New Age Islam
Tue Aug 11 2020, 08:35 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 20 March 2019, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Sweden's First Hijabi MP, Leila Ali Elmi, Says 'This Country Is Ours Too'
















Swedish MP Leila Ali Almi. Jezzica Sunmo for The National

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Dunedin : Standing with Muslim Women: Wearing a Headscarf an Offering of Support

New Zealand School Enforces ‘Ban’ On Headscarf

Islam Must Never Be Used To Justify Female Genital Mutilation

Saudi Arabia: Abusive Charges Against Women Activists

Majority Of Muslim Women In Scotland Have Been The Victims Of Hate Crime

Pakistani Lawmakers Claim Women’s March Was Anti-Islam

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/sweden-s-first-hijabi-mp,-leila-ali-elmi,-says--this-country-is-ours-too-/d/118086

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Sweden's First Hijabi MP, Leila Ali Elmi, Says 'This Country Is Ours Too'

Liz Cookman

March 20, 2019

After Leila Ali Elmi was elected to be Sweden’s first hijabi member of parliament last year, local media referred to her as ‘the hidden one’.

The thirty-one-year-old was described as rising from obscurity but she says the media never “looks for good in the suburbs” where she had already served as on the local council.

But the areas are heavily populated by migrants and are notoriously segregated

While the country is known as a bastion of gender equality, social justice, and for taking in refugees, the picture is not always as rosy for the 16 per cent of Swedes who were born abroad.

Unemployment is more than five-times higher for them than it is for those born in Sweden, and like much of Europe, liberal, tolerant Sweden has been facing a right-wing populist surge.

Ms Elmi was elected for the Green Party against a backdrop of rising anti-Muslim sentiment and a wave of mosque attacks. She canvassed for support on the streets of her hometown of Angared, an isolated suburb of Gothenburg sometimes described as a ghetto, where she was a councillor.

“Sweden was built on immigrants. Nobody is going anywhere and we need to show the far right that this country is ours too, and not back down,” she told The National at the Green Party parliamentary offices in Stockholm.

For her, the best antidote to extreme nationalism, racism and nativist ideology is to not stay hidden but to be vocal, and to be herself.

“This is a norm breaking process we’re going through,” she said.

“I want other people who are minorities, people who feel disregarded because of who they are, who they chose to be or what they were born to be, to see that there are people fighting for human rights, liberty and for democracy.”

Born in Ethiopia to Somali parents, Ms Elmi arrived in Sweden as a refugee as a one-year-old and considers life here the only one that she knows, although she is proud of her culture and heritage.

She is Sweden’s first East African woman MP and joins a growing number in the Somali diaspora to have taken up political posts across the world. In the US Ilhan Omar recently became the first hijab-wearing member of Congress, while last year the UK’s Magid Magid was appointed Sheffield’s youngest Lord Mayor.

Ms Elmi began wearing a hijab two years ago as, for her, it was “helpful to have a connection to divinity” although she accepts that being a “minority in every way” may make things tough for her.

“You have to have someone to talk to and rather than talk to a therapist I chose to talk to God,” she joked.

Her inspiration to fight for what she believes in comes from classical pianist turned jazz musician, and civil rights activist, Nina Simone. And in a letter she remembers fondly, a supporter told her she has the strength of Pippy Longstocking. The red-headed kid with superhuman strength and resilience who stands up to bullies – a creation of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren – is a national symbol for feminism as she encourages girls to believe in themselves.

“I know it’s tough, I know it’s hard, I know I’ll go through more s**t than most other MPs, but I think it’s necessary for me to be here. Racism and race are social constructions and if people are not on the inside paving the way for change then we will never get anywhere – being a first at something comes with a duty,” said Ms Elmi.

“It’s not even about Sweden, it’s bigger than me.”

One of her proposals – which has received a mixed reception and was recently misrepresented by Russian state media – is a voluntary, self-identified and anonymous register to collect data on race, religion and other factors.

