in The Bodyguard was a female Muslim suicide bomber, a character critics said
was an offensive stereotype [Courtesy: BBC]
Bodyguard's Female Muslim Bomber Character Stirs Debate
Striving To Empower Muslim Girls of Patna
Woman, Boyfriend Beheaded By Her Father, Uncle In Pakistan's Attock; Police
Suspect 'Honour Killing'
For Office, USA Muslim Women Hope Voters Will See More Than Faith and Gender
Female Football Fan Trains in US to Become Professional Coach
Polygamy and Nikah Halala, Muslim Divorcee Urges High Court
Women Take Off their Veils in Solidarity with Feminist Tarif Alassiri
Saudi Women Want to Ditch Male Guardianship but Others Don't!
by New Age Islam News Bureau
SC to Get Input in Girl’s Case Seeking Emancipation from Father
Supreme Court of Pakistan, on Monday, directed the senior lawyer Makhdoom Ali
Khan to assist the apex court in deciding a case of a teenage girl, Tatheer
Fatima, seeking emancipation from her father.
Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, while heading the bench, was
informed that the girl’s father owns a shop and earns a paltry amount of
Rs20000 to Rs25000 a month.
girl had filed a petition, requesting the apex court, to remove her father’s
name from her birth certificate and all of her educational degrees and other
wanted her last name to be removed and changed to ‘Tatheer Fatima
name of the man, who does not deserve to be called a father and whom I have not
even met since childhood, should not be associated with my name,” the girl had
said in her petition.
the previous hearing, the CJP directed the father to pay the financial expenses
he owed to her. “The expenses for all the years that have passed will be
recovered from you,” he added. During the proceedings, the apex court also told
the girl that there was no law permitting a child to axe his/her father’s name
from the child’s name.
petitioner’s mother, who was also present at the hearing, asked the court,
“Parents are allowed to disown their children, so why can’t the children disown
the court directions, the girl’s father told the chief justice that he was a
poor man. In response, the CJP asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to
probe his financial records to determine whether this was true.
you are poor, you will face the civil case and go to jail,” the CJP responded.
girl said that the children should be given the right to retain the name of the
person who actually raised them.
court adjourned the hearing of the case for ten days.
England - Representing characters from minority backgrounds as complex,
humanised beings has long been a contentious issue within the British arts
season finale on Sunday of The Bodyguard, a BBC drama, is the latest television
show to be criticised for how it represented characters from ethnic minority
to the public broadcaster, 11 million people tuned in to the last five minutes
of the episode - the highest ratings since 2008, when Brits were hooked on
Bodyguard followed a white, British, male veteran-turned-bodyguard who foils a
suicide bomb plot planned by a visibly Muslim woman - to the ire of many Muslim
show has reignited the debate over representation of Muslims, with critics
arguing they were reduced to stereotypes.
to The Riz Test, an initiative set up earlier this year to challenge the
portrayal of Muslims on British television, The Bodyguard was a failure.
Riz Test works in a similar way to the Bechdel test, which evaluates the
portrayal of women in film and the Duvernay test, which measures racial
poses five questions: Have Muslim characters been depicted as hyper-aggressive,
a threat to the Western way of life, anti-modern, oppressed if female or
misogynistic if male, or perpetrators of terrorism?
shows like The Bodyguard perpetuate these negative stories, especially
[against] a backdrop of a rise in Islamophobic hate crimes across Europe and
the US, these narratives can have real-life implications," said Shaf
Choudry, who founded The Riz Test with Sadia Habib
and the media at large have crucial roles in influencing popular opinions of
initiative is named after Riz Ahmed, the British actor who delivered a speech
to the House of Commons last year about on-screen diversity, the portrayal of
Muslims, and how sincere representation could foil "radicalisation".
by the University of Cambridge in 2016 found that hostile media coverage of
Muslims contributed to a heightened climate of Islamophobia and hostility
who has taught at inner-city schools in London and Manchester for seven years,
said that proper representation in the arts is important for young people.
are fascinated by issues surrounding identity and belonging, but often they
don't get the opportunity to explore what it means to belong because of how
they're represented in media, film, and television. They would jump at the
chance to explore more about this," she said.
addition to religious diversity, sectors including broadcasting, performance, film
and publishing have also been blasted for failing to represent the working
study by Create London published earlier this year on social mobility in the
arts found working-class people were hugely under-represented.
publishing, those from working-class backgrounds accounted for only 12.6
percent. In film, TV and radio it was 12.4 percent.
study by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education found that children from
black and other ethnic minority backgrounds are still under-represented in most
mainstream children's books, with only 4 percent of 9,115 surveyed books in the
UK featuring black or ethnic minority characters.
