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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 3 May 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Afghan Father Guns Down Daughter over 'Affair' On Taliban Clerics Advice

New Age Islam News Bureau

3 May 2013

A video shows Israeli soldiers arresting two Palestinian children. (Al Arabiya)


 Secular Turks See Red over Airline’s Lipstick Ban

 First Woman Added To FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List

 Muslim Woman Faces ‘Blasphemy’ Rap after Myanmar Unrest

 Women’s Political Participation High Priority for UN

 Woman Arrested After Foetus Found Dead

 Palestinian Female Halts Israeli Arrest Of a Child

 Woman Dies Five Years After She Was Wounded In Jaipur Blast

 Bullet ‘Souvenir’ Brings Asian Woman Dh3, 000k Fine

 Philippine ARMM Deploys All-Women Police Company to Help Prevent Failure of Elections

 PML-N Women Wing President Joins PTI

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Afghan Father Guns Down Daughter Over 'Affair' On Taliban Clerics Advise

May 03, 2013

In front of 300 villagers, Halima's father shot her in the head, stomach and waist -- a public execution overseen by local religious leaders in Afghanistan to punish her for an alleged affair.

Halima, aged between 18 and 20 and a mother of two children, was killed for bringing

"dishonour" on her family in a case that underlines how the country is still struggling to protect women more than 11 years after the fall of Taliban regime.

Police in the north-western province of Badghis said Halima was accused of running away with a male cousin while her husband was in Iran, and her father sought advice from Taliban-backed clerics on how to punish her.

"People in the mosque and village started taunting him about her escape with the cousin," Badghis provincial police chief Sharafuddin Sharaf told AFP.

"A local cleric who runs a madrassa told him that she must be punished with death, and the mullahs said she should be executed in public.

"The father killed his daughter with three shots as instructed by religious elders and in front of villagers. We went there two days later but he and his entire family had fled."

Amnesty International said the killing, which occurred on April 22 in the village of Kookchaheel in Badghis province, was damning evidence of how little control Afghan police have over many areas of the country.

"Violence against women continues to be endemic in Afghanistan and those responsible very rarely face justice," Amnesty's Afghanistan researcher Horia Mosadiq said.

"Not only do women face violence at the hands of family members for reasons of preserving so-called 'honour', but frequently women face human rights abuses resulting from verdicts issued by traditional, informal justice systems."

Police in Baghdis, a remote and impoverished province that borders Turkmenistan, said Halima had run away with her cousin to a village 30 kilometres (20 miles) away.

Her father found her after 10 days and brought her back home, where clerics told him he must kill her in front of the villagers to assuage his family's humiliation.

A Badghis-based women's rights activist said he had seen video footage of Hamila's execution, which AFP was not able to obtain.

"On the video, she is shot three times in front of 300-400 people. Her brother witnesses her death and breaks down in tears," said the activist, who declined to be named to avoid reprisals.

"She is sitting on her knees in the dust, wearing a large chador veil. A mullah announces her funeral prayers first, then her father shoots her from behind with an AK-47 at a distance of about five metres.

"We have learned that a Taliban shadow governor in the region asked the mullahs to issue the death penalty for her.

"The local religious council first said she should be stoned to death, but since the cousin was not there, they decided that she should be shot."

It is not known what happened to the cousin with whom she ran away.

The activist added that Halima's husband had objected to the killing and tried to return from Iran before the execution.

Mirwais Mirzakwal, head of the Badghis provincial government's media department, confirmed the accounts of how Halima died but gave no further details.

Women in male-dominated Afghanistan still suffer horrendous abuse after the fall of the 1996-2001 Taliban regime, which banned them from attending school or any form of public activity.

Under the Taliban, women risked being beaten if they did not wear full burqas or if they left the house without a male escort.

In 2009, Afghanistan passed a benchmark law criminalising forced marriage, rape, beatings and other violence against women, but Amnesty and other campaigning groups say it is rarely enforced.

With international troops withdrawing next year, many Afghan women fear any advances made since 2001 will evaporate as the Taliban exert increasing influence at local and national levels.

Badghis police chief Sharaf said officers were investigating Halima's killing, but no one had yet been arrested.

"We are trying to bring the perpetrators to justice," he said, admitting that authorities had only limited power in villages such as Kookchaheel.

"It is a volatile place and on the border between Badghis and Herat province, and the Taliban is also active."



Secular Turks see red over airline’s lipstick ban

3 May 2013

Turkey’s national airline has barred female flight attendants from wearing red lipstick and nail polish, striking a nerve among secular Turks worried the country is becoming more Islamic.

