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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 27 Feb 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Women Appointed Qazis in Indian State as Clerics Fume Disapproval

New Age Islam News Bureau

27 Feb 2016 

Photo: Sickening: ISIS terror police use barbaric metal tools to torture women. File picture


 ‘Women Prisoners in Pakistan Vulnerable To Assault’

 ISIS Terror Thugs Cut Off Women's Skin with Torture Called the BITER If They Violate Dress Code

 Empower Pakistani Women to Build Stronger Economy, Urges HRI

 Afghan Army Release 35 Including Women and Children from Taliban Cell

 Internet Mocks U.S. Military Document That Calls Muslim Women Wearing Headscarves “Passive Terrorism”

 Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Islamic Fashion

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Women Appointed Qazis In Indian State As Clerics Fume Disapproval

Deepak Gidwani | Sat, 27 Feb 2016-08:05am , Lucknow , dna

For the first time, two women have been appointed as 'qazi' in Uttar Pradesh which boasts a sizeable (over 20 per cent) Muslim population. One of them is from the Sunni sect while the other is a Shia, a sect which constitutes the minority within the Muslims.

Even before the womenfolk in the minority community could begin to rejoice, clerics of both the sects have refused to acknowledge the authority of the newly-appointed qazis, saying there is no room for women "to sit in judgment over men" in the Islamic faith.

Qazi literally means a judge. He sorts out disputes in the light of Sharia or Islamic law, though the authority and acceptability of this institution remains a matter of dispute. Members of the community are not bound by the Qazi’s verdict and are free to approach the courts.

The appointment of Dr Hina Zaheer Naqvi, a Ph. D., and Maria Fazal, a science graduate and 'Aalim' (religious scholar), was announced at a function organized by the All India Muslim Women's Board in Kanpur.

"Women Qazis can help alleviate the rigours of Muslim women," Dr Naqvi said soon after her appointment. "We can understand the plight of women much better and help them, especially in matters related to domestic violence, harassment and talaq," said Maria. Both assert that Islam does not discriminate between man and woman in matters of education and knowledge.

However, Muslim clerics are already fuming, saying women can't be appointed qazis. "It's a job which requires service with purity 30 days a month, which a woman will never be able to do," says veteran Sunni cleric Maula Irfan Mian Firangi Mahali. "Qazis were appointed during British times. They have lost their relevance. In any case, women can never be appointed Qazis. Islam does not allow this," said Shia cleric Kalbe Jawad.

However, the world-renowned Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband, said in a recent statement: "Women can be qazis as it is a matter of knowledge and expertise."



‘Women prisoners in Pakistan vulnerable to assault’

February 27th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Women prisoners housed in Haripur Central Jail are residing near the male prison, making them vulnerable to sexual violence in case of jail riots.

The male prison also houses hardcore criminals and even Taliban militants; there are over 1,700 male prisoners, and 31 female prisoners.

Compiled by members of the federal ombudsman advisory committee, which visited the prison in July 2015, the detailed report on prisoners – with special focus on women and children – claims that prisons in close vicinity of hardcore criminals should be separated.

The report cites complaints by women prisoners, who say they are not allowed to use cots. This could potentially risk their lives, due to the presence of snakes and scorpions. The report calls for the provision of humane bedding for all inmates.

It also calls for limited use of restraints on pregnant prisoners, and the provision of routine reproductive healthcare. The report also recommends that women prisoners be allowed to retain custody of their newborns while incarcerated.

The report states that most women prisoners had been awarded long-term sentences, which was why it was imperative that plans for normal education and skill development be introduced. The report said this would allow for constructive use of their time, and said that demoralised prisoners can undergo psychological pressures.

A vocational school for women prisoners was established at the jail in 2001, but was closed down around three years ago. Presently there are no arrangements in place to provide the prisoners with vocational training.

The report also said that some juvenile prisoners had no contact with their families and were in prison due to non-prosecution. Most of the prisoners said they had been implicated in false cases. The report stated that most young prisoners were keen to continue their education.

During their interaction with senior jail officials, members of the committee found most of them dissatisfied with their service structure because they had been at the same prison for the last two decades. Most did not expect to be promoted before their retirement.

The report recommended that the government take note of the conditions facing jail officials, and offer promotions and a higher rate of pay. It also suggested bonuses and incentives for extra duty hours. The committee also found jail officials’ and employees’ accommodation in bad shape and lacking in steady maintenance.

The report added that inmates are not dressed in the prison uniform, which makes it difficult to distinguish them from visitors and makes the premises vulnerable to a security breach.



