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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 23 Apr 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Victorian Islamic College Banned ‘Running’ So Girls Would Not 'Lose Virginity'

New Age Islam News Bureau

23 Apr 2015

Islamic fashion presented in Moscow


 Thai Muslim Community Decries Hijab Ban

 Chechen Woman Arrested on Way to Syria

 Levelling the Playing Field for Muslim Girls

 Three London Schoolgirls Who Fled To Syria 'Have Joined Fearsome All-Female ISIS Militia

 Turkey-Bound Teenage Girl 'Learned Lesson'

 Islamic Fashion Presented In Moscow

 Odds Grow Next Home-grown Terror Attacker Will Be a Woman

 110,357 Saudi Women Apply At TVTC Colleges

 Bangladesh Female Voters Demand Better Commute

 Female ISIS Members’ Growing Presence on Social Media Urge Suicide Attacks

 ‘The Real’ Shocker: Women Wearing Hijabs Banned From Front Row During Taping?

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Victorian Islamic College Banned ‘Running’ So Girls Would Not 'Lose Virginity'

23 April 2015

The regulatory body responsible for education standards in Victorian schools is investigating the Al-Taqwa Islamic college, following reports that the principal banned female students from cross-country running because he believed it may cause them to “lose their virginity”.

The deputy premier and education minister, James Merlino, confirmed on Thursday morning that the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority was investigating the claims.

Guardian Australia has contacted the college, in the western Melbourne suburb of Truganina, for comment.

According to Fairfax, a former teacher said the ban was implemented because of Principal Omar Hallak’s belief that if females ran excessively, they could “lose their virginity”.

The teacher reportedly wrote to the state and federal education minister, saying; “The principal believes that there is scientific evidence to indicate that if girls injure themselves, such as break their leg while playing soccer, it could render them infertile”.

Female students at the school also wrote a letter to Hallak following the ban.

Fairfax reports that the students wrote: “This letter is about the cross country that has been cancelled. Apparently [sic] it is because girls can’t run and that is really offensive to all the girls that were going to participate in the event.

“As long as girls are wearing appropriate clothes, we can run. As a principal you should treat all subjects equally.”

Guardian Australia has contacted the office of the federal education minister, Christopher Pyne, for comment.

Earlier this month, Pyne demanded an explanation from Hallak after he told students at the school that the terrorist organisation Islamic State was a western conspiracy led by the US, and that Israel did not exist.

The school is Victoria’s largest Muslim college. The My School website indicates it received more than $11m in commonwealth funding and $4.7m from the state government in 2013, the last year for which figures are available.



Thai Muslim Community Decries Hijab Ban

23 April 2015

CAIRO - Protesting the violation of their religious rights, the Muslim community in Wisutsri Yungpongsapat, in southern Thailand, have decried barring Muslim students from wearing hijabs in school.

"You cannot force Muslim students not to wear the hijab, because the doctrine of Islam commands all Muslim women who are above 7 years old to wear the hijab," a leading Muslim representative said.

"There is no exception. In schools, women must wear hijabs. If they do not do so, it's a sin," Waedueramae Mamingi, director of the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand (CICOT) in Pattani, told Khaosod.

Waedueramae, who sees Muslim rights have been violated, has been discussing the hijab ban with state officials in Phang Ngao province. He added that he hoped other school directors will understand that such a ban is unacceptable and violates both state regulations and the Islamic faith.

The secretary general of the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Kamol Rodklai, told reporters yesterday: "I believe that the school director was new in her post. She did not have understanding about identity, so she imposed the ban and caused protests in the area."

Kamol said the school director has been transferred and the ban, which drew protests from local Muslim residents and activists, has been repealed.

He added that state regulations allow Muslim students to wear hijab in public schools, as long as the cloth is a plain color, not longer than 120 cm in length, and pinned together under the chin of the wearer.

Earlier, Wisutsri Yungpongsapat, who held the post of director of Baan Nai Yong School, was reported saying that the traditional Islamic head covering was against state regulations for student uniforms.

Yungpongsapat who granted interview to White News, a Thai TV channel, ascertained that the ban was necessary to prevent "divisions" at the school.

