New Indian Express Illustration
Teen on Trial for Killing Bus Driver Who Allegedly Raped Her Ignites Debate
Raptors Are Selling A Team-Branded Hijab For Muslim Women Athletes
Authorities In Pakistan To Girls: Wear ‘Abaya’ To Avoid Eve-Teasing And
Nadu: Parents Threatening To Kill Girl For Converting To Islam?
Violence in the Middle East
Women Weave War Into Their Rugs
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Kinship: Many Years Ago Muslim Babies Were Breastfed By Hindu Women And Vice
Versa at Kerala's Nadapuram
Polarisation between Hindu and Muslim communities of Nadapuram has been much
talked about in the wake of the communal clashes. However, many years ago,
there existed an unparalleled kinship between the two communities, which was
nourished with breast milk.
his Facebook post, Delhi University assistant professor and Nadapuram native
Yasser Arafat elaborates on how Muslim babies were breastfed by Hindu women in
his home town.
came out with the Facebook post in the wake of a video of a Muslim religious
speaker Simsarul Haq Hudavi appearing on social media in which he exhorts his
community members to desist from taking part in Onam-Christmas celebrations as
it amounted to polytheism. Though the video is old, it resurfaced on social
media ahead of Onam.
first heard of this unique ‘milk kinship’ from my grandmother. Different
anecdotes over the same were heard from my mother, father and his friend
Kalarikkal Narayani,” said Arafat who had submitted a research paper on the
topic, Transcending breasts: Milk kinship, Identities and Communal living in Malabar.
“My father was breastfed by two Hindu women. Many of my uncles were breastfed
by Hindu women. There were Hindu children who were breastfed by Muslim women as
well. All these wonderful people shared a unique camaraderie transcending
religious differences,” said Arafat.
to him, there were multiple reasons for this unique kinship.
were many Hindu women working as domestics in affluent Muslim households.
During that time, irrespective of religion, women had many children and often
the kids were breastfed by domestics or neighbours belonging to another
community. Also, kids who lost their mothers were breastfed by women often
belonging to another community. I have a relative named Poyil Abdulla who was
breastfed for years by a Thiyya woman,” said Arafat.
to him, caste was not a factor as both Nair and Thiyya women breastfed Muslim
fraternal bond between K Moidu Moulavi and Chirutha is a glowing example of
‘milk kinship’ in Nadapuram. Moulavi was a prominent leader of the
Jamaat-e-Islami and he was breastfed by a Hindu woman who had a daughter named
Chirutha. Moulavi and Chirutha were treated as siblings. Retired teacher M A
Vanimel said it was at a public meeting held in the wake of Nadapuram flare-up
the Moulavi disclosed his kinship with Chirutha.
prosecution of a 15-year-old girl who killed a bus driver after he allegedly
tried to rape her has reignited debate over the treatment of women in Egypt's
legal system, including the practice of virginity tests and blaming victims of
July, the teenager made headlines after she confessed to police that she
stabbed to death a bus driver who she alleged had kidnapped her in a deserted
rural area near Cairo and sought to sexually assault her at knife point. The
girl said she tricked her alleged assailant, took away his knife, and stabbed
him several times before running away.
after her arrest, the teenager was required to undergo a virginity test, an
invasive procedure that rights groups say in itself amounts to sexual assault.
women's rights groups have offered legal assistance, arguing for leniency for
the teen because she defended herself against a sexual attack. They hope that a
judge's ruling in her favour could set an important legal precedent and help
challenge what they view as a deep-seated misogynistic culture of blaming
female victims rather than male attackers.
case reveals the dualism in Egyptian society," said Intissar Saeed,
president of the Cairo Foundation for Law and Development. "I myself have
sympathised with her since day one. But when I wrote about her on my Facebook
page some male lawyers attacked the girl on my page saying she was not a decent
teen's name was widely published in the Egyptian media. However, The Associated
Press does not generally identify individuals who say they have been sexually
assaulted or those under the age of 18 who are accused of crimes.
case highlights the culture's obsession with female virginity. In conservative
areas, relatives celebrate a new bride's loss of virginity by brandishing a
bloody sheet in public, a practice they believe affirms the family's honour.
