India's federal anti-terrorism agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA),
recently informed India's Supreme Court that it was scrutinizing 90 cases in
the southern state of Kerala where Hindu women were allegedly lured or forced
to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men over the last two years.
India's 'love jihad'- Are women being recruited for
rejects press claims about 'Christian' girl fostered by Muslims
HC raises question on woman’s conversion to Islam, interfaith marriage
woman posts anti-Muslim tweets after New York attack, gets banned by Uber, Lyft
engages communities in Balochistan to promote girls education
accused of torturing girl in Dera Ismail Khan remanded into police custody
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
'love jihad'- Are women being recruited for 'Islamic State'?
federal anti-terrorism agency, the National Investigation Agency (NIA),
recently informed India's Supreme Court that it was scrutinizing 90 cases in
the southern state of Kerala where Hindu women were allegedly lured or forced
to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men over the last two years.
NIA also said it has a mandate to establish if there are organized groups
preying on vulnerable Hindu women to recruit them as terrorists.
more: The thuggery of 'anti-Romeo' squads causes a stir in India
NIA's action comes amid the high-profile case of 24-year-old Akhila Ashokan,
who converted to Islam from Hinduism after marrying Shafin Jahan, a Muslim man,
in December 2016. After she was married, she changed her name to Hadiya.
marriage was subsequently annulled, at the request her Hindu father, by the
Kerala High Court. She was ordered to return to live with her parents, where
she has been confined while her husband appeals against the annulment.
her case has reached the top echelons of the Indian judiciary, sparking debates
on jurisdiction and power of the courts in the personal lives of adults. Hadiya
has been asked to appear personally and explain whether her conversion to Islam
and marriage to Jahan was of her own volition.
as a terrorist threat?
move is nothing but a deliberate attempt to sow division and hatred for the
sake of votes. This is a hate tool used by rabid Hindu right-wingers to
polarize the two communities and spread falsehood and hatred," Fuad Halim
from the Communist Party of India (Marxist), told DW. His party is in power in
NIA, on the other hand, believes it has found a pattern among young Hindu girls
who are being brainwashed to convert to Islam and marry Muslims for other
is nothing but psychological kidnapping. We have managed to get examples of
similar cases of indoctrination and radicalization in Kerala," a top
official of the NIA told DW, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to
more: India's top court blocks controversial Muslim 'triple talaq' divorce law
far, the agency has recorded statements from two Hindu girls, who alleged they
were lured into converting to Islam. One said she was influenced by a video of
controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. In both the cases, the NIA suspects
the role of the radical Muslim outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) and its
political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). India's home
ministry is still mulling whether to ban it as an "unlawful
association" or a "terrorist" outfit.
are probing the role played by the president of PFI's women's wing, the
National Women's Front, who we think is mentoring these vulnerable girls,"
said the official.
agency will need to find evidence that a religious conversion was taking place,
with an eventual intent for terrorist training, in order for an investigation
to stand up to judicial scrutiny.
is 'love jihad?'
Hindu organizations have called the trend of converting Hindu women to Islam,
"love jihad." They allege that Muslim men trap Hindu women into
marriage, forcing them to convert to Islam and then dumping them after they
produce a number of children.
the context of Kerala, they allege further that the girls are being sent to
fight for the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) group. The ruling
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is seeking to gain a political foothold in
the state, is also backing this claim.
origins of term "love jihad" date back several years, when rumors of
the trend began spreading in southern India. Quickly, however, it became clear
that many of the women in question had converted to Islam voluntarily, but
Hindu politicians have used the stories to incite fear.
have been diverse. While feminists and rights activists have expressed shock at
this kind of branding, the BJP has been vocal in demanding that the state
government cracks down on so-called "anti-social elements."
find this word love jihad so derogatory. One must understand that it is
Hadiya's freedom to choose and her physical freedom has now been curtailed. She
is effectively a prisoner at her father's house right now," writer and
activist Sadia Dehlvi told DW.
is nothing but a political gimmick. The BJP is using fear of forced conversions
to drum up support and create a further atmosphere of insecurity among
Muslims," lawyer Seema Misra told DW.
more: Indian nurses return home from ISIS
state BJP President Kummanem Rajasekheran tells DW that unless chief minister
Pinaryai Vijayan acts tough, Hindu women in Kerala won't be "safe
has been in the eye of controversy since last year when a 21-member group
mysteriously left their respective hometowns to join IS. The group included six
women and three children and police say that three of the youth died fighting
for IS in Afghanistan and Syria.
eyes will be on the Supreme Court when Hadiya makes her appearance later this
month to say whether her marriage occurred with her consent. Tensions between
Muslims and Hindus are already rising in Kerala, and some fear rumors could
lead to religious violence.
made in the national press about a girl placed with Muslim foster carers have
been roundly rejected in the findings of an official investigation seen by the
August, claims that the five-year-old, described as a “white Christian”, had
been left distressed after being placed in a Muslim household became the focus
of a political and media furore. The allegations emerged from a family court
case over the future of the child’s custody.
