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Islam, Women and Feminism (19 Feb 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Saudi Shoura Wants Women to Lead in Civil Service
















Shamima Begum told the BBC she didn’t see herself as an IS “poster girl” (Picture: BBC)

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Shamima Begum: 'I Didn't Want To Be IS Poster Girl'

After ISIL, French women held in Syria say they're ready for home

Floating Hospital to Travel Nile, Help Upper Egypt Women

Muslim Woman Fights for Israel despite Death Threats

After IS, French Women Held In Syria Say Ready to Go Home

Sisters in Islam Disappointed By Two States over Child Marriages

Saudi Women Defend Government App Which Lets Men Give Women Permission To Travel

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-shoura-wants-women-to-lead-in-civil-service/d/117792

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Saudi Shoura Wants Women to Lead in Civil Service

February 19, 2019

JEDDAH: The Shoura Council on Monday urged the Ministry of Civil Service to appoint women to top positions in the ministry in line with the ministry’s 2020 Vision.

The council also asked the ministry to work on the execution of a royal order to standardize the salary structures in all ministries and government departments.

The council also discussed the amendments to some articles of the labor laws to boost the efficiency of the locals in the private sector and ensure adequate compensation in case of termination of the contract without any reason.

Many Shoura members supported raising compensations for employees at the time of dismissal from work. They also called for increasing the notice period to 90 days. The council also approved two memorandums of understanding between Riyadh and Seoul pertaining to money laundering, terror financing and intellectual property.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1454376/saudi-arabia

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Shamima Begum: 'I Didn't Want To Be IS Poster Girl'

18 February 2019

Shamima Begum - the schoolgirl who fled London to join the Islamic State group in Syria - has said she never wanted to be an IS "poster girl".

Ms Begum, who has just given birth, said she now wants the UK's forgiveness and supports "some British values".

She told the BBC while it was "wrong" innocent people died in the 2017 Manchester attack, it was "kind of retaliation" for attacks on IS.

The 19-year-old left Bethnal Green four years ago with two school friends.

There has been debate about Ms Begum's plight since she was found in a Syrian refugee camp by the Times newspaper last week after reportedly leaving Baghuz, IS's last stronghold in the country.

She gave birth to a baby boy last weekend, having previously lost two children, and named him after her first son.

While she told the BBC she would have let her late son become an IS fighter, she wants her new baby "to be British" and for her to return to the UK with him.

'No troops to rescue Britons'

In an interview with the BBC's Middle East correspondent Quentin Sommerville on Monday, Ms Begum said: "I don't actually agree with everything they've done.

"I actually do support some British values and I am willing to go back to the UK and settle back again and rehabilitate and that stuff."

Home Secretary Sajid Javid told MPs on Monday that he would not "hesitate to prevent" the return of Britons who travelled to Syria to join IS. While the UK cannot leave people stateless, under international law, he said any such Britons would be "questioned, investigated and potentially prosecuted".

No British troops would be used to help or rescue them, he said. He told MPs that more than 100 dual nationals have already lost their UK citizenship after travelling in support of terrorist groups.

"If you back terror, there must be consequences," he said. More than 900 people have left the UK to join the conflict in Syria, said Mr Javid, adding that those who join IS have "shown they hate our country and the values that we stand for".

Asked about the Manchester Arena attack in 2017 in which 22 people - some of them children - were killed in a bombing claimed by IS, she said: "I was shocked. I didn't know about the kids, actually. I do feel that is wrong. Innocent people did get killed."

She compared the attack to military assaults on Syria, saying: "It's one thing to kill a soldier, it's fine, it's self-defence. But to kill people like women and children just like the women and children in Baghuz who are being killed right now unjustly by the bombings - it's a two-way thing really because women and children are being killed back in the Islamic State right now.

"It's kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought, okay, that is a fair justification."

Ms Begum said she was sorry for all the families who had lost people because of the attacks in the UK and other countries.

