young Palestinian women don baseball caps on top of their Islamic headscarves
and field tennis balls with fabric gloves, giving a decidedly local feel to the
great American pastime.
Women Try To Bring Baseball to Gaza
Janjua Takes Charge As Pakistan's First Ever Woman Foreign Secretary
Celebrate Birth Anniversary of Hazrat Fatimah (AS) as Role-Model for Pious
Women, Man Killed Over 'Honour' In Jacobabad, Pakistan
Keeps High School Student out of Regional Title Game —Now Muslim Advocacy Group
CAIR Is Involved
Women Protest Australian Visit of Anti-Islam Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Khamenei: Viewing Women as Commodity Zionist Plot
Group Sets Up ‘Shelters’ For Jewish Women Leaving Arab Boyfriends
by New Age Islam News Bureau
20 March 2017
YOUNIS, Gaza Strip: The young Palestinian women substitute Islamic headscarves
for baseball caps and field tennis balls with fabric gloves, giving a decidedly
local feel to the great American pastime.
are trying to bring baseball to the Gaza Strip, an effort that is still in its
players, who work out on a small soccer pitch in a southern Gaza town, admit
they are still trying to understand the rules of the complicated sport. With
pitches lobbed underhand, the game they play is closer to softball.
only know it through TV,” said Valentina Shaer, a 23-year-old English
Tafesh, the team’s coach, said he has dreamed of bringing baseball to Gaza
since he was introduced to the game last year.
baseball is a fringe sport throughout the soccer-crazy Middle East, the game
has grown in popularity. Iraq has a national team, and one of the country’s
coaches introduced Tafesh to baseball last year while both were in Egypt, which
now boasts a baseball and softball federation.
admits he still has much to learn. He is unfamiliar with any of the teams or
players in Major League Baseball and gets most of his knowledge from YouTube
he returned to Gaza, he was concerned about the lack of equipment and whether
the conservative society, which is governed by the Islamic militant group
Hamas, would accept the idea of girls playing the sport.
first approached girls at the only sports education college in Gaza. To his
surprise, he found interest in baseball was stronger among girls than boys.
targeted this group because they had permission from their families to play
sport as sports students. Through them, we started to spread, attracting girls
from other fields such as journalism and accountants,” he said after finishing
a two-hour training session for the girls.
women say their families had no objection, and some parents even encouraged
them. But the society overall has not been as receptive.
said people “on social media had a bad idea about us,” noting abusive comments
when their pictures first appeared.
Sunday, the team, which includes 20 to 30 members, had its weekly practice on a
soccer pitch in the female section of Al-Aqsa University, built on lands that
were part of Jewish settlements before Israel withdrew its troops and settlers
from Gaza in 2005.
were no males except for the coach, and some other students gathered to watch
the women playing catch and taking batting practice. The batters took wild
swings, often missing but occasionally making solid contact.
players wore headscarves as well as long-sleeve running tops and loose pants,
in keeping with local norms.
we face difficulties, we would like a specialized softball field to learn it
correctly and train freely without any obstacles,” said Iman Shahin, an athlete
who studies sports education.
and Egypt imposed a blockade on Gaza after Hamas seized power in 2007, heavily
restricting travel and trade, and making it difficult to acquire specialized
said he found just one baseball glove in all of Gaza, at the Sports Ministry
building, and took it to local tailors who used it to make replicas out of
no proper bats in the territory, the team took a piece of wood and shaped it to
look like one.
seeking funding and real equipment, the women dream of eventually competing
of us share the same goal: participate and represent the name of Palestine
outside and show that there are sports for the girls in Gaza,” said 24-year-old
20 March 2017
Janjua on Monday assumed charge as the new foreign secretary of Pakistan,
becoming the first woman in the history of the country to assume the position,
Radio Pakistan reported.
replaces Aizaz Chaudhry, a career diplomat who has taken up charge as
Pakistan's new ambassador to the United States.
