PHOTO PROVIDED BY FATOUMATA CAMARA
Woman Says STM Bus Driver Didn't Stop For Her Because Of Her Niqab
Police Welcome First All-Female Class and First Hijabi Officer
Johnson Defends Comments about Veiled Muslim Women At Launch
Charities Push Death for ‘Apostates’ And Female Subjugation
Services for Women and Statistics are Alarming: Fadoua Bakhadda
Compiled by New Age Islam News
Woman Investigated Her Own Hate Crime After NYPD Dismissed Her Case
told myself I wasn’t going to be one of those cases that got abandoned,” said
Fatoumata Camara, who dug up video proving she was beaten and robbed.
Rowaida Abdelaziz, HuffPost US
Muslim woman who was robbed and brutally beaten by a group of young people last
month says the New York Police Department and the Bronx District Attorney’s
office failed to properly investigate until she dug up video evidence proving
the hate crime.
Camara, 22, said the authorities’ lack of investigation into the May 10 beating
that sent her to the hospital with a broken nose and a head injury forced her
to do the investigative work herself, uncovering surveillance video from a
business near the crime scene. Camara, who lives in the Bronx and wears a
hijab, said the NYPD reopened her case and is investigating the attack as a
possible hate crime after she presented the footage this week.
told myself I wasn’t going to be one of those cases that got abandoned,” Camara
told HuffPost. “I was going to get justice for what happened to me that night.”
who graduated from college with a degree in engineering on May 29, said an NYPD
official told her earlier that the case had been closed due to lack of
disputed the claim that they abandoned the case. The DA’s office said the case
was not closed, but was referred to the NYPD. The NYPD said the investigation
“is active and ongoing” by the 42nd Precinct detective squad. Police did not
recent years anti-Muslim hate crimes have soared in New York and in the U.S.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations documented a
74% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the state since 2016. The U.S. saw a
17% rise in hate crimes last year, with Muslim individuals being the target of
over 18% of religiously motivated hate crimes.
like Camara who wear hijabs face an increased threat due to their visibility as
Muslims. The New York City Commission on Human Rights found that black Muslim
women living in the Bronx were at “notably high risk for bias motivated
assaults,” with 1 in 5 women having experienced physical assault.
was attacked on her way home from a New York City College of Technology award
ceremony, where she was honored for her work as student government treasurer.
She boarded a bus at the Grand Concourse and 167th Street stop outside the
seated, approximately 10 to 12 young men and women, including some teenagers,
began to harass and taunt her, she said. They threw sunflower seeds, she said,
and called her racial and sexist slurs, including “dumb, black bitch.” They
also mocked her “stupid headwrap,” according to Camara.
group followed her when she got off the bus at 168th Street and Third Avenue.
The surveillance footage shows Camara being pushed, punched and kicked. One
person pulled off her hijab.
wasn’t until a bystander intervened that the attack briefly halted. But then
the attack resumed and an individual is seen striking Camara again.
eventually arrived. Some of the assailants ran, but officers took three people
into custody. They were later released without charges.
was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, where she was treated for a
broken nose and a head injury. Her bag ― which included a stipend reimbursement
check for $500, her Social Security card, her state identification and her U.S.
passport ― were stolen, according to her lawyer. Her engagement ring was
damaged during the attack and her clothing was torn.
Camara met with police officers at the 42nd Precinct, where she was shown
photos of 18 people and asked to identify her attackers, including the three
people taken into custody the night of the assault, according to her lawyer.
Camara, traumatized and unable to clearly see the attackers during the assault,
couldn’t pick out anyone in the photos, so she said investigators told her they
were closing the case.
was unfair for me. I’m the victim of this whole situation,” said Camara. “For
them to just drop my case like that because I couldn’t identify these people
through photos, I was very upset.”