"Muslim children can veil their heads at home. When they are at school, they have to obey the school regulations," Wisutsri was quoted by White News. "Don't bring divisions to my school. Nowadays, there are already problems in the three southern provinces, isn't that enough?"

Wisutsri was referring to the decade-long insurgency in Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat - a region known as the Deep South - where militants have been battling with security forces to form a breakaway Islamic state. More than 6,200 people have been killed in the Deep South since the separatist violence broke out in early 2004.

The school, known as Baan Nai Yong School, is located in Phang Nga province in southern Thailand, which has a large population of Muslims, in contrast to the rest of the Buddhist-dominated country.

No Niqab

It is worth mentioning that on 20 April, junta chairman and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said public schools in the south should not impose rules that encroach on the identity of local Muslims, though he expressed concern that wearing a niqab, a veil that covers most or all of the face, may affect public security.

"Veiling that hides the face and the eyes may sometimes have an impact on security. You have to understand that," said Gen. Prayuth, who came to power in the May 2014 military coup.

"In the past, there were incidents of perpetrators harming security officers by disguising themselves as women wearing face veils. Sometimes, men covered their faces like that. You have to sympathize with the security officers," he added.

Thai Muslims, who make up five percent of the predominantly Buddhist kingdom's population, have long complained of discrimination in jobs and education under the heavy-handed practices by the military.

They have also called for Malay to become an official language and to replace the Buddhist-centric school curriculum with one less hostile to Muslim sensitivities.

An International Crisis Group has urged the military-installed government to start preparing the Buddhist majority to accept a negotiated autonomy for the Muslim-majority south.

Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat are the only Muslim-majority provinces in Thailand and were an independent Muslim sultanate until annexed to Thailand a century ago.



Chechen Woman Arrested on Way to Syria

23 April 2015

A young woman from Russia's republic of Chechnya has been detained on her way to Syria, where she was to join her fiance in the ranks of an armed group in the conflict-stricken country, the Kavkazsky Uzel (Caucasian Knot) news site reported Wednesday.

Eighteen-year-old Petimat Oisayeva, a native of Chechnya's Urus-Martanovsky district, was detained Monday in the southern Russian city of Nalchik on her way to catch a flight to Turkey and head to neighboring Syria, the report said, citing police. Her Chechen fiance had reportedly been fighting alongside an unidentified armed group for the past few months.

Earlier this month, another young woman from Moscow detained in Nalchik said she had been planning to go to Syria together with a 25-year-old man from Russia's North Caucasus, Kavkazsky Uzel reported. The parents of another Chechen girl who fled her Grozny home with the intention of joining a militant group in Syria are facing charges for having neglected their parental duties, the news website reported, citing an unnamed source in the regional prosecutor's office.

Reports of Russians, mostly from the country's mainly Muslim southern republics, attempting to join the ranks of Islamic terrorist organizations and other militant groups abroad have proliferated in recent months. Last month, four Russians were deported from Turkey after attempting to illegally cross the country's border with Syria to join the Islamic State terrorist organization, the RIA Novosti state news agency reported at the time.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia was arming the governments of Syria and Iraq in an attempt to combat the Islamic State, which has conquered large swathes of territory in those two countries, and which he said represented the biggest threat to his country's security.

"The Islamic State is our biggest enemy at the moment, if only for one simple reason: Hundreds of Russians, hundreds of Europeans, hundreds of Americans are fighting alongside the Islamic State," Lavrov said Wednesday in an interview with three Russian media outlets. "They are already coming back … and for their own entertainment could perpetrate horrible acts at home."

Syria's ambassador to Moscow, Riad Haddad, claimed back in December 2013 that some 1,700 Chechens were fighting in the country, Kavkazsky Uzel reported. That figure was significantly higher than an estimate in May that year by Federal Security Service (FSB) head Alexander Bortnikov, who said that about 200 Russians had joined the ranks of militant groups in Syria.

Last month, the Kremlin's envoy for the North Caucasus, Sergei Melikov, claimed that about 1,500 natives of Russia's North Caucasus region were fighting alongside the Islamic State and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq.

Criminal cases were opened earlier this month against two 17-year-old Chechens suspected of financing terrorism and preparing to joining the Islamic State's operations in Syria, the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said. According to investigators, the teenagers had managed to attract 13,000 rubles ($246) in donations to pay for their travel costs to Syria by posting an appeal for their cause and a digital wallet number on the popular social network VKontakte.

