women practise the hybrid martial art of Kajukenbo in a club in Kuwait City, on
Oct 22, 2018.PHOTO: AFP
Hit Women Unless They Deserve It, Says Abbas Adviser on Islam
Muslim Women Push For 'Inclusive' Mosque in Paris
Girls Use Martial Arts to Counter Bullies and Violence
Man Helps save Girl Forced into Prostitution in Dubai
Saudi couple highlights crackdown on activists
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Sarour: Prophet Muhammad Was Human-Rights Activist
Trump’s administration is “fascist,” but Islam’s prophet Muhammad was a human
rights activist,” according to Linda Sarour, a Palestinian activist known for
her leadership of the Women’s March.
comments at a banquet in Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 2 were captured by the
Middle East Media Research Institute.
administration is not like any other administration. We are talking about a
time in the United States of America when we are living under fascism. These
are fascists,” she said.
criticized President Trump for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.
declare to all of you here today in Sacramento that Jerusalem is and always
will be the capital of Palestine.”
said she had to go to public school because her parents couldn’t afford a
private Islamic school.
I grew older, I realized that I got cheated out of my Islamic education,” she said.
know what I feel like I got cheated out of? Nobody told me that my beloved
Prophet Muhammad was an activist. He was a human rights activist.”
asserted Islam “has always been an anti-racist, feminist, and empowering
don’t need people in the West, or people in Europe, or people in the United
States of America to teach me what feminism is,” she said.
encouraged Muslims to engage in politics even if their mosques usually avoid
my answer to (Muslims who say they’re not political). If you woke up this
morning, and you are breathing and you are Muslim, you’re political.”
a Palestinian Authority campaign to stop violence against woman, the prime
minister’s adviser on Islam has affirmed Islam allows husbands to beat their
wives if they are disobedient.
Al-Habbash, adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas, said Allah “has permitted a
certain type of beating.”
is good for society and good for the woman and the man,” he said.
Media Watch reported the remarks came were made on official Palestinian
Authority TV at the same time the broadcaster was promoting messages such as
“No to violence against women” and “There is no authority that gives men the
right to attack women.”
said the public campaign discouraging violence against women was run during the
“16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence,” which called for an end to
violence against women and girls.
began Nov. 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against
Women and ended Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.
this campaign was running and teaching that it is never acceptable to hit
women, Abbas’ adviser Mahmoud Al-Habbash explained on official PA TV that there
are situations in which men are allowed to beat women. In fact, it is even good
for the women.”
said Allah permits this when women are disobedient.
one and only situation, which is very limited and very rare, in which a man is
permitted to beat in a way that doesn’t harm, doesn’t injure, avoids the face,
and doesn’t cause strong pain – is the situation of disobedience,” he said. “Only
a situation of the woman’s disobedience. The disobedient woman, the woman who
is out of line, the woman who destroys the bonds of marriage, and the bonds of
home and family. Aside from this, any type of beating, injuring, and cursing of
the woman constitutes a forbidden act.”
commented, “While Al-Habbash defends the practice, saying it is ‘rare,’ the
categories of women who may be beaten that he himself describes are so general
that he opens the door for ongoing abuse.”
Muslim organisations in France have launched projects to create
"inclusive" mosques: spaces where women and men can pray together,
and where female imams would be able to lead Friday prayers.
Bahloul conducts her prayers at home, in her living room. She decided to stop
going to the mosque five years ago after she was refused access to the main
went to the mosque with a group of male and female friends. It was a religious
festival commemorating the birth of the Prophet, so it was very
important," she tells RFI.
men were told to go in, but we women were told ‘cross the road and you’ll find
a room’. It was a garage in fact. So there I was in this garage. The sound
system was terrible and the atmosphere was not at all spiritual. Women were
cooking and kids were playing. I was extremely disappointed, shocked
says the separation of men and women in the main prayer does not make sense.
together everywhere in everyday life, and then suddenly, when it's prayer time,
you can't even look at one another. It's as if we've been reduced to sexual
objects and nothing else."
need for an inclusive space
has a doctorate in Islamic studies and is of the more mystical branch of Islam
known as Sufism. Following the terror attacks in November 2015 she founded a
discussion group and youtube forum, Parle moi d'Islam (talk to me about Islam).
with philosohy professor Faker Korchane, she has now set up an association with
the aim of opening a Fatima mosque, an "inclusive” modern space where men
and women can pray together.
mosque will welcome men and women in the same room, women on one side, men on
the other, but both on the same level," she explained.
does not wear a veil and does not believe the Koran imposes it, so there will
be no dress code.