Shukla, author and editor of The Good Immigrant anthology of essays on race and
identity by ethnic minority authors, said there are gatekeepers in the
has historically happened is that people who commission books are from the same
background, they have certain life experiences. And so, when you look at [black
and ethnic minority] representation, they're fetishised", he said.
don't get to hear [black and ethnic minority] writers who are sci-fi writers,
who are not writers that are just writing about their oppression or their
identity. You only hear about one type of thing that resonates with the people
who decide what gets published.
need to look at who decides what gets published and how we can diversify that
because the talent is out there, but the talent isn't actively being looked for
by people who know what's out there and so they just self-perpetuate."
such as Marvel's Black Panther, featuring mostly black protagonists, became the
10th-highest grossing filmof all time, according to Forbes, and other titles
such as Crazy Rich Asians have challenged mainstream narratives.
2016, the British Film Institute analysed 1,172 British films and found that
most do not feature a single black character and those that did revolved around
stereotypical subjects such as crime and slavery.
too, continues to be dominated by a privileged, privately educated, white and
male majority. Only 18.2 percent of people working in performing and the visual
arts are from working-class backgrounds, according to the Create London study.
Wealth Theatre, a women-led theatre company, aims for greater diversity.
cast of its most recent production, Radical Acts, a play celebrating the
centenary of women's suffrage, included Muslim and working-class women from
felt really important is how we brought these women together to think about
radical acts that they do every day," Rhiannon White, co-director of
Common Wealth Theatre, told Al Jazeera."We wanted to celebrate these
women, to discover some of this history and share it with the world."
about the importance of including visibly Muslim women like herself on stage,
21-year-old assistant director Jaasra Aslam said: "It means everything …
It's only once you see people like you doing something that you feel accepted
and you get the confidence to think, 'Yeah, I could do that as well.'"
J Khan focuses on race, faith and identity. She's reading a masters in religion
in politics at SOAS.
which was initially founded to settle the family and property disputes of
Muslims has now become an institution which has brought a sea change in the
lives of Muslim girls of Patna, Bihar. The institution is located Phulwari
Shareef, Patna, where the girls are getting technical and computer education.
sharia computer centre was founded in 2003 by an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim
University in a building donated by Mr Osman Ghani. He donated the property on
the condition to open an institute for girls. Initially, 7 girls from the slums
of Phulwari joined the institution from the slums of. Now it has a strength of
124 girls, of which 60 pc are Muslims while 40 pc are non-Muslims. So far 367
girls have graduated from this institute during the past 10 years. The main
attraction for Muslim and non-Muslim families to send their daughters to this
institution is because of its female-only nature. Not only that only girls
study in this institute but the entire staff of the institution comprises of
from offering BCA course, the institution from now onwards will be offering BBA
course as well.
An 18-year-old girl was beheaded along with her 21-year-old boyfriend in
Pakistan by her father and uncle in what the police are calling yet another
incident of honour killing, the media reported on Monday.
incident took place in a small village in Attock district when the man arrived
at the girl's house to meet her, police was quoted by Dawn News as saying. Soon
after, the girl's father and her uncle walked in and, after tying the victims
with ropes, beheaded them with a sharp object.
police have arrested both suspects and recovered the murder weapon as well,
sub-inspector of Saddar police station Asif Khan said.
of people in Pakistan, an overwhelming majority of whom are women, are still
being murdered by relatives for bringing "shame" on their family. At
least 280 such murders were recorded by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
from October 2016 to June 2017 - a figure believed to be understated and
President Trump first announced restrictions on travellers from Muslim
countries, Fardousa Jama attended a rally at a Mankato coffee shop. She was
there with other community activists who were trying to come up with a way to
respond to the so-called Muslim ban.
state representative whom Jama declined to identify suggested that people wear
a head covering, or the hijab, to show support.
the comment that was made came from a person who is a leader, who is in that
position," she said. "To me, that shows the disconnect with your
constituents — if you can tell us that the best way you can show support to
your fellow Muslim is to put on a scarf."
went home that night and talked to her father about it.
he's like, 'Well, then, if it bothers you that much, then why don't you bring
your voice to the table?'" she recalled. Now she's among a dozen or so
Minnesota Muslims who are attempting to do just that. A handful of those are
33, immigrated from Somalia as a child. She grew up in Mankato and moved back
after college. She founded a non-profit organization, Somali Community Baarwaqo
Organization, that helps Somali immigrants settle in the community — providing
information about jobs, health care and education.
