Bahloul, first female Imam in France.
Shariah Courts Need Urgent Reforms to Protect Women
to Arrest Actress for Supporting ‘Blue Girl’ Who Set Herself on Fire
at Malad Housing Society Insist On Unity in Diversity, Set an Example for
Mumbai and the Rest of the Country
Sentences Islamic State’s Woman Chemical Weapons Expert
Middle East Bikers’ Club Hits the Road for Women’s Empowerment
Raptors Launch Line Of Team-Branded Athletic Hijabs
Egyptian Girl’s Case Puts Legal System under Spotlight
in no hurry to allow women into stadiums after 'Blue Girl' death
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Is Important For Islam to Establish a New Model,’ Says France's Female Imam
– Kahina Bahloul, the first female Imam in France, told French-Monegasque Radio
Monte Carlo (RMC) that she plans to open the first liberal mosque in
France. Men and women would pray side by
side and lead prayers alternatively in the proposed place of worship.
also announced that she launched a crowdfunding campaign to open the mosque,
which she intends to call “Fatima.”
asked about headscarves by the talk-show host, Jean-Jacques Bourdin, Bahloul
said: “I consider that headscarves are not a religious obligation. I have
studied many religious texts and I believe that the Quran does not oblige women
to conceal their hair.”
is important for Islam to establish a new model where men and women have the
same role in mosques. In traditional mosques, the main prayer room is exclusive
to men. This is not acceptable in the 21st century,” added Bahloul.
Bahloul is a graduate in Islamic Studies from the Practical School of Higher
Studies in Paris. She is also the founder of the NGO “Parle-moi d’Islam” (Talk
to me about Islam).
saturday, September 7, two female Imams, Eva Janadin and Anne-Sophie Monsinay,
led the first mixed gender prayer in France. Bahloul expressed her support for
MP for Petaling Jaya, Maria Chin Abdullah, may have been ill-advised to comment
on an ongoing, high profile custody battle but many people will agree that she
has brought much needed attention to the shariah court system.
women feel the shariah system has failed them. Only the victims, such as
abandoned wives and single mothers, and their close families, are aware that the
system is in urgent need of reform and proper enforcement.
divorced Muslim women will agree that they are punished whilst the man escapes
week, Maria said that “Muslim women were still being discriminated against
under the shariah legal system”. Her comments have resulted in a legal suit
against her, because she had allegedly insulted the shariah court.
readers may recall the case of a single mother who was caught in a hotel room,
in Kuala Terengganu, in September 2018. She was charged with “preparing to
prostitute herself”. This case illustrates perfectly, that women are still
accused was in the hotel room with a man. They were not caught in flagrante
delicto, but in Terengganu the act of “preparing to prostitute oneself” is an
offence punishable by six strokes of the rotan.
are several irregularities in the takzir, which is a schedule of punishments
for offences. These punishments are meted out at the discretion of the rulers
or judges of the state. So, the decisions of the shariah courts, in Terengganu,
the single mother was unrepresented, she quickly pleaded guilty to a charge of
attempting to prostitute herself. Did the court query the fact that she did not
have a lawyer to fight her case? Did the court ask why the husband failed to
provide the nafkah (maintenance for the children and wife)?
women give up their education or careers to become a wife and start a family.
If they become divorced, they lack the skills to earn a good income. So, they
end up in low-paying jobs, and may hold two or three jobs just to survive.
children will have to be taken to a mother’s helper, which is expensive.
is the problem that many of these women face. They cannot afford the legal fees
and have no clue about their rights.
what happened to zakat? Why had society failed to help this woman?
Muslim women agree that the ageing shariah system is in dire need of reform and
proper and strict enforcement of its decisions. Moreover, the system needs to
be standardised nationwide.
judge is issuing a warrant for the arrest of an Iranian actress for showing
support toward a female fan who set herself on fire after she was denied access
to a football stadium, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Kamali had written a post on Instagram in which she said that Sahar Khodayari
had suffered much worse treatment than Imam Hussain ibn Ali, one of the
grandsons of the Prophet Mohammad.
has since removed the Instagram post, posting another message in which she said
she believes “that no one can tarnish the special status of the Imams.”
another follow-up post, Kamali said her post was misunderstood by people who
had “skewed understanding, illiteracy and who were being fanatical.”
do not know the basics of playwriting which is my first field of study,” she
Khodayari,the female football fan who was arrested for trying to enter the
stadium in Iran and sentenced to six months prison, passed away today, a week
after setting herself on fire@FIFAcom is still silent towards gender apartheid
in iran! #FIFAEnforceEqualityInIran
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AM - Sep 10, 2019
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died on Monday from injuries received after self-immolating on September 1
outside the public prosecutor’s office. She had been told she would receive a
six-month prison sentence after being detained by police on March 12, 2019,
accused of trying to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium to watch a football game.
