New Age Islam
Wed Oct 28 2020, 05:06 AM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 25 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Wearing the Hijab May Not Be an ‘Islamic Duty’ Says Al Azhar University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israeli Girls Wear Their Bodies Well, No Matter Their Shape and Size

Arab Men and Women in the Middle East Agree On Role of Islam

Time to Break the Traditions of Child Marriages

Utah Woman upset over judge’s hair-cut punishment

Malaysia Lesbian and Gay Community Demanding Rights, End To Discrimination

Laws, Penalties Needed To End Discrimination against Women: HRC

Arab spring changes negative stereotype of women, Arab Group tells UN

Arab women major voice in consumerism, says study

Religion is not the biggest enemy for Arab women, poll finds

Woman TV Anchor Suspended Over Haircut in Malaysia

UK College bars woman over veil

BJP against financial assistance to Muslim girls in UP, India

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Wearing the Hijab May Not Be an ‘Islamic Duty’ Says Al Azhar University

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/wearing-the-hijab-may-not-be-an-‘islamic-duty’-says-al-azhar-university/d/7743

 

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Wearing the Hijab May Not Be an ‘Islamic Duty’ Says Al Azhar University

Jun 25, 2012

MOROCCO: Last month at Al Azhar University, Sheikh Mustapha Mohamed Rashed defended a thesis that sparked a heated debate among religious scholars. The candidate concluded that Hijab, or the veil, is not an Islamic duty.

The claim is not the first of its kind, but the mere fact that it is adopted in Al Azhar University – the Sunni Islam’s foremost seat of learning –makes it controversial.

Sheikh Mustapha Mohamed Rashed argued that Hijab is not an Islamic duty. He stated that Hijab refers to the cover of the head, which is not mentioned in the Holy Quran at all. “Nonetheless, a bunch of scholars insisted vehemently that the veil is both an Islamic duty and one of the most important pillars of Islam,” he added.

In doing so, the PhD candidate points out, “they deviated from the purposes of the Islamic law and “Sahih Atafsir” or the true interpretation. They rejected reasoning and relied only on literal text.”

According to Mohamed Rashed, these scholars de-contextualized the verses of the Quran and interpreted them in their very own liking, following some ancient scholars, as if what they said is sacred and is no subject to Ijtihad.

Ijtihad is a technical term, which literally means “exertion” in a jurisprudential sense; it is the exertion of mental energy by a Muslim jurist to deduce legal rulings from Islam’s sacred texts.1

The researcher continued that the scholars, who claim that Hijab is an important pillar of Islam, departed from “Al Minhaj Assahih,” or the true path, of interpretation and reasoning, which interprets the verses according to their historical context and the causes of revelation. These scholars  “interpreted the verses in their general sense, overlooking the causes of their revelation, intentionally or due to their limited intellectual capacity resulted in psychological scourge.” Worse yet, they approached hundreds of important issues in the same way.”

“The supporters of Hijab as an Islamic duty base their arguments on inconsistent and wrong evidence. They would ascribe various meanings to the veil, from Hijab to Khimar to Jalabib, a fact which shows that they digressed from the true meaning they intended to address, the cover of the head,” he added. The researcher attempted to deconstruct the three claims that are derived from interpretations of the sacred texts.

Literally, Hijab means “a veil,” “curtain,” “partition” or “separation.” 2 The verse in which it is mentioned is specifically addressed to the wives of the prophet; there is no dispute among scholars about that at all. The verse states as follow,.

“And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition ( hijab). That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.“( Quran 33: 53)

The term hijab then is meant to have a partition between the wives of the prophet and his companions. It is not addressed to the Muslim women, otherwise it would have been stated, says Mohamed Rashed.

Bouthaina Shaaban seems to have held the same belief.3She said that those who imitate the wives of the prophet and wear the Hijab are disobeying God’s will, for He said,

“O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women.” (Quran 33: 32)

As for the term Khimar, it is found in a verse of the Quran stating,

“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests.” (Quran 24: 31)

The researcher pointed out that the evidence is invalid. The intent of the text is to refer to the cover of the breast whose exposure is un-Islamic, but not to what is perceived nowadays as Hijab for the head.

