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Image of Baby Girl Being 'Beheaded' Emerges Out of Phones Recovered from Dead Jihadists

New Age Islam News Bureau

20 Oct 2014

The violence led to chatter on social networks that there had been up to 13 acid attacks against women drivers. (File photo: Reuters)


 Muslim Women's Centre in Scotland Reports Rise in Number of Possessed Patients

 Cooking and Killing: Islamic State Opens Finishing School for Girls

 Catherine Larouche, From Canada to a Madrasa in India

 Australia Abandons Controversial Muslim Veil Segregation Plan

 ‘Bad Hijab’ Link To Acid Attacks on Iranian Women

 Measures Under Way to Help Saudi Women Work from Home

 Moreland Women Gather to Show Their Support for Muslim Community

 Malala Praised Abroad, Viewed With Scepticism At Home

 ‘Easy Taxi’ Backs Safe Commute of Saudi Women

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau





Image of Baby Girl Being 'Beheaded' Emerges Out of Phones Recovered from Dead Jihadists

October 20, 2014

A shocking image has been recovered of a baby girl moments from being beheaded by the dreaded ISIS militants. The image was one of several other pictures that emerged out of phones retrieved from dead fanatics recovered by Kurdish soldiers in the Syrian town of Kobane.

The image reportedly shows the child being pinned to the floor with a knife held to her throat by the jihadist. It is reported that the baby possibly belonged to a family of Alevi Muslim, a branch of Islam whose followers have been regularly targeted by the so called Islamic State militants. It is also feared that the baby was killed along with her family.

Highlighting the terror of the group, many fighters have circulated the picture on Facebook and have nicknamed the little girl as 'Melek', which means 'angel'.

British tabloid Daily Mail reported that other pictures showing beheadings and jihadists playing football with the severed heads of victims have also emerged from the phones.

A source who reportedly obtained the picture of the girl from YPH soldiers told Mail: "Each time I look at this picture it makes we weep. You can see how frightened she is. I can almost hear her scream. What kind of depraved monsters are they? What pleasure can killing this child bring anyone?"

"The people of Kobane are desperate for the world to see with their own eyes the atrocities inflicted by these filth," the source, recognized only as 'Ali' added.

The report also cites soldiers as saying that the girl, a woman and an older child – thought to be Melek's mother and sister – were seen being dragged out of a hiding place by the IS militants, during an airstrike in an unspecified date.

"Some have a flicker of home in their hearts that they might have escaped," Ali was quoted as saying.



Muslim Women's Centre in Scotland Reports Rise in Number of Possessed Patients

Imran Azam

October 20, 2014

HEALTHCARE professionals in Scotland are likely to face an increase in cases of ethnic minority patients claiming to be spiritually possessed.

Staff at Amina Muslim Women's Resource Centre (Amina MWRC) in Glasgow and Dundee say they are experiencing a rise in clients attributing mental health difficulties to supernatural spirits.

Smina Akhtar, director of Amina MWRC, revealed that 70% of her counsellor's workload since 2012 involves dealing with issues related to the paranormal.

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, she said: "Many of the women who initially contact us want relationship counselling but after a few sessions they highlight the issue of possession by Jinn (in the Islamic faith, supernatural creatures made from fire) or that someone is practising black magic on their family.

"They do not feel confident in confiding in their local GP, fearing they will be ridiculed. They feel confident in telling us. For us primarily this is a mental health issue. However, you have some people who will blame their predicament on external factors.

"We would like the NHS to work with mainstream Islamic scholars and Muslim groups in helping such individuals. Faith-based support should be offered as long as it does not contradict or oppose conventional medicine or treatment."

Earlier this month, Amina MWRC, in conjunction with the Rationalist Society of Pakistan, held an event titled Jinn, Black Magic and the Evil Eye: Fact or Fiction?

