grader, Pakistani girl, Aqeedat Naveed, who hails from Lahore, had earlier
written a letter to Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj as well on the matter
of peace and has also received several responses from officials in New Delhi.
Pakistani Girl Congratulates PM Modi For
UP Victory, Calls for Turning Focus on 'Peace'
Minister Proposes To Make Hijab
Mandatory in Pakistan's Punjab Colleges
Saudi Arabia to Boost ‘Decent and
Proper’ Jobs For Women
'Headscarf Ban Disproportionately
Affects Muslim Women'
Watch Two Women Step In To Defend Muslim
Subway Riders in NYC From An Angry Islamophobe
European Court Ruling on Banning
Headscarves Is Slammed By Bradford Muslim Women's Council
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Pakistani Girl Congratulates PM Modi For
UP Victory, Calls For Turning Focus On 'Peace'
Mar 15, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Congratulating Prime Minister
Narendra Modi for the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) historic mandate+ in the
Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, an eleven year old Pakistani school girl
wrote to him saying that he should now focus towards winning more hearts of
Indians and Pakistanis alike, by becoming a bridge of peace between the two
In her letter, Aqeedat Naveed
highlighted on the need for peace between India and Pakistan, and said that
Prime Minister Modi can help speed up the process, reports DunyaNews.
"Once my father told me that
winning of hearts is a marvelous job. Perhaps you have won the hearts of Indian
people, therefore you won the election in UP. But I must tell you if you want
to win more Indian and Pakistani hearts, you should take steps towards
friendship and peace. Both countries need good relation. Let's make a peace
bridge between India and Pakistan. Let's decide that we will not buy bullets,
will buy books. We will not buy the guns, will buy the medicine for the poor
people," Aqeedat wrote in the two page letter.
She further emphasized that the choice
between peace and conflict lies open for both the nations, and signed off by
congratulating the Prime Minister for the UP Polls victory.
A senior Punjab government official
proposed on Tuesday to make Hijab mandatory for female students enrolled in the
"We are leaving our religion
behind; we are forgetting our culture and ethics. Hence, I have made the Hijab
compulsory for our women and sisters in colleges," said Punjab Higher
Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gilani.
The minister added that it was his duty
to take the step as it is "the duty of every Muslim".
"I have also made a policy for it,
if your attendance falls below 60pc then we will give 5pc attendance to those
girls who wear a hijab," added the higher education minister.
However, the policy is yet to
implemented in the educational institutions of the province and has not been
signed by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Media outlets had earlier reported the
policy change will award extra marks to hijab wearing students.
However, the provincial government in a
tweet earlier denied the change in policy and clarified academic excellence
will only be based on merit and no other factor would be considered.
Civil society activist and lawyer Jibran
Nasir also criticised the move in a series of tweets. He later said he was glad
that the provincial government "believes in judging men and women on merit
and not apparel".
Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari, the youngest
daughter of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and Pakistan Peoples Party
(PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, questioned the proposed policy change in a
tweet. She asked what students of other religions would do if such a policy was
Earlier today, Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif had said that religion does not force any individual to do anything.
Nawaz had given his message of tolerance and inclusiveness while celebrating
Holi with the Hindu community in Karachi.
Saudi Arabia to Boost ‘Decent And
Proper’ Jobs For Women
March 14, 2017
Saudi Arabia is aiming for a major boost
in female employment in the conservative Islamic kingdom but women need not go
to an office, the labour ministry said. “Telework” and work from home will
generate up to 141,000 jobs by 2020, providing “decent and proper” employment
particularly for women and the disabled, the ministry said in a statement dated
The term “telework” applies to a variety
of jobs done remotely outside of a company’s office. As part of a wideranging
social and economic reform drive to cope with lower oil revenues, Saudi Arabia
is trying to get more women working.
But the ministry statement acknowledged
“a lot of social obstacles including transportation and family
responsibilities” that hinder female labour market participation. Saudi Arabia
is the only country where women are not allowed to drive. Public transport is
also limited, restricting mobility for those unable to afford a private driver.
The ministry said telework would also
benefit those in remote parts of the kingdom where employment is even harder to
find, but it gave no details of who exactly is going to create the 141,000
Under its Vision 2030 reform plan the
kingdom wants to boost the role of small and medium enterprises as well as
broaden its industrial and investment base. In the third quarter of last year
the unemployment rate for Saudi women was 34.5 per cent, compared with 5.7 per
cent for Saudi men, according to figures cited by the firm Jadwa Investment.
By 2020 the kingdom wants to boost the
proportion of women in the workforce to 28 per cent from 23 per cent last year.
According to official data, at the end of 2015, the Saudi public sector
employed 469,000 women while another 500,000 worked in the private sector,
which the government wants to expand while reducing its own payroll.
14 March 2017
Workplace bans on the wearing of
"any political, philosophical or religious sign" such as headscarves
need not constitute direct discrimination, Europe's top court has ruled.
But the ban must be based on internal
company rules requiring all employees to "dress neutrally", said the
European Court of Justice (ECJ).
