Representatives-elect Rashida Tlaib, left, and Ilhan Omar, right, will both use
Qurans during their ceremonial swearings-in on Jan. 3, 2019. Credit: Rebecca Cook
and Eric Miller/Reuters
Muslim Women Pleased Over Permission to Go To Haj without Male Company
Step to Ensure "Rights", Saudi Women to Get Divorce Notices Over Text
Thankful to Feel Safe but I Still Miss Pakistan: Malala Yousafzai
Puts Saudi Women’s Work in the Spotlight
Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats: A Hijab Is Not a Hat
Of Women At Italian Game In Saudi Arabia Criticized
What Muslim Women of Deoband Have to Say about Triple Talaq Bill
Wall Of Honour, Saudi Martyr’s Mother Soaks His Picture In Tears
A Role Model For Female Farmers
by New Age Islam News Bureau
and Omar Make History as First Muslim Women Sworn Into US Congress
- Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have been sworn into the US House of
Representatives, becoming the first Muslim women to ever serve in Congress.
the first session of the now Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on
Thursday, the representatives elected Nancy Pelosi as speaker.
a former speaker, is seen by some critics as representing the Democratic
Party's centrist, old guard, yet has been praised by others as being both tough
and Omar voted for Pelosi to become the new House speaker in their first
official appearance in Congress.
each of the two major parties put forward its favoured candidate for the
speakership on Thursday, each House member was called by name to publicly
nominate a speaker.
received 219 votes, followed by Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy with 192
in a red Palestinian thobe and flanked by her two children, Tlaib said:
"For the future of our children: Nancy Pelosi," when her name was
new configuration of Congress - Democrats control the House of Representatives
and Republicans remain a majority in the Senate - is set to present a challenge
for President Donald Trump and his administration's agenda.
Democrats have vowed to investigate Trump's dealings with Saudi Arabia, for
an interview with Middle East Eye after her electoral victory in November,
Tlaib said she is prepared to take on the "biggest bully", referring
is about electing the jury that's going to impeach him, and I make a heck of a
juror," she told MEE in early 2018, after launching her campaign for
incoming class of Democrats, which includes many women of colour, is also
expected to bring with it a surge of left-wing policies and unconventional
the daughter of Palestinian immigrants from Detroit, promised earlier this year
to ditch a customary visit to Israel for new members of Congress organised by
pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, announcing instead that she intends to lead a
delegation to the occupied West Bank.
has also expressed support for solving the conflict by creating one state in
Israel and the Palestinian territories with equal rights for all of its
citizens, straying away from the traditional support for the two-state solution
among US politicians.
her part, Omar has expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
(BDS) movement, which seeks to put pressure on Israel for its human rights
violations against Palestinians.
former Minnesota state representative who came to the US as a refugee, she is
also the first Somali-American elected to Congress.
tweeted ahead of her swearing in that "it's a new day in America".
is considered to be one of the five basic tenets of Islam. It is believed that
Haj is a Sunnat’ for Muslims when they complete their family duties.
date, it used to be very difficult for the Muslim women to go to Haj as it was
a rule they had to be accompanied by a male from their immediate family
(Mehram) at all times.
this restriction is being lifted from this year following discussions between
India and Saudi Arabia, Indian women will now be able to go to Haj without a
male accompanying them. The move has brought cheer among the Muslim women of
to the information available with India Today TV, about 100 women have applied
this year for Haj from Uttar Pradesh and the maximum number of them are from
Agra division. Sources claim that compared to previous years, the number of
women applying for Haj may rise as much as five times the previous numbers.
member of UP Haj Committee SU Qureshi said that in the changed rules for Haj
last year, women above the age of 45 years were allowed to travel to Saudi
Arabia for Haj in small groups without a legal Mehram with them. That year, 20
women had applied for Haj in groups of 4 women.
