Woman Assaulted In Belgium, Her Hijab and Shirt Pulled Off
Female Doctor Humiliated In Racial Attack on Dublin Bus
All-Women Rescue Teams At Dubai Beaches
Candidate Becomes First Woman Mayor of Tunis
Woman Challenging Stereotypes in Election-Bound Pakistan
Woman's Car Set On Fire near Makkah after Driving Ban Lifted
Farag, First Arab Woman to Join WAN-IFRA's Board
the First Indian Woman to Get Saudi Driving License
in Iraq sees greater role for women in political process
Women Detained Over Gulen Links In Turkey’s Manisa
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Muslim Teacher’s Powerful Speech on Why She Chose to Wear Hijab Is Going Viral
Muslim teacher’s powerful stand against OFSTED’s (Office for Standards in
Education, Children’s Services and Skills) ban on Muslim women wearing hijab
has gone viral. Speaking at the NEU-NUT Section Annual Conference 2018, Latifa
Abouchakra referred to terms like ‘muscular liberalism’ used by certain
sections of media and politicians. She defined this as just another term for
Islamophobia and racism. While mainstream media has often shown and reported
many incidents of how the hijab or being under a veil is often used as a tool of
oppression against Muslim or South Asian women, Abouchakra emphasises that she
chose to wear the hijab as an article of her faith and none was entitled to
take away her right to exercise her freedom of choice.
faith has given me the right to choose 1400 years before the universal
declaration of human rights told me I could. A fun fact for you conference, my
dad didn’t want me to wear the hijab, I chose to, those of faith should have
the right to choose their articles of faiths. Practising my right to freedom of
expression through the hijab, empowers me and other women like me, to know that
we are able to make decisions for ourselves.” said the first time speaker at
of Amanda Spielman, the chief of OFSTED, came under scanner and heavy backlash
after she raised concerns over Muslims girls as young as five wearing the
headscarf, while she was lobbying over dress codes in primary schools. She has
been accused of pressuring schools into banning hijab worn by young girls by
National Education Union in the UK.
woman assaulted in Belgium, her hijab and shirt pulled off
Muslim woman, whose name has not been made public, was brutally assaulted in
what appears to be a hate crime carried out by two racist men in Anderlues town
near Brussels on Monday, Belgian media reported.
19-year-old woman was walking alone in an alley around 2100 GMT (11 pm local)
when two unnamed assailants stood in her way, according to Belgium’s official
news agency Belga.
men took off her headscarf and tore apart her shirt, exposing her upper body.
she tried to escape, the two men hurled racial slurs at the victim, calling her
a “filthy Arab” before knocking her to the ground.
the attackers used a sharp object to cut her body, including her torso, stomach
and legs, in the shape of a cross, the Belga said.
men fled after the incident.
police is yet to reveal details about the health condition of the woman.
local police have launched an investigation into the attack.
call for calm
Tison, the Mayor of Anderlues, condemned the attack on Wednesday, two days
after the attack that, according to him, took place in "a municipality
that has achieved its model of living together."
was shocked to learn that a racist attack against one of our fellow citizens
was occurred in Anderlues,” Tison, the mayor, said on his Facebook account.
is a despicable act that saddens all of us ... We can not tolerate our fellow
citizens are becoming victims of racist aggression,” he said.
on the attacks against Muslims in Europe
the rise of far-right political parties, European countries have witnessed a sharp
increase in racist and Islamophobic attacks due to their anti-Muslim and
to the European Islamophobia Report 2017, prepared by the Ankara-based
Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, SETA, a rising wave of
Islamophobia has taken hold in Europe.
report revealed 908 crimes, ranging from verbal and physical attacks to murder
attempts, targeting Muslims in Germany, as well as 664 in Poland, 364 in the
Netherlands, 256 in Austria, 121 in France, 56 in Denmark and 36 in Belgium.
mosques across Europe have endured dozens of attacks over the past year as
attackers attempted to arson them with Molotov cocktails or spray-painted
terror symbols or racist slurs on the walls.
takes the lead in hate crimes against mosques, as over 30 of them, were
targeted in such attacks in the first three months of this year - double the
figure in the same period last year.