The anti-extremism department of Russia's Interior Ministry said last month that criminal cases had been launched involving 300 people suspected of having joined terrorist organizations abroad, including the Islamic State.

Under Russian law, individuals found guilty of taking part in foreign armed conflicts can face up to 10 years in prison.



Levelling the Playing Field for Muslim Girls

23 April 2015

Hamilton educators want Muslim girls to get off of the sidelines and onto the sports field.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Foundation — the board's arms-length fundraising arm — is launching a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of sports Hijabs for Muslim girls.

Currently, girls who wear the Hijab — the traditional head scarf worn by many Muslim women after puberty — aren't able to participate in many athletic activities for fear that either the Hijab or the pin that holds it in place could come loose.

The foundation hopes to purchase 12 athletic Hijabs for 20 high-needs schools across the city. The Hijabs would be treated exactly like a football helmet or any other piece of sports equipment — they would be the property of the school and free for any student to use.

"Otherwise, they just don't participate. And that's just not good enough," said Julie Densham, a HWDSB foundation development officer.

The board is looking for about $10,000 in donations to fund 240 Hijabs, which cost about $40 each. For many families, the $40 to $50 cost of an appropriate sports Hijab was simply too much to bear. High-priority Hamilton schools have little money in the budget and limited capacity for fundraising, Densham said.

The foundation hopes to purchase the equipment from the same company that officially supplies Hijabs for the Olympics and FIFA. These high-tech Hijabs are sweat-resistant and close-fitting, meaning that they won't impede the wearer's movements in any way.

The genesis of the fundraising campaign began with a specific request from Lake Avenue School. Michelle Vanwanrooy, a teacher and basketball coach at the Stoney Creek elementary school, found the girls on her team were being questioned by referees. Several of the girls secured their Hijabs with safety pins or straight pins that were exposed at their temples.

After noticing athletes wearing the hijabs at the Olympics, Vanwanrooy successfully applied for a $500 grant from the foundation to fund 10 Hijabs for her students.

"They don't have the funds to pay for something like this on their own — and how would you find a sports Hijab in Hamilton?" she said.

Vanwanrooy just picked up the Hijabs from the embroiderer on Tuesday. The school is now planning a special assembly to introduce the new equipment.

"It's easy to wear, it's comfortable to wear, and it's going to help them still be modest on the court and not worry," she said.

The 20 schools receiving the Hijabs is just the beginning, Densham added. Eventually, she hopes that all schools across Hamilton will have a supply of sports Hijabs.

The campaign is especially important because sports can help young women, especially newcomers, fully integrate with their peers. A study from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship found that 69 per cent of newcomers who played sports within their first three years in Canada found it helped them learn about Canadian culture. Of those respondents, 87 per cent felt more connected to their community as a result.

"This is a wonderful gesture of respect and understanding of diversity in Hamilton," said Dr. Raza Khan, spokesperson for the Hamilton Muslim Association. "I think this is wonderful. They're taking some leadership on this and trying to make sure that equal opportunities are extended to all of the minority groups. This is only going to make things even better."



Three London Schoolgirls Who Fled To Syria 'Have Joined Fearsome All-Female ISIS Militia

23 April 2015

The three east London schoolgirls who fled the UK for Syria have joined a fearsome group of British female Jihadis who run the Islamic State's ultra-religious police force, it has been reported.

Shamima Begum and Amira Abase, both 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, crossed over the Turkish-Syrian border last February and are believed to be living in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Begum has forged social media links with three of the British leaders of the al-Khansa brigade – an all-women militia set up by the terror group a year ago – and it is understood the trio are now training with one of the notorious females’ arms of ISIS.

Covered in black from head-to-toe and wielding automatic weapons, the group has been accused of doling out savage beatings on the streets of Raqqa and spying on its citizens.

They are said to mercilessly patrol the streets of the terror group's adopted capital and has previously declared children as young as nine should be married, women should obey men – who are their masters – and remain 'hidden and veiled' at all times.

According to Syrian activist group Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently, the female fanatics are feared by local women, particularly due to their use of torture.