Muslim Vikas Parishad Chairman Sami Aghai said that the Modi government was
trying its best to appear as a well-wisher of the Muslim women. The chairman
said that in the Haj-without-Mehram issue, too, the Modi government was
attempting to take the credit of a decision that was taken by the Kingdom of
said that according to the Sharia law, Haj for a woman cannot be called
complete unless she is accompanied by a Mehram. Probably that is why the
government is sending the women in groups of four, he said.
a lot of women have filed applications to travel with a Mehram this year, but
the number of women applying to travel without Mehram is also high. Such women
are praising the Modi government’s progressive step.
Mudasar Ali Khan Qadri said that although Haj is a duty that can be said
complete even if the woman conducts her Haj without a Mehram, the Modi
government should refrain from interfering too much in the Islamic Law.
the government wants to appear progressive and wants to do some welfare of
Muslims, it should discuss each and every Muslim-centric laws with a group of
women will no longer be the last to know they've been divorced.
new Justice Ministry regulation taking effect Sunday will make it mandatory for
women to be notified by text message when a court issues divorce decrees ,
Saudi lawyer Nisreen al-Ghamdi said.
some men register divorce deeds at the courts without even telling their wives,
al-Ghamdi said by phone from Jeddah.
new measure ensures women get their rights when they're divorced," she
said, referring to alimony. "It also ensures that any powers of attorney
issued before the divorce are not misused."
copy of a Justice Ministry circular al-Ghamdi shared said the new service
meshes with ministry efforts to keep in step with Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman's Vision 2030 blueprint for economic and social reforms.
have gained more rights since the crown prince consolidated his power a couple
of years ago. Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on driving -- the only one of its
kind in the world -- and has loosened many restrictions related to gender
mixing and social life.
women are still shackled by a male guardianship system that requires them,
according to Human Rights Watch, to receive approval to apply for a passport,
travel outside the country, study abroad on a government scholarship, get
married or even exit prison.
Malala Yousafzai, shining the spotlight on the millions of displaced people
around the world is a vital mission. The 21-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner
drew inspiration for her book We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from
Refugee Girls from her life, as well as her experience of visiting refugee
writes about her own displacement, first as an internally displaced person when
she was a child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could
travel anywhere in the world except to the home she loved. She also recounts
the journeys of so many other refugees who have faced similar challenges.
shines an important light on ongoing refugee crisis in We Are Displaced to the
home she loved. She also recounts the journeys of so many other refugees who
have faced similar challenges.
civil rights advocate spoke about the tens of millions of individuals who are
currently displaced, what she wants the world to know and how she learned to forgive
in an in-depth interview with Parade magazine.
me, the young women who share their stories in the book — from Colombia, Syria,
the Democratic Republic of Congo and around the world — know what it means to
leave home because it’s too dangerous to stay,” Yousafzai began. “My book is
titled We Are Displaced because together, we want to help others understand the
ongoing refugee crisis and how they can help.”
what is the most important thing she wants the world to know about being a
refugee, Yousafzai had a bunch of statistics to offer. “Currently, more than
68.5 million people around the world are living as refugees or internally
displaced people due to conflict, persecution or natural disasters. And the
majority of these are children, mostly girls,” responded the activist.
leave jobs they love. Most students never see a classroom again. They have no
choice. Whether you cross your country’s border or not, fleeing home and not
knowing if you’ll ever return is a harrowing experience.”
Are Displaced profiles two individuals by the name of Zaynab and Muzoon, both
of whom are refugees. What does Yousafzai hope readers will learn from their
stories? “I hope they remind everyone that refugees are so much more than
staggering statistics or tragic headlines,” she said.
had tough journeys. Zaynab had fled three wars by the time she turned 17 and
remains separated from her sister. And when I met Muzoon, she was living in a
small tent in a camp in Jordan with nine other people! Yet, these girls thrive
when given support and education. They get top marks at university. They are
leaders in the communities they’ve been granted asylum in. And they never shy
away from an opportunity to challenge the social norms and global policies
currently keeping girls out of school and refugees without aid,” she added.
also spoke about coming to terms with her own displacement and the violence she
suffered at the hands of the Taliban. Has she forgiven those who changed her
life? “I often say that forgiveness is the best revenge,” she replied. “Plus, I
think my time and energy is best spent on school, family and advocating for
girls’ education with the Malala Fund.”
continued, “When I arrived in the UK, it wasn’t by choice. I was surrounded by people
I didn’t know and forced to adjust to a new culture. I eventually did and was
thankful to feel safe but I still missed home. Girls I meet who have
experienced displacement often tell me the sounds and smells of home they miss.
