Arabian director Haifaa Al-Mansour
Al-Mansour Hopes To Empower Young Women with Her Latest Film ‘Mary Shelley’
the Syrian Women Educating Refugee Girls about Early Marriage
Woman Who Filed PIL in SC against Nikah Halala, Polygamy Faces Rape, Death
Set to Oppose Nikah Halala and Polygamy in Supreme Court, Stick to Triple
Hindu Man Stabbed Mercilessly For Adopting Muslim Girl
Women Held In US Immigration Protest
Court Ruling a Victory for Muslim Women in Polygamous Marriages
Ministry of Labour to Provide Legal Aid to Women In Care Centres
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Mufti Says ‘Women Should Not Reveal Her Body to Another Woman While Swimming
top religious official of a northern Turkish province has stirred outcry on
social media by claiming a woman “should not reveal her body to another woman
Can, the mufti of the Black Sea province of Zonguldak, said he is 49 years old
and has never had peace of mind while swimming in the sea because he has always
tried to hide himself from other people while in his swimsuit.
have been jumping off the rocks into the water like seagulls, because [seeing
another person naked] is against God’s will. This is a world of tests,” Can
said, Demirören News Agency reported on June 29.
mufti then advised women to do the same on beaches and pools. “They should be
careful about what they wear. They should enter the sea in a way that other
women cannot see them. Even women should hide their bodies from other women,”
he reportedly said. This is not the first time a Turkish mufti has drawn ire
from women over comments about attire and sexuality.
Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) launched an investigation against a
mufti over his sexist comments in September 2017, which insinuated women who do
not wear a headscarf were like “products sold at half price.”
Yazıcı, the mufti of the Marmara province of Kocaeli’s Gölcük district, had
likened women without headscarves to products sold at half price in a post on
his Facebook account.
products whose packages are opened are sold at half prices in stores,” he
Hürriyet columnist Ertuğrul Özkök had described Yazıcı as “insensitive.”
and women are not products that can be displayed or sold,” he wrote in a
remarks also came after similar derogatory comments toward women who do not
wear the headscarf at a symposium in Istanbul in September 2017.
Merve Akyüz, a speaker at a symposium held by Akademya Magazine and the Üsküdar
Municipality, compared women without headscarves to “peeled tomatoes.”
women have to be covered. Nobody wants to buy a peeled tomato. In this sense,
veiling also protects a women’s essence and shape,” she said, drawing a harsh
reaction on social media.
Saudi Arabia ended its 35-year ban on cinemas, before it began the construction
of its own full-fledged movie industry, Saudi Arabian film was still making
headlines and garnering praise across the world through the work of Haifaa
Al-Mansour. With her 2005 documentary “Women Without Shadows,” and her
groundbreaking 2012 film “Wadjda” — the first movie to be shot entirely in the
Kingdom — Al-Mansour brought Saudi Arabia’s culture and issues to the global
stage with poetry and fervor.
the limitations of the Saudi film industry five years ago, it was inevitable
that, after “Wadjda,” Al-Mansour would take her talents outside of the Kingdom
in order to continue telling stories to the world. This month saw the release
of “Mary Shelley,” in which Al-Mansour has brought to the screen the life of
another brilliant woman who helped progress the society around her, the woman
who wrote the seminal novel “Frankenstein,” which she published anonymously at
only 20 years old.
I were able to make films in Saudi, I might have stayed, but I think also for
me I wanted to grow as a filmmaker: To explore bigger markets, and bigger
storytelling. That is why I tried to make an English-language film,” Al-Mansour
told Arab News. “As an artist, I grow. I have a bigger audience and reach more
people. I love to be a part of that.”
and Shelley have more in common than it may seem. Shelley was famously married
to poet Percy Shelley, with whom she travelled to Lake Geneva, where the story of
Frankenstein was born. Al-Mansour is the daughter of poet Abudl Rahman Mansour,
who introduced her to the magic of cinema at a young age.
matter where you set your film, you always have to connect with the characters.