Mohamed, Camara’s lawyer and the litigation director at CAIR-New York, said
authorities weren’t taking the report seriously enough.
have such a clear case of not only a crime being committed, but of a hate crime
taking place,” Mohamed said. “There’s clear evidence. Our client not only
provided some of this evidence to the detectives, district attorney, but
instead of investigating and doing their jobs, the NYPD, the district attorney,
decided our client’s life just didn’t matter enough for them to take it
May 14, Camara went back to the precinct and requested a copy of the police
report. Instead, she said an official gave her a letter from the legal
department denying her access to the report because it had been sealed by court
order. She said she twice since tried to meet with detectives handling her
case, to no avail.
had to run after them every day just to get answers from them,” she said of the
detectives. “It shows they don’t care. I have the right to be protected in this
long after that, Camara noticed a business near the scene of the beating had
surveillance cameras. She met with the business owners and obtained the
footage, then forwarded it to the police and media outlets.
said police finally reached out to her on Monday after media reports featuring
said she hopes with the video, police can find the attackers. But she said the
authorities’ lack of support has left her traumatized.
scared to go out by myself now. Because of this incident, I don’t know what’s
going to happen to me,” said Camara. “I just hope this doesn’t happen to
somebody else from my community.”
woman says STM bus driver didn't stop for her because of her niqab
Benrochd tracked down the driver and discovered a history of hateful comments
Stevenson, Jonathan Montpetit · CBC News · Posted: Jun 11, 2019 5:14 PM ET |
Last Updated: June 12
Benrochd, 23, has worn a niqab since she was 19. She says it is a way for her
to exercise her beliefs. (Verity Stevenson/CBC)
Benrochd was standing at a bus stop in broad daylight last week, wearing her
niqab, when a bus whizzed right past her.
23-year-old Montrealer wondered why. She says she looked the driver up online
and discovered a trail of Islamophobic social media posts.
2010, for instance, the bus driver posted: "I'm so happy and in a good
mood today, that I love everybody, except the [expletive] who wear the hijab or
the veil. Sorry, but I can't stand them."
when Benrochd took to Facebook in an attempt to call out the bus driver's
behaviour, she was soon bombarded with dozens of messages — some angry, some
hateful — from other Montreal transit employees defending their colleague.
Société de transport de Montréal has opened an investigation into the incident.
Benrochd has also filed complaints with the Montreal police hate crimes unit
and Quebec's human rights commission.
the driver's motivations are unclear (attempts by CBC News to contact her were
unsuccessful), the incident occurred as Quebec politicians are set to vote on a
proposed law that restricts where religious symbols can be worn in the
other things, the law will require Quebecers to uncover their face in order to
receive public services where their identity is in question. The details are
still being worked out, but that could include taking the bus.
screenshots Zineb Benrochd took of apparent Facebook posts by the bus driver
who did not pick her up (CBC was unable to independently verify the post
because it appears to have been subsequently deleted or made private), the
woman makes comments against Islam and Muslim women. (Submitted by Zineb
bill has sparked heated debate, and many Muslim women in the province have
reported being the target of an increasing number of Islamophobic incidents
since it was tabled in March.
used to people telling me, 'Go back to you country,'" said Benrochd, who
grew up in Montreal.
[the bus] is a public service. You do not have a right to discriminate against
me. You do not have a right to choose not to give me my right to service."
for her not to have seen me'
Thursday morning, Benrochd was waiting for the 128 bus at the corner of Muir
and Tassé streets in Montreal's Saint-Laurent borough. The two streets are
wide, relatively quiet and residential.
impossible for her not to have seen me," Benrochd told CBC News a day
after the incident.
the mall, on the bus: Muslim women say racist incidents are now part of daily
bus stop is next to a stop sign, across the street from an elementary school.
As the bus approached, Benrochd noticed the driver was ignoring her.
started waving her hands to get the driver's attention. Benrochd said the
driver glanced at her, then turned away and continued on her route without
opening the bus doors.
said she felt contempt in the bus driver's actions and decided to try to
confront the woman.
called a friend, who quickly picked her up in a car and the pair drove to Du
Collège Metro station, where they knew the bus would have to make a longer
128 bus stop at the corner of Muir and Tassé streets is in a residential area
across from an elementary school. (Verity Stevenson/CBC)
walked up to the driver and, with her cellphone filming, asked why she had not
I didn't see you," the driver replied.
looked at me," Benrochd said.
no, I didn't see you. I saw that you were there after," the driver said,
another video, Benrochd filmed the bus driver flagging down police and
complaining to the officers about being filmed.
posted the videos on Facebook around noon on Thursday. Soon, several people
identifying themselves as STM employees were commenting in the driver's
News was able to identify some as union representatives for STM bus drivers.
