New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 11:14 PM

Islam, Women and Feminism ( 4 Aug 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Woman Arrested In Hindu-Muslim 'Lesbian' Case in Bangladesh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Teenage girls in low-income areas of Egypt are vulnerable to trafficking. Credit: Cam McGrath/IPS.

 

Underage Girls Are Egypt’s Summer Rentals

Kashmir Girl May Miss US Study Trip for Uncle's Militant Links

The First Arab Woman Laureate Banned From Entering Egypt

SIS warns Islamic Development Department against claiming to be voice of God

Sharjah Opens Child Abuse Helpline

Saudi Divorcee Chasing On-The-Run Hubby to Register 6 Kids

Girls’ School Blown Up In Bajaur, Pakistan

Burka Avenger Set To Go Global

Girl from Red-Light Area Flies to Greener Pastures, Bard University, New York

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/woman-arrested-in-hindu-muslim--lesbian--case-in-bangladesh/d/12899

 

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Woman Arrested In Hindu-Muslim 'Lesbian' Case in Bangladesh

 August 5, 2013

DHAKA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A 22-year-old Muslim woman in Bangladesh has been arrested and charged with kidnapping after she eloped with and married a Hindu teenage girl in what could be the first reported same-sex marriage in the conservative country that bans homosexuality.

Police arrested Sanjida Akter and her 16-year-old girlfriend in Dhaka on July 23 after the minor's father registered a complaint, saying his daughter had been abducted.

"We detained them in a house they rented and were stunned to discover this is a lesbian case," Lieutenant Sazzad Raihan, an officer from the country's Rapid Action Battalion, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"Both told us that they love each other. They fled their homes in Pirojpur district to start a family in Dhaka. (The younger girl) told us that they were married under Hindu traditions at their home the previous night."

Homosexuality and same-sex marriages are illegal in the majority Muslim south Asian nation and people who are open about their sexuality often face discrimination and violence. This may be the first known case of a same-sex marriage in Bangladesh, although the wedding was not performed by a cleric, priest or magistrate.

The teenager's father, however, claims the relationship is not a homosexual one, but rather a ploy by the older woman to extort money from his family by seducing his daughter.

"EVIL SPIRIT"

The father of the minor said the two females met six months ago when Sanjida began tutoring his daughter at home. However, he became uncomfortable with their increasing closeness and eventually stopped Sanjida from teaching his daughter.

"I did not like her attitude and told my wife not to allow her at home," the teen’s father told Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Pirojpur. Soon after his daughter disappeared, he said.

"Suddenly I received a call demanding 300,000 taka ($38,530) as ransom. I informed the police and they finally located the girls."

The police said they tracked down Sanjida and the teenager nine days later and arrested Sanjida based on evidence given by her father, who claimed this was not the first time his daughter had eloped with a woman.

"A jinn (evil spirit) has possessed her since she was a student in class four [9 years old] and we tried many ways to free her from it. This is what's provoking her into this behaviour," Abdus Sobhan, Sanjida's father, told Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone from his home in Shariatpur district.

Sanjida could not be contacted as she is in jail and the teenager's parents will not permit her to speak to the media. However, Bangladeshi tabloid newspaper Manabjamin quoted Sanjida as saying she had never abducted or seduced anyone.

"No one will ever lodge any complaint against me. Not even [this girl] as I did not abduct her. She went with me willingly," she told the newspaper before going to jail.

http://www.trust.org/item/20130802161646-w6h2g/?source=hptop

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Underage Girls Are Egypt’s Summer Rentals

August 5, 2013

Inter Press Service

El HAWAMDIA, Egypt, Aug 05 (IPS) - Each summer, wealthy male tourists from Gulf Arab states flock to Egypt to escape the oppressive heat of the Arabian Peninsula, taking residence at upscale hotels and rented flats in Cairo and Alexandria. Many come with their families and housekeeping staff, spending their days by the pool, shopping, and frequenting cafes and nightclubs. Others come for a more sinister purpose.

In El Hawamdia, a poor agricultural town 20 kilometres south of Cairo, they are easy to spot. Arab men in crisp white thawbs troll the town’s pot-holed, garbage-strewn streets in their luxury cars and SUVs. As they arrive, Egyptian fixers in flip flops run alongside their vehicles, offering short-term flats and what to them are the town’s most sought-after commodity – underage girls.