The activist group claim imprisoned women are tortured using a device known as 'the biter', a iron bar with sharp jagged edges.

 Placed on the helpless woman’s chest, the serrated edges of the bar are pressed into the woman's skin, causing deep lacerations.

Such is the violence of the torture; some women reportedly slip into unconsciousness due to the pain.

Aqsa Mahmoud, a 20-year-old woman from Glasgow who fled to Syria in 2013, is reportedly the leader of an al Khansaa group known as 'Om Amara'.

Om Amara is reportedly a female foreign battalion, with just two Arabic speakers who mercilessly patrol the streets of Raqqa.

Begum made contact with Mahmood, known as Umm Layth, on social media prior to departing for Turkey.

Begum also used her Twitter account to follow two other members of the al-Khansa brigade known only by their Islamic names Umm Khattab and Umm Waqqas.

In one of her recent tweets, Umm Waqqas advised British women on marriage in the Islamic State saying they should choose their Jihadi fighters carefully and not to marry any 'Tom Dick or Harry'.

The British women jihadists in Syria have conducted a sustained recruitment campaign in the last few months and are thought to operate a woman-only Jihadi route for European girls who are groomed to leave their Western lives for the caliphate.

They use social media, including Tumblr, Twitter and to publish detailed, practical advice about how to adapt to life in Islamic State and suggest essential items that the teenage wannabe-jihadists will find useful when they arrive.

Privately-educated Glaswegian Mahmood - along with Lewisham-born Khadijah Dare, 22 - are thought to be helping patrol Raqqa with guns and daggers hidden beneath their robes.

Full report at:



Turkey-bound teenage girl 'learned lesson'

23 April 2015

A teenage girl who was removed from a plane bound for Turkey by police after being "radicalised" has learned her lesson, a judge has been told.

The Family Division of the High Court heard that police found "extremist material" on the teenager's computer after her parents reported her missing.

Barrister Tina Cook QC said the girl, who cannot be named, had "expressed great remorse" and was embarrassed.

The girl was made a ward of court and cannot go abroad without approval.

'Close shave'

Her parents raised the alarm when she went missing last year and another teenager revealed the girl's plans.

Miss Cook, who was representing a local authority with responsibility for the teenager's care, said she was found on a plane heading to Istanbul.

She said there had been "great panic" when the girl disappeared and her parents noticed that her passport was missing.

The material found on the girl's computer included a document headed "44 ways to support jihad", the court was told.

Mr Justice Hayden said the teenager had a "really close shave".

The girl is one of a number of teenagers thought to be at risk of travelling to areas controlled by Islamic State militants who have been made a ward of court by Mr Justice Hayden in recent weeks.

Wards of court cannot travel abroad without a judge's permission.

The judge has ruled that no-one can be identified.



Islamic fashion presented in Moscow

23 April 2015

The famous Moscow designer Sahera Rahmani, who is better known for making Islamic clothing for both women and men, presented Fashion House Sahera Rahmani’s new collection 2015/2016. In the village of Kolomenskoye, in the palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, casual clothes, as well as evening gowns, were presented. Wedding dresses were the highlight of the collection.

Sahera Rahmani spoke about those who are clients of her fashion house: “If a businesswoman lives in the city, she needs business suits and dresses for different events. And of course, another very important point, mainly, if you noticed, all the dresses are closed, because it is very difficult now to find something elegant and closed. Wedding dresses are feminine, as well, closed, elegant. That is precisely the entire collection, which is about elegance, femininity.”

Guests of the show shared their impressions with Vestnik Kavkaza. “My impressions are so unusual and refreshing. We used to see fashion shows on the European stages, on the European catwalks. There is restraint, beauty, dignity and femininity, which still lurks through the framework that must be respected, of course, when it comes about the East in particular,” Olga Zinovieva, the head of the Alexander Zinoviev International Research and Education Center, says. “I have good impressions of some good female costumes, an amazing contrast figure of a man's suit, and in general the figures themselves. This is a major difference, of course, from European fashion, from the European view. It's amazing that the tradition is preserved and respected.”