But mostly, I hear them say they want to get an education so that one day, they
can return to rebuild what has been destroyed.”
Yousafzai realises that the problem is complex and not so easy to fix. “The
policies and priorities need to change. And individuals, businesses and
governments need to follow through on commitments made to support out-of-school
girls and refugees,” she concluded.
Saudi officials visiting the 33rd Janadriyah Festival near Riyadh have been
given an insight into jobs and social programs introduced by the Kingdom as
part of its Vision 2030 reforms.
bin Ahmed Al-Sudairy, director-general of the Human Resources Development Fund
(Hadaf), toured the fund’s pavilion at the festival where he discussed women’s
empowerment programs, including the Wusool scheme, which aims to help Saudi
female workers in the private sector increase their participation in the labor
three-week Janadriyah Festival began on Dec. 20 and will offer more than a
million Saudis a glimpse into the country’s cultural heritage.
Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives today, one of their
first agenda items is to change an 1837 rule banning hats on the House floor,
in deference to a new Muslim congresswoman who wears religious headwear known
might think that as a scholar who has studied Muslim women’s sartorial choices
for more than a decade I’d be excited by this news. But I find myself
disappointed and uneasy.
because Democrats think they need to change a 182-year-old rule in order to
accommodate Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar’s headscarf, a bit of attire that should
be automatically protected by the First Amendment.
because the premise for their proposal is that a hijab might be reasonably
equated with a hat. We have conflated religious expression and fashion too
often in the United States, and it must stop. A Muslim woman’s headscarf has
literally nothing in common with a hat other than it is on top of her head.
the faithful who believe their hijab is a religious obligation, to remove a
headscarf is not like removing a hat. It is more like getting pantsed. And all
the representatives in 1837, I assure you, wore pants.
is a great diversity of opinions within the Muslim community about whether or
not Muslim women should cover their heads. According to a 2017 poll by the Pew
Research Center, nearly as many American Muslim women always wear the hijab (38
percent) as never wear it (42 percent).
women who do choose to cover understand it to be a religious duty, grounded in
the sacred sources of Islam. It is not a fashion statement, or a mere statement
of Muslim identity, although it can be these things as well. A Muslim woman’s
headscarf is not only a symbol of piety. Wearing it is what allows her to
cultivate the virtue of modesty in the first place. If you think she can just
take it off like a hat, you are missing the point.
House hat ban, adopted to end what was seen as a stuffy holdover from the British
Parliament, states: “During the session of the House, a Member, Delegate, or
Resident Commissioner may not wear a hat.”
attempts to ban this custom might have been problematic for Omar — in 1822, for
instance, Virginia Rep. Charles F. Mercer proposed that no member shall “remain
in the Hall covered during the session of the House.” None was ever adopted,
however, only the hat ban. And, once again, for those in the back, a hijab is
not a hat.
be fair, Democrats are trying to inoculate against future discrimination
against religious minorities. They are worried that the old hat ban could also
be used against Sikh men in turbans, Orthodox Jewish men in kippahs and even
orthodox Jewish women who wear wigs. While I understand why the amendment is
being proposed, I am disappointed it had to happen.
an educator, I find even worse the rather anemic discussion this hat ban has
sparked. News outlets, including Bustle, have reported that hijabs have been
banned on the House floor since 1837. That is just inaccurate. No one in 1837
could have imagined a Muslim woman in Congress (a different problem), but the
1837 law was never intended to discriminate against religious minorities.
