Criticising the ordinance, Asma Zehra, AIMPLB executive member said it would
create more confusion instead of providing solutions.
woman barred from marrying 'religiously unfit' man because he plays musical
and mounted police used to prevent women from entering stadium
Council of Britain to train women to run mosques
actively participated in protests in Tehran, Karaj, Rasht and Bam
of Instagram model, other women shock Iraq
issued to ombudsman, IGP, SBBU VC in girl’s harassment case
that killed schoolgirl in Saeedabad fired by policeman: probe
Austria’s burqa ban a delicate matter in Alpine resort
days at the wheel ... Saudi women drivers feel exhilarated
International slams ‘sickening’ execution of domestic and sexual violence
victim in Iran
reached after Muslim woman says deputies forcibly removed her hijab
execution of Druze woman enrages community
the poverty line, Iran’s female teachers struggle to live
by New Age Islam News Bureau
to advise women: Settle marital disputes within family, avoid police &
approaching the police or a court against your husband, try and settle marital
disputes within the family under Sharia law, know your rights under Sharia law
— this is the advice the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is
planning to give Muslim women through a series of workshops across the state.
move comes after the central government passed an ordinance criminalising
instant triple talaq. After holding workshops in the state, the AIMPLB plans to
do the same across the country.
to The Indian Express from Hyderabad, Asma Zehra, AIMPLB executive member and
head of the women’s wing, said workshops — in Bengali and Urdu — and awareness
camps will be initiated in a few months at the district level.
feel there is a need for social reform and not (reform of) law… We will make
them (women) understand that instead of rushing to court or police at the drop
of a hat, one should settle marital disputes within the family in the presence
of elders. We will also make women aware of the rights they enjoy under Sharia
law, like the right to property, right to return to her father’s home if she is
unhappy with her husband, right against violence,” said Zehra.
the ordinance, she said it would create more confusion instead of providing
has been aimed at empowering only the wife. What about the mother-in-law? She
is a woman too. This empowerment of the wife will have a lot of repercussions for
all ladies of the family. Do I want my son or brother to be jailed? If my son
is in jail, I am also suffering. It will cause irreparable damage to a
husband-wife relationship,” she said.
said women should be made aware of better solutions under Islamic law. “We are
all in favour of sitting down, counselling, finishing it off rather than going
for legal complications,” said Zehra.
convenor Uzma Alam said districts are being shortlisted, with Ranigunj in
Asansol among the first.
said camps are likely to be conducted in winter because it is easier to travel
during that season.
to the case of Ishrat Jahan, one of the first petitioners against triple talaq,
Alam said she had been misled by a certain group. “If she comes, we will surely
help her. Our doors are always open for her. We will support her.”
Saudi Arabian couple were reportedly barred from getting married after the
prospective husband was deemed unsuitable because he played a musical
bride-to-be’s family had objected to their relationship, arguing the man was
not “religiously compatible” with her because he played the oud – a pear-shaped
stringed instrument commonly used in Middle Eastern and North African music.
the woman launched a legal challenge against her relatives’ decision, a judge
backed the family after her brother submitted evidence that the man had once
played the instrument at a festival in the city of Unaizah.
appeal court confirmed that verdict, meaning the marriage cannot go ahead.
the suitor plays a musical instrument he is unsuitable for the woman from a
religious point of view,” Saudi newspaper Okaz quoted the court as saying.
unnamed woman, a 38-year-old bank manager, said her prospective husband, a
teacher, had a “good reputation” and was “very pious”.
said she would seek an intervention from the country’s “highest authorities”,
in reference to the country’s royal court.
lawyer Abdul Rahman al-Lahim said the man had been prevented from defending
himself in court.
parts of the Saudi kingdom, including the woman’s home state of Qassim – a
conservative region north of the capital Riyadh – some believe music is
forbidden under Islamic law.
an instrument is deemed an inferior profession and police in the state have
previously arrested groups for listening to music.
the country’s guardianship system, male relatives or husbands have control over
almost all aspects of women’s lives.
must still seek permission to fulfil basic needs such as travel, study and
opening a bank account.
Arabia’s King Salman issued a royal decree last November announcing women would
be able to drive from June 2018 for the first time since 1990.
the driving ban is one of a host of social and economic reforms that have been
unveiled in the kingdom since Mohammed bin Salman was appointed crown prince by
his father last June.
has reined in the power of the country’s notorious religious police, reopened
cinemas and promised a return to a more “moderate” Islam.
police and mounted police officers were deployed to prevent women from entering
the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch the game on Thursday, September 27, 2018,
between Persepolis and Esteghlal teams.
state-run ROKNA news agency wrote, “The women police are present at the Azadi
Stadium gates to identify female fans dressed in boys’ outfits to intervene and
deal with the issue if anyone was suspected.” (The state-run ROKNA news agency
– September 27, 2018)
to other reports, 500 CCTV surveillance cameras were used to identify and
prevent women from entering through the gates.
tight control by the State Security Force, a brave girl was able to enter the
stadium with a boyish make-up to watch her favorite team in person.
