Council on American Islamic Relations released its own statement condemning the
display West Virginia calling for the local and national GOP to rebuke it as
Arabia to Put Detained Women Activists On Trial
Women, Children Dropped Off By Traffickers in Malaysian Beach: Officials
Church Speaks Out Against the Trafficking Of Women Used As Prostitutes By
Launches Petition for Release of Syrian Women
Yazidi Captives of Islamic State Arrive In Iraq
Aren't Dangerous': Why Chechnya Has Welcomed Women Who Joined Isis
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Poster Displayed In West Virginia Capitol Featured an Image of the 9/11 Attack
on the Twin Towers Juxtaposed With Ilhan Omar
racist scandals peter out of the news cycle in Virginia proper, in West
Virginia, an Islamophobic poster placed in the Charleston capitol rotunda on
Friday has thrust state legislators into argument and chaos. On Friday, also
known as “WV GOP Day,” a poster of Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar was
placed in the statehouse insinuating the Congresswoman is somehow connected
promptly rejected the poster: Delegate Mike Angelucci reportedly began to argue
with Sergeant at Arms Anne Lieberman, who he accused of saying “all Muslims are
terrorists.” By the end of the day, Lieberman, the state’s first female
Sergeant at Arms – the officer responsible for capitol law enforcement – had
resigned. Democratic House Minority Whip Mike Caputo also reportedly injured a
doorkeeper during the argument over the poster, sending the employee to the
hospital. The House Rules Committee will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday morning to
determine if Caputo will face official consequences for the alleged action.
of publication, it is unclear who placed the poster in the rotunda, but
Republican House Speaker Roger Hanshaw condemned the act after confrontations
on the floor: “The West Virginia House of Delegates unequivocally rejects hate
in all of its forms.” Hanshaw added: “Leadership of the House of Delegates is
currently working to investigate these incidents to learn firsthand the factual
basis of what occurred, and will respond with appropriate action.”
not the first act of public bigotry to occur within GOP ranks in West Virginia
this year: in February, Republican Delegate Eric Porterfield told NBC News “the
LGBTQ … are the modern day version of the Ku Klux Klan.” Though calls were made
for his resignation, Porterfield is still in office.
her part, Ilhan Omar – who, with Rashida Tlaib, became the first Muslim women
elected to Congress this midterm – responded on Twitter:
Islamophobic poster comes the same week as Ilhan Omar claimed that American
pro-Israel hawks “push for allegiance to a foreign country,” a comment that has
been received as anti-Semetic. (As New York’s Jonathan Chait wrote, “Accusing
Jews of ‘allegiance to a foreign country’ is a historically classic way of
delegitimizing their participation in the political system.”) But employing
such a vulgar understanding of Muslim-Americans involves no ambiguity or
Saudi women activists detained last year in a sweeping crackdown on campaigners
will be put on trial, state media said Friday.
public prosecution would like to announce that it has concluded its
investigation and prepared the indictment list against the defendants... and
will refer the case to the relevant court," the Saudi Press Agency said.
brief statement did not directly identify the defendants as women activists nor
give a date for court proceedings.
than a dozen activists were arrested in May last year -- just before the
historic lifting of a decades-long ban on women drivers the following month.
of them were accused of undermining security and aiding enemies of the state.
Some were subsequently released.
of those detained have faced sexual harassment and torture during
interrogation, rights groups and their family members say.
Saudi government has rejected the allegation.
public prosecutor would like to affirm that all detainees in this case enjoy
all rights preserved by the laws in the kingdom," the SPA statement on
the statement drew sharp criticism from rights group Amnesty International.
women's rights activists should be released from detention for their peaceful
activism not referred to trial," said Samah Hadid, the organisation's
Middle East campaigns director.
Saudi Arabian authorities continue their signature repression."
still detained include Aziza al-Yousef, a retired professor at Riyadh's King
Saud University, and Loujain al-Hathloul -- who was held in 2014 for more than
70 days for attempting to drive from neighbouring United Arab Emirates to Saudi
their arrest, state-backed newspapers published front-page pictures of some of
the activists with the word "traitor" stamped across them in red.
than 30 Muslim Rohingya women and children were found stranded along a beach in
Malaysia's northernmost state early Friday, and are believed to have been
dropped off by human traffickers, authorities said. A police official in
Kangar, the capital of northern Perlis state, said villagers found the 34
people, including nine children, weak, hungry and covered in mud as they made
their way through the muddy coast.
official, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue,
said the group was believed to have come from Thailand. He said they have been
fed and handed over to immigration officials. Nur Aziah Mohamad Shariff, an
official with the National Security Council, said it is aware of the illegal
entry and is investigating.