other crucial feature is that a woman imam will lead Friday prayers every other
would like to be the first woman in France to lead Friday prayers, but
recognises that even though France has Europe's largest Muslim population
(estimated between four to five million people), she is swimming against a very
surprising that in France, considering there’s such a large Muslim community,
that there’s also a deeply conservative tradition," she said. "The
traditional currents such as Salafism and the Muslim brotherhood have a strong
schools of Islamic jurisprudence like the Mālikī school – the most common in
the Maghreb – forbid women imams entirely. Other schools accept women imams,
but they’re allowed to hold prayers only in front of women, or there’s a
physical separation in the hall so you can’t see the women imam."
readings of the Koran
Janadin is another French muslim woman with big hopes of creating a place
embodying the reformist current of Islam.
with Anne-Sophie Monsinay, she plans to open the Simorgh Mosque, also mixed,
with female imams and an open dress code. Prayers would be in French.
would like to use the critical-historical discourse around Islam that has
developed within universities," she tells RFI. "To try and make it
more accessible to a wider public and bring it into the religious domain.
other words we want to draw concrete lessons on how you can lead a spiritual
life in today’s world, following all the new readings of the Koran, new
religious concepts and so on."
groups are looking for funds and premises for the mosques which would, ideally,
be in the French capital.
attempts in Europe
is some support for women imams in Britain and Spain, but so far Germany and
Denmark are the only European countries that have more progressive mosques
where women and men can pray side by side.
Mariam mosque, which opened in Copenhagen in early 2016, welcomes worshippers
of both sexes; Friday prayers are reserved for women.
Ibn Rushd-Goethe 'liberal' mosque opened in June 2017. Prayers are held in
German in a building belonging to the Protestant community.
positive media coverage the Berlin mosque has only a few dozen regular
worshippers. And its female imam, Seyran Ates, a well-known lawyer and human
rights militant, has suffered ongoing threats and lives under police
CITY: Asma Hasnawi and her daughter Riham spend more than 12 hours a week
learning kajukenbo, a mixed martial art the mother says boosts her child’s
confidence and thwarts bullying.
a small hall in Kuwait City, women and girls in black uniforms gather to learn
the basics of self-defense.
their left sleeves are the flags of Kuwait and the US state of Hawaii, where
the hybrid martial art of kajukenbo was developed in the 1940s.
sport’s name was derived from the various forms of martial arts it includes:
karate (KA), judo and jujitsu (JU), kenpo (KEN) and boxing (BO).
form teaches techniques that can be used to fend off an attack, says Hasnawi,
33, who stands in class alongside her 12-year-old daughter and other girls.
initially wanted to explore this sport, but I continued to practice it to be
able to defend myself,” she tells AFP.
still remembers being bullied as a child — something her daughter has struggled
with at school too.
she says Riham has “changed a lot” since they started practicing kajukenbo,
gaining patience and strength through the sport.
has transformed. At school, she used to get really angry and quickly agitated
if someone would say something to her,” Hasnawi says.
it’s something normal that she can (healthily) deal with.”
is no recent data in Kuwait on cases of violence against women, who enjoy more
freedoms than those in neighboring countries.
2010 study found that a woman is assaulted a day in Kuwait, according to Ghada
Al-Ghanem, of the Women’s Cultural and Social Society (WCSS).
WCSS, whose goal is to help and encourage women’s participation in the Kuwaiti
community, has dealt with a number of assault cases and Ghanem believes the
actual figure may be higher.
on the red and black walls of the Street Warrior Academy is a poster of two men
practicing the sport.
teaches your child the methods and arts of self-defense,” it reads,
complimenting the mottos of “strength and honor” and “street warrior” on the
backs of the girls’ uniforms.
students closely watch their instructor, Faisal Al-Gharib, as he explains how
to counter an attack with the help of his son.
girls then pair up to take what they have learnt and put it into practice.
another instance, the instructor’s son mimics an attack with a wooden knife on
one of the more experienced pupils, who wears a black belt.
familiar with the exercise, the student explains: “I pretend that I have
surrendered... and then I grab his hand on my neck, push it down and move it away.”
than 120 girls and women between the ages of four and 50 participate in the
academy’s different kajukenbo classes, which are held in a room with training
weapons lining its walls.
40 men and boys also currently take part in kajukenbo classes at the club on
different days from the women.
