Bekteshi student of Islamic Studies studies a book inside the library of the
Faculty of Islamic Studies in Kosovo capital Pristina on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.
In Kosovo religious authorities are going against old Ottoman-era traditions,
and seeking to establish the training of women as spiritual teachers and
theologians in mosques. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Students Society of Nigeria Insist On Hijab Right for School Girls
A Principled Palestinian Woman Became Israel’s Nightmare
Police Women Officers Pull a Plane and Break World Record
University Swabi Students Launch Social Work Activities
Champion among Baha’i Women Arrested Across Iran
Takes Lives of Seven Women In Tehran, North And Western Iran
Women’s Football Team Captain Dropped after Refusing to Sign Contract That
Poet Fahmida Riaz Is No More
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Preachers Training Kosovo Women as Spiritual Teachers in Mosques
Kosovo — There's a widespread tradition among many Muslims that it's better for
women to pray at home than in the mosque. But in Kosovo, an old Ottoman-era
tradition is bucking that trend, with religious authorities seeking to
establish the training of women as spiritual teachers in mosques.
day, scores of women gather around Agime Sogojeva, a spiritual teacher known as
a mualime, in the Haxhi Veseli mosque in Kosovo's northern town of Mitrovica.
They discuss the Quran, their rights as women and daily practices, in a scene
unthinkable as little as a decade ago.
is one of some 100 female theologians aiming to revive Muslim traditions in
Europe's newest country. They teach at three Muslim high schools, at Muslim
centers, or they work voluntarily.
move to establish the religious training of women in mosques — where women are
allocated places in a separate room from the men — is seen by some as a way to
make Kosovo's approach to Islam more gender-balanced at a time when many in the
West view Islam as oppressive toward women.
in much of the Muslim world women teach other women, it is more common for that
to occur at home or in event halls rather than in the mosques themselves. In
some very conservative Islamic societies, women are generally distanced from
mosques for social rather than religious reasons.
Kosovo, there has been a significant increase in the number of women attending
mosques in the past 20 years, said Besa Ismaili, a 43-year-old professor of
English at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Pristina.
women were not only denied access, but their contribution was not recognized
sufficiently," she said. "We try to break up those stereotypes, those
has a strongly patriarchal society but also a long secular tradition, with
religious identity significantly weakened during decades of communist rule.
Most of its ethnic Albanian majority population is Muslim, but religious expression
was generally lax even after the fall of communism in the late 1980s. The
country declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nearly a decade after a
1998-1999 war against Yugoslav forces by ethnic Albanian fighters.
however, it has seen a rise of religiously-inspired violent extremism, with
more than 300 Kosovo citizens joining the Islamic State group as foreign
fighters in Iraq and Syria since 2012. A quarter of those were women and
children, often forced to follow their husbands into the war zone. About 180
Kosovo citizens are still active with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, and
the women are held in camps.
Kosovo authorities claim no citizen has joined a fundamentalist group over the
past two years, a development partly attributed to the empowering of women
through the creation of female Islamic teachers.
nationalism becomes less present when Islam is explained to women,"
for about a dozen of the female theologians comes from Turkey's Directorate of
Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, which assists the Islamic Community of Kosovo,
or BIK, the country's executive for Muslims.
female preachers are active members in about 800 mosques countrywide, said
Resul Rexhepi, BIK secretary general, modernizing women's life and increasing
their role in society.
are good for the whole society," he said.
officials claim that the introduction of the female Muslim preachers in the
mosques has reduced sexual violence at home, assisted women who were raped
during the war, helped mothers with their children's education and increased
the participation of women in voting in elections. There are no official
figures to support such claims.
the past decade or so some 1,100 girls have graduated from three Muslim high
schools and 300 women from the Faculty of Islamic Studies.
Bekteshi, a 21-year old student, says it is easier for a female teacher to
explain "some delicate issues a woman is reluctant to ask an imam, a
the controversies leading to the closure of the International School, Ibadan,
over the usage of hijab by Muslim female students of the school, the Muslim
Students Society of Nigeria (MMSN), B-Zone, has said that hijab is the right of
every Muslim female that cannot be compromised.
statement jointly signed by Barrister Qaasim Odedeji, Amir/Zonal Coordinator,
MSSN B-Zone; Alhaji Abdul Jalil Abdur Rasaq, Secretary and Engr. Bashir Momoh,
Public Relations Officer, said that the controversies are needless as it would
be expected of the management of the institution constituted by ‘Academic
giants’ who are supposed to know that the issue of hijab is beyond emotion and
sentiment. “In the usual characteristics of such and many other similar
institutions dominated by non-Muslims in the southern part of Nigeria, the
school has, for long, denied the female Muslim students the right to the use of
hijab in accordance with the dictates of Islam and in line with the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Muslims, as usual, endured the humiliation and embarrassment occasioned by this
denial for so long until the 20th of October, 2018, when they wrote a letter
through the Muslims Parents’ Forum of the institution under the leadership of
Alhaji AbdurRahman Balogun informing the management of the desire of the female
Muslim students to desist from being forced to act against the dictates of
their religion citing the provisions of the constitution and judicial
authorities to support their decision,” the statement said.