“I really liked the collection, I think it is complete from beginning to headgear, a completely finished image crowns the collection. I liked the color scheme, the separate models, and of course, the crowning of the whole collection are the wedding dresses,” Dinara Sadretdinova, host of the 'Muslims' program, thinks.

“I got great pleasure watching this collection,” Vadim Husainov, General Director of Fashion House International, says. “I love designer Sahera Rahmani and I believe that she is a leader, so to speak, in Muslim clothing and Islamic clothing. And I want to say that I had not seen anything like it before meeting her. That is, she made such a small revolution. And I want to say that thanks to Sahera Rahmani, Muslim girls look beautiful and dignified.”



Odds Grow Next Home-grown Terror Attacker Will Be a Woman

23 April 2015

Terrorism's new face is softer — with long hair covered by a Hijab — but no less vicious. Some 550 Muslim women, including Americans, have joined the Islamic State. They want to kill you. They're already trying.

Until terrorist profiles are updated, these women could pose the biggest threat to the homeland. That's because U.S. authorities aren't trained to look for teenage Muslim girls. They're trained to spot young Muslim men acting suspiciously.

As a consequence, Jihad Janes could have an easier time getting past security checkpoints with weapons or bombs, which recent IS videos show they are training to use against Americans. (In one recent video, 45 Muslim women dressed in flowing black gowns and veils are seen firing AK-47 rifles at targets.)

Law enforcement officials were alarmed to learn this week that a quiet Muslim woman from the University of Alabama has been training with IS terrorists in Syria since November.

Hoda Muthana, 20, is now trying to recruit other Jihad Janes, while calling on all Muslims inside America to gun down or even run down families of fallen veterans and other participants at upcoming Memorial Day parades.

"Terrorize the Kuffar (infidels) at home," she tweeted.

"Americans wake up! Men and women altogether," Muthana added. "You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping!"

"Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them," she continued in her bloodthirsty rant. "Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades ... go on drive bys + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them."

Muthana is not alone. More than a dozen young American Muslim women now have either joined the ranks of the savage IS terrorist group or plotted to carry out acts of terrorism in its name on American soil.

Among them:

• Asia Siddiqui, 31, who along with her Queens, N.Y., roommate Noelle Velentzas, 28, plotted for months to build a bomb to be used in a terrorist attack on American soil before the FBI busted the pair earlier this month. Siddiqui possessed propane tanks and instructions on how to use them as explosives.

• Keonna Thomas, a 30-year-old Muslim convert from Philadelphia, was arrested earlier this month for trying to aid IS terrorists and participate in their "martyrdom operations."

• Authorities fear several Somali-American girls who have gone missing from their Minneapolis homes have managed to join the Islamic State.

• Shannon Conley, a 19-year-old Muslim convert from Denver, was arrested last year after trying to join the terrorist group and marry one of its jihadists.

The main fear of law enforcement is that the women who have actually joined IS will one day return to the U.S. and carry out attacks here.

It is clear that, in addition to young Muslim men, young Muslim women also now pose a serious and growing threat to homeland security. And federal authorities must broaden the terrorist profile to include them.

All of these American females who have been identified as IS suspects are devout Muslims known to cover their heads or wear religious veils.

Therefore, extra scrutiny should be paid to women wearing head scarves and other distinctly Islamic garb at screening checkpoints — in spite of protests from Muslim rights groups who say such travelers should be treated with the utmost respect.

Right now, Homeland Security trains TSA agents to take note of men acting suspiciously and who have a "face pale from recent shaving of beard," according to a leaked spot referral report.

But it is a war imperative that the terrorist profile be swiftly updated to include Muslim women showing signs of piety. If not, our next big terrorist attacker may surprise us all by being a woman.



110,357 Saudi women apply at TVTC colleges

23 April 2015

“The role of Saudi women in the labor market has been rapidly increasing. This requires the opening of 17 technical women’s colleges in two years in addition to 18 colleges of excellence (CoE),” said Fahd Al-Otaibi, TVTC spokesman.

A total of 110,357 Saudi women applied for admission at 35 TVTC women’s colleges.

The TVTC, according to him, seeks to strengthen the role of Saudi women in the labor market by enabling them to participate in development projects through training programs.

“It is an effective way to rehabilitate them in technical and professional fields based on market needs,” he said.