One of these representative said in a post directed at Benrochd: "A normal
Quebecer would have waited for another bus."
found the bus driver's profile by searching through the friend lists of the
accounts commenting on her videos.
says the woman bus driver on the 128 line in Montreal's Saint-Laurent Borough
didn't stop for her. (Verity Stevenson/CBC)
the bus driver's profile, she says she found at least 10 posts insulting Muslim
women for wearing the veil or criticizing Islam as a whole.
one post from January 2016, the woman shares an article about the STM's effort
to hire more immigrants and calls it "discrimination."
shared screengrabs of the posts, which CBC News could not independently verify.
They appear to have since been deleted or made private on the bus driver's
bus driver changed her profile picture the day after the incident, but other
pictures on her profile identify her as the same person in Benrochd's video.
Sunday evening, the bus driver wrote several messages to Benrochd on Facebook,
saying she was on leave, though it's unclear if it is voluntary. She
acknowledged the posts Benrochd found were hers, but said she is not racist.
shared screengrabs of the exchange with CBC News.
government aims to define religious symbols in amendment to secularism bill
am trying to understand your customs and beliefs," the driver said.
really was not in bad faith. Even if I looked at you, sometimes we're in our
bubble. I'm sorry and if we had a respectful encounter instead of you filming
me, I would have been able to give you my version."
asked to meet in person, but Benrochd said she preferred dealing through
woman also tried to call Benrochd through Facebook Messenger several times and
said, "make a woman of yourself and answer."
Saad, founder of Justice Femme, an advocacy group for Muslim women, says there
has been an increase in Islamophobic incidents since Bill 21 was tabled. (Julia
a statement, the STM said, "At all times, even on social media, STM
employees are required to respect the values inscribed in our code of
transit agency also said that, though regrettable, it does occasionally happen
that a bus driver accidentally misses a stop.
appropriate measures will be taken based on the conclusions of our
inquiry," the agency said.
Saad, founder of Justice Femme, an organization that provides moral and legal
support to Muslim women who have been harassed, caught wind of the incident
after Benrochd posted it on social media.
Benrochd made a Facebook post with videos she took of interactions with the bus
driver, several Facebook users identifying themselves as working for the STM
began commenting in defence of the driver. (Screenshot/CBC)
Saad, the driver's actions appeared Islamophobic.
did it deliberately because she did not like what Zineb was wearing," Saad
said. "She was the only one at the bus stop."
organization responded to more than 40 cases of Islamophobia directed at Muslim
women between March, when the religious symbols bill was tabled, and May.
time for Quebec government as it tries to pass 2 nationalist bills by week's
bus driver may have held racist beliefs against Muslims for years, Saad said,
but she believes Bill 21 has emboldened public displays of intolerance.
message people receive from the CAQ [provincial government] now is you can
discriminate against people. 'We are normalizing the discrimination,' that's
the message," she said.
called Benrochd's move to confront the driver and file the complaints "courageous."
says she was motivated by concerns that the Bill 21 debate has created a sense
of impunity for those with distorted views of Muslims and other minorities.
feel like they're never going to get punished," she said. "It's just
going to get worse."
police welcome first all-female class and first hijabi officer
Adely, North Jersey Record Published 1:58 p.m. ET June 11, 2019 | Updated 9:26
p.m. ET June 11, 2019
new class of police officers is breaking historic ground as the first
all-female class, including among them the first Palestinian-American woman and
Andre Sayegh swore in the three officers, Yeniry Medina, Gabriela Toribio and
Serein Tamimi, at a City Hall ceremony Tuesday in what he called a "proud
moment for the city of Paterson."
trailblazers," Sayegh said, as he introduced the new officers.
"They've broken the glass ceiling. Now young Patersonians, young people in
our schools and our streets, can look up and say, 'I want to be just like
women started in a class of six Paterson recruits, including four women and two
men. After a rigorous six-month program of physical and academic training, the
three were left standing.
22, who came to the U.S. when she was less than a year old, ran track in high
school, majored in justice studies at Montclair State University and excelled
at the academy. On Tuesday, she became the first city police officer to wear a
hijab, or Islamic headscarf, in the city.
hopes to inspire other young Muslim women to follow their dreams, but also
wants to set an example for other Americans who may not know much about
want to be there for the community and be able to relate to them in a sense,
and let everybody know, if they need anything, they can ask questions,"
said Tamimi, whose mother, sister and cousin cheered her on in the audience.
want to show them that we're not what the media portrays us to be," she
said. "We’re friendly people, we love what we do and we are there for the
and Medina are Dominican-American and have lived their whole lives in Paterson.
