New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 08:04 AM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 28 Feb 2020, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Renowned Saudi Musician Jihad Al Khalidi Female CEO at Saudi’s Music Authority Starts Cultivating New Era













Renowned Saudi musician Jihad Al Khalidi Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saudi Music Authority

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• Delhi Riots: Muslim Women Recall Horror of Molotov Cocktails and Arson

• Asia Bibi: Pakistani Woman Jailed For Blasphemy Claims Asylum In France

• Iran Schoolgirls Dance to Draw Regime’s Attention over Coronavirus Threat

• Muslim Women Take Refuge in Chaman Park Warehouses

• Delhi Riots: Muslim Women In Hyderabad Hold Rare Congregational Prayers For Relief From 'Calamity'

• Praise of Noble Contributions by White Women 'Felt More like Erasure'

• Women’s March to Take Place in Lahore as Scheduled

• Largest Saudi Olympic Games Announced For Men and Women

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/renowned-saudi-musician-jihad-al-khalidi-female-ceo-at-saudi’s-music-authority-starts-cultivating-new-era/d/121189

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Renowned Saudi musician Jihad Al Khalidi Female CEO at Saudi’s Music Authority Starts Cultivating New Era

February 29, 2020

Renowned Saudi musician Jihad Al Khalidi just earned herself a spot on the long list of females landing leadership roles in the Kingdom. Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, recently appointed Al Khalidi as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Saudi Music Authority. The violinist with vast experience in the field of music, spanning over 33 years, will be in charge of kickstarting the newly created authority’s work in developing the Saudi music sector.

Al Khalidi told Arab News it is a dream come true to take on the challenge of promoting a new phase in the Kingdom’s music scene. Some of her responsibilities as the CEO of the Music Authority will include supervising the regulation and expansion of the music sector and supporting and encouraging practitioners, including getting them to produce and develop musical content. The Music Authority, one of 11 new bodies launched by the Ministry of Culture to oversee and develop sub-sectors in the Kingdom’s cultural and arts industry, will also work with relevant authorities to support the protection of intellectual property rights in areas related to music. The body plans to hold training courses and adopt relevant professional programmes too.

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Saudi Arabia is setting up 11 new cultural authorities to promote culture as a lifestyle and boost the economy. The new authorities are financially and administratively independent, with the minister of culture presiding over the board of directors of the authorities.

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While talking to Arab News, music maven Al Khalidi said music programmes have been established for all segments of society, including children of all ages and people with special needs.

“What is gone is gone. We will not waste time living in the past. We are building the future of music in Saudi Arabia and developing its infrastructure, which will require combining and intensifying efforts,” Al Khalidi told the region’s leading English daily.

The CEO also said the goal is to form a different pattern compatible with Saudi and Arab customs, traditions and heritage and conforms to the dreams, abilities and ambitions of Saudi society. When it comes to musical schools in Saudi Arabia, Al-Khalidi said one of the major steps in the next phase is to revive traditional folk music throughout the Kingdom and add a modern twist to its musical heritage.

Al-Khalidi has also spoken to MBC, sharing her desire to help young children across the Kingdom get introduced to music. “I really hope that I will be able to foster a love for studying music among children and to eventually have a dedicated academy to teach children and, God willing, we will see the fruits of such education after five or six years,” she said.

About Jihad Al Khalidi

Al-Khalidi is a skilled musician with over 33 years of experience, as well as administrative knowledge, in the music field. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in violin playing and music theory from the Higher Institute of Music in Cairo and was a violinist for the Egyptian Orchestra for eight years.

https://www.abouther.com/node/26901/people/leading-ladies/newly-appointed-female-ceo-saudi%E2%80%99s-music-authority-starts

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Delhi Riots: Muslim Women Recall Horror of Molotov Cocktails and Arson

February 29, 2020

The deadly religious riots that have swept parts of the Indian capital are proving that women and children are often the most vulnerable victims in any conflict, writes the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi.

The violence in north-east Delhi has left more than 40 people dead and the victims include both Hindus and Muslims. For the thousands of Muslim women and children left homeless, the future appears bleak.

In a crowded large hall in the Indira Vihar area, scores of women and children displaced by the riots are sitting on carpets and mats. Many of the young women are carrying babies, but there are also toddlers, and slightly older children playing in groups.

The hall belongs to a Muslim businessman. It has been turned into a refuge for the displaced.

The women and children here fled rioting Hindu mobs who attacked their homes in Shiv Vihar, one of the worst-affected areas.