Muslim doctor living in Dublin has spoken of the insults and harassment she
suffers for wearing a hijab. She was speaking after the release of a report
warning that hate crime remains under-reported in Ireland.
“Lifecycle of Hate Crime” report from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties,
released on Wednesday, found that hate crime was “not part of the language of
the Irish criminal justice process” and the State had a responsibility to “send
a clear message to society that hate crime is not tolerated”.
for Justice Charlie Flanagan described the findings of the report as “not
acceptable” and said its recommendations would be “urgently” examined by his department.
a doctor from South Asia who has been living in Ireland for nearly three years,
said racial hatred was “spreading like wildfire” and “requires immediate
a post on Reddit, Amna described how on Saturday night, while travelling from
Dublin city centre to Kilmainham on a Dublin Bus, she was verbally harassed by
a female passenger for wearing a hijab. She wrote that a middle aged woman who
was “heavily intoxicated” repeatedly asked where she came from, before calling
her a “refugee” and asking “why are in you in this country”? She said the woman
continued swearing at her, even when she took out her phone and began filming
the incident. Eventually, she said, a male passenger offered to swap seats so
Amna could move away from the woman.
Ireland, Amna said she finds that women who wear a head scarf are either
considered to be refugees or “someone who deserves an insult in the name of
she first arrived in Dublin and was searching for an apartment she said some
landlords told her she should “live with her own community”, while one landlord
refused to let her enter the house because he said she might have a gun in her
handbag. More recently she said that upon completing an examination, the adjudicator
approached her and said she should return home to work as a doctor rather than
remaining in Ireland.
should I face this professional and social discrimination time and time again?
Is it because I have opted to adhere to my religious beliefs which teach me to
spread love, treat all with respect, do no harm, hear no evil, not to judge
others, to be selfless, to be honest, to be non-judgmental towards all?
others, just for the sake of your personal satisfaction, isn’t acceptable behaviour
in any culture or religion. Condescending behaviour, insulting others publicly
just because people feel they have the given right to do so is totally
to Amna, many Muslim women in this country feel too scared to contact the Garda
or report racial abuse. “I think we’ve become desensitised to it,” she told The
Irish Times. “People make comments as we walk by so often that we’ve been told
to brush it off. But we need to stop brushing it off. We can’t accept it.”
said she often turns to the advice of American TV star Ellen DeGeneres for
guidance when faced with discrimination and racial abuse. “When I start to lose
faith in kindness due to inappropriate behaviour, I pray and I binge watch her
to put my mind at ease. For me it’s a constant reminder, as she rightly says,
to ‘please be kind to one another’.”
rescue teams will soon be introduced at Dubai beaches for the first time, the
police announced on Wednesday. Currently, 12 women are being trained to respond
to emergencies, with the police planning to increase the number to 18 by the
end of the year.
was revealed during a Press conference held to announce the launch of a beach
safety campaign by the police's General Department for Community Happiness in
cooperation with the Dubai Municipality.
Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani Harib, Director of the General Department of Airport
Security and Entries, said Dubai beaches attract a large number of visitors and
tourists annually. "The two-month campaign will see multiple government
entities come together to reduce all kinds of negative practices, including
crime," he said.
idea is to not only prevent drowning cases, but to also fight cases like theft
and harassment of beach-goers.
Abdul Qader Mohammed Al Bannai, Director of the Port Police Station, said six
people drowned in the first six months of this year.
Ahmed Thani bin Ghalaita, Director-General of the Dubai Police Stations
Authority, said the aim is to reduce the number of drowning cases to zero this
summer. "300 people were rescued from drowning in the first half of this
year," he said. Of these, majority were aged between 25 and 55 years.
top official said work is underway to launch the first set of marine
ambulances. He revealed that eight points have been specified at which these
ambulances will be stationed.