virginity examinations garnered attention in 2011 when several women said they
were detained by military personnel and forced to undergo virginity tests while
protesting the interim military government that took over the country after the
ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.
her interrogation, the girl said she was on a date with her boyfriend before
riding the bus — a statement that could easily undermine her reputation and
probably her credibility in conservative Egyptian society, where dating is
frowned upon. Her boyfriend, along with a friend of his, are in custody pending
investigations into any potential links to the crime.
her detention, the girl was required to undergo a vaginal test which determined
she was a virgin — which in the Egyptian context could be viewed as helpful to
explains that this test is a routine legal procedure whenever a woman reports a
rape or alleged rape. Yet, she finds it irrelevant in this case.
said (the bus driver) tried to rape her but did not so I believe there was no
need for this examination," said Saeed, whose advocacy group is part of
the teen's legal team.
have been campaigning for the girl's release and calling for her to face a
lesser charge than murder. However, last month, the investigating judge upheld
an appeal by the prosecutor against an earlier court decision to release her
and ordered her detained for another 30 days.
is a frightening misogynistic sense of solidarity in the society," said
Mozn Hassan, founder of Nazra for Feminist Studies, a group that has long provided
legal and psychological support to women who had to undergo a virginity test.
The test has become a tool to weigh the virtuousness of the victim in cases of
sexual assault, added Hassan.
she is not divorced, married or widowed and turned out not to be a virgin, she
gets automatically labelled as indecent and deserving what she had gone
man is always presumed innocent. Yet, it is very logical in a country where
more than 95 percent of women are sexually harassed, that we should start off
by believing what the woman is saying," she said.
harassment, mostly ranging from catcalls to occasional pinching or grabbing, is
rampant in Egypt. Polls have found that most men and women in the conservative
Muslim country believe it is justified if women dress "provocatively"
indicate that a vast majority of Egyptian women feel insecure in the streets.
2014, Egypt's penal code was amended amid pressure from women's groups to
include a broad definition of sexual harassment and tougher penalties. However,
most women remain reluctant to file complaints for fear of stigmatisation.
teen's lawyers hope she will be charged with a so-called honor killing rather
than murder. Honour killings traditionally are acts of vengeance committed by
male family members against female family members deemed to have brought
dishonour upon the family. But the girl's attorneys believe the concept could
be applied in her case.
Egypt's penal code, men are more likely to receive lighter sentences if
convicted of an honor killing, a discrimination that activists have been
struggling to reverse for decades.
there are no guarantees for the young female defendant, Hassan said.
law takes into consideration the emotional status of a man when he rises to
defend his honor, which is very patriarchal," she said. "However,
this (has not been) applicable to women. Honour only concerns men."
investigating magistrate is still expected to receive a detailed forensic
report of the crime before deciding on the charges.
is the first time we have a girl that goes as far as killing the man who tried
to rape her. If the court rules in her favour, it will be a historic precedent
for the Egyptian judicial system," said Saeed.
Toronto Raptors are making history once again.
June, they became the first Canadian team to win an NBA Championship. This
week, they became the first team to sell a branded hijab, the headscarf worn by
many Muslim women.
Raptors unveiled the team-branded Nike Pro Hijab on social media Friday.
hijab, which features a Raptors claw on one side and a Nike Swoosh on the
other, was "inspired by those brave enough to change the game," the
team said on Twitter.
by those brave enough to change the game.
Toronto Raptors Nike Pro Hijab is available now.#WeTheNorth
PM - Sep 13, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
tweet included a video of Muslim women playing basketball. In the video, a
woman says: "Growing up, I didn't have so many role models that looked
about Muslim females not having to give up their identity or feeling like they
have to sacrifice some portion of their identity, but also still play whatever
sport they want."
women in the video are members of Hijabi Ballers, a Toronto-area athletic club
for Muslim girls and women.
club collaborated with the Raptors to launch the branded hijab.
excited and humbled to partner with none other than the 2019 NBA Champions
@raptors to present our mandate to the world — celebrating and increasing
opportunities for Muslim girls and women in sport — as they launch the new
Toronto Raptors @Nike Pro Hijab!" the club said on Instagram.
also thanked the Raptors for recognizing the role Muslim women play in "changing
the culture around sport" in the city.
