New Age Islam News Bureau
1 Jul 2017
Photo: The Oxford Homeless Project believes that the fight with the Sudanese women and children at Florence Park off Cricket Road was religiously motivated
• Swat Women Rights Activist Says Survived Armed Attack
• African Immigrants Speak Out Against Female Genital Mutilation
• Female Democrat Senators 'Brush Off' Female Scholars against Islamism
• After Killing Of Muslim Girl near Virginia Mosque, Talk of Risks, Rights and Hijab
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Racist Mob Knocks A Woman Unconscious' In Oxford
1 July 2017
A 'racist mob' has knocked a woman unconscious during an altercation which saw people flung to the ground at a park in Oxford, a local charity has said.
The Oxford Homeless Project believes that the fight with the Sudanese women and children at Florence Park off Cricket Road was religiously motivated.
Thames Valley Police said that 'racist language' had reportedly been used at the scene.
One person was taken to hospital and another was treated by paramedics.
The disturbing scene was filmed in the park at the start of the Muslim festival of Eid - an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
In the video, a large group of women and children can be seen in Islamic dress, while men and women in Western clothes appear to be engaged in an altercation with them.
People can be seen pushing each other while others are flung to the ground amid a lot of shouting.
A witness, who did not wish to be named, told BBC News that a woman had been punched and kicked after she was hit by a ball from someone in another group.
A member of the group accused of the attack, who asked not to be named, told BBC that the football hit the woman accidentally and at no time did they use or hear any racist language.
Oxford Stand Up To Racism campaign is organising a 'reclaim the park' event in response.
Anyone who witnessed the attack or with information is asked to contact Thames Valley Police.
The reaction online has been divided.
Many people condemned the attack, labeling it racist and cowardly.
Shabnam Sabir wrote: 'This kind of behaviour in Oxford is not acceptable and indeed a worry for Muslims.'
However some people questioned the motivation and the veracity of the video.
UNKQQL wrote: 'Where was the racism in that clip?
But despite some racist comments online, netizens joined the conversation to moderate racist sentiment.
Ankhfnkhonsu wrote: 'Don't be so racist, man.'
Swat Women rights activist says survived armed attack
July 1st, 2017
MINGORA: Women rights activist and founder of the first female jirga, Tabassum Adnan, claimed to have survived in an armed attack conducted by unidentified people late on Thursday night, and has demanded of the government to trace and arrest the culprits.
She said that some unidentified assailants starting firing in the midnight on which her police guard responded and after sometime the attackers fled.
Tabassum Adnan told media persons that it was midnight that some assailants opened indiscriminate firing on her house.
“The firing continued for sometimes and many of the bullets hit my room’s windows and door, however I survived in the incident when my police guard responded immediately and the assailants fled,” she said.
Ms Tabassum said that she was receiving threats from unknown people since long. “I have already filed an FIR in Saidu Sharif police station after I received threats earlier. I will continue my work for women rights as such actions can never stop me from my cause,” she said.
A police official in Saidu Sharif police station said that police filed an FIR and had started investigation.
Ms Tabassum is the founder of first female Jirga known as Khwendo Jirga which works for women rights. She is the recipient of several national and international awards.
Meanwhile, the CTD police claimed to have arrested a key militant identified as Saeedur Rehman, a resident of Shawar, in Matta tehsil. The police said that he was allegedly involved in anti-state activities during the Swat mayhem.
African Immigrants Speak Out Against Female Genital Mutilation
LEWISTON (WGME) – In Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries, some Islamic sects encourage female genital mutilation.
The practice is even more common in western, eastern and central African countries.
Now she wants to stop the practice.]
African immigrants we spoke with tell us they are all too familiar with the practice of female genital mutilation. Abdinoor Dekow says he's seen the problems with mutilation first-hand when he was living in refugee camps in Kenya, including heavy bleeding from women during childbirth.
[Related: Michigan House Passes Female Genital Mutilation Legislation]
"They will tell you the problems they have gone through in the waiting time, when they're having the baby," Dekow said.
He says he would never want that for his three daughters.
[Related: Female genital mutilation (FGM)]
"I don't want my daughter to happen like that," Dekow said. "The young ones need to be safe, so that they cannot be like the older women who have been done who have the same problem."