Iranian regime bans women from entering stadiums to watch sports competitions.
The authorities have repeatedly stressed the ban on women entering sports
the ban preventing women from entering sports stadiums in Iran, Makarem Shirazi
said, "This plan was also put forward in the previous government, but both
the leadership and the authorities opposed it, and unfortunately despite having
knowledge of this issue, some are still seeking approval of the directive.
Mentioning this issue again will be a deviation from our path." (The
state-run ISNA news agency – November 28, 2017)
Nouri Hamedani also tried to justify the ban on women’s presence in sports
stadiums saying, “It is not permissible for men and women to be present in the
same sports event because women cannot properly hold on to their veil.” (The
state-run Razavi news agency – November 29, 2017)
May, several women who tried to enter a stadium in Khorramshahr with male
outfits and make-up, were identified and arrested. (The state-run Aftab website
- May 3, 2018)
the same month, during victory celebrations of Qaem Shahr’s textile team, a
woman who tried to go to the top of a power post to look into the stadium, was
abusively insulted and attacked by government officials.
leading Muslim organisation has launched a scheme to train women for leadership
positions in mosques and community bodies.
women have embarked on the six-month intensive programme run by the Muslim
Council of Britain, aimed at equipping them for leadership positions. As well
as one-to-one mentoring, the women will visit “best-practice mosques” and be
given media and public speaking training.
national conference in Manchester this weekend on the future of mosques,
organised by the MCB, will include a session on the participation of women on
boards of trustees and other bodies running places of worship and community
mosques in the UK have women on their trustee or management boards, and men
outnumber women on all charity trustee boards by two to one, according to the
MCB said: “This lack of diversity is unacceptable and it is essential for the
management boards of mosques and third sector organisations in general to
reflect the communities that they serve in order to function effectively.”
initiative comes as some Muslim women are demanding equal access to and greater
involvement in running mosques. More than a quarter of mosques in the UK have
no facilities for women, and in the remainder access is often restricted and
the space they are allocated is limited.
August, Scottish Muslim women launched a campaign for equal prayer space and
inclusion in decision-making bodies.
Scottish Mosques for All campaign said: “It is unfortunate that many mosques
fail to provide basic access for Muslim women to use the facility to pray, or
the quality of the space can often be inadequate and not suitable.
is also unfortunate that many mosques have limited or no women present at
mosque trustee or managerial level, either intentionally preventing women from
taking up these roles or not sufficiently providing a welcoming atmosphere
where women feel comfortable to get involved. The place and role of women in
mosques is in real crisis in the UK and elsewhere, and this status quo must
organisation, Open My Mosque, is calling for a commitment from mosques to
equality, and the Bradford-based Muslim Women’s Council is raising funds for a
mosque led and governed by women, “based on the principles of openness,
inclusivity, social justice and sanctuary”.
Razzaq, a former trustee of Al Manaar mosque in west London, who is running the
MCB’s women in mosques development programme, said: “Muslim women are doing
amazing work in the community, but often have no experience of being trustees
or on decision-making bodies. We need to have big conversations around the
barriers to women. Most are cultural; in Islam, men and women have equal
can see the direction things are moving in. Women are feeling more empowered –
their voices cannot be ignored, the momentum is definitely there. Young women
in particular are hungry for change. If men won’t welcome them, women will be
tempted to create their own spaces.”
mosques should “reflect the values of equality, inclusivity and diversity”, she
Hussein, who is taking part in the programme, said it was helping her build her
confidence and “believe in myself a bit more”. “A lot of mosque committees
don’t understand what women want or need. But I think they know times are
changing, and they have to change too,” she said.
a speech on International Women’s Day in March, Harun Khan, the MCB’s secretary
general, backed calls for gender equality. It was “time to ensure that everyone
understands their own responsibility in achieving equal access and
opportunities for men and women in British society today”, he said.
to domestic violence, pay inequality, abuse and harassment, he said: “Closer to
home, why is Muslim civil society still full of many mosques that only have
prayer spaces for men and none for women, as if to imply that prayer and a
sense of community is only for men?”
marginalisation of women in mosques was “simply unacceptable”, Khan added.
women actively participated in the recent protests of various sectors of
society in the cities of Tehran, Karaj, Rasht and Bam. The employees of Khomeini
Hospital in Karaj stopped working from September 29 to October 3, 2018, for
five consecutive days, in protest to the nonpayment of 11 months of their
salaries. Women actively participated in this protest. They chanted,
"Karaj does not need a shopping mall, it needs a medical center."
women who work in the hospital, including nurses, doctors, and the rest of the
staff, have repeatedly protested against their undetermined situation.
Previously, on July 23 and 24, 2018, the employees of the Khomeini Hospital in
Karaj held a sit-in for two days at the emergency department of the hospital in
protest to the nonpayment of their salaries.
group of women and men defrauded by the IRGC-backed Caspian Credit Institute in
Mashhad, gathered outside the company’s branch on Vakilabad Ave. on Wednesday,
October 3, 2018, demanding a response from officials to their inquiries.