to the organisation, the reverse was the case when the management headed by the
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics of University of Ibadan tried to mishandled
the matter in a way that made it problematic.
are 53 Palestinian female prisoners in Israeli prisons at the moment, some of
them held in solitary confinement, others in ‘administrative detention’, and
all of them incarcerated in ways contrary to international law and regulations
regarding the rights of prisoners.
regarding Palestinian prisoners indicate that Israel targets all sectors of
Palestinian society — men and women, old and young, Islamists, secularists,
socialists, even children.
fact, at the moment, there are 270 Palestinian children in Israeli prisons.
to the Prisoners Support Association — Addameer — there are currently 450
Palestinian prisoners held in ‘administrative detention’ meaning, imprisonment
without trial and due process. Some of these prisoners are members of the
Palestine Legislative Council (PLC). One such parliamentarian is Khalida
Jarrar, who truly embodies the harsh experiences of all Palestinian prisoners.
Israeli troops stormed Khalida’s house in April 2015, the Palestinian lawyer
was engrossed in her research. For months, Khalida had been leading a
Palestinian effort to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
was released in June 2016, only to be arrested yet again on July 2, 2017. On
October 28 of this year, her ‘administrative detention’ was renewed for the
is not beseeching her jailers for her freedom. Instead, she is keeping busy
educating her fellow female inmates on international law, offering classes and
issuing statements to the outside world that reflect not only her refined
intellect, but also her resolve and strength of character. Khalida is
relentless. Despite her failing health, her commitment to the cause of her
people did not, in any way, weaken or falter even under the horrific conditions
of her imprisonment.
55-year-old Palestinian lawyer has championed a political discourse that is
largely absent amid the ongoing feud between the Palestinian National Authority’s
(PNA) largest faction, Fatah, in the Occupied West Bank, and Hamas, in besieged
a member of the PLC and an active member within the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Khalida has advocated the kind of politics that
is not disconnected from the people and especially, from the women that she
strongly and uncompromisingly represents.
to Khalida, no Palestinian official should engage in any form of dialogue with
Israel, because such engagement helps legitimise a state that is founded on
genocide and ethnic cleansing, and that is currently carrying out various types
of war crimes — the very crimes that Khalida tried to expose before the ICC.
political stance is clear — she rejects the so-called ‘peace process’,
emphasising that it is a futile exercise that has no intention or mechanism
that is aimed at “implementing international resolutions related to the
Palestinian cause and recognising the fundamental rights of the Palestinians”.
goes without saying that a woman with such an astute, powerful stance,
vehemently rejects the ‘security coordination’ between the PNA and Israel,
rightly seeing such action as a betrayal of the struggle and sacrifices of the
PNA officials continue to enjoy the perks of ‘leadership’, desperately
breathing life into a dead political discourse of a ‘peace process’ and a
‘two-state solution’, Khalida, a Palestinian female leader with a true vision,
subsists in HaSharon Prison.
August 2014, as Israel was carrying out one of its most heinous acts of
genocide in Gaza — killing and wounding thousands in its so-called ‘Protective
Edge’ war — Khalida received an unwelcome visit by Israeli soldiers. Her home
was surrounded by a massive number of soldiers, as if the well-spoken
Palestinian activist was Israel’s greatest ‘security threat’. Fully aware of
Khalida’s work and credibility as a lawyer, and her international outreach —
she is the Palestine representative in the Council of Europe — the Israeli
government unleashed its campaign of harassment, which ended in her
imprisonment. The soldiers delivered a military edict ordering her to leave her
home in Al Bireh, near Ramallah, for Jericho.
to silence her voice, she was arrested in April the following year, beginning
an episode of suffering, and also resistance, which is yet to end.
international pressure, Israel was forced to put Khalida on trial, levying
against her 12 charges that included visiting a released prisoner and
participating in a book fair. Her other arrest, and the four renewals of her
detention, are a testament not just to Israel’s lack of any real evidence
against Khalida, but also of its moral bankruptcy. Khalida, like many other
Palestinian women, represents the antidote to the fabricated Israeli narrative
that relentlessly promotes Israel as an oasis of freedom, democracy and human
rights. She is a lawyer, human rights activist, prominent politician and
advocate for women, and represents, through her eloquence, courage and deep understanding
of her rights and the rights of her people.
