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Monday, June 14, 2010

Pakistan Christians are victims of more attacks

In Punjab a group of Muslims attack a Protestant pastor and his pregnant wife, injuring her in the stomach. In the province 250 Christian families have fled their homes, because they reported sexual abuse against women. Christian couple accused of blasphemy in Karachi.

Khanewal (AsiaNews / Agencies) – There are still cases of religious persecution in Pakistan, a large majority Muslim nation where religious minorities are often victims of abuse and violence. In Punjab a group of 14 Muslims attacked a Protestant pastor and his wife who was expecting a baby. In a district of the same province, the Muslim village chief has ordered 250 Christian families to flee their homes because "Christian women and girls have reported repeated sexual abuse." In Sindh province, finally, a couple was indicted for blasphemy and threatened with the death penalty.

International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that on 3 June in Sahiwal, Punjab, 14 Muslims attacked a Protestant pastor, his pregnant wife and his brother. At the base of the attack were charges of "evangelizing" against Mumtaz Masih, pastor of the Full Gospel Church of Pakistan and his wife Noreen. Imam Ahmed Maqsood led the punitive expedition, injuring the man's legs, and his wife in the stomach and hand. His brother was assaulted while trying to help his relatives. The couple complained to the police, but the police do not want to open an investigation.

Jonathan Racho, ICC chief for South Asia, strongly condemns "the violence against pastor Mumtaz and his family." He adds that Pakistani Christians are victims of assault "because they express their faith in Christ", but the faithful want to stay "with vigour" in their homeland "despite the persecution."

In Khanewal district, also in Punjab, the chief of a village with a Muslim majority has ordered 250 Christian families to leave the area because "they are too vigorously denouncing sexual violence by Muslims against women and girls”. Most Christians in the area are labourers on Muslim owned land and the women domestic servants in homes. The abuses were occurring in homes, almost "daily." "Christians - denounce the displaced - are totally at the mercy of the will of Muslims."
Finally in the town of Gulshan-e-Iqbal, a suburb of Karachi (Sindh), two Christians couples must answer charges of blasphemy. A crowd of Muslims ransacked the garbage of the four, saying they had found torn pages of the Koran. The court issued an arrest warrant and the police started searches. The two pairs of Christians have abandoned the rented house and are still at large. Christian sources complain that officials have threatened the family, to reveal the place where the four are hidden. In Pakistan the crime of blasphemy carries life imprisonment or even death.

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/In-Talibanized-Pakistan-Christians-are-victims-of-yet-more-attacks-18646.html#

49 year old Nigeria Senator Marries 13 Year old Girl

'Child bride' inquiry in Nigeria

Nigeria's Senate has ordered an investigation into reports that one of its members has married a 13-year-old Egyptian girl.

Ahmad Sani Yerima, 49, is alleged to have married her at the national mosque in Abuja several weeks ago.

Senators called for the investigation after receiving a petition by protesting women's groups, who believe Mr Sani has broken the law.

The senator has not spoken publicly about the reports of his marriage.

The BBC's Caroline Duffield, in Lagos, says Nigeria's human rights commission has already begun an investigation.

Mr Sani was the governor of Zamfara state, where he oversaw the introduction of Sharia law - for the first time in a northern state - in 1999.

Legal action

Our correspondent says reports of the marriage - appearing in newspapers - are creating a storm among human rights groups.

“ This very evil act should not be seen to be perpetrated by one of our distinguished legislators ”
Mma Wokocha Women's Medical Association head

The female senators, lawyers and doctors who are protesting say that they fear for the child's health.

"What we are concerned with is that our minors, the girl child, should be allowed to mature, before going into marriage," Mma Wokocha, President of the Women's Medical Association and one of those behind the petition, told the BBC.

"This very evil act should not be seen to be perpetrated by one of our distinguished legislators ... that is what we are saying.''

The senator is reported to have paid a dowry of $100,000 (£66,000) to the child's parents - and to have brought the girl into Nigeria from Egypt.

The women's groups want Mr Sani to be taken to court, to face a fine and a jail sentence.

Our reporter says the whereabouts of the teenager are unknown - and it is not clear whether she has any parent or guardian with her.

Newspaper reports have also accused the senator of having previously married a 15-year-old girl in 2006.

The investigation is to be carried out by a Senate committee.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/8649035.stm

Published: 2010/04/28 16:34:22 GMT

© BBC MMX

Two brothers charged with premeditated murder of their sister - Honor Killing

By Rana Husseini

AMMAN - Two brothers were charged on Saturday charged with the premeditated murder of their married sister in the latest so-called honour murder to occur this year, official sources said.