an investigation by a senior social worker at Tower Hamlets council did not
find evidence to support any of the allegations, which were made by the child’s
mother and published in the Times in an article headlined: “Christian child
forced into Muslim foster care.” [paywall]
the mother disputes the findings, the local authority is satisfied that at all
times the foster carers provided warm and appropriate care to the child,” a
report on the investigation’s findings says.
local authority has been impressed with the care and commitment shown by the
carers to the child. This is reflected in the child’s description and reaction
to the carers and the MGM’s [maternal grandmother’s] positive relationship with
the allegations published in the Times were claims one of the foster carers
wore a burqa, the child was banned from eating pork products and had her
crucifix forcibly removed, all of which were said to have left the child distressed.
document reveals that after the allegations were published in the Times,
supervised conversations were held with the child and she wrote a letter to the
judge involved in the court case in which “she expressed always being happy in
child was placed in two Muslim households as a temporary measure, while her
maternal grandmother, who was also Muslim, awaited approval for custody.
regards to claims about burqas being worn, the investigation found the original
foster carer, with whom the child spent the most time, wears a hijab – not a
niqab or a burqa.
child’s second foster carer wears a burqa in public but not in her home and her
husband is a white British Muslim, the report says.
with claims about the child’s crucifix, the investigation found the child had
two crucifixes, one of which was in the child’s bedroom in the maternal
grandmother’s country of origin.
other was a large gold piece of jewellery that belonged to the child’s great
grandmother, but the second foster carer was concerned its size and value was
not appropriate for a child so returned it to the child’s maternal grandmother,
the report says. This was seen by the social worker at the grandmother’s home.
Hamlets found there had been no rejection of food brought for the child by the
mother for religious reasons.
allegation that the child was distressed as the foster carer spoke only in
Arabic was found not to be correct, the report says.
foster carer’s first language is Arabic but her husband is white British, born
in the UK, while her childrens’ first language is English and that is the
language of the home.
the foster carer had made derogatory statements about European women to the
child was not substantiated, the report says, adding the social worker found
that the child did not know what Europe was.
maternal grandmother was “distressed and angered” by the allegations against
the foster carers which she said were “false and lies”, the report adds.
has a good relationship with the carers and is grateful for the excellent care
she says that they have provided to the child,” it reads.
court hearings on Monday also heard that the child was of dual nationality. She
was christened but was not taken to church by her mother or anyone else, the
court heard. Her maternal grandparents are Muslim and while they do not attend
mosque, they do pray at home, the court was told.
Times initially reported that, according to confidential local authority
reports, a social services supervisor had described the child crying, asking
not to be returned to one foster carer because “they don’t speak English”.
report, seized on by far-right activists, included a pixelated photograph of
the girl in the company of a woman – alleged to be her foster carer – wearing a
black niqab or burqa.
Daily Mail followed by putting the story on its front page under the headline
“MPs’ anger as Christian girl forced into Muslim foster care”. It used a stock
picture of a Muslim family to illustrate the story in print and online, but
altered the image to cover the woman’s face with a veil.
Rajasthan high court raised questions about a 22-year-old woman’s conversion to
Islam and her interfaith marriage before sending her to a government home for a
week on Wednesday, a virtual re-run of a similar case in Kerala that sparked a
high court asked the state government if there was any law or procedure in
Rajasthan that governed religious conversions, and observed that people
couldn’t change their religions based on an affidavit.
state currently doesn’t have an anti-conversion law and has four days to
respond to the court. The next date of hearing in the case is November 7.
are of the opinion that whether without any procedure or rule, a person can convert
to another religion or not is not established and needs to be settled,” a bench
of justices Gopal Krishna Vyas and Manoj Kumar Garg said.
case is likely to stoke a raging row over interfaith marriage and conversion.
May this year, the Kerala high court annulled the marriage of 24-year-old
Hadiya, earlier known as Akhila, to Shafin Jehan after her father alleged that
her conversion was part of a larger racket to recruit terrorist operatives. The
Supreme Court has raised questions about the high court order and has summoned
Hadiya, a doctor, on November 27.
have repeatedly alleged that Hadiya was being tortured at her father’s home and
that her fundamental right to religion was being violated.
Rajasthan HC is hearing a petition filed by Chirag Singhvi, who alleges that
his sister – Payal Singhvi who is now known as Aarifa – was converted to Islam
under coercion and that her marriage papers are forged.
court raised doubts about Aarifa’s wedding to a Muslim man identified as Faiz Modi
and said the documents she produced, including a nikahnama (Islamic marriage
certificate), contradicted each other.