They join a police force of just over 400 people, including 57 women.
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22, said she was inspired to become a police officer because of an encounter
with a kind cop who helped her when she was a kid and because of the example
set by police officers in her family.
wanted to be like them and make a difference," she said.
27, said she wanted to join the Police Department to help the community.
Johnson defends comments about veiled Muslim women at launch
12 June 2019
Johnson defended comments comparing veiled Muslim women to letterboxes and
refused to clarify his past illegal drug use as he launched his leadership
campaign with a warning the Tories will face “mortal retribution” if the UK
doesn’t leave the EU by 31 October.
Michael Gove has faced calls to quit the race over an admission of past cocaine
use, and other candidates have revealed their histories with illegal substances
including cocaine and opium, Mr Johnson appeared to side-step the issue when challenged
front-runner to become the next Prime Minister has been accused by rivals of
“hiding in a bunker” because he has only faced media questions once this year,
and took just six questions from reporters.
Johnson said he "cannot swear that I have always observed a top speed
limit, in this country, of 70mph" when asked whether he had ever done
News political editor Beth Rigby was booed and jeered by supporters of Mr
Johnson, including some MPs in the audience, as she asked about a newspaper
column in which he wrote that “it is absolutely ridiculous that people should
choose to go around looking like letter boxes."
Johnson said that “of course I’m sorry for the offence that I have caused”. But
he went on: “Occasionally some plaster comes off the ceiling as a result of a
phrase I may have used, or as a result of the way that phrase has been wrenched
out of context and interpreted by those who wish for reasons of their own to
caricature my views.
I think it’s vital that we as politicians remember that one of the reasons why
the public feels alienated now from us all as a breed, is because too often
they feel we are muffling and veiling our language, not speaking as we find -
covering everything up in bureaucratic platitudes, when what they want to hear
is what we really think.”
former foreign secretary presented himself as the one candidate among the
contenders bidding to succeed Theresa May who could stop Jeremy Corbyn seizing
the keys to No 10.
think maturity and a sense of duty will prevail. I think it will be very
difficult for friends in Parliament to obstruct the will of the people and
simply to block Brexit," Mr Johnson said.
think if we now block it, collectively as parliamentarians we will reap the
whirlwind and we will face mortal retribution from the electorate."
Johnson insisted he wanted a "sensible, orderly" departure from the
EU but said the country had to be ready for a no-deal Brexit if it was to get
the terms it needed from Brussels.
is only responsible to prepare vigorously and seriously for no-deal," he
best way to avoid that is to prepare for it and be absolutely clear to our
friends and partners that we are prepared to do that."
Farage launched the Brexit party in November 2018 after quitting UKIP
party 'at risk of receiving impermissible donations', warns regulator
warned that failure to deliver on the referendum result would create an
"existential threat" for both Labour and the Conservatives.
the country there is a mood of disillusion, even despair, at our inability to
get things done," he said.
three years and two missed deadlines we must leave the EU on October 31."
charities push death for ‘apostates’ and female subjugation
Wed, 12 Jun 2019
Islamic charities are promoting material suggesting 'apostates' should be
killed, women should be subordinate to men including by accepting marital rape
and homosexuality is not innate.
National Secular Society has reported the charities to the charities regulator,
the Charity Commission, after NSS research found they link to or explicitly carry
extremist material on their websites.
commission has said it will open "assessment cases" into the
charities in response to the NSS's concerns.
website of Islamic Centre Leicester, a charity which exists to "promote
the spiritual teachings of the Islamic religion", says the punishment for
'apostasy' is death.
response to a question about whether there is a punishment for "Muslims
who leave the fold of Islam", the charity says: "All the schools of
thought agree that a person's apostasy must be proven by the testimony of two
male witnesses. Furthermore, all agree that the apostate's punishment is
outlines details of a process which follows, in which the individual is
imprisoned for three days, before adding: "If the apostate still refuses
to revert, then he is killed."
adds that women cannot be political leaders and tells a man experiencing
same-sex attraction that his feelings are not innate.
also promotes links to "pre-checked" websites which promote the
killing of those who leave Islam and hateful views of Ahmadi Muslims and Jews.
website of Thamesdown Islamic Association, which runs Swindon Mosque in
Wiltshire, has a downloadable book which promotes marital rape, wife beating
and female subjugation.