A working class Hindu-dominated neighbourhood with a sizeable Muslim population, Shiv Vihar is a maze of narrow bylanes situated next to a filthy drain. A couple of hundred metres, along the same drain, are the Muslim-majority areas of Chaman Park and Indira Vihar.

Separating the Hindu and Muslim majority areas is just a road and the two communities have co-existed peacefully for decades. But all that has now changed.

Nasreen Ansari, who is among those who fled their homes in Shiv Vihar, says their ordeal began on Tuesday afternoon, when only women were at home. Their menfolk were miles away in another part of Delhi, attending an Ijtema, a Muslim religious gathering.

"We saw about 50-60 men. I don't know who they were, we had never seen them before," says Nasreen. "They told us they had come to protect us and told us to stay indoors."

As she and other women watched from their windows and terraces, they soon realised that the men were not there to protect them.

She shows me a video she shot from the window. It shows some of the men, they are all wearing helmets and carrying long wooden sticks.

Nasreen says the men were shouting Hindu religious slogans like Jai Shri Ram (Hail Lord Ram) and reciting lines from Hanuman Chalisa (a hymn praising the powers of Hanuman, the monkey god).

Her mother, Noor Jehan Ansari, says a Muslim neighbour called her to say that her house had been set on fire.

"From our window, we could see another Muslim neighbour's home and his medicine shop burning."

The attackers, she says, vandalised the electricity transformer and as dusk approached, the area plunged into darkness.

"Soon, there were fires burning all around us, they were hurling Molotov cocktails and cooking-gas cylinders, targeting shops and homes belonging to Muslims. Hindu homes were unharmed," she says. "We never thought something like this will happen to us. Our only fault is that we are born Muslim."

Nasreen says the women made dozens of calls to the police. "Every time they would assure us that they'd be here in five minutes."

At one point, Nasreen says she called some relatives and told them that they were "not going to survive the night".

They were finally rescued at 03:00, 12 hours after the siege of their homes began, when police, accompanied by Muslim men from Chaman Park and Indira Vihar finally arrived.

"We ran for our lives, with just our clothes on our backs. We didn't even have the time to put on our shoes," she says.

Several other women at the shelter recounted similar stories of what they were subjected to that night.

Shira Malik, 19, said she and her family took shelter in a neighbour's house. "We were trapped. Stones and Molotov cocktails were raining in from the outside."

Many of the women told me how close they had come that night to being sexually assaulted. The attackers, they said, pulled their scarves and tore their clothes.

A mother of a one-year-old wept as she narrated how her clothes were torn to shreds by several men who entered her house.

Another woman, in her early 30s, said the only reason she was alive was because of help from her Hindu neighbours.

"My neighbours told the mob, 'She is one of us. There is no Muslim woman here.' When the mob went towards the back lane, they helped me escape," she said.

The senseless violence of the past few days began on Sunday evening as a small clash a few kilometres from Shiv Vihar between supporters and opponents of a new controversial citizenship law.

Within hours, it had affected many other neighbourhoods, including Shiv Vihar and Chaman Park.

As I walk around the area, the roads still bear witness to the chaos that was visited here. Dozens of riot policemen keep a watch, ensuring no fresh violence occurs.

Bricks and stones are strewn everywhere, there are burnt vehicles, shops and homes. In Shiv Vihar, facing the drain is a mosque that was also set on fire by the vandals.

Back at the shelter in Indira Vihar, the women say they have no idea when - if at all - they will be able to return home.

Shabana Rehman says her three children keep asking her when they can go home.

"My home was burnt down by the arsonists. Where will we go now? What's the future of my children? Who will look after us? We have lost all our documents," she says, tears flowing down her cheeks.

Her home of decades in Shiv Vihar is just a short walk away, but the gap seems unbridgeable.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-51670096

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Asia Bibi: Pakistani Woman Jailed For Blasphemy Claims Asylum In France

Jon Henley

28 Feb 2020

Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row on blasphemy charges, has filed an initial application for asylum in France and been invited to live in the country by Emmanuel Macron.

But speaking after a meeting with the French president in the Elysée palace on Friday, Bibi said she had not decided where she would settle. She was acquitted last year and granted a one-year leave of stay with her family in Canada.

“I need time to think,” Bibi said. “Canada has been good to me. France has been very good to me – and France has given me a name. But for the time being I need to concentrate on my health, my family and my children’s education.”

