stopped from participating in a high school Basket Ball game because of her
Hijab PHOTO: DAILYMAIL
Stop ‘Un-Islamic’ Divorce by Social
Media, Says Omani Imam
Muslim Teen Barred From Basketball Game
Because Of Her Hijab in Maryland, US
Women-Only Swim Night at Auckland 'Very
Popular' Among Muslim Community
Mahiraa Jaan Pasha, the First Muslim Woman
to Launch "Bhagvad Gita on Wheelchairs" Across the World
7 Muslim Women Speak Openly About Faith,
Fashion and Modesty
This 'Modest Fashion' Startup Is Giving Muslim
Women More than Clothes
JFK Airport: Man attacks Muslim woman
yelling, "Trump will get rid of all of you"
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
March 18, 2017
Muscat // An imam at Muscat’s main
mosque spoke out on Friday against the trend of divorcing through social media
among younger couples in Oman.
Such divorces are against the principles
of Islamic law, Sheikh Yusuf Al Hamdani said in his sermon at the Central
mosque in the Omani capital.
Marriage in Islam is a serious
commitment that binds two lives into one and cannot be annulled by tapping
quick messages in the social media, he said.
"Young people in Oman now divorce
each other by sending messages on social media using their phones. It is
against Islamic principles to use this method to end a marriage. They should
not be in a hurry to go separate ways," Sheikh Yusuf said. "Social
media is not a solution to any of their problems. They have to go back to the
basics of Islam to find ways to stay married."
Muslims — both men and women — can
notify their spouse of their intention to divorce either verbally or in a
written message. Unlike some Muslim societies there is not even a specific word
of phrase that must be used. Court approval is not required unless one of the
partners launched legal proceedings to contest the divorce.
While there are no statistics on how
many divorces in Oman were initiated through social media, about a third of the
divorces currently being contested in the courts were issued in this way,
according to the records of the sharia court.
"The popular one is WhatsApp —
couples use it as the favourite channel to tell each other they need to end
their marriage. They find it easy that way to prevent emotional scenes or a
fight," said Asma Al Khalidi, a marriage counsellor.
The divorce rate in Oman is 1.6 per
1,000 couples, according to the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs.
Divorces among young people between the ages of 25 and 35 make up just over 60
per cent of the total number.
The rate of divorce in Oman has
increased by 3 per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to the
records of the ministry of awqaf and Islamic affairs. But the ministry has
given no specific reasons for the rise in divorce.
There were 3,788 divorces in Oman in
A teenager was stopped from
participating in a high school Basket Ball game because of her Hijab, on March
3 at Oxon Hill High in Prince George’s Country.
Je’Nan Hayes, a high school junior, was
told by the head official of a rule in the National Federation of State High
School Association rule-book that requires a state-signed waiver to allow
covering her head.
Je’Nan has previously played 24 games of
the season without facing any objection from the school or coach.
“I felt discriminated against, and I
didn’t feel good at all,” Je’Nan said. “If it was some reason like my shirt
wasn’t the right color or whatever, then I’d be like, `Okay.’ But because of my
religion it took it to a whole different level, and I just felt that it was not
right at all.”
Nike unveils Pro Hijab for Muslim
Her coach, Donita Adams, who was unaware
of the rule until a night before, waited for the game to be over before
“I didn’t even want to look down at
Je’Nan in that moment,” Adams said. “I had not yet told her that she wasn’t
allowed to play in the game because of her headscarf.”
After the team lost to Oxon Hill, Adams
took Hayes aside to apologise and explain the reason she did not get to play in
The rule states that “for religious
reasons — In the event there is documented evidence provided to the state
association that a participant may not expose his/her uncovered head, the state
association may approve a covering or wrap which is not abrasive, hard or
dangerous to any other player and which is attached in such a way it is highly
unlikely it will come off during play.”
While the referees were correct in
asking for a state-signed waiver, the administrators from Prince George’s
County and Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association did not
approve of the ruling.
“The officials of the game there took a
strict interpretation of the rule, instead of the spirit of the rule,” said
Andy Warner, executive director of the MPSSAA. “Does this fundamentally alter
the game? Does this create an inherent risk? Does it create a competitive
“It doesn’t do any of those things, so
why are we denying what would be approved if they were to put a simple request
into the association?” she asked.
Hijab-clad models walk ramp at Tokyo
Modest Fashion Show
Her stance was supported by the county’s
athletic director, Earl Hawkins who believed that the referees made a mistake
in not letting Hayes play. “Everybody has apologised. If the situation happens
again, we’ll deal with it in a better fashion, much better fashion,” he said.