Mosque and Islamic Centre's website includes a downloadable pamphlet which
promotes female subordination, including through the wearing of the burka.
Slough Islamic Trust links to websites which promote anti-LGBT statements.
Centre Leicester and Thamesdown Islamic Association have charitable status
solely on the basis that they promote the Islamic religion.
Secular Society spokesperson Megan Manson said: "Charities benefit from
tax breaks and recognition that they serve the public benefit. The charitable
status of any organisation which promotes material calling for the death of
innocent people or pushes misogynistic and anti-LGBT attitudes should therefore
clearly be questioned.
research continues to find religious charities which not only do not serve a
public benefit but do active harm. This means public money is funding damaging
practices and attitudes. It is also over-burdening charity regulators and damaging
public confidence in the charitable sector.
government could take a significant step towards tackling these problems by
removing 'the advancement of religion' as a charitable purpose, so there is no
assumption that organisations which promote religion are serving a public
this year the NSS published a major report, For The Public Benefit?, which
makes the case for removing 'the advancement of religion' as a charitable
purpose. 'The advancement of religion' is one of 13 purposes which can justify
an organisation being granted charitable status under the Charities Act of
April the NSS raised concerns with the Charity Commission about three more
Islamic charities which linked to extremist content. The commission said it
would investigate the charities in response.
the recent Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada – one of the
largest conferences on women’s rights – a session was organized on women issues
in humanitarian settings in the Arab states region.
Bakhadda Poor Services for Women and Statistics are Alarming
panel of speakers at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada
Rudroneel GhoshBy Rudroneel Ghosh -
Ghosh is a Jr Assistant editor with The Times of India, India's largest English
– The panel of speakers included Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid of
Jordan, Dr Shible Sahbani (regional adviser on reproductive health, United
Nations Population Fund), Dr Daniela Ligiero, executive director and CEO of
Together for Girls, Ms Berangere Boell-Yousfi, representative UNFPA, Libya, Ms
Fadoua Bakhadda, executive director, Moroccan Family Planning Association, and
Ms Ayah Al-Oballi, senior officer at Mercy Corps’ Regional Centre for the
Advancement of Adolescent Girls, Jordan.
of the speakers delved into the double discrimination that Arab women face in
the region on account of both conflict and social conservatism. In fact, such
is the plight of many Arab women that things like sexual and reproductive
health and rights are well beyond their reach. And the reality of
conflict-ridden and conflict-affected states means that many Arab women are
constantly living in insecurity and being pushed into power-asymmetry
situations. Thus the incidents of child marriage and survival sex being
reported from places like Syria and refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey.
this regard, I spoke with one of the panel speakers, Ms Fadoua Bakhadda of the
Moroccan Family Planning Association, on women’s issues in Morocco, including
those of migrants to the country. Here are the excerpts:
has been the process since Marrakech hosted the Global Forum on Migration and
Development last year?
the migration forum, Morocco has been hosting more and more migrants. It is
welcome that the ministry of migration developed PPP (public-private
partnerships) actions to respond to this situation. Investing more on migrants’
inclusion and supporting healthcare system for migrants and refugees are the
needs of the hour.
is the overall status of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) in Morocco?
SRHR in Morocco, we do have many challenges. The abortion law is not updated,
even if the government launched a reform of it in 2015. The new Gender Based Violence
law that just came in at the end of 2018 is not as effective as it should be.
Child marriage is still a big challenge. The poor services for women and
statistics are alarming. We have a lot of work that remains to be done.
Moudawana was enacted in 2004, what has been the progress and what more needs
to be done?
the Moudawana, some good advancements have been made. Now Morocco recognizes
the infant of a Moroccan woman as Moroccan, and we are doing fine concerning
child rights in the family. However, divorce is still high and many people
haven’t understood the Moudawana well, and women are rebelling against
the training of female preachers or morchidates contributed to women’s
empowerment in Morocco and can they be agents of change for women, especially
in rural Morocco?
morchidates, look we do have some ones that are really conservative, but most
of them are doing their best to change women’s minds. We still have a lot to do
because the education system of those religious leaders is mainly based on
religion and some soft skills. They are not well knowledgeable about women’s
needs and human rights
are your organization’s future plans?
organization’s future plan is to sustain existing feminist movements in the
MENA region to empower women through education, access to SRHR and humanitarian