Esteghlal’s twitter account confirmed her death. Khodayari was a supporter of
the club and became known as the “Blue Girl” because Esteghlal wear blue
is the only country in the world where women are banned from sports stadiums.
The country has had an unwritten ban on women attending football stadiums since
the so-called Islamic Revolution in 1979.
two kids tell a girl they would not play with her because she is Muslim, a
Malad housing society sets an example for Mumbai and the rest of the country In
these divisive times when hatred is fashionable and bullying macho, a housing
society in Malad comprising around 100 families is setting an example for
Mumbai, and the rest of India. The entire society, led by the women residing
there, came together to support a Muslim family after a six-year-old girl went home
crying last weekend when a couple of children refused to play with her citing
incident occurred last Saturday when the children had gathered in the play area
at Royal Oasis society in Malad West. The girl’s family said that minutes after
she left her home to play with her friends, she rushed back in tears, saying a
couple of kids taunted her for being a Muslim.
girl’s mother put out her child’s ordeal on the society’s WhatsApp group, after
which at least a dozen women came out in her support. A few others personally
met with the woman and told her that such behaviour will not be allowed in the
society. Later, the girl’s mother approached the two children’s family, and was
told that the kids may have heard such ideas from others. The children have
been counselled to ensure they respect everyone, the parents said.
women held a meeting wherein each one of them decided they’ll sensitise their
children to ensure such an incident doesn’t get repeated. They also decided
that they’ll celebrate all festivals in the society to send out a message of
unity in diversity. All of them assembled in the common area along with their
children on Thursday evening for the Ganpati Visarjan.
society’s stance was both bold and refreshing, considering the communal hate
that is being spewed out in the country. Whether it is lynchings in the name of
cow protection or people being forced to say Jai Shree Ram, there is palpable
fear among the minorities in the country.
girl’s mother told this newspaper that the support her family received
following Saturday’s incident has convinced her that her children were “growing
up in the right atmosphere”. “The kids are back to playing together. There is
no animosity whatsoever,” she said.
residents pointed out to at least two housing societies in the area where
members of only a particular community can buy or rent flats. There are many
other societies in the same area where it is demanded of residents that they
don’t cook non-vegetarian food at home. They said their society was a
“refreshing change” because it comprises residents of all faiths. “Our society
welcomes all and that’s how it will remain. The only thing that is not welcome
here is bigotry,” said Garima Shrivastava, a Royal Oasis resident.
members now plan to organise dinners and get-togethers to make their children
aware of different cultures. “Mothers are children’s first teachers and I want
my kids to respect everyone. They should not grow up carrying any sort of
bias,” said another resident, Rukshana.
- The Iraqi government on Thursday said it has issued life imprisonment for a
female Islamic State (IS) member who helped the group develop chemical and
woman, identified by the Iraqi Interior Ministry as Abrar al-Kubaisi,
reportedly played a key role in research as a part of IS’s team to develop
chemical and biological weapons.
Falcon Intelligence Cell did not disclose the time of her arrest, saying only
that she had been arrested during an operation at an earlier date.
convicted terrorist Abrar al-Kubaisi, who was recently sentenced to life
imprisonment, was one of the most prominent biological researchers involved in
the IS program to manufacture and train special elements within the Development
and Manufacturing Body of the terrorist organization responsible for
preparation, production and use of chemical weapons in the country and abroad,”
said Abu Ali al-Basri, the head of Iraqi Interior Ministry’s Directorate of
Intelligence and Counterterrorism, in a statement for semi-official al-Sabah
said Abrar al-Kubaisi had told Iraqi officials that she was lured into the
extremist group through the internet and that she helped the IS militants
conduct chemical operations in Iraq.
of the terrorist Abrar al-Kubaisi show how she was tricked through social media
to join the ranks of the terrorist organization,” said the intelligence head,
adding that al-Kubaisi followed IS directions to help in the use of chemical
weapons materials in several operations in Baghdad.
weapons in 2015
about the IS use of chemical weapons appeared as early as 2015 when local Iraqi
and Kurdish forces complained about sustaining dozens of casualties from the
battlefield because of the use of mustard gas by the jihadist group.
and Iraqi intelligence officials in November 2015 expressed grave concerns that
the group was aggressively pursuing the development of chemical weapons. They
reported the group was seeking the help of scientists from Iraq, Syria and
elsewhere in the region to open a branch devoted to research and experiments of
chemical and biological weapons.
late 2016, the group used chemical weapons, including chlorine and sulfur
mustard agents, at least 52 times on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq,
according an assessment by London-based intelligence collection and analysis
service the IHS Conflict Monitor.