Je’Nan’s mother, Carlitta Foster-Haye,
Warner and Adams echoed the same opinion that a headscarf should not need
documentation. “It’s almost like you’re singling out different religions, you
know?” Foster-Hayes said. “With the way the rule is, you have to take an extra
step to play because you’re Muslim.”
While the MPSSAA and referees
association apologised to Je’Nan and her family, the Hayes’ are set to
challenge the rule.
“I just want to be an advocate for boys
or girls, anybody who is trying out for a sport and has a religion and they
feel like their faith can interfere with the way they play sports,” Je’Nan
said. “It shouldn’t be that way. And because of rules like these, I feel like
it makes people scared or turn away from sports, and I don’t want that to
happen to anybody else in the future.”
“I know definitely next year I’m going
to try out for basketball,” she stressed. “It does not stop here.”
Friday Mar 17, 2017
A public pool is being partially closed
one night a week to give Muslim women the opportunity to enjoy some
uninterrupted time in the water while they learn to swim.
WaterSafe Auckland is behind the
initiative which sees a dedicated teaching pool at Cameron Pool and Leisure
Centre managed by YMCA in Mt Roskill closed for two hours every Thursday night
for Muslim women-only swimming lessons.
The programme, born of an identified
need for a culturally appropriate programme delivered in a culturally
appropriate space, has attracted a lengthy waiting list of mainly migrant women
in addition to the almost 50 already participating in the classes.
Despite the name, the lessons are
inclusive of all women, who for a variety of cultural, religious and health
reasons, feel more comfortable swimming in a relaxed female-only environment.
The lessons are aimed at improving the
confidence of women in and around the water, encouraging physical activity and
building quality relationships, while developing knowledge of water safety,
which the women share with their own families.
"A lot of these ladies do come from
difficult backgrounds, so it is a place for them to feel safe and secure while
they integrate into the community," said Cameron Pools centre manager
Clarke said some of the women, who are
aged16 to 60, have migrated to New Zealand from war-torn countries.
"Some have gone through some
horrendous stuff that we can't even comprehend and [swimming lessons] are the
only social aspect of their new lives."
Prime Minister Bill English, right, and
Finance Minister Steven Joyce, announcing the government is to raise the age
for national superannuation to 67 by 2040. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Gayas Fathima, 33, is one of the migrant
women who attends the classes at Cameron Pools.
Fathima said she was scared of the water
when she moved to New Zealand from India, with her husband and three children.
"This programme is so important to
me as it gives me an opportunity to learn a vital skill. I didn't know how to
swim before this and didn't have comfort time or a facility like this [in
"Having this programme available
for us Muslim ladies helps us to learn swimming, stay fit and be able to learn
water survival skills too."
With the help of YMCA instructor
Bernadine, Fathima said she has become a more comfortable and confident swimmer
and is now able to ensure the safety of her children while spending some
quality time with them in and around the water.
There are four, half hour lessons every
Thursday ranging in ability level and run by female instructors.
The beginner classes are fully funded to
lure more women who have never had any exposure to swimming, into the water.
More advanced sessions are subsidised to $5 a class, a fee which helps ensure
the programme is sustainable.
"We are fully booked out, the
classes are very popular," said Clarke.
"The goal is to put more classes
Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand
spokesperson Anjum Rahman said it was important that swimming lessons were
available to everyone.
"Some women will not have gone
through any swimming training. It is important that those services are
available to all ratepayers and the needs of all ratepayers," Rahman said.
"It isn't wrong to ask for public
facilities to be responsive to the needs of the community."
Rahman said there was a nation-wide
demand for these classes from the Muslim community as well as other women.
"It is not just Muslim women that
these classes are important for. There are quite a few women interested from
"For us [the classes are important]
for religious reasons but for other women it may be about their body or
The Muslim women-only swimming classes
run back-to-back from 6.30pm to 8.30pm every Thursday night in the 'learn to
swim' pool at Cameron Pools in Mt Roskill.
Mar 17, 2017
New Delhi [India], Mar 17
(ANI-BusinessWireIndia): Mahiraa Jaan Pasha, the first Muslim Woman to launch
"Bhagavad Gita on Wheelchairs" across the globe. This is a unique,
first of its kind initiative in the world, to showcase the "Bhagavad
Gita" through innovative choreography using Wheelchairs and Crutches.