HC felt an investigation was needed to ascertain the authenticity of the
documents and forbade anyone from meeting Aarifa at the government home.
bench also expressed anger over the “negligence” of the police, which allegedly
refused to file an FIR on her family’s complaint.
bench questioned how police could assume the woman’s conversion was legal “just
by way of an affidavit over a stamp paper of Rs 10”, when there was no
provision in law in this regard.
this way, tomorrow, even I could address myself as Gopal Mohammad,” justice
Gopal Krishna Vyas said.
told the court that she married Modi on April 14 and produced a nikahnama
documenting her conversion and marriage. She appeared in a veil on Wednesday
and told the court that she was present on her own will without any threat or
said Aarifa wrote to the police commissioner to say she converted to Islam and
married a man of her choice. Police also told the court that she had attached a
copy of her nikahnama with the letter.
her brother’s counsel argued religious conversion was impossible without a law.
Chirag Singhvi’s petition claimed Modi was harassing his sister and abducted
her while she was going to college. He also said that Aarifa was with her
family till October 25, while the marriage documents were issued in April.
far-right activist, Laura Loomer, has been banned from ride-sharing services Uber
and Lyft after her anti-Muslim tweets following the New York City attack that
killed eight people.
released numerous posts on Twitter about Muslims on Tuesday and Wednesday,
accusing passersby in hijabs of enjoying the attack in New York and complaining
that taxi and ride-sharing companies hired extremists.
needs to create a non-Islamic form of @uber or @lyft because I never want to
support another Islamic immigrant driver,” tweeted Loomer, who briefly worked
for the right-wing news site Rebel Media.
also posted a photo of women in hijabs, adding: “Muslims are out in full force
at the scene of the NYC #ISIS attack today rubbing it in everyone’s face.
Aimlessly walking around in hijabs.”
also posted a video of what she said was a New York Times reporter who was
Muslim. “Muslim @nytimes reporter dressed in a hijab laughs and refuses to
disavow Islamic terror when asked by Laura Loomer. ‘I work for NY Times.’”
late to the NYPD press conference because I couldn’t find a non Muslim cab or
@Uber @lyft driver for over 30 min!” she wrote in another Twitter post,
referring to a Wednesday news conference about the attack in New York.
Saipov, the Uzbek immigrant suspected of plowing a truck into cyclists and
pedestrians on a bike path, had been a driver for Uber, the company confirmed
was charged in federal court on Wednesday with acting on behalf of the militant
group Islamic State.
comments about Muslims and Muslim drivers caused an uproar on the social media
Wednesday evening, Uber, which Loomer had previously criticized as
anti-Semitic, said she would not be able to use the service.
Loomer was banned for violating our Community Guidelines,” Uber spokesperson
Matt Kallman said in an email.
Lyft account was also deactivated, said Scott Coriell, a spokesman for that
was quick to respond, again using the Twitter platform to say that Uber was
trying to “ban a conservative journalist for addressing legitimate safety
did not respond immediately to a request for further comment submitted through
her Facebook page.
June, Loomer disrupted a performance of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” because
the character of the assassinated Roman dictator was costumed to resemble US
President Donald Trump.
Wednesday, after Loomer posted her tweets, she faced criticism from many users
ALLAH YAR: Teachers, parents, students and community members attended
fun-filled activities here in district Jaffarabad as part of a community
funfair hosted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
daylong event was aimed at promoting girls’ empowerment and fulfillment of
their right to education while highlighting the American assistance for the people
of Balochistan. USAID has helped improve access to education and retention of
children in schools, especially girls, in remote areas across all the
a grant to the Women Development Community Organisation (WDCO) in Jaffarabad,
four middle schools have been established for girls who were previously unable
to continue their education due to lack of middle schools in their district.
Chief Executive Officer Hanif Rind reiterated that every child has the right to
quality education and safe access to lifelong learning. “Through USAID’s
support we are now able to fulfill dreams of so many girls from Jaffarabad and
surrounding local communities,” he said.
funfair featured various engaging activities for families, including tableaus,
stand-up comedy, and cultural performances, puppet shows with a focus on
children’s education, all of which were thoroughly enjoyed by the community.
The schoolchildren were particularly excited to participate in competitions
including singing, drawing and poetry, which also aimed to serve as a
confidence building exercise.
very excited to attend this funfair with my family and friends. I have never
attended an activity like this before and it has taught me a lot of new
things,” said Farzana, a 12-year-old student of the Government Higher Secondary
School of Jaffarabad. “Activities like this help our community better
understand the rights of our daughters and the need to educate them,” said
Sakina Bibi, a mother of five daughters.
are thankful to USAID for supporting our people, especially through girls’
education, which will ultimately benefit our whole society,” said Sohail Anwar
Hashmi, the deputy commissioner of Jaffarabad.
of the nine people suspected of torturing and illegally confining a teenage
girl in Garahmat village of Daraban tehsil in Dera Ismail Khan have been
remanded into police custody for three days.
eight accused were presented on Wednesday before Judicial Magistrate Adam Khan
who was informed that the police were still looking for one absconder.
were handed over to the police on a three-day physical remand. Superintendent
Police (SP) Saddar Ashfaq Khan is leading the inquiry committee conducting the
investigations in the case.
the girl’s family had complained that no action had been taken against the
Chaudwan police station SHO, accusing the official of supporting the suspects
and registering a concocted case against three of its members.