"That wasn't fair on them," she said. "They weren't fighting anyone. They weren't causing any harm. But neither was I and neither were other women who are being killed right now back in Baghuz."

'I want forgiveness'

When it was suggested that her going to Syria might have been a "propaganda victory" for IS, Ms Begum said: "I did hear a lot of people were encouraged to come after, but I wasn't the one who put myself on the news."

She added: "The poster girl thing was not my choice."

Ms Begum said she made the choice to go to Syria and could make her own decisions, despite being only 15 at the time. She said she was partly inspired by videos of fighters beheading hostages and also by videos showing "the good life" under IS.

She watched videos of the murders of British hostages, she told the BBC, but said she did not know the names of any of the victims.

Our correspondent said that "throughout the interview, Shamima Begum continued to espouse Islamic State philosophy." He added: "When I asked her about the enslavement, murder and rape of Yazidi women by IS, she said 'Shia do the same in Iraq'."

But she said: "I just want forgiveness really, from the UK. Everything I've been through, I didn't expect I would go through that.

"Losing my children the way I lost them, I don't want to lose this baby as well and this is really not a place to raise children, this camp."

Twelve more British women have arrived at the camp in Syria in the last week and more are expected, our correspondent added.

Earlier, the lawyer representing Ms Begum's family said she is "damaged" and will need mental health support. Tasnime Akunjee also said her family are prepared to raise her newborn baby away from "IS thinking".

He said Ms Begum - who is legally British - had still not been in contact with her family and the family are trying to get the government to provide travel documents for Ms Begum and her newborn son, who he said has a right to citizenship.

Ms Begum left the UK in February 2015 with two other schoolgirls, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. Kadiza is thought to have died when a house was blown up, and the fate of Amira is unknown.

Mr Akunjee also called for an "urgent inquiry" into how Ms Begum and the other schoolgirls were able to travel to Syria.

Previously, Ms Begum said she escaped from Baghuz, Islamic State's last stronghold in eastern Syria, two weeks ago.

Her husband, a Dutch convert to Islam, is thought to have surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters.

Under international law, the UK is obliged to let a Briton without the claim to another nationality return home.

But the government does not have consular staff in Syria, and says it will not risk any lives to help Britons who have joined a banned terrorist group.

If Ms Begum is able to reach a British consulate in a recognised country, it is thought security chiefs could "manage" her return.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47276572

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After ISIL, French women held in Syria say they're ready for home

February 19, 2019

Detained after fleeing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL also known as ISIS) group's crumbling Syrian holdout, two women from France say they are ready to go home - if they are judged fairly.

Behind the fence of a camp in Kurdish-held territory in Syria, the detainees wore long black face veils that only showed their eyes, and were accompanied by three children.

They were supervised closely by Kurdish fighters.

Around 500 foreign women have been trucked into the al-Hol camp in recent months, after being picked up by US-backed forces near villages where they had taken one by one from the fighters.

From the outset, the French women warned AFP they would not give any personal details in order to protect their families back home.

But the most talkative, a 29-year-old from the region of Lyon in France, had a message to get out.

"We're not animals. We're human beings ... We have a heart, we have a soul," she said, her blue eyes staring straight ahead.

Kurdish-led forces have now hemmed the last ISIL fighters into less than 0.5sq km of territory in the village of Baghouz, and say their only choice is surrender.

'We didn't agree'

France is hesitating to bring the women thought to have belonged to ISIL and their children back.

Their repatriation is a sensitive topic in a country that has suffered a series of deadly ISIL-claimed attacks since 2015.

And French authorities are even more suspicious of men and women who stayed with ISIL until the bitter end.

The second woman, who is in her thirties, said she, her husband, and three children fled the last ISIL holdout earlier this month.

"We didn't agree" with the ISIL fighters, she said, with a slight southern French accent.

"But we couldn't say anything."

