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Islam, Women and Feminism (28 Oct 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Muslim Woman Hit by Car in Leicester Was Hate Crime Victim, Police Say

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook/فرقة الهنا للافراح الاسلاميهThe El-Hanaa Band for Islamic Weddings seen in a picture uploaded Aug. 13, 2016.

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Punjab Decides To Constitute Special Courts for Women

Female Islamic Bands Are Emerging As a New Fixture at Women's Celebrations around Egypt

Kerala 'Love Jihad' Case: State Women's Panel Seeks Police Report on Hadiya's Condition

Awards to Celebrate Qatari Women’s Achievements

NCSW, PCSWs Seek Registration of Women Voters

Iraq Is 'Refusing To Extradite' German Jihadi Schoolgirl Facing EXECUTION for Running Away To Mosul And Marrying An ISIS Fighter

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-woman-hit-by-car-in-leicester-was-hate-crime-victim,-police-say/d/113057

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Muslim woman hit by car in Leicester was hate crime victim, police say

27 October 2017

A Muslim woman who suffered serious injuries after being struck by a car was the alleged victim of a hate crime, the Guardian has learned.

The woman, Zaynab Hussein, 47, is still in hospital more than five weeks after the attack. Police allege the car driver intended to kill her, and also struck a child in the area.

It is one of the worst crimes in the recent upsurge of attacks suffered by Britain’s Muslim and ethnic minority communities.

The incident happened in Leicester on Wednesday, 20 September as Hussein returned from taking her children to school.

A man has been charged with attempted murder over the incident and with attempted grievous bodily harm for an incident where a car was driven that same morning at a 12-year-old girl. The child was struck by the car but police say she did not suffer any visible injuries.

Police say both incidents are being treated as hate crimes and as deliberate acts.

Diis Barre, Hussein’s husband, praised paramedics and medical staff for saving his wife’s life but said: “Why would anybody attack my innocent wife who was going about her daily business?”

Hussein suffered broken limbs, extensive cuts and has required skin grafts. The attack happened in the Beaumont Leys area of Leicester.

Leicestershire police and the Crown Prosecution Service say they are treating both incidents as hate crimes on religious and racial grounds. They are being linked and were allegedly deliberate.

It is the second alleged vehicle attack directed against Muslims this year in Britain. In June a man was killed after a man drove a van into worshippers near to the Finsbury Park mosque in north London.

In that case the Metropolitan police classed it as a terrorist incident. A man has been charged with murder over the Finsbury Park attack.

The attack has shocked local communities in Leicester. Dr Shazad Amin, of Mend, a Muslim campaigning group, said: “The whole community is shocked by this senseless, unprovoked attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and we hope she makes a full recovery”.

A Leicester man faces criminal charges over the attacks. He was detained shortly after them and charged the next day. He can not be named for legal reasons.

Leicestershire police declined further comment on the basis that strict contempt of court rules apply which limit the details they can release.

In a statement announcing the charges, Leicestershire police said: “A man has been charged following two road traffic collisions yesterday in Leicester.

“[The suspect] has been charged with attempted murder, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, dangerous driving and driving with alcohol above the limit.”

“The attempted murder charge relates to an incident yesterday [Wednesday, 20 September] when a vehicle collided with a pedestrian, a woman in her forties, on Acer Close at the junction with Butterwick Drive. She remains in hospital in a serious condition. “The GBH charge relates to a separate collision which happened in Butterwick Drive when a vehicle collided with a pedestrian, a 12-year-old girl. She didn’t receive any visible injuries.”

The suspect is due to next appear at Leicester crown court on 10 November.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/27/muslim-woman-hit-by-car-in-leicester-was-hate-victim-police-say

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Punjab decides to constitute special courts for women

28 October,2017

(Dunya News) – To put an end to violence and other crimes against women, the government of Punjab has taken an initiative and has decided to form special courts for women in 36 districts of the province.

While the courtrooms will only have female judges, the proceedings will begin from the very day a complaint is registered.

Aiming to serve ‘speedy justice’, the courts will be able to conclude cases within two weeks of the proceedings.

The draft of the proposed amendments to the existing 2016 law to ensure these provisions will be presented before the Punjab Assembly in December.