Each year, in El Hawamdia and other impoverished rural communities across Egypt, thousands of girls between the ages of 11 and 18 are sold by their parents to wealthy, much older Gulf Arab men under the pretext of marriage. The sham nuptials may last from a couple of hours to years, depending on the negotiated arrangement.[pullquote]3[/pullquote]

“It’s a form of child prostitution in the guise of marriage,” Azza El-Ashmawy, director of the Child Anti-Trafficking Unit at the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) tells IPS. “The man pays a sum of money and will stay with the girl for a few days or the summer, or will take her back to his country for domestic work or prostitution.”

The girl is returned to her family when the marriage ends, usually to be married off again.

“Some girls have been married 60 times by the time they turn 18,” says El-Ashmawy. “Most ‘marriages’ last for just a couple of days or weeks.”

The deals are hatched in El Hawamdia’s myriad “marriage broker” offices, identifiable by the conspicuous presence of air-conditioners in a ramshackle town with intermittent power.

The brokers, usually second-rate lawyers, also offer a delivery service. Village girls as young as 11 are brought to the Arab tourists’ hotel or rented flat for selection. Arab men travelling with their wives and children often arrange a separate flat for such purposes.

The temporary marriages offer a way to circumvent Islamic restrictions on pre-marital sex.

“Many hotels and landlords in Egypt will not rent a room to unmarried couples,” explains Mohamed Fahmy, a Cairo real estate agent. “A marriage certificate, even a flimsy one, allows visiting men to have sexual liaisons.”

Engaging in sexual relations with minors is illegal in Egypt. Brokers can help with that too, forging birth certificates or substituting the identity card of the girl’s older sister.

A one-day mut’a or “pleasure” marriage can be arranged for as little as 800 Egyptian pounds (115 dollars). The money is split between the broker and the girl’s parents.

A summer-long misyar or “visitor” marriage runs from 20,000 Egyptian pounds (2,800 dollars) to 70,000 Egyptian pounds (10,000 dollars). The legally non-binding contract terminates when the man returns to his country.

The “dowry” that Gulf Arab men are prepared to pay for sex with young girls is a powerful magnet for impoverished Egyptian families in a country where a quarter of the population subsists on less than two dollars a day.

A NCCM-commissioned survey of 2,000 families in three towns near Cairo – El Hawamdia, Abu Nomros and Badrashein – found that the hefty sums paid by Arab tourists was the main motive for the high rate of “summer marriages” in these towns.

Some 75 percent of the respondents knew girls involved in the trade, and most believed the number of marriages was increasing.

The 2009 survey indicated that 81 percent of the “spouses” were from Saudi Arabia, 10 percent from the United Arab Emirates, and four percent from Kuwait.

The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) too has been studying these "marriages". “The family takes the money, and the foreign ‘husband’ usually leaves the girl after two or three weeks,” says Sandy Shinouda, a Cairo-based official at the IOM’s Counter-Trafficking Unit.

“The unregistered marriages are not recognised by the state and afford no rights to the girl, or any children that result from these unions.”

Shinouda, who formerly ran a shelter for victims of the trade, says most of the young girls come from large families that see marriage to an older, wealthier foreigner as a way to escape grinding poverty.

“The girl may have 10 siblings, so the family considers her as a commodity,” she says.

Parents may seek a broker to arrange a marriage once their daughter reaches puberty. In about a third of cases the girl is pressured into accepting the arrangement, the NCCM study found.

This can have a profound psychological impact on the girl’s mental health, says Shinouda.

“The girls know their families have exploited them…they can understand that their parents sold them,” she says. “Reintegration is a big challenge because in many cases if you return the girls to their family the parents will sell them again.”

Egypt’s 2008 Child Law criminalises marriages to girls who have not reached the legal age of 18. Another law prohibits marriages to foreigners where the age difference exceeds 25 years.

But the laws are poorly enforced, concedes NCCM’s El-Ashmawy. Anecdotal evidence suggests the trade has grown since Egypt’s 2011 revolution as a result of worsening economic conditions and an ineffectual police force.