The idea is that it will help to better understand the effect discrimination has on factors such as wages, when at present the country only collates data on discrimination based on age and gender.

But as a member of the Green Party, she is also dedicated to efforts to preserve the environment and believes strongly in collective responsibility.

The far-right, she says, “have changed the course of debate, but it has to go back to social equality and social sustainability. Their debate focuses on immigration, on racism, on all of these things that are actually not the problem. If you want to reach social justice, you have to start at climate justice and how we share the resources of this planet.”

In many ways, Sweden exemplifies the thornier issues of the migration debate.

Sweden is among the countries where refugees find it hardest to assimilate due to cultural isolation. It also has one of the highest numbers of ISIS fighters as a percentage of its Muslim population. But during the migrant crisis, it also took in the highest number of refugees per capita of any European Union member state. In 2015, at the height of the crisis, Sweden — a country of 10 million — received 160,000 asylum seekers.

Last year, the United Nations said it was “concerned” about the level of racism in the country. In 2014, Sweden experienced a series of three arson attacks on mosques in one week, and according to one report, there were over 40 attacks on mosques or Muslim assemblies in 2017.

Although Sweden has shifted towards the far right, it has far from embraced it. The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats did not get the support they had expected at a general election in September. As a result, the vote produced a hung parliament and the country was stuck in a four-month-long political deadlock.

Neither the centre-right nor the centre-left blocs that dominate Swedish politics were able to form a new government as both refused to co-operate with the Sweden Democrats. An agreement was eventually reached to govern without them following marathon negotiations.

Even from this political wrangling Ms Elmi finds cause for optimism.

For her, Sweden’s future is bright. “The left and right parties came together to say no to racism and I believe that,” she said.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/sweden-s-first-hijabi-mp-says-this-country-is-ours-too-1.839492

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Dunedin : Standing with Muslim Women: Wearing a Headscarf an Offering of Support

March 21, 2019

All women are being encouraged to wear head scarves tomorrow to show their support for the Muslim community.

Some are unsure whether it's culturally appropriate and what colours to wear.

Newshub spoke to Amina Patel, a Muslim businesswoman and mother.

She wears a hijab, the term Muslims use for a scarf covering a woman's hair and neck.

"We feel quite safe wearing it. It's like if you don't put your skirt or pants on and go to work. It's part of our clothing and I must say it's everybody's personal choice."

Amina Patel says it's totally fine for non-Muslims to wear the hijab.

Morrinsville woman Nurul Shamsul last year became the first Miss Universe New Zealand contestant to wear one.

She agrees that non-Muslims wearing scarves tomorrow is a lovely symbol.

"It's not culturally inappropriate in any means, standing together in solidarity is really important and it's a meaningful way to come together as one."

The nationwide event is all about making Muslims in New Zealand feel safe.

Newshub spoke to a young woman earlier this week who is too afraid to catch public transport after being yelled and sworn at for being Muslim, while waiting for a train in Auckland.

"In normal day to day life I only see a handful of women wearing the headscarf, so to see so many people together in one area and not just Muslim women but women who choose to wear it just to support us, that's something I can't explain into words just how special it would feel."

Patel's hijab is elaborate and has a bonnet, pins and accessories, bus she says just draping a scarf over your head tomorrow is enough.

"Even the way Jacinda wore it if you just put it and wrap it around that will be fine. Covering all of your hair, some of your hair? It's your choice."

Any colour but red is fine to wear tomorrow, and if you're in Auckland and want some help putting it on, call in to the Ponsonby Mosque from 4pm and volunteers will give you a hand.

Wearing a head scarf may feel strange or uncomfortable for some, but some Muslims said that's also part of what it takes to understand what it's like to walk in their shoes.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/03/wearing-a-headscarf-on-friday-is-about-making-muslim-women-feel-safe.html

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New Zealand School Enforces ‘Ban’ On Headscarf

MOHAMED HASSAN   

March 21, 2019

Students at a top Auckland girls school were told the hijab violates dress code despite national calls to support Muslim community in the wake of a terrorist attack.