Arabic, Khalida means “immortal”, a most fitting designation for a true fighter
who represents the legacy of generations of strong Palestinian women, whose
‘sumoud’ — or steadfastness — shall always inspire an entire nation.
Dubai Police women officers have broken the Guinness World Record by pulling an
airplane for over 100 metres as part of the 30-day Fitness Challenge. And not
just any airplane, a Boeing 777-300R, which weighs around 240 tonnes, or
240,000 kilograms was pulled by 77 officers.
their official Instagram account, Dubai Police shared videos and pictures from
the event, which was held this morning. As part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge,
which ends on November 24, they took on this feat and succeeded. A delegation
from the Guinness World Records was present on site and awarded a certificate
to Major-General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police.
to an official release by Dubai Police, Major-General Al Merri praised
"the efforts of the team of the initiative, with the participation of
Emirates as a strategic partner".
The students of English Language and Literature Department of the Women
University Swabi on Thursday launched a two-day of social work activities and
different competitions for school children.
the first day, the event was attended by a number of students, faculty members,
school students and parents.
Prof Dr Khanzadi Fatima Khattak was the chief guest at the inaugural
said the university had made it mandatory for students to carry out social
services. “It is one of the basic requirements for obtaining degrees,” she
speakers said the students were future leaders, empathic and socially
Nazifi, a motocross champion, was arrested on Sunday, November 18, 2018, by
security forces in Tehran and taken to Evin Prison.
the arrest of the motocross champion, security guards went to Ms. Nazifi’s
house and after about 5 hours of inspections, they seized some of her personal
belongings, including books, cell phone, and laptop.
Shahrzad Nazifi is a motocross coach of the Baha’i faith and one of the
motocross champions in the motocross field in Iran.
another report on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, Sepideh Keshavarz, a Baha'i woman
was arrested by security forces at her house in Tehran and transferred to an
unknown location. During an inspection of her house, the security forces seized
some of Ms. Keshavarz's books and her cell phone.
the same day in Tehran, security forces ransacked the residence of Baha’i
woman, Mahvash Edalati (Za’eri), for three hours and confiscated her books and
personal belongings. They handed Ms. Edalati an undated subpoena and instructed
her to go for interrogation whenever she is told to.
on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, Ms. Shabnam Essakhani, was arrested in Tabriz
for her religious beliefs. Security forces inspected her house and took her to
the Department of Intelligence of Tabriz where she was arrested. There is no
news on the fate of Ms. Esakhani and why she was arrested.
another report from Baharestan, in Isfahan, Ms. Anousheh Rayeneh was sentenced
to six years in prison, and Bahareh Zaini, Foujan Rashidi and Sepideh Rouhani
were each sentenced to four years in prison.
Dori Amri, another Baha'i woman from Mashhad, was sentenced to one year in
prison on charges of “propaganda against the state.” She was transferred to
Mashhad Prison on Wednesday, October 31, 2018, to serve her one-year jail
sentence, along with two other Baha'i women in Mashhad named Mrs. May Kholousi
and her daughter, Saghi Fadaii. Ms. Amri was sentenced to one year in prison by
the Third Branch of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad, headed by Judge
Soltani, in March 2018. The appeals court, which was held on August 26, 2018,
Badr-nejad, a Baha'i woman from Ahvaz, who was previously detained and in an
undetermined status, was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Mitra Badr-nejad is a
Baha'i woman who was arrested in March and released on bail in April.
women committed suicide in Tehran, and in cities of Fereydoon Kenar, Urmia,
Sardasht, Oshnavieh and Likak in northern and western Iran, due to poverty and
the morning of Wednesday, November 14, 2018, an 11th grader young woman jumped
from the third floor of her high school in Tehran. Attempts to save her life
did not prove effective and she died in hospital.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018, a young girl from Sheikh Tappeh district in Urmia,
took her own life.
Monday, November 12, 2018, Sima Damouri, a female student under 18 years,
committed suicide in the city of Likak, Bahmai County, in the Kohgiluyeh and
Saturday, November 10, 2018, a 32-year-old woman named Troskeh Rasoulian,
daughter of Ismail, hanged herself in the city of Oshnavieh and ended her life.
Friday, November 9, 2018, a woman hanged herself in a village near Fereydoon
Kenar, in Mazandaran Province. It was also reported that a 23-year-old woman
from Bojnourd, South Khorasan Province, took her own life by taking rice pills
in Fereydoon Kenar’s beach.
November 4, 2018, Ameneh Ebrahimi, a 45-year-old woman from Sardasht, took her
own life due to poverty.