It’s very important for me as a filmmaker to have something in common with the
characters that I create on screen. If I don’t, I can’t really portray them or
portray their struggles, happiness, or whatever else they go through.,” Mansour
the beginning, telling the story of Mary Shelley, an English woman, was maybe
not easy, but I connected with her journey — trying to find her voice, and
trying to have her book published — I felt that story represents me. The
character, the struggle, represents me. That is what I discovered. It doesn’t
matter where the film is set. If you can unlock the characters, and connect
with them, you can make it anywhere in the world,” she continued
actress Elle Fanning, who plays the lead role in “Mary Shelley,” was impressed
with Al-Mansour’s handling of the material.
a way she just knows what it feels like to be a young girl, to grow up and go
through the hardships that women have,” Fanning told Arab News. “A lot of
strong women have lived with this script; it’s very powerful and you can feel
that on set which I think is crucial and important in telling Mary’s story.”
admitted she did not expect to be asked to direct an English-language period
drama as her first film after “Wadjda” (“The producers sent it to my agent and
I was very surprised,” she said. “It’s a period piece! Set in England!”), but
the story of Mary Shelley was one that she was familiar with from when she was
was a literature major, so I read “Frankenstein,” and I read about Mary
Shelley,” she said. “I did a paper on women authors and she was one of them,
but I had forgotten about that. I was just a kid writing for college. But when
they sent me the script, it was very interesting. I started reading about her,
and reading about her life, and I felt it was a story that needs to be told.”
believes films such as “Mary Shelley” need to exist so that young women can see
the effect that they can have on the world, through the example of pioneering
women from history.
is a legacy. You leave a legacy for women. We need to understand that we are
not coming out of nowhere. We have made advancements in science and literature.
It’s important to build on those advancements. That is what empowers women to
move forward — to see other women doing stuff,” said Al-Mansour.
filmmaker believes that now is a great time for female directors, pointing out
that it is not only Saudi Arabia that is changing — Hollywood, too, is finally
embracing the idea of women helming the biggest movie projects.
think ‘Wonder Woman’ is amazing,” Al-Mansour said. “It not only conquered the
box office, but it has a female star and a female director (Patty Jenkins). I
always feel that studios are reluctant to give a $100 million budget for a
female star and a woman director. ‘Wonder Woman,’ in a way, succeeded in
opening the door for other female filmmakers. Niki Caro is doing “Mulan” for
Disney, which is amazing. She’s one of the few female filmmakers doing films
above $100 million. That’s never happened before. It’s an exciting time for
Jordan — Aydah Alshraidab knows firsthand how early marriage can hold you back.
A Syrian now living in Jordan, Alshraidab’s education was cut short when she
got married. Then her husband left her, and she became a single parent of two.
fled with her children when the fighting in Syria worsened in 2012. When she
arrived in Jordan, “I felt broken and weak,” she said recently through an
interpreter. After finding her footing, she became an activist within her
refugee community and is now part of a team of volunteers educating women and
girls about their rights.
many Syrian refugees, their troubles don’t end when they reach a safer
destination. With little of their own resources, some refugee families marry
off their girls to try to give them more financial security and a chance at a
better life. According to Jordanian courts, child brides among Syrians living
in Jordan increased from 15 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in 2018.
refugee families often opt for “negative coping mechanisms,” including child
marriage and child labor, said UNICEF’s chief of child protection Maha Homsi,
based in Amman. The families also believe that by marrying girls off early, the
husbands will become their protectors in a foreign land, she said.
some Syrian refugees coming to Jordan was a mindset that by marrying a
Jordanian, the girl would gain social status and her family will be able to
leave the refugee camp, Homsi said. “And some (parents) don’t feel like there
is a future in education.”
the refugee camps, aid organizations provide an education for children up to
the secondary school level, but there is little opportunity for girls to
continue their education at universities — unless they can pay for it — or to
get employment, she said.
marriage is a common practice in Syria, said Fatima Hilal, another volunteer
who coaches refugee women and girls about their rights through aid organization
CARE’s Women Leadership Councils. Some Syrian girls marry as young as 14 and
then usually drop out of school to take care of the household.
practice carries over when Syrian refugees come to Jordan. Although 18 is the
legal age to marry in Jordan, the law allows for some exemptions. If refugees
do wed at a younger age, they might not register their marriage at the
courthouse, which makes it difficult to pursue legal justice if the girls are
abused or encounter other problems, said Homsi.
discourage families from marrying off their girls at a young age, community
volunteers like Alshraidab and Hilal will meet at one of the houses of a family
where they have identified a need. All the host has to do is provide tea,
activists sing songs to make the meeting feel more informal, and give the
families a more realistic portrayal of early marriage, including the downsides.
