New Age Islam News Bureau
12 November 2020
• Islamia College of Peshawar Varsity Female Students Protest ‘Harassment’ By Teachers
• France to Ban ‘Virginity Certificate’ For Marriage
• ‘We’re Making History,’ Says Women’s Golf Star Inci Mehmet
• German Woman Charged Over Crimes Against Humanity In Syria
• Jailed Saudi female activists may be freed before G20, says ambassador
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Hijab Introduced To Police Uniform In New Zealand, First Officer; Zeena Ali To Wear It 'Proud'
10 Nov, 2020
Zeena Ali will start her police career after graduation this week. She is the first officer to wear a police-issued hijab. Photo: NZ Police
When the Christchurch terror attack happened, Zeena Ali was inspired to join the police to help her Muslim community.
And this week she will not only graduate as a police officer, but will become the first in New Zealand to don a police-issued hijab as part of her uniform.
Ali, 30, even worked with police to design a garment that is both functional for her new role and considerate of her religion.
She told the Herald the design process started even before she started at Police College, with her trialling various materials and styles and offering recommendations and improvements.
Further tweaks and changes were made before the recruit course started so she had the required gear - and she even has a version to wear for graduation.
Ali will be posted in the Tāmaki Makaurau area and is excited to get out on the beat.
"It feels great to be able to go out and show the New Zealand Police hijab as part of my uniform," she said.
"I think that seeing it, more Muslim women will want to join as well."
Ali remembers the moment she decided to shift her career from customer service to law enforcement.
"One of the security guards I worked with was going to join the police and she asked me to help her," she said.
"As I started that process the Christchurch terror attack happened and that's when I realised more Muslim women were needed in the police, to go and support people with things like this.
"If I had joined the police earlier I would have been down there to help."
Ali was born in Fiji and moved to New Zealand with her family when she was a child.
She said she was proud to represent the Muslim community - particularly women - and hoped to inspire others to join the police and help broaden the demographic of the front line.
Having a police-branded hijab would mean women who may not have previously considered policing because they were not sure of how the role would incorporate their religion or culture.
"It's great - the Police went out of their way to make sure the hijab I have on meets health and safety requirements as well as my own personal needs," she explained.
"They worked closely with the Massey Design School, they came and visited me and we made tweaks to the hijab.
"I am proud to wear it and I hope other people out there will be proud of me as well."
Ali said she appreciated police considering her personal needs - both at college and in her role going forward.
"At college they had a prayer room and halal meals," she said.
"When I had to go swimming they were ok with me wearing long sleeves."
Valuing diversity is one of the six core values for Police - alongside professionalism, respect, integrity, empathy and commitment to Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi.
"We recognise the value different perspectives and experiences bring to making us better at what we do," Police said.
"We need people with a range of skills, backgrounds and experience levels - diversity is essential so that we can effectively serve the needs of New Zealand's communities now and in the future."
Police said there were certain qualities and skills they look for during the recruitment process as they worked to build a "high-performance culture, where different perspectives are valued".
"By reflecting the communities we serve and appreciating different thinking, we aim to achieve better problem-solving and results."
Ali's wing, who graduate tomorrow, was "highly diverse" and female recruits outnumbered their male colleagues.
Of the graduates, 51.3 per cent were females - and 48.7 per cent of the graduates were ethnicities other than European.
Māori officers make up 25 per cent of the wing.
"I think it's great," Ali told the Herald.
"And we need more Muslim women to help in the community, most of them are too scared to talk to the police and would probably shut the front door if a man turned up to talk to them.
"If we have more women turning up, a more diverse front line, then we can reduce more crime."
In 2008, Police introduced a turban into the uniform and Nelson Constable Jagmohan Malhi became the first officer to wear it on duty.
Until then he had to forgo the turban on duty, even though it is considered an important part of his Sikh faith.
Islamia College of Peshawar Varsity Female Students Protest ‘Harassment’ By Teachers
12 Nov 2020
Female students of Islamia College University
PESHAWAR: The female students of Islamia College University here on Wednesday held a protest demonstration and demanded action against the teachers involved in their harassment.
Enraged by incidents of harassment, they gathered at Ahmad Faraz Block and marched towards the office of vice-chancellor where they chanted slogans. They said that not only teachers but male students also passed objectionable remarks and blocked their way on the campus.
They said that the administration should appoint a focal person to look into the complaints of harassment as the present committee formed for the purpose was confined to papers only and was doing nothing to address their problems.
The protest was led by Jabir Khan of Law Department Islamian Fraternity and female students. The protesters were holding placards inscribed with slogans against harassment.