Her companion insisted "the IS [ISIL] fighters scared us. They'd say: 'We'll slit your throats, we'll rape you'".

After weeks of bombardment and food shortages as the Syrian Defence Forces moved in, she said she slipped $50 to a smuggler so she and her two young boys could escape.

Now both women say they are ready to go home.

But the 29-year-old has conditions: to be able to practise Islam as she sees fit and to remain close to the children she has left.

She recounts how she lost two children - aged just two and six - a few years ago in a bombardment.

But she claims she is not bent on revenge.

"I've had my children killed. It's not tomorrow that I'm going to go and kill someone," she said.

'They'll rip our kids away'

The two women claim they led peaceful lives under ISIL and that their husbands held civilian jobs, but it was not immediately possible to verify their accounts.

They say they became disillusioned by the reality of living in the "caliphate" that ISIL proclaimed across large swaths of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014.

The group "executed lots of people for nothing, without proof - even Muslims", the younger woman said, claiming her husband was killed.

But they do not condemn the deadly ISIL attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and Bataclan concert hall in France in 2015.

"The people who did that wanted to avenge" the French air attack in Syria, the woman from the Lyon region said.

Already, she says the pair fears what might happen to their young boys if they return to France and are arrested.

"They'll rip our kids away from us, put them in homes and foster families," she said.

"They'll be separated from each other and grow up (with values) against the education we want to give them," she insisted.

"There are lots of things in France against our religion - homosexuality for example".

Both hope that if they are put on trial they get short sentences.

"I hope we'll be judged fairly case by case - not for everything the group did," the more talkative woman said.

The older woman said she would want a short, commutable prison sentence so she can see her children.

"They're all I've got," she said after her husband was detained.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/isil-french-women-held-syria-ready-home-190218202451368.html

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Floating Hospital to Travel Nile, Help Upper Egypt Women

18 February, 2019

In an attempt to cater to healthcare needs of deprived women in Upper Egypt, the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity and Rotary Club of Heliopolis on Sunday signed a cooperation protocol to establish a floating hospital that moves across Upper Nile governorates.

Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali, in her speech at the signing ceremony, said “the project is new and innovative and provides a range of health and social services for women and children.”

“The project, along with the health services it provides, will contribute to social development and will play a role in tourism through highlighting the beauty of the landscape and marinas on the Nile.”

Nearly one million women are set out to benefit from healthcare support funds put forth by the initiative which is a part of the Takaful and Karama project.

The project that the Ministry of Social Solidarity is implementing provides financial assistance to families in need after they meet minimum requirements.

According to a ministry report last month, up to 2.2 million families, half of whom reside in Upper Egypt, benefited from Takaful and Karama programs.

The floating hospital is scheduled to be operational from March 1 until the end of April. It will travel to Upper Egypt with a number of specialized clinics and a full medical team.

“It includes 18 clinics for different specialties of pediatrics, nose, ear, heart, bones, chest, skin, etc., as well as a laboratory, pharmacy and drug store,” said Abdulhamid Al Awa, an Upper Egypt governor.

“The hospital aims to raise awareness of one million women, and provide medical examination and treatment for at least 50,000 cases, and provide some 10,000 training programs, and offer community support for another 200,000 individuals,” Al Awa said.

The hospital will be running health and social services in 8 governorates: Aswan, Luxor, Sohag, Qena, Assiut, Minya, Beni Suef and Giza. The programs offered will cover social awareness regarding nutrition, cancer and Hepatitis C virus.

https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1596956/floating-hospital-travel-nile-help-upper-egypt-women

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Muslim Woman Fights for Israel despite Death Threats

FEBRUARY 19, 2019

An Israeli-Arab Muslim woman spoke out about her love for the Jewish people and Israel on Saturday. 

"You are one of the bravest Muslim women that I know," Hananya Naftali, a minor Israeli YouTube celebrity, said in an interview with Sara Zoabi. "You are not ashamed of your love towards Israel and the Jewish people."

