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The Women behind Instant Triple Talaq Petitions: ‘Historic Win… No Other Woman’s Life Will Be Ruined Now’

New Age Islam News Bureau

31 Jul 2019

Shayara Bano said a Bill was necessary since, even after the Supreme Court’s order, the practice of instant triple talaq continued.


 Gujarat Woman Attempts Suicide As Husband Gives Triple Talaq Day after Bill Passes In Parliament

 Egyptian Women Speak Freely About Choice to Veil At Hijab Summit

 First Female-Operated Optical Boutique in Jeddah Unveiled

 Pregnant Malaysian Woman Chooses Second Wife for Her Husband To Help Care For Him And Their Children

 Alwaleed Philanthropies Backs Female Saudi Scouts To Attend Jamboree In US

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




The Women behind Instant Triple Talaq Petitions: ‘Historic Win… No Other Woman’s Life Will Be Ruined Now’

July 31, 2019

On August 22, 2017, the Supreme Court, in a landmark 3-2 verdict, “set aside” the practice of instant triple talaq, following a clutch of petitions filed by Muslim women. The women behind the petitions welcomed the passage of the Bill on Tuesday.


“It is a happy moment for not just me but for Muslim society as a whole. We have been freed of an evil custom,” said Shayara Bano (38), the first petitioner in the case. “Generations of women have suffered due to instant triple talaq. They have been thrown out of their house overnight and made to go through hell. Why is everyone still concerned about the men and not about the women,” she said.

She said a Bill was necessary since, even after the Supreme Court’s order, the practice of instant triple talaq continued. “There were so many cases despite the SC order. There was no fear among people. This law will instill that fear,” said Bano, who lives in Kashipur in Uttarakhand.

Bano, who was given triple talaq in 2015, said that while she has won the larger cause, she is still waging her personal battle for rights to see her two children more often and for maintenance from her husband. “My husband has remarried now. He has turned my son and daughter, now teenagers, against me. The only time I get to see them is when they are brought to the Kashipur family court once in three months,” she said.


“This has been long overdue. It has come late but, nevertheless, it is a welcome development. However, a comprehensive reform in Muslim personal law is called for. But even one step is welcome,” said Zakia Soman (52) of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), a vociferous advocate of the abolition of triple talaq.

BMMA’s petition was suo motu turned into a PIL by a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court before Shayara Bano’s case against instant triple talaq was filed. That petition eventually became one of six.


“This is great news… My life has been ruined, but no other woman’s life will be ruined now… They will not have to undergo the hardship that I faced… The law is on our side now,” said Ishrat Jehan (32).

“After giving me talaq over the phone, my husband abandoned me. My children were taken away. When I filed a petition in the Supreme Court, a section of my neighbours turned against me. Even now, they threaten to throw me out of my house and the neighbourhood. My battle is still going on,” said Jehan, who lives in Howrah.

“The law will give relief to thousands of women. It is historic,” said Jehan, who joined the BJP in January 2018.

Jehan got married in 2001, when she was just 14. In April 2015, her husband called her up from Dubai and said talaq thrice. He later remarried.


“My life is still where it was five years ago, when I was asked to leave my husband’s house,” said Gulshan Parveen (33), who approached Shayara Bano’s lawyers in 2015, after her husband sent her a talaqnama. Her husband remarried, and Gulshan moved back to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh. She has been since struggling to make ends meet for herself and her five-year-old son.

“I have no job since all my documents are still with my former in-laws. The Supreme Court case is long over but I am fighting two separate cases in the lower courts, including one of domestic violence. The monthly maintenance amount I have been awarded is a mere Rs 6,000, which is barely enough to even cover my child’s fees,” she said.

She feels that the law is much needed for the sake of the “dignity of Muslim women”. “The government has only outlawed talaq-e-biddat (instant triple talaq). Men still have the upper hand and can pronounce talaq to their wives and unilaterally divorce them over a period of three months (talaq-e-ahsan). The power still vests with the man,” she said.


“I am very happy today… it’s a historic win for us. We cannot change whatever happened to me, but we now have a way to stop this practice which has been going on for centuries,” said Aafreen Rehman (28) from Jaipur. She said the provision of jail term would “scare the men” and make them think twice about giving triple talaq.