brother of the girl, Sajid Khan, formally requested the provincial police
officer to order a high-level inquiry into the incident and take strict action
against the SHO.
an application, he alleged that Sajawal and other suspects seized his sister on
Oct 27 morning when she, along with her three cousins, went to a local pond to
fetch water. He accused them of stripping off her clothes before forcing her to
to Sajid, his sister later took refuge in a nearby house but the suspects
dragged her out, beat her up and kept her in illegal confinement. He alleged
that the SHO first delayed the registration of the FIR and later booked his
family members on the complaint of a female relative of the suspects.
girl’s family had initially insisted that the suspects had paraded her naked in
the area on Oct 27.
however, retracted the statement on Monday, claiming that the girl was taken to
the suspect's house, where nine people beat her up, tore her clothes and kept
her in illegal confinement.
- A woman gave birth to four children at a private hospital at Jhuddo town late
later one of the new borns died while the other two were shifted to the special
care unit of Civil Hospital in Mithi, district Tharparkar, due to weakness.
Khatoon, wife of Jan Muhammad Samejo, was operated upon by lady doctor Yasmeen
Shamshad Ali Khan.
Khatoon belongs to village Pelaro, district Tharparkar. She has already three
daughters and a son. However, after the birth , the mother and her new born
babies were shifted to Civil Hospital in Mithi where one of them died while the
other two were admitted to the Special Care Unit of the hospital.
stark contrast to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, the “lady of Dhaka” has promised
aid to Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing Myanmar, allotting 2,000 acres of land
in Bangladesh for the refugees, Forbes said on its website.
Bangladesh's own state sanctioned genocide during 1971's Liberation War, Hasina
is "proud to bear the bulk of the cost" of the relocation of these
refugees to her country. This includes issuing identification cards and
providing childhood immunizations, it added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel retained the top spot followed by an unexpected
newcomer, UK Prime Minister Theresa May (No 2), who is leading her country
through Brexit, a historic, complex and transformative time for the country and
the European Union. May is followed by Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation, who, along with her husband Bill, has
distributed more than $40 billion in grants to date and supports organisations
in over 100 countries, says a report in this regard by Forbes.
COO Sheryl Sandberg (No 4) and GM CEO Mary Barra (No 5) round out the top five.
survey features 100 women from 29 countries who represent sectors such as
politics, business, technology and philanthropy.
the survey Forbes used four metrics: money (either net worth, company revenues,
assets, or GDP); media presence; spheres of influence; and impact, analysed
both within the context of each woman’s field (media, technology, business,
philanthropy/NGOs, politics, and finance) and outside of it.
best not to put Berrin Sonmez in a box. At 57, she is a vivid portrait of the
nuances of life in Turkey — she's a practising Muslim, a feminist, an activist
and a former academic.
was a teenager in a family indicative of Turkey's secular-religious mix, but
her faith deepened in high school. She said she "stopped wearing
miniskirts and T-shirts" not because of any external pressure, but because
it strengthened her connection to God.
she was forced to remove her headscarf as an adult, while pursuing an academic
career. At the time, secularism was taking a more intense turn in Turkey. She
vowed to cover again when she retired.
found feminism, she said, while helping a friend who was struggling with a
dishonest, difficult husband.
timeline of her evolution — and Turkey's — offers an education in the perils of
of Turkey's 80 million people identify as Muslim, but within that there are
different denominations and beliefs, and different ways of practising the
religion. (Turkey is also home to a small minority of Christians and Jews.)
worries the conservative government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan — which women like
her helped elect — is abusing its power, ignoring women's issues and forcing
its version of Islam on a country with a diverse set of Muslim beliefs.
about shaping a new Turkey," she said, referring to Erdogan's plans. But
instead of fixing a fractured system, she said, instead of "changing the
state, changing the bureaucracy, [Erdogan] saw that he could control
its inception, Turkey and its people have been controlled from a power on high.
In 1923, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk created the Republic of Turkey. After the end of
nearly 800 years of Ottoman rule, the revered general made radical changes to
modernize his country, and quickly.
fez and religious garments were banned everywhere, replaced with Western
clothing and hats. Turkey's language changed, too. Arabic script was out and
from then on, Turkish would be written in the Roman alphabet.
also commissioned, for the first time, a Turkish translation of the Koran. He
wanted his people to fully understand their faith. But he would officially
separate mosque and state.
many, Ataturk's sharp shift to secularism in a volatile region with competing
religious sects was essential, a revolutionary move that made Turkey a model
for other Muslim-majority countries, said Gulsun Kaya, vice-president of Cagdas
Yasam Destek Dernegi, a group that promotes Ataturk's values and secular
education, awarding scholarships to Turkish children.
could practise their faith, but secularism was at the forefront," said
Kaya. "That's gone now."
Sonmez sees flaws in that system.
biggest accomplishment was winning independence for this country," she
said, and she respects him for that. "But drawing the path to that
independence with an extreme, top-down pressure to modernize and to make it
happen quickly created some fractures."