Following their passage, the formation of the courts will be possible within the next two months.

http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/411800-

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Female Islamic Bands Are Emerging As a New Fixture at Women's Celebrations around Egypt

October 27, 2017

Youssra el-Sharkawy

Female Islamic bands are emerging as a new fixture at women's celebrations around Egypt. Fully or partially veiled, and wearing sparkling but unrevealing clothes, they perform at weddings, where men and women are segregated, and at henna parties, where women come together before a wedding or to celebrate a birth.

The bands purposely do not violate Sharia in their performances. The douf (tambour) is often the only musical instrument they use, although there are exceptions, and the groups only appear at women-only events. Their repertoire tends to consist of Egyptian rustic wedding songs.

Music is a controversial issue in Islam. While certain branches such as Sufism consider music central to their religious rituals, some conservatives consider it to be a tool of intoxication, especially songs with non-religious themes and those sung by women. The Quran, however, does not forbid music, nor does any Islamic country forbid all music.

The El-Hanaa Band for Islamic Weddings is a recently established troupe, launched by six fully veiled sisters who have a passion for singing. "We started as six sisters, but now we have around 25 young women who work with us," Somaya Akl, the troupe's founder, told Al-Monitor.

El-Hanaa not only sings at performances, but also organizes entire events, including renting the event space and decorating it, and if requested, even doing the bride's makeup. The troupe also has a camerawoman and DJ. Unlike more conservative bands, they also offer to perform Indian dances and Egyptian folk dances. During the shows, performers sometimes remove their hijabs and dress in costumes depending on the show. Photos and video recordings are prohibited during the unveiled moments.

"We aim to make people happy in a halal kind of way," said Akl. "I may agree to play one non-Islamic song for the bride’s entry, but it should be related to weddings and have appropriate lyrics."

El-Hanaa, founded three years ago and based in Cairo, has performed in governorates around Egypt, but some Egyptian Islamic bands have performed in other countries. El-Shaymaa Band for Islamic Weddings, one of the biggest troupes in Egypt, was established 10 years ago in Cairo and has performed in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Troupe founder Shaymaa Abdel-Hamid told Al-Monitor that her band's performances do not include music in the traditional sense, but does use electronic drums, which people appear to enjoy. Abdel-Hamid, who normally wears a veil that covers her entire face, said fully covered women typically face security-related harassment, especially if traveling outside Egypt, because the veil conceals their identity.

"I don't allow [band members to wear] veils that cover the whole face while traveling, because they usually get inspected by security forces in checkpoints," Abdel Hamid told Al-Monitor. Instead, for performances abroad she insists that women wear headscarves.

Founded in 1997, the Banat Sondos Islamic Band is thought to be the oldest female Islamic band in Egypt and the only group to have produced an album, "Zay el-Banat" (Like Girls in Arabic), released in 2002. The band is different from many other female groups in that its songs and dance performances are backed by music, rather than electronic rhythms or drums only.

"People have became more open-minded than before," said Rehab Salama, the troupe's founder, to Al-Monitor. "They began to think that music is OK and that a song won't send us to hell." Still, even with bands' self-imposed restraints, some conservatives criticize them for using or playing music in their performances and for singing.

"When we released our album, some conservative people criticized us for recording songs with our voices, considering it a sin, although we sang songs that are conservative," said Salama. "This is because some still believe that a woman's [singing] voice should not be heard by men.” Some believe that women should stay at home and raise children.

Banat's lyrics, like those of similar bands, praise marriage as devotion to God, praise the beauty of the bride, praise the bride and groom for being religious and as deserving the best. Usually the songs invoke God’s name, asking him to grant a couple happiness. They do not use words such as kiss, hug, love and adore or that in any way contradict Islamic morals.

Hala Farouk, a fully veiled housewife who studied Sharia, said all Muslims should be supportive of the gender-segregated Islamic tradition of weddings and the performances. "Islamic concerts and weddings give women freedom to dance and dress as they want," Farouk told Al-Monitor. "I believe that these female troupes are a very good thing, which used to be rare in the past."

Female troupes remain fairly uncommon in Egyptian society, despite its rich cultural heritage of classical music and songs made famous by the likes of the legendary singer Umm Kulthum, the "Star of the East," the composer Mohamed Abdel Wahab and the popular singer and actor Abdul Halim Hafez, among others.

Hatem Hafez, an Egyptian writer and lecturer at the Academy of Arts in Cairo, told Al-Monitor that "Islamic" weddings and troupes have nothing to do with Islam or the arts.