"I am very proud, first of Israel, that I'm an Israeli Zionist Arab, and I have tied my destiny with Israel and the Jewish people, a peaceful nation," Zoabi said. "The Jewish nation is an example of peace, an example of love."

When asked why she felt so close to Israelis as opposed to Palestinians, Zoabi answered that she is Israeli.

"I am an Israeli, I was born here, I live here. Period," Zoabi said. "I don't feel any harassment and no discrimination because I am Arab. The opposite is true. As an Arab Muslim, I get all my rights.

Zoabi also said she enjoys living under Israeli rule ad has no desire to lie under a Hamas or Arab state.

https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Muslim-woman-fights-for-Israel-despite-death-threats-watch-581066

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After IS, French Women Held In Syria Say Ready to Go Home

19 Feb 2019

AL-HOL, Syria: Detained after fleeing the Islamic State group's crumbling Syrian holdout, two women from France say they are ready to go home - if they are judged fairly.

Behind the fence of a camp in Kurdish-held territory, the detainees wore long black face veils that only showed their eyes, and were accompanied by three children.

They were supervised closely by Kurdish fighters.

Around 500 foreign women have been trucked into the Al-Hol camp in recent months, after being picked up by US-backed forces near villages they have taken one by one from the militants.

From the outset, the French women warned AFP they would not give any personal details in order to protect their families back home.

But the most talkative, a 29-year-old from the region of Lyon in France, had a message to get out.

"We're not animals. We're human beings ... We have a heart, we have a soul," she said, her blue eyes staring straight ahead.

Kurdish-led forces have now hemmed the last IS fighters into less than half a square kilometre of territory in the village of Baghouz, and say their only choice is surrender.

'WE DIDN'T AGREE'

France is hesitating to bring back women thought to have belonged to IS and their children.

Their repatriation is a sensitive topic in a country that has suffered a series of deadly IS-claimed attacks since 2015.

And French authorities are even more suspicious of men and women who stayed with IS until the bitter end.

The second woman, who is in her thirties, said she, her husband, and three children fled the last IS holdout earlier this month.

"We didn't agree" with the IS fighters, she said, with a slight southern French accent. "But we couldn't say anything."

Her companion insisted "the IS fighters scared us. They'd say: 'Well slit your throats, we'll rape you'".

After weeks of bombardment and food shortages as the Syrian Defence Forces moved in, she said she slipped US$50 (€44) to a smuggler so she and her two young boys could escape.

Now both women say they are ready to go home.

But the 29-year-old has conditions: to be able to practice Islam as she sees fit, and to remain close to the children she has left.

She recounts how she lost two children - aged just two and six - a few years ago in bombardment.

But she claims she is not bent on revenge.

"I've had my children killed. It's not tomorrow that I'm going to go and kill someone," she said.

'THEY'LL RIP OUR KIDS AWAY'

The two women claim they led peaceful lives under IS and that their husbands held civilian jobs, but it was not immediately possible to verify their accounts.

They say they became disillusioned by the reality of living in the "caliphate" that IS proclaimed across large swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014.

The militants "executed lots of people for nothing, without proof - even Muslims", the younger woman said, claiming her husband was killed.

But they do not condemn the deadly IS attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper and Bataclan concert hall in France in 2015.

"The people who did that wanted to avenge" French air strikes in Syria, the woman from the Lyon region said.

Already, she says the pair fear what might happen to their young boys if they return to France and are arrested.

"They'll rip our kids away from us, put them in homes and foster families," she said.

"They'll be separated from each other and grow up (with values) against the education we want to give them," she insisted.

"There are lots of things in France against our religion - homosexuality for example".

Both hope that if they are put on trial they get short sentences.

"I hope we'll be judged fairly case by case - not for everything the group did," the more talkative woman said.

The older woman said she would want a short, commutable prison sentence so she can see her children.