Less than a week after the terror attack in Christchurch that killed 50 muslim worshipers, a top New Zealand girls school has banned the headscarf from its dress code.

The principal of Diocesan School for Girls, Heather McRae, told staff yesterday the Islamic hijab violated the dress code and was not allowed, according to a teacher at the school.

A teacher, who spoke to TRT World and does not wish to be named, said the announcement was made after concerns were raised by a colleague about some of the school’s Muslim students not being able to wear the hijab.

Two of the students who enquired about wearing the hijab were told it was against school policy. They raised it with their teacher, who wasn’t aware the policy existed.

“Then we had an announcement saying there was a staff briefing,” said the teacher.

In that briefing, he says McRae told staff the policy was not something new, and that she expected them to enact it and not fight it.

“She said ‘and of course, you’ve all signed onto this. I want you to support this position, not oppose it.’”

He says the teachers were stunned by the announcement from McRae.

“There was just silence. I got the feeling that people were shocked this was a thing.”

Staff were told the school dress code only allowed for small religious or cultural items such as crosses to be worn underneath the students’ uniforms and not to be visible. Hence, the headscarf would violate that rule.

Principal Heather McRae declined to give an interview despite repeated attempt by TRT World.

The school later released a statement that said, “Our uniform policy is developed to help create a sense of oneness and family and is worn with pride by our students.”

“Like most school uniforms, regulations are in place to ensure the Diocesan identity is upheld, such as no wearing of jewellery or nail polish, skirt length, a requirement to tie back long hair and wear the School blazer outside school grounds, shoe styles and so on.”

Diocesan is a private Anglican school in one of the wealthiest suburbs in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city. Founded in 1903, it ranks as one of the top institutions in the country.

McRae has been the school’s principal since 2009, and is currently also the Chairperson of the Executive Board of the Independent Schools of New Zealand.

The office of the Anglican Bishop in Auckland and a current school board member, Rev. Ross Bay, says he would not comment on the school’s policies.

The teacher who spoke to TRT World says he is astounded at the timing of the announcement, especially in wake of last week’s terror attack.

Fifty people were killed and as many injured when an Australian gunman espousing anti-Muslim and white supremacist ideals went on a shooting spree inside two mosques in Christchurch.

It was the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history, and has left the country grief stricken and reeling.

“Inclusive is not a thing you do half, you’re either inclusive or you’re not,” the teacher told TRT World.

“Even a private institution should be bound by the basic rules of decency. You either respect people or you don’t.”

He says the student who first encountered the hijab policy was asked to read a poem she wrote about Islamophobia at a school assembly on Wednesday to commemorate the attack.

The poem was titled ‘Living beneath the veil’, and challenged stereotypes aimed at Muslim women in media coverage. One of the lines in the poem reads: “There is no bigger bravery, than wearing a symbol of your faith, in a world of decay.”

A copy of the poem appears to have been published on the school’s website blog two days ago and has been shared on Facebook, but a link to the page has now been taken down.

The changes also come just two days before a call by some campaigners for a ‘National Scarf Day’, encouraging women across New Zealand to wear headscarves in public as a show of support for Muslim women.

The school also said it is taking part in the solidarity event, and inviting staff and students to wear the headscarf on Friday if they wish.

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/new-zealand-school-enforces-ban-on-headscarf-25130

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Islam Must Never Be Used To Justify Female Genital Mutilation

20 March, 2019

Last month, we witnessed the first-ever conviction of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in the UK, more than 30 years after the practice was criminalised in that country.

This marks an important victory for those who have been advocating for an end to FGM, including in both the UK and North America, where it may be more common than is often assumed.

It is concerning that it took more than 30 years for this brutal act to be successfully prosecuted in a place like the UK, but I am not surprised.