“It’s not simply about poverty or religion,” she asserts. “It’s cultural norms that support this illicit trade – people believe it is in the best interest of the girls and the families at large. And brokers succeeded in finding common ground with families in order to exploit young girls.”

http://www.iede.co.uk/news/2013_2645/underage-girls-are-egypt%E2%80%99s-summer-rentals

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Kashmir girl may miss US study trip for uncle's militant links

Peerzada Ashiq

 August 05, 2013

A 15-year-old girl from central Kashmir's Budgam district may miss her chance to go to the US on an exchange programme because her uncle had militant links.

Sufaira Nazir, a resident of Beerwah, 20km from Srinagar, has bagged a scholarship among 40 students selected from India to participate in an one-year long exchange programme along with 40 students from the US.

She applied for a passport last year after she was selected the programme. However, her application was annulled because of her uncle, who had links to millitancy.

Ironically, the uncle has surrendered before the state authorities long ago.

"It is a rare chance for me to visit the country and meet the people over there. Besides, it would have provided me with a golden opportunity to get the best possible education. But I am told I won't get a passport. What are my sins?" asked Nazir.

Meanwhile, chief minister Omar Abdullah's political secretary Tanvir Sadiq said there is a government decision not to annul passports of anyone having no involvement in militancy.

We have made it clear that there is no reason to stop passports of anyone who has no direct involvement in any militancy," said Sadiq.

In a similar case, the passport of Mehraj ul Asrar (21), son of Bashir Ahmed, a resident of south Kashmir's Anantnag district, was held back, apparently because his father was Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front's (JKLF) general secretary from 1990 till 1999.

Asrar was all set to join a multi-national company this month after being selected in an on-campus interview last year at the valley's reputed National Institute of Technology (NIT).

The government, however, dispatched his passport on Friday just a day after the Hindustan Times reported the case.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Srinagar/Kashmir-girl-may-miss-US-study-trip-for-uncle-s-militant-links/Article1-1103579.aspx

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The First Arab Woman Laureate Banned From Entering Egypt

 August 5, 2013

CAIRO – Egyptian authorities on Sunday banned Yemeni rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakkol Karman from entering the country for “security reasons,” airport officials said.

Karman was held at Cairo airport on arrival and ordered to return on the flight back to Yemen, the officials said without providing further details. The first Arab woman to win the Nobel peace prize has voiced support for loyalists of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and described his ouster by the military in July as undemocratic.

Morsi supporters said in a statement that Karman had been due to make an appearance at a Cairo sit-in where backers of the deposed president have rallied for more than a month. The Anti-Coup Alliance said Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, also a Nobel laureate, “is to be held responsible for banning activists and Nobel Prize winners from entering Egypt.”

They condemned the move as a violation of human rights and freedom of speech, which they say is evidence of the “police/military state” in Egypt. Morsi’s July 3 removal from office has intensified divisions in the Arab world’s most populous nation. His supporters have vowed to keep fighting for his reinstatement with two large sit-ins that have brought parts of the capital to a halt, one of them at Rabaa Al-Adawiya where they said Karman was due to make an appearance. Karman was a leading figure during the 2011 youth uprising in Yemen that eventually forced out veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh, is the first Arab woman to win the Nobel peace prize.  Egypt’s interim leaders have said there is no turning back from the army-drafted roadmap that foresees new elections in 2014.

Intense diplomatic efforts are currently underway to find a peaceful solution to the political crisis. – AFP

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130805175941

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SIS warns Islamic Development Department against claiming to be voice of God

 August 5, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 ― Malaysia’s religious authorities risk the sin of “shirik” (idolatry) after seemingly speaking for God in judging an online video deemed offensive to Islam, Muslim women’s group Sisters in Islam (SIS) warned yesterday.

On Friday, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) adjudged a video made by dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof, which shows her walking and bathing her dogs, to be an insult to Islam and resulted in the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) pursuing investigations against her.

“What differentiates Jakim’s opinion from that of the lay person is that Jakim’s views are backed up by enforcement powers of the state,” SIS programme manager Suri Kempe told The Malay Mail Online via email yesterday.

“Anybody who questions and challenges the injustice of these views and actions is accused of being against Islam and God,” she said. “This is tantamount to claiming to be the embodiment of God, and Jakim should be very careful as it could be a form of shirik.”

Shirik, which means setting up rivals or peers with God, is one of the gravest sins in Islam.

Suri pointed out that understandings of Islam and the Quran are “partial, limited and humble” and cannot be considered “perfect or free from error”.

“The great ulama (clerics) of the classical period were very humble and conscious of this,” said Suri.