Quebec today, it is called religious neutrality. In Turkey, it's secularism or
laicisim, a word that has French roots.
years, and particularly in the 1980s and '90s, more openly religious Turks were
marginalized in the name of preserving that secularism. There was an outright
ban on headscarves in public office and in universities.
Sonmez, that meant removing her headscarf to work at a university in the 1980s.
She was eventually fired, she said, because she refused to fall in line with
the politics of the time. "Our universities have never been free,"
Erdogan himself was jailed, back when he was the mayor of Istanbul, after
reading what some believed was a provocative religious poem in public in 1997.
president, Erdogan promised to create a more democratic, more inclusive Turkey,
and Sonmez and other women who wore their religious beliefs openly helped elect
him. But after a few years in office, Erdogan made his own sharp shift.
ways with an edge: Turkey's Meral Aksener prepares to take on Erdogan
genuinely believed Erdogan's changes "would not be about revenge"
against the secular system. But she feels Erdogan and his AK Party are now
ostracizing less religious Turks, and that piety is becoming increasingly
believes that growing a beard or covering one's head is being used by some
Turks to ingratiate themselves to the government.
is our serious problem now," she said. "We've turned into a society
that tries to squash anyone who falls out of step with the ideology of the ones
believes Erdogan is trying to engineer a more religious population. She and
other parents are frightened, for example, by changes to Turkey's school
year, the education ministry announced plans to overhaul what Turkish students
learn. Among the most controversial changes would be pulling the theory of
evolution from the curriculum and adding the concept of jihad. In the West, the
word is often associated with holy war, but that is only one of its meanings.
Many Muslims believe, in its truest essence, jihad refers to a
"struggle," an internal spiritual fight a believer wages on the path
to becoming a better Muslim.
number of state-funded religious schools — imam hatip schools — is also
increasing. In some areas of Turkey, they are replacing public, secular schools
government isn't "opening these schools for nothing," Sonmez said.
"Children go to the closest school [in their neighbourhood] and the
closest school is going to be an imam hatip."
all of the fears, all of the worries people have, realized," she said.
officials did not agree to an interview with CBC. Instead, the ministry provided
a link to a September speech in Ankara by Under Secretary Yusuf Tekin to
students who've won government scholarships to study abroad.
did not address curriculum concerns, but he offered an indication of the
government's position on the country's direction. Tekin expressed concern about
"an excessive mimicking" of Western values in the past.
is not the old Turkey," he said. "You are the missionaries
representing the world's Muslims."
goal, he said, was "serving our country and solving our country's problems
to the best of our abilities."
that, "who said what, or how they criticized us or what they think is not
really that important."
an atmosphere that discourages dissent, many Turks are fighting back. Protests
and rallies are a constant.
next two years and the election expected in 2019 will be crucial to determining
whether Turkey's diverse group of Muslims and other religions can continue to
so many years, we've been living on a knife's edge," Sonmez said.
"2019 will be the end of that knife."
have actively participated and played leading roles in numerous protests and
anti-government gatherings across Iran on October 29 and 30, 2017, against
state-backed institutes that have plundered people’s savings and deposits.
plundered by Alborz-e Iranian (Arman) and Padideh institutes gathered on
October 30, 2017, in front of the United Nations Office in Tehran. They
denounced the government’s treachery, lies and oppression in their chants.
clients of Arman-e Vahdat institute also held a gathering in front of the
Governor’s Office of Khuzistan Province in Ahwaz, southwestern Iran, and
demanded their deposits. The protesters pounded on drums and vowed to continue
these protests until they receive their money.
the same day, a group of retired government employees gathered in front of the
Planning and Budget Organization in Tehran upon a previous call issued on the
internet which mentioned that the protest gathering starts on October 30 and
will continue to November 2, 2017.
their chants, the retirees lamented about the high cost of life and the absence
of justice in the country. They also reiterated their solidarity in the face of
hollow promises given to them for years.
protest gathering was also staged in the northern Iranian city of Langroud on
October 29, 2017, where nurses and staff of Amini Hospital demanded their
unpaid fees for one year. Gilan’s nurses have not received their fees for one
Yemeni activist succeeded in resolving a blood feud between two tribes that
lasted 11 years that left more than 60 people dead and 130 injured, including
women and children.
feud was ongoing despite the interference of the government, the locals, tribal
and social contacts.
ongoing bloodbath forced me to act even though I am a woman and in a
conservative society," says Sumaya Ahmed Al-Hussam, who ended a long
conflict between the tribes of Bani Badr and Beit Al-Qaidi in her province of
Hajjah, north-west of Yemen.
Al-Hussam interfered to resolve the conflict over a plot of land that resulted
in a series of revenge killings of 60 tribesmen and injuries to more than 130
people, including children, women and youth in 2012.
failure of all previous mediation efforts is attributed to not resolving the
roots of the problem.