Foreign Office issues the following statement after the announcement of her
appointment: “She (Ms Janjua) is a seasoned diplomat with a career spanning
over 32 years. She has rich experience of working in bilateral and multilateral
domains — both at the headquarters and missions abroad. She also served as a
director at the foreign secretary’s office, director general strategic
planning, and briefly as a spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs
the first woman appointed to the Foreign Office's top post, was long considered
a favourite for the position. Although Hina Rabbani Khar has served as the
foreign minister (2011-13), no woman has ever held the post of foreign
secretary in the country before Ms Janjua.
joined the Foreign Service in 1984, Janjua's experience has mainly been in
multilateral diplomacy. Her only remarkable bilateral posting had been as
ambassador to Rome from December 2011 to October 2015. Among her other overseas
postings are stints at the UN in New York and Geneva.
has not served on a major territorial desk at the headquarters, except for a
year-long posting at the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe desk at the start of
her Foreign Service career.
March 19, IRNA – March 19 marks the birth anniversary of Hazrat Fatimah, the
revered daughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
celebrate birth anniversary of role-model for pious women
this day, Shia Muslims all over the world hold ceremonies to celebrate the
birth anniversary of Hazrat Fatimah (AS).
also remember her characteristics that is praised and followed as a role model
for Muslim women.
anniversary of Hazrat Fatemeh (SA) is designated as national Woman and Mother's
Day in Iran.
the same occasion, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed
Ali Khamenei received a group of eulogists on Sunday.
Supreme Leader touched on the noble characteristics of Hazrat Fatemeh (AS) in
his address to eulogists earlier on Sunday.
Muslims, Hazrat Fatemeh is an inspiring example and the name Fatemeh is one of
the most popular girl's names throughout the Muslim world.
is a vital character in the religion of Islam and is considered a role model
for all Muslim women.
women and a man were reportedly killed whereas another man was injured in
separate incidents of suspected honour killing in Sindh's Jacobabad district
over the weekend, police said.
man on Sunday gunned down his wife and her alleged lover in Garhi Khairo town
in Jacobabad, Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Sarfaraz Nawaz Shaikh told
suspect allegedly shot his 22-year-old wife Ashram Khatoon with a pistol, who
died in the house, after killing 30-year-old Mehboob Ali Brohi.
investigations revealed that the suspect killed the two as he suspected them of
being romantically involved. He remains at large and a search operation is
bodies were shifted to the nearby hospitals for autopsy, however, an FIR was
not registered till the filing of this report.
separate incidents in the same district on Saturday, two women and a man were
killed in cases of suspected honour killing.
allegedly stabbed his 22-year-old wife, Seher, as he "suspected" her
of being romantically involved with another man, SSP Shaikh said.
murder took place within the limits of Airport police station. The victim's
father has registered an FIR with the police.
area SSP Shaikh said that Ali Raza has been arrested and has also confessed to
committing the crime in the initial investigation.
claim that the accused killed his wife as he was infuriated with her for
speaking to someone on the cell phone. Further investigations are underway.
same day in Alam Khan Khoso village, a man shot dead his 16-year-old daughter
in a case of suspected honour killing.
officials from Baho Khoso police station said Moor allegedly killed his
daughter after he injured her alleged lover.
accused and his family reportedly fled from the scene, police says. A search
operation and an investigation in the matter is currently underway.
axed to death
elderly man on Sunday allegedly axed his 60-year-old wife to death in a village
within the limits of Perumal police station in Sanghar district.
House Officer (SHO) Ahtesham Jamali told Dawn that Agro Kolhi axed his wife
Bharmi, mother of their seven children, to death.
said that Kolhi was arrested after putting up a resistance shortly after the
of Kohli's son, Teekam, claims that the accused suffers from a mental illness,
and that he launched a similar attack on their mother couple of years ago.