In January 2016, Rehman was given triple talaq by her husband, in a letter sent through speed post. She later approached the Supreme Court.



Gujarat Woman Attempts Suicide As Husband Gives Triple Talaq Day after Bill Passes In Parliament

July 31, 2019

A woman in Ahmedabad attempted to commit suicide on Wednesday after her husband divorced her by pronouncing triple Talaq. The woman has survived and is undergoing treatment.

The woman has now lodged a complaint against her husband and in-laws. She has been admitted to a hospital in Ahmedabad.

The couple has two young children.

The woman told India Today TV, "I believe in Islam and since he pronounced triple Talaq, I have been divorced. I want justice from law."

This comes a day after Rajya Sabha cleared the historic Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill also known as the triple Talaq bill.

Instant triple Talaq among Muslims is now a criminal offence punishable that would invite 3-year imprisonment.

In a big victory, the Modi Government on Tuesday secured Rajya Sabha's clearance for the landmark triple Talaq bill helped by support from the BJD, walkout by BJP allies JD-U and AIADMK and some abstentions to get Parliament's approval for the contentious legislation.

Lok Sabha had passed the Bill last week and once it gets Presidential assent the practice of Muslim men instantly divorcing their wives by uttering 'Talaq' thrice will become a criminal offence, punishable by a jail term of up to three years.

The bill will replace an ordinance promulgated on February 21.



Egyptian Women Speak Freely About Choice to Veil At Hijab Summit

Amira Sayed Ahmed

July 29, 2019

Egypt, which has veiled ballerinas, veiled orchestra conductors, veiled TV anchors and veiled ministers, may seem an unlikely place for hijabi women to face discrimination or peer pressure over covering their hair.

Runner Manal Rostom, the first hijabi woman to be featured in a Nike Middle East campaign, disagrees. Four years ago, she founded the Surviving Hijab Community to provide support for women who face pressure to take off the hijab, disdain for wearing it or claims that certain jobs cannot be done in it.

“Definitely, wearing a hijab has become a different decision. I want to prove that hijab does not prevent women from doing what they want,” she told Al-Monitor.

On July 19, Surviving Hijab — a closed Facebook group — held its first summit at the Greek Campus in Cairo, where 400 attendees and 12 speakers — veiled, unveiled or de-veiled — shared their experiences.

One of the lead speakers was Enjy el-Shazly, known for being Egypt's first veiled ballerina. “When I started, many people told me that one could not dance ballet with a hijab. [They] do not accept the idea that ballet is an art and that I can wear modest clothes during performance," el-Shazly said in her speech.

"The first time I performed with hijab, I was shaking. I felt many mixed feelings. I thought that people may judge me based on my appearance, not my performance," el-Shazly told Al-Monitor. “But to my surprise, I was admired … so I took part in this summit to encourage girls to overcome their fears. Hijab is not a limitation and we are a proof.”

Rostom, a clinical pharmacist and a hijabi model, agreed, saying that hijabi women cover their hair, not their brains and creativity. "This summit is a trial. I am not sure whether we can hold it on an annual basis. We have just started our journey," she told Al-Monitor, adding, "This is not a religious event. You can say that it is a social event that aims to empower women. … We want to urge hijabi women to continue to hold on.”

Surviving Hijab currently has 655,000 members on Facebook. In 2018, it won a Facebook Community Leadership award, recognizing it as one of the largest women-only movements in the world that fights for the rights of women.

At the end of the summit, Rostom said that the first meeting not only showcases role models but “helped lay the ground for productive dialogue and interaction” between hijabi women and between hijabis and non-hijabis.

She added, “Through such meetings, we offer psychological support for women and girls who think that hijab can be a barrier or an obstacle," she added.

The name of the community is provocative. Do hijabis really face such serious obstacles and discrimination that threaten their survival?

"It is hard to say there is discrimination against hijabi women in Egypt. Nevertheless, there are certain problems that need to be addressed," Rostom said, citing “peer pressure” and “categorizing” as two examples.