In this regard, it is believed that when the pre-Islamic Arabs went to battle, Arab women seeing the men off to war would bare their breasts to encourage them to fight; or they would do so at the battle itself, as in the case of the Meccan women led by Hind at the Battle of Uhud.2

Nikkie Keddie, a prominent historian and an expert on women’s issues in Islam, said that this verse does not refer to covering the hair. It was only “later interpreted as meaning covering the whole body, including the hair, and most of the face.” She continued that; “This interpretation is illogical. If the whole body and face were meant, there would be no reason to tell women to veil their bosoms specifically, while the later interpretation of ‘adornment’ to mean everything but the hands, feet, and (possibly) the face is a forced one.4

However, Al Qaradawi, a famous Egyptian scholar, quoted the same verse to conclude that the Hijab is  compulsory and is an injunction  based on a literal reading of the Koran. He asserted that the Hijab is, “not the result of an opinion by jurists or even by Muslims; it is a Koranic order.”5

As regards the verse in which Jalabib is mentioned, the researcher considered it to be misplaced evidence.

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused.” (Quran 33:59)

The supporters of Hijab as an Islamic duty overlooked the historical background and the cause of revelation, for the verse was meant to distinguish between the pure and promiscuous women and slaves. At that time, all women tended not to cover their faces. Hence, the verse was revealed so as to protect the pure from some men, who would gaze at them while they were excreting or urinating.

Mustapha Mohamed Rashed rejected the Hadith, reported by Abu Dawud, in which Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, was ordered by the prophet to expose only her face and palms. He says it should not be taken into any sort of consideration because it is “Ahaad” or its narration does not fulfill one of the most important required conditions, connectivity.

It is not clear whether the dissertation was preserved on the shelves of Al Azhar University and could not be discussed. This possibility made the Moroccan newspaper, Almassaa, wonder if the Arab Spring was conducive in bringing this issue to the surface.

http://womennewsnetwork.net/2012/06/25/morocco-wearing-the-hijab-may-not-be-an-islamic-duty-says-university/

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Israeli Girls Wear Their Bodies Well, No Matter Their Shape And Size

Jun 24, 2012

Summer has always been a challenge for me. Even as a young teenager, I was the one wearing jeans and a long mans shirt to the beach while my friends were frolicking around in skimpy bikinis and shorts. When I became religious, I put it down to my being naturally modest, but as that mask slipped away I was forced to confront something deeper about how I felt about my body. Weighing in at a scrawny fifty something kilo's, I have no shape to speak of, but after carrying, birthing and breast feeding five children, I can objectively say I have nothing to complain about either. Apart from the fact that I believe a 'good' body is a body that feels, senses and responds, and a 'great' body is one that still gets you out of bed in the morning, I am also a woman in my late forties facing a mirror each morning.

 I have observed that Israeli women in particular are very confident in their bodies. They strut around like peacocks, with a gait that expresses an incredible sense of stability and presence no matter their size, weight or height. Even the tiniest Israeli women, has a presence that says, 'I did basic training, I've been to boot camp'. But the ones that interest me the most are those large dark heavy Israeli women that shake their sexy, skimpily covered, leopard skinned, cellulite asses on the beach in front of everyone, as if they were born in a brothel. How is it that these women have such a strong sense of their own power and beauty as women? And how is it that at such a young age they are able to transcend the fashion norms to which the rest of the world falls prey? Feminism aside I have no misgivings about the over sexualisation of their sense of self worth, but it does seem to come from a more primal place than the cover of a glossy magazine, and this is not entirely unhealthy.

 I even see it in my own daughters who have taken on this body confidence in the short time we have lived here.  Were we still living in Sydney, by now my nine year old daughter would be covering up her lovely body and talking of dieting and losing weight. Instead she embraces her body with a confidence and an ease that is perfectly healthy for a child her age, and she shows no signs of being pressured in form or concept. My older girls, all different in size and shape are equally solid in their bodies, dressing with a confidence I never had. And their friends all seem to be the same. Israeli girls wear their bodies well, no matter their shape and size.

 What I find most interesting about it all is that half the women on the beach have silicone implants, which should imply an inherent 'lack' of body confidence but the opposite seems to be true. They wear their implants with pride, and talk about them shamelessly, as if they were talking about their nails, which for the most part are also fake.  Given that I am probably one of the few truly justified in making such adjustments to my body, (a decision I would take decades to process and never fully recover from), I slowly slip off my long skirt and quickly walk to the water hoping no one will notice I am swimming in my shorts. The water is magnificent. I return to my bronzed, Sephardi harem of beautifully formed women, grab a towel and wrap myself up before anyone has time to notice the three light brown hairs on my unshaved legs. What am I going on about? I think to myself, these girl wax off a full moustache of facial hair once a week.