Sunday, September 30, 2018, clients plundered by the Caspian Credit Institute
held a protest gathering outside the mullahs’ parliament in Tehran. Women
actively participated in this protest. They chanted, “The government is not
Muslim, they should return our money.”
the same day, the applicants for the Adineh Residential Housing Complex in
Rasht held a protest against the 8-year delay in the assignment of the complex
units. They protested against the plunder of their advance payments for these
units by the city’s Friday prayer leader.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018, Ph.D. students held a protest gathering outside the
Ministry of Sciences, Research and Technology in Tehran, inquiring about their
demands for student-rate foreign currency. Women actively participated in this
of the University of Tehran held a protest on Wednesday, September 26, 2018.
Young women actively participated in this protest against university’s
demanding tuitions for compensation courses. One student said the university
wants to compensate for its lack of funding in this way, and we are protesting
students held up banners that read, “Brain drain from Iran is a result of
ungratefulness and disrespect,” “No to forced payments.”
on Tuesday, September 23, 2018, women actively participated in a protest by a
number of workers in the Sepehr Cooperative Company in Bam. These workers were
victims of devastating Bam earthquake in 2012.
She was a 22-year-old former beauty queen, fashion model and social media star,
whose daring outfits revealed tattoos on her arms and shoulder.
Fares won fame and 2.8 million Instagram followers in conservative,
Muslim-majority Iraq with outspoken opinions on personal freedom, such as: “I’m
not doing anything in the dark like many others; everything I do is in the
was also the way she died.
week, she was shot and killed at the wheel of her white Porsche on a busy
Baghdad street during the day, apparently by a man who leaned in briefly and
opened fire before speeding away on a motorcycle with an accomplice. The
killing, caught on security camera video, followed the slaying of a female
activist in the southern city of Basra and the mysterious deaths of two
well-known beauty experts.
violence has shocked Iraq, raising fears of a return to the kind of attacks on
prominent figures that plagued the country at the height of its sectarian
harrowing crimes are worrying us,” said Iraqi human rights activist Hana Adwar.
are groups that want to terrify society through the killing of popular women
and activists ... and to tell other women to abandon their work and stay at
is not clear whether the deaths of the women are connected, and reports that
they knew each other could not be confirmed.
with an Iraqi father and a Lebanese mother, first became famous in 2015 when
she won an unofficial Baghdad beauty pageant organized by a social club. A
YouTube channel drew more than 120,000 followers in addition to those on
Instagram, where she shared makeup tips.
gave details of a brief marriage at 16 to an abusive husband who posted
intimate photos of her on social media and took away their now three-year-old
son. Fares said the experience taught her “strength ... and how not to let
anyone control me in anything.”
many young Iraqis shared her videos and pictures, others criticized her
lifestyle as racy and un-Islamic. She lived in Iraq’s self-ruled Kurdish region
with her family, visiting Baghdad from time to time.
after she was gunned down on Sept. 27, a video on social media showed her body
being carried away by a group of young people, with her face and white shirt
stained with blood. She was buried in Najaf, her grave decorated with a
black-and-white photo of her, along with red plastic flowers.
August, Dr. Rafeef Al-Yassiri, a plastic surgeon labeled “Iraq’s Barbie,” died
under mysterious circumstances. Authorities initially called it a drug overdose
but have not offered an update in over a month, leading to rumors she might
have been poisoned.
week after her death, Rasha Al-Hassan, the owner of a well-known beauty center
in Baghdad, was found dead in her home. Authorities initially said she suffered
a heart attack.
Sept. 25, a gunman killed Soad Al-Ali, a prominent activist in the southern
city of Basra. Al-Ali had organized protests demanding better services and jobs
and decried the growing influence of Iran-backed Shiite militias in the area.
Police said the killing was “purely personal” and had nothing to do with the
weekend, another former beauty queen, Shaimaa Qassim, posted a video on
Instagram in which she tearfully said she had received threats through social
Minister Haider Abadi has ordered an investigation into what he called
“well-planned kidnappings and killings.” He said organized groups are “carrying
out a plan to destabilize the security situation under the pretext of fighting
agencies have not yet commented on the investigation into Fares’ death and no
group has claimed responsibility.
once boasted a liberal society and progressive laws for women and the family,
going back to the 1950s. Those gains were eroded after the 2003 US-led invasion,
which toppled Saddam Hussein and led to the emergence of powerful religious
parties and a rise in extremism.
on some streets, particularly near shrines, exhort women to cover their hair
and wear an abaya — a long, black cloak that covers the body from shoulders to
the killing of Tara Fares, I feel speechless,” columnist Mohammed Ghazi
Al-Akhras wrote on his Facebook page. “We’ve reached the moment of total
anarchy. They will kill everyone they don’t like... The state of death is taking
The Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notices
to provincial ombudsman on protection against harassment of women at workplace,
Sindh IGP, DIG of Shaheed Benazirabad, vice-chancellor of Shaheed Benazir
Bhutto University (SBBU) and a lecturer, directing them to appear in court on
notices were issued on a constitutional petition filed by Farzana Jamali, a
student in English department at SBBU, her father Aijaz Ali and brother, Zohaib
Ahmed through Ali Palh advocate.