This is apparent from the rise in applicants over last year when 4,211 applicants out of 28,357 were admitted to 18 technical colleges, while 8,185 out of 82,000 candidates were admitted at CoE during the past year.

Realizing the need to empower women with technical skills, Al-Otaibi said TVTC will expand training facilities for women and run more colleges in the interest of socio-economic development through a healthy environment at the workplace.

The training program will also pay attention to the need for the quality and efficiency required by the domestic market.

It also works to achieve leadership in this regard to ensure independence and self-sufficiency, where women’s colleges combine technical and professional excellence in their training programs.

According to him, these colleges have gained popularity throughout the Kingdom to accommodate high school graduates in all its branches offering a number of professional and technical disciplines.

Al-Otaibi explained that TVTC upgrades its program to meet women’s needs and are designed to meet the needs of the labor market in coordination with the private sector.



Bagladesh Female voters demand better commute

23 April 2015

While last-minute campaigning is in full swing for the Dhaka and Chittagong city corporation polls, city dwellers are also voicing their expectations from the future mayors.

There are a number of issues that common people believe need immediate attention of the mayors to be elected next week. However, it seems an improved public transportation system is topping the list, especially when female professionals are concerned.

Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, several female commuters in the capital expressed their displeasure at the current state of the public transport system. The most complained-about issues were the unreasonable fare charged by CNG-run autorickshaws and fear of being harassed in public buses.

“The autorickshaw drivers automatically raise the fare when they see female passengers; it’s unfair,” said Sadia Doha, a public relations professional.

Another problem is the people's overall reluctance to adhere to traffic laws, which makes safe and timely movement around the capital very difficult, she said.

“Also, walking from one place to another is not easy in Dhaka. Women, especially, can hardly walk on the footpaths without fearing harassment. I expect the future mayor to resolve these issues when he takes office,” she said.

Sadia also believes that a positive mindset among people is a necessity to have a safe travelling environment in public buses – a sentiment shared by Sabrina Karim, a young journalist.

“Travelling on a public bus is demoralising. Female passengers are frequently subjected to discrimination and harassment, which should not be the case. The environment in general is very anti-female, which makes it difficult for professionals like us to commute,” she told the Dhaka Tribune.

“Modes of transport such as CNG autorickshaws and taxis are unnecessarily expensive. Buses are no better either. The situation of public transport improved a little during the tenure of the last caretaker government, but it did not last long.

“Personally speaking, however, I don’t think any mayor can make any difference; they lack honest intention, their only goal being earning money,” said a young professional, who sought anonymity.

Manhaz Rahman, an interior designer, thinks CNG-run autorickshaws need to be monitored more strictly. “They hardly follow meter readings and demand fares as they please. I have even heard that some police officials own these autorickshaws, which is why they do not follow their meters.

“The government needs to devise a system where the autorickshaw drivers get a reasonable fare, and passengers do not have to pay more than is required,” she said.

Laju Akther, a private service holder, said travelling on public buses was a horrifying experience for her. “Men travelling with us throw vulgar comments at us. Sometimes they even try to grope women. The newly-elected mayor needs to address this issue as soon as possible and ensure safe travel for women in the city.”

While safe commuting got the most priority in these professionals’ list of improvements they expect to see in their cities, they addressed other issues as well, such as better and environment-friendly waste management, strict monitoring of high-rise construction to make sure the building guidelines are followed, and effective rehabilitation of homeless people and slum-dwellers.



Female ISIS Members’ Growing Presence On Social Media Urge Suicide Attacks

23 April 2015

A group of Muslim female Islamic State (ISIS) “Jihad Janes” who’ve been in Syria off and on – including a prominent member believed to be Um Abdullatif, the widow of Australian fighter Mahmoud Abdullatif -- are part of an ISIS female brigade called "Al Khansaa” -- whose membership some counterterrorism officials believe could number in the hundreds -- have formed a clique of female ISIS members from English-speaking countries based in Raqqah -- the Islamic State's Syrian stronghold. The largely Western women in this clique are believed to be the wives and widows of ISIS fighters.

Western counterterrorism officials told Homeland Security Today on background the number of radicalized young Western Muslim women is growing, and that counterterrorism authorities are bracing for potential suicide attacks by these women when they return to their respective Western homes. The ones officials are most concerned about are those unknown to authorities.