“Do not call me a hijabi anchor. I am a TV anchor,” said one of the participants in the panel discussions.

Rostom pointed out that women post to the Facebook page about the problems they face. In the summertime, the number of complaints concerning the burkini ban in hotels increase. “Banning burkinis in some Egyptian resorts is totally unacceptable as long as the material is appropriate,” Rostom said. “As early as 2015, we started receiving complaints from many girls through the Facebook group complaining that some resorts in Ain Sokhna and North Cost ban burkinis. We tried to contact these resorts" but got no results. "The problem still exists.”

The debate over burkinis in Egypt prompted the Egyptian Tourism Ministry to issue regulations in 2017. The regulations hold that burkinis made of materials that do not compromise pool hygiene cannot be banned.

In the last few years, several high-profile women have decided to remove their hijabs. One notable example was actress Hala Shiha, who decided last year to stop wearing the hijab she left her career for 14 years ago. Shiha’s return to the screen sparked controversy over hijab, particularly because it came at a time of rising anti-Islamist sentiment in Egypt, fueled by the government's security crackdown on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt outlawed in September 2013, and a media narrative that has since been in lockstep with the military-backed regime.

Engineer Aliaa Salem, who decided to take off her hijab recently, told Al-Monitor, "I am not against hijab. I decided to take it off because I felt that I was just going with the flow, without feeling that I was wearing it for Allah." She admitted that peer pressure played a role in her decision to wear it. "In 2004, with the emergence of many young preachers like Amr Khaled, many girls wore hijab. It was trendy at that time."

Salem believes that hijabi women do not face discrimination in Egypt. "Now there are veiled TV anchors, flight attendants and more. We should not exaggerate by saying that veiled women are suffering. I was a veiled woman and I got my job while wearing a hijab," she said.



First Female-Operated Optical Boutique in Jeddah Unveiled

July 30, 2019

JEDDAH — Hassan Dahlan, secretary-general of the JCCI, called on the private sector to benefit from the decision of the Saudi Cabinet to allow 24-hour opening and stressed the need for the service activities, tourism and trade in Jeddah to take advantage of the decision, in order to strengthen Jeddah's position as a global, regional and local tourism destination.

Speaking during his inauguration of the first optical boutique operated by women in Jeddah, Dahlan also noted that the decision could benefit certain businesses to increase their profits. " Operating some shops around the clock will increase profits, especially food, pharmacies, restaurants and gas stations sectors in light of the increasing growth in consumer power and its expansion," he said.

He also said opening the first Saudi-owned optical boutique on Tahlia Street in Jeddah comes within the efforts and the commitment of the ministry to ensure proper provision of suitable and stable work environments, and expand work fields for Saudi women in the private sector, thus contributing to productivity and motivation in the workplace.

He pointed out that the inspirational young leaders under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, has presented a clear strategy, programs and initiatives to support young people and help them start their new projects.

Dahlan toured the boutique accompanied by Nafel Al-Shalawi, a member of the Optical Committee at the Jeddah Chamber, and in the presence of a number of officials, businessmen and social figures.

In his speech, Nafel Al-Shalawi, a member of the Optical Committee at the Jeddah Chamber, pointed out that the optical market has grown tremendously during the past years. “There are many reasons for this growth in the optical market: a growing population, a growing concern for eye health and checkups, lifestyle changes, an increase in disposable income, and the convenience of teleconsulting. With this growth in the marketplace, now there are nearly 3,000 optical shops in the city of Jeddah alone, with investments exceeding SR500 million. He announced that the sector has “annual sales exceeding SR5 billion, and the market is expanding all over the Kingdom,” he said. — SG



Pregnant Malaysian Woman Chooses Second Wife for Her Husband To Help Care For Him And Their Children

July 30, 2019

A Malaysian women did the unthinkable for many. She ordered a new wife for her husband, a woman she handpicked herself!

The woman was unwell while being pregnant with her fifth child and was worried who would care for her husband and children if something happened to her.

This prompted her to find a second wife for her lucky husband. The arrangement has been a beneficial and a harmonious one, with the two women even becoming like sisters and best of friends.