The organisation is also working with the University of West of Scotland social work department, which is undertaking research regarding health inequalities, with particular focus on the phenomenon of Jinn possession.

Akhtar fears that vulnerable individuals will turn to alternative options if their concerns are ignored by health officials.

She added: "More and more people are turning to 'faith healers' who promise to remove Jinn from themselves or their loved ones. They advertise their services on foreign TV channels that are beaming into many Asian households. They give assurances but their help comes at a price.

"They don't work for free. But who regulates them? My concern is that those who are desperate, especially females, will turn to unscrupulous individuals putting them and their families in danger."

Attempts to cure those who are possessed can lead to fatal consequences. Two years ago a husband and three members of his family were jailed in Birmingham after he killed his pregnant wife in a bid to remove an evil spirit from her body.

Abdul Aziz, a Scottish-based Islamic scholar, also spoke at the event organised by AMINA MWRC. He believes that despite the issue of Jinn being widely accepted among Muslims, possession is "possible but extremely rare".

He added: "Unfortunately, the Muslim community are no longer pioneers in treatment of emotional ill health and have resorted to un-Islamic notions of spirit possession as an explanation for everything from bad luck and marital infidelity to schizophrenia.

"Many use religion to exploit the vulnerable. The stigma associated with mental illness and the reliance on poorly qualified so-called Imams are major barriers to Muslims accessing the right kind of social, emotional and psychological help."

The panel also included Dr Najat Khalifa, an associate professor and consultant forensic psychiatrist from the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. His research interests include religion and mental health, personality disorder and offending behaviour. His advice to his colleagues north of the Border is that they should be open to a faith perspective relating to their patients' problems.

"Evidence from research suggests that some Muslims perceive psychological difficulties as indicative of an unsound spiritual heart. This can lead to conflict between orthodox medicine and religiosity and patients may use a range of religion-based coping strategies without telling their doctor," he said.

"The issues that arise out of working collaboratively with religious leaders need to be explored in more depth, and further research could examine how this happens in practice, identifying potential pitfalls and areas of good practice."



Cooking and Killing: Islamic State Opens Finishing School For Girls

October 20, 2014

School targeted at Muslim women who are 'interested in explosive belt and suicide bombing more than a white dress or a castle or clothing or furniture.'

The Islamic State group has established a women's institute, offering classes in everything from sewing to weapons training, according to the vocative website.

Called Al-Zawra, the jihadi finishing school is for women who are “interested in explosive belt and suicide bombing more than a white dress or a castle or clothing or furniture,” according to its mission statement.

The institute's goal is to “prepare sisters for the battlefields for jihad,” and equip them with the necessary skills to support Islamic State fighters.

The institute is also a recruitment tool to lure impressionable young girls to the group’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria.

The first post in a forum dedicated to the group tells the story of Nusaybah bint Ka’ab, a Muslim woman who joined her husband and sons in the Battle of Uhud in the year 625, after cowardly soldiers began retreating. Bearing a shield and sword, she sustained 12 wounds, but still managed to chop off the leg of the man who hurt her son, Ka’ab, according to the post.

Al-Zawra provides training in five disciplines: sewing and cooking, first aid, Islam and Sharia law, weaponry, and training in social media and computer programs for editing and design.

For women who want to train for jihad on their own, the institute offers advice on its website.

Trainee female jihadists are reportedly advised to get fit - “Take a half hour every day to go jogging. Keep adding distance every day in order not to be a burden on your jihadi brothers,” – learn first aid – “Watch videos of first aid operations on the Internet and try to apply them on your young sister,” – and to learn how to sew – “You are going to sew the clothes of Allah’s soldiers. Go to your mother and ask her to teach you about the sewing machine.”

Islamic State has unveiled new Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts for Al-Zawra.