petitioners said that Ms Farzana was harassed allegedly by the lecturer, head
of the English department, and she reported it to DIG. Many other students had
also suffered harassment from the lecturer but they did not report it for fear
of further victimisation and bad impact on academic career, they said.
said that Ms Jamali was forced to have a relationship with the lecturer and was
told that she would be awarded highest marks in examination in lieu of the
‘relationship’. She was asked to share her cell phone number which she
declined. Later, she was blackmailed by the lecturer and when she reported it
to the vice chancellor he grabbed her by the hand and told her that she “would
have a bright future”, they said.
said the incident happened in the VC’s office which left her dumbstruck. She
immediately informed her parents about it but the lecturer and the VC were
greatly annoyed when she went public with her ordeal. They lodged a fake FIR
against her father and had him arrested, they said.
said that she then reported the matter to provincial ombudsman for protection
of women against harassment at workplace. SHO of Khadar police station was not
at first ready to lodge the FIR but had to register it later when the issue was
highlighted in media, they said.
said that they were being threatened by the lecturer and VC while Ms Jamali’s
brother Zohaib Jamali was booked in a case at B-section police station after he
suffered injuries in a cracker explosion on Sept 28.
said that Ms Jamali was unable to appear in examination as the private
respondents who were still holding their positions were threatening her of dire
consequences. The controller of examinations of SBBU should be directed to
facilitate Ms Jamali so that she could appear in examination in a conducive
environment at any place other than the university, they said.
petitioners requested the court to direct the provincial ombudsman for the
protection of women against harassment at workplace, Sindh IGP and DIG of
Shaheed Benazirabad to ensure protection to the petitioners and restrain SHOs
of police stations of Airport, B-section, Shaheed Benazirabad taluka and Khadar
from registering any FIR against her, her father and brother without making
enquiry and seeking permission from DIG and SSP.
A policeman was on Wednesday arrested for firing a bullet from his house that
hit and killed a seven-year-old girl in her school in the Saeedabad area a
couple of days ago.
Sept 28, the minor girl, Aqsa, was playing along with other girls inside a
private school when a stray bullet fired from an unknown location hit her in
the shoulder. She was initially taken to Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi
and later moved to the National Institute of Child Health, where she died on
police registered a murder case against unknown persons on the complaint of the
girl’s father and initiated a probe.
the probe, it transpired that the bullet was fired from a house close to the
police have arrested Constable Waseem Saiful Maluk,” said Saeedabad SHO Arz
said that the held policeman was posted at the Ittehad Town police station. “He
lives near the private school and told investigators that he was cleaning his
licensed pistol inside his home when it accidentally went off.”
police chief Dr Ameer Ahmed Sheikh had taken it as a test case as he had
directed all stakeholders to determine as to why incidents involving stray
bullets had become rampant.
shot dead in ‘encounter’
suspected criminal was shot dead while another arrested in an injured condition
in North Nazimabad area late on Tuesday night.
Hyderi Market police said that two suspects snatched a motorbike at gunpoint
from a citizen within the remit of the Samnabad police station.
they reached the KDA Chowrangi near Saifee Hospital, the Hyderi Market police
intercepted them and in an ensuing encounter, one suspect was killed while
another was arrested in a wounded condition, said SSP Central Irfan Baloch.
snatched motorcycle, seven mobile phones, two TT pistols and eight rounds were
recovered from their custody, said area SHO Arshad Janjua.
wounded suspect was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where
doctors said his condition was critical.
body of the deceased was moved to the Edhi morgue for want of identification.
area SHO said that the police were trying to ascertain the identity of both the
AM SEE, Austria: With its pristine waters, snow-covered mountains and
breathtaking Alpine views, the Austrian lakeside town of Zell am See is one of
the top European destinations for visitors from the Gulf region.
it aims to remain so, even though Austria introduced a ban on face-covering burqa
or niqab veils a year ago.
picturesque little town south of Salzburg with a population of 10,000 is
regularly described as “paradise” in Arabic-language reviews online. It draws
tens of thousands of visitors from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or
Oman every year.
make up more than a quarter of all annual visitors and holiday brochures are
readily available in Arabic.
when Austria banned the wearing of burqas or niqabs in all public spaces in
October 2017 — under pain of fines of up to €150 ($170) — the town’s
authorities knew that enforcing the rule could be a delicate matter.
aim of the ban, according to the government, is to further integration among
Austrian Muslims at a time when fears about immigration and radical Islamists are
sharply dividing society.
in resorts such as Zell am See, police are having to enforce it against
tourists, fueling fears that the high-spending Arab guests, and the valuable
revenue they represent, might be scared off.