 I find the most intelligent looking guy, which is not as easy as it sounds in these parts, and strike up a conversation. Thank G-d he speaks English. He is a radiographer who works in one of Israel's few private hospitals. We discuss my boyfriend's recent haemorrhoid operation, equipment, funding, politics, MDA fundraising, world economics, technology and life in Israel. His wife approaches. She is Iraqi, small, with dark skin and those beautiful eyes you see only in Disney movies and in the Middle East. She stands chatting to us for a while, her thin tall body confidently displaying that Israeli sense of " I belong'.

 I realise that the core issue about being in your body is having a sense of true belonging.  I think Israeli girls feel that here in this country, they truly do belong, and serving in the army cements that belief. It's something intangible yet there is a certain presence about being here in this strange and confronting land. You cannot be half here or you will get your head blown off, either by a passing rocket or a Moroccan in the supermarket. Living in this country demands full presence, on the roads, on the beach and in the shuk, and even though on a deeper more spiritual universal level of consciousness this country is still asleep, at least when it comes to being alive and present, Israeli's can answer to that call. 

http://blogs.jpost.com/content/israeli-women-and-their-bodies

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Arab Men and Women in the Middle East Agree On Role of Islam

Jamal Saidi

 June 25, 2012

MOROCCO: Last month at Al Azhar University, Sheikh Mustapha Mohamed Rashed defended a thesis that sparked a heated debate among religious scholars. The candidate concluded that Hijab, or the veil, is not an Islamic duty.

The claim is not the first of its kind, but the mere fact that it is adopted in Al Azhar University – the Sunni Islam’s foremost seat of learning –makes it controversial.

Sheikh Mustapha Mohamed Rashed argued that Hijab is not an Islamic duty. He stated that Hijab refers to the cover of the head, which is not mentioned in the Holy Quran at all. “Nonetheless, a bunch of scholars insisted vehemently that the veil is both an Islamic duty and one of the most important pillars of Islam,” he added.

In doing so, the PhD candidate points out, “they deviated from the purposes of the Islamic law and “Sahih Atafsir” or the true interpretation. They rejected reasoning and relied only on literal text.”

According to Mohamed Rashed, these scholars de-contextualized the verses of the Quran and interpreted them in their very own liking, following some ancient scholars, as if what they said is sacred and is no subject to Ijtihad.

Ijtihad is a technical term, which literally means “exertion” in a jurisprudential sense; it is the exertion of mental energy by a Muslim jurist to deduce legal rulings from Islam’s sacred texts.1

The researcher continued that the scholars, who claim that Hijab is an important pillar of Islam, departed from “Al Minhaj Assahih,” or the true path, of interpretation and reasoning, which interprets the verses according to their historical context and the causes of revelation. These scholars “interpreted the verses in their general sense, overlooking the causes of their revelation, intentionally or due to their limited intellectual capacity resulted in psychological scourge.” Worse yet, they approached hundreds of important issues in the same way.”

“The supporters of Hijab as an Islamic duty base their arguments on inconsistent and wrong evidence. They would ascribe various meanings to the veil, from Hijab to Khimar to Jalabib, a fact which shows that they digressed from the true meaning they intended to address, the cover of the head,” he added. The researcher attempted to deconstruct the three claims that are derived from interpretations of the sacred texts.

Literally, Hijab means “a veil,” “curtain,” “partition” or “separation.” 2 The verse in which it is mentioned is specifically addressed to the wives of the prophet; there is no dispute among scholars about that at all. The verse states as follow,.

“And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition ( hijab). That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity.“( Quran 33: 53)

The term hijab then is meant to have a partition between the wives of the prophet and his companions. It is not addressed to the Muslim women, otherwise it would have been stated, says Mohamed Rashed.

Bouthaina Shaaban seems to have held the same belief.3She said that those who imitate the wives of the prophet and wear the Hijab are disobeying God’s will, for He said,

“O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women.” (Quran 33: 32)

As for the term Khimar, it is found in a verse of the Quran stating,

“And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests.” (Quran 24: 31)

The researcher pointed out that the evidence is invalid. The intent of the text is to refer to the cover of the breast whose exposure is un-Islamic, but not to what is perceived nowadays as Hijab for the head.