"The concept of an 'Islamic wedding' spread after many things were Islamized beginning in the late sixties," Hafez said. "Since then, some concepts like Islamic clothing, an Islamic economy and Islamic rule have appeared, but all these concepts have no intrinsic meaning. They are only attempts by some people to recall the past of the Arabs, the so-called golden era of Islam."

Hafez further stated, "People who glorify the Arabic past do not understand that the way the Arabs used to live in the first century AH [anno hegirae] was their culture at that time and had nothing to do with religion. Islam only influenced their ideology and behavior, not their way of living, which included their attire, food, way of eating and drinking."

Hafez added, however, that Islamic-themed music has become an international phenomenon. The US band Native Deen combines hip-hop and rap with lyrics related to Islam, and the British singer Sami Yusuf was popular in Egypt for a while.

"I believe that there are some unsuccessful attempts to create an Islamic art, which is [actually] mixing Bedouin style with modernity," Hafez said. "However, real Islamic art is found in the architecture, calligraphy and ornaments that emerged naturally in past eras and will remain until the end of the world."

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/10/conservative-bands-sing-dance-at-all-women-events.html

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Kerala 'Love Jihad' case: State women's panel seeks police report on Hadiya's condition

Oct 28, 2017

Thiruvananthapuram: Days after a video was released in which Hadiya, of the Kerala 'Love jihad' case, can be seen pleading for help, the Kerala Women's Commission on Saturday sought a report from Kottayam Superintendent of Police (SP) on the present condition of the girl.

In a 16-second video clip, released by activist Rahul Eshwar, the 24-year-old girl, who has been living with her parents after the Kerala High Court annulled her marriage, said she could be killed by her father soon.

Akhila Ashokan or Hadiya,said in the video, "You need to get me out of here. I can be killed anytime, tomorrow or day after I am sure [sic]. I know my father is getting angry, he is hitting and kicking me".

The clip was shot by Eshwar, who had met the woman and her family in August.

After the Kerala HC annulled her marriage with Shafin Jahan, 27, in May this year, she was ordered to return to her parents and live at her residence in Kottayam. She has been kept under the tight vigil of police and guards to make sure she does not run away.

Hadiya, formerly Akhila Ashokan, converted to Islam and married Jahan in 2016.

On October 10, the Kerala High Court while hearing the Hadiya case had observed that 'all inter-religious marriages cannot be termed love jihad'.

Earlier on October 7, the Kerala government told the Supreme Court that an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was not needed in the case as the state police was efficient enough to carry out the inquiry.

The government, however, had earlier said that it has no problem with the NIA probe.

Last month, a group of people had submitted a petition to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and demanded a probe into the alleged unlawful incarceration of Hadiya.

The case is under consideration of the Apex Court now, which had ordered the NIA investigation into it.

http://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/kerala-love-jihadhadiya-akhila-ashokan-islam-nia-women-panel-police-report/114431

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Awards to celebrate Qatari women’s achievements

October 25 2017

Oryx Publishing & Advertising will host the first ever Qatar Today Women of the Year awards on October 30 at The St. Regis Doha in partnership with Qatari Businesswomen Association (QBWA).

“Qatar Today Women of the Year awards aims to honour 10 Qatari women from different categories who have left their mark in various sectors in 2016-17,” Faisal Fuad, general manager of Oryx Publishing & Advertising Company, told a press conference yesterday.

The categories are; inspirational woman of the year, entrepreneur of the year, humanitarian of the year, medical pioneer of the year, sportswoman of the year, creative woman of the year, young talent of the year, hospitality pioneer of the year, engineer of the year and technocrat of the year.

In a statement, Aisha Alfardan, vice Chairwoman of QBWA, described the award “as a great way to honour, recognise and celebrate the contribution of women who have excelled in their fields, whilst inspiring future generations of women to achieve their full potential and maximise their contribution to the Qatari economy.”

The judging panel included QBWA board members Aisha al-Bedeed, Amal al-Aathem, Mishael al-Ansari, Qatar Business Incubation Centre business development manager Aysha al-Romaihi, Bedaya Centre general manager Reem al-Suwaidi, and Qatar Women Sports Committee president Lolwa al-Marri.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/568687/Awards-to-celebrate-Qatari-women-s-achievements

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NCSW, PCSWs seek registration of women voters

October 28, 2017

Islamabad - Members of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and Provincial Commissions of Status of Women (PCSWs) have called for door-to-door registration of women voters before election 2018. Speaking at the NCSW board meeting, they stressed for better coordination between NCSW , Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women (PCSWs) and members to have focused efforts for women protection and empowerment. The meeting was chaired by chairperson NCSW , Khawar Mumtaz, while attended by Chairpersons of Provincial Commissions on the Status of Women (PCSWs) NCSW and members where they reviewed the work of the Commission over the past one year. Members gave their feedback on issues related to women protection and empowerment and quick response mechanism for survivors and under-threat women and girls.