Turkish Airlines, Europe’s fourth-biggest carrier, said the ban was aimed at keeping crews “artless and well-groomed with makeup in pastel tones,” as a natural look improved communication with passengers.

“As a consequence of our current cabin uniforms not including red, dark pink, et cetera, the use of lipstick and nail polish in these colours by our cabin crew impairs visual integrity,” the statement said.

Turkish Airlines declined a request for further comment.

The guideline follows other restrictions on employees’ appearance and on serving alcohol. Critics say they reflect the influence of the government’s conservative religious values at the fast-growing state-run airline, one of Turkey’s most recognized brands.

“This new guideline is totally down to Turkish Airlines management’s desire to shape the company to fit its own political and ideological stance,” Atilay Aycin, president of the airline’s Hava-Is labour union, told Reuters.

“No one can deny that Turkey has become a more conservative, religious country.”

Turkey is 99 percent Muslim but the NATO state and European Union candidate has a secular constitution.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party, which traces its roots to a banned Islamic party, has relaxed the state’s control over the expression of religion, such as once-strict limits imposed on wearing the Islamic-style headscarf.

Such restrictions were aimed at reining in Islamism and improving women’s rights, but effectively prevented many devout women from studying at university or taking government jobs.

Turkish Airlines scrapped its own ban on the headscarf more than a year ago, and covered women now work at check-in counters and at other positions in the company, Aycin said.

Other Turkish carriers also have guidelines on the appearance of cabin personnel.

Hidden agenda?

The flag carrier caused a stir earlier this year when newspapers published mockups of a new Ottoman-style uniform for stewardesses with ankle-length dresses, a proposal the airline’s management appears to have since abandoned.

That was followed by a ban on alcohol on planes flying to most domestic destinations and some Islamic countries.

“They are objecting to the lipstick and nail polish that we have been using for years,” said Asli Gokmen, 30, a flight attendant who lost her job with more than 300 others last year during a union protest and is petitioning for her position back.

No current employees were available for comment.

Turks worried the government is undermining the country’s secular order see a hidden agenda.

On Twitter, women posted pictures after applying red lipstick. One wrote: “Why not just ban stewardesses altogether so we can all breathe a sigh of relief?”

Some male Twitter users were indignant over the insinuation that red lipstick would induce a sexual frenzy.

Turkish Airlines passenger Ahmet Yerli, 33, said he did not think the new guideline was a sign of creeping Islamization but that the ban was still “absurd.”

“I’ve never heard of a plane crashing because of a women’s lipstick,” he said before his flight.



First Woman Added To FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List

 May 3, 2013

WASHINGTON: The FBI has put a woman on its most wanted terrorist list for the first time, announcing a reward of USD 1 million for information leading to her arrest.

Joanne Chesimard, a member of the extremist group Black Liberation Army, was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper 40 years ago during a routine traffic stop.

She has been on the run since 1979 when she escaped from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, where she was serving a life term for murder.

The state has added its own USD 1 million on top of the million dollars already offered by the FBI for her capture.

The FBI said yesterday that on May 2, 1973, Chesimard and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers with the state police.

At the time, Chesimard was wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers.

"One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. Chesimard fled the scene, but was subsequently apprehended. One of her accomplices was killed in the shoot-out and the other was also apprehended and remains in jail," the FBI said.

Four years later, Chesimard was found guilty of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery.

She was sentenced to life in prison. On November 2, 1979, Chesimard escaped from prison and lived underground before being located to Cuba in 1984.

Among others listed in this most wanted terrorists list include the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud.



Muslim Woman Faces ‘Blasphemy’ Rap after Myanmar Unrest

 May 03, 2013

YANGON : Police in Myanmar, where mobs this week desecrated mosques and burned homes, said Thursday they would charge a Muslim woman for blasphemy after she apparently collided with a young monk on the street, sparking the unrest.

Win Win Sein and another Muslim woman were detained by police in Oakkan, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Yangon, following anti-Muslim attacks on Monday that left one dead.

"Altogether 21 people will be charged over their involvement in the violence," said a local police official, who said calm had been restored.

"Win Win Sein and another woman will also be charged for religious defamation," he told AFP without giving further details.

Myanmar, which began emerging from the grip of junta rule two years ago, has seen an explosion of religious tension as dormant resentments boil to the surface with new social freedoms.

According to the nation's constitution all faiths are protected from perceived insults, although the country "recognises (the) special position of Buddhism as the faith professed by the great majority of the citizens".