Abdul Rahim Al Harmoudi, Director of Environment Department at the Dubai
Municipality, said the civic body has in place nine rescue stations.
"Through our electronic platforms, beach-goers can check the condition of
the seas and other relevant details."
Islamist-backed candidate Souad Abderrahim defeated a city official who served
under ousted despot Zine el Abidine Ben Ali Tuesday to become the first woman
mayor of the Tunisian capital.
dedicate this victory to all Tunisian women," Abderrahim said. "My
first task will be to improve the face of Tunis."
waste disposal services have blighted the capital since Ben Ali's 2011
overthrow in the first of that year's Arab Spring uprisings.
53-year-old manager of a pharmaceutical firm, has risen to the fore as one of
the new faces of veteran Islamist party Ennahdha as it seeks to modernise its
she is a member of the party's politburo, she stood as an independent in the
May 6 municipal election, in which she headed the Ennahdha list.
21 seats out of 60, the list emerged as the largest on the city council but
well short of a majority.
elections in Tunisia were marked by low turnout by a public facing ongoing
economic hardship and frustrated with political elites.
the country independent lists took the highest number of seats, winning 32.9
was elected mayor in a second round of voting by councillors which was
boycotted by left-wing and centrist parties who refused to support the
candidates of either of the main parties.
defeated Kamel Idir, candidate of the Nidaa Tounes party of President Beji Caid
Essebsi, by 26 votes to 22.
activist during her university years, Abderrahim sat within the Ennahdha bloc
of a new constituent assembly between 2011 and 2014.
that time she caused controversy for her criticism of single mothers, before
disappearing from the political scene until the May municipal elections.
new mayor rejected the "Islamist" label, asserting she wanted to work
with all parties.
have chosen transparency as a slogan," Abderrahim said.
Ennahdha party in 2016 acknowledged the separation of religion and politics,
describing itself as "democratic Muslim".
municipal councils are being formed across Tunisia, observers say the proportion
of female mayors could be relatively high.
to the country's electoral commission (ISIE), women made up 47 percent of those
elected in the recent local polls.
Muslim majority Pakistan, a 31-year-old Hindu woman has emerged as a beacon of
hope not only for minorities but also for women, who make 52 percent of the
country’s 220 million population.
Parmar has taken a difficult yet risky decision of contesting general elections
being held on July 25, 2018 and is confident of challenging stereotypes in the
from Tharparker’s Hindu Meghwar community, Sunita has made history as the first
Hindu woman to contest provincial assembly election. She is contesting from
Tharparkar district (constituency number PS56) in Pakistan’s southern Sindh
province as an independent candidate.
her agenda before local pressmen last week, in her native town of Islamkot,
Sunita vowed to improve standards of education for women and poor health
facilities in Thar. “I will try to improve standards of education for women and
health facilities in Tharparkar,” she said.
note, previous governments did nothing for the people of this area. Even in
21st century, we lack basic health facilities and proper educational institutes
for women,” Sunita told journalists.
has been something of a rebel. Despite hardships and pressure from society (to
stop studying), she did her Masters in Education. “I believe in girl’s
education. This is the only way to make women stronger and prosper,” she said.
to 2017 census, Tharpakar district in Southern Pakistan comprises nearly
600,000 Hindus out of the total 1.6 million people living in the area.
is also the place with the highest number of Hindus living in Pakistan. The
Hindu community has always played decisive role in elections in Tharparkar.
is contesting from a constituency, which has always been dominated by feudal
lords and agriculturists and battled incessant pressure from them to not
contest. The 35-year-old, however, refused to bow down to the political
are the days when women were supposed to be weaker and inferior. I am confident
of winning the election,” Sunita said. Backed by her family, relatives and the
community, Sunita is breaking several social and political barriers.
is 21st century and we are even ready to fight the lion,” a confident and
well-educated Sunita Parmar told Al Arabiya English over the phone.
of her kind
march this year, Krishna Kumari Kolhi from Pakistan’s Sindh become the
first-ever Hindu Dalit woman Senator in the Muslim-majority country.