The jihadi movement has employed women for years to carry out suicide jihadi attacks.

So far, officials believe more than a dozen young American Muslim women have joined ISIS’s women’s clique or have – or are -- plotting to carry out jihad on American soil.

They include 31-year-old Asia Siddiqui, who along with her  Queens, NY roommate Noelle Velentzas, plotted a bombing in the US before being thwarted by the FBI.

Homeland Security Today reported Velentzas and Siddiqui were recently charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in the United States. The criminal complaint stated the women repeatedly expressed support for violent jihad. For example, Velentzas declared she and Siddiqui are “citizens of the Islamic State.” Siddiqui published a poem in a magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula exhorting readers to wage jihad.

Since at least August 2014, the women allegedly plotted to construct an explosive device for use in a terrorist attack on American soil. Although they had not yet specified targets, the women had carefully studied how to construct an explosive device to launch an attack on the homeland, including how to develop bombs with items such as pressure cookers, which were also used in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Then there’s Keonna Thomas, a 30-year-old Muslim convert from Philadelphia who was arrested earlier this month for trying to aid ISIS and participate in their "martyrdom operations."

In addition, an untold number of Somali-American girls who’ve gone missing from their Minneapolis homes also have join the Islamic State, with some perhaps having traveled to Somalia to join the Somalia-based Al Qaeda affiliate and ISIS supporter, Al Shabaab.

On April 20, 2015, Umm Abdullatif “announced plans for an attack on Australian soil set for Saturday, April 25,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which monitors jihadi social media. “The attack is aimed to coincide with Anzac Day, which commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations; this year, it is marking the 100th anniversary of the battle at Gallipoli."

MEMRI said “Umm Abdullatif is the widow of Australian fighter Mahmoud Abdullatif, and, according to a Syrian opposition source, she is a member of the Al Khansaa brigade in Al Raqqa, Syria. In a series of tweets, she wrote, ‘We have brave lions, mujahideen, in the heart of your land that are thirsty for ur blood. You cannot stop them, as they r the army of Allah. To the Muslims in Australis, we say; CONTINUE what the brothers planned for Anzac Day … and your reward will be with Allah. & There is no stopping the army of Allah. Victory or martyrdom. & 2 the brothers who pland [planned] the attacks, u are tru soljas [soldiers], striking fear into the hearts of d [the] kuffar [infidels]. May allah reward u with nothing but firdaws [Paradise]."

Some of the ISIS clique of wives and widows of male ISIS fighters have distributed photos of themselves brandishing rifles, posing with cars and issuing threats via Twitter, according to MEMRI’s analysis of their social media sites.

“The women apparently share living quarters,” MEMRI said, adding that, “Umm Jihad, the American member of the group, referred to her women friends as a ‘family.’”

Umm Jihad, according to MEMRI and intelligence sources, is 20-year-old Hoda Muthana, a former college student from Hoover, Alabama who is believed to have joined the Al Khansaa brigade and is now working to radicalize and recruit other young Western Muslim women . Muthana reportedly abandoned her family and fled to Syria several months ago to join ISIS.

She graduated Hoover High School in 2013 and studied business at the University of Alabama before somehow becoming radicalized and making her way to the inner sanctum off female ISIS members in November. According to reports, she began to immerse herself in jihadist interpretations of Islam on the Internet. She recently gave an interview to BuzzFeed.

Counterterrorism officials told Homeland Security Today on background intelligence indicates she had direct contact – via social media – with hardened ISIS female jihadists working for the jihadi group to specifically recruit Western and, especially, American Muslim women.

“There is a radicalization process being employed by ISIS’s female members to radicalize and recruit young Western Muslim women,” one of the counterterrorism intelligence officials said.

Muthana recently Tweeted, “Terrorize the kuffar (infidels) at home,” “"Americans wake up! Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping!" "Go on drive-bys and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them.” "Veterans, Patriot, Memorial etc Day parades ... go on drive bys + spill all of their blood or rent a big truck n drive all over them. Kill them."