heard some people say they don’t want to come back now,” said one restaurant
worker who asked not to be named, even if he said hadn’t particularly noticed a
drop in business this year.
police chief Kurt Moeschl said more than 200 fines had been handed out between
June and September alone. But his officers were always at pains to remain
have been trying to implement the law with as much tact and sense of proportion
as possible,” he said.
embassies and missions abroad had been working to raise awareness of the new
law, Moeschl said. And the police chief himself had hosted the Saudi ambassador
in Zell am See to discuss the issue.
estimated that in around 90 percent of cases, the women had agreed to remove
their veil after police officers explained the new law to them.
along the lakeside, one couple from Saudi Arabia — who did not wish to be named
— said they had been approached by police during their stay.
the police did talk to us about the niqab law. But we are leaving tomorrow,”
the husband said, as his wife, still wearing the veil, stood beside him.
little farther along the shore, Barbara Scheicher, who operates a boat-rental
business, said the law had not had a noticeable impact.
haven’t noticed any difference, either in the number [of people] coming, or in
how many of them are veiled,” she said.
asked one woman whether she knew it was illegal, but she reacted so badly that
since then I haven’t. I’ve seen the same reaction when the police have tried to
tell people,” Scheicher said.
chief Moeschl said his officers had also encountered locals and even other
holidaymakers who insisted that women’s veils be forcibly removed.
Norwegian tourist, for example, went so far as to send the police photos of
niqab-wearing women at various locations around the town, complete with the
times they were taken, and the message: “Do your job.”
insisted that most interactions passed off without incident and that his
officers followed interior ministry guidelines.
he is optimistic that, over time, the situation will become easier.
expect that in a few years from now, this won’t be an issue.”
Nearly 100 days after women began to drive in Saudi Arabia, Arab News asked new
motorists in major cities of the Kingdom for their experiences since the
historic lifting of the ban.
first women to drive in Saudi Arabia have spoken of their relief at being able
to be self-reliant. They were full of praise for the way in which the ban was
lifted, singling out new traffic laws for creating a safe environment. They
referenced the anti-harassment law that accompanied the lifting of the ban,
crediting it with creating a safe atmosphere for the wave of new women drivers.
women are driving themselves to work, transporting their families around cities
— and discovering roads in the main cities of the Kingdom are full of courteous
male drivers. One even spoke of the humility of male drivers.
all the experiences were immediately positive. One woman reported a man who
tried to crash into her vehicle to the traffic police who quickly arrested him.
But even this experience gave her confidence that she would be able to drive
male driver has irritated me on the road. They are all cooperative and
supportive,” said one.
Sharifa Al-Rajhi, a professor of statistics at King Abdul Aziz University in
Jeddah, has no hesitation in describing what the move means — for her, driving
had some social obstacles that have long prevented women from driving, despite
the fact that Saudi women have achieved great jobs on all levels. To me,
driving means that you feel independent,” she said.
began learning to drive in California when she was studying for her higher
education programs. Returning to Saudi Arabia, she was “shocked” as she had to
have a driver to take her everywhere.
had to take my driver’s wishes into consideration otherwise he would refuse to
work. He got angry many times and asked to leave. I even beseeched a driver to
stay as I needed his services. I have never begged a person like that,”
Al-Rajhi said. It was a struggle for her to learn to drive, as her ex tried to
give her lessons but it was not a success.
do not recommend a woman asks her husband, brother or even relative to teach
her how to drive. A relative would easily get stressed over your mistakes, and
this will have a negative impact on the trainee. She should seek the assistance
of a professional instructor,” she said.
frustration, she joined a driving school and started lessons with a male
instructor in his sixties. “He kept encouraging me until he succeeded... (he
managed) to break down my fear in just two hours,” she added.
was then aged 26 she said that she mastered the basics of driving in a further
most important thing is to overcome fear, and everything else will go smoothly.
I did not pass the test the first time due to being a bit reckless, but I made
it at the second attempt,” she said.
expressed gratitude for the royal decree allowing women to drive in Saudi
Arabia and noted that the anti-harassment law that accompanied the lifting of
the ban meant there was a good atmosphere for women drivers.
speaking, no male driver has so far irritated or annoyed me on the road. They
are all cooperative and supportive. I remember a security man at a checkpoint
in the north of Jeddah stopped me and asked for the license and the vehicle’s
registration card. I showed them to him. He smiled and said: ‘You are a
heroine. You can now go,’” she added.