39, from Thar is a member of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), on of main
political parties in Pakistan. She won the election for the reserved seat for
women from Sindh province. Her election was a major milestone for women and
minority rights in Pakistan.
from a family of a poor peasant, Jugno Kolhi, in February 1979, Kolhi and her
family members spent nearly three years in a private jail owned by the landlord
of Kunri of Umerkot district. She was a grade 3 student when she was held
like Sunita and Krishna are real face of Pakistan. I’m sure they will
contribute to make Pakistan prosper,” Zareen Gul, a women right activist told
Pakistan, political parties normally refrain from giving party tickets to
minorities. However, minorities do make their presence felt on reserved seats.
Currently, there are 10 reserved seats in the National Assembly for minorities.
religious minority can fight an election for any other seat but these seats are
allocated to political parties based on proportional representation, meaning
that the largest party gets the largest number of seats, and so on.
religious minority does not have to be directly elected to hold one of these
seats and are assigned a seat after the party selects them. The same procedure
is followed for seats reserved for minorities in four provincial assemblies of
Saudi police are hunting for arsonists who torched a woman’s car, only a week
after the kingdom lifted a decades-long ban on female motorists.
al Sherif, a 31-year-old cashier based near the holy city of Makkah, told local
media that her car had been deliberately set alight this week by men “opposed
to women drivers”.
incident is being investigated by security officials,” Makkah police said in a
statement released late Tuesday by local authorities. “We are searching for the culprits.”
June 24, women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades as the
kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female drivers.
decades, the country justified the ban saying that allowing female motorists
would promote gender mixing and promiscuity.
said she faced abuse from men in her neighbourhood soon after she began driving
in a bid to ease her financial pressures.
of my salary of 4,000 riyals ($1,067) was spent on a driver to take me to my
workplace and drive my elderly parents,” Sherif told the pro-government daily
from the first day of driving I was subjected to insults from men.”
received an outpouring of support from Saudis on social media, with many
posting pictures of her burning vehicle and denouncing the attack as a
reports did not say whether her car was insured.
have sought to show the driving reform had religious approval, with the
kingdom’s top clerical council emphasising the lifting of the ban was in line
with Islamic values.
many are still wary of a backlash from hardliners, amid a torrent of sexist
comments against women drivers on social media.
women say they are staying off the streets, testing reactions in a society torn
between conservatism and a modernisation drive launched by Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman.
120,000 women have applied for driving licences, according to an interior
ministry spokesperson, but it remains unclear how many have been issued.
now, the women taking to the roads appear mainly to be those who have swapped
foreign licences for Saudi ones.
– 4 July 2018: The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
(WAN-IFRA) announced Wednesday appointing Fatima Farag, founder and director of
Welad El-Balad Media Services LTD., to the association’s board of directors and
winning a vote that took place in June 2018, Farag became the first Arab woman
to ever join WAN-IFRA’s board of directors and the executive committee.
Walker, director of media development and WAN-IFRA’s Women in News program,
said Farag was chosen due to her excellence in the Women in News program, which
she leads in the MENA region; Farag communicated with media outlets all over the
region in order to amend the gap between the two genders in leadership.
was an honor to work closely with Fatima Farag over the past two years on the
Women in News program, thanks to her vast expertise in the media field in Egypt
and her solid ethics that create valuable visions; she adds a great variety to
WAN-IFRA board of directors," Walker added.
is pertinent to mention that Wan-Ifra announced winners of the International
Color Quality Club 2018–2020 contest (ICQC) on Wednesday.
their successful participation in the competition, the companies have
demonstrated that they can supply printing in outstanding quality and offer
readers and advertisers high-quality products,” said Manfred Werfel, deputy CEO
Color Quality Club is more than a technical printing competition, as it offers
participating companies the additional possibility to benchmark their printing
quality against recognized international standards and improve it,” he added.