History was made in 2018, when women in Saudi Arabia were permitted to drive
for the first time since 1957. As the world watched female motorists across the
Kingdom celebrate, a less visible set of women also quietly stepped out of the
shadows and revved up their engines. “Women were interested in motorbikes, but
openly in Saudi Arabia,” said Zahra AbuAli, founder of social media group Saudi
Women Riders and co-founder of The Litas Khobar, a Saudi chapter of the
international all-female motorcycle group The Litas.
was an underground scene. They used to wear baggy clothes, hide their hair
under helmets, and ride at the center of (mixed) groups. Some girls have
licenses from Bahrain, some have bikes but no licenses, and some ride with
a 28-year-old Saudi national, learnt to ride a motorbike last year while
working in Dubai.
just wanted to try something new, and once I started, I couldn’t stop. Cars in
Saudi were only a man thing, but that didn’t mean they’re made only for men,”
horsepower thrill was amplified when the biomedical engineer began to ride her
Harley 883 Sportster with Lara Tarabay Saab, founder of The Litas Dubai, the
first chapter of the motorcycle collective in the Middle East.
who is from Lebanon, said that she founded the group to alter perceptions and
help female bikers find each other and ride together as a sisterhood.
vision is to make our community as women bikers in the Middle East visible to
the world. I don’t want them to think of us in stereotypes,” she explained.
Litas Dubai currently features 10 women from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain,
Palestine, Morocco, Russia and the UAE. The group includes police officers,
doctors, artists, engineers, management professionals and mothers.
years ago, if I stood anywhere with my bike, people would come and speak to me
in English and be surprised when I answered in Arabic,” Roqayya Abdullateif,
Emirati police officer said that she mastered the handlebars simply by watching
her brothers riding bikes. “I saw girls sitting in the back of the bike, and I
said why not sit in the front?”
who initially rode as part of mixed groups in the UAE, said that she also
formed the sisterhood as a support system in a male-dominated sport. “Our
culture dictates a few things for us. Typical lady behavior wouldn’t be to be
on a motorcycle, so it wasn’t easy (for me) at all.
was in Italy with my husband, and I wanted to ride a scooter. He said, ‘No, you
can’t.’ When I’d ask him to teach me, he’d say ‘It’s very heavy, you can’t even
triggered a lot in me in terms of my sense of existence, freedom of choice and
a mother of two and a marketing director, now cruises on a Sportster 1200cc,
but her journey to this point involved attending 7 a.m. lessons before heading
had to come to my husband to sign the form to give me approval … because I’m on
his sponsorship,” she said. “He said it’s dangerous and that I should talk to
my father first. (But) I said there’s no way I’m not doing this.”
who also co-founded The Litas Lebanon, is UAE ambassador for the Women’s
International Motorcycle Association and Middle East ambassador for the Women
Riders World Relay (WRWR).
have a lot of women who message us with questions about motorcycles or asking
where we learnt to ride,” Saab said. Set to take place in Dubai in 2020, the
WRWR is one of the largest global motorcycle events for female riders, created
to raise awareness of women across all spheres of motorcycling. The UAE and
Oman are the only Middle Eastern states included in the tour of 80 countries,
with Dubai marked as the final destination. Saab and her pack are already
holding information sessions for the event.
is for women’s empowerment because models who pose on bikes are not lady
bikers,” she said.
Toronto Raptors say a new line of team-branded hijabs is part of a broader
effort to be more inclusive to fans of all cultures.
team’s parent company, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, unveiled the Nike
Pro hijabs emblazoned with the team logo in a social media post on Friday.
doing so, they say the Raptors became the first team in the National Basketball
Association to offer an athletic hijab for Muslim women.