ISIS Terror Thugs Cut Off Women's Skin with Torture Called the BITER If They Violate Dress Code

09:25, 26 Feb 2016,By Sam Webb

Refugees fleeing the terror group say the tool is similar to an animal trap and rips off pieces of skin

Woman who don't adhere to the severe dress code enforced by savage ISIS terror thugs are being lashed with a spiked metal torture tool dubbed 'The Biter', it has been reported.

Refugees fleeing the terror group say the tool is similar to an medieval torture device and rips off pieces of skin.

Fatima, a 22-year-old former school director who fled Mosul earlier this month told The Independent: "The Biter has become a nightmare for us.

"My sister was punished so harshly last month because she had forgotten her gloves and left them at home."

Under Islamic State's twisted interpretation of Islam, women must be veiled, wear loose trousers and socks and gloves so no skin is showing.

Severe punishments await innocent woman who fall foul of the strict dress code.

Islamic State's 'female Gestapo' have beaten a 17-year-old girl to death - for looking at clothes in a shop.

Egyptian media has reported the teen was attacked by Russian-born extremists after she lifted her veil to browse clothes in a store in Mosul, the terror group's Iraqi stronghold.

Residents, speaking to Ahram, said the woman was also attacked because she wasn't wearing clothes that adhere to ISIS' bizarre new colour-coding for women - black for married women, white for single, blue for divorced and green for widows.

She was among a group of 12 women the thugs attacked but died from her wounds.

The Russian women are likely part of the Al-Khansa brigade, which is conducting a sickening campaign of terror against their own sex.



Empower Pakistani women to build stronger economy, urges HRI

February 26, 2016

Lahore, Pakistan: “We should have to take affective measures for empowering women in Pakistan to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger national economy, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities. The private sector is a key partner in efforts to advance gender equality and empower women. Current research demonstrating that gender diversity helps businesses perform better signals that self-interest and common interest can come together. Yet, ensuring the inclusion of women’s talents, skills and energies from executive offices to the factory floor and the supply chain requires intentional actions and deliberate policies” Syed Anwar Aleemi, Advocate, Chairman of HUMAN RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL-HRI has stated in his Press Release today.

“The Women’s Empowerment Principles offer practical guidance to business and the private sector on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. Developed through a partnership, the principles should also be designed to support companies in reviewing existing policies and practices or establishing new ones to realize women’s empowerment” Aleemi, Chairman- HRI.

Syed Anwar Aleemi, Chairman of HUMAN RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL-HRI has provided seven set principles for elimination of gender equality.

1-Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.

2-Treat all women and men fairly at work with respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination.

3-Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers.

4-Promote education, training and professional development for women.

5-Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.

6-Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.

7-Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.



Afghan army release 35 including women and children from Taliban cell

By Khaama Press - Sat Feb 27 2016

Afghan army commandos night raid in HelmandThe Afghan National Army (ANA) forces released a group of thirty five civilians imprisoned by Taliban during a night raid in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the raid was conducted by the Special Operations Forces of the Afghan National Army (ANA) in Nad-e-Ali district.

A statement by MoD said the group of thirty civilians included five women, five men and twenty five children who were kept in a cell run by the Taliban militants.

The statement further added that seven Taliban militants were also arrested during the operation.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far which comes as the Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant in this province during the recent weeks.

The deteriorating security situation in Helmand forced the Afghan army to retreat from three bases last week with the Afghan defense officials saying the step was taken in a bid to help the resources for the improvement of security in other parts of the province.

The bases were located in the restive Musa Qala and Nawzad districts where around 400 security personnel were stationed.

Helmand has been witnessing constant fighting since the combat mission by the coalition security forces formally concluded by the end of 2014.



Internet mocks U.S. military document that calls Muslim women wearing headscarves “passive terrorism”

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 11:22 PM IST

The hijab, or headscarf worn by some Muslim women, “contribute[s] to the idea of passive terrorism” and represents an implicit refusal to “speak against or actively resist terrorism,” claims a bizarre policy paper issued by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, The Intercept reported this week.

The U.S. military white paper was written by Tawfik Hamid, an author and lecturer with dubious credentials who claims to have previously been an Islamic extremist.

The wearing of traditional religious garb, along with sexual deprivation, is a sign of potential “terrorism” or support for it, Hamid argues in the paper. In response, he proposes “weakening the hijab phenomenon” and “addressing the factors underlying [sexual] deprivation,” The Intercept reported.

Hamid — who has associated himself with American neo-conservatives and often appears in right-wing media outlets, including Fox News, Breitbart, Newsmax and more — insists that some Muslims are driven to extremism not by wars and destructive U.S. foreign policy, but rather simply because of Islam itself, and what he terms “fundamentalist Muslim imperialism.”