Monks - heroes of pro-democracy protests and a moral authority for the country's Buddhist majority - were seen participating in a wave of violence in March, while one cleric is behind a pernicious campaign to boycott Muslim shops, although moderate voices have spoken out against the fighting.

In the latest violence crowds ransacked shops and partly destroyed a mosque in Oakkan after authorities said the woman accidentally bumped into the novice, resulting in the monk's alms bowl being broken.



Women’s Political Participation High Priority for UN

May 03, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a round-table meeting on Thursday underlined the importance of women’s participation in the political process as the United Nations also declared it one of its top priorities.

“Supporting national efforts for inclusive political processes and promoting women’s political participation is a high priority for the UN Women especially as Pakistan is signatory to international instruments and covenants, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),” said Sangeeta Thapa, Deputy Representative of UN Women, in her welcome address.

The meeting was organised by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) on `Women’s Participation in the Elections and Security Concerns’.

Representatives of government and non-government organisations, international development partners, academicians and researchers participated in the discussion. Thapa raised concerns over the deteriorating law and order situation and said “security of women candidates and voters is a serious concern and the matter of highest priority to ensure fair and transparent election”.

The UN Women in collaboration with the UNDP is working closely to provide support to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in its gender sensitising process to facilitate greater representation of women as candidates, voters and electoral administrators. Mark Andre, Country Director at UNDP, shared the significant achievements of the Electoral Cycle Support to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECAP) project.

He said that the project, which was set up following a request by the ECP to the United Nations for electoral assistance, had taken an electoral cycle approach supporting the periods before, during and after elections. The project will be working on not only the current election but in the long run it will be gendering the whole cycle of elections to facilitate women’s political participation, he added.

Andre also expressed his keenness to see gender disaggregated results of the elections.

“We are excited. These are record elections - there are more trained women polling staff, more and more voter education activities are taking place to bring women forward and for the first time we have gender disaggregated data which will enable us to see how many women cast their vote”. Aamina Qadir Adham, Senior Gender Advisor, UN Women, presented the data on women’s candidacy in the forthcoming elections and shared that total percentage of women candidates in the National Assembly on general seats has increased by 3.4%. The number of women candidates on party seats has decreased by 10%, and a much larger percentage of women candidates have registered themselves as `independent’ candidates.

Panelists Dr. Farzana Bari, Dr. Saba Gul Khattak and Usman Qazi emphasised that even though there are security challenges for all candidates the threats for women are multi-fold where social and cultural constraints, administrative issues and lack of interest in political process hinder women from exercising their right to cast a vote.

It was recommended that the state as well as media and civil society play a greater role in facilitating women, particularly as candidates. It was also recommended that legislation should be in place to declare constituencies null and void where women have not cast their vote.

Hannah Roberts, Deputy Chief Observer, EU Election Observation Mission, said it was encouraging to see that the number of women participating in elections has increased.

“We are keen to see women’s participation in elections not just as the number of women, who will be elected, but also the process of elections, the campaign, measures taken for trainings and voter education of women”.

Khawar Mumtaz, National Commission on Status of Women chairperson, said that historically Fatima Jinnah was the first woman presidential candidate. She further mentioned that during early 1970s there were only 2 women in parliament. However, this number has increased since then and women have always performed better and more seriously.

The first National Commission on Status of Women also recommended for more participation of women in the political arena. app\05\03\story_3-5-2013_pg11_6



Woman Arrested After Foetus Found Dead

Ahmed Shaaban

 3 May 2013

The UAQ Police have arrested an Asian woman for allegedly flushing her foetus down the toilet of her accommodation, with the intent to kill it.

According to a senior officer, it took the police around two hours to lift the corpse of the seven-month-old foetus from the woman’s residence in the Free Zone. It is presumed the baby was alive when born — despite the extreme preterm birth at 28 weeks.

The suspect has been referred to the Public Prosecution. Director General of the Police Operations at the UAQ Police Colonel Mohammed Al Bairaq said they were alerted of the tragedy by the UAQ Hospital.

“The Emergency Section there informed us of an Asian woman bleeding after giving birth to a seven-month-old foetus.”

The UAQ Police initiated investigations and searched the woman’s accommodation where they found clothes stained with blood. “They were then shocked to find the head of the foetus stuck in the toilet,” he said.

“The woman forced the foetus down the toilet (and tried) to flush him away, but she could not complete her crime because of (excess) bleeding (so) she went to the hospital along with her friend.”

The civil defence rescuers had to remove the concrete around the toilet to extract the sewage pipe and remove the foetus, he noted.



Palestinian Female Halts Israeli Arrest Of a Child

2 May 2013

Youths Against Settlements, a Palestinian non-partisan activist group based in Hebron, published a video clips depicting Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian children.