Myanmar welfare group said the group is believed to have been trafficked into
Thailand from Bangladesh, before heading to Malaysia, whose dominant Malay
Muslim population makes it a sympathetic destination. Zafar Ahmad Ghani, who
heads the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization of Malaysia, said
he obtained information that many more Rohingya are being tricked by
traffickers into leaving Bangladesh after being warned they may face death if
repatriated to Myanmar.
and videos obtained by members of the group showed a long rope placed across
the muddy shore at low tide to help the Rohingya walk through the mud. More
than 700,000 ethnic Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since August
2017, when a group of militants attacked security forces, triggering a massive
retaliation by Myanmar's army.
exodus came after hundreds of thousands of other Rohingya escaped previous
bouts of violence and persecution. Chris Lewa, the founder of the Arakan
Project which works to improve conditions for Rohingya, said the women and children
may be part of a large group that sailed from Bangladesh in two boats in
said the total number of passengers was unclear, with estimates of about 150,
and that it was unclear what happened to the others. She said the Arakan
Project spoke to a Rohingya man who landed in northern Malaysia in late
February on a boat that had arrived undetected with 85 aboard.
said it was unclear why the women and children were stranded, and that the two
boats were the only ones they knew had sailed from Bangladesh this year. Most
people in Buddhist-majority Myanmar don't accept Rohingya Muslims as a native
ethnic group. They are, instead, viewed as having migrated illegally from
Bangladesh, through generations of Rohingya have lived in Myanmar.
all have been denied citizenship since 1982 and lack access to education and
hospitals. The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution in December
condemning "gross human rights violations and abuses" against
Myanmar's Rohingya. Myanmar's government denies claims of genocide and ethnic
cleansing. The country rejects the U.N. investigators' work and the General
Assembly resolution as biased.
(AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church of Pakistan is speaking out against mixed
marriages between Pakistani women and Chinese husbands, which have increased
recently because of the presence of many Chinese companies in Pakistan.
Inayat Bernard, rector at Lahore’s Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, warns against
marrying Chinese men, which can be harmful to Christian families, especially
not sell your daughters for greed or going abroad,” he tells parents. “The
affected girls are used for prostitution.”
between Chinese men and local women are growing in developing countries in
Asia. In some cases it is actual trafficking in women, who are used as sex
slaves and sold without their knowledge.
to Fr Bernard, this problem stems from the fact that "the Chinese need
more women due to one-child policy". In addition, “some so-called pastors
officiate such weddings. We demand that the government arrest pastors involved
in this crime.”
Christian families have filed complaints against the trafficking of women in
Lahore with the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic
Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.
Chinese companies operate in Pakistan to develop the China Pakistan Economic
Corridor, a key component of Beijing’s New Silk Road plan. Most of the workers
employed by these companies are from China.
November 2017, some 700 mixed marriages have been celebrated. One of the brides
is 19-year-old Muqadas Saddique (pictured with her brother), who last month
married Ma Shitao in Islamabad.
women in our neighbourhood suggested I get married,” she told AsiaNews. “I went
to meet the groom with my family, but I did not know that they had arranged the
wedding for that same day. They had prepared everything with their pastor. They
drugged our tea, so we consented to everything that was asked of us."
young bride went home the next day. "I had consented to the marriage to
give a better future to my three sisters. But Shitao is an alcoholic. He and
other women forced me sign (the marriage papers). I want to get out of this
swamp. My husband is blackmailing me."
Bernard is incensed that "Pakistani media are knowingly ignoring such
stories. The government does not want any criticism that could jeopardise its
main project with its old friend (China). However, the socio-cultural
repercussions are now evident in society. The Chinese are abusing our trust and
our [preferential] visa policy. Poor families are the easiest targets."
international non-governmental organization launched a petition Thursday
demanding the immediate release of women and children imprisoned by the Syrian
the signatures reach a sufficient number, the petition will be presented to the
United Nations as well as the Turkish, Russian and Iranian governments for
their endeavors within the Astana process to achieve peace in Syria, said Murat
Yilmaz, spokesman for the Conscience Movement, in an exclusive interview with
that the signatures would help raise awareness of the plight of these Syrian
women and children, he said there has been no other state or body that has
seriously highlighted or worked on the issue.
the leaders of the countries carrying out the Astana process are determined on
this issue, we hope that all women and children will be unconditionally
released from these prisons," Yilmaz said, referring to Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President
campaign can be supported on the Conscience Movement’s official website at
vicdanhareketi.org, which is available in six languages.