Catherine Larouche, From Canada to a Madrasa In India

TNN | Oct 20, 2014

LUCKNOW: It is a humid September morning. A group of 40-odd students is waiting for their teacher in their all-girls madrasa. Most of them are wearing a veil. Until last year, none of the students could speak, read or write a word of English. But now, most of them can converse with each other in the language. Reading and writing abilities are also developing at an impressive pace.

All of this is thanks to their English teacher. Though a citizen of Canada, it wouldn't be wrong to call India her motherland. Thirty-year-old Catherine Larouche was born in Kolkata and after spending 10 years there, her family returned to Canada.

Catherine spent her formative years at Loreto School in Kolkata. She learned Bengali and made friends there. Her parents worked for 10 years in India with an NGO of Mother Teresa which works for people with learning disabilities. Back in Canada now, they continue their work with an offshoot of this NGO there.

But Catherine has since returned. She came to India for research for her PhD in social anthropology, which she is pursuing from McGill University in Canada. She is researching about 40 organizations of India working on community upliftment for her subject 'Muslim charity and community development'.

Catherine still visits the NGO where her parents used to work. "Kolkata in my initial years helped me open my mind to different cultures of India and her people".

In Lucknow since last September, Catherine has been working as a volunteer and teacher in a madrasa, meeting various organizations functioning for community development. She has completed her BA and MA in anthropology from Canada.

"For 11 months I have been working as a volunteer in a madrasa owned by Shahnaz Sidrat in the Old City. I am teaching English to the madrasa girls and toiling to learn Urdu there," says Catherine.

"Before coming to Lucknow, I studied Hindi in Jaipur for two years to communicate with the local people. I chose Lucknow for my research work as it has a dense Muslim population and a rich history," she says.

Catherine's interest was allured towards the Muslim culture a long time ago. During her childhood, she had heard stories of both Hindu and Muslim culture and traditions.

"I have also heard plenty of stories about work done by Indian Muslims for charity".

Catherine says huge amounts of donation are given to Muslim organizations and as part of her research; she is trying to find out the work done by these organizations for the upliftment of the community. "These associations use the donations, given in the form of 'khums' and 'zakat' in a way to benefit the needy," she adds.

About the people of the city she says, "People of Lucknow are very helpful and welcoming. Wherever I face any problem, they are always there to rally round. This is a very special thing about Lucknow which makes it different from other parts of the world".

Fond of Sheermal and Biryani, Catherine says "I have made substantial changes in my lifestyle to live in Lucknow. I changed my food habits and my day-to-day living. I try to carry Indian attires to look like just any other Indian girl".

What Catherine loves most about being in Lucknow is Urdu.

"It is a bit difficult for me to understand but sounds sweet," she adds.

"I love to teach madrasa girls. Being from conservative Muslim families, they try to learn English and make efforts to use the words which I teach them. In the madrasa, I am surrounded by young women of different age groups. They could be anywhere between 20 and 45 years of age".

Mariya Saman, a student of Catherine, says "It's great to have a Canadian citizen as a teacher. Her style of teaching is different but beneficial. Many girls of the madrasa who were never acquainted with English now read the language correctly under her guidance".

Catherine says she will go back to Canada after September and look for a job there.

"However, I will be happy to work in India if I get an opportunity. I will try to search for the post of a professor or work in an international NGO".



Australia abandons controversial Muslim veil segregation plan

In U-turn, Australia drops niqab segregation plan

20 October 2014

A controversial plan to make women wearing the burqa or niqab sit in separate glassed public enclosures at Australia’s Parliament House due to security concerns was abandoned Monday after an outcry.

The backdown followed a decision on Oct.2 by Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Senate President Stephen Parry to seat people wearing face coverings in areas normally reserved for noisy school children while visiting parliament.

It followed heated debate about potential security risks since the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) organization.

The ruling was condemned by human rights and race discrimination groups.

Race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane told Fairfax Media the original ruling meant Muslim women were being treated differently to non-Muslim women.

“No-one should be treated like a second-class citizen, not least in the parliament,” he said.