Keeps High School Student out of Regional Title Game —now Muslim Advocacy Group
CAIR Is Involved
member of a Maryland high school girl's basketball team was held back from
participating in a regional title game earlier this month, after having played
in all 24 school's games this year, including two games in the post season.
reported by CNN, a referee ruled prior to the start of the game that Watkins
Mill High School junior Je’Nan Hayes was ineligible, due to her hajib — which
she had worn in all 24 previous games:
National Federation of State High School Associations' rule book states that
head decorations and headwear are prohibited.
rulebook says there is an exception on an individual basis for medical,
cosmetic or religious reasons, but only if there is documented evidence
provided to the state that the participant may not expose their head.
wasn't told she wouldn't be playing until after game ended, when her coach
explained what had happened:
I found out I had mixed emotions — anger, sadness, and disappointment at the
ref for making the call.”
game may be over, but the incident's repercussions are not.
rule keeps junior from playing in regional title basketball game
High School athletic director Reggie Spears said school officials were unaware
of the rule prior to the game:
tried to get an exception at the game, but that didn't happen and they stuck
with their decision. It was in poor judgment. Should there be a rule?
is necessary because you can get some crazy requests to wear this or that — I
understand why there is a rule. But I think there was some common sense missing
to spokesman Bill Reinhard, the National Federation of State High School
the officials made a strict interpretation of the [...] playing rules for
basketball instead of the spirit of the rule designed to ensure safety and
should have been no denial of participation and we are committed to working
with the school and the family to ensure this does not happen again."
to make sure, the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is now involved
with Hayes and her family. CAIR Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry said the Muslim
advocacy group is “working to change the rules, or at least make an addendum.”
said she felt discriminated against because of her religion:
felt discriminated against, and I didn’t feel good at all. If it was some
reason like my shirt wasn’t the right color or whatever, then I’d be like,
because of my religion it took it to a whole different level, and I just felt
that it was not right at all."
the high school junior said her faith doesn't conflict with being an American:
Muslim, I'm American. I was born here. I've been here all my life. I'm human
and just like you, I have feelings. This is the way I choose to represent my
faith and it isn't because I'm being forced. I want to.”
Muslim Women Protest Australian Visit of Anti-Islam
Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Hirsi Ali's upcoming speaking tour to Australia is not the first time she has
visited the country, but it's the first time there has been significant public
opposition, as a group of high-profile Australian Muslim women have launched a
petition against the outspoken Dutch-American activist, claiming she "does
not speak for us."
Geert Wilders, who was recently defeated in the Dutch national election, the
Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali might seem like an unlikely advocate of the Dutch
far right: she’s female, black and grew up Muslim. Now, a group of Muslim women
in Australia are petitioning her upcoming speaking tour to the country.
group, which includes a number of high-profile writers, academics and
activists, have expressed “disappointment” over Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s invitation to
speak in Australia as part of a tour organised by event group Think Inc.
an online petition, titled "Ayaan Hirsi Ali does not speak for us,"
the group stated that ,"Hirsi Ali’s sheer presence in Australia undermines
both intra and inter-community efforts toward social cohesion and in providing
platforms for Muslim women to champion their own causes.”
that position, the group extended an invitation for Hirsi Ali to meet with them
during her visit and to engage in a discussion to debate and contest her views
regarding Islam and the status of women in Islam.
Hirsi Ali does not speak for us"
statement, which is signed by about 270 Muslim women in Australia, including
high profile writers and activists, condemns Hirsi Ali’s discourse, which they
say is "grounded in hate-mongering and bigotry." They also fear that
her views against Islam will serve to increase what they describe as
"hostility and hatred towards Muslims in a world of increased
author is well known for her views condemning Islam and its incompatibility
with the West.
her visit to Australia last year, she said on the ABC’s program Q&A,
“critics of Islam must be less squeamish about criticising practices carried
out in Muslim countries such as forced marriage.”
Hirsi Ali makes an appearance on ABC's Q&A during a 2016 visit to Australia
Ali has often used her own life experiences to shed light on the conditions of
women in Muslim countries and around the world. Her story as a victim of female
genital mutilation, a refugee who fled the civil war in Somalia to then to be
married off to a Somali man against her will, are widely reported.