Bibi’s case outraged Christians around the world and fanned divisions inside mainly Muslim Pakistan. The former farm worker was sentenced to death in 2010 after Muslim labourers working with her in the fields refused to share their water because she was Christian.

An argument broke out and one woman went to a local cleric to accuse Bibi of committing blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad. Two Pakistani politicians were later killed for publicly supporting her and criticising the country’s draconian blasphemy laws.

Pakistan’s supreme court overturned the conviction in October 2018, sparking violent protests in the country and calls for the judges in the case to be killed. The violence was led by the Islamic group Tehreek-e-Labbaik.

Bibi was also in France to promote her book Enfin Libre! (Finally Free!), co-written with Anne-Isabelle Tollet, a French journalist who helped publicise her case with two previous books and forming an international support committee in 2015.

“I was very honoured to be received by the president, to be next to him, and to be invited to live here,” Bibi said, sitting alongside her daughter Eisha, 21, who is disabled. She was also accompanied on the trip by her husband Ashiq, 58, and her second daughter Eisham, 20.

“France is a symbol for me,” she said. “It was the first country in the world to really support me, and the country from which my name became known.” Bibi said she was also deeply honoured earlier this week to meet the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who presented her with honorary citizenship of the city.

An Elysée official said France was “ready to welcome” Bibi if she wished, providing she met the criteria for asylum. French rules require asylum seekers to submit a request to an independent state agency, Ofpra, which decides whether it should be to granted.

It is understood that Bibi filled in the appropriate forms with her family members on Friday. Although she said she had not received any recent death threats, Islamic extremists have pledged to pursue and kill her.

In Canada, she lives with her husband and daughters in a three-bedroom apartment in an undisclosed location. She told French media this week she was hopeful things would change to allow her and her family to return to Pakistan one day.

“I really hope for it, just the way I kept hope when I was in jail that one day I was going to be free,” she said. Bibi said she was grateful for the prayers of fellow Christians around the world who had helped her remain strong before her release.

In her book, Bibi recounts how she was kept chained in prison and jeered at by other detainees. A devout Catholic, she said she had never committed blasphemy: “I cannot even think of insulting any prophet. I didn’t say anything. It was all about a glass of water.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/asia-bibi-pakistani-woman-jailed-for-blasphemy-claims-asylum-in-france

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Iran Schoolgirls Dance to Draw Regime’s Attention over Coronavirus Threat

29 February 2020

Iranian female students from a girls’ school in Tehran decided to dance in a video to get the regime’s attention to take more precautionary measures against the coronavirus outbreak, including the suspension of schools and universities.

The video was sent by one of the schoolgirls to Iranian activist prominent Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad. The girls can be seen dancing in an empty classroom to a 50 Cent hit song while wearing face masks.

“This video was sent to me from a high school in Tehran. One of the students filmed this and sent it to me. They were very angry that the authorities didn’t agree to shut down the schools for coronavirus,” Alinejad told Al Arabiya English.

Masih Alinejad 🏳

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As #CoronaVirus rages through Iran, listen to this Iranian mother.

I've been receiving a lot of videos from inside Iran who say there's a crisis situation in the country.

Just like this mother, many Iranians accuse authorities of lying and covering up the #CoronaVirus tragedy

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“She said to me ‘our government doesn’t care about our lives and they won’t pay attention to our protest so we know dancing is forbidden and we danced to take the attention of the government and show them that we are not happy about coming to school because of coronavirus crisis.’ She said whether they shut down the school or not we decided not to go to school again,” Alinejad added.

Iranians have been using the hashtag “We’re staying at home” to protest against the authorities’ mismanagement of the coronavirus that has so far claimed 34 lives according to the Iranian regime’s official death toll. BBC Persian put the number of total dead up to 210 as of Friday citing their own sources at hospitals across the country.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/02/29/Video-Iran-schoolgirls-dance-to-get-regime-s-attention-over-coronavirus-threat.html

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Muslim Women Take Refuge in Chaman Park Warehouses

Jatin Anand

Sidharth Ravi

FEBRUARY 29, 2020

Hundreds of them who have their husbands and teenaged sons missing since Sunday recall how they survived violence

Hundreds of Muslim women, whose husbands and teenaged sons are allegedly missing since Sunday, have taken refuge at nearly half-a-dozen warehouses in Chaman Park to escape the horror that engulfed their houses in Shiv Vihar — an area that witnessed some of the worst incidents of violence and arson — as clashes wreaked havoc across north-east Delhi.