In the video, a school principal is seen approaching the car holding the children, she opens the front passenger door and asks them to jump into the front seat in order to escape the vehicle. One of the children is shown exiting the car, he is taken up by a woman who carries him away.

Full report at:



Woman Dies Five Years After She Was Wounded In Jaipur Blast

Ashish Mehta

 May 3, 2013

JAIPUR: A 39-year-old woman has lost her battle for life five years after she was wounded in the 2008 Jaipur blast and slipped into coma.

Sushila Sahu died at Jaipur's SMS Hospital on Tuesday night after she was admitted there following deterioration in her health.

Sushila's daughter, Neha, said her mother had been in coma since May 13, 2008 when she was wounded in the blast outside a temple in Jaipur's Chandpole Bazaar. Neha said the common people of Jaipur had stood by them.

Her brother, Jeetesh, said, "Even if she was in coma, we always had a feeling that she was with us.'' He said they used to tell her about their problems, achievements and discuss things whether she was listening or not. "I lost my mother. For me mother is the best friend in the world for any daughter or son.''

Full report at:



Bullet ‘Souvenir’ Brings Asian Woman Dh3, 000k Fine

Ahmed Shaaban

3 May 2013

A woman who claimed she had tried to smuggle a bullet into the country as a keepsake has been fined and will be deported.

The Ras Al Khaimah Misdemeanor Court on Tuesday slapped the Asian woman with a fine of Dh3, 000 and ordered she be deported after being convicted of possessing and bringing a bullet into the country last year.

Customs officers at the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport nabbed the woman with the bullet in her handbag.

Though the suspect claimed that the bullet was a souvenir associated with something dear in her home country, the court, presided over by Judge Sameeh Samhan, turned down her claims. Meanwhile, the Ras Al Khaimah Misdemeanour Court began hearing a case in which an Asian resident has been accused of verbally harassing a woman in public and making indecent signs.

The case unfolded last year when the plaintiff approached the RAK Police and lodged a complaint against the defendant, claiming that he stopped her in the road, swore at her, and flashed indecent signs. The suspect was arrested and interrogated by the RAK Police and then referred to the RAK Public Prosecution for legal action. The case was taken to the court which heard the man’s defence and adjourned the case to give its ruling this May.

The RAK Courts have also announced that 584 lawsuits have been registered online in the first quarter of the year — representing 32.2 per cent of the 1,815 cases registered over the same period.

Full report at:



Philippine ARMM Deploys All-Women Police Company to Help Prevent Failure Of Elections

By Carolyn O. Arguillas

y 3 2013

PARANG, Maguindanao (MindaNews/03May) –  The Philippine National Police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has come up with creative ways to help ensure there is no failure of election, including deploying an all-women provisional company to Lanao del Sur, Chief Supt. Noel delos Reyes, chief of the Police Regional Office-ARMM, said.

“One of the innovations we’re doing right now, based on past experiences, is to come up with a provisional all-female company,” delos Reyes told MindaNews in his office late Tuesday afternoon.

He said based on experiences in previous elections,  some women were reported to have started the trouble that eventually led to the declaration of a failure of election in their areas.

“Eh hindi mo naman pwedeng hawakan yung babae, bawal yan (But [if you’re a male policeman], you cannot touch the women, that’s prohibited) so we are coming up with a provisional all-female company,” he explained.

He said the all-women team would be about a hundred. They have been identified and are ready for deployment.

Delos Reyes said the women will be deployed initially in the Quick Reaction Forces which would be moving around on Election Day.

He said experiences in past elections also showed that trouble also ensues when voters deliberately prolong the period for lining up so that the others in the queue cannot vote.

When a failure of election is declared in an area, a special election will be held at a later date.

Another practice in past elections that led to the declaration of failure of election was the non-appearance of members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs).

To address this problem, delos Reyes said they identified 750 policemen for training as BEI member. They will be deployed on standby in case the BEIs assigned to the precincts do not show up, he said.

Full report at:



PML-N women wing president joins PTI

 May 3 2013

MULTAN - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Punjab Women Wing vice president on Friday announced her decision to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Senior PTI leader Javed Hashmi welcomed the former PML-N office bearer to the party. Safia Gul, Rafat Babar, Humayun Bhatti and Nusrat Amjal also joined the PTI in that meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Hashmi slammed Sharif brothers for spending Multan’s entire budget on Metro bus service in Lahore.

He said that PML-N workers were forced to leave the party after being ignored by the party leadership.

“PML-N did not value our service to the party,” he said.