They also discussed complaint handling, documentation systems and follow up mechanisms followed by the national and provincial commissions. The PCSW Chairpersons briefed the meeting about the issues they face due to lack of financial and human resources.

The Commission members highlighted the fact that positive developments with regards to women rights are seldom documented and highlighted which leads to a negative image of Pakistan at the international level.

The members were of the opinion that provinces are progressing in terms of women related legislation and its implementation but this progress is not recognized.

“We accept that there are gaps at the implementation level and collaborative effort is required to fill these gaps but there is an equal need to appreciate the positive work,” said Chairperson NCSW Khawar Mumtaz.

The members also highlighted the need for the availability of consolidated information on women issues. The NCSW chairperson informed the members about the recent establishment of Women Resource Centre at the National Library of Pakistan.

She said that the National Women Resource Centre will cater to the reading, references and information needs of men, women , policymakers, students, researchers and journalists.

NCSW Chairperson also took feedback from the members on Literature Award for young upcoming women writers proposed by the NCSW . The members recommended giving two awards: one in the national and the other in one of the regional languages.

http://nation.com.pk/28-Oct-2017/ncsw-pcsws-seek-registration-of-women-voters

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Iraq is 'refusing to extradite' German jihadi schoolgirl facing EXECUTION for running away to Mosul and marrying an ISIS fighter

27 October 2017

Iraq is refusing to let a 16-year-old German schoolgirl who faces execution for joining ISIS return home, it was reported today.

ISIS bride Linda Wenzel was dragged from Mosul rubble in July as Iraqi forces liberated the city and is now being held in Baghdad where her fate rests in the hands of the country's court system.

German diplomats are pushing for her to be allowed home for a trial but a German security source today said Iraq is refusing.

he source said it was problematic that the two countries have no extradition agreement, reports the Berliner Zeitung.

Last month Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi said Wenzel might face the death penalty as he explained that the Iraqi judiciary is deciding which charges will be levied against her.

Al-Abadi said: 'You know teenagers under certain laws, they are accountable for their actions especially if the act is a criminal activity when it amounts to killing innocent people.'

The Iraqi PM said that Wenzel was currently still in a Baghdad prison and that it remained to be seen whether prosecutors would demand the death penalty in court.

The clear threat of a trial in Baghdad and a potentially lengthy prison sentence or even capital punishment has worried Wenzel's father.

Reiner Wenzel said: 'I want so much that my Linda comes home again healthy. I will always be there for her.'

'I fear for her. The authorities absolutely have to bring her to Germany so that she can get a fair trial.'

He said that he had not had any personal contact with his daughter since she joined ISIS a year ago but added: 'I was, however, told that Linda was not involved in any acts of war.'

Wenzel was reportedly worked for special brigade that whipped women who didn't wear a full-face veil.

If put on trial in Iraq, Wenzel might face the death penalty depending on the charges, while in Germany she might only be convicted of up to 10 years in prison for membership of a terrorist group.

Wenzel reportedly converted to Islam in 2016 after being groomed online by a jihadist.

Her friends told police how she suddenly started taking the Koran to school and wearing longer, more conservative clothing.

They said she had also started learning Arabic and then she suddenly vanished after telling her mother Catherine she was going to stay with friends.

Earlier this month Wenzel revealed a girl Jordanian named Fatema convinced her to convert in 2016 after the pair got chatting on jihadist forums.

Fatema then introduced her to her future husband ISIS fighter Abu Usama al-Shishani.

Wenzel told him about arguments with her parents as he promised to marry her if she ran away to join ISIS. He also advised on how to rig travel documents to get to Turkey.

When Wenzel arrived in Turkey, Abu Usama had fled to Syria but the promise of marriage stood firm.

'We got married over the phone', Wenzel told Al-Qatha'a, a newspaper run by Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council.

The 16-year-old also said that her deceased husband never spoke to her about ISIS battles when they lived together in Iraq.

Wenzel said she lived only as a 'housemaid' and did not take part in combat as Iraqi intelligence sources have claimed.

The girl, who left her home in Pulsnitz, eastern Germany last year to join the terror group, is desperate to return to Europe amid fears she could spend years in jail.