In this regard, it is believed that when the pre-Islamic Arabs went to battle, Arab women seeing the men off to war would bare their breasts to encourage them to fight; or they would do so at the battle itself, as in the case of the Meccan women led by Hind at the Battle of Uhud.2

Nikkie Keddie, a prominent historian and an expert on women’s issues in Islam, said that this verse does not refer to covering the hair. It was only “later interpreted as meaning covering the whole body, including the hair, and most of the face.” She continued that; “This interpretation is illogical. If the whole body and face were meant, there would be no reason to tell women to veil their bosoms specifically, while the later interpretation of ‘adornment’ to mean everything but the hands, feet, and (possibly) the face is a forced one.4

However, Al Qaradawi, a famous Egyptian scholar, quoted the same verse to conclude that the Hijab is  compulsory and is an injunction  based on a literal reading of the Koran. He asserted that the Hijab is, “not the result of an opinion by jurists or even by Muslims; it is a Koranic order.”5

As regards the verse in which Jalabib is mentioned, the researcher considered it to be misplaced evidence.

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused.” (Quran 33:59)

The supporters of Hijab as an Islamic duty overlooked the historical background and the cause of revelation, for the verse was meant to distinguish between the pure and promiscuous women and slaves. At that time, all women tended not to cover their faces. Hence, the verse was revealed so as to protect the pure from some men, who would gaze at them while they were excreting or urinating.

Mustapha Mohamed Rashed rejected the Hadith, reported by Abu Dawud, in which Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, was ordered by the prophet to expose only her face and palms. He says it should not be taken into any sort of consideration because it is “Ahaad” or its narration does not fulfill one of the most important required conditions, connectivity.

It is not clear whether the dissertation was preserved on the shelves of Al Azhar University and could not be discussed. This possibility made the Moroccan newspaper, Almassaa, wonder if the Arab Spring was conducive in bringing this issue to the surface.

http://womennewsnetwork.net/2012/06/25/morocco-wearing-the-hijab-may-not-be-an-islamic-duty-says-university/

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Time to Break the Traditions of Child Marriages

26 June 2012

LAHORE: Pakistan is stuck in the quagmire of traditions, which are mainly related to marriage and the family.

This was the consensus of the speakers who made intermittent speeches during a short-filmmaking competition on early-age marriages, jointly organised by the Plan International Pakistan, an NGO, and the Lahore College for Women University’s (LCWU) Mass Communication Department on Monday.

The speakers said that from the practice of child marriages, stereotype gender roles had developed, which had tied women to homes and left them totally dependent on men.

They said the poverty was one of the main causes of child marriage and the girls were often taken as an economic burden on the family and married off as soon as possible.

They also talked about a number of traditional practices that resulted in child marriage; watta satta or exchange marriage a common among them in the rural communities of south Punjab. The practice involves the mutual exchange of daughters between two families, with each girl being swapped for the purpose of marrying a son in the recipient family.

The speakers said that other traditional practices included vani or swara, which involved the offering of a girl to a family in appeasement or compensation for a wrongdoing, like settling a blood feud. Vulver, the sale of a girl to a husband, is another practice that could result in child marriage.

They said that protection of honour was an important notion in the Pakistani culture and was another cause of child marriages. They said that protecting a young girl once she attains puberty was an important task for parents, who often viewed marriage as the most effective way of shielding their daughters from undesirable relationships out of wedlock. They said that lack of awareness regarding the negative impacts of child marriages, on both boys and girls, and the lack of effective implementation of legislation also helped perpetuate the practice.

It may be possible to assert that once parents were aware of the harm that could be caused by marrying a child too early, they would cease to look favourably upon the practice, they said, adding that the same could be argued where legislation, with sufficiently onerous penalties, was effectively implemented.

They opined that the threat of imprisonment or a significant fine might be considered a good reason for delaying a child’s marriage, particularly if a fine would represent a great financial burden to the offender.

The speakers said that gender discrimination was an overarching issue that contributed to the practice of child marriage. In a patriarchal society, such as Pakistan’s, women observed a domestic role (as compared to the working role of the husband) and, given that early marriages bind girls to their homes and normally force them to give up her education, child marriage allows for this disparity to be perpetuated, they said.

Adviser to the Punjab chief minister Zakia Shahnawaz, Punjab Information Secretary Mohiuddin Wani, Usman Peerzada, Asghar Nadeem Sayed and LCWU VC Dr Sabiha Mansoor were prominent among the speakers.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\26\story_26-6-2012_pg13_4

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Utah Woman upset over judge’s hair-cut punishment

26 June 2012

A Utah mother says she felt intimidated in court when a judge told her that he would reduce her 13-year-old daughter’s sentence if she chopped off the girl’s ponytail in court — an offer the mother says she now wishes she hadn’t taken.