a hijab to a hat has dangerous implications beyond Congress. The New York
Police Department has been forcing Muslim women to remove their hijabs for mug
shots. When this is done in front of male officers and inmates, it violates the
NYPD’s own internal policies, but even when the photographs are taken in
private, the images circulate publicly. Associating hijab with hats in turn
enables other forms of state-sponsored discrimination.
truth is, many non-Muslims still think a headscarf is forced on women by Muslim
men or that it’s an expression of an overzealous form of piety. Studies have
shown that a woman wearing a hijab is more than twice as likely to be
the House floor, a hijab will be seen by some as the sign of a worrisome creep
of political Islam. But Omar can change all that — if people pay attention to
her words and actions instead of her clothing. This hat ban is a distraction
from that more important work.
– Facing increasing criticism by government members over the decision to play
the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, Serie A's president is hailing the match
as a "historic" opportunity for Saudi women to attend an
international soccer game.
tickets for the Jan. 16 game between Juventus and AC Milan went on sale with
specified sectors for "singles" and "families" to separate
men and women, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said it was "a shame"
for the game to be played in a country where women can't go to the stadium
unless they are accompanied by men.
won't watch that match," added Salvini, an outspoken Milan fan who
recently criticized the choices of coach Gennaro Gattuso. "Soccer is a
slave to business and television."
other Italian politicians also expressed outrage.
A president Gaetano Micciche responded by pointing out that women can go to the
match unaccompanied by men.
Super Cup will go down in history as the first official international
competition that Saudi women can attend," Micciche said Thursday in a long
were allowed into Saudi sports stadiums a year ago for the first time to watch
soccer matches, although they were segregated in the stands, sticking to the
"family section" away from all-male crowds elsewhere.
for the game at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah sold out in
less than two days — with the first 50,000 tickets sold in a span of four
had already been calls for the match to be moved after the killing of
Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
the game is slated to be broadcast domestically by RAI, the Italian state TV's
journalists' union said recently that it was "absurd" and
"unacceptable" for the game to be played in Saudi Arabia little more
than three months after Khashoggi's killing.
intelligence assessments and experts have said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, who controls all levers of power in Saudi Arabia, likely ordered or
at least knew about the killing.
authorities say those who killed Khashoggi exceeded their authority, and
prosecutors announced on Thursday they will seek the death penalty against five
suspects in the slaying.
rights group Amnesty International has also voiced opposition to the match
being played in Saudi Arabia.
said the Khashoggi killing prompted Serie A to question "what was the
right thing to do" but that it decided it could not differ from Italy's
ongoing relations with Saudi Arabia.
is part of Italy's cultural and economic system and it can't have different
rationales, especially for international relations, from the country it belongs
to," Micciche said. "Saudi Arabia is Italy's biggest commercial
partner in the mideast.
match promotes 'Made in Italy' and its values."
June, the Italian league announced that it had agreed to a deal with Saudi
Arabia's General Sports Authority for three of the next five Super Cups to be
played in the country. The deal will provide more than 20 million euros ($23
million) to Serie A and nearly 3.5 million euros to participating clubs.
Italian Super Cup has been contested 11 times abroad before, most recently in
Qatar in 2016, when Milan beat Juventus in a penalty shootout.
trophy, since its first edition abroad in 1993, has been a promotional
opportunity for exporting and promoting Italian soccer around the world,"
qualified for the game by winning a seventh consecutive Serie A title while
Milan qualified as the Italian Cup finalist.
Protest of Muslim women of Deoband against triple talaq bill, passed by the Lok
Sabha on Thursday, is continued unabated. In a meeting of ladies wing of
Al-Qureshi Educational Academy, the bill was blatantly rejected and women
pledged that they will follow shariah.
to sources, a programme was held at the office of the academy during which
Academy chief Mahtab Begum said 99 per cent of the Muslim women are with the
Muslim Personal Law Board. She claimed that the women who are favouring the
bill before media are not the representatives of Muslim women. They neither
have knowledge of shariah nor do they know the ill effects of the bill.