“I have yet to see any expert opinion or analysis to date which indicates that the burqa or the niqab represents an additional or special security threat.”

Labor opposition frontbencher Tony Burke welcomed the backdown but said the initial decision should never have been made.

“What possessed them to think that segregation was a good idea?” he said.

“Segregation was previously introduced, apparently, with no security advice attached to it and no security reason attached to it.”

The Department of Parliamentary Services said in a statement that the rules had been changed and all visitors must now “temporarily remove any coverings” that prevent the recognition of facial features.

“This will enable security staff to identify anyone who may have been banned from entering the building or who may be known to be a security risk,” it said.

“Once this process has taken place visitors are free to move about the public spaces of the building, including all chamber galleries, with facial coverings in place”.

Australia has been on edge since the rise of ISIS with the government tightening counter-terrorism laws and police in recent weeks conducting major terror raids amid fears of an attack on home soil by radicalized Australians.

The country was one of the first nations to join the United States’ aerial campaign against the militant group, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and is increasingly seen as a global threat.

On Sunday, Canberra said it had reached a deal with Baghdad for the deployment of about 200 special forces to assist Iraqi troops in their fight against militants.



‘Bad hijab’ link to acid attacks on Iranian women

October 20, 2014

A series of acid attacks on women in the historic Iranian city of Isfahan has raised fears and prompted rumors that the victims were targeted for not being properly veiled.

Police have declined to comment on a motive but suspects have been arrested and an investigation is ongoing, General Hossein Ashtari was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

He said four acid attacks had been reported in Isfahan, 450 kilometers south of Tehran, but he gave no other details.

The violence led to chatter on social networks that there had been up to 13 acid attacks against women drivers who were “badly veiled” with accompanying warnings against leaving car windows open.

Such incidents have risen in recent years in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, with the abusers claiming they punished women for “sullying” their family “honor” by committing “indecent” behavior.

Under Islamic law in force in Iran since the 1979 revolution, women must wear loose clothing, known as hijab, that covers the head and neck.

Recent years, however, have seen many wear a thin veil that hardly covers the hair and tight clothing or coats reaching mid-thigh - an ensemble often denounced by conservatives as “bad hijab” - instead of a traditional chador that covers the whole body.

A senior cleric of Isfahan, considered Iran's top tourist attraction for its carpets, ancient mosques and giant square - second only in size to Tiananmen Square in Beijing - condemned the attacks.

“Such an act under any pretext is reprehensible,” Hojatoleslam Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, a Friday prayers leader, told the ISNA news agency.

“Even if a woman goes out into the street in the worst way, no one has the right to do such a thing,” he said.

A fearful resident of the city was quoted by ISNA as saying: “I roll the windows closed and I panic every time I hear the sound of a motorcycle approaching.”

Iranian MPs have written to President Hassan Rowhani in recent months to demand that police better enforce wearing of the veil.



Measures under way to help Saudi women work from home

October 20, 2014

JEDDAH — The Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry has announced a series of measures to activate a project it had launched earlier to enable women, especially those with special needs, to work from home.

Haifa Al-Hossaini, director of the council’s department for women, said the project would ensure employment for more than 10,000 women every year. “Saudi women from various age groups will be able to work for private companies and establishments from their homes,” she said.

Al-Hossaini said the system was probably new to the Saudi women but is well established in developed Western countries.

An agreement was signed with Glowork, the first website dedicated to female recruitment in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to provide the modalities and technical support for the project, she said. “Glowork will provide technical support to private companies to stay in constant contact with their female employees and at the same time assess their long-distance performance,” Al-Hossaini said.

Khalid Alkhudair, founder of Glowork, said the company will enable thousands of Saudi women to work from their homes in such fields as research, marketing, customer service, sales and other activities that can be done remotely, whether in towns or villages.

“Women with special needs can easily work from their homes to sustain themselves and help their families,” he said.