Conscience Movement is an alliance of individuals, rights groups and
organizations aiming to secure urgent action for the release of women and
children in the prisons of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime.
Astana process, spearheaded by Turkey, Russia and Iran, has been successful in
establishing a cease-fire in Syria and led to the creation of de-escalation
zones throughout the war-torn country.
to the initiative’s statement, more than 13,500 women have been jailed since
the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, while more than 7,000 women remain in
detention, where they are subjected to torture, rape and sexual violence.
noted that the initiative had several activities planned before International
Women’s Day on March 8 in Turkey as well as other countries, including the
Philippines and Venezuela, to support those women and children who are
languishing in Syrian prisons.
releases will be issued, dialogue with decision makers will be established,
various activities with human rights organizations will be carried out,"
he said, underlining that Syrian women who had previously suffered in such
prisons and have now been released would also lend their support.
March 8, simultaneous actions will take place across the world," he said,
adding multiple social media campaigns were set to continue.
said the initiative's main event in Turkey will be a press release at
Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square at 2:30 local time (11:30GMT).
goal is to carry out this work [of the initiative] until the last woman and
child detained in Assad's prisons are free," he added.
Conscience Movement is an international initiative founded last year after an
all-woman international convoy made global headlines by raising awareness of
the abuses suffered by women jailed by the Assad regime.
Feb. 20, the international initiative held a conference in Istanbul that drew
participants from 45 countries, including Syria, Britain, South Africa,
Ecuador, Qatar, Kenya, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Greece,
Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malaysia.
the conference, the participants called on the global community to take urgent
action to secure the release of women and children held in Syrian prisons.
has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early
2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected
to UN figures, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed or displaced
in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes in opposition-held areas.
Iraq — A Yazidi official says 21 freed women and children have returned to Iraq
after five years of captivity in the hands of the Islamic State group.
Koro, the head of the Yazidi Women Rescue Office, said the group of 3 Yazidi
women and 18 children crossed into Iraq from Syria on Thursday. They were
received at the Iraqi border town of Sinuni.
3,000 Yazidis are still missing after IS militants stormed their communities in
the Sinjar region in northwest Iraq in 2014, and enslaved, raped and killed
thousands of worshippers of the esoteric faith.
Syria, a two-weeks-long pause to the U.S.-backed military campaign against IS
raised hopes that the captives could escape to safety, but authorities said
only a handful of Yazidis were identified among the refugees.
aren't dangerous': Why Chechnya has welcomed women who joined Isis
handwritten letters addressed to Kheda Saratova often begin with the words:
“I’m asking you to find my daughter.”
Chechen human rights advocate has binders filled with photographs of young
women and children, as well as their last known locations: Mosul, towns near
Raqqa, or sometimes just “tent camp”.
there are the pleas for help sent over WhatsApp. “We aren’t dangerous,” wrote
Maria, a Russian in the Ain Issa refugee camp in Syria. “Maybe there are some
who are dangerous, but we should not all be punished for them.”
family members have appealed to Saratova to find at least 1,800
Russian-speakers who have disappeared into Iraq and Syria, many of whom arrived
in the two countries to live under Isis. “We need to hurry or there won’t be
anyone left to return,” she said.
like them have been dubbed “Isis brides” in the west, and their possible return
has sparked a fiery public debate, with governments taking unprecedented steps
to block their repatriation.
Begum, the teenager who traveled from east London to Syria in 2015, had her
British citizenship revoked. The United States made a similar decision to block
the return of Hoda Muthana, an Alabama woman.
has a far larger problem. Vladimir Putin has claimed as many as 4,000 Russian
citizens traveled to Syria and Iraq, and another 5,000 from other ex-Soviet
countries. Saratova says relatives are seeking at least 700 women from
countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, and more than 1,100
campaign for their return has found an unlikely champion in Ramzan Kadyrov, the
strongman ruler of Chechnya, whose regime has long been accused of brutal
reprisals against Islamist insurgents and their families.