LoonWatch, a website which monitors the anti-Muslim far-right, created a profile on Hamid in 2009 that calls into question many of his past claims and documents his ties to the extreme-right.

In response to the U.S. military white paper, people took to Twitter to push back against and even satirize these preposterous notions. Users shared photos of prominent Muslim leaders who wear hijab, or more comical images of women in other religious traditions, such as Catholic nuns, who don similar religious dress.



Muslim women lift the veil of Islamic fashion

February 27, 2016


Islamic extremism has spawned many misconceptions about Islamic culture, and one of the most enduring ones concerns the veil worn by Muslim women.

The "hijab," as that form of headdress is called in Arabic, has long been viewed by feminists as a symbol of oppression.

A group of Muslim women living in Japan is trying to counter this prejudice by explaining that women across the Islamic world appear in public dressed that way simply to protect their modesty.

In a separate effort, a group of Muslim women in Japan is working to promote hijab and other clothing for Muslims as fashionable items. By creating interest, they hope to enhance exchanges between Japanese and followers of Islam.

In late January, about 100 people gathered at Tokyo Camii, one of the biggest mosques in Japan and located in the capital’s Shibuya Ward, to try on the traditional hijab scarf.

Wrapping colorful scarfs around their head and pinning them up, women who participated in the “A Day in Hijab” event looked into a mirror and chirped “wonderful” and “so cute.”

“In our religion, hiding all parts of the body except the face and hands is tantamount to a command from God,” a Muslim woman from Morocco told the participants. “So wearing hijab is a sort of worship for us. When we don the veil, we can feel confident in ourselves and being respected by others.”

The event was organized by four Muslim women in their 20s and 30s who live in Japan.

One of them, 23-year-old Arisa Sakamoto, works for a company in Tokyo. She wore a black scarf with a floral pattern for the event. Sakamoto said she had often dressed skimpily--wearing shorts, for example--until she embraced Islam.

Sakamoto converted while she was a senior at university and studying Malay. Sakamoto said she was attracted to Islam by its principles of tolerance and maintaining a positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Although she yearned to wear hijab to “show people that I am a Muslim,” her parents initially talked her out of it in the belief she could be targeted for abuse and prejudice.

But after watching her daughter dutifully practice her faith, by actively helping her parents with the housework and showing them respect, her mother came to think otherwise. She now helps the daughter select clothing that matches hijab.

When she wears hijab outdoors, Sakamoto said she is sometimes approached by fellow Muslims. Even elderly Japanese have praised her veil as “beautiful.”

However, Sakamoto does not wear hijab at work.

“I want to wear hijab there, but that is still difficult as there are few Muslims,” said Sakamoto, who joined the company a year ago. “I think the first thing I need to do is to promote an understanding of Islam there through my own actions.”

A growing number of non-Muslim Japanese have recently shown interest in Islamic fashion. In fact, non-Muslims accounted for half of the participants in the A Day in Hijab event.

Ayano Oki, a 22-year-old university student from Mitaka, western Tokyo, said she learned about the event through Facebook and attended with a friend.

“I used to believe that Muslim women are forced (to wear hijab), so I was surprised to find out that it is a matter of personal choice,” said Oki. “The event was a good opportunity for me (to learn about Islam) as I have no Muslim friends.”

Another of the organizers, Okamoto Amna Balouch, 22, was surprised by the amount of interest in the event and that so many people wanted to learn more about Islam.

“Those in hijab are not oppressed or forced, and they are just the same as other women filled with hopes and dreams,” Okamoto said. “I believe the participants understood that point.”

In the meantime, a group of Japanese is trying to promote Muslim clothing as fashionable gear.

Shinichi Orita, 37, a former high school teacher who is now studying at the graduate school of Keio University, established the Japan Muslim Fashion Association in April last year.

The association supports Japanese companies that create Muslim clothing based on kimono, silk and other traditional Japanese materials, and introduces their products to the Islamic world.

Orita used to teach commercial subjects at high schools on Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture and elsewhere, and felt uncomfortable about other teachers’ lack of understanding of Muslim students.

As part of his research at the graduate school, Orita visited Indonesia, where nearly 90 percent of the population are Muslim, and thought there that Japan has to “provide education programs that can respond to globalization.”

Orita is currently proposing developing new products by combining Japan’s traditional fabrics and Islamic clothes.

“In the future, I want to bring business practices into the educational field to enhance understanding of Muslims among Japanese,” he said.




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