He said under the new project, women will not only be able to work from their homes but will become part of the Saudi labor market.

Alkhudair said his company will provide smart solutions to private companies to monitor the performance of Saudi women employees who work from home, including those living in remote areas.

He said the employers would be supplied with accurate reports about the performance and productivity of any woman working from home. “Glowork can be easily linked online with all the employing private firms’ systems,” he said.



Moreland women gather to show their support for Muslim community

October 20, 2014

MORE than 150 women fronted at Fawkner Community House last Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the Muslim community.

The humble morning tea saw two rooms of the community centre packed shoulder-to-shoulder with women, predominantly of Muslim faith, and their children, while more guests gathered outside to listen.

The atmosphere was one of unity as police, Moreland councillors and Greens Senator Janet Rice spoke to the gathering, with translators repeating their messages in Arabic and Urdu.

Ms Rice said she was overwhelmed with the number of women who attended the morning tea, having expected about a dozen people.

“We want you to feel not just tolerated, but celebrated in the Australian community,” she said, as the room filled with applause.

“Most people do welcome you, most people appreciate you being here as fellow Australians.

“The small number of people who are making threats and being racist, it’s important we do call them out and we do let them know that’s un-Australian.”

The event followed Moreland Leader’s report last week that Muslim women had been verbally abused at Fawkner’s Bonwick shopping precinct, and that others had their head scarfs ripped off at Campbellfield Plaza.

Brunswick police Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Davies encouraged any victims of abuse to come forward and report incidents to police.

“What concerns us is if there are people out there too afraid to report or think it won’t be looked at,” Acting Sen-Sgt Davies said.

“These are criminal offences and they do need to be looked at and taken seriously.”

Offenders could face harassment or assault charges and the prospect of a criminal record.

Moreland North East Ward councillor Sue Bolton said women should not be afraid to leave their houses, but should walk with each other to ensure support.

Cr Bolton encouraged the community to give Moreland Council ideas on how it could be supportive, and to report abuse to police and the Islamophobia register.

Fawkner’s Khadeejah Anderson she believed the Federal Government had triggered a lot of the abuse.

“The person on the street only does it from what’s communicated from above,” Mrs Anderson said.

Yelled at, called "bloody ninja"

KHADEEJAH Anderson attended the morning tea to stand unified with the Muslim community, and encourage women to recognise their rights and report abuse to police.

Mrs Anderson, a teacher of Islamic studies at Darul Ulum College in Fawkner, said it was something she had endured herself, having had a man in his 20s yell at her from inside his 4WD, calling her a “bloody ninja”.

“I confronted him and he apologised,” she said.

Mrs Anderson said she took that interaction as a way of showing the offender he did not have the right to abuse any women and that Muslim women would stand up for themselves.

“The community needs to know that they have got rights and they should stand up for themselves and go and report to police,” she said. “The persecutors have to understand that too.”

"We are all Australians"

FAWKNER youth worker Jasmine Ouaida was born in Melbourne, yet is now afraid to leave her house.

Fawkner raised and having worked for Moreland Council and now Glenroy College, Miss Ouida said she felt frightened to take public transport in case someone abused her.

Jasmine Ouaida with Halime Ouaida and Lina Ayoubi — three generations of Lebanese Australians. Picture: Angie Basdekis

“I think that’s an awful thing, I should not have to think twice because this is my home,” Miss Ouaida said. “It’s disheartening to see the community so affected.”

Miss Ouaida said she a man had abused her from his car while she was waiting at the traffic lights.

“I do believe it’s a minority showing the racism and bigotry, and the majority of Australians support us,” she said. “We are all Australians at the end of the day.”

Language barriers block confidence

AYESHA Quraishi believes language barriers are preventing a lot of Muslim women from reporting abuse to police.

The mother-of-four lived in Maribrynong for 13 years before moving to Fawkner last year and said English skills in the Moreland Muslim community were not strong.