Al-Dosari, from Dammam, described the day the ban was lifted. “On the morning
of Sunday, June 24, I drove to work and back home. For the first time in my
life, I did all my work myself without being harassed or annoyed,” she said.
was surprised by what she found — all the male drivers she passed were helpful
new traffic laws have contributed to making our first driving experience in our
country not only safe but also enjoyable. With these regulations, men drivers
have obviously become more attentive, cautious and have shown humble driving
behavior,” she said.
added that the decision to lift the ban on women driving came at the right
time, paving the way for women to drive in a secure atmosphere. “I extend my
thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince for making
Saudi women’s dreams come true.”
driver, based in the eastern region, said her father had insisted she join a
driving school to learn to drive.
was sent to California in 2012. When I arrived there, my father insisted that I
enroll in a car-driving course. I completed the training hours and succeeded in
the first test,” said Dai Al-Eidi, a US university business administration and
marketing graduate. She got her license in 2012 and had five years’ driving
experience abroad. She learned of the lifting of the ban before returning to
was delighted with the news when I was abroad. I returned to Saudi Arabia and
was offered several jobs. I got a job as a driving instructor,” she said.
taking up the job, she was asked why she wanted to become an instructor. “My
answer was because driving a car in my country has always been a dream that has
recently been made a reality.”
added that she is very proud of the extraordinary support Saudi women are being
offered in all fields. She also expressed her gratitude for the leadership for
its trust and support.
women are all enthusiastic to make our precious country the best,” she added.
Ghadeer Tayseer Al-Senan, another female driver from the Eastern Province,
spoke of the relief at being able to drive your own car when you want, anywhere
you want, without having to worry about how you will get there.
King Salman granted women the right to drive, it was an indescribable moment
for us as Saudi women because finally a woman can rely on herself to secure her
needs,” Al-Senan said. She added that she started driving eight years ago when
she was living in the US, where she had her own car.
was independent for my rides when I was in the States, and I now know how it
feels to have your own car to travel around and do your own rides. My father
used to give me lifts, but he got tired of it after many years,” she said.
has also noticed that male drivers show great respect to female drivers. “The
decision is new and it was welcomed by men and women alike. This is quite clear
from the female motorists’ joyfulness and the men’s respectful driving
behaviors,” she said.
Alkhobar driver Reham Al-Shamrani, there was some trepidation at first.
was certainly some hesitation and fear and I was wondering if the Saudi street
would accept seeing a girl driving. Some eight hours after the decision became
effective I picked my sister’s children up on a ride to the nearby supermarket
to buy them ice cream,” she recalled.
said a male driver next to her at a traffic signal looked at her in awe. “Even
when the green arrow of the traffic light appeared, he kept stopping where he
was for a while. It was an experience I will never forget.” she added.
Sarah Al-Sakran, from Riyadh, said at the beginning she found it strange,
especially as she was one of the first female drivers to get behind the wheel.
was awkward on the street. I had difficulties, so I got annoyed first, but
things went well later. No annoyance, no harassment,” she said.
Amnesty International have responded to reports that a 24-year-old Kurdish
woman was executed on Wednesday morning in Urumieh central prison in the
country’s West Azerbaijan province, calling it “sickening.”
Sekaanvand was sentenced to death under ‘qesas’ (retribution in kind) in
October 2014 after a trial before a criminal court in West Azerbaijan province,
which convicted her of the murder of her husband. Amnesty International said
the trial was “grossly unfair.”
was arrested in February 2012 at a police station where she confessed to the
murder of her husband. She was held in the police station for the next 20 days
where she said she was tortured by male police officers through beatings all
over her body.
confessed that she stabbed her husband after he had subjected her to months of
physical and verbal abuse and had refused her requests for divorce. She was
only provided with a state-appointed lawyer at her final trial session, at
which point she retracted her confession, telling the judge that her husband’s
brother, whom she said had raped her several times, had committed the murder.
She said that the judge told her that, if she accepted responsibility, he would
Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle
East and North Africa, said in a statement: “The execution of Sekaanvand is a
sickening demonstration of the Iranian authorities’ disregard for the
principles of juvenile justice and international human rights law. Zeinab was
just 17 years old at the time of her arrest. Her execution is profoundly unjust
and shows the Iranian authorities’ contempt for the right of children to life.
The fact that her death sentence followed a grossly unfair trial makes her
execution even more outrageous.
said that, soon after she was married at 15, she sought help many times from
the authorities about her violent husband and alleged that her brother-in-law
had raped her repeatedly. Instead of investigating these allegations, however,
the authorities consistently ignored her and failed to provide her with any
support as a victim of domestic and sexual violence.
the murder of her husband, Zeinab Sekaanvand said she was interrogated under
torture by male police officers without a lawyer present. During her final
trial session, where she was allowed a lawyer for the first time, she retracted
her earlier ‘confession’ that she had murdered her husband, saying that she had
been coerced to make it. Despite this, the judge refused to order a further
investigation and instead sentenced her to death.
appears the Iranian authorities are increasingly scheduling the execution of
people who were children at the time of the crime at very short notice to
minimize the possibility of effective public and private interventions. We are
horrified by their continuous use of the death penalty against people who were
under the age of 18 at the time of the crime, which is a violation of
international human rights law. This is the fifth execution of a juvenile
offender that we have recorded this year and we fear that it will not be the
last unless urgent action is taken by the international community.
continue to urge the Iranian authorities to immediately establish an official
moratorium on executions, commute all death sentences with a view to abolishing
the death penalty, and prohibit the use of the death penalty against people below
the age of 18 at the time of the crime.”
International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception
regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or
the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.