They tell the girls about the financial dependency and that many early
marriages end up in divorce, Hilal said.
activists tell the families about women who did not marry at a young age and
pursued an education, and now are “successful and strong,” she said. The
message is more authentic coming from local women rather than someone from an
aid group, who might not be connected with the community, she added.
volunteers also provide information about cash assistance and other programs
that could help the families.
their message works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but at least it gets the
community talking, the volunteers said. In Syria, women were not always aware
of their rights, said Hilal. Now, she and others like her are the mouthpiece
Delhi: A Muslim woman, who moved the Supreme Court to abolish the practices of
Nikah Halala and polygamy, has alleged that she has faced life threatening
attacks from residents and gangsters in Okhla Vihar, where she had tried to
rent a house. She says they are “trying to force her to withdraw the case”.
Begum was first married in 1999 and has two sons. After several instances of
abuse and a police complaint, she was given triple Talaq. She was forced to
marry again by her family, this time to an already married man. After she was
pregnant for the third time, she was again given triple Talaq over the phone
following a trivial argument.
Sameena lives alone with her three children.
said she has filed the PIL not only for herself, but also for others who have
suffered the same plight.
requested the court that Section 2 of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application
Act, 1937, be declared arbitrary and violation of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of
the Constitution. Sameena claims they seek to recognise and validate polygamy
and Nikah Halala.
now runs an organisation known as ‘Mission Talaq’ and has told News18 that she
and her counsel were threatened with rape and murder if she refused to withdraw
was asked to pay a rent of Rs 10,000 per month and a brokerage of Rs 3,000 for
a house I had seen in Okhla Vihar. I agreed and the elderly owner let it out to
me. When I reached there two days ago, several locals gathered there and the
son of the owner called me out for filing a PIL in the court to prohibit the
practices of Nikah Halala and polygamy,” said Dr Sameena.
has further alleged that the men in Okhla Vihar had first attacked her on the
evening on June 27 when some men allegedly entered her newly rented apartment
and “tore off her clothes” to teach her a lesson.
my belongings were thrown back into the tempo. They said Shariat ko apne
haathon mein le rahe hai (she has taken Shariat in her own hands). They tore my
clothes and said they would burn my child alive and rape me. They asked me to
abide by all their diktats and withdraw the PIL,” said the petitioner.
plea in SC has also requested the court to ensure that provisions of the Indian
Penal Code, 1860, are applicable on all Indian citizens. The plea also sought
recognition that "triple Talaq is a cruelty under IPC Section 498A,
Nikah-Halala is rape under IPC Section 375, polygamy is an offence under
Section 494 of the IPC".
concept of polygamy was allowed in this verse (Quran) because of utmost concern
for the welfare of women and orphans who were left behind in the battle. It is
pertinent to mention that by no means it is a general licence to Muslims in
present times to marry with more than one woman. Besides it puts onus on them
to treat the additional spouses justly, which is admittedly a difficult
task," the plea said.
Sameena told News18 that she “was unable to leave her current home in Jasola
Vihar for the last two days” as there was a “constant threat to her life.”
need security. I could not lodge an FIR as I could not even come out of my home
as they were continuously attacking me outside my flat in Jasola,” said Dr
Sameena who later visited the DCP office to submit her complaint.
came soon after News18 reported that the government has now decided to stick to
its stand taken in the triple Talaq hearing in Supreme Court and would now continue
to oppose the practices of Nikah Halala and polygamy, too.
Delhi: The government is all set to oppose the practices of Nikah Halala and
polygamy in the Supreme Court and is likely to adopt a stand similar to the one
taken during the triple talaq proceedings, highly placed sources in the
Ministry of Law and Justice told News18.
is likely to change. The issues of Halala and polygamy were not looked into by
the Supreme Court during the triple talaq case, but our reply was ready. The
same would be maintained for this case too,” said a source.
Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, while hearing the triple talaq case in May
2016, had categorically stated on the first day that the court would only hear
arguments on triple talaq and not on Halala and polygamy.