Senior Marketing Director Jerry Ferguson says the organization was inspired to
create the hijabs by a local Muslim women’s organization known as the Hijabi
says MLSE designed the gear in collaboration with the women, who regularly play
basketball at a community court associated with the team.
says the Raptors want to send a message of inclusion to its widely diverse fan
base, which grew substantially during the playoff run that saw the team win its
first NBA championship earlier this year.
says having hijabs available to female Muslim athletes who wish to wear them
allows the team to send a message of tolerance.
of the things that we are very interested in is moving from saying we are just
about inclusivity and accessibility, and finding ways to bring products and
ideas to market that actually prove that,” he said in a telephone interview.
says the hijabs, available only at the team’s official store at its downtown
Toronto home arena, allows female Muslim athletes to wear gear supporting their
team while taking part in their sport of choice.
so, he said, emphasizes that basketball courts should be places where all feel
welcome and included.
Hijabi Ballers seconded the message, welcoming the branded hijabs as a symbol
goal … is to ensure Muslim girls and women feel like they belong on those
courts, in the mainstream sports world and restating the idea that sports are
for everyone, no matter your beliefs,” founder Amreen Kadwa said in a
geared towards Muslim women athletes have been gaining traction in recent
smaller manufacturers of athletic hijabs existed long before, Nike made
headlines in 2017 by announcing plans to start marketing its own version.
International Basketball Federation and the international soccer organization
FIFA lifted bans on head coverings in recent years.
Raptors-branded hijabs represent the first time MLSE has offered such a
product, Ferguson said.
move was celebrated by the National Council of Canadian Muslims, which praised
the Hijabi Ballers for spurring the team to action.
director Mustafa Farooq acknowledged that the issue of hijabs in sports has
proven a divisive issue, with opponents disclaiming it as a symbol of
hard for me to understand that,” Farooq said.
of the beautiful things about sports is that everyone can play. Highlighting
that … everyone should get a shot is such a beautiful thing to do, so obviously
we thank the Raptors for taking this step.”
The prosecution of a 15-year-old girl who killed a bus driver after he
allegedly tried to rape her has reignited debate over the treatment of women in
Egypt’s legal system, including the practice of virginity tests and blaming
victims of sexual violence.
July, the teenager made headlines after she confessed to police that she
stabbed to death a bus driver who she alleged had kidnapped her in a deserted
rural area near Cairo and sought to sexually assault her at knife point. The
girl said she tricked her alleged assailant, took away his knife, and stabbed
him several times before running away.
after her arrest, the teenager was required to undergo a virginity test, an
invasive procedure that rights groups say in itself amounts to sexual assault.
women’s rights groups have offered legal assistance, arguing for leniency for
the teen because she defended herself against a sexual attack. They hope that a
judge’s ruling in her favor could set an important legal precedent and help
challenge what they view as a deep-seated misogynistic culture of blaming
female victims rather than male attackers.
case reveals the dualism in Egyptian society,” said Intissar Saeed, president
of the Cairo Foundation for Law and Development. “I myself have sympathized
with her since day one. But when I wrote about her on my Facebook page some
male lawyers attacked the girl on my page saying she was not a decent woman.”
teen’s name was widely published in the Egyptian media. However, The Associated
Press does not generally identify individuals who say they have been sexually
assaulted or those under the age of 18 who are accused of crimes.
case highlights the culture’s obsession with female virginity. In conservative
areas, relatives celebrate a new bride’s loss of virginity by brandishing a
bloody sheet in public, a practice they believe affirms the family’s honor.
virginity examinations garnered attention in 2011 when several women said they
were detained by military personnel and forced to undergo virginity tests while
protesting the interim military government that took over the country after the
ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.
her interrogation, the girl said she was on a date with her boyfriend before
riding the bus — a statement that could easily undermine her reputation and
probably her credibility in conservative Egyptian society, where dating is
frowned upon. Her boyfriend, along with a friend of his, are in custody pending
investigations into any potential links to the crime.
her detention, the girl was required to undergo a vaginal test which determined
she was a virgin — which in the Egyptian context could be viewed as helpful to
explains that this test is a routine legal procedure whenever a woman reports a
rape or alleged rape. Yet, she finds it irrelevant in this case.
said (the bus driver) tried to rape her but did not so I believe there was no
need for this examination,” said Saeed, whose advocacy group is part of the
teen’s legal team.
have been campaigning for the girl’s release and calling for her to face a
lesser charge than murder. However, last month, the investigating judge upheld
an appeal by the prosecutor against an earlier court decision to release her
and ordered her detained for another 30 days.
is a frightening misogynistic sense of solidarity in the society,” said Mozn
Hassan, founder of Nazra for Feminist Studies, a group that has long provided
legal and psychological support to women who had to undergo a virginity test.