Ali’s brand of hate speech and incitement can lead to acts of violence.”
protesting group insists that they do not oppose Hirsi Ali’s right to express
her opinion but highlight that her views may incite more aggression against
Muslims in Australia and worldwide.
playwright and author Samah Sabawi, a signatory to the petition explained
“Hirsi Ali’s brand of hate speech and incitement can lead to acts of violence.”
have seen this in the US as Trump’s anti- Islam rhetoric directly lead to
various attacks against Muslims. Muslim
women, especially those wearing hijab, are especially vulnerable as they are
promotional banner from Think.Inc for Ayaan Hirsi Ali's upcoming speaking tour
the company organising Hirsi Ali’s tour to Australia (titled: 'The Hero of
Heresy') does not see the visit in the same light.
company’s spokeswoman Suzi Jamil told SBS Arabic 24 that the company provides a
platform for individuals to discuss ideas and encourage discussion throughout
don’t feel that she’s spreading hate-speech and we don’t feel she is an
Islamophobe, otherwise we wouldn’t be bringing her here,” says Jamil.
Schumann, the deputy president of the Australian far-right group the Q Society,
tells SBS on behalf of the group “We welcome Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”
can travel wherever she likes and speak to whoever is interested to listen. No
one is forced to buy a ticket.”
rights activist and high-profile restaurateur Hana Assafiri, who was recently
added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for 2017, and runs the event 'Speed
Date a Muslim,' is a spokeswoman for the online petition against Hirsi Ali.
against women is an expression of misogyny underscoring all societal systems,”
Assafiri tells SBS.
group’s statement rejects “any Islamic basis for the violence that occurred to
Hirsi Ali in her life and the violence perpetrated to women all over the world
who have fallen victim to culturally- influenced misogynistic abuse.”
Melbourne cafe matches up Muslim women with non-Muslim people to discuss and
debunk negative perceptions of Muslim women.
activist and owner of Melbourne's Moroccan Soup Bar, Hana Assafiri was awarded
on the Victorian Honour Roll for Women 2017
also raised concerns about the lack of community protest in Australia against
Hirsi-Ali’s previous visits and public engagements compare with, for example,
the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders (freshly defeated in the Dutch
National election) who holds similar views against Islam and was faced with
strong opposition upon his previous visits to Australia, including a 2015 visit
to Perth to launch a far-right political party 'The Australian Liberty
I'm Muslim and I'm glad Geert Wilders is coming to Australia
far-right politician Geert Wilders has been granted a visa to Australia. And
I'm glad - because haters are always going to hate, writes Irfan Yusuf.
can readily identify the dangers of Geert Wilders and organise to protest
against his message on the grounds that his discourse undermines the principles
of a homogenous multicultural Australia,”says Assafiri.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who parrots the same conversation is not only embraced in some
circles but also seen as a voice of elegance and reason in some more
progressive circles regarding her views on reforming Islam.”
can readily identify the dangers of Geert Wilders ...yet Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who
parrots the same conversation, is not only embraced in some circles but also
seen as a voice of elegance and reason."
has been cast on various elements of Hirsi Ali’s story leading to questions
about her credibility.
Sabawi told SBS that Hirsi Ali was forced to step down from Parliament when a
Dutch documentary revealed “Hirsi Ali lied to Dutch authorities about her
past,” says Sabawi. ”She didn’t flee from civil war in Somalia but left before
the war broke out and arrived in the Netherlands from Kenya.”
grew up in a secure environment, her family weren’t fanatic Muslims, her
brother went to a Christian school, many other aspects of her story turned out
to be a lie including her claim of threats of honour killing.”
The documentary in question by Dutch television program Zembla
Assafiri says Hirsi Ali’s lack of credibility should undermine her position as
an authority on Islam.
of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s career is built on lies, deceit and misinformation,”
Assafiri alleges. “Namely when claiming asylum, the circumstances surrounding
her marriage and abuse.”
we continue to portray the lies inherent in her discourse as truth to audiences
who are less informed about her past, and especially those who simply want to
believe her to be both the victim and expert of Islam.”