ANGELES — Settlement terms have been reached in a federal lawsuit filed against
the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in May after deputies removed a Muslim
woman’s head scarf while she was in custody.
County and the Sheriff’s Office reached a $75,000 settlement with Jennifer
Hyatt, the Sheriff’s Office announced this week. The settlement also includes a
new policy in the written manual for the Sheriff’s Office that accommodates
religious head coverings.
settlement, which is pending signatures from all parties, was reached in order
“to save taxpayers the expense of further litigation, including exposure to
attorneys’ fees,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
County and Sheriff’s Office believe this settlement reflects a fair outcome for
both sides and is a good result for the citizens of Ventura County,”
authorities said in a statement.
a 44-year-old registered nurse from Newbury Park, previously stated that a
deputy snatched her hijab head covering and refused to give it back or provide
her an alternate form of cover when she was detained for several hours on New
Year’s Day in 2017.
the Islamic faith, some observant women follow an interpretation of the Quran
that requires them to cover their heads and much of their bodies for the sake
of modesty and dignity.
Hyatt protested that she could not be in the presence of men without her hijab
because she is a practicing Muslim, a deputy replied, “Not in here, you’re
not,” according to the suit.
was spoken to like I was trash and deserved everything that was happening to me
while in custody,” Hyatt said in a statement issued in May by the Council on
American-Islamic Relations. “My hijab was yanked off my head in front of many
men despite my continued requests to wear it. I felt naked and humiliated the
entire duration of my custody.”
in the release announcing the settlement, the Sheriff’s Office disputed Hyatt’s
characterization of her treatment.
and audio footage from the jail’s camera system show that her hijab was not
‘violently yanked’ from her head and she was not treated poorly or
intentionally shamed by deputies due to her religious beliefs,” authorities
Sheriff’s Office acknowledged that because the hijab was for religious
purposes, Hyatt should have been offered an accommodation, “such as an
alternative form of head covering.”
Hyatt’s detention, and before she filed her lawsuit, the Sheriff’s Office made
paper hijabs available in the jail to improve existing policies and practices
regarding religious accommodations, according to the agency.
Rifahie, an attorney with CAIR in Los Angeles, said Hyatt was arrested after a
dispute with her husband in Thousand Oaks.
off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy noticed the two arguing and
separated them before calling local authorities, Rifahie said. But when Ventura
County deputies arrived, they ignored Hyatt’s complaints of injuries and
arrested her on suspicion of domestic battery, according to Rifahie.
are pleased that we hopefully have been able to come to a resolution that not
only benefits our client, but would provide protection for other Muslims
detained in Ventura County,” Rifahie said in a statement. “This policy change
made in Ventura County joins others throughout Southern California
municipalities that have adopted policies protecting the right to wear
religious head coverings while in custody.”
a gruesome video posted on social media, two ISIS fighters, their faces
covered, prepare to shoot a 25-year-old woman in the back of the head as she
kneels in front of them. The camera pans away to a blank wall as the shots are
heard, a few seconds after one of the men ends his speech.
the campaign against our brothers in the region of Al Safa doesn’t end, and our
Muslim brothers are not freed from prison in the next three days”, he shouts,
then the rest of the hostages will know “the same fate as this apostate Druze
Abu Ammar was captured on July 25, along with 29 other people from her village
in the predominantly Druze region of Sweida in Southern Syria. Nearly 250
people died during the attacks led by ISIS that day.
October 1 execution follows the beheading of the only male member of the group
in early August. Muhannad Toukan Abu Ammar, a 19-year-old engineering student,
had been captured with his mother. Like many other religious minorities, the
Druze, an ancient offshoot of Islam, are vilified by ISIS.
past few weeks, the Syrian army has launched a major offensive against the
extremist group in the region, particularly around the volcanic and barren area
of Al Safa, east of Sweida. But the hostages are believed to be held in the
town of Hajin, one of ISIS’ last pockets near the Iraqi border, Nour Radwan,
the head of local news website Sweida 24, told The National.
of Tharwat’s body, covered in blood, have widely circulated on social media,
angering locals in Sweida, who are still reeling from the shock of the July
attacks. Yesterday, people took to the streets, firing live bullets in the air.
the same day, a committee headed by religious Druze figures that had been set
up to negotiate the hostages’ releases resigned, apologising for having failed
in its mission. In a press release, it accused the “terrorists” of not making
their demands clear.
committee resigned one hour before the video of the (latest) execution was sent
out in order to avoid taking responsibility”, argued Mr Radwan.
continued voicing their anger on Wednesday, fearing that ISIS will follow up on
its pledge of executing the rest its captives in the next few days. Sweida 24
published a video showing a woman screaming in front of the Sweida
governorate’s building as protesters blocked its entrance.
is great tension in the streets”, local resident, Kinan Al Yassin, wrote in an
email to The National. “Small groups of people are blocking roads”.