Valerie Bruno, of Price, said she has filed a formal complaint against 7th District Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen with the Utah Judicial Conduct Commission. The teenager and an 11-year-old friend were referred to juvenile court for cutting off the hair of a 3-year-old girl with scissors in March and for harassing another girl in Colorado by telephone.

When the 13-year-old faced Johansen for a hearing in May, he ordered she serve 30 days in detention and to perform 276 hours of community service, but he also offered to take 150 hours of community service off the sentence if her mother cut her ponytail in his courtroom.

Bruno is now expressing regret for not consulting an attorney before taking her daughter into the courtroom.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\26\story_26-6-2012_pg9_1

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Malaysia Lesbian and Gay Community Demanding Rights, End To Discrimination

Alisha Hassan | 25 June 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: The couple steals kisses, holds hands and dances the night away in one of Kuala Lumpur’s top clubs. The only difference from the scores of other couples on the floor is that the two are both women. In recent months, discussions on LGBT rights in the country have increased, and for these two girls, there is some hope for change in Malaysia.

“I think not as many people really give us a hard time when we are out together and showing affection,” began Rina, a 23-year-old recent university graduate. She spoke of her relationship with Youssra, a 22-year-old student who told Bikyamasr.com that her family is not pleased by her coming out.

“I told them recently about Rina and they were shocked. I thought my father was going to kill me, but even though they are not happy, I think they have accepted who I am,” she argued.

For the country’s lesbian and gay population, the struggle for rights is an uphill battle. With the country’s legal code based largely on the British system that was implemented last century during its occupation of Malaysia, and coupled with the growing power of Islamic clerics, creating openness and dialogue is often difficult.

Full report at:

http://bikyamasr.com/70792/malaysia-lgbt-community-demanding-rights-end-to-discrimination/

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Laws, Penalties Needed To End Discrimination against Women: HRC

June 25th, 2012

GENEVA: Kuwait yesterday expressed satisfaction over a report by the Human Rights Council Working Group on Discrimination against Women. The report stressed that ending discrimination against women requires stronger laws and penalties. Addressing the 20th regular session of the Human Rights Council, Foreign Ministry Political Researcher Iqbal Fahad Thnayyan Al-Ghanem said the report is in harmony with the Kuwaiti Constitution. She emphasized that Kuwait realizes the importance of women’s empowerment and encouraged more active participation in politics and parliamentary affairs by women.

Kuwaiti law, she continued, granted women the right to become members of parliament, municipal councils and bodies.  “We also see women assuming many leading posts in the country in political, diplomatic, and administrative spheres”. “Out of its belief in the need to bolster women’s standing and the role of contributing to social development alongside male peers, the country has enacted many laws and issued many regulations that give women equal rights in the civil service, at ministries, and other state bodies.

Full report at:

http://news.kuwaittimes.net/2012/06/25/laws-penalties-needed-to-end-discrimination-against-women/

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Arab spring changes negative stereotype of women, Arab Group tells UN

 26 June 2012

New York, June 26 (Petra) -- Women in the Arab world enjoy equal rights as men, and they are well-respected and appreciated in Arab societies, Jordan's Permanent Representative to the U N in Geneva Rajab Suqairi said Monday.

Speaking on behalf of the Arab Group at a United Nations Human Rights Council's meeting on violence against women in Geneva, the envoy said that women's rights are guaranteed by most of the Arab constitutions and laws.

The UN Radio quoted Suqairi as saying that "the Arab spring changed the stereotype associated with Arab women through their active participation in the movements which call for freedom and dignity." He explained that most Arab states had ratified international instruments on the rights of women, sought to eradicate all forms of violence against them and to intensify the protection of women against violence.

Full report at:

http://www.petra.gov.jo/Public_News/Nws_NewsDetails.aspx?Site_Id=1&lang=2&NewsID=75683&CatID=13&Type=Home&GType=1

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Arab women major voice in consumerism, says study

By Mariecar Jara-Puyod

June 26, 2012         

SHARJAH: Women in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have been noted to have become the stronger voice in consumerism in the last several years.

The powerful influence of women in the UAE with regards to what industries must manufacture and sell started to be noticed “more than six years ago,” an expert told The Gulf Today.