Begum said the movement is run against shariah on the pretext of favouring the
bill. This is interference in religious affairs of Muslims. The contents of the
bill will affect the rights of Muslims. It will land women into trouble and
will affect their marital life. The bill will distance the couple from each
other and will have negative effects on children.
mother of Badr al-Rasheedi could not control herself when she saw his photo
among other Saudi martyrs on a wall of honor erected in Hail to commemorate
their sacrifice during a recent motor rally.
bereaved mother let her tears lose in a scene that touched the hearts of
everyone present. Al-Rasheedi was killed on Feb. 16, 2016, by two of his close
relatives who were ISIS members.
wall of honor was part of the exhibits showcased by the Presidency of State
Security on the occasion of Hail International Rally. Titled “We Will Never
Forget You”, the collage contained the names and pictures of soldiers who were
martyred serving their country.
three sons, Faris, 12, Firas, 4, and 2-year-old Badr, who has never seen his
father, were also present at the ceremony. Al-Rasheedi was a sergeant in the
emergency forces in Qassim, where he worked for 12 years.
am proud of him because he sacrificed his life for his country. I always pray
that Almighty Allah will compensate him with paradise,” Al-Rasheedi’s mother
said, tears welling her eyes.
mother said her son was a pious man who never missed his religious duties and
he regularly recited the Qur’an. Al-Rasheedi was 32 years old and had served in
the military for 12 years at the time of his death. He was born in Rodh Bani
Hadi district, south of Hail.
was murdered in cold blood by two cousins who lured him near a gas station
along Buraidah-Onaizah Road. They pulled him out of his car and started firing
at him. He pleaded with them to spare his life and to calm down but they would
of the men fired six bullets at Al-Rasheedi, killing him instantly.
Shirina Begum, who set an example of producing bumper crops, especially
vegetables, on a small land, has now become a role model for many female
growers at her native Maynakuti village in Rangpur Sadar upazila.
her success, around 120 women of the village are now engaged in crop farming
and are getting regular suggestions from Shirina on farming of various crops.
thirty-five-year-old Shirina, who married Rashedul Islam about 18 years ago,
used to help her husband in crop farming after their marriage, she could not
engage fully due to other household works.
her husband Rashedul had a brain stroke and lost his physical and mental
balance in 2014, she fully engaged herself with crop farming to maintain her
her ailing husband, she has to bear the responsibility of her college going
daughter Towfika Akhter Prity and son Towhidul Islam, a Class VI student.
a bid to support her family, she first started crop farming on only 50 decimals
of land belonging to her husband and then took lease of another 100 decimals
from two neighbours Sirajul Islam and Rezaul Karim for Tk 45,000 per year and
started to produce vegetables and vegetable seeds there.
2015, she enlisted with Geodata Based Information Services (GEOBIS), a project
of Lal Teer Seed Ltd, for advisory services.
the enlistment, she started receiving advice through her mobile phone on proper
cultivation such as right sowing techniques, how to treat the soil,
transplanting, preventing pest attack and harvesting the produce.
subscribed to the SMS service of GEOBIS so that she could receive weather
forecast report. It also connected her with the Call Centre Service to listen
the expert's advice.
to enlisting as a beneficiary of GEOBIS I had a little profit, but now I am
getting a good profit every season,” Shirina said.
cultivated paddy on 75 decimals of land, brinjal on 15 decimals, bitter gourd
on 50 decimals and bottle gourd on 10 decimals. I am getting Tk 15,000 profit
every month,” she said, adding that she is now able to support her sick husband
and two children.
her leadership, many women growers of her village are now receiving advice on
cultivation of different crops and getting weather alert.
Begum, 38, of the village, said she started crop farming after seeing Shirina's
first showed us the way of earning through crop farming, especially vegetables,
and we are self reliant now,” another woman Morsheda Begum, 42, said.
am getting a good profit from selling vegetable seeds to Lal Teer Seed Ltd. I
hope our children will bring a bright future for the family," Shirina
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