Those displaced, mostly women and young children, continued to arrive at the makeshift camps till as late as Friday morning, slipping across a large drain, in the dead of night, via multiple small bridges from Hindu-dominated areas, skirting around the charred remains of vehicles and push carts then and now manned by paramilitary personnel.

They not only kept asking about their husbands and sons, but also if the locality, which many of them have called home for three decades before being forced to relocate, “now only belonged only to the Hindus”. When, how, and if at all they would be returning to the ruins of their houses was something they chose to leave to fate.

Only one bridge remained open between the two sides by Friday and residents were not of the same opinion regarding who started the violence and who was responsible for stray incidents that continued unabated.

“My entire house was on fire, I was about to die,” claimed Bilkis Bano who has been at the camp since the last three days. “People came out of nowhere and started pelting stones and set everything on fire,” she narrated. With a mob allegedly attempting to break into her house and a fire raging, she and the other members of her family tried to hide in the corner of her house when, she recalled, “someone, I did not know, pulled us out and took us to a safe place”.

Arshi Ansari claimed that hundreds of people, mostly “outsiders”, some of whom were “dressed as policemen” took advantage of the fact that most male members of their families were had gone to a religious congregation or jamaat on Sunday.

‘Dressed as policemen’

“They barged into the area because they knew the men were away. One of the first things they did was damaging the CCTV cameras installed in the area. They were all outsiders... some of them were wearing police uniforms but did not look or behave like policemen. They ransacked and defiled the local mosque. They tried to provoke us for hours and threatened to forcibly get us converted,” she claimed.

Farzaa, another resident of the area, informed that four floors of her building were burnt down. “We could not take anything with us when we left the house. We had never imagined that something like that could happen. We just thought there would be some scuffle and things would settle down,” she said. At the gate of her building, which stands next to a household “bearing a saffron flag”, tens of bikes lay burnt to a crisp on a ramp and the entire construction had turned black from the fire. The buildings next to it were untouched.

Noor Jahan (47) lived in a house rented out by a Hindu landlord in Shiv Vihar, but decided to escape when the violence started. “I was not sure if our door would hold up,” she said. As violence in the area escalated, she said, her nine-year-old son asked her if they were safe. “I told him we had a strong gate and nothing would happen. But they broke that [gate] too and in ways I cannot even explain,” she said.

Gas cylinders were used to trigger explosions and smoke from fires engulfed the room she was seeking shelter in along with others. “I covered my child’s face with a wet cloth and we somehow survived,” Mr. Jahan said. Around 3 on Tuesday night when the violence had subsided, Ms. Jahan and her family escaped. “We just ran for our lives and managed to make our way to Chaman Park,” she said.

Debris of stones that were pelted, shattered glass, broken doors, charred remains of vehicles and gutted stores and houses line at least three streets surrounding the Madina mosque in Shiv Vihar, where a large number of people from the Muslim community resided until recently.

The mosque had been vandalised, with the grills to its doors and windows mangled, windows shattered, debris covering the lanes to its entrance and the insides gutted with the burnt carpet sticking to the floor. Miscreants had also hoisted the Tricolour atop the building, next to loudspeakers set up for calls to prayer.

‘Outsiders’

“It was all people from outside. We do not know where they came from,” said Rahul, another resident of the area. Others, such as Manoj Rohila, said that the violence erupted after Muslim mobs set on fire houses and shops, such as that of Bhetem Singh Bhagel who ran a Kirana store near the mosque. Mr. Bhagel’s store had been looted and burnt down as well, while his family which lived in a house inside, remained trapped, he said.

Farhad Ansari [name changed], a resident who was in the area when the violence broke out, said: “We tried to stop them as much as we could.”

Muslim residents here had reportedly put up makeshift barricades and even took to stone-pelting from the terraces of buildings in the area to protect themselves, the residents said.

“However, after a point, the Maulana at our mosque told us to take the women and children and leave the area to save ourselves,” Mr. Ansari added.

Some of the women at the refugee centre, however, contested the claim that people from outside incited and engaged in violence stating: “How did they identify which houses to burn down then?”

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/muslim-women-take-refuge-in-chaman-park-warehouses/article30946762.ece

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Delhi Riots: Muslim Women In Hyderabad Hold Rare Congregational Prayers For Relief From 'Calamity'

Feb 28, 2020

Hyderabad: A large number of Muslim women from Saidabad area in Hyderabad held Dua-e-Qunoot Nazela (special supplication invoking Almighty’s blessings,

mercy and protection from calamities and catastrophes), a rarely performed congregational prayer at Idgah Ujale Shah in Akbarbagh late on Thursday night.