Rationalist Society of Australia, which champions secularism, has issued a
statement of support for Hirsi Ali’s right to speak during her upcoming visit.
President of the Society, (as well as Victorian Senate candidate for the
Australian Sex Party) Dr Meredtih Doig, tells SBS Arabic24 that "For
anyone to say that Ayaan Hirsi Ali 'lacks credibility' is absurd.”
is a woman who has written four books, has founded a charity to help Muslim
women suffering in America, and who has demonstrated time and again her
intelligence and courage in more life-threatening situations than most of us
does not indulge in gratuitous slanging matches but brings clear-sighted
analysis to her pronouncements. If listeners do not agree with her conclusions,
they should argue it out with her. But trying to undermine by saying she 'tells
lies' is simply a diversionary tactic, unworthy of the gravity of the issues
Hirsi Ali at a speaking engagement in Switzerland in 2011
petitioning group extended an invitation to Hirsi Ali, through Think.Inc, the
company managing her tour in Australia, expressing a desire for a conversation
forum to enable engagement with Muslim women in Melbourne and Sydney.
Hassan, a member of the group, and director at the Islamic Museum of Australia,
says the invitation was made in good-faith to engage directly with Hirsi Ali in
a dialogue about her views and experiences.
a public speaking platform must carry with it responsibility and
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is genuine, if she’s sincere, and wants to improve the plights
of Muslim women, then she would engage with us in a conversation,” says Hassan.
“Instead of constantly speaking to the media and dehumanising the whole Islamic
faith and using very inflammatory language.”
she does is increase hatred and bigotry that exist in the community, and we are
extremely concerned about that,” Hassan says.
adds “We want to emphasise that freedom of expression, when it goes un-vetted
and promotes hate, has a profound impact on women and especially the most
vulnerable sections of the society.”
invited Hirsi Ali to comment via the event promoters. Suzi Jamil from Think.Inc
acknowledged receipt of the invitation but explained that it is up to Ayaan and
her team ultimately to find time in a schedule that she described as 'tight.'
on the Burqa : Lifting the veil on Islamophobia in Australia
niqab, burka - there are lots of different kinds of coverings worn by Muslim
women all over the world. Some wear a headscarf to cover their head and hair,
while others wear a burka or niqab, which also covers up their face.
Headscarves are seen as a sign of modesty, and a symbol of religious faith
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned about a
“Zionist plot” to corrupt the involvement of women in the society.
Leader made the remarks on Sunday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of
Fatimah (AS), the daughter of the Prophet of Islam. Hazrat Fatemeh was the wife
of Imam Ali, the first Imam of Shia Muslims, and is referred to as a role model
for Muslim women.
women a commodity and an object of gratification in the Western world is most
likely among the Zionist plots aiming to destroy the human society,” Ayatollah
and women are no different when it comes to “ascendance to spiritual positions,
the power of leadership and the capability to lead humankind,” the Leader
Leader also warned against following the Western version of gender equality,
saying it has led to corruption.
Western thinkers and those who pursue issues such as gender equality regret the
corruption which it has brought about," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
20, 2017 By Naomi Zeveloff
Israeli group opposed to relationships between Jews and Arabs has set up two
“shelters” to assist Jewish women in leaving their Arab male partners.
anti-miscegination group Lehava created the facilities in apartment buildings
the West Bank and in central Israel.
the first days after a girl leaves an Arab man, she’s extremely confused and
might respond to (his) overtures and return to him,” said Anat Gopstein, who is
married to Lehava head Bentzi Gopstein, according to the Ynet news site. “We’re
here so that won’t happen.”
made headlines in 2014 with its protest of the marriage of an Arab Muslim and
Jewish convert to Islam. At the time, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called
Lehava “rodents gnawing under the shared democratic and Jewish foundation of
2015 activists with the group were convicted in an arson attack on a joint
Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem, Hand in Hand.
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