Mohammed Alqunun is said to have boarded a plane Friday in Bangkok en route to
Canada, where she has been granted asylum.
LALIT / AP
Grants Asylum to Saudi Girl Who Fled Abuse, Oppression
Woman Takes 32 Years to Create This Quran
Safari, a Islam Convert Teaches Women Self Defence
Has Highest Percentage of Child Marriages: WHO
One Woman Hopes To Revive the Literature Scene in Iraq
Public Prosecutor Shot Dead In Hafizabad, Pakistan
Judge For Out Of Court Settlement on Hijab
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Chief Speaks Against Girls' Education
chief Shah Ahmad Shafi has asked the parents not to send their daughters to
Hefazat Ameer also took oath from the participants of a Chattogram Mahfil
(religious gathering) not to educate their girls up above fourth or fifth grade
was speaking in an annual Mahfil of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Muinul Islam
Madrasa of Hathazari where he is the director general.
send your girls to schools-colleges. You can educate them up to fourth or fifth
grade so that they can calculate the money and send letter to their husband.”
said Hefazat chief.
then urged the participants to take the vow saying, “If you educate them up to
eight, ninth or tenth grade, to MA or BA, they would no more remain yours.
Somebody else would take them away. Don’t you see incidents like this on
2013, the Hefazat chief sparked controversies by comparing the girls with
grants asylum to Saudi girl who fled abuse, oppression
Canadian government has granted asylum to an 18-year-old Saudi girl who feared
death from her family if she were deported to the Arab country from Thailand.
girl had barricaded herself in a Bangkok hotel room after escaping what she
called abuse and oppression by family members.
has boarded a plane to Seoul in Bangkok and was expected to fly to Canada from
there, Thai immigration police told The Associated Press on Friday.
UNHCR has made a request of Canada that we accept Ms. Alqunun as a refugee, and
we have accepted the UN's request that we grant her asylum," Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Friday, referring to the office of the
UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
she arrived in Bangkok, Thai agents stopped Alqunun at the airport and seized
her passport. She hid in a transit lounge hotel room and began tweeting in
Arabic about her plight.
the girl who ran away to Thailand. I'm now in real danger because the Saudi
embassy is trying to force me to return," she wrote in her first tweet.
said she suffered physical abuse at the hands of family members and alleged
they had tried to marry her off against her will. Alqunun's family so far
hasn't commented publicly on the accusations.
tweets attracted the attention of the UN, the Australian government and
reporters. The UNHCR granted her refugee status, and Australia's Department of
Home Affairs told NPR that Australia would "consider this referral [for
refugee resettlement] in the usual way, as it does with all UNHCR
had said it was considering whether to offer her asylum, but a UNHCR spokesman
hinted in an email to NPR that Ottawa moved more quickly.
woman from Pakistan, Naseem Akhtar, has produced a creative Quran. The
religious text of Islam was written by Akhtar using needles and threads.
hails from Gujarat in Pakistan. She was 30 years old when when she took up the
production of this novel Quran. She completed the Quran in January, 2019. It
took her 32 years to make this magnificent copy of Quran.
Akhtar, for the first 15 years, spent her days writing the Quran on pieces of
White Irish fabric by hand. Another 17 years were then spent to create these
words using needles and black thread.
300 metres of cloth and close to 25,000 metres of thread were used to create
the Quran. The compilation consists of 10 bindings; each contains three
paragraphs of Quran.
10 bindings weigh 55 kilograms. The Quran created by Naseem Akhtar using
needles and thread is put out for display at The Holy Quran Exhibition in
Medina, Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: KSA).
Safari, a Islam convert teaches women self defence
In a society increasingly concerned by Islamophobic hate crimes and terrorism,
hijab-wearing mum-of-four aims to empower Muslim and non-Muslim women by
training them in self-defence.
Safari, from Milton Keynes converted to Islam in 2009 at the age of 27. She
gave up her job as a graphic designer to get a black belt in Muay Thai and
ended up marrying her instructor, a former world champion cage fighter.
to MailOnline, she said to have a ‘stereo-typically negative view’ about Islam.