While legal action is important, I firmly believe that education and awareness about the horrors of FGM is what works in the long term.

The first - and possibly most significant - of these misconceptions is that FGM makes a girl 'pure' and, thus, is encouraged by Islam and other religions.

A few years ago I went to Indonesia on behalf of Islamic Relief Canada (IRC) to do some field research on the growing practice of FGM on babies and children in that part of the world.

A common theme between what I experienced there and what I have seen in the UK, Europe and North America is that there are some Muslim communities who genuinely believe that FGM is an Islamic practice because it 'purifies' and protects the girl during adolescence and before marriage.

It's appalling that this is exactly the kind of ignorance and injustice that Islam instructs Muslims to fight AGAINST in society - and yet many Muslims still stubbornly uphold the practice.

This is why I feel it is so important to demonstrate that religion - and in particular pure Islam - can actually play a very effective role in ending FGM once and for all.

The Quran, for example, makes absolutely no mention about FGM and the few statements falsely attributed to Prophet Muhammad supposedly okaying FGM were declared unreliable centuries ago.

What the Quran does state, however - in a lengthy chapter dedicated to women's rights - is that any and all attempts to "alter God's fair creation" can only be an evil act inspired by the devil.

And what Prophet Muhammad did, in fact, reliably say is that we should 'not harm ourselves or others'.

In the modern era, representatives of Al-Azhar University (among the oldest universities in the world) as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (representing 53 Muslim-majority nations) have both declared FGM to be unacceptable.

And so there are many Muslims, like myself, who find inspiration within true Islamic teachings to fight against FGM/C.

Late last year, for example, I brought together my research on many of the gender challenges faced by women around issues such as FGM, early/forced marriage, domestic violence - and  published a manual which clarifies the actual Islamic positions on these practices.

Thankfully, there are a growing number of Muslim women who now work on a daily basis to counter these oppressive myths perpetuated falsely in the name of religion and Islam, and much of this advocacy is supported by forward-thinking humanitarian charities, women's groups and many other Muslim and non-Muslim organisations.

We know from centuries past, that religion in general can be used as a force for good or one for evil.

In today's world, the fight against this brutal mutilation - carried out upon an estimated three million girls every year - is a pivotal issue where true Islamic teachings must be understood and enlisted as a force for good in eradicating FGM once and for all, God willing.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2019/3/19/islam-mustnt-be-used-to-justify-female-genital-mutilation

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Saudi Arabia: Abusive Charges Against Women Activists

March 21, 2019

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s charges against women’s rights defenders appear almost entirely related to their human rights activities, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi Arabia opened individual trials on March 13, 2019 of 11 activists, most of them prominent women’s rights advocates detained beginning in May 2018. Saudi Arabia should immediately release all human rights activists detained merely for their rights advocacy, Human Rights Watch said.

Informed sources who have reviewed the prosecutor’s written charge sheets have described to Human Rights Watch the content of charges for two of the detainees, nearly all of which are related to peaceful human rights work, including promoting women’s rights and calling for an end to Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory male guardianship system. The sources said that charges against the other women are similar. Prosecutors also accuse the women of sharing information about women’s rights in Saudi Arabia with journalists based in Saudi Arabia, diplomats, and international human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, deeming such contacts a criminal offense.

“After nearly a year of accusations in Saudi government media that these brave champions of women’s rights are ‘foreign agents,’ the actual charges against them appear to be simply a list of their efforts to promote women’s rights,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “This is hardly the act of a government that is carrying out reforms, as Mohammad bin Salman and his supporters keep claiming.”

The charges include contact with international journalists based in Saudi Arabia and fully accredited there, foreign diplomats, Saudi human rights activists abroad, and international human rights organizations. They appear to blatantly contradict Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s statements to Bloomberg in an interview in October 2018. When asked whether the women would face charges for talking to foreign diplomats and journalists, he responded: “Journalists, no. But intelligence, yes. Secret intelligence. We have some of them with videos. We can show it to you.”

