Akram Mohammadi (Courtesy Photo)
Women Swimmers Defy Threats for Dream
Hijabi Raps to Celebrate Muslim Women
Women’s Council Mobilises Female Talent
Haram Kidnap 22 Girls, Women in Northeast Nigeria
Video Shows Saudi Man Herding Young Muslim Students with Stick
Assembly Resolution Condemns Triple Talaq
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Women Players Snookered For 'Un-Islamic' Acts
- Iran has banned some of its women players from billiard sports competitions
for a year for violating the Islamic codes of conduct at a tournament in China,
sporting authorities announced.
Disciplinary Committee of Bowling, Billiard and Boxing Federation did not
reveal the nature of the alleged offences, saying it would name the
sent to China Open (billiard) competitions will be banned from all domestic and
foreign competitions for one year for violating the Islamic code," it said
late Thursday, according to the ISNA and Tasnim news agencies.
category of billiard sports includes billiards, pool and snooker.
the 1979 revolution, Iran has required women to wear the Islamic headscarf in
public. The Islamic code also forbids women touching, dancing or singing with
men outside their families.
are only allowed to show their face, hands and feet in public and are supposed
to wear only modest colours.
the years, however, women have pushed back the boundaries of the law, with many
wearing loose, brightly coloured headscarves far back on their heads.
and jeans are banned for women attending billiard sport competitions, according
to the website of the Iranian federation, which could not immediately be
reached for comment.
pool-billiard clubs in Iran are male only but some offer women-only hours.
Iranian female players now regularly compete in national and international
October, Akram Mohammadi became the first Iranian woman ever to win a medal in
a major billiard competition, taking bronze at the Asian championships in the
United Arab Emirates.
told the state-run Iran Online website after her victory that the World
Pool-Billiard Association had not tried to restrict the wearing of headscarves
at international competitions, unlike some other sports.
reported ban comes less than two months after the Iranian chess federation
announced possible disciplinary action against an Iranian brother and sister
for violating Islamic and political rules.
Derakhshani, who holds the title of International Master, has been living in
Spain for more than two years, and playing without the hijab headscarf in chess
games. She could face a ban from the federation, fines, prison or lashes if she
returns to Iran.
teenage brother Borna was threatened with disciplinary action for competing
against an opponent from Iran's arch-foe Israel, which is forbidden by Tehran.
are just 30 pools in Afghanistan, only one that welcomes girls — and it is
facing militant threats for doing so. Nevertheless a handful are diving in,
pioneers racing to achieve Olympic glory in Tokyo.
story of the 25-year-old coach and head of the newly created Women’s Swimming
Committee, Elena Saboori, epitomizes the struggle to swim in a conservative,
landlocked, conflict-plagued country that largely opposes women taking part in
woman friend first took her swimming, but after that she taught herself by
downloading instruction videos from the internet and practicing in the pool in
first I was really afraid of drowning, but that’s when I thought I’d become a
coach, because girls do not know how to swim here,” says Saboori, an economics
may not be the biggest risk: at the time of her interview with AFP, Saboori had
been advised to stay away from the pool after violent threats were made against
it for allowing her team to train there.
have several types of threats, but I feel that it [the security situation] is a
bit better and I am not as afraid as before,” she tells AFP. “But I know that I
have broken a taboo. I took a big risk by launching this team.”
risks include a burgeoning Taliban insurgency that has affected much of the
country. Since 2016, no region has been spared Taliban attacks, while the east
and northeast are increasingly coming under fire from the Daesh group
Afghanistan’s patriarchal, ultra-conservative society, where many still believe
women should be veiled and confined to the home, adds another layer of risk.
Saboori and members of her team cannot swim with their backs, arms or thighs
team is in touch with a Brazilian company to design appropriate swimwear. Until
then, they wear tights and black, lycra, long-sleeved tops under one-piece
swimsuits, with a swimming cap covering their hair.
main obstacle for our swimmers is safety, of course,” says the young president
of the Afghan Federation of Swimming, Sayed Ihsan Taheri.
lauds Saboori’s courage, appointing her as head of the women’s committee in
February with a clear ambition: “We aim to be at the 2020 Olympic Games in
Tokyo, with a team of at least two men and one woman.”
woman would be Afghanistan’s first ever female Olympic swimmer.
then, Taheri hopes to get his young swimmers to the Central Asian Championships
in Turkmenistan at the end of April.
some support, we could certainly qualify for the title of regional champions,”
the challenges of poor infrastructure and a violent patriarchal culture have
been compounded by the Afghan government’s lack of support for the women’s
Muslim countries except Afghanistan have a women’s team, even the strictest,”
says Taheri. “They have training sites for girls, but here there is some
misunderstanding about women’s sport, that it is banned by Islam.”
government has even blocked the allocation of 500 Afghanis (less than $8) paid
monthly to members of national sports teams.