Al-Hussam began implementing her plan of action following field investigations
in the conflict area to find out about the causes and perspectives of the
conflicting tribes to reach a resolution.
was able to involve all concerned parties to reach a peace agreement that
stopped the conflict and brought life back to normal in the region.
who participated in The National Dialogue Conference (NDC) in 2013, has taken
the initiative "A step toward lasting peace as seen by a woman" and
as a result has been nominated to compete in the â€œQueen of Social Responsibility
Programâ€ for 2017.
program brings together participants from across the Arab World in order to
find women's initiatives aimed at serving civil society.
this initiative, Sumaya says she seeks to make â€œthe dream a reality even on a
small scale in my great country.â€ â€” Al Arabiya English
A top International Olympic Committee (IOC) official has urged women in the UAE
to get more involved in any sort of sporting activity so that they can reach
out and touch the society, especially at the grassroots level.
at the Dubai International Sports Creativity Symposium, held as a precursor to
the 13th Dubai International Sports Creativity Awards that will be presented in
January 2018, Anita DeFrantz, Vice-President, IOC said: “I didn’t realise that
sport would be my career, but it did happen. And today, I am where I am mostly
because of sport. I consider the access to sport to each and every one in
society as a basic right of every human being, just as basic as finding shelter
on the topic of ‘Sports, Gender and Society’, DeFrantz traced the growing role
of women in the Olympic movement. “At the 1996 Atlanta Games, as many as 26
NOCs didn’t have women at the Games. But between the 1996 to 2016 Games, we
have had more than 32,000 women taking part in an Olympic Games. This means there
are 32,000 reasons out there in the world who can act as promoters of sports
and health within our society,” she added.
benefits of sport for humans are multi-faceted. In team sports, we challenge
ourselves, and along the way we pick up leadership skills, mutual respect and
the UAE Government and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of His Highness
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the
UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for their contribution towards empowerment of women in
sport, DeFrantz said: “I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Princess Haya and I
have a lot of respect for what she has done.”
is an American Olympic rower, member of the IOC and a former vice-president of
the International Rowing Federation (Fisa). Born in 1952 in Philadelphia, she
was captain of the US rowing team that won bronze in the women’s eight rowing
at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
greatest challenge before women today is, and will always be, fear. And that’s
a part of life. The things we fear most cause us to be least able to be
successful,” DrFrantz observed.
for help is the best way to get over fear. In the area of sport, we ask for
help from coaches, from other competitors and you ask for help from history to
see how other women have done this in the past,” she added.
further reiterated that the Olympic movement is a bold indicator that is
constantly setting a path for many more to follow. “Every member of the Olympic
movement has women Olympians. The IOC accepts no exception to the fact that
women need to have access to sport. And every nation that has women athletes
will celebrate its Olympians and they will bring back contributions to the
nation in a way that you cannot imagine,” she noted.
hope we can break down barriers and convince people that there is everything
right in having access for women in sport. Sport belongs to us all and we need
to take it into our arms and make it better,” DeFrantz added.
rate of death among women due to addiction has increased 8.5% in Iran in the
past six months compared to the same period last year.
was announced by Mohammad Reza Ghadirzadeh, Head of the Center of Studies on
Addiction in the Coroner’s Office.
women died during the first six months of this (Iranian) year (March –
September) which shows an 8.5% surge compared to the 150 women who died last
year,” he said.
official expert also acknowledged in his remarks that “consumption of narcotic
drugs has increased among women and consequently, the number of deaths due to
overdose has also increased.” (The state-run Mehr news agency – October 31,
suppression and deprivation of women under the rule of misogynist mullahs has
had an impact on the increasing numbers of Iranian women committing suicide or
resorting to drugs.
the global nuclear industry, there is still a relatively small share of women
in engineering and leadership positions
in the UAE are playing a pivotal role in the nuclear energy industry, holding
more than 30 per cent in what is often considered a male-dominated workforce,
said Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi.
a country, that only ten years ago had only one qualified nuclear engineer,
this is certainly no small achievement," said Al Qasimi, the
Vice-Chairwoman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation's (ENEC) Board of
the final day of the International Ministerial Conference - Nuclear Power in
the 21st Century held on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Al Qasimi said 23 per cent of
the professionals working at ENEC are women, while 10 per cent of all employees
at Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, the largest under construction power plant in
the word - are also women.
them, 21 per cent occupy key roles in the nuclear energy industry, such as
senior reactor operator, reactor operator and license operator. "Almost 30
per cent of the students in our educational programmes are female, and 30 per
cent of students enrolled in the higher diploma in the nuclear technology
programme at Abu Dhabi Polytechnic are also women."
she pointed out that in the global nuclear industry, there is still a
relatively small share of women in engineering and leadership positions.
said that the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme is one of the most diverse
and most multi-national and multi-cultural nuclear programme in the world, with
over 60 nationalities involved. "We celebrate this diversity and continue
to promote understanding and acceptance."
in the UAE, we strongly believe in the equality of men and women both in the
society and in professional development."
her own personal example, Al Qasimi said there are many young women who want to
pursue a career in science and technology. "It is our role as leaders in
the industry to make sure the they are given the opportunities to enter STEM
careers and to nurture their potential in different fields."