Bloomberg noted on March 13 that Saudi authorities never allowed journalists to visit prosecutors to view the evidence despite repeated requests. The two charge sheets described to Human Rights Watch make no mention of contact with intelligence agencies.

“If sharing information about women’s rights with journalists and diplomats is illegal, then by that standard most of the Saudi leadership would be in prison right now,” Page said.

Sources told Human Rights Watch that the trials were initially slated to take place in Saudi Arabia’s notorious Specialized Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over terrorism-related crimes, but the evening before, the Saudi authorities informed detainees’ families that the trials had been moved to Riyadh’s regular criminal court.

A Saudi lawyer well-versed in Saudi court procedures told Human Rights Watch that the switch is highly irregular, as prosecutors would normally submit charges to a relevant court well in advance, and a change of venue would require the initial court to rule that it lacked jurisdiction. He said that the move indicates political influence over the court proceedings.

On March 13, Bloomberg reported that Saudi authorities had barred a group of about 20 foreign diplomats and international journalists from entering the courtroom to observe the hearings. The head of the court, Ibrahim Al Sayari, told journalists that 10 women were on trial, including the prominent activists Loujain al-Hathloul Aziza Yousef, Hatoon al-Fassi, and Eman al-Nafjan.

The Saudi human rights group ALQST reported the same day that 11 women were on trial, including the four mentioned by the head of the court and Mayaa al-Zahrani, Amal al-Harbi, Shadan al-Onezi, and Nouf Abdulaziz, who did not attend her hearing. Two others included Saudi professors Abeer Namankani and Ruqayya al-Mohareb. The eleventh woman remained unidentified, ALQST said. Neither Samar Badawi nor Nasima al-Sada, other detained women’s rights activists, were taken before the court.

The women also face the charge of violating article six of Saudi Arabia’s notorious, vaguely worded cybercrime law, which prohibits “producing something that harms public order, religious values, public morals, the sanctity of private life, or authoring, sending, or storing it via an information network,” with penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to three million Saudi Riyals (US$800,000). Human Rights Watch has repeatedly documented Saudi prosecutors’ use of this vague provision to jail human rights activists and dissidents who criticize Saudi human rights abuses online or peacefully call for reform.

Human rights organizations began reporting in November accusations that Saudi interrogators tortured at least four of the women, including with electric shocks and whippings, and had sexually harassed and assaulted them. In January, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said that Saudi authorities should allow international monitors to enter the country and investigate the torture allegations.

The crackdown on women's rights activists began just weeks ahead of the much-anticipated lifting of the driving ban on women on June 24, for which many of the detained activists had campaigned. While some were quickly released, others have remained detained without charge for nearly 10 months.

Authorities accused several of those detained of serious crimes, including “suspicious contact with foreign parties.” Government-aligned media outlets have carried out a smear campaign against them, branding them “traitors.” The Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that nine of those detained will be referred for trial to the Specialized Criminal Court.

On January 2, a panel of British parliament members and international lawyers sent an official request to Saudi authorities for access to the country and to detained women’s rights advocates, but the Saudi authorities have not responded. The panel issued a comprehensive report detailing the torture allegations in February. On February 14, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release “women’s rights defenders and all human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and other prisoners of conscience detained and sentenced merely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and for their peaceful human rights work.” The resolution also called for an EU-wide ban on export of surveillance systems, reiterated that arms sales to Saudi Arabia contravene the EU’s common position on arms exports, and called for “restricted measures against Saudi Arabia in response to breaches of human rights, including asset freezes and visa bans.”

On March 7, 2019, 36 countries at the UN Human Rights Council issued a joint statement calling on Saudi Arabia “to release all individuals, including Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al Yousef, Nassima al-Sadah, Samar Badawi, Nouf Abdelaziz, Hatoon al-Fassi, Mohammed AlBajadi, Amal Al-Harbi and Shadan al-Anezi, detained for exercising their fundamental freedoms.”