They demanded of the administration to take notice of several complaints lodged by students in that regard.
The protesters alleged that teachers harassed students under the garb of checking of examination papers and research projects but the relevant authorities were not taking action against them.
Students of other universities also participated in the protest and demanded formation of harassment committee in line with Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010 to safeguard the female students against the intimidation and other pressure tactics used by the teachers against them.
They pledged to highlight the issues faced by female students and take to justice the people involved in their harassment. They said that the university administration shouldn’t close their eyes to the big problem faced by the students.
“We would try our level best to expose the people involved in harassing students. We would work for scaling up awareness against the practice and enabling the girl students to continue their studies,” said the protesters.
They asked the female population of the educational institutions to break silence and boldly come out against such teachers, who were bent upon teasing the students. They said that the protest campaign would continue during which seminars and walks would also be organised to expose the hidden faces behind the crime on the campuses.
France to Ban ‘Virginity Certificate’ For Marriage
November 11, 2020
New Delhi: French President Emmanuel Macron is looking to ban the ‘virginity tests’ in the country as part of his campaign against what he calls “Islamic separatism”. Macron said that in a country like France, there should be no need to issue a “virginity certificate’ as a prerequisite for marriage in any community. Also Read - France's COVID-19 Daily Infections Top 60,000, an All-time High
“In the Republic, one cannot require certificates of virginity to get married”, he asserted, adding that his government is planning to introduce punishment for the perpetrator. Also Read - After Attacks in Austria & France, Britain's Terrorism Threat Level Raised to 'Severe'
Macron’s administration has also prepared a draft legislation for reinforcing French secular values that prevent such practices. It is being said that the bill proposes a year in jail and a fine of €15,000 (more than Rs 13 lakh) against any medical professional who issues the so-called “virginity certificate”. Also Read - French President Emmanuel Macron Receives Threat From Al-Qaeda, After Country Kills 50 Jihadists
In a speech last week, the French President vowed to fight against radicalisation in the country as seen in certain French Muslim communities, claiming that a minority of the country’s nearly six million Muslims was in danger of forming a “counter-society”.
However, Macron has faced severe backlash for proposing the legislation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called the ”testing” of a woman’s “virginity” unscientific as it violates human rights, and can have harmful consequences for those who undergo it.
‘We’re Making History,’ Says Women’s Golf Star Inci Mehmet
November 10, 2020
KAEC, Saudi Arabia: Pro golfer and broadcaster Inci Mehmet can’t wait for the start of the first women’s golf tournament in Saudi Arabia.
Arab News caught up with Mehmet, from the UK, after Tuesday’s practice round ahead of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International that is part of the country’s professional women’s golf week.
The Ladies European Tour event offering prize money of $1 million and featuring a full field of 110 players will be held from Nov. 12-15 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, followed by the Saudi Ladies Team International from Nov. 17-19 in a safe biosecure environment inside the King Abdullah Economic City.
“I’m very excited to be here in Saudi Arabia. For me, the most exciting thing is that we are making history. It will be an honor for whoever tees up for the first time on the first hole — something very special,” she told Arab News.
“Hopefully the season has changed in Saudi Arabia — something that is cool,” said the 23-year-old former junior standout who earned her LET playing card in 2017.
Mehmet, who represented Surrey and England in tournaments around the world as a junior player, said she didn’t know what to expect in Saudi Arabia.
“First of all, the hotels are all beautiful, and the golf course is stunning as well. It’s playing tough at the outset but quite forgiving off the tee,” she said.
“The real challenge depends on the greens and its surroundings as well. It’s important to keep yourself well hydrated. I will be drinking plenty of water at lots of water stations out there.
“The most important thing in golf is to make the right decisions and really commit to it, and take your time on and around the green,” said Mehmet, whose family background is Turkish and Korean.
Pairings have not been made, but according to Mehmet, a commentator for Sky Sports, players she would like to be with in a group include Laura Davies — “someone we looked up to as a junior” — as well as “my friend” Charlotte Thompson and Swedish major winner Anna Nordqvist.
Mehmet seamlessly goes from the golf course to a studio booth.
She said: “The whole thing is very much an experience, new territory. I think as a player what I’m doing at Sky Sports is give my opinion from a player’s perspective. I’m very lucky that I’ve been there, done that and am still doing it, and that I am able to translate that in the studio.”
In closing, Mehmet said: “The opportunity all of us players have here this week is to provide young women with a platform — someone to look up to and believe that if we can do it, they can do it, too.”