Kadwa, founder and executive director of Hijabi Ballers, said the Raptors were
accommodating and respectful of the club and what they needed to bring to the
hijab to market.
one thing to do a launch. But it's another thing to actually involve the local
community and involve the athletes that are going to be using these hijabs, so
that was really nice of them to involve us in the process," Kadwa told
24-year-old founder said the response has been overwhelming.
the Raptors releasing a hijab to this market of hijab-wearing athletes, it
shows that they're a team that actually truly respects diversity and
inclusivity and will take that extra step to involve Muslim athletes in their
growth as a team and organization," said Kadwa.
branded hijab sells for $40 at the Real Sports Apparel store at Scotiabank
Arena in Toronto. It is currently not available online.
launched the "Pro Hijab" series in 2017. It has since been worn by
athletes at a range of sporting events, including fencing and figure skating.
Education authorities in Pakistan’s Haripur district have made it mandatory for
all female students of government schools to wear an abaya, gown or chador,
aimed at “protecting them from eve-teasing and harassment”.
a circular issued to all principals and headmasters of government schools,
district education officer Samina Altaf said that since providing police
protection to girl students at every nook and corner was not possible, the
administration had decided to make it binding upon them to observe “proper
purdah for their safety”.
A 24-year-old woman has approached the Madurai Bench of HC seeking protection,
alleging that her parents are threatening to kill her for ‘family honour’ as
she converted to another religion. The petitioner, M Keerthana Devi belongs to
caste Hindu from Theni.
converted to Islam of her own volition and changed her name to Shaheen Zainab
Fathima, despite objections. In the petition, she claimed that seeing her
conversion as a dishonour to family name, her parents beat her up, threatened
her, and kept her under illegal confinement.
I left home on September 12 and approached a jamath named Jammiyathul Ahlil
Quran Val Hadees (JAQH) which gave me shelter. But my parents threaten to kill
me for family pride,” she alleged. Further, claiming the local police were
supporting her parents, and were constantly harassing her by asking her to come
to the station for inquiry, she prayed to the court to grant her
the case came for hearing before Justice GK Ilanthirayan, a counsel appearing
for Devi’s parents contended that they did not threaten her and are worried
about her safety. Following the same, the counsel for petitioner submitted that
she is not willing to go with her parents and is ready to appear before the
court on Monday to clear the apprehensions of her parents.
violence, manifested essentially as violence against women, is one of the most
significant epidemics in the Middle East today.
kind of violence occurs in practically all countries in the region and affects
families of all backgrounds, religions and social spheres. It affects not only
families but societies as a whole.
is estimated that 37% of women in Arab countries have experienced domestic
violence. According to a United Nations report, approximately 200,000 women
were victims of domestic violence in Israel between 2014 and 2015.
cultural, economic and social factors, including shame and fear of retaliation
from their partners, contribute to women’s reluctance to denounce these acts.
women who speak up mostly turn to their families and friends rather than the
police. The lack of effective judicial response to their accusations
contributes to their discouragement. North Africa and the Middle East have the
fewest legal protections against domestic violence.
of domestic violence
against women has multiple consequences, at the individual level, within the
family, community and wider society. It can lead to fatal outcomes and have a
significant burden on the economy,” said Manal Benkirane, regional program
specialist at the UN Women’s Regional Office for Arab States.
violence is as common a cause of death and disability as cancer is among women
of reproductive age. It is also a greater cause of ill-health than traffic
accidents and malaria put together.
health experts increasingly consider violence against women a public health
issue, one requiring a public health approach.
experience of violence makes women more susceptible to a variety of mental
health problems such as depression, suicide and alcohol and drug abuse.
violence also increases women’s risk of contracting sexually transmitted
diseases, including HIV/AIDS (through forced sexual relations or because of the
difficulty in persuading men to use condoms). It may also lead to serious
World Organization against Torture has expressed its concern regarding the high
levels of violence against women worldwide.