Such prayers, though not unusual at individual level, are performed very rarely in congregations. Dua-e-Qunoot Nazela in large congregations were held during the

Babri Masjid period, according to Fazil Hussain Parvez, who edits the popular Urdu daily Gawah.

Several mosques have been conducting these prayers after Isha (night prayers) or Fajr (morning prayer) every day for over the last 40 days, seeking relief from the

CAA, NRC and NPR.

The neighbour kept us in his house for the night. The next day, he and his wife helped me and my wife dress up as Hindus."

Women gathered in large numbers for the prayer meet at the Idgah Ujale Shah. As per the practice, they all stood through the prayer led by the Imam.

Apart from staging protests, public meetings and demonstrations demanding the government to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act, the community members

have been holding various spiritual programmes seeking divine intervention. Nonstop recitation of the Darood (blessings on Prophet) and Quran are among the

regular programmes held at various mosques at different places in the city.

https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/news/india/delhi-riots-muslim-women-in-hyderabad-hold-rare-congregational-prayers-for-relief-from-calamity/articleshow/74393049.cms

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Praise of Noble Contributions by White Women 'Felt More like Erasure'

25 February 2020

By Laura O'Connell Rapira

Opinion - Last week, Jacinda Ardern and Jennifer Ward-Lealand were praised for their noble contributions to our country and world.

The Prime Minister graced the cover of USA's TIME magazine while Ward-Lealand was bestowed 2020's New Zealander of the Year.

Both women have done incredible things, their positive contributions spanning politics, workers' rights, mental health, film, theatre and television respectively.

So why did TIME magazine, the New Zealander of the Year Awards and so many other media outlets decide to focus on Ardern and Ward-Lealand's work regarding indigenous communities and people of colour?

I'm all for celebrating effective allyship and cross-cultural solidarity but this felt more like erasure.

Ardern featured on the cover of TIME magazine to mark the passing of almost one year since a man inflicted with the ideology of white supremacy shot and killed 51 Muslims praying peacefully in Ōtautahi. She was rightly praised for her message of compassion and unity at a time when the world seems to be locked in a pattern of strongmen seizing power with tactics of fear and division.

But - one year on from the murder of 51 Muslim men, women and children - why didn't TIME magazine take the opportunity to highlight the affected communities themselves? Why not profile Abdul Aziz, the Muslim man who threw an Eftpos machine to prevent the terrorist from killing more people on 15 March? Or Anjum Rahman, the woman who, along with other Muslim women, tried to alert the authorities about escalating hate crimes toward their communities for the five years prior to 2019? The same woman who is now pushing for a grassroots, community-led, national action plan for inclusivity in Aotearoa.

What about profiling the people who lost their lives on 15 March or their families and friends? Why didn't TIME ask how we can collectively prevent another attack like this, as they did after the attacks on 11 September 2001?

In 2018, Media Portrayals of Minorities Project Lab in the USA analysed 26,626 articles and found that news coverage of Muslims was far more negative than any other marginalised group, and a big source of that was the reporting on foreign conflicts. Only two percent of articles on Muslims mentioned Islamophobia, with just three percent explicitly noting anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Here in Aotearoa, RNZ's Mediawatch found that in 2017 the New Zealand media featured 14,349 stories that included the word Islam and nearly 13,000 of those stories mentioned either terrorism or Islamic Jihad.

Why then - at a time when we should be reflecting on our progress and support for our Muslim whānau - do we keep choosing to centre a white woman's contributions to an issue that affected predominantly communities of colour? Especially when people of colour have been advocating for compassion and unity for so long, and when so many words have been written by so many people to perpetuate negative stereotypes about Muslims.

Ward-Lealand was named New Zealander of the Year for her contributions to the performing arts, among many other worthy acts. Kiwibank, sponsor of the awards, congratulated Ward-Lealand on the win describing her commitment to te reo as "unparalleled" in a now-deleted tweet.

No shade to this amazing woman, I stan Ward-Lealand's work taking on the powers-that-be in the film industry for the rights of workers. But I also know a lot of Māori who have made significant and enduring contributions to the survival of te reo me ōna tikanga while also navigating the complexities of language trauma and the realities of living in a colonised country.