Kadyrov has lobbied Vladimir Putin for the return of Russian-speakers from Isis
and helped organise nearly a dozen evacuation flights from Syria to Grozny, the
predominately Muslim capital of Chechnya.
suggest that he has various motivations: keeping potential insurgents under
watch, promoting his stature as a Muslim leader, and a genuine belief, coloured
by a patriarchal worldview, that the women who emigrated were bound to follow
their husbands into Isis.
the humanitarian point of view, this is a very strong and quite unexpected
position,” said Ekaterina Sokirianskaya, the director of the Conflict Analysis
and Prevention centre and an expert on the north Caucasus.
of the scheme, which brought back 21 women and more than 100 children in 2017,
claimed that repatriating those who had lived under Isis would help keep the
people need to be brought back, so that they’re under the control of our law
enforcement agencies,” said Saratova, who was appointed by Kadyrov to a
committee that manages the repatriation process.“They are more dangerous there
the scheme has its opponents and was suspended abruptly in 2017 after
complaints from senior officials in Russia’s security services. Evacuations of
children resumed only in December 2018. Women are no longer repatriated.
Gabibulayeva, a mother of five who now lives in Grozny, was on the last flight
out of Syria. She seemed an unlikely candidate for clemency. Her first husband
had fought in the insurgency in Dagestan and was killed in 2010. In 2012, she
was sentenced to two years in prison after police found a bomb in the trunk of
her car, which she said was planted.
the Chechen government has portrayed the women it wants to repatriate from
Syria as obedient wives, each case is unique. Gabibulayeva said that she was
single and made her own decision when she slipped across the Turkish border in
2014. “I had religious motivations,” she said during an interview in Grozny. “I
thought it was sharia. I wanted sharia.”
settled in Tabqa, a city she called “peaceful” at first but she said she soon
grew disappointed with Isis’s strict rules, wanton use of violence and the cost
of the approaching war. “At first, there were more good people than bad,” she
said. “They killed them like cannon fodder, sending them to die in this war.”
Executions for legal violations were also common, she said. She denied taking
part in violence.
women were confined to a general barracks and not let out alone, so she quickly
married, she said. Her third husband was killed in a drone strike less than a
year after they wed. As the war drew closer and aerial bombardments became more
frequent, she and her fourth husband, a Macedonian, decided it was time to
paid to be smuggled out of Isis territory in mid-2017 and surrendered to
Kurdish forces in the country’s north. Gabibulayeva, who was pregnant with her
fifth child a the time, gave birth in al-Hawl refugee camp. “They didn’t even
bring me to the hospital, though I asked them,” she said.
husband was arrested and extradited to Macedonia, where he is now in prison.
She spent four months in camps before she was suddenly flown back to Russia,
where a court in Dagestan convicted her of joining an illegally armed group.
She was sentenced to prison, but given a deferment of more than a decade
because she has young children.
considers herself lucky to have got out alive. “When the war was at its peak,
when the children were between life and death, of course you choose prison over
the death of your kids,” she said.
and another returnee, Zagidat Abakarova, a mother of four, said that they had
been subjected to intense scrutiny after returning to Russia, with regular
interrogations and police visits in her native Dagestan. She moved to Chechnya,
she said, because government forces had been more lenient. Russia has no
federal guidelines for repatriation, and each region has dealt with returnees
in its own way.
assumed that their phones and other means of communications were being
monitored, but said that women who had lived under Isis no longer posed a
everyone agrees. In November, Alexander Bortnikov, head of Russia’s federal
security service, said that brining women back was dangerous: “It’s no secret
that these women and even children are used by terrorist leaders as recruiters,
suicide attackers, for perpetrating terrorist attacks and as gobetweens.”
has also spoken publicly in support of repatriating children, although he has
not addressed the question of women. Evacuation flights from Syria suddenly
resumed for children born in Russia late last year, with 30 children evacuated
in December and more.
say that Russia’s approach is flawed but has shown more readiness to repatriate
those who left for Isis than any western government.
has one of the most active programmes on repatriation of children globally and
should be given credit for it,” Tanya Lokshina, of Human Rights Watch, said.
But “given all that hope to the families desperate to get daughters and
grandkids back from Syria and Iraq – and then suspending the original programme
for a year without any explanations, it was a huge and unjustified blow to
mothers still have hope their daughters will be found alive. Dzhannet
Erezhebova has been searching for her daughter Ziyaret for more than two years.
I disappear, please don’t leave my children here, find them,” Ziyaret texted
from Mosul in November 2016, where she was living in a barracks for widows with
her three children. Her husband had already died in a bombardment.
was the last time time that mother and daughter spoke, and Erezhebova has spent
more than two years searching for clues that her daughter and three children
escaped the city.
have been burying her and bringing her back to life all this time,” Erezhebova
said . “She deserves another chance.
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