“They often stay quiet because their English is not as good,” Mrs Quraishi said.

“They don’t feel confident to speak up.”

She said she would like to see more Muslim women improve their language skills, as well as walk more confidently when in public and be more active in the community.

“I smile and make eye contact, and if anyone needs help, I try to do it a bit extra,” she said.

Too scared to wear face covering

WEARING a face covering is a woman’s choice in Islam, but Neema Omer’s 10 year old daughter is choosing not to out of fear of abuse.

Mrs Omer, from Roxburgh Park, said her daughter used to wear a covering but was now too scared.

“I said, you should be proud, but she said I don’t want to be killed,” Mrs Omer said.

The mother-of-three said Islam did not allow anyone to force a woman to wear a covering, but most women came to wear them of their own choice when they reached puberty.

Mrs Omer wears a niqab.

“It makes me closer to God, but no one has been forcing me,” she said. “Some people think this is being oppressed but no one is allowed to tell you to put it on.”



Malala praised abroad, viewed with skepticism at home

October 20, 2014

More than a week has passed since the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Pakistani teen activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights advocate Kailash Satyarthi. In Pakistan, the award, although praised officially, wasn’t welcomed to the level one would have expected and was met with mixed reactions and skepticism from the conservative masses in the country.

Pakistan’s president, prime minister and the powerful military congratulated the teen and messages of felicitation were given front page space in almost all the leading dailies alongside the news of Malala receiving the prestigious award. An advertisement from the government congratulated “Dukhtar-e-Pakistan Malala Yousafzai on being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”

But the response from the general public fell short of the jubilation and celebrations seen when the country wins a crucial cricket match for example.

Many men and women in Pakistan view Malala as a pawn in a Western conspiracy and she has been labeled by some as a “Western stooge.”

“Malala doesn’t deserve to be awarded the Nobel,” said a 45-year-old local shopkeeper. “She is too young for this prize. Usually the award is given to the people who invented something new for the benefit of humanity and mankind. But Malala hasn’t done something physically at all,” he said.

“In fact she is a part of the conspiracy of the West and will be used against the Muslims.”

Pakistan’s Taliban banned girls’ education in the Swat when they virtually ruled the region between 2007 and 2009 until they were flushed out in a military operation in 2009. But In October 2012, Malala, along with two other girls, was shot in the head for her persistent campaign advocating girls’ right to education. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting.

“After Malala’s tragic incident, for a moment the area was in shock and a state of fear,” said Iffat Nasir, a senior education official based in Swat.

“But after seeing the overwhelming response from the national and international community to the Malala’ bravery, it gave courage to the girls of Swat,” she said.

“Malala is the voice of child education and a ‘symbol of courage,’” said Nasir. Swat has seen a rapid increase in girls’ enrollment in the past couple of years.

“She is a role model of this land,” said Gulnar Bibi, 38, a teacher by profession.

“Those who don’t like her are just jealous. Half of Swat’s population applies for Europe but Malala was respected by Europe itself. Now, these people are ‘patriots’ and called her a ‘traitor,’” she said.

“We are proud that she became the symbol of this land at such a young age.”

Swat Valley is full of rivers, lush green forests and snow-covered peaks, making it a fascinating landscape and ideal spot.

“People used to call Swat the Switzerland of Pakistan. Then it was called the land of the Taliban. Later it was called the land of checkpoints of security forces but now it will be recognized as the ‘land of Malala,’” said Bibi.

“Malala is the symbol of courage,” added Masooma Jabeen, a 24-year-old university student.

“Here people say there is some conspiracy behind the Prize – referring to the Nobel Peace Prize. Who else’s isn’t victimized of conspiracy?” she asked.

“We have to accept it and respect her. Malala’s fault is that she was born before her time. People will need some time to understand this,” said Jabeen.

“I hope soon a chapter about her [Malala] will be included in our text books,” she said.