by phone, Jama was at Mankato West High School for a performance by the
Somali-British musician Aar Maanta.
has been visiting Minnesota in recent years for a residency program that
connects artists with the community. But he was denied a visa to visit last
said community activists worked to help him get his visa. She said it's that
type of work that motivates her to serve in public office.
is an immigrant, a millennial, a woman, and a person of color. She said she
cares not only about minority issues, but other issues like affordable housing
and education as well.
she's running for a seat on the Mankato City Council. Of the Muslims in contention
for elected office this year in Minnesota, most of the women are advancing from
primary victories to the general elections.
positions range from school boards to Congress — with state Rep. Ilhan Omar
seeking to replace Keith Ellison in the U.S. House, now that he's running for
was an inspiration to many of the women running this year. She's appeared on
magazine covers and the Daily Show. She checks the box for multiple
"firsts" — the first Somali-American Minnesota legislator, the first
woman wearing a headscarf to serve in the House. And she may be about to become
the first woman of color to represent Minnesota in Congress.
her district is primarily Democratic and a lot of her constituents are Somali
immigrants, the women seeking office take inspiration from her, thinking that
if she can do it, they can too.
lot of times, we women doubt our ability to do things when we're
overqualified," said Hodan Hassan, a mental health clinician running for a
state House seat in Minneapolis. "Whereas men, even when they're
underqualified, they still think they can do it."
views are echoed in a Sept. 20 Pew Research Center survey that found women are
"increasingly doubtful that voters are ready to elect more female leaders."
The survey also says women are more likely than men to experience barriers and
said that at first she wasn't sure she wanted to run for state representative.
a perfectionist at heart," she said. "Can I do this job sufficient
enough to my standards that I'll think I'm doing a good job? And will I be able
to represent people well and make sure their voices are heard?"
some local races, the candidates run unopposed. The Minneapolis School Board
district races are an example of that.
El-Amin says it bothers her that 36,000 students aren't well represented and
that she hasn't heard from the candidates who are running unopposed. El-Amin,
on the other hand, is running for one of two at-large positions against three
some women of color say they've received racist comments about their election
bids. El-Amin said it's important for such candidates to emphasize their
think sometimes that we forget about the power that we hold and the things that
we can bring together when it comes to building, bringing people together,
standing up for what's right," she said. "Those are all things that
we as women have a natural way of doing."
was a restaurant owner in north Minneapolis for 15 years. She's been a resident
of the community for 30. Now she works for the Hennepin County Sheriff's
while my name is new in the field of becoming an elected official, it's not new
to the city," she said. "So as a black Muslim, it just gives me more
of a strong approach to go into the election. Again helping me to be more
confident, stand behind my belief and what I represent and just fighting for
what's right for our children and our families."
women aren't just representing a local trend, they're part of a national trend
of women running for office this year. They just happen to be Muslim.
29-year-old Saudi woman who fancied playing football as a child has now joined
a football coaching program for Saudi women in the United States.
al-Fares has turned from a fan into a professional coach for women teams, she
told Al Arabiya English.
currently enrolled in the program in the United States, and upon completing it,
I will prepare for the starting football season, given that I’m one of the
founders of ‘Challenge Team’ where I will be a player and an assistant coach.”
she plays an attacking midfielder, al-Fares says her coach praises her role as
a team joker, given that she can play in several positions, including a
has trained children until the age of 6, and girls between the ages of 8-18,
who would graduate to participate in women football teams in Riyadh.
her childhood, al-Fares said she practiced football playing with her brother
until the age of 17 in their house yard. After graduating from college in 2007
I played football with my girl friends, where we would divide ourselves into
two teams and play for fun.
friend of mine then suggested we create a football women team and that is when
“Challenge” became among the first Saudi female football teams, she said.
am a fan of football, and had been always eager to play it and I’ve never given
up on that, I find myself a lot in this sport.”
dream about becoming a successful coach in my country and contribute to
developing the sport, as well as create a certified football academy for
A 35-year-old woman from Dongri who was given talaq by her builder husband has
filed a petition in the Bombay high court seeking a ban on polygamy and nikah
halala in the Muslim community. The woman claims that her husband was already married
and has urged the court to set aside the talaq pronounced by him without her
knowledge and certified by a qazi.