[Related: 26 states still do not have laws criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation]
Somali women we spoke with also say they want the tradition of female genital mutilation to end.
Local Islamic leaders say this practice has more to do with African culture than Islamic religion.
Members of the Lewiston-Auburn Islamic Society say they don't believe this practice is taking place anywhere in the state. They say immigrants and refugees are told, long before entering this country, that female circumcision is illegal.
Shamsa Abdalla says in her home of Kenya, the practice of female genital mutilation ended three generations before her. And she says it should have no place in America.
[Related: ER doctor accused of performing female genital mutilation on underage patients]
"I don't want that thing to happen to my kids," Abdalla said. "Really, break my heart. Just make me sad and cry."
Female Democrat Senators 'Brush Off' Female Scholars Against Islamism
By Melissa Mullins | June 30, 2017
A recent New York Times op-ed took aim at Democratic female senators, accusing them that contrary to popular liberal opinion, feminism isn’t for everyone – at least when it comes to Muslim women who oppose Sharia law.
Scholars and activists Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra W. Nomani wrote a piece titled “They Brushed Off Kamala Harris. Then She Brushed Us Off.” They exposed the absolute hypocrisy that they experienced from feminists on the left when asked to testify about their experiences in the Muslim world before a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Islamism earlier this month.
Literally calling out Democratic Senators Kamala Harris, Heidi Heitkamp, Maggie Hassan and Cliare McCaskill, Ali and Nomani describe the silent “shutdown” they received from these supposed feminists, who didn’t even look them in the eye let alone ask them a single question about the political ideology of Islam. "Just as we are invisible to the mullahs at the mosque, we were invisible to the Democratic women in the Senate."
McCaskill, they reported, even took issue with the theme of the hearing, “Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule…We should not focus on religion."
Ali and Nomani expressed their concerns over the “deeply troubling trend among progressives” when confronted with the Islamic extremism. Sure, feminists are front and center when it comes to abortion rights, birth control, sexism, pay gaps and workplace discrimination, but when it comes to confronting the brutal realities of Islamic extremism – no one is speaking. There are no marches against honor killings, sex slavery, female genital mutilation, child marriages. There is only silence from the left. They wrote:
Sitting before the senators that day were two women of color: Ayaan is from Somalia; Asra is from India. Both of us were born into deeply conservative Muslim families. Ayaan is a survivor of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Asra defied Shariah by having a baby while unmarried. And we have both been threatened with death by jihadists for things we have said and done. Ayaan cannot appear in public without armed guards.
In other words, when we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.
The article drew over 1,000 comments, so the Times invited them back to take questions from readers.
Speaking to Tucker Carlson on Fox last week, Nomani said because there is this stigma that anyone who speaks out against Islamic extremism will be labeled bigoted or Islamophobic, American feminists think twice about speaking up. She also explained that there are many ways to help combat the abuse and violence women face, but it all starts with an open conversation on the issue of Islamic extremism. Clearly Kamala Harris, Heidi Heitkamp, Maggie Hassan and Cliare McCaskill aren’t the type of feminists open to such a frank conversation.
After killing of Muslim girl near Virginia mosque, talk of risks, rights and hijab
By Sharif Hassan, The Washington Post 21 hrs ago
The first time Noorulain Iqbal's aunt urged her not to wear a hijab was about three years ago, when Iqbal began donning the head covering worn by some Muslim women.
"Wait," her aunt told her, "you're too young."
At 23, Iqbal was old enough to make the decision but her aunt was masking her real worry, Iqbal recalled recently: She fretted that the headscarf would make it harder for her niece to socialize and make friends.
In recent days, in the wake of the murder of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen near a Virginia mosque, Iqbal's aunt and older sister, who do not cover their heads, again beseeched her to stop wearing a hijab, this time for safety.
Iqbal has kept her scarf, even as she had changed other routines to be more cautious in public.
"I stopped running outside at night. I am scared to go outside," said Iqbal,who lives in Fairfax County, Va. But, she added: "It is my identity. I don't think that I am ever going to take it off. No matter how scared I am."
Nabra, of Reston, was killed as she and a group of teens returned to a Virginia mosque June 18 after a late-night meal during Ramadan.