climate of distrust and fear has been enhanced by the recent release of Bedouin
women captured by local militias as a “gesture of good will”, adds Mr Al
Yassin. Their husbands were suspected of collaborating with ISIS. However, Mr
Radwan argues the Bedouin women were “innocent”.
think that the Druze community is being punished for staying neutral in the
Syrian conflict and not sending its young men to the army. Military
conscription is obligatory for all Syrian men between the age of 18 and 42
across the country.
a detailed report published early September, The Daily Beast quoted a Druze
leader as saying: “We think there is complicity between Daesh and the regime”
in Damascus, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
activists believe what is happening in Sweida has been orchestrated to force
young people to serve in the army”, Mr Radwan said. “But there is no proof of
this on the ground”.
fate of the remaining women and children in captivity looks grim.
don’t think Daesh is interested in negotiating”, said Mr Al Yassin. “They just
want to create dissent between the Druze and the Bedouins in order to embarrass
the Russians”, who are allied with the Syrian regime and are negotiating to
release the hostages.
5 marks the World Teachers’ Day to honor the services of teachers whose efforts
bear the greatest impact on the spirit and thoughts of future generations. In
Iran, the situation is just the opposite. Teachers live under the poverty line
and they do not receive any form of support.
make up more than half of the teachers’ population in Iran. They live on
salaries which are way below the poverty line and at the same time face
numerous social and legal discriminations because of their gender. Despite
tremendous work pressure, they do not receive a fair salary.
activist teacher just recently pointed out, “Every year, the budget ratified for
education only suffices to pay for basic expenses and the teachers’ salaries,
which are already half the poverty line.” (Mojgan Bagheri, the state-run
salamatnews.com, September 26, 2018)
member of parliament revealed, “The Literacy Movement’s educators
systematically do not receive their wages for several months while being
deprived of job security. The livelihood of teachers hired by the Education
Ministry is also far from decent. Teachers are struggling to earn their living
and at the same time fulfill their professional obligations… In a good
educational system, teachers must enjoy the most value and importance… However,
this has not happened for Iranian teachers and they face a plethora of
problems, particularly economic problems.” (Seyed Mohammad Javad Abtahi, member
of the Education and Research Committee of the mullahs’ parliament, the
state-run salamatnews.com, September 26, 2018)
officially and permanently employed by the Ministry of Education earn 1.4
million toumans per month ($140) while the poverty line stands at 5 million
toumans ($500). This is less than one-third of what they need to subsist. The
majority of teachers, however, work on temporary contracts.
monthly salary of contract teachers is between 300-450,000 toumans ($30-45)
which is way below the minimum wage of 930,000 toumans ($93), which is itself
less than one-fifth of the poverty line. They do not enjoy any benefits,
it frequently happens that teachers do not receive any salary for months.
teachers fill in for the shortage of teachers at schools. The Ministry of
Education has for years prevented leakage of any information on the number of
contract teachers and their gender. In light of the numerous legal obstacles
women face in employment in Iran, given that the majority of Iranian women are
engaged in jobs in the private and unofficial sectors, and by analyzing the
combination of participants in the protests, it could be concluded that women
comprise a large portion of contract teachers.
take further advantage of women, the Iranian regime does not retire women who
have more than 25 years of work experience. (The state-run Afkar news, May 2,
most teachers working two or three shifts a day to provide for the needs of
their families, they are so preoccupied that obviously have not much energy to
concentrate on the education of children.
Teachers Association has called for numerous nationwide protests over the past
three years, to voice their demands and general needs of teachers. Most
recently, the association launched a campaign where teachers tore up their pay
teachers’ nationwide protest on May 10, 2017, held in 32 cities, was just an
example of teachers’ widespread dismay at low salaries, difficult living conditions,
lack of insurance and other job benefits, as well as the non-payment of past
their due wages for consecutive months.
Tehran, the teachers’ protests met with security forces’ violence where teacher
activists were arrested. Six of the teachers including Ms. Aliyeh Eghdam-Doost
were arrested outside the Budget and Planning Organization’s building and
subsequently condemned on September 15, 2018, to nine months of jail and 74
lashes for “disrupting public order through participation in illegal gatherings”
and “defying on-duty officers.” This while the teachers’ protest was to demand
increase of their salaries which are under the poverty line.
of violence against peaceful gatherings of teachers was so disgraceful that it
aroused criticism in the mullahs’ parliament and received widespread press
great risks and intimidations, women have always been at the forefront of
teachers’ protests to demand and gain their rights.
Fatemeh Saeedi, MP from Tehran, told an open session of Majlis on Sunday, May
13, “The peaceful gathering of teachers in protest to their horrible living
condition turned violent because of aberrant intervention in disregard for
Article 27 of the Constitution, and a group of protesters were arrested. During
the events in December and January where various strata of people played a role
in them, it was emphasized that the people's complaints must be listened to.
Today, as a teacher, I would like to use this podium so that the voice of
teachers is heard… Is it wise to beat and arrest a teacher who is only
demanding improvement of their living conditions and the quality of education?”
(The state-run SalamatNews.com - May 13, 2018)
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