Taheri’s federation is trying to revamp at least four ruined public swimming
pools in Kabul, including one built in the 1970s by the Soviets on a hill
overlooking the capital.
was in service for less than four years, he thinks, before it fell into ruin.
He wants to transform it into a great swimming center.
awaiting the help of the Afghan authorities, he has launched a fundraiser via
the Dreamfuel website, which specializes in financing high-level athletes.
have raised $900 so far. It’s an honor to help these incredible athletes and to
support this historic change,” the website’s founder Emily White tells AFP.
it would take at least $3,000, mainly to pay for coaching costs, to launch the
Afghan women’s swimming team.
is not ready to give up. At least a dozen other women have come forward in
hopes of joining her, she says. “They contact me and of course I accept: I
cannot let them down.” — AFP
pregnant hijabi's rap video on celebrating Muslim women who wear the headscarf
has had support online, though some conservatives are against it.
and rap - do they mix? One woman certainly thinks so.
Muslim poet and activist Mona Haydar, 28, put out her first rap song, Hijabi,
on Muslim Women's Day earlier this week.
the unique music video has received a warm response, with people using the
hashtag #hijabiXmona to show their support.
some claimed it contravened Islamic values.
video, which was shot in one day, features an eight-months pregnant Mona,
rapping about wrapping her hijab, and a diverse group of veiled women dancing
and singing along.
told the BBC: "I'm only interested in growing a more kind and loving world
and that is my goal and intention with any and all the work I do."
questions hijabis often face, the lyrics go: "What that hair look like?
Bet that hair look nice. Don't that make you sweat? Don't that feel too
continues: "So even if you hate, I still wrap my hijab, wrap my hijab,
wrap my hijab...Keep swaggin my hijabis, Swag-swaggin my hijabis."
to the video, one woman said it made her feel "gracious, empowered, and
loved". Others added that the video was "dope" and
some held a different view, labelling the video as, "extremely disturbing
and wrong on every level... hijab is not only a piece of cloth on our head but
every action we undertake should embody hijab and piety."
added that while the video was "empowering and catchy... hijab is all
about modesty and humbleness in attitude, and this video represents the
on some people's shock that she was pregnant in the video, Mona told the BBC:
"Why is it so shocking for a pregnant woman to continue living her own
life while growing new life inside her? As a woman who believes that all bodies
are good and beautiful, it brings me joy to dismantle the societal structures
which try to dictate to women what our bodies should look like. "
who hails from Michigan and now lives in New York, is no stranger to the media
and her husband Sebastian Robins, who converted to Islam, previously headed a
'Talk to a Muslim' initiative in Cambridge, Massachusetts to fight
Islamophobia, and handed out free doughnuts and coffee.
people online said Mona's latest song reminded them of Deen Squad, a duo of
Muslim rappers singing popular songs with an Islamic twist, (Deen is Arabic for
group's latest hit, Cover Girl (Rockin' That Hijab), featured 52 hijabi icons
from around the world.
Muslim female artists also don't see a headscarf as restricting them from
singer-songwriter Shila Amzah became popular after appearing on a Chinese
singing show and her YouTube videos have had hundreds of thousands of views.
Yuna, the first Malaysian singer-songwriter to win over the American market,
made the US billboard charts and even duetted with American singer-songwriter
the time I got into music, I was already wearing the scarf all the time, and
it's really personal to me and my Muslim beliefs, so I decided to keep it and
find a way to work around it. I don't see it as a restriction or limitation - I
can still be me and get into music and be an entertainer," said Yuna.
told the BBC: "A lot of people probably don't agree with me doing music
but why should I change? I've been doing this my whole life.
way I practice my religion is mine, it's not someone else's."
- US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale Friday said that the US-Pakistan Women’s
Council was a model of assistance that mobilised female talent.
US envoy met with over 60 Pakistani women entrepreneurs, corporate executives,
and capacity-building organisations at the US embassy for a Supply Chain
Diversity Expo hosted by the US Pakistan Women’s Council and Women’s
Entrepreneurial Center of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for
Economic Empowerment Pakistan known as WECREATE.
Hale congratulated the entrepreneurs on starting businesses and urged them to
continue to inspire others with their creativity and determination.
also recognised WECREATE/Pakistan and USPWC Corporate Member Companies,
including Proctor and Gamble, The Resource Group, Engro, PepsiCo, General
Electric, Citibank and The Coca-Cola Company for providing women-owned
businesses the opportunity to market their products and services to industry
Hale said the US-Pakistan Women’s Council builds international economic ties,
and promotes economic growth and social stability, “all of which benefit both
Pakistan and America.”