Muslim women's activist Shelina
Janmohamed said the decision "disproportionately affects Muslim
women" who faced a "triple penalty" of discrimination in the
Watch two women step in to defend Muslim
subway riders in NYC from an angry Islamophobe
By Sarah Harvard
March 13, 2017
In a video that was recently uploaded to
YouTube, two women defend two Muslim subway riders from another rider who was
verbally assaulting them on the E train in New York City.
The female subway rider — who states in
the video that she is Puerto Rican — berates one of the Muslim riders by asking
why they live in the United States. During the video, the woman is asked if
she's bothered because he looks Indian-Muslim, to which she responds
"Why are you here?" the woman
is heard shouting. "Why are you in this country if you're not with
A voice off-screen asks "Who's
us?" to which the woman gestures at all of the train and says, "Us.
And maybe they're not taking my back, I know nobody taking my back. And that's
a shame, but I will take my own back."
"Nobody on this train is with
you," the offscreen voice interjects twice during the woman's remarks.
Another woman then steps in and
challenges the ranter to stop harassing them.
Then another woman, who identifies as
half-Chinese and half-Peruvian in the video, jumps in to stand up for the
Muslim riders in Spanish.
"Whether you're born from here,
Puerto Rico, wherever you are from," the woman says. "I don't like
the way you're treating her. It's rude, we're here in it together, OK? We're
all in this together. Whether we like what's going on in the government or
She then told the ranter that as a true
American, she should think of everyone — including Muslims — as her brother and
"You're a grown woman," she
said. "You suck it up and you defend your brothers and sisters because
that's what you are. If you're a part of this country, you're brothers and
sisters with everyone."
European Court ruling on banning
headscarves is slammed by Bradford Muslim Women's Council
BRADFORD Muslim Women's Council has
slammed a ruling allowing companies to ban employees from wearing the hijab.
The internal ruling by Europe's top
court, the European Court of Justice, states employers can ban workers from
wearing headscarves at work as prohibiting the visible wearing of any
political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct
discrimination, judges concluded.
Bana Gora, chief executive of the Muslim
Women’s Council based at Carlisle Business Centre, in Bradford, said: “This
ruling is a violation of women’s rights and autonomy.
"Given the alarming rise in hate
crimes, the timing of this ruling will only embolden growing far-right
sentiment which has been resurrected since Brexit. Instead of focussing on the
hijab which has been so grossly dissected by the media and politicians alike,
we must focus on the more pressing issues on our doorstep.
"The last thing we want to do is to
alienate Muslim women who are already heavily disenfranchised.”
The MWC added: "Europe is supposed
to be a bastion of religious pluralism. However, this ruling will only equip
employees with the legal safety net to discriminate against employees.
"The suggestion that the hijab is
not part of a “neutral” dress code merely implies that it is a provocation, and
it only serves to undercut the religious freedoms of Muslim women, a group who
are already bearing the brunt of rising Islamophobia in Europe."
The European Court of Justice judgment
was sparked by the case of a woman who was fired from her job as a receptionist
at G4S in Belgium.
Samira Achbita was dismissed in June
2006 after insisting on wearing the Islamic headscarf at work.
She challenged her dismissal in the
Belgian courts, which referred the case to the ECJ in relation to
interpretation of an EU directive on equal treatment in employment and
The Court of Justice found that G4S's
internal rule refers to the wearing of visible signs of political,
philosophical or religious beliefs and therefore covers any manifestation of
such beliefs without distinction.
A press summary setting out the ECJ's
findings said: "The rule thus treats all employees of the undertaking in
the same way, notably by requiring them, generally and without any
differentiation, to dress neutrally.
"It is not evident from the
material in the file available to the court that that internal rule was applied
differently to Ms Achbita as compared to other G4S employees.
"Accordingly, such an internal rule
does not introduce a difference of treatment that is directly based on religion
or belief, for the purposes of the directive."
The Luxembourg-based court found that the
prohibition on wearing an Islamic headscarf, which "arises from an
internal rule of a private undertaking prohibiting the visible wearing of any
political, philosophical or religious sign in the workplace", does not
constitute direct discrimination based on religion or belief within the meaning
of the directive.
The summary added that such a ban may
constitute "indirect discrimination" if it is established that the
apparently neutral obligation it imposes results in people adhering to a
particular religion or belief being put at a particular disadvantage.
However, such indirect discrimination
may be "objectively justified by a legitimate aim", such as the
pursuit by the employer, in its relations with its customers, of a policy of
political, philosophical and religious neutrality, provided that the means of
achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.
The chair of the Commons Women and
Equalities Committee, Maria Miller, called for an urgent statement from the
Government on the ruling, which she said could particularly penalise Muslim
women at work.
Ms Miller said: "I think it's clear
that what a woman wears is her choice and it should never be the choice of a
court either here in the UK or the European Court of Justice.
"The Government really does need to
make sure it is absolutely clear to employers that it is not legitimate to
simply say on a whim that people are not allowed to wear outward signs of
religious belief - whether it's a headscarf or a cross - that there is a need
for any such policies to be legitimate and to be clear on what grounds they
would be found to be legitimate.
"Given the level of discrimination
that particularly Muslim women face, I do think the Government should make a
statement on this urgently."
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