Hundreds more non-Iraqi women with ISIS links and suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks are being held at a prison in the Mosul area.

Schoolgirl Linda fled to Turkey then into Syria last year from her hometown of Pulsnitz after being groomed online by a Chechen ISIS fighter who she married.

He was killed in the savage fighting for Mosul while she was employed by the terror group enforcing the strict Islamic dress code on women in the city.

She burst into tears after her capture and said she just wanted to come home -something not likely to happen for some time.

She was filmed by an Iraqi soldier when she was dragged, filthy, dazed and wounded in her arm, from the former terror stronghold of Mosul.

Footage shows the teenager wincing with pain and screaming as she was led away to a makeshift prison while baying soldiers celebrated her capture.

She flew to Istanbul, was smuggled into Iraq, marred a Chechen fighter who was killed and ended up in Mosul where an estimated 25,000 Isis volunteers died in the battle to retake the city.

In the video two men can be seen escorting Wenzel, who seems to wince in pain from a wound. She looks at the ground and cries miserably as she is led away.

According to local reports, she was dubbed the Belle of Mosul by soldiers during what was described as a 'walk of shame' to a make-shift prison.

One soldier can be heard shouting: 'Make room, make room, she is a Christian, she can't take it any more, she is hurting, she is weak, she is a blonde, she is a German.

'Her name is Dania, no Linda. Allah, Allah. Make way guys, let her through.'

Amid chaotic scenes, an older Iraqi army officer arrived to escort her away. 

Iraqi security sources previously said she worked with the ISIS 'morals police' responsible for women adhering to strict dress codes.

Those who did not obey faced a whipping - or worse. Whether Linda Wenzel was involved in brutalising anyone is also unclear.

Two of her compatriots come from the western city of Mannheim, identified as 50-year-old Lamia K. and her 21-year-old daughter Nadia, both Germans with Moroccan roots.

They attended a radical Salafist mosque in the city before leaving their homeland for the ISIS caliphate.

Both were involved in recruiting women to join ISIS and made several videos online.

In July Linda's father spoke for the first time of his joy at learning his daughter was alive in Iraq while Linda has told reporters she regrets having joined the terror group.

Speaking in her prison cell in Baghdad, Linda said: 'I just want to get away from here. I want to get away from the war, from the many weapons, from the noise.I just want to go home to my family.'

German broadcasters NDR and WDR and newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said they had spoken to Wenzel at a military complex in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad where she said she was 'doing well'.

She is said to have suffered a gunshot wound to her left thigh and told reporters she wants to be extradited to Germany where she would cooperate with authorities. 

Her construction worker father Reiner, 52, said he was painting lines on a busy autobahn near his home in Dresden when he got the news that his daughter was alive.

'I collapsed when I learned that Linda lives,' he told Germany's BILD newspaper. 'I heard on the radio that they had found her alive in Mosul.

'My colleagues came over to me. I had to leaver and go and sit at a service station where I cried.

'That is my little one,' he said, holding up the photo of a confused and dazed Linda taken by one of the Iraqi troops who rescued her.

'I recognised her from a little scar across one eye that she got as a child from a garden swing. I have never seen my little one look so serious and so sad.'

Living apart from Linda's mother Katharina, 48, he remembers her calling him on the night of July 3 last year asking if he knew where she was.

Linda had told her and her stepfather that she was traveling to spend the weekend with as friend. But she had actually purchased a ticket for Istanbul using her mum'a money and from there was smuggled into Syria.

Reiner went on: 'Later she found a copy for the airline ticked which shows she had booked a return flight for July 3, but she never came back. They would never let her come back.

'On the day she left I had been in Pulsnitz painting road markings. She must have passed me on her way to the airport.

'All the time she was gone I wished that my Linda was safe and that she would return happy and healthy to Germany. I would always be here for her.'

When she was gone police opened up a probe into her activities with ISIS, suspecting her of supporting a terror organisation. If the investigation is deactivated she could face a ten year jail term if she returns to Germany.

In theory, Iraqi authorities could sentence her to death for fighting for the militant group, although this is seen as highly unlikely. German authorities are engaged in high level talks with Baghdad to see if she can be brought home to be reunited with her family.

In August, it was revealed that the teenager had a baby with her when she was found in the ruins of Mosul.

The malnourished baby boy she was with was taken to an Army clinic for medical attention before he and Linda were transferred to Baghdad.