Um Saleh, the sport has helped her twin 13-year-old daughters become more
independent and decisive.
gave them something to focus on other than social media,” she says.
the instructor, established the academy in 2014 after learning kajukenbo in the
United States. He says he wanted to teach the sport to women back home as a way
to stay fit and to defend themselves against any attack.
part of the training, he presents his students with different scenarios,
including assaults and knife attacks.
focus on self-defense skills and place the girls in conditions similar to those
on the street so we can build their self-confidence and teach them exactly when
and where to expect the hit,” Gharib says.
academy, which has a strict confidentiality policy, has become a safe haven for
many girls and women that have been victims of assault or bullying.
is one of dozens of similar clubs and academies that have opened in Kuwait as
kajukenbo gains popularity. Although in the rest of the Gulf, the sport remains
a (victim) of assault, whether in school or on the street, is what pushed some
of these girls and women to pursue the sport,” says Fai Al-Fahed, one of the
girls are embracing this kind of martial art and we see it boosting their
Bashir says she was drawn to kajukenbo after watching clips of the sport
used to be afraid of everything, but this sport changed me,” she tells AFP.
have become more confident and more patient. Some say this is a man’s sport,
but that is, in fact, not true.”
Pakistani man, who “fell in love” with a 13-year-old girl forced into
prostitution in Dubai, is standing trial over molestation charges. The
25-year-old admitted to having sex with the minor several times “with her
consent”. He reported the girl’s plight to the police, which led to her rescue.
court of first instance heard that another Pakistani man, 49, brought the
13-year-old to the country, after claiming to be her father, and forced her
allegedly raped his compatriot and assaulted her with a stick every time she
refused to have sex with him. The accused ran a brothel in Abu Hail in Dubai
and was arrested along with two of his countrywomen, who face prostitution
charges. He is facing charges of human trafficking, running a brothel,
molestation and facilitating paid sex for the other two women.
case was reported in September 2018.
to court records, the girl told prosecutors that the accused forced her into
prostitution back home two years ago. He then issued a visit visa for her and
brought her to the country, claiming she was his daughter. The girl was forced
to have sex with “11 men of different nationalities” every day for money.
raped me back home and here (in the UAE) too. He hit me with a stick every time
I refused to have sex with him,” the girl told prosecutors.
25-year-old defendant, was a customer at the brothel, fell in love with the
girl and promised to marry her. He reported the girl’s plight to the police
after he received a text message from her brother, who resides in Pakistan,
requesting for help.
police raided the place and arrested the two women, both aged 23, who admitted
to working as prostitutes. They also corroborated the girl’s rape claims. They
said the brothel’s owner approached the girl while he was drunk and wanted to
have sex with her. He assaulted her when she refused. Both women admitted that
the accused paid Pakistani Rs200,000 to their families to bring them to the
49-year-old denied rape charges but admitted to consuming alcohol. He also
admitted he brought the teenager to the country for prostitution and
facilitated paid sex for the other two women.
reports showed bruises on the young girl’s body.
cases of Saudi stand-up comedian Fahad al-Butairi and his wife, Loujain
al-Hathloul, a women's right-to-drive activist, who were arrested in 2018, has
resurfaced following a Twitter thread detailing their disappearance.
a series of tweets, American writer and television producer Kirk Rudell spoke
about his friendship with the Saudi couple who tried to challenge the kingdom's
strict social rules.
tweets about their disappearance went viral, spotlighting Saudi Arabia's
crackdown on activists and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the
Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October last year.
tweeted about messages he shared with the couple after meeting them in Los
Angeles a few years ago.
like to see what they could do in this world, if they were given the
chance," said Rudell, adding, "I'd like to have that dinner with them
a follow-up tweet, Rudell said he was "overwhelmed" by the response
to his tweets, including one from California Congressman Adam Schiff, who said
he would contact Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States about the case.
been overwhelmed by the interest in and support of this story. It has been
humanity-affirming and the best possible expression of Twitter in action. My
intention was to bring the plight of Fahad and Loujain to the attention of
people who can do more for them than tweet," he wrote.
Butairi, 33, and Hathloul, 29, were arrested in 2018. Butairi's whereabouts are
unknown, while Halthloul remains incarcerated.
was among a group of more than a dozen Saudi women's right-to-drive activists
detained and allegedly tortured by electrocution, flogging, and sexual
harassment, according to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
years, she advocated for women's right to drive in the kingdom and, in 2013,
actively participated in a campaign where she posted videos of herself driving
in an attempt to encourage women to do the same.
an active social media presence, the 29-year-old had been arrested several
times for defying the now-lifted ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia.
of the arrested activists campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the
kingdom's male guardianship system, which requires women to obtain the consent
of a male relative for major decisions.
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