March to the end of October, 80 suicides of Iranian girls and women have been
to the annual statistics released by the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
in September 2018, in Iran, women's suicide rates in 2017 alone were more than
1,365 people, at least 4 women per day.
in Iran rates third highest among Islamic countries. According to the World
Health Organization, the suicide rate of Iran in 2014 was 5,3 in every 100,000
people. Iranian women are more vulnerable to suicide than other groups in the
society. In 2007, Iran ranked the third country in which women were
outnumbering men in committing suicide. According to a study published in 2008,
women's suicide rate in Iran was double that of men.
captain of Afghanistan’s women’s football team and several of her team mates
have been reportedly dropped after they refused to sign a contract which denied
them payments for playing matches among other restrictions.
Mobarez said in a statement on Twitter that she was recently asked to sign a
contract that “jeopordizes my ability to seek outside off AFF (Afghanistan
Football Federation), does not include compensation for playing, prohibits me
from pursuing other promotional ventures and lacks any sort of mediation during
team is set to take part in the upcoming CAFA (Central Asian Football
Association) Women’s Championship that starts on November 23. “I have chosen
not to sign the contract which has ultimately ended without an invite for the
upcoming CAFA tournament. This contract would take away my rights both as a
player and female representing my country,” Mobarez said in her statement. “I
hope for a change that will benefit our team for all the girls that aspire to
play for the Afghan Women’s National team.” She also posted screenshots of the
contract on Facebook.
is an Afghan refugee who moved to Denmark with her family in 2003 to flee the
war in Afghanistan. Apart from being captain of her nation’s football team,
Mobarez also coaches refugee teams in Denmark. She had been offered a place in
the Danish team but she chose to represent Afghanistan. She has been captain of
the side since 2016.
unable to train as a full team at home, have met for training camps and games
in places such as the US, Germany, Jordan and the Netherlands. The team,
coached by the American Kelly Lindsey, who has not set foot in the country
since taking over in 2016 because of safety concerns, have risen to 106 in the
Fifa world rankings
One of the most courageous feminist voices coming out of the literary circles
in Pakistan and distinguished Urdu poet, translator and fiction writer Fahmida
Riaz passed away on Wednesday and laid to rest in Lahore on Thursday. She was
Riaz was born on July 26, 1946 in Meerut, India. Her father worked in the
education sector and was involved in efforts to improve the education system in
Sindh. When Pakistan gained independence, her father was transferred to
Hyderabad, Sindh, where the family shifted for good.
Riaz acquired her early education from a school in Hyderabad and went on to
graduate from Zubeida College.
growing up in the city meant that apart from Urdu, she was able to learn
Sindhi, and subsequently as her interest in literature grew, she became
well-versed in Persian as well.
first collection of Urdu poems titled Pathar Ki Zaban was published when she
was 22 years old. It was well received. When her second book Badan Dareedah hit
the bookstalls, it created a stir in literary and social circles. The
conservative section of Pakistani society accused her of employing bold,
sexually explicit language. She took all of that in her stride.
during Gen Ziaul Haq’s rule, Ms Riaz went into exile in India. It is said that
poet Amrita Pritam facilitated her stay across the border. She remained in
India for seven years, and when Gen Zia’s rule came to an end, she returned to
Pakistan to a warm reception.
authored 15 books. They included her collections of poems, including the
critically acclaimed Dhoop and Aadmi Ki Zindagi, novels (the last one being
Qila-i-Faramoshi) and translations of works of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and
Sheikh Ayaz. One of her great literary achievements was the translation in
verse of Persian Sufi poet Rumi’s works.
also served as chief editor of the Urdu Dictionary Board, from 2009 to 2012.
Riaz’s funeral prayers were held on Thursday after Namaz-i-Asr at 91C, Askari
I, Sarfaraz Rafiqi Road, Lahore. She was laid to rest in Bahar Shah Graveyard,
among those who attended the funeral were poets Amjad Islam Amjad and Fatima
Hassan, painter and educationist Salima Hashmi and journalists I.A. Rehman,
Hussain Naqi, Imtiaz Alam and Rashid Rehman.
son-in-law Sheikh Muhammad Babar Yahya told Dawn that Ms Riaz had had multiple
strokes but the one she suffered on Wednesday left the right side of her body
said the poet and author had three children — two daughters and a son. Her son
Kabir died in an accident in the US while her daughter Sara lives in the United
Islam Amjad said she was a bold poetess who raised a voice for the rights of
women through her poetry. She was also a political activist.
Nadeem Syed said her first collection of poems gave a new trend to poetry in
Urdu. Her poetry was all about historical facts and political activism.
Riaz was a great fighter and social and political activist of merit, said human
rights activist I.A. Rehman. She raised a strong voice for women’s right.
journalist Hussain Naqi said she faced great opposition in her life but fought
against all the odds with determination.
and social activist Salima Hashmi said the late poet fought for the rights of
the people of Balochistan.
Fatima Hassan said the government did not pay any attention to the
circumstances in which Ms Riaz spent her last few years. She was a great writer
who inspired generations.
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