The 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita
comprising of 700 verses in Sanskrit, is a
part of the great epic Mahabharata. In
this performance wheelchairs transform into chariot, horses, the crutches
transform into bow and arrows, showcasing the ultimate purpose of human life.
In this production, one can see the Cultural Equality, Social Inclusion and in
the end carry back a message of ' Vasudeva Kutumbakam' meaning the whole world
is one family. It reaches beyond the conventional imagination and familiar
world of television or film.
Mahiraa Jaan Pasha, is the dynamic force
in discovering, nurturing and showcasing outstanding abilities of Persons with
disabilities across the Nation for more than two decades. Trained in Indian
classical dance, Mahiraa Jaan Pasha is a creator and a visionary in the arts
who sees unity within the diversity of all of her "Miracle On wheels Dance
Company's" artistic endeavours. In India, Mahiraa Jaan Pasha is acclaimed
as a pioneer in Inclusive Arts.
Join hands to spread the message of The
Gita, by organising our shows to celebrate the extraordinary abilities of
specially abled artists which has transformed millions of lives across the
world, which will be a life changing experience for every individual who
witnesses it. (ANI-BusinessWireIndia)
By Kayla Greaves
With media depictions of
"oppressed" Muslim women, and last summer's failed burkini ban in
France, as well as the European Union's recent discriminatory rule against Hijabs
in the workplace, women of Islam have become a target for hateful ideals and
While many are aware that most imagery
spread about this group and their attire is simply untrue, who better to speak
on religion, modesty, feminism and fashion other than the women of Islam
Speaking to seven Muslim women from a
range of diverse backgrounds, we got a first-hand take on their day-to-day
lives and surrounding communities as it relates to their religious practices
and style. Their responses give those looking from the outside in a refreshing
new perspective on these women's realities.
"I chose to wear a Hijab when I was
about 13 years old. My reasons have varied over the years, but at this point,
my Hijab is one of many ways I choose to express myself. Every day we make
conscious choices as to how we wish to be perceived by those around us — and I
choose to be perceived visibly as a Muslim woman. I am proud of my faith, and
I’m happy to be a symbol of it. Wearing long sleeves and pants even through the
summer, making small adjustments to let current fashion work for me, all while
wrapping a Hijab on my head and staying on trend. Modesty varies between
cultures — in some spaces, it is commonplace to show more skin, in others the
opposite — but I think the constant theme is not being ostentatious.
I view modesty in the same way I view
humility, and it encompasses far more than your dress; it’s about how you carry
yourself, how you speak to those around you. To me, modesty in fashion is less
about how much you cover, and more about how you present yourself. Hijab does
not define modesty because a simple piece of cloth will never accomplish that
on its own — rather it is the individual who gives the Hijab its meaning. I am
thankful that within my Muslim community I am accepted as the individual that I
am. My community recognizes that Hijab is a personal choice and that each woman
who chooses to wear it has the agency to decide what that entails. I’m sure
that I may not fulfill every expectation of what a Muslim woman should wear,
but I am also not here to fit into narrow boxes."
"My style leans toward the
eccentric and so I have a wardrobe full of patterns and bright colours. I use
my Hijab as a stand-alone statement piece or as a complementing factor. The Hijab
is meant to serve as a positive force in your life. For me, it means serving as
an ambassador for Islam in the most colourful way possible. Unfortunately, I
think the idea of 'modesty' in Islam has been, to a degree, corrupted by the
traditions of those who practice the faith. One side of my family is
conservative Pakistani, with them, being modest doesn’t require a Hijab, and
instead subservience and a soft tongue. Needless to say, I think that wearing a
Hijab made me the opposite of a traditional modest Pakistani girl. It made me
brave and confident enough to voice my opinions and fight for what I believe
in. I don’t think older, conservative Muslims rooted in cultural traditions
understand why I dress the way I do and I tend to get a lot of backhanded
compliments from the 'aunty community.' Luckily, I come from a line of
resilient and fiercely independent women, so I don’t pay much attention to
those who try to bring my self-confidence down."
"I can't remember exactly when I
wore the Hijab full-time, but I might have been about 12.
There are so many pressures to being a Hijabi
— as if how you dress is directly indicative of how religious you might be.