2009, ENEC launched the Energy Pioneers initiative to identify and train the
next generation of UAE national engineers and leaders. The programme provides
full scholarships to students looking to study nuclear sciences and
engineering. "We trained and qualified the UAE's first female scientist,
who is now the deputy manager of the simulators."
also trained and qualified the UAE's first female nuclear fuel management
expert and the UAE's first female fully-certified reactor operator, who is
already preparing for the startup of Barakah Unit One. "Today, there are
61 fully qualified female nuclear engineers employed by ENEC and Nawah."
Khalifa issued the directive on Wednesday
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has directed to allow the
children of Emirati women to take part in official sports competitions held in
the UAE, declaring that now it doesn't require being an Emirati national to
participate in these competitions; this also includes those holders of
passports which are under process, as well as those born in the UAE.
also directed the Cabinet to put in place the necessary regulations and
conditions for the implementation of the directive in order to achieve this.
new directive comes in light of the government's move to activate, promote and
support various sports activities, to benefit from the talents of athletes, and
to enhance their participation in various sporting activities and official
events held in the country, reaffirming that sport is an integral part of
peoples' and nations' civilisation and progress.
Pakistan — “Don’t look at a woman over and over again in your rearview mirror.
Don’t make comments about the way they dress. Don’t ask them if they’re
impassioned young instructor, Muhammad Wahaj, was leading the day’s first
training session in Karachi this fall for drivers for Pakistan’s biggest
ride-hailing app, Careem, one of the start-ups trying to slowly change the way
many women here go about their daily lives.
of this makes women feel uncomfortable, and it’s unacceptable,” he warned the
10 men. “We won’t tolerate it.”
Pakistan, women who work outside the home have limited options for even getting
to those jobs. Public transportation is abysmal, private buses are wildly
overcrowded and only 3 percent of households own cars.
there’s the matter of routine harassment. Among women who regularly commute by
public transportation, 85 percent report being harassed.
and a smattering of other app-based transportation services are working to
remedy this, although for many women, their cost is out of reach. Buses cost
just 10 to 20 rupees a ride, or about 10 to 20 cents, while hailing a ride
through an app could cost $1.50 or more, depending on distance and demand.
lines here dictate how women get around. Those with the means have
traditionally relied on their families’ drivers or driven their own cars.
Lower- and middle-class women have been dependent on mass transit, with buses
or minibuses sometimes arranged by employers or schools.
of income, though, stepping into the street alone gives Pakistani women pause.
A woman walking by herself draws stares, or worse. And Karachi is a city made
for cars, not people, with sidewalks in poor shape and always dominated by men.
wasn’t initially marketed toward women in Pakistan, but they make up 70 percent
of its customers, the company says. It spread to Pakistan just over a year ago
after successes in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
day across the country, dozens of training sessions like Mr. Wahaj’s prepare a
new batch of drivers — or “captains,” as the company calls them — for whom
these sexual harassment lessons are generally a first.
limited transportation options used to be confining for women like Huda Baig,
27, who lives in Karachi and works in the tech industry. “I never used public
transport,” she said. “Only rickshaws or taxis when I had to. But it’s an
intimidating process — you don’t know them, you have to haggle. Otherwise, I
relied on my friends or family for rides.”
a regular Careem user, Ms. Baig uses it to get to work, meet with friends or
head to the gym. The app gives her a freedom she had never experienced before.
“I feel more confident in public,” she said. “Otherwise, I was never
comfortable going anywhere alone.”
Iqbal, the chief executive of Careem in Pakistan, said the company was been
able to reassure women by making a priority of background checks on prospective
was literally the first thing we did,” he said. “Luckily, that message has been
communicated. People understand there’s a certain amount of work that goes into
the background check, so women feel safe.”
recently as 2012, kidnappings and muggings were commonplace in Karachi, but an
aggressive military campaign against terrorism and crime has restored a
relative sense of calm and safety. Still, curtailing harassment is another hurdle
Nargiz, 30, an hourlong bus ride takes her home from the bedding factory where
she works. It’s 9 p.m. by the time she reaches her northwest Karachi slum,
neatly folding the black abaya she wears for the commute; she is Christian and
would not otherwise wear one.
who asked that her last name not be used for fear of repercussions for her job,
said she wore the abaya only to go to work, so that men don’t bother her on the
bus, and she takes it off as soon as she gets there.
recent morning, Nargiz climbed onto a packed private bus, covered in plastic
roses and hand-painted slogans. This particular one had a slogan reading, “GOOD
women’s section, an area of four seats and a bench by the driver, was separated
from the men’s by a metal grill, but was full — and full of men. Nargiz pushed
against them during the bumpy ride. Wary of the groping she sometimes faces on
the bus, she tightened her scarf around her face and clutched her purse.
ride-hailing start-up, Bykea, is based on motorcycles and is trying to serve
less-well-off commuters like Nargiz. It is cheaper than Careem.