& Gamble and PepsiCo briefed the entrepreneurs on their procurement
processes and offered to help interested female suppliers connect with relevant
procurement teams in their companies.
this session, Procter & Gamble’s Communication Manager, Claudia Manuel,
said: “When Pakistani women succeed, we all win.”
intends to facilitate continuing connections through its networking platform
and working with TRG to host a second supply chain diversity event in Karachi
later this year.
entrepreneurs attending the event had received training at WECREATE/Pakistan,
and the Lahore University of Management Sciences through the US Embassy-supported
Pakistan Women Entrepreneur Program managed in partnership with American
from the World Bank’s WomenX entrepreneurship training programme, conducted
with the advisory firm Enclude at the Government College University, also took
part in the event.
Expo is the second in a series of events planned under the USPWC supply chain
diversity initiative, which aims to help women-owned businesses access
sustainable markets by linking them with corporate procurement representatives. The first of these events occurred in April
2016 at Packages Limited in Lahore.
Haram Kidnap 22 Girls, Women In Northeast Nigeria
Haram have abducted 22 girls and women in two separate raids in northeast
Nigeria, residents and vigilantes told AFP Friday.
the first attack on Thursday, the rebels raided the village of Pulka near
border with Cameroon where they kidnapped 18 girls.
Haram fighters from Mamman Nur camp arrived in pickup vans around 6:00 am and
seized 14 young girls aged 17 and below while residents fled into the
bush," a Pulka community leader told AFP by phone.
picked four other girls who were fleeing the raid they came across in the bush
outside the village," said the community leader who asked not to be named
for fear of reprisals.
to the official, the attackers were loyal to the faction headed by Abu Musab
Al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf.
was appointed last year by the ISIL group to replace leader Abubakar Shekau,
who had pledged allegiance to the group in 2015.
resident confirmed the raid and said the girls were likely to end up as brides
for the fighters.
didn't harm anyone during the raid and they made no attempt to shoot people
running away from the village," said the resident.
the second incident outside the village of Dumba, close to Lake Chad, the
militants killed a herdsman who had tried to escape after refusing to pay
protection money, said Adamu Ahmed, a member of an anti-Boko Haram militia.
the Boko Haram gunmen came for the money they realised he had left with
everything and they decided to go after him on their motorcycles," Ahmed
caught up with him near Dumba where they slaughtered him and shot dead 50 of
took four women from the man's family and the rest of the herd," he said.
promotion of Barnawi had revealed divisions in the group, as Shekau had been
criticised for mass killings and suicide attacks against civilians.
and his right-hand man Mamman Nur, who is seen as the real leader, had promised
residents in areas under their control would not be harmed as long as they did
not cooperate with Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram.
have also killed several civilians they accused of cooperating with the
CONFRONTING video has emerged from the Middle East that appears to show a man
herding young Muslim women with a stick.
video, taken in Saudi Arabia, shows a man with a large, wooden stick repeatedly
banging the hand rail as he apparently orders some veiled women to return
the end of the clip, he appears to strike one woman on the head with the stick.
Saudi feminist who posted the video on Twitter said it showed a high school
guard fulfilling his duties “to make sure women are caged until their guardians
or drivers come”.
I was a rebellious teenager, I use to take off my veil when I reached my car.
This usually p*ssed off the guard and he used to report me,” she wrote over
girl in high school and college has a man outside ‘protecting’ them. Preventing
them from leaving with unrelated men.”
feminist, who goes by the name of Moudhi, described herself as a Saudi feminist
who specialised in exposing misogynists.
Gujarat, considered to be the political laboratory of the BJP, passed a
resolution in the assembly on Friday condemning triple talaq and demanding
reforms to protect Muslim women against that practice. BJP MLA Jagrupsinh
Rajput presented the resolution, seeking reforms in Muslim personal law and
action to ensure the welfare of Muslim women.
resolution was supported by the minister of state for home Pradipsinh Jadeja
and other ministers and the resolution was passed by the assembly with majority
votes in the absence of Congress MLAs who had been suspended earlier.
studying the triple talaq tradition, it has been found that it was started by
the Omiyad dynasty around the 2nd century," Jadeja said. "However,
today, while there are greater rights for Muslim women, it's necessary to raise
a voice against the tradition of triple Talaq. There is an urgent need for
reforms in Muslim personal law and public opinion must be built for it. So, the
house supports the resolution.''
said that even after the Supreme Court had delivered a verdict in the Shah Bano
case to protect the rights of Muslim women, the Congress had amended the law
for vote-bank politics. "But now the time has come to raise the voice to
protect Muslim women and to bring them on a par with women of all
communities," he said. "The Constitution also provides equal rights
to all citizens. So, Muslim women cannot be deprived of their rights."
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