That's not really the case, my relationship with God is exactly that, my
relationship with God. I know my Hijab makes me visibly Muslim — and I'm proud
of that. It makes me even stronger in my faith. But just because I wear the Hijab
doesn't mean I make more trips to the mosque than the girl who doesn't wear
In my everyday wear, I try to have fun
with my outfits. Culture plays a big role — being Yemeni-Canadian, I love pops
of colour and long tunics, but also prefer layering patterned shirts with
heavier fall knits. There's also the ability to tap into traditional wear for
fancier gatherings or as a statement piece. Over the years, my style has
evolved and has been influenced by so many things — but one thing remains
stagnant, and that's my commitment to it being an extension of my very self. I
love that I'm in a space where I don't have to hide who I am to make other
"In the western world, even in
Canada, I know that my Hijab is seen as a political statement. Both within and
outside my community, there are those who think a Muslim woman should dress a
certain way — that is, not be interested in looking good. But that’s unfair to
both the religion of Islam and Muslim women. There is a saying, Hadith, from
the Prophet Muhammad, 'God is beautiful and He loves beauty.' When the Prophet
was asked, 'What if someone likes that his clothing and his shoes are
beautiful?' the Prophet replied, 'Allah loves to see the effects of His grace
upon His servant.'
My Hijab has become so much of my
personal identity that I can’t imagine life without it. The experiences I have
had while wearing my Hijab have shaped me into the person I am today. My Hijab
has shaped my personal style, too. While I was a teenager, I gravitated towards
Vogue and Teen Vogue, in an attempt to learn more about high fashion and
personal style. I have always found it hard to adopt fast fashion trends, but
much easier to learn how to build a personal style that is unique."
"I decided to wear the Hijab solely
based on my own personal choice. It was a huge step for me as an adolescent who
was discovering her identity. When I first began wearing the Hijab, I was not
too comfortable in it since I was not familiar with incorporating it in my
everyday wardrobe. However, over the years I began to grow a huge interest in
fashion, which helped me develop my sense of style. I am proud to say that my Hijab
has impacted my life in a very positive way and has played a huge part in
shaping my identity growing up, into the individual that I am today. By wearing
the Hijab I am not conforming to the societal beauty standards that are set for
me to follow as a young woman. Rather, it is my way of resisting the negative
social and political backlash as well as the societal expectations of how I
should look or dress as a woman. In fact, wearing the Hijab makes me feel
beautiful, confident and resilient.
Especially with the rise of modest
fashion, I feel empowered and inspired by Muslim women fashion designers and
bloggers such as, Dina Tokio and Dian Pelangi, who are sharing their unique
personal styles on social media. This is critical in our ever-changing global
society, as the fashion industry needs to be more representative of our current
society. As a modest fashion blogger, I love sharing and showcasing my personal
style on my Instagram account in order to make Hijab wearing Muslim women more
visible in the fashion world."
"I have always loved dressing up
since I was a little girl, in fact, it is one of the ways I choose to express
my femininity, which is a core part of my identity. So having to separate my
Muslim identity, from my female identity, is almost impossible, because the Hijab
is a core part of who I am.
Islam is an extremely diverse religion
of 1.6 billion people. This means that based on the culture and the customs of
the country the definition of modesty varies for both men and women. What is
interesting is that when people think of modesty, they think of one’s clothing,
especially as it pertains to women, which is inherently sexist. It should be
highlighted that there is a clear distinction between culture and religion. The
Quran clearly states modesty for both men and women. In fact, the Quran
emphasizes the modesty of the eyes first, in Surah Al-Nur (The Light), in which
God commands men not to gaze at women lustfully. When in fact, in most
cultures, including the west, the women are often blamed and held accountable
for the actions of men in regards to rape culture. When in fact, as the Quran
states, it is the men who should be held accountable for their actions and not
gaze at women lustfully, regardless of the way they choose to dress."
"I wore the Hijab at a young age.
My mother wore it, my aunts and sisters wore it. All the female adults in my
presence wore it. I knew why a Muslim woman wore the Hijab, the reasons behind
the teachings, but it took me couple years of self-reflection to come to terms
that yes, I am my Hijab, and my Hijab is me.
I love fashion. I’ll hit the mall and
grab an outfit from Aritzia or Club Monaco, you name it. And I’ll take that
outfit and 'Hijabanaze' it a.k.a. turn it into Hijab friendly outfit.
What I want folks to stop doing is
assuming Muslim women are oppressed. I am a feminist, and for me, I choose to
cover my body and celebrate it. And with that, we all celebrate our
differences. Women from different cultures may dress modestly with their
cultural-infused taste. A woman from Pakistan will dress different compared to
a woman from Somalia. Both modest, both culturally infused styles.