In February, a bipartisan group of US Congressional representatives led by Congresswoman Lois Frankel issued a resolution calling on Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally release jailed Saudi women’s rights activists and hold those responsible for abuses accountable. A bipartisan group of US Senators led by Senator Marco Rubio introduced a similar resolution in the US Senate.

Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted in August 2018 that she was alarmed over the detention of Badawi and called for her release, and the Canadian foreign ministry tweeted in August calling for the immediate release of Saudi human rights activists. Saudi Arabia retaliated to these calls by expelling the Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, suspending all new trade, cancelling state airline flights to Canada, and forcing the withdrawal from Canadian universities of all Saudi students.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/03/21/saudi-arabia-abusive-charges-against-women-activists

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Majority Of Muslim Women In Scotland Have Been The Victims Of Hate Crime

March 21, 2019

Nearly two-thirds of Muslim women in Scotland have witnessed or experienced a hate incident or crime, according to a new survey – and 74 per cent of those women said they were the victim. The women said they had been shouted and sworn at or spat on, while others had their hijabs forcefully removed. Scottish Muslim women also reported being told to “go back to where you came from”. Some 65 per cent said they had not reported the incident, and 91 per cent said there had been no intervention or support from bystanders. The shocking statistics have been revealed by Amina, the Glasgow-based Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, which conducted the survey in an attempt to understand the scale of Islamophobia in Scotland. Programme manager Ghizala Avan said the charity had carried out the survey after discovering Police Scotland’s data did not break down the sex of religious hate crime victims, despite evidence suggesting Muslim women are more likely to be targeted, ­harassed and attacked. She said: “We know that Muslim women are more visible because many wear the hijab or niqab, and at Amina we hear stories all the time of women being verbally harassed and abused. For us it’s an everyday reality and unfortunately Muslim women live with it as if it’s normal. “It’s as though we are desensitised to it, because it’s not normal to be shouted at in the street and told to ‘go back to where you came from’. “It makes you feel that you don’t belong, it makes you doubt your sense of identity. There are third generation Muslim women in Scotland, whose parents were born in Scotland, who feel like that. When is this idea of inclusion really going to become a ­reality?” One of the women surveyed told them: “A man with a dog was shouting racist abuse and said it wasn’t worth the effort for the dog to bite me.” Ms Avan added: “People are left feeling extremely vulnerable. I don’t wear the headscarf so my experience doesn’t equate to those who do, but I have been on a plane with a colleague wearing the hijab and the air stewardess made her move her seat. When I asked why, she said it was because my friend couldn’t speak English and was in an seat near the emergency exit, and she was very rude in her manner to me. Of course it was all just an assumption, and my friend told her to reflect on that. But what is worrying is that no-one else intervened or said anything.” Amina MWRC carries out work in schools to try and break down barriers and educate young people about Islam. Ms Avan said: “We ask them what they think of when they hear the word Muslim and they say “terrorist”, “extremists”, “monkeys”, “oppressors”, “women beaters”. It’s very sad, but those attitudes come from somewhere and we need to try and counter that.” The findings were presented to the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on tackling Islamophobia, and Amina MWRC has called on the Scottish Government to increase resources to tackle the rise in anti-Muslim hate. The most recent census from 2011 shows that 1.4 per cent of the population is Muslim. Yet the Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2017-18 bulletin shows that 18 per cent of religiously aggravated offending was for conduct which was derogatory towards Islam.