March this year, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising CJI Dipak
Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and Chandrachud was hearing a batch of
petitions challenging the practices of polygamy and Nikah Halala.
petitions were filed by BJP leader Aswini Updahyay, Sameera Begum, Nafeesa
Begum and Moullim Mohsin Bin Hussain Bin Abdad Al Kathiri.
his petition, Upadhyay prayed that Section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law
(Shariat) Application Act be declared unconstitutional and violative of
Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution, “in so far as it seeks to recognise
and validate the practice of polygamy and Nikah Halala”.
has sought a declaration that provisions of the Indian Penal Code are
applicable on all Indian citizens and triple talaq is a “cruelty” under Section
498A of the IPC, Nikah Halala is “rape” under Section 375 and polygamy is an
offence under Section 494 of the IPC.
government would submit its reply after the Supreme Court re-opens and is
likely to maintain that the “issue of validity of triple talaq, Nikah Halala
and polygamy needs to be considered in the light of principles of gender
justice and the overriding principle of non-discrimination, dignity and
reply filed by the government during the triple talaq case had stated that “the
fact that Muslim countries where Islam is the state religion have undergone
extensive reform goes to establish that the practices in question cannot be
regarded as integral to the practice of Islam or essential religious
government had also expressed its stand on polygamy and had cited how other
countries have regulated their laws on polygamy and divorce. “It is extremely
significant to note that a large number of Muslim countries or countries with
an overwhelmingly large Muslim population where Islam is the state religion
have undertaken reforms in this area and have regulated divorce law and
polygamy,” said the affidavit filed by the government during the Shayara Bano
general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani had earlier told News18 that not only
will the board argue for “non-interference’ by the court in the practices of
Nikah Halala and polygamy, but will also question why live-in relationships
have been accorded legality.
relationships have been accorded legality, then why does this sudden meddling
in the practice of polygamy, which is non-existent. Till now, I have not seen a
single man with four wives. There is not a single case of polygamy among
Muslims in India,” said Rahmani.
per Nikah Halala, when a man marries a woman and later gives her talaq, he
cannot re-marry her unless “she is married to someone else” first.
petitioners against Nikah Halala have alleged the presence of trafficking
rackets where women are divorced, made to sleep with other men for a night
after Nikah and then re-married by the kingpins. The petitioners allege it’s
violative of human rights, while the Muslim bodies claim the practice is
as per Sharia, it’s difficult to trace the concept of Halala in Islam and has
often been brushed aside as a later invention.
is allowed to marry one's divorced wife once she has served her period of
Iddat. Iddat is the period when the divorced woman lives without male company
for 40 days to determine the paternity of any impending pregnancy.
In yet another shocking incident, a group of youth stabbed a man 16 times for
adopting a Muslim girl child who lost her parents in the 2007 Hyderabad blasts.
man, identified as Papalal Ravikanth, a temple painter allegedly attacked on
June 1 has miraculously, survived and is recovering at the Osmania Hospital.
to reports, Papalal found the little girl, Sania Fatima, at the blast site near
Gokul chat centre at Koti and brought her home against the will of both Hindu
and Muslim community. Papalal and his wife Jayshree decided to raise the Sania
as a Muslim .
told News 18, “Sania Fatima lost her family in 2007 bomb blast. When no one
came to claim her, we got her home. She brought lot of happiness to our family.
We don’t believe in Hindu-Muslim, we believe in humanity. She is my eldest
daughter and I will not leave her, no matter what.”
Sania’s mother speaking to portal, said, “The local Hindu boys were harassing
Sania and teasing her as she is now grown up and studying in Class IX. My
husband warned them many times and they had a grudge against him for raising a
Muslim girl against the will of the community,” Jayasri said adding, ‘The
attackers thought he (Ravikanth) was dead, but he survived’.
after the attack, the couple said that they will not leave the girl in any
circumstances asserting that they won’t force her to follow their Hindu
have no problem if she follows Islam. We believe in unity and harmony and appeal
every one to live in peace,” said Papalal.
- More than 500 women including a member of Congress were arrested Thursday in
the US Capitol complex protesting President Donald Trump's hardline immigration
policy that has triggered thousands of family separations at the border with
Capitol Police said 575 people conducting a sit-down protest in the atrium of a
Senate office building were charged with unlawfully demonstrating, then
processed at the scene and released.
of those detained were singing and shouting slogans, and were clad in silver,
mylar-style emergency blankets similar to those being provided to children in
Democrat Pramila Jayapal was among those arrested.
was just arrested with 500+ women and @womensmarch to say @realDonaldTrump's
cruel zero-tolerance policy will not continue. Not in our country. Not in our
name," she said on Twitter.