The test has become a tool to weigh the virtuousness of the victim in cases of
sexual assault, added Hassan.
she is not divorced, married or widowed and turned out not to be a virgin, she
gets automatically labeled as indecent and deserving what she had gone
man is always presumed innocent. Yet, it is very logical in a country where
more than 95 percent of women are sexually harassed, that we should start off
by believing what the woman is saying,” she said.
harassment, mostly ranging from catcalls to occasional pinching or grabbing, is
rampant in Egypt. Polls have found that most men and women in the conservative
Muslim country believe it is justified if women dress “provocatively” in
indicate that a vast majority of Egyptian women feel insecure in the streets.
2014, Egypt’s penal code was amended amid pressure from women’s groups to
include a broad definition of sexual harassment and tougher penalties. However,
most women remain reluctant to file complaints for fear of stigmatization.
teen’s lawyers hope she will be charged with a so-called honor killing rather
than murder. Honor killings traditionally are acts of vengeance committed by
male family members against female family members deemed to have brought
dishonor upon the family. But the girl’s attorneys believe the concept could be
applied in her case.
Egypt’s penal code, men are more likely to receive lighter sentences if
convicted of an honor killing, a discrimination that activists have been
struggling to reverse for decades.
there are no guarantees for the young female defendant, Hassan said.
law takes into consideration the emotional status of a man when he rises to
defend his honor, which is very patriarchal,” she said. “However, this (has not
been) applicable to women. Honor only concerns men.”
investigating magistrate is still expected to receive a detailed forensic
report of the crime before deciding on the charges.
is the first time we have a girl that goes as far as killing the man who tried
to rape her. If the court rules in her favor, it will be a historic precedent
for the Egyptian judicial system,” said Saeed.
Khodayari, disguised as a man due to Iran’s ban on women in stadiums, attempted
to attend a soccer game between Tehran’s Esteghlal FC and Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain FC
at Tehran's Azadi Stadium in March 2019. She was arrested and released on bail
days later. At the courthouse earlier this week, where her case was postponed,
she reportedly overheard she could face six months in prison. She set herself
on fire outside of the courthouse and later died at the hospital.
was dubbed “Blue Girl” for the color of her favorite soccer team, Esteghlal FC.
One of the great ironies in this case is that her favorite team’s name means
“independence” in Persian and the stadium she was arrested for entering, Azadi,
tragedy has led to a lot of discussions, and was followed by a visit from the
Federation Internationale De Football Association (FIFA). But those in Iran who
advocate for loosening restrictions on women, in place for 40 years, seem to
have little appetite for a domestic war against conservatives, particularly
given the country's economic troubles and growing tension with the United
Hassan Rouhani did not directly address the case at his latest cabinet meeting
on Sept. 11. Vaguely addressing the economic issues of the country, he said,
“The people are facing enough concerns and worries. … We must not allow
carelessness to add to people’s worries and concerns.” It is not clear what
Rouhani meant by this comment, but some have interpreted it as a reference to
carelessness by the judicial officials involved in the case.
Rabei, spokesman for the administration, said after the cabinet meeting, “The
administration in general supports women entering stadiums.” He added that the
Sports Ministry has provided the correct “infrastructure” at all stadiums to
allow women to attend games played by the national team. Officials have made
certain exceptions for international games.
Vaezi, chief of staff of the Rouhani administration, offered a counter take,
arguing that now is not the time to allow women to enter stadiums because in
“the current environment, supporters of opposing teams curse at one another.”
He added, “If the environment at stadiums becomes moral and right,” the administration
would not have objections. Regarding the case of Khodayari, Vaezi said that the
administration “expresses sympathies with her family but under no conditions do
we approve of self-immolation.”
of allowing women in stadiums are mostly conservative clerics and officials who
have remained steadfast in their opposition despite public opinion cooling on
the restriction. Brig. Gen. Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defense
Organization, is one the latest conservative officials to address the issue. In
a Sept. 12 message on the organization's website, Jalali said the case of the
Khodayari is sad but that some people are using it to polarize the country. He
criticized those who are promoting her case of being “charlatans” acting as
though women entering stadiums were the only relevant issue for women in Iran.
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