“Imam Shafie is reported to have said, ‘I believe my opinion is right with the possibility that it is wrong and I believe the opinion of those who disagree with me is wrong with the possibility of that being correct.’ And only God knows best,” she added. Imam Shafie is regarded as the founder of Islamic jurispudence.

The Muslim women’s rights activist also said that SIS did not find Maznah’s video insulting.

“We do, however, find it troubling that Jakim claims to ― and is recognised by other actors within government (such as MCMC) ― speak for Islam and for God,” said Suri.

“To us, the video simply shows somebody who loves her dogs, and respects dogs as one of Allah’s creations, and who emphasises cleanliness,” she added.

In a 105-second video reposted on YouTube on Tuesday, Maznah is seen walking and bathing her three dogs as the “Takbir Raya”, or Muslim call to prayer traditionally reserved for the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, plays in the background.

The juxtaposition appeared to be a reference to the wudhu, or ablution performed by Muslims before prayer; dogs are also considered ritually unclean by adherents of the predominant faith in Malaysia.

Following the uproar over the 2010 video, Maznah was arrested and subsequently released from remand in Johor last Friday on a court bond.

The 38-year-old dog trainer, better known as Chetz Yusof, is being investigated under the Sedition Act and Section 298A of the Penal Code that includes offences of causing disunity on religious grounds.

SIS speaks out regularly against some actions by Malaysia’s Islamic authorities. Just last month, it criticised the dropping of four Muslim finalists from the Miss Malaysia World 2013 beauty pageant after the Federal Territory Mufti said the female contestants had purportedly violated a 1996 fatwa that deems Muslim participation in beauty contests sinful.

The NGO said that fatwa, or religious edicts, should be deliberated by a legislative body like Parliament or a state assembly before they are made binding on Muslims, noting that the current procedure was “un-Islamic and undemocratic”.

Incidents deemed insulting to Islam by local religious authorities have become more regular of late.

Aside from Maznah, the four Muslim Miss Malaysia World contestants are also being investigated by the Federal Territory Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) for voicing their disappointment at the fatwa that led to their disqualification.

Previously, two sex bloggers were charged recently under the Penal Code and Sedition Act, for posting a mock “Selamat Berbuka Puasa” (breaking of fast) greeting on their Facebook page that showed them eating “bak kut teh”, a soupy pork dish. Muslims are prohibited from eating pork.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sis-warns-jakim-against-claiming-to-be-voice-of-god#sthash.y8eSKQAg.dpuf

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Sharjah opens child abuse helpline

 August 5, 2013

Sharjah: Sharjah is promoting its round-the-clock helpline to report child abuse incidents. Officials from the Social Services Department, which initiated the project said the service offers a confidential means of reporting incidents involving abuse of children in the emirate.

The aim of the 800 700 toll-free line is to the check abuse cases and bolster the crime reporting system to better enable responses to victims, officials said.

The helpline is staffed with professional crisis counsellors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in two languages, Arabic and English. The helpline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to hundreds of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are confidential.

Seven employees — four women and three men — work at the call centre of the child helpline in three shifts throughout the day complemented by a number of social workers including social specialists, legal specialists and psychological specialists.

The child protection centre, touted as one of the first of its kind in the region when it was formed in 2007, has received calls for assistance from all emirates in the UAE, said Ahmad Ebrahim Al Tartoor, director of Protection of Children’s Rights Administration at Sharjah Social Services Department.

Helpline overseers said the service documented 305 cases in 2012 and another 221 cases during the first six months of 2013.

The department eases the problem by providing support such as rent payments, school fees or food coupons.

These calls come to help children at risk of abuse, distressed parents seeking crisis intervention and concerned individuals who suspect that child abuse may be occurring. The helpline is also a valuable resource for those who are mandated by law to report suspected abuse, such as school personnel, medical and mental health professionals.

When calls are placed to the helpline, a qualified crisis counsellor will answer and assist, Al Tartoor told Gulf News.

Child abuse is defined by the centre and under the law as the inappropriate treatment of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caretaker, someone living in their home or someone who works with or around children. Abuse of a child is anything that causes injury or puts the child in danger of physical injury. Child abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or neglect and happens when a parent or responsible caretaker fails to provide adequate supervision, food, clothing, shelter or other basics for a child, Al Tartoor said.

