay the rest before the end of the year." Allam said she asked the Social Affairs Office in Makkah to help her find other accommodation but the officials at the office refused.

“All that the office did for me was to give me a letter to the WWS to give me somewhere to stay.

“The WWS apologized because they did not have empty buildings at the moment. I do not know what to do and how to take care of myself and my daughter.

“We will not be able to pay the second half of the rent. The social affairs office, which is responsible for taking care of poor women like myself, has abandoned us.”



Female car-washer makes a living in a man's world in northern Nigeria

23 August 2013

Car washes are a common sight throughout Nigeria, but Madinat Aliyu's roadside business is unique: she is the only female car-washer in the country's Muslim north, where sharia law often limits the types of jobs women do.

"This job has caused me a lot of problems," said the 27-year old, surveying cars waiting to be cleaned in Gusau, the dusty two-street capital of Zamfara state where traffic is sometimes stopped by roving cattle.

Working in an occupation considered the exclusive preserve of men is particularly difficult in remote and highly conservative Zamfara, which has been active in implementing a strict interpretation of sharia.

After the state became the first to adopt Islamic law in 2000, authorities flogged motorcycle riders for carrying female passengers, and a 17-year-old girl was lashed two weeks after she gave birth, as punishment for having premarital sex.

Aliyu took up her work two years ago, hoping to use the 7,000 naira (£28) monthly salary to put her siblings through school following the death of their mother, the sole breadwinner. But her family begged her to quit and she has received "judgment and warnings" from strangers too.

"My grandmother cried for many days. Some people thought it was a joke to bring more customers. Others said if she is doing it for money, let's just give her money to stop disgracing us," she said as she drew a bucket of water from a well by the roadside. "But I hate laziness or depending on somebody else."

Gender disparity is acute in Africa's most populous country, which ranks 118 out of 134 countries in the UN's gender inequality index. The problem is most pronounced in the north. Aliyu has heard of only one other woman doing a similar job – spray-painting cars in neighbouring Katsina state – in the 12 sharia-governed states.

Nevertheless Aliyu has admirers. "Some customers only allow her to handle their cars," said her colleague Shamsudeen Mohammed, polishing a gleaming 4x4. "I was trained to wash cars by men, and I can honestly tell you women are better to work under," he added.

Recently another woman approached Aliyu to ask for advice on starting her own car wash. "Unfortunately her family discouraged her. I told her, if you listen to them, you will find yourself begging, prostituting or marrying a man who is older than your grandfather," she said.

Despite being considered a pariah by many, Aliyu has no plans to stop her work. "I see men doing something and I think, me too, I can do it. I feel like, me too, I get power!"



Israeli Women Outraged At Misogynistic Ad Claiming Haaretz' New Website Is Better Than Sex


AUG. 22, 2013

Israeli journalists and the deputy speaker of the Knesset are incensed about an ad put out by Haaretz, Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, that they say is sexist.

In the ad, a man, shown disinterestedly having sex, compares his current activity to the "been there, done that" experience of Haaretz's old website. The ad then claims "Life is not as interesting as Haaretz's new website." The woman is barely addressed throughout the minute-long spot.

The ad features no nudity, but it may not be the best thing for you to watch at your place of work.

The dialogue was translated by The Hollywood Reporter, which reports that Pnina Tamano-Shata, the deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament, wrote a letter to the paper demanding that it remove the ad and apologize to its female readers.

Additionally, a group of Haaretz reporters has petitioned the paper's management to take down the video.

"We're ashamed today to work in a newspaper that under false pretense of irony and sophistication (with questionable quality) showcases a silent female as a sexual object," the petition said.

The video remains on YouTube, where it was posted Aug. 10, and has more than 200,000 views.



Enough of Shahrizat, Plead Women’s Gender Activist Groups

23 August 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — Yet to be announced, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s appointment as the prime minister’s adviser on women affairs has raised questions among gender equality activists who fear the role will undermine the authority of the incumbent minister.

Shahrizat’s return to the Cabinet has drawn flak from several women’s rights groups who viewed her role as redundant and voiced apprehension that she may dish out conflicting advice on programmes initiated under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development now helmed by Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.

Such conflict, they suggested, could disrupt gender advocacy efforts.

“To be honest, if we have a women’s minister, an elected one, I don’t see why we need another,” Maria Chin Abdullah, executive director of Persatuan Kesedaran Komunity Selangor (Empower), told The Malay Mail Online when contacted.

Carving out a special seat on women’s issues just to accommodate Shahrizat was unnecessary, she said, highlighting that the Wanita Umno chief had not given much punch during her three years heading the ministry.