His company is the world association for market, social and opinion researchers that recently hosted a forum in Dubai wherein six speakers pointed out that gone are the days when business enterprises were the upper hand in creating and whetting consumers’ wants.

The speakers emphasised that the current times are showing that manufacturers have to learn not only to heed or listen to the consumers’ pulse or demand, but more importantly to trust what the sector is conveying to them through research studies and communications or feedback made instantly available via the ever-improving modern technology.

Representatives from the UAE and Dubai offices of the global marketing research company TNS discussed their “Eve’olution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia-Women as Drivers of Change” documentary-research study.

Full report at:

http://gulftoday.ae/portal/63d1226c-db5a-4b5e-859b-01813dda173c.aspx

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Religion is not the biggest enemy for Arab women, poll finds

June 25th, 2012

In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize last year, Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman thanked women of the Arab world for her medal. Without their struggle to win equal rights, she would not be there, she said.

The greatest challenge in that quest is not religion but the lack of economic and social development and a dearth of perceived security, said a Gallup Poll released Monday.

"The idea that coming in with a secular liberal social program as the solution to fixing how societies view women isn't supported by the evidence," said Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Centre for Muslim Studies.

She said the women in the Middle East have very much the same priorities as women in America. They want to lead prosperous lives.

"The research shows that human development and overall education and economic empowerment are the most important interventions we can make to help women's rights," Mogahed said.

The Gallup report urged policymakers to allow Arab women's own priorities to guide efforts at gender equality.

Gallup conducted multiple surveys of 1,000 people each time in Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya.

http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/25/religion-is-not-the-biggest-enemy-for-arab-women-poll-finds/

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Woman TV anchor suspended over haircut in Malaysia

Jun 26, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: A Muslim TV anchor's decision to support cancer awareness by chopping off her hair has cost the woman her job at a Malaysian channel, which wants her to grow back her mane to an "acceptable" length before being allowed to resume her work.

Popular Malaysian NTV7 news anchor and television personality Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi has also claimed to have received anonymous calls abusing her for defying a 'fatwa' prohibiting women from shaving their head, local media reported.

Ras Adiba, who works on a freelance basis for NTV7, cropped her hair on Friday last to show solidarity with The National Cancer Council cancer awareness campaign.

However, NTV7 found her new look too much to handle, ruling that she could no longer appear on air until her hair grows back to an acceptable length, Star newspaper said.

An NTV7 source said Ras Adiba had approached them before getting shorn, and the management had told her that if her hair was cropped, she would not be allowed to announce the news, the paper said.

She was told that once her hair had grown, she could resume her part-time position as newscaster.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Woman-TV-anchor-suspended-over-haircut-in-Malaysia/articleshow/14409307.cms

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UK College bars woman over veil

Jun 26, 2012

LONDON: A Muslim mother was turned away from a parents' evening at a British college as she refused to remove her full-face veil, an incident that left her feeling humiliated. Maroon Rafique, 40, was told that for the security and safety of children and teachers at the college there was a ban on any type of face coverings.

She was warned that unless she removed her full-face covering, known as the niqab, she would not be allowed into the college to attend the talk important for her son's education, the Daily Mail reported.

In the end, a stunned Rafique was forced to call her husband, who took her place and went with their son Awais, 18. Rafique, who is married to double-glazing firm boss Abdul, 40, and has a younger son, Ibrahim, 12, said she felt humiliated. "I'm born in this country. Why should what I wear offend anyone?" Rafique, who has worn the niqab for seven years, said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/UK-college-bars-woman-over-veil/articleshow/14399611.cms

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BJP against financial assistance to Muslim girls in UP

Jun 25, 2012

LUCKNOW: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday opposed the financial assistance proposed by the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh (UP) for girl students of minority community. The party staged a walk out from legislative council in protest. UP government has made an allocation of Rs 100 crore for helping education and marriage of Muslim girls in order to strengthen its minority vote bank for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The issue was raised by the BJP members through an adjournment notice during Zero Hour demanding a debate on the scheme announced by the state government. The BJP members said that the government has announced a financial assistance of Rs 30,000 to a girl student of the minority community after passing high school examination conducted by the UP Secondary Education Board. They alleged that the government move was against the provisions of the Constitution and against the right of equality.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/BJP-against-financial-assistance-to-Muslim-girls-in-UP/articleshow/14391603.cms

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