“On December 23, 2014, Muthana tweeted that she was watching her friend Umm Abdullatif sleep.” On January 7, 2015, Muthana scolded fellow US citizens for failing to enlist in the ranks of jihad in Syria, tweeting, ‘Allahumma barik [God bless] there are sooo many Aussies and Brits here but where are the Americans, wake up u cowards,’” MEMRI reported.

That same day, she tweeted, "Who knew my fate would be living among a bunch of Australians, full on m8 [mate]. Love my Aussie family xo."

“On December 1, 2014, Muthana, or Umm Jihad, tweeted a photo of her American passport alongside a Canadian, British and Australian passport, with the caption, ‘Bonfire soon, no need for these anymore. The women appear to spend a lot of time together. They likely live with each other or near each other and spend time together while their husbands are away on the front lines of fighting,” MEMRI said.

On March 18, 2015, she announced her husband's death in Syria. Photos of Umm Jihad with Australian female ISIS members wielding kalashnikovs in front of a BMW car was circulated among many ISIS social media accounts the same day.

Other postings that day included one of Umm Abdullatif with four other women – believed to include Umm Jihad -- holding AK-47 rifles and posing in front of the BMW. She wrote, "Ft. [featuring] The Sharrouf Family, me, & Umm Jihad kikn [kicking] it in the Khilafah."

MEMRI said several versions of these photos appear to exist and were originally circulated among Australian ISIS accounts. For example, an Australian fighter with the Twitter account @Peterwalker494 tweeted one in black and white, and wrote, "American and Ozzies in the Khilafah."

Zaynab Sharrouf, the 14-year-old daughter of Khaled Sharrouf and the wife of Muhammad El Omar, who goes by the nickname Umm Hafs, tweeted another photo of the moment, writing, "Chilling in the Khilafah, lovin life. #Sharrouffamily #Ummjihad #Ummabdullatif #Ummzarqawi,Ummdhukifl."

On March 19, Azoz Alhamza tweeted, "#Raqqah Um Abdallatif from #Australia and another fighters from Al-Khansaa brigade with AK47 and BMW 5."

It’s the radicalized female jihadists who now have counterterrorism authorities scrambling for reliable intelligence on them. Given past actions, they are concerned they could make use of sophisticated prosthetics and disguises to carry out suicide attacks.

In February 2008, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis issued an intelligence advisory warning that Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations might try to use women jihadists hiding explosives inside “pregnancy prosthetics … that mimic the look of a pregnant woman.”

The threat assessment said “female suicide bombers have used devices that make them appear pregnant to hide explosive devices.”

Earlier, terrorists did in fact use a crude form of deception in dispatching female jihadists. In Iraq, Al Qaeda used Muslim women wearing concealed suicide vests to carry out bombings after increased security and protective concrete walls made car bombings more difficult.



‘The Real’ Shocker: Women Wearing Hijabs Banned From Front Row During Taping?

23 April 2015

So much for being ‘real’? Studio officials allegedly told two Muslim women wearing headscarves they could not sit in the front row of ‘The Real’ because they should not be seen on camera. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has since filed a complaint.

So how real is The Real? We’re not sure. According to a complaint filed against Warner Bros., an alleged studio policy led the studio to ask two Muslim women, who were wearing hijabs, to move out of camera view during the filming of an episode.

‘The Real’ Bans Muslim Women From Sitting Front Row? — CAIR Files Complaint

In February, two women allegedly attended a taping of The Real at the Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles, according to CAIR — the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Before entering the taping, studio officials allegedly told the Muslim women that they could not sit in the front row because they should not be seen on camera due to the studio’s policy.

“Warner Bros. has no legal justification for removing the hijab-wearing women from the camera’s view,” CAIR-LA’s Senior Civil Rights Attorney, Fatima Dadabhoy, said. “No studio should maintain such a discriminatory policy that prohibits people wearing religious head coverings from being seen in its studio audiences. It’s especially baffling that this particular show would want to hide their visibly-Muslim viewers, when the show purports to cater to a wide-ranging audience with its diverse cast.”

A rep from Warner Bros. has responded to the situation, however, and told “Warner Bros. policy is to welcome everyone and anyone into our studio audience. The Real is a show that was created to represent and celebrate diversity. We take this inquiry seriously and are looking into the matter.”