Nitin Satpute, counsel for the petitioner, said the petition is in the
pre-admission stage and would be mentioned before the court for hearing. “The
legal position (on issues like talaq) has been decided by the Supreme Courts
and high courts of this country time to time, but still the Sharia law has been
misused to exploit Muslim women,” the petition said.
is a practice that has been recognised as an evil plague, similar to Sati, and
has also been banned by law in India for all but Muslim citizens...bigamous
marriage has been made punishable among Christians by the Christian Marriage
Act, among Parsis by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, and among Hindus,
Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains by the Hindu Marriage Act.
the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act does not secure for Indian Muslim women
the protection from bigamy, ” said the petitioner. “A ban on polygamy has long
been the need of the hour in the interest of public order and health.” The
petition referred to court orders which have held that polygamy is not an
integral part of religion.
couple had met on social media 2017 and got married soon after. The woman, who
was divorced twice, claimed that the man said that he had divorced his first
wife. But the relationship soured soon and she alleged that she was forced to
undergo an abortion. The woman later found out that her husband had a second
June 2018, he sent her a talaq certificate along with the mehr amount. The
petition claimed that the talaq was given without her knowledge and there was
no attempt at reconciliation as required by the law. She claimed she also told
to perform nikah halala and get married to her father-in-law. Nikah halala is
the practice where a Muslim divorcee woman has to marry another man, consummate
the marriage and then get divorced to remarry her former husband.
last couple of days, the hashtag #Solidarity_with_Tarif_Alassiri has been
gaining momentum on social media in response to the online backlash the Saudi
feminist and activist Tarif Alassiri received when she took off her hijab and
all over the kingdom have been posting pictures and videos without their face
and hair veils to combat the reinforced social practice. The veil is part of
not only the kingdom’s but also other Gulf counties’ traditional wear. However,
there is no law in the constitution that forces women to cover their faces or
was not the first campaign attempting to combat the face and head veil. In
August, another campaign under the hashtag #BurnTheNiqab has circulated around
the internet. After several European countries started banning the niqab,
social media users encouraged Saudi women to reclaim their freedom by “burning”
country’s laws, especially women’s rights laws, are inspired from the Islamic
Shari’aa laws. However, the rise of women’s rights movement in the country have
sparked debates in the recent years. In an interview aired on CBS News with
Norah O’Donnell, Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman said “The laws are very clear
and stipulated in the laws of sharia: that women wear decent, respectful
clothing, like men.”
added, “This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or a black
head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of
decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”
to the current reform movement initiated by Mohamed Bin Salman as part of his
vision 2030 reform plan, the kingdom’s social norms were dictated by the
Wahhabi movement: a revivalist “ultraconservative’ movement founded by Mohamed
Ibn Abdul Wahhab to preserve the purity of Islam by banning “un-Islamic”
practices and behavior.
the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman aims to take the kingdom to a
more progressive and secular future not just in terms of women’s dress code,
but also in terms of granting women their longed for rights.
began when he disbanded the ‘Hay’a’ or Islamic police for arresting women who
are not wearing a abaya, the traditional Saudi black dress, the headscarf or
Bin Salman’s reform vision granted many firsts for the women in the kingdom.
Just this summer, the kingdom seated its women behind the wheels for the first
time. After finally allowing women to drive cars, the world’s biggest flight
training program, Oxford Aviation Academy, opened its doors to welcome numerous
female pilots in its branch in Saudi Arabia. In October of 2017, women were
finally allowed inside football stadiums for the first time without facing
2016, the first female news anchor stepped on national television channel
‘Saudi TV Channel 1’. On Sunday, which happens to be the country’s 88th
national day, the news channel made waves again by airing the first nightly new
bulletin presented by a woman.
the country continues to celebrate many of its women’s achievements, not
everyone is happy about the development. Many Saudi men still follow the
Wahhabi trail of thought. They continue to put constrains on women by forcing
them to wear the hijab, abandon their education and stay at home; nonetheless,
Mohammed Bin Salman hopes to change this phenomena by the end of the reform
discriminatory system requires every woman in Saudi Arabia to receive her male
guardian’s approval - a father, brother, husband or son - to make a range of
critical decisions on her behalf, including travelling outside the country,
getting married, studying abroad or even to leave prison!
debate, prompted by Saudi celebrations of the 88th National Day of the Kingdom,
is not new.
has been going in Saudi Arabia for years and demands to ditch the male
guardianship system have been soaring in the last year as King Salman issued
orders to allow all women access to any government service without the consent
of a male guardian. This was regarded as a big step towards real reform.
the social media, Saudi women went on to tweet with the hashtag: “سعوديات نطلب اسقاط
الولاية 808” that 'Saudi Females
Demand an End to Male Guardianship' for their rights to decide their own lives
decisions without waiting for a male guardian.
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