And to anyone who thinks Hijabs are worn
because a man said so, the reality is, the Hijab is not to protect men. Matter
of fact it has nothing to do with men — it’s to honour the women."
By Rishi Iyengar
March 17, 2017
This startup is a growing platform for
Muslim women are flocking to a startup
that promises them fashionable clothes that fit with their faith.
Nafisa Bakkar and her sister, Selina,
launched Amaliah from their mother's kitchen table in 2015 as an Instagram page
to curate Muslim-friendly clothes from top brands.
Since then, that page has grown into an
online community of more than 250,000 Muslim women.
The sisters grew up in the U.K., born to
Indian immigrants from the eastern city of Kolkata.
Nafisa Bakkar told CNNMoney they
grappled with multiple identities throughout their upbringing, but soon
realized how big a role Islam played -- and the challenges they faced as a
One of those was how to find clothes
that were stylish but allowed them to adhere to their religion.
"Amaliah started as a personal
frustration," the 24-year-old said. "We realized that it was a big
pain point for Muslim women to find clothes that were modest but also
Related: Employers can ban headscarves,
Europe's top court rules
That Instagram page has grown into a
platform that allows Muslim women to share their perspectives, experiences and,
of course, find the right clothes. The company's website features a curated
collection from leading stores such as H&M, ASOS and Zara, which customers
can order directly online.
It also features blogs and articles with
titles such as "My journey to being a part-time Hijabi" and
"Empowerment looks different to everyone."
"I see Amaliah as a ... tool for
cultural change," Nafisa Bakkar said. "I don't really see us as just
a clothing brand."
nafisa bakkar amaliah startup
The ultimate objective is gradually to
change the perception of Islam in an increasingly polarized world.
"In today's political turmoil...
it's never been more important for Muslim women to be heard," the young
CEO told CNNMoney. "What we're seeing in the Islamic economy [is] a lot of
start-ups rising out of frustrations, out of feeling that we're not catered
Related: Nike has a new 'Pro Hijab' for
That market is growing, and big global
brands are beginning to notice. Bakkar says fashion powerhouses such as Dolce
& Gabbana and DKNY have started catering more to Muslim women over the past
couple of years.
But there's still a long way to go.
"In an ideal world, Amaliah
wouldn't exist," Bakkar said. "It wouldn't be difficult for a Muslim
woman to find the right clothes that she doesn't feel compromises her culture
and values, it wouldn't be difficult to hear the opinion of a Muslim woman in
the mainstream news."
JFK Airport: Man Attacks Muslim Woman
Yelling, "Trump Will Get Rid Of All of You"
New York [U.S.], Mar. 17 (ANI): A
traveler has been indicted on charges of unlawful imprisonment and aggravated
harassment, after he went on a racist tirade, yelled threatening slurs and even
kicking a Muslim Delta employee in the leg at the at John F. Kennedy Airport.
Robin Rhodes, 57, who was returning in
January from a trip to Aruba, also faces hate crime charges, reports CNN. He
was released on $50,000 bond and ordered to return to court in June. He faces
up to four years in prison.
Rhodes was waiting for a connecting
flight to Worcester, Massachusetts, when he entered the Delta Sky Lounge at
JFK. He came up to the office of the employee, who has not been identified, and
said, "Are you [expletive deleted] sleeping? Are you praying? What are you
doing?", said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The criminal complaint states that
Rhodes punched the door, which hit the back of the employee's chair. The
employee then asked Rhodes as to what she had done to him and he replied,
"You did nothing but I am going to kick your [expletive deleted]
a**," the complaint said.
Rhodes then kicked the employee in the
leg, after which she tried to get away, but Rhodes persisted, kicking the door
and stepping into her office and blocking her from escaping.
Another person, also not identified,
tried to calm Rhodes and moved him away from the door, while the employee ran
out of the office to the lounge's front desk.
Rhodes allegedly followed the employee,
at one point getting down on his knees, bowing down in imitation of a Muslim
He shouted, "[Expletive] Islam,
[expletive] ISIS, Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you. You can ask
Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You will see what
According to the charges, the victim
suffered substantial pain and redness in her right leg and was placed in fear
of physical injury, annoyance and alarm.
In the wake of the attack, New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo proposed the Transportation Worker Protection Act, which would
make any assault against an airport worker a felony, punishable by a maximum of
seven years in prison. (ANI)
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