German Woman Charged Over Crimes Against Humanity In Syria
November 11, 2020
FRANKFURT: German federal prosecutors on Wednesday said they had charged a German woman with crimes against humanity allegedly committed while she was living in Syria as a member of the Daesh group.
The suspect, identified only as Nurten J. and the mother of several children, is accused of crimes related to the persecution of the Yazidi minority in territory controlled by Daesh.
Nurten J. is believed to be the first European woman charged with crimes against humanity over abuses committed in Syria as part of Daesh.
In a statement, prosecutors said the woman traveled to Syria with her then three-year-old daughter in 2015 to join the extremist organization and marry a Daesh fighter, also from Germany, with whom she had other children.
Throughout 2016 and 2017 she received frequent visits from a friend who owned a Yazidi “slave” also forced to do housework at the suspect’s home.
Nurten J. was “following the ideology of IS according to which the enslavement of the Yazidis was justified,” the prosecutors in Karlsruhe said.
The suspect also stands accused of war crimes against property for living in a home that had been seized by Daesh from its rightful occupants, and for endangering her daughter by taking her to a war zone.
In addition, she faces charges for violating weapons laws.
After Daesh lost its territories in Syria, the woman was held in Kurdish captivity before being transferred to custody in Turkey and then sent back to Germany.
Germany has charged several German and foreign nationals with war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out abroad, using the legal principle of universal jurisdiction which allows crimes to be prosecuted even if they were committed in a foreign country.
Few of the charges so far have involved women, however.
A German woman named as Jennifer W. went on trial in Munich last year accused of the war crime of letting a five-year-old Yazidi girl die of thirst in Iraq.
Both the child and her mother were held captive as household slaves by Jennifer W. and her terrorist husband, an Iraqi national. He is on trial in Germany for genocide and murder.
Last month, another German court sentenced the German-Tunisian wife of a rapper-turned-radical to three and a half years in prison for having taken part in the enslavement of a Yazidi girl in Syria.
Daesh committed atrocities against the Yazidis in 2014 that are being investigated by the UN to determine whether they can be qualified as genocide.
Jailed Saudi female activists may be freed before G20, says ambassador
10 November 2020
Female activists in Saudi Arabia could be released from prison ahead of its hosting of the G20 summit this month, according to the Saudi ambassador to the UK.
Fearing potential scrutiny over the kingdom's human rights record ahead of the summit - set to be held on 21 and 22 November virtually - Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud told the Guardian there was a "discussion" underway over the issue.
However, his comments were dismissed by Lina al-Hathloul - sister of women's rights advocate Loujain al-Hathloul - as a "PR stunt".
“The G20, does it offer an opportunity for clemency? Possibly. That is a judgment for someone other than me,” continued the ambassador.
“People ask: is it worth the damage it is causing you, whatever they did? That is a fair argument to make and it is a discussion we have back at home within our political system and within our ministry."
A number of female activists, including Hathloul, who has been on hunger strike at Al-Hayer high security prison since 26 October, were arrested and detained in 2018 on charges including "attempting to destabilise the kingdom".
Hathloul's family say she has been subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse while in prison.
The Saudi ambassador said there were a variety of views in the kingdom, with some holding the perspective that if "people knowingly break our laws they should be punished according to those laws".
"Other people say it isn’t worth it, let them out, let them live their lives and ignore them," he said.
According to her family, Hathloul began her hunger strike in protest at her conditions in prison. While some of the around a dozen female activists who were arrested in May 2018 - just weeks before the much campaigned for lifting of a ban on women drivers - have been provisionally released, others still remain in jail.
In response to the suggestion of "clemency" from the ambassador, Hathloul's sister Lina pointed out that she and many other activists had not been convicted of a crime.
"This is simply a PR stunt, again. Loujain and most of the jailed Saudi activists HAVE NOT BEEN CONVICTED! It’s been nearly three years and they are still arbitrarily and illegally detained," she tweeted.
"Also what does 'let them live their lives and ignore them [mean]?'"
She said that the kingdom was clearly feeling the pressure from international human rights organisations and politicians, who have repeatedly raised the issue ahead of the summit.
"Meanwhile, my sister among others has been tortured in detention and sexually abused," she said.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged G20 member states to pressure Saudi Arabia into releasing activists detained unlawfully and provide accountability for past abuses ahead of the summit.
The New York-based rights organisation said in a statement on Monday that the G20 presidency conferred an "undeserved mark of international prestige" on the rule of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite its "unrelenting assault on freedoms".
"The G20 is bolstering the Saudi government’s well-funded publicity efforts to portray the country as ‘reforming’ despite a significant increase in repression since 2017," Michael Page, HRW deputy Middle East director, said in a statement.
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