For many Māori, the mamae that comes with trying to rediscover your mother tongue is painful and recurring. Something Ward-Lealand acknowledged herself in the wake of the intense media focus on her journey with te reo.

Women have fought for public space for a long, long time and I love seeing wāhine recognised for their important work. But we also need to interrogate our societal tendency to platform individual white women for doing the same work that many indigenous folk and people of colour have been doing for generations.

We need to question why communities of colour aren't usually given such platforms and do what we can to address that imbalance. For some of us, that means passing the microphone, for others that means diversifying which books, articles and events we give time, money and clicks to. It means recognising the experiences white women have advocating for racial justice are different from that of black, indigenous and people of colour and adjusting our praise and platforming accordingly.

There is no doubt about it, both Ardern and Ward-Lealand have done great work. Let's make sure we recognise the remarkable contributions that communities of colour make to our country and world too.

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/410345/praise-of-noble-contributions-by-white-women-felt-more-like-erasure

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Women’s March to Take Place in Lahore as Scheduled

February 28, 2020

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has turned down a petition seeking ban on a March 8 women’s rally in Lahore and told the petitioner it could not ban freedom of expression in the country.

The petition was filed by a local lawyer and chairman of Judicial Activism Council, Azhar Siddique, who questioned the very language and nature of the march saying “anti-state parties were funding its organisers and the purpose was to generate anarchy and unrest in the country”.

He also termed the proposed march “anti-Islam and against its great values”. The marchers have a hidden agenda to spread vulgarity and hatred, the petitioner had further claimed.

“During last year’s Aurat March, women were holding placards that had objectionable messages,” Siddique said.

However, LHC Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid shaikh dismissed all his claims saying a peaceful rally or a march could not be banned merely on the basis of allegations.

The judge also sought report from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and police with regard to providing adequate security during the rally.

A number of women’s rights organisations and pressure groups are set to hold ‘Aurat March’ in Lahore on the eve of International Women Day ie March 8, 2020.

During the hearing, the march organisers Advocate Hina Jilani and founder of Digital Rights Foundation, Nighat Dad, also gave arguments defending holding of the march.

“We are holding the Aurat March to highlight the importance of women in our society. The march will be held on a March 8 (Sunday) and will not hinder any economic activity,” Jilani told the court.

She pointed out that the march was also held last year and had remained peaceful.

“We understand this agenda,” the petitioner responded. “It is not our intention to stop the march, we want that the immoral representation of it is completely banned,” he further said.

However the court disagreeing with his point of view gave a go ahead to Hina Jilani and others to hold a peaceful rally on International Woman’s Day.

Later, Hina Jilani clarified the march was neither anti-state nor indecent. “Many different generations are participating in this rally, they express their wishes and aspirations on display, using their freedom of expression, be it through placards or slogans”.

She also objected to the language of the petition against the march, which stated the movement had a “hidden agenda” and aimed to spread “vulgarity and hatred”. She explained that it was an attempt to malign rights activists striving for social and legal rights of women and the trans-community in the country.

Last year on March 8, women across Pakistan came together to participate in the Aurat March 2019, however, the marcher faced a backlash from extremist voices and religious fanatics who termed it pro-Western and vulgar.

https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/pakistan/womens-march-to-take-place-in-lahore-as-scheduled-1.70030594

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Largest Saudi Olympic Games Announced For Men and Women

February 26, 2020

RIYADH – Saudi Arabia’s Sports Ministry announced the launch of the Saudi Olympic Games on Wednesday, a new competition that will start on March 24.

At a launch event in Riyadh, Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sports, said that the event will be open to both men and women and more than 6,000 athletes from 13 of the Kingdom’s regions are expected to participate.

“The theme of the event will be 'Heroes Amongst Us',” Prince Abdul Aziz said.

The event will feature 40 games with the participation of 35 sports federations in 18 venues within Riyadh.

“It is a new, happy day that brings with it a new sporting event to be added to the myriad of events organized or hosted by the Kingdom in its history and in the last three years in particular,” the prince said.

“All of this would not have been achieved without the unwavering care, attention and support accorded by King Salman and the Crown Prince to the sports sector,” he added.

Prizes of SR1 million for each gold medal winner will be on offer, with SR300,000 for a silver and SR100,000 for a bronze.

"I am pleased to announce the launch of the first edition of the largest sporting event in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Prince Abdul Aziz said. — SG

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/article/589830/SAUDI-ARABIA/Largest-Saudi-Olympic-Games-announced-for-men-and-women

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