However, years later, she got a copy of Holy Quran from one of her friend and
said, ‘that was when everything started to piece together perfectly’.
is a lot of negative stuff in the media about Islam and women – there is this
idea that Muslim women are oppressed. But a lot of that comes from the culture
of countries where the majority of people are Muslim – not Islam itself.”
now 36-year-old has gone into business with her husband and the couple decided
to teach separate classes for men and women.
were teaching in mixed classes and I didn’t feel comfortable with that anymore
and I had made the decision to wear hijab and I didn’t want to train wearing
it, I wanted to be able to remove it and train as I was before. So we set up
mens only and womens only classes which was a huge risk because he had a lot of
high profile clients which were women… but we did it, we went into it with full
passion and it was successful from the first course that we launched,” reported
of men and women only leads to integrating Muslim women more with non-Muslim
not segregating anything, I’m uniting and I’m integrating women into society
and non-Muslim women and women from all different faiths and backgrounds are
learning about each other… for me, when I was at university, I would never have
made friends with a woman who wore hijab because I thought she would be very
different to who I was and now women are learning, we’re all the same.”
says that the self-defence gives women strength in all aspects of their lives.
now become something bigger than I ever thought it would be because of what the
women get out of it that train with us. When women come and they say this
training saved me, this training was therapy for me, this training has got me
through some of my hardest times, it’s my responsibility now to spread that as
much as I can and to give more women the opportunity to have that in their
Health Organisation recently published a study stating that “more than 140
million underage girls are likely to get married between the years 2011-2020”.
report titled “Demographics of child marriages in Pakistan” also stated that
“in Sindh, the percentage of child marriage remained high with 72 per cent
girls and 25 per cent boys becoming victims to this menace, however, the
highest number of girl child marriages were recorded in the tribal areas where
99 per cent of the girls are married under this unlawful traditional practice”.
further added that child marriage is still a serious issue in Pakistan as 21
per cent of the girls are getting married before the age of 18, especially in
formal marriage or informal marriage occurs before the age of 18 throughout the
world,” the report said, adding that “however, being forced into marriage
before one was able to give consent, violates the basic human rights of both
boys and girls”.
Baghdad's famous al-Mutanabbi Street, 30-year-old bookstore owner Bara'a
al-Bayati welcomes her customers with a big smile. She is the first female to
open her own bookshop on the renowned street, which attracts many curious and
one of the oldest places in Baghdad that dates back centuries with elaborate
buildings from the Ottoman Empire era, al-Mutanabbi Street boasts several
bookstores and is the perfect home for avid book lovers and poets. The street,
filled with bookstores and outdoor book stalls, was named after the
10th-century classical Iraqi poet al-Mutanabbi and is often referred to as the
heart and soul of the Baghdad literacy and intellectual community.
love al-Mutanabbi Street because it makes me feel like I'm in another era in
Baghdad, like the 1960's or 1970's. It reminds me of an old Baghdad, the one my
mother and father told me stories about," Bara'a begins. "You can
definitely feel the love of culture on this street."
a 2007 terrorist attack left locals in shock after a powerful suicide car bomb
hit the market, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 65. The area
was then closed for more than a year.
did not destroy our spirit," Bara'a explains. "When the street
reopened, it became even better than before. Yes, we live in sorrow for those
innocent people who were killed in this tragedy, and despite the destruction of
bookstores and cafes, the street was not left abandoned. Instead, we started
again. And this to me is the biggest point of culture, to start again."
is part of this vital reinforcement of the city's cultural roots and is helping
to revive the love for literature.
have been passionate about literature since I was a child and wanted to become
a journalist. But as I was growing up, the situation in Iraq was becoming even
more difficult and dangerous. It was the beginning of the civil war in 2006,
with sectarian violence high, and the security instability meant we could not
move around freely.
father was against me taking on a journalism career as he was afraid it would
be a dangerous career for me in the country, especially as a woman. He was
simply afraid. In the end, I decided to study engineering and graduated in
Bara'a struggled to find a job in the field, despite her degree. She would then
find herself on al-Mutanabbi Street, browsing the bookstores and just enjoying
the ambience of the area.