It was previously reported that Linda was married to a Chechen ISIS fighter and had 'admitted' to killing Iraqi troops.

An Iraqi special operations forces soldier who met the girl on the night of her arrest said that it was unclear if the child was Linda's, though she is producing breast milk.

'I don't know for sure that it is her baby, but she keeps him with her always,' the soldier told The Times.

The soldier said that the teenager was uncooperative with Iraqi soldiers.

'I don't think she regretted joining ISIS because she looked angry and she refused any help that we provide,' he told The Times, suggesting that Linda was 'brainwashed'.

German prosecutors say that Linda ran away from her family home in Pulsnitz in eastern Germany last summer. It's unclear if she will return to Germany, as she could face trial in Iraq.

Linda is now being held in an Iraqi prison facility, where she will be held during an investigation.

An officer in Iraq's elite counter terrorism unit had previously told The Telegraph that she was a sniper for ISIS.

Speaking anonymously, he said: 'We found her with a gun in her hand next to her Chechen husband, who was then killed by Iraqi forces in a firefight. She said she had killed a number of our men in the battle.'

'She was a Daesh sniper, but maybe her husband pressured her into it. She looked scared.'

The Telegraph said it is thought Linda and the fighter formed a relationship after meeting in a chat room, where he convinced her to join ISIS.

Iraqi MP Vian Dakhil backed up the claims, adding that she was found with explosives and was 'ready to attack the advancing troops.'

An Iraqi soldier told Germany's Bild newspaper that he and his comrades mistook her at first for a sex slave of ISIS terrorists.

Talking under the alias Mohammed Shuraf for protection, the soldier told the newspaper he and his comrades thought at first she was a Yazidi sex slave.

ISIS fighters routinely kidnapped and abused women of the minority sect.

Describing the moment they found her, he said: 'We entered a shattered house, which was previously under fire. There we heard someone screaming for help. It was the girl, she was alone, injured on the left arm and chest, lying on the floor.'

He said her clothes were filthy and around her neck she wore a thick scarf which she could also use as a headscarf.

She was found alongside members of the terror group's fearsome all-female police force, some of whom were wearing suicide vests.

The teenager, described as 'a brilliant student' is said to have become 'lonely and withdrawn' after her parents' marriage broke down and her mother Katharina began a new relationship with a caretaker at a local school.

She is thought to have met a Muslim man online who enticed her to join ISIS after the breakdown of her parents' marriage.

She fled the country using her mother's passport and flew from Berlin to Turkey before making her way to Syria.

In July, her neighbours in the village of Pulsnitz, near Dreseden, south-east Germany, told of their shock and anger that the promising youngster left home to join the extremist group.

School friends have described the quiet teenager as becoming increasingly withdrawn.

In 2015 she was confirmed into the local church. Female priest Maria Gruener said: 'She was a very placid girl who did not want to take part in confirmation instruction.'

But unbeknownst to her, Linda was falsely adopting the faith of the Christian church while secretly giving her heart to Islam.

As she attended the church, her parents' marriage broke down and she moved with her mother to Pulsnitz.

There, Katharina moved in with Thomas Weiss. Unhappy and insecure, Linda suddenly found herself with a new stepfather - and an older stepsister called Dana.

In May last year the troubled teenager made contact on the internet with an Islamist preacher in Hamburg who sent her a copy of the Koran.

'It seemed to offer her answers in a confused life,' said Christina, 16, a fellow pupil at the town's Ernst-Rierscher-Comprehensive school.

'Last summer, shortly before we broke up, she began leaving home with a small bag in which she had an Islamic headscarf and long flowing robes which she donned to cover up all her skin. There were some arguments with staff.'

She stole her mother's credit card and secretly bought an airline ticket to Istanbul. Until six months before she fled she had never even travelled by train alone, it has been reported.

But on Friday July 1 last year she told her mother and father she was going to spend the weekend with a friend called Caroline and would be back in Sunday.

She never came home - and was never at her friend's.

Instead she travelled to Frankfurt and caught a plane to Istanbul before being smuggled into Syria.

Eventually, she ended up in Mosul where she changed her name to Umm Mariam, and was taken as a 'jihadist bride'.

Behind her she left baffled friends and parents as well as teachers who said she was in course for impressive A level results.

Speaking from the schoolgirl's hometown last July, her mother said she was devastated.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5023651/Iraq-refusing-extradite-German-jihadi-schoolgirl.html

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