provisions related to domestic violence are included in several national
policies and laws, there are difficulties in implementing them.
to the World Health Organization (WHO), “nearly half of women who die due to
homicide are killed by their current or former husbands or boyfriends.”
health experts increasingly consider violence against women a public health
issue. Studies carried out in the Arab world show that 70% of violence occurs
in big cities, and that in almost 80% of cases those responsible are the heads
of families, such as fathers or eldest brothers.
most cases, they assert their right to punish their wives and children in any
way they see appropriate.
the 22 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
member states, only Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia
are considered to have laws to protect women against domestic abuse.
has been some progress, however, regarding this problem. Tunisia, for example,
continues to raise the bar for Arab women’s rights in the 21st century.
2014, The Ministry of Women and Family Affairs wrote a draft bill condemning
and criminalizing domestic violence. The draft law was approved in 2016.
Lebanon, there are no reliable statistics about domestic violence, a subject
that still remains a taboo in Lebanese society.
2009, the second Arab Regional Conference for Family Protection took place in
Jordan. It was held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania, chairperson
of the National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA).
conference formulated a unified strategy for safeguarding families from
domestic violence, with the attendance of family experts and sociologists from
the Arab world.
Morocco, the Union of Women’s Action (UAF) has organized forums to raise public
awareness of violence against women, and lobby local groups to protect
the same time, counseling centers have been set up to allow women to talk about
their problems and receive help.
Egypt, where the phenomenon is pervasive in society, Beit Hawa (The House of
Eve) was founded as the first comprehensive women’s shelter in Egypt and the
December of 2018, protesters across Israel criticized the government’s failure
to address violence against women.
to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “wake up, our blood is not cheap,” the
protest was a reaction to the killings of 24 women last year at the hands of a
partner, family member or an acquaintance.
the protests, the Welfare Ministry reported a 150% increase in complaints about
domestic violence cases in the country.
more work has to be done if this epidemic of violence is going to be
and community leaders should spearhead efforts to create a culture of openness
and support to eliminate the stigma associated with this problem.
it is necessary not only to enact but also to enforce legislation that
criminalizes all forms of violence against women, including marital rape. Laws
should be followed up with plans for specific national action.
2009 report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
stated that women’s lack of social participation “is primarily attributable to
the existence of discriminatory laws, failure to implement the
nondiscriminatory legislation that does exist and a lack of awareness by women
of their rights in such matters.”
cannot be true development in the Middle East without women’s progress and the
recognition of their rights.
a Human Development Report stated, “The rise of Arab women is in fact a
prerequisite for an Arab renaissance and is causally linked to the fate of the
Arab world and its achievement of human development.”
Asian women have been weaving hand-made rugs and carpets for thousands of years
but in recent years, they have begun incorporating weapons and machines into their
creations, marking the change in Afghanistan’s political climate.
an art website, posted an extensive story by Vanessa Thill on the phenomenon
and noted that the flowers, birds and decorative knots in traditional rugs have
been replaced by machine guns, grenades, helicopters and tanks.
of the creators of these rugs were displaced during the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan and are living as refugees in Pakistan and Iran.
carpets have become part of a niche market for Western collectors.
noted that in the carpets’ compositions, perspectival viewpoints merge and
flatten to integrate three-dimensional forms with maps and repeating decorative
patterns. Some of the rug designs are based on Charbagh, a quadrilateral layout
inspired by the four gardens of Paradise described in the Holy Quran. Another
genre of rugs depicts national maps of Afghanistan, which may have been
influenced by Alighiero Boetti’s map series.
Italian Conceptual artist traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and
worked with female weavers, first in Kabul and later in Peshawar, to create
brightly colored tapestries depicting world maps with national flags labeled
with bold text. Some of the war rugs feature Roman characters spelling out
“USSR,” “Made in Afghanistan,” or “Long Live US Soldiers.”
York-based artist Leah Dixon first encountered war rugs online in 2010 and now
makes colourful yoga mats. She described the work as a homage to the carpet
weavers and a jab at the United States’ commercialized relationship with war.
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