chance I stopped at the bookshop Dar al-Sotoor and asked them if there was any
voluntary work available. I then took on a social media role where I managed
their online presence. After a couple of years, I felt it was the right time
for me to go independent, so I found my own shop and opened up my own
so, she opened Dar Maktabe Bara'a, (Bara'a's Publishing House). Dar Maktabe
Bara'a has so far published 15 books, including novels and law books, and
Bara'a says she hopes to publish another 15 titles this year.
her idea to work as a bookseller in al-Mutanabbi Street, was not just down to
her love for literature, but also down to her desire to give a message to the
society, especially to the youth: "If there is something you really want
to do, don't wait, pursue your passion."
further hopes this message reaches to women.
wish all women in Iraq are given the opportunity to realise their goals and
wishes. Women make a society and it is important to give them the chance to
realise their potential and make it grow."
spate of violence against women has gripped Iraq recently. Protests took place
late last year in Baghdad condemning the ongoing violence against women, as the
number of females being killed in Iraq, under the guise of honour, grows. Every
year up to hundreds of women in Iraq are killed by men belonging to tribes.
They accuse women of immorality and they proudly claim to possess them and
their honour, while impeding them from any decision in life or free movement.
all needs to end," Bara'a urges. "And violence against women is not
only killings, this can be in many forms, from forcing a woman to stay home and
not get an education to child marriages."
is why she is pushing the need for education for more women. "Educating
women means educating a whole future generation in Iraq," she adds.
better access to education gives people a better access to culture, which plays
such a huge role in our society. If the next generation is more cultured, it
can make a change in the country.
consider the new future generation to be the foundation of society,"
Bara'a continues. "I think Iraq can then be the country it once was. There
is space for women to be engineers, architects, lawyers, doctors – this is not
something strange or new, it was like this before and we want it to be like
the same moment, while The New Arab was talking to Bara'a, a little girl runs
into her store and comes and hugs her.
is binti," Bara'a says. "Her name is Sara, but I like to call her
binti, 'my daughter'. She draws and acts – she is an artist already!"
two take a photo together. "You see, I became very close to people,"
she tells The New Arab.
work is to welcome people. I give a reason to my customers to come and buy from
Bara'a and not from any other bookshops. I welcome them, I advise them, I wait
for them: readers, young readers, everyone is welcome. Children come to my shop
with their parents because they know I have special stories for them."
passion for culture in her country is evident and highlighted through her
zealous persona. It is not just the love for Iraq that pushes her to do what
she does, but also the drive to see her fellow Iraqis succeed.
if it is just a small project, you should go for it," Bara'a advises.
"If I am able to fulfil my dream, then anyone here can."
Assailants shot dead a public prosecutor of Hafizabad in front of her house on
said Assistant District Public Prosecutor Naila Amjad would routinely go to a
gym along with her husband Muhammad Zaman, a teacher at a private school. On
Friday, they said, the couple left the house and the husband went in an
adjacent street to bring his car when two motorcyclists shot at her and
injured Naila Amjad breathed her last while being shifted to the District
Headquarters Hospital of Hafizabad where doctors later conducted autopsy of the
registered a case against two unidentified suspects under sections 302 and 34
of Pakistan Penal Code on the report of Sajid Ali Awan, the brother of the
Nigerian high court judge has called on the Muslim community and a secondary
school to settle the controversy over the hijab (head covering) out of court in
the “interest of national peace and cohesion.”
judge, Laniran Akintola, told counsel to the parties that both sides should
consider withdrawing the case to avoid “further dividing the country” along
year, nearly a dozen Muslim girls were barred from wearing their religious head
covering in the International School Ibadan (ISI) in southwest Ibadan that led
to protests and the court case initiated by some parents of the schoolgirls.
will be appropriate if you resolve this matter amicably[…],” Akintola said.
hearing has been adjourned until Feb. 20.
2016, Nigeria’s appeals court ruled that the Muslim head covering qualifies as
a fundamental human rights that is protected by the constitution and struck
down a ban on it by the southwest Lagos state in its public schools.
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