Bykea, Nargiz’s commute each way would cost 100 rupees, or less than $1,
compared with 160 rupees, about $1.50, on Careem.
is rapidly gaining a following in Karachi, especially among working-class men.
But its chief executive, Rafiq Malik, admitted that not many women felt
comfortable using the app, saying that cultural norms, not safety concerns,
were at play.
acknowledged that she could not bring herself to jump onto the back of a
stranger’s motorcycle, even sidesaddle, the norm for women here.
and Bykea have both spread rapidly, striving to fill a vacuum in transportation
that holds back many potential female workers and, more broadly, economic
productivity. But poorer women largely elude them; Nargiz said she and her
factory co-workers had never even heard of the apps.
Hasan, an architect and social researcher, does not have much faith in a
solution for working-class women anytime soon.
a strong anti-poor bias in planning and policy,” said Mr. Hasan, a board member
of the Karachi Infrastructure Development Committee, a group struggling to
improve city infrastructure and bring a fast-rail system.
society is in flux,” he added. “Traditional values and contemporary work
conditions are at odds. Society has changed but doesn’t realize it.”
police have arrested eight men for marching a 14-year-old girl naked through a
village in revenge for her brother allegedly tarnishing their family honour.
is the latest incident of Pakistani village councils using women to settle
family disputes, bypassing the official judiciary system with parallel tribal
rule that sentences hundreds of women to death each year in so-called “honour”
to police in Dera Islami Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where the incident
occurred, the girl’s brother had developed a romantic relationship with a woman
outside marriage. A village council ruled that the woman’s family could
retaliate by disrespecting his sister.
the morning on 27 October, as the girl was fetching water, a group of men
accosted her, stripped her and dragged her along the ground before making her
walk around naked for an hour, the police report stated.
councils, called panchayat or jirga, are illegal but widespread in rural areas
where the justice system is out of reach or perceived to be untrustworthy.
months ago, a 26-man council near Multan in Punjab province ordered a
17-year-old girl to be raped as punishment for a sexual assault allegedly
committed by her brother.
despite pro-women legislation we see that in remote areas women are still being
bartered as inanimate objects,” said Samar Minullah, a human rights activist.
consider girls or women as the honour of a home or a community, yet we
dishonour them, barter them and hand them in compensation to end disputes? This
is not only illegal but un-Islamic too,” she said. “I am glad police has taken
action but what about the girl? She will end up living a life of stigma for the
rest of her life.”
recent incident occurred amid heated public debate in Pakistan about harassment
of women. Last week, the Oscar-winning film director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
tweeted that a doctor who provided intimate emergency care to her sister had
tracked the sister down on Facebook after the hospital visit. There were “no
boundaries” in Pakistan, the director said.
tweets drew support but also harassment from men taunting her for socialising
with disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in the past, while calling
out a doctor for what they perceived to be a minor offence.
different in gravity, urban elites harassed in hospitals and poor girls abused
in villages are part of the same problem, said Nida Kirmani, a sociologist at
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
one cannot compare the horror that the girl experienced with the experience of
receiving an inappropriate friend request from a doctor,” Kirmani said, “They
lie on the same spectrum of sexist abuse that takes place in Pakistan.”
added: “Both cases demonstrate the need for a national level conversation on
sexual harassment and violence in all its shades and forms.”
another incident, on Sunday, a 20-year-old woman killed 15 people from her
husband’s family in Muzaffargarh near Multan in an attempt to poison her
husband, to whom she had been forcefully married for two months.
to police, she conspired with another man to escape her marriage by lacing a
glass of milk with poison. After her husband declined to drink it, the milk was
used to make lassi, which the whole family shared. The woman and her alleged
accomplice were arrested on Monday, police said.
Pakistani women, divorce is complicated and often dangerous. In 2016, a British
woman Samia Shahid, was murdered on a trip to Pakistan by her father and first
husband, allegedly for divorcing and remarrying in the UK without their
month, the judge decided to move the case away from Jhelum, the town where she
was killed, after requests from her second husband, the plaintiff, who feared
he may be in danger and her family may try to influence the trial.
hard working women show their talent and competence in every opportunity
despite numerous obstacles created by the ruling regime to exclude them from
the sports arena and lack of any form of government support.
climber Elnaz Rekabi won the gold medal of women’s Asian Bold Ring Cup where
she defeated Singapore, Kazakhstan, and China. (The state-run ISCAnews.ir –
October 29, 2017)
a previous interview, she had complained about the difficulties of training
while being alone in her field. Elnaz Rekabi also spoke on the problems created
by the requirement of wearing the compulsory veil. “It is very hard with the
veil especially when the weather is hot. I tried to find some proper outfit for
this sport to observe the dress code, as well, but I had to do it on my own.”
(Interview with Euronews – Aparat.com– April 25, 2016)
another event, Iranian women ranked fifth in the 3x3 Asia Cup in Turkmenistan,
after 38 years of absence in international tournaments. (The state-run ISNA
news agency – October 31, 2017)
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