Susan Sarandon said she too was arrested Thursday in Washington, where people
had gathered in protest outside the Department of Justice.
Stay strong. Keep fighting. #WomenDisobey," the Hollywood star tweeted.
in the Hart Senate Office Building unfurled banners that read: "End all
detention camps" and "Families belong together in freedom."
Kirsten Gillibrand posted video of the demonstration, saying the women were protesting
"this inhumane policy by the Trump administration to separate families at
and Congress have struggled to resolve a crisis that has seen more than 2,000
children separated from their migrant parents since the administration announced
a "zero-tolerance" border policy in early May.
policy calls for strict adherence to laws that require that anyone caught
crossing illegally be arrested and referred for prosecution.
called a halt to the separations recently following an international outcry and
criticism from Democrats as well as some Republicans, but Congress has failed
to resolve the crisis and it has dragged on. "What the administration is
doing right now is morally wrong, it is inhumane and it has to stop," Gillibrand
a victory for Muslim women married in polygamous marriages‚ the Constitutional
Court has confirmed that a section in the Wills Act is unconstitutional.
section failed to recognise the right of a surviving spouse in a polygamous
Muslim marriage to the benefits of her deceased husband’s will.
Constitutional Court confirmed the order made by the High Court in Cape Town
last year‚ which declared section 2C(1) of the Wills Act invalid.
Constitutional Court said the section should be read as including the following
the purposes of this sub-section‚ a ‘surviving spouse’ includes every husband
and wife of a monogamous and polygamous Muslim marriage solemnised under the
religion of Islam."
this case‚ Osman Harneker died in 2014. He married his first wife, Amina
Harneker, in 1957 and his second wife, Farieda Harneker, in 1964 under Islamic
married his first wife under South African law in 1982‚ following advice he
received so that he could obtain a bank loan to purchase the family home. This
was because Muslim marriages were not legally recognised in SA.
deed of transfer referred only to himself and his first wife. In his last will,
prepared in 2011‚ Harneker referred to both his marriages.
executor of the estate‚ Fareeda Moosa‚ said all children renounced the benefits
due to them under the will.
2C(1) of the Wills Act entitled a "surviving spouse" to the benefit
of a will if the descendants of the person who had made the will renounce their
right to it.
in terms of this section‚ Moosa regarded both wives as surviving spouses and
recorded that both spouses would receive equal benefits. The Master of the High
Court accepted the calculation.
when the executor sought to register the deceased’s half-share in the family
property‚ the Registrar of Deeds approved only the registration for the first
declined to register the second wife’s share, saying the term "surviving
spouse" in section 2C(1) should be interpreted strictly to cover spouses
formally recognised under the country’s laws.
executor challenged the validity of this section in the high court.
High Court in Cape Town agreed last year and declared that the section was
unconstitutional as it violated Farieda Harneker’s right to equality and
any section that has been declared unconstitutional by the lower courts‚ the
ruling has to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.
its judgment on Friday‚ the Constitutional Court agreed with the high court’s
court said the section’s failure to treat Farieda Harneker as a surviving spouse,
and its denial of her right to inherit from her deceased husband’s will, struck
at the very heart of her marriage of 50 years‚ her position in her family and
her standing in her community.
effect is to stigmatise her marriage‚ diminish her self-worth and increase her
feeling of vulnerability as a Muslim woman‚" acting justice Azhar Cachalia
said in a unanimous judgment.
order of invalidity would operate from April 27 1994‚ except where the transfer
of ownership had been finalised before the court’s judgment.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has announced that it will provide
legal aid and other assistance to women living in care centers across the
Kingdom under the “Waeya” initiative, the aim of which is to educate women and
young people about their legal rights.
ministry announced that it had signed a memorandum of cooperation with the
Faisal AlHajjlah Talaat Law Office to offer legal consultations to women in
care centers, shelters and “hospitality houses,” and to provide legal education
to the ministry’s staff.
Waeya initiative was launched with the aim of empowering Saudi women and young
people, and educating them about their legal rights to enable effective
assistance from within the community.
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