Nearly two-thirds of Muslim women in Scotland have witnessed or experienced a hate incident or crime, according to a new survey – and 74 per cent of those women said they were the victim. The women said they had been shouted and sworn at or spat on, while others had their hijabs forcefully removed. Scottish Muslim women also reported being told to “go back to where you came from”. Some 65 per cent said they had not reported the incident, and 91 per cent said there had been no intervention or support from bystanders. The shocking statistics have been revealed by Amina, the Glasgow-based Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, which conducted the survey in an attempt to understand the scale of Islamophobia in Scotland. Programme manager Ghizala Avan said the charity had carried out the survey after discovering Police Scotland’s data did not break down the sex of religious hate crime victims, despite evidence suggesting Muslim women are more likely to be targeted, ­harassed and attacked. She said: “We know that Muslim women are more visible because many wear the hijab or niqab, and at Amina we hear stories all the time of women being verbally harassed and abused. For us it’s an everyday reality and unfortunately Muslim women live with it as if it’s normal. “It’s as though we are desensitised to it, because it’s not normal to be shouted at in the street and told to ‘go back to where you came from’. “It makes you feel that you don’t belong, it makes you doubt your sense of identity. There are third generation Muslim women in Scotland, whose parents were born in Scotland, who feel like that. When is this idea of inclusion really going to become a ­reality?” One of the women surveyed told them: “A man with a dog was shouting racist abuse and said it wasn’t worth the effort for the dog to bite me.” Ms Avan added: “People are left feeling extremely vulnerable. I don’t wear the headscarf so my experience doesn’t equate to those who do, but I have been on a plane with a colleague wearing the hijab and the air stewardess made her move her seat. When I asked why, she said it was because my friend couldn’t speak English and was in an seat near the emergency exit, and she was very rude in her manner to me. Of course it was all just an assumption, and my friend told her to reflect on that. But what is worrying is that no-one else intervened or said anything.” Amina MWRC carries out work in schools to try and break down barriers and educate young people about Islam. Ms Avan said: “We ask them what they think of when they hear the word Muslim and they say “terrorist”, “extremists”, “monkeys”, “oppressors”, “women beaters”. It’s very sad, but those attitudes come from somewhere and we need to try and counter that.” The findings were presented to the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on tackling Islamophobia, and Amina MWRC has called on the Scottish Government to increase resources to tackle the rise in anti-Muslim hate. The most recent census from 2011 shows that 1.4 per cent of the population is Muslim. Yet the Religiously Aggravated Offending in Scotland 2017-18 bulletin shows that 18 per cent of religiously aggravated offending was for conduct which was derogatory towards Islam. Brexit: No10 won't rule out Theresa May quitting over long delay Samina Ansari, chief executive of Amina MWRC, said: “There have been countless stories narrated of Muslim women being physically and or verbally attacked, or discriminated at work based on their religious identity. The impact of these crimes can be profound, and more needs to be done to ensure we have the inclusive and cohesive society we all want.” Anas Sarwar MSP, chairman of the cross-party group, said: “This research shows that Islamophobia is a real and traumatic experience for Muslim women in Scotland. “More often than not, those responsible are men. We can’t leave the fight against prejudice and hate to the Muslim community or women alone, it’s a fight for all of us.”

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/majority-of-muslim-women-in-scotland-have-been-the-victims-of-hate-crime-1-4893113

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Pakistani Lawmakers Claim Women’s March Was Anti-Islam

March 21, 2019

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Provincial lawmakers in northwestern Pakistan have assailed as anti-Islamic women’s marches held earlier this month across the country to mark the International Women’s Day.

Lawmakers in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa provincial parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on Wednesday denouncing the marches as a “shameless and un-Islamic act.”

The lawmakers included those from Pakistan’s ruling party of former cricket star turned Prime Minister Imran Khan and those from opposition parties, including the left-leaning Pakistan People’s Party now led by the son of ex-Premier Benazir Bhutto.

On the holiday, observed every March 8, Pakistani women carried posters demanding women’s rights, attacking Pakistan’s patriarchal society and celebrating being single or divorced.

The posters caused uproar on social media with conservative and right-wing religious leaders condemning them as immoral.

Women’s rights activists condemned the resolution.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistani-lawmakers-claim-womens-march-was-anti-islam/2019/03/21/a0f51e7a-4bc2-11e9-8cfc-2c5d0999c21e_story.html

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