A man has been charged in the assault, which Fairfax County police have said they think was an incident of road rage as a driver approached the group walking and biking along a street in Herndon about 4 a.m. near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society.
Darwin Martinez Torres is accused of chasing, beating and killing Nabra before dumping her body in a pond near his apartment in Sterling in Loudoun County.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler and Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh have said they will pursue the case as a hate crime, if new evidence points in that direction.
But for some Muslim women, the killing of a Muslim girl wearing a hijab and in a long dress known as an abaya near a mosque is alarming, no matter the ultimate motivation. And the attack has stirred conversations in families about clothing that speaks to faith and identity.
Batool Mahmud, 23, a dental hygienist, said her mother is worried about her wearing a hijab while walking. She knows what it feels like to be singled out over the headscarf: In middle school in Delaware a decade ago, she said, a group of teens pulled her hijab from her head.
But "I am not scared," she at a vigil in Reston after Nabra's funeral. Hundreds attended, including many like Mahmud who did not personally know her.
"This is identity for a Muslim woman, this is what shows people that you're Muslim, so if you are taking it off, it is showing them that you're afraid," Mahmud said.
Her resolve holds even amid reports on bias incidents targeting Muslims.
FBI statistics show that 257 anti-Muslim hate crimes with 307 victims were reported in 2015, the most recent statistics available. More than 2,200 bias incidents against Muslims were recorded by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in 2016, up 57 percent over 2015.
And there is some suggestion that Muslim women may bear the brunt of that harassment, according to a small 2017 survey of about 800 Muslims nationwide, by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which studies American Muslim communities in the United States.
It found more women than men said they feared for their safety, with 47 percent of women surveyed compared with 31 percent of the men.
"It is quite likely that because many Muslim women wear hijab, they are more visible and therefore bear the brunt of Islamophobic incidents," said Dalia Mogahed, an author of the survey, who also oversees ISPU's research center in Washington.
A video of a woman harassing a Muslim woman at a Trader Joe's store in Reston went viral in May. "I wish they didn't let you in the country," the woman told the victim, who was filming her. And two men were stabbed to death and one was injured after they tried to stop Jeremy Joseph Christian from shouting anti-Muslim hate rants at two Muslim women in Portland, Ore., also in May.
Those attacks have strengthened Wardah Khalid's commitment to please God by wearing a hijab, she said. More than a dozen Muslim women recently interviewed in the District, Virginia and Maryland echoed her views.
"I think this is a time to actually assert our Muslimness," said Khalid, 31, co-founder and president of the Poligon Education Fund, an organization that works to increase Muslim American participation on Capitol Hill. She was at prayers at the same Virginia mosque on the night Nabra was killed, she said.
Khalid also was among hundreds at a memorial for the teenager in Dupont Circle , one of several across the country held to bring attention to Nabra's death.
"This is not a time to cower away and back away and fear. If you're attacked for wearing it, then God will reward you," she said.
As Muslims - and Muslim women - have a greater presence in the United States, clothing lines, including outlets such as H & M, Dolce & Gabbana and DKNY, are responding to the demand for scarves and dresses Muslim women wear. Nike has launched a hijab collection for female athletes.
There were about 2.75 million Muslims in the United States in 2011, according to a Pew Research Center estimate. The number jumped to 3.3 million in 2015, or about 1 percent of the U.S. population, and Pew estimates that will double by 2050.
Yet with that growth also comes increasing assimilation and women who give up their scarves - not out of fear, but from a sense of feeling more integrated into a larger community.
Bahar Heravy came to study in the United States in 2011. In her home country of Afghanistan, she had to dress in Islamic clothing. But she stopped wearing it six months after she arrived.
"It was a big obstacle on my way to integrate into a new society," the 29-year-old D.C. resident said.
Recent attacks on Muslim women, Heravy said, have given her one more reason not to wear a headscarf: personal security.
"They are brave," she said, referring to women who wear a hijab.
Iqbal is not fearless, but wary - taking precautions but also saying she remains firm about her decision to wear a headscarf.
At the Reston vigil, 51-year-old Ismael Rivera overheard Iqbal talking and leaned in as she finished.
"I am raised as a Christian," he said, his voice shaking with emotion. He added, "I love you," referring broadly to Muslims.
She looked at him and shook her head, saying simply: "It is getting worse."
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