"They're all I've got," she said, after he husband was detained.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/after-is--french-women-held-in-syria-say-ready-to-go-home-11256778

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Sisters in Islam Disappointed By Two States over Child Marriages

18 FEB 2019

PETALING JAYA: Sisters in Islam (SIS) have expressed their disappointment over two states that have not adhered to the directive by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed in enforcing the minimum marriage age.

“Kelantan and Terengganu chose to retain child marriage in the states, with the former citing last November that the practice is regarded as a necessity in the state,“ the non governmental organisation (NGO) said in a statement today.

It added that a revelation by the Kelantan Syariah Court that a total of 10 underage marriages were approved between January 2018 and January 2019 was shocking.

They also claimed that many NGOs are disappointed with Kelantan’s rejection of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in November 2018.

They described the rejection as a shameful decision considering Malaysia’s ambition to be a progressive and inclusive country with developed nation status.

It was reported that following Mahathir’s directive on Sept 18 Selangor has amended the State Islamic Family Enactment and Syariah Court Civil Procedure Enactment to raise the marriageable age limit of Muslims from 16 to 18.

SIS also pointed out that the Penang Islamic Religious Department has yet to submit their feedback although the Penang Women, Family, Gender Inclusiveness and Non-Islamic Religion Committee chairperson Chong Eng had instructed the department to proceed with the prime minister’s directive.

SIS insisted that the federal and state governments as well as elected representatives must be responsible in protecting the most vulnerable, which are the children.

“This should be impetus for a more concerted effort at the state government level towards raising the age of marriage to 18 for all children.

“We must keep them safe from harm by inculcating a positive social mindset and ensuring that they have the best possible chance of a bright future by prioritising their education,“ the statement read.

https://www.thesundaily.my/local/sis-disappointed-by-two-states-over-child-marriages-HX550108

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Saudi Women Defend Government App Which Lets Men Give Women Permission To Travel

February 18, 2019

A Saudi mobile-phone app that’s come under fire for perpetuating the kingdom’s male guardianship system is drawing praise on social media as the government pushes back against the criticism.

Adopting the Twitter hashtag #i_support_ABSHER, some Saudis listed what they like about the e-government portal, which men can use to give permission for women to travel. Without male approval, Saudi women can’t leave the country.

The app received plaudits for providing a simple route through complex bureaucracy that typically drags out applications for things like a passport or vehicle registration.

Some tweets referred to accusations made by human-rights defenders that Absher is cementing the guardianship system, saying those making the claims wanted to make life more difficult for Saudis.

A video shared on Whatsapp urges Saudis to counter the “fierce campaign” against Absher by giving the app five stars on Apple Store or Google Play and writing a glowing review.

Critics and human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have urged Apple and Google to review the app. The use of Absher “to curtail the movement of women once again highlights the disturbing system of discrimination against women under the guardianship system,” the group said in a statement to the Washington Post.

The campaign against the app has won support in the U.S., where senior Democrat senator Ron Wyden said in a Twitter posting it’s “unconscionable” that Google and Apple are “making it easier to track women and control when and how they travel.” Apple CEO Tim Cook told NPR his company will “take a look at it if that’s the case.”

The kingdom’s Interior Ministry said in a statement over the weekend that the allegations against Absher aim to “disable the benefits of more than 160 different procedural services to all members of the society.”

Many Saudi women have pointed out that criticism of the app is somewhat misguided and should be directed at the guardianship system itself, not Absher, which simply provides an electronic way to navigate travel permissions.

Though Saudi women have gained more rights in the past couple of years, they’re still shackled by the guardianship system that, according to Human Rights Watch, requires them to receive a man’s approval to apply for a passport, travel outside the country, study abroad on a government scholarship, get married or even exit prison.

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/social-media-defends-saudi-app-which-lets-men-give-women-permission-to-travel

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-shoura-wants-women-to-lead-in-civil-service/d/117792

 

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