El-Balad Media Services LTD., is a company dedicated to community media
development and media excellence in Egypt.
was also the founding chief editor of the English Edition of Al Masry Al Youm.
Before 2009, she divided her professional time between the newsroom and
journalism training and education.
was Assistant Chief Editor, responsible for the features and life-style
sections and senior staff reporter at Al-Ahram Weekly, before which she worked
for the Regional Bureau of the Washington Post.
an educator she has held the position of Training Consultant for the Heikal
Foundation for Arab Journalism and has also consulted and trained for various
organizations including the European Union, the British Council, Free Voice and
the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
began her career specializing in development issues with the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP), and as a reporter and newspaper editor she has
dedicated much of her work to the coverage of social issues.
is a graduate of the American University in Cairo, from which she also received
a Masters degree in political science.
hails Kerala and is working as a nurse in Dammam for the last nine years.
June 24, Saudi Arabia witnessed women drivers zooming past on the Kingdom's
roads after the historic decision to allow women to drive. Several women in
Saudi Arabia were issued driving licences after taking required driving tests.
And, one of them was Saramma Thomas.
received her driving licence on June 28 and became the first Indian woman to
get official permit to drive in Saudi Arabia.
hails from Pathanamthitta in Indian state of Kerala and is working as a nurse
at Jubail King Abdulaziz naval base military hospital at Dammam for the last
hope this becomes an inspiration for more women to drive here in Saudi. Many
women called to tell me they felt motivated after watching me drive,"
Saramma quoted as saying in the New Minute.
September 2, 2017, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz
of Saudi Arabia, issued the royal proclamation allowing women to drive after
persistent demands from various quarters in this regard.
Arabia now has five centres dedicated to train women to drive where trainers
are Saudi women who obtained their driving licences from abroad. Women in the
country can now drive vehicles carrying lady teachers, women's taxis, and
school buses of girl's schools. They can even operate car rental services.
Kurdistan Region — The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq hopes more
women will hold ministerial and high-level posts in the new government.
hope that a substantial number of incoming female Members of Parliament will be
appointed to key roles in parliamentary committees and to seats on the Council
of Ministers,” stated Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General
Alice Walpole on Wednesday.
launched the #WhyNot (#Shakobeha) campaign at an event in Babil province on
has a 25-percent quota system for women running in elections, but this figure
is not represented in high-level posts among ministers, the judiciary, and
that the elections are over, the #WhyNot campaign will continue…...there
remains a great deal to do to ensure that Iraq benefits fully from the skills,
experience and knowledge that women can bring to political life,” added
held a parliamentary election on May 12. Results of the election are disputed
and have not been finalized.
the run-up to the election, women candidates were targeted by smear campaigns
across the country. Some rejected the idea that they were running just to fill
the parties' quota requirement.
June 14, the Iraqi government agreed with UNAMI that women should be involved
at all levels of society, in accordance with the organization's mandate.
also instructs UNAMI to promote women’s equal access to executive roles in key
areas such as national reconciliation, security sector reform, elections and
socio-economic development,” added Warpole.
least 5 women were detained over their suspected ties to the Gülen movement in
a Manisa-based investigation, media reported on Wednesday.
public prosecutor’s office in Manisa’s Turgutlu district issued detention
warrants for 5 women on accusation that they were involved in the movement’s
alleged sisterhood network.
of the detainees are also accused of having used ByLock, a mobile app Turkish
prosecutors believe to be a top communication tool among Gulenists.
government blames the Gulen movement for the failed coup attempt on July 15,
2016 while the latter denies involvement.
than 160,000 people have passed through police custody, of which 90,000 were
remanded in prison pending trial over Gulen links since the summer of 2016.
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