“I think it will not bring that much of a trust, there will be doubt over her performance,” Chin said, referring to Shahrizat’s link to the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal involving the former minister’s husband and children that hit national headlines two years ago and which remains grist for news mills.

“I think she has done some things during her tenure, but I feel she has not done enough, for example, on the issue of Islamic family law, that till now nothing has been done,” she added.

Chin said there have been numerous amendments to the current laws that women’s groups have been lobbying for, and which appear to have stagnated.

All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) president Ho Yock Lin shared similar views, but expressed concern that Shahrizat’s return might undermine the power of the incumbent women’s minister.

As adviser to the prime minister, Shahrizat will be conferred full ministerial powers.

Picking Shahrizat was a major policy misstep, Ho said, as the prime minister would be signalling his lack of confidence in the existing women’s minister to carry out her job.

“At the same time, if there is a conflict of programmes, who shall the government listen to?” the AWAM president asked.

She said Shahrizat may have done some good during her turn in office, but despite her long tenure she had little to show for it.

It would be more suitable if Shahrizat were appointed Rohani’s adviser, Ho suggested, saying a new leader may revitalise the government’s efforts on women’s rights.

“It is time to for [Shahrizat] to go, time for new people to try [to take the lead],” Ho said.

“If she really wants to, maybe she can be an adviser to the ministry, but not the prime minister.”

Shahrizat’s help, however, may not be welcomed as her successor Rohani has stressed that her predecessor was not appointed to her ministry.

“It’s not adviser to my ministry,” Rohani told reporters on the sidelines of the Women’s Summit 2013 conference on Tuesday.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah hoped the news of Shahrizat’s appointment was merely a bad rumour.

Shahrizat, the former Lembah Pantai MP, yesterday confirmed with The Malay Mail that she received her appointment letter last Thursday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has maintained a resolute silence in confirming Shahrizat’s appointment when asked at a news conference on Monday.

Like Chin and Ho, Josiah said an adviser role was not sensible as it would undermine the status of the women’s ministry which has a large enough machinery to lead on policy and implementation on women’s issues.

“Furthermore if the rumour is true, it will not look good, as perception wise it will appear to be political patronage,” she told The Malay Mail Online in a text message yesterday.

Josiah noted that the appointment in an adviser role would mark Shahrizat’s return to political power, over a year after the Wanita Umno chief lost her Cabinet portfolio at the height of a national cattle-farming scandal.

Shahrizat was the women, family and community development minister from April 10, 2009 to April 8, 2012 and dropped from Cabinet after she lost her senatorship due to allegations of impropriety after her family was implicated in a RM250 million federal loan for a failed national cattle-farming project.

This is the second time Shahrizat will be given a political lifeline after having won a similar reprieve in the aftermath of Election 2008, when she was defeated by newcomer Nurul Izzah Anwar in the contest for the Lembah Pantai federal seat.

The embattled leader will be defending her post in Wanita Umno in the coming party polls and is expected to face a challenge from another ex-minister, the younger Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.



Number of Syrian child refugees reaches one million, says U.N.

23 August 2013

Dina al-Shibeeb

The number of Syrian children forced to flee their conflict-ravaged homeland has reached one million, children constitute half of all the refugees driven abroad by the more than two-year old war, the United Nations said on Friday.

“The number of Syrian children who are now refugees has reached more than one million,” regional spokesperson for the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, Peter Kessler, told Al Arabiya English.

Kessler urged the international community as well as private individuals to help what he described as a “tsunami of people crossing over borders.

“We have about 1.9 million Syrian refugees in the region, like the population of Birmingham, a city in the UK.”

The refugees have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and North Africa, the UNHCR says. They include 40,000 Syrian Kurds who flooded into Iraqi Kurdistan in the past week.

Lebanon, which has the highest number of Syrian refugees, hosts about 300,000 Syrian children with more than 2,000 of them having crossed the border into the neighboring country unaccompanied by their parents or separated from their families, Roberta Russo, UNHCR’s spokesperson in Lebanon, told Al Arabiya English.

“The number of Syrian refugees [in Lebanon] currently enrolled in schools are only 30,000,” Russo added.

However, it is expected that more than 300,000 Syrian refugee students will be enrolled in Lebanon’s education system by the end of 2013, meaning there will be more Syrian refugee students than their peers with Lebanese citizenship, the spokesperson said.

While Lebanon is working closely with the U.N. refugee agency to open schools for the Syrian children and offering accelerated class for them, Russo said that the agency needs money and personnel to cover costs for the “traumatized” children, who she said could be “a lost generation.”