Samiur Rehman, a local political figure who is affiliated with a religious group, disagrees with Nasir.

“Malala is a Western brand in local attire,” Rehman said, asking: “If the West really cares about the education campaign launched by Malala, why have they not bothered to restore the schools destroyed in FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas]?”

“Western countries select people from our society and then use them against us,” said Rehman.

Pakistani Taliban’s splinter group TTP Jamaat Ul Ahrar described the award as “serving infidels.”

“With this award being given to Malala, it has been established that the infidels have generously awarded their beloved for serving them very well,” said the spokesman for the group, Eshanullah Ehsan.

“No Muslim will feel proud by taking any award from the enemies of Muslims,” he said. “Neither Muslims can expect any award from the infidels.”

Inspired by Malala, Hadeeqa Bashir, a 12-year-old girl in seventh grade, launched an awareness campaign in Swat about girls’ education and child marriages.

“I am proud of Malala,” Bashir said. “She has told the world that we are peaceful people and love education.”

Bashir has formed a group of at least 35 young girls and has a campaign called “girls united for human rights.”

“She [Malala] is a brave girl. She stood firm against the militants while they were virtually ruling the valley. I also want to be like her,” Bashir said.

“The benefit of this award should reach the people of Swat,” local journalist Niaz Ahmed Khan said.

The situation of girls’ education is still not favorable in Swat and a lot of girls don’t have access to higher education because of lack of institutions.

“We need a separate university for girls as thousands of girls have to quit higher education as they can’t afford to leave their houses for other cities,” Khan said, adding that there is a university but that it was co-education one which discouraged attendance from girls with conservative backgrounds.



‘Easy Taxi’ backs safe commute of Saudi women

October 20, 2014

Easy Taxi, the global taxi hailing service operating in KSA, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and within the Middle East, has released research figures showing it helps KSA’s women contribute to the country’s GDP and economic future by being able to commute safely, securely, and with complete trust.

Recent research showed almost 80 percent of Easy Taxi’s customers in the Kingdom are women.

Females in the Kingdom face barriers to driving, and must rely on commuting services such as taxis. They are nevertheless reluctant to enter a confined space with an unverified stranger, leading to a potential loss of comfort, spending power and economic contribution.

“Easy Taxi’s remit has always been to connect customers with a verified taxi service, securely and easily. KSA is a market where female customers face challenges in commuting. It is brilliant to see that KSA’s women are using our service regularly to commute in the certainty that every experience will be safe, secure and respectful. Be they traveling to work, or to a shop or mall, all these activities contribute to economic growth. We are delighted that Easy Taxi is their service of choice for a safe and secure journey every single time,” said Easy Taxi Middle East’s CEO Dr. Mahmoud Fouz.

Under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, women in the Kingdom are making great strides toward participation in economic and social development. Specifically, the Ninth Development Plan targets improvements in the status of women and addresses issues relevant to their education, health, social care and employment.

“Easy Taxi is delighted to play a positive role in the easy mobility of women while staying completely respectful and abiding of KSA’s cultural norms and legal regulations.”

“It is no secret that women represent an enormous source of untapped potential for the Kingdom’s economy, and Easy Taxi is delighted to be playing a role in King Abdullah’s vision of empowering women to benefit the Kingdom’s social and economic affairs, while also meeting the obligations of family and friends,” Dr. Fouz added.

A UNDP Human Development Report in 2011 noted that Saudi women play an important role in investment and business administration. Women-only businesses accounted for 48,000 of the Kingdom’s businesses in 2010. Around 66.2 percent of female business owners were engaged in wholesale and retail trade, and construction.

“Easy Taxi is proud to play its role in the fulfillment of King Abdullah’s desire of empowering women in contributing to KSA’s society. We have worked very hard to gain the trust of women and their families, and are delighted to be contributing positively – both economically and socially – to the Kingdom’s future,” Dr. Fouz added.