Al Tartoor explained that child abuse is any action (or lack of) which endangers or impairs a child’s physical, mental or emotional health and development. Child abuse occurs in different ways. All forms of abuse and neglect are harmful to the child. There are many reasons why children are at risk of abuse and neglect. For example, their families do not have adequate support from relatives or the community , or their parents are experiencing a lot of stress such as unemployment, illness, isolation or loneliness, or their parents may not have experienced good parenting themselves, or their parents may be alcohol- or drug-dependent or have mental health issues or there may be domestic violence in the household.

Sometimes police do not need to be involved, said Al Tartoor.

“When you say you are from social services, they sometimes allow us to enter the home without [police] permission,” Al Tartoor added.

But if the child is believed to be in danger at home, a social worker obtains legal permission to enter with police.

“We take the child to the hospital for tests and to make a report,” Al Tartoor said.

If the child needs to be removed from parents, he or she is temporarily placed in the child protection right centre.

The child and family will receive assistance with the aim to eventually return custody of the child to his/her family if the theat of abuse no longer exists. The department places importance on maintaining family ties.

Sometimes, however, that is not possible, Al Tartoor said. If this is the case the child is placed with a relative.

“Some fathers or families are difficult to be guided,” he said. “We contact a third party, like an aunt, uncle, grandfather, grandmother.”

Before closing a case, social workers make follow-up visits to the home of the child to make sure that the child is living in a safe environment.

The helpline’s social workers and psychologists cooperate with police to investigate cases, provide services to families and give shelter to children in danger.

“We follow up the problem until it is finished,” Al Tartoor said.

The helpline is a member of the global network Child Helpline International.

In one case, a mother was in dispute with her husband and she pushed her daughter severely against the wall and broke her skull because the argument with her husband became heated. The baby sustained severe bleeding in her skull and was taken to the ICU at Al Qassimi Hospital.

Some cases were referred to police to interfere and solve the issue.

Mohammad Mubarak, director of the child helpline number, told Gulf News that those involved in child violence will be tried according to UAE laws, which protect children and punish those involved in child violence.

Mubarak said that he is working with his staff to follow up all calls and cases.

Mubarak said that one of the most important concerns of any community is the health, safety and well-being of its children and young people.

Whilst parents and caretakers are responsible for the safety and welfare of children in their custody, protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect is the responsibility of the whole community.

The child helpline works based on human rights that children everywhere have the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to be protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; to participate fully in family, cultural and social life and have the right to be heard and to express their views without fear of harm or reprisal.

It helps ensure all children have the opportunity to be heard. It also adheres to the four core principles: non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child.

“To make access easier and simple for children, child helplines endeavour to obtain short, easy to remember, toll-free phone numbers. These ensure that all children can pick up a phone and call a child helpline at any time, without worrying about costs,” Mubarak said.

“Child helpline counsellors actively listen to children who wish to express their concerns, and link children and young people to resources and emergency assistance as needed. Where necessary, it also directly intervenes, providing shelter, education and legal support. The service also could reach out to those children who may not be able to access the services on their own. Finally, it also works to raise awareness of its services and of the issues faced by children,” Mubarak said.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/sharjah-opens-child-abuse-helpline-1.1216584

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Saudi Divorcee Chasing On-The-Run Hubby to Register 6 Kids

 August 5, 2013

A divorced mother in her 60s has been shuttling between five cities in the Kingdom hunting down her former husband who refused to register six of their 14 sons and daughters at the civil registration department.

The mother, nicknamed Om Miteb, who is leading a life of hardship making ends meet, expressed her fear of dying before ensuring the wellbeing of her children who, she said, have neither been educated like the rest of their peers nor have any cards to prove their identity, Al-Watan Daily reported.

She said her sons and daughters are jobless and live miserably in a two-room rented house and are being threatened with eviction for failure to pay rent amounting to SR20,000.

The mother said she had remained with her former husband for 40 years and that during that time, she had repeatedly insisted on registering her sons and daughters, whose father refused to register them under his identity.

She submitted a number of petitions in Riyadh, Jeddah and Jazan to consider the issue, but her letters were always cast aside, she said.

Her husband used to flee their marital home to visit Jeddah, Riyadh, Najran, Jazan, and Taif, which had gravely affected the rights of her children, she said.

When she failed to provide food for her children, she was forced to work at houses and wedding halls. She asked for a divorce 10 years ago based on a request submitted to the Riyadh Court of Marriages.