Only 26 percent of UNHCR’s program for Syrian refugees is funded. The U.N. refugee body, which has a budget of $400 million, is seeking $1.7 billion to cover the costs of the refugees.

“What is different in Lebanon is that we do not have camps- a big challenge. Families are living in apartments,” Russo said. “Now we are seeing families in tented settlements all over the countries, as well as the phenomenon of street children who could be exposed to violence.”

Also, within Syria, another two million Syrian minors are uprooted and are often attacked or recruited as fighters, an act that violates international humanitarian law, UNHCR and UNICEF announced in a statement.

“The youth of Syria are losing their homes, their family members and their futures. Even after they have crossed a border to safety, they are traumatized, depressed and in need of a reason for hope,” Reuters quoted Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, as saying in a statement.

According to the UNHCR, a child refugee is defined as any person who is below the age of 18.



Divorcee accuses NSHR of ignoring paternity dispute

 23 August 2013

YANBU — A Saudi divorcee from Yanbu who is involved in a bitter dispute with her ex-husband over the paternity of her son on Thursday refuted claims by the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) that it was giving her support.

The society’s office in Madinah said on Wednesday that they were following up the case.

"The NSHR did not make any move to convince the concerned authorities to force my ex-husband to recognize his son," she said.

Um Muhammad said she delivered a baby boy about six months ago and her ex-husband was the father.

The boy was born with a heart deformity and has been confined to the general hospital in Yanbu.

The hospital refused to issue him with the official documents required for issuing a birth certificate as long as her ex-husband refused to admit that the child was his.

Um Muhammad has filed complaints against her ex at the general court in Yanbu and the Madinah governorate.

"The baby is his and I am willing to run a DNA test on the boy to prove that," she said.

She said her ex physically and verbally abused her and forced her to take herbal medicines to make her miscarry.

Sharaf Al-Qarrafi, supervisor of the NSHR's office in Madinah, had said that they started following up the case from the day they received the mother’s complaint on Feb. 9.

"We remained in constant contact since then with the concerned authorities until the case took its legal course and was handed over to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP)," he said.

Um Mohammed, who married the man before she was 20, said she became pregnant three months into the marriage.

Her husband divorced her, accused her of adultery and refused to accept the baby as his.



Dublin Muslim Woman Who Was Told Not To Pray In Park Fears Others Face 'Hurtful Abuse'


 23 AUGUST 2013

A MUSLIM woman who was told to stop praying in a park fears other Muslims in Dublin have suffered similar "hurtful abuse".

The woman, named Sajida, last night said she wants the security firm involved to make a donation to children's charities in Egypt and Syria. A security worker has been suspended after he told the woman and a friend to end their prayers "in case they break their backs".

The man confronted the two women in Griffith Park, Drumcondra, last Saturday week and told them they needed a permit to pray.

Speaking from her Dublin home last night, mother-of-three Sajida said she was still "deeply hurt" by the incident.

"We were praying peacefully. We were not chanting or causing any disturbance to the public. Then he honked his horn and told us we needed a permit to pray," she said.

"He told us to stop. I felt harassed and intimidated."


The employee works for Security firm Manguard Plus which has a contract with Dublin City Council to provide a warden service at the park.

Company boss Bill Brown said he completely understood the women's anger. "I have lived in the Middle East so I know how important prayers are to people who practise this faith. We completely condemn our worker's actions," he said.

He added that Manguard Plus "sincerely regrets" its employee's "absurd actions".

Sajida has requested that her full name not be published due to fears that publicity would spark a negative reaction for her family.

Her children are all Irish, speak Irish and attend local schools. Her husband works in Dublin.

The family said that while they feel integrated in Dublin, they are often subjected to racist taunts.

Sajida said she went public with her story so others would not be subjected to what she described as potential "Islamophobia".

"Deep in my heart, I know what happened to me and my friend was wrong. I feel so strongly about that. This was total harassment," she said.

"For me, what he said is as silly as telling people that they cannot bless themselves in public. We pray five times per day, that is part of our faith. My faith is personal and I feel it was violated."

Solicitor Derek Stewart, a director of the Immigration Council of Ireland, said Sajida and her friend will be urging the company to make a donation to Islamic children's charities.

Both women and Mr Stewart are expected to request a meeting with the company and say they are seeking an "appropriate apology".

Asked whether she would return to the park to pray in the future, Sajida said: "I think I would, but I fear this could have happened to other women and they have not spoken out. If it can happen to me, it can happen to others."

Killian Forde, the chief executive of the Integration Centre, described the women's fears as "very concerning".

"Too many government departments think everything is fine in relation to integration," he said.

"We can't keep constantly pretending there are no issues – when we do that they just build up."