In Shah Alam, Malaysia, Khuzatul Atiqah had been married to Samuel Dzul since 2011. Khuzatul and Samuel has a happy relationship enjoying a good family life with their children.

But her fifth pregnancy got her to be constantly unwell, says The Reporter. The woman posted on Facebook how she struggled to move around with ease, and because her health was so bad, she was forced to use a wheelchair.

Khuzatul saw that her husband Samuel would come home tired from work, yet he still did all the house chores and cared for their children.

It was this and her constant battle with a dwindling health that got her worried for the future of her husband and children.

She decided to take the matter into her own hands and make sure that her husband and children would be taken good care of — she would find him a second wife.

While polygamy for Muslim men is allowed in Malaysia under the Islamic Family Law, it was not something Khuzatul and Samuel had considered for their marriage.

Khuzatul, who once rejected the idea of polygamy, said in one of her Facebook posts that her feelings on the matter changed after seeing how her father-in-law and his three wives lived together with ease and harmony.

Khuzatul mentioned that through observing how they interacted together, she could see the benefits of the arrangement.

While the law is rejected by many Muslim feminists and considered by some as harmful to women’s rights, Khuzatul decided that it was the right thing for her and Samuel. He would need a second wife to help her care for him and the children.

In 2018, Khuzatul met single mother Nur Fathonah on social media. After forming a close friendship, Khuzatul asked Fathonah to become her husband’s second wife.

Fathonah was reluctant at first but was persuaded to visit Khuzatul and Samuel’s home and break the fast with them. Fathonah saw that they were a happy family, and she felt that she got along very well with them.

Fathonah agreed to become Samuel’s second wife, and they were wed in a simple marriage ceremony, as reported by mStar.

Ever since the marriage, the newly-extended family has enjoyed a harmonious existence together.

Khuzatul, Fathonah and their husband Samuel live together happily, and the two women have become like sisters and best friends.



Alwaleed Philanthropies Backs Female Saudi Scouts To Attend Jamboree In US

July 30, 2019

RIYADH — Alwaleed Philanthropies, the global foundation that empowers women and youth and invests in programs to support cross-cultural understanding, is participating in the 2019 World Scout Jamboree by supporting the first five young female Saudi Scouts to attend the event. The scouts will participate in activities aligned with the World Scouting’s flagship “Scouts for SDGs” initiative, which has pledged to make the world’s largest coordinated youth contribution to the SDGs by 2030.

More than 45,000 scouts and scouting leaders from over 150 countries have come together at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, USA, to “Unlock a New World,” the theme of the 24th World Scout Jamboree.

The aim is to inspire scouts to become active citizens and create a more sustainable world by learning about global issues such as climate change and gender inequality. Through activities that range from zip-lining and hiking to public speaking and leadership workshops, young people will develop skills to help them thrive in and contribute to a rapidly changing world.

Commenting on the participation of the Saudi scouts, Princess Lamia Bint Majed Saud Al-Saud, secretary seneral of Alwaleed Philanthropies, said: “We are proud to support the first young female Saudi scouts to attend the jamboree as part of our six-year commitment to World Scouting to increase the participation of girls and boys in community service in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. Their involvement in the Jamboree’s ‘Scouts for SDGs’ program will help empower girls and young women to drive social, environmental and economic progress in the Kingdom and contribute to Saudi Vision 2030.”

The 24th World Scout Jamboree, jointly hosted by the USA, Canada, and Mexico, is the largest outdoor educational event organized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement, gathering scouts aged 14 to 17 and leaders every four years. A staff of 10,500 volunteers will deliver a life-changing experience to scouts from around the globe at the world’s most sustainable campsite, the 10,000-acre Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, for this once-in-a-lifetime event which is running from July 22 to Aug. 2, 2019. This year, as well as the first female Saudi scouts attending, almost one hundred young scouts total will travel from the region, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE and Qatar.

The World Scout Jamboree offers an inviting atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding and fosters social interaction and engagement among Scouts from different cultures. This is a hallmark of the Jamboree experience. Through educational activities, the 2019 World Scout Jamboree supports young people to develop leadership skills and engage in dialogue about peace and sustainability, enabling them to become active global citizens who are creating positive change in communities around the world.




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