She says she never receives any assistance from social security or charity organizations and has been both a mother and father-figure to her children over the past 40 years. When she fell ill and succumbed to fatigue, she became more anxious than ever to see her children registered with social security, where they could get a monthly salary sufficient to meet their requirements, she said.

“If my former husband dies, my children will suffer the loss of their national identity, which might have allowed them to live a normal life like other children in the Kingdom,” she said.

She expressed hope that government bodies and philanthropists would help her make rent and other expenses.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/460293

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Girls’ School Blown Up In Bajaur, Pakistan

 August 5, 2013

KHAR: Unidentified miscreants blew up a government girls’ primary school with explosives on Saturday night. According to details, militants had planted explosives in the government-run girls’ primary school located in Rashkai area of Khar tehsil. As a result of the blast, the school building was razed to the ground, however, no casualties were reported in the explosion.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\08\05\story_5-8-2013_pg7_6

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Burka Avenger set to go global

 August 5, 2013

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan’s new cartoon superhero who fights bad guys disguised in a flowing black burka is set to go global, her creator told AFP, with plans afoot to broadcast the show in 60 countries.

The Urdu-language animation Burka Avenger, showing the adventures of a mild-mannered teacher who uses her superpowers to fight local gangsters trying to close down the girls’ school where she works, hit Pakistani TV screens last month.

The kids’ action-comedy struck a chord in a country where Taliban militants have prevented thousands of girls from going to school in the northwest and attacked activists campaigning for their education.

The man behind Burka Avenger, pop star Haroon Rashid, said he had been overwhelmed by the response.

“The reception has been absolutely phenomenal, beyond our expectations,” he said.

“We were making this little animated TV series for Pakistan but it seems like the whole world wants to know about the Burka Avenger.”

A TV distribution company in Europe has been in touch with a view to translating the show into 18 languages, including English and French, and screening it in 60 countries, Rashid said.

The issue of girls’ education in conservative, militant-plagued northwest Pakistan hit world headlines last October when Taliban gunmen shot teenage activist Malala Yousafzai.

Malala, who campaigns for the right of girls to go to school, survived the attack and last month delivered a powerful speech at the UN in New York.

Rashid said Malala was a “real life superhero” for her courage and said the attack on her had come as they prepared an early episode of Burka Avenger.

“We were all stunned because we were working on the exact same story about a little girl who stands up to the bad guy who tried to shut down her school,” he said.

“I had never heard of Malala before then — it was like life was imitating what was on our screen while we were developing.”

Nearly half of all children in Pakistan and almost three quarters of young girls are not enrolled in primary school, according to UN and government statistics published late last year.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/586718/burka-avenger-set-to-go-global/

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Girl from Red-Light Area Flies to Greener Pastures, Bard University, New York

 August 5, 2013

Shweta gets scholarship to study psychology at Bard University, New York

For 18-year-old Shweta Katti, who grew up as the daughter of a Devdasi in the red-light area of Kamathipura in the city, getting scholarship to study in the U.S. is a dream come true.

Shweta, who once studied in a civic school, flew to New York on Thursday to study psychology at Bard University.

“Shweta has got the opportunity to study in the U.S. I don’t know what she would be studying there. But I feel proud of her,” her mother Vandana, a devdasi, told PTI here on Sunday.

Devdasis are girls who are ‘dedicated’ to a life of sex work in the name of religion.

“Since childhood Shweta had been good at studies. Earlier, she studied in the municipality school. From class VIII, she started going a private school in south Mumbai,” she added.

After Shweta completed her school education, she approached ‘Apne Aap,’ an organisation in Kamathipura to which she was associated since her class IV.

‘Apne Aap’ then took her to ‘Kranti — an NGO which educates and empowers trafficked girls, to help her in pursuing further education.

Knowing well about her field of interest, the organisation then cleared the deck for Shweta to get further education in the United States.

Global help

When asked about the funding part of Shweta’s education abroad, Robin from Kranti said, “Around 200 people from all over the world have contributed to towards her education in the U.S. She would be studying psychology over there. She told us about her dream and we promised that we will make it happen.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/girl-from-redlight-area-flies-to-greener-pastures/article4989561.ece

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/woman-arrested-in-hindu-muslim--lesbian--case-in-bangladesh/d/12899

 

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