The 19-year-old victim, who was not identified by officials, was reportedly shot in the head by her 20-year-old brother in a bus on the way back to Amman from her husband’s house in Irbid, one official source said.

The suspects were immediately arrested by a police patrol unit that happened to be in the area at the time of the shooting, the source added.

The victim’s 20-year-old brother claimed family honour as his motive because his sister married a man against her family’s wishes, while her 18-year-old brother denied any involvement in the murder, but Criminal Prosecutor Aktham Dababneh still charged him with complicity in premeditated murder, according to the source.

A second source told The Jordan Times that the victim wanted to marry her 19-year-old cousin but her family refused.

“After the family repeatedly turned down his marriage proposal, the two decided to marry on their own and moved to Irbid almost 10 days ago,” the source said.

The family knew where their daughter resided and on Saturday night, they took her from her home in Irbid and on the way back, her brother reportedly drew a gun and shot her to death, the source added.

A team of government pathologists comprising Issa Gheishan and Shadi Maaytah performed an autopsy on the victim and established that she died of two gunshot wounds to the head.

Dababneh issued orders for both suspects to be detained for 14 days at a correctional and rehabilitation centre pending further investigation into the case.

The victim was the second woman to be killed for reasons related to family honour during the month of June, and the seventh since the beginning of the year, according to medical sources.

On June 1, two men were ordered detained after allegedly stabbing their female relative to death in the street after learning that she was pregnant out of wedlock.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Iran to intensify clothing curbs, citing ‘Islamic values’

women "laughing to loud" is against the law in Iran! that's crazy! dolly p.

by Bloomberg
Thursday, 10 June 2010

DRESS CODE: Iranian authorities increase their enforcement of the women’s dress code annually to prevent them from abandoning Islamic dress.

Iran will step up measures to force retailers selling clothing to comply with “Islamic values,” according to the police.

“Producing and distributing inappropriate clothes, those not complying with Islamic and Iranian culture, should be avoided,” Abbas Miraei, who heads the Office of Supervision of the Public Sphere for the Iranian police, was cited as saying today by Iranian Labour News Agency. Further details weren’t immediately available.

Iran has set aside $1.5 billion to promote “moral conduct,” including enforcement of its dress code for women, “to solve the cultural and social ills” in society, Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said on May 10. His comments followed the introduction of a code of conduct at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences that bans loud laughter, nail polish, high heels and immodest clothing for women and men.

Since the revolution that brought Shiite Muslim religious leaders to power three decades ago, women in Iran have been required to cover their hair with scarves and obscure the shape of the body with loose-fitting coats. The government, which sees the U.S. and its influence on culture as a threat to Iranian society, also seeks to prevent young women and men from following the West’s pop culture and fashion trends.

The police will “deal firmly” with violators of Iran’s laws on moral conduct, Mohammad Najjar said last month. A cleric at Tehran’s main Friday prayers, Iran’s largest, said in April that women who dress immodestly cause earthquakes.

Iranian authorities increase their enforcement of the women’s dress code annually to prevent them from abandoning Islamic dress amid summer temperatures that can reach 42 degrees Celsius (107 Fahrenheit) in Tehran.

Under Shiraz University’s code, in effect since Feb. 20, women must wear loose, long coats in subdued colors that go below the knee. Men aren’t permitted to wear jewelry, except for a wedding ring, nor short-sleeve shirts, and their trousers should be loose. Shoes shouldn’t have pointed toes, make noise or have heels higher than 3 centimeters (1.2 inches).

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/590249?tmpl=print&page=

Friday, June 11, 2010

Saudi Clerics Advocate Adult Breast-Feeding

OK all, this is just wierd, if a woman breastfeeds a grown man than he will become her "family" allowing him the rights of her immediate male family members. Dolly P.

(June 5) -- Women in Saudi Arabia should give their breast milk to male colleagues and acquaintances in order to avoid breaking strict Islamic law forbidding mixing between the sexes, two powerful Saudi clerics have said. They are at odds, however, over precisely how the milk should be conveyed.

A fatwa issued recently about adult breast-feeding to establish "maternal relations" and preclude the possibility of sexual contact has resulted in a week's worth of newspaper headlines in Saudi Arabia. Some have found the debate so bizarre that they're calling for stricter regulations about how and when fatwas should be issued.

Sheikh Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal court and consultant to the Ministry of Justice, set off a firestorm of controversy recently when he said on TV that women who come into regular contact with men who aren't related to them ought to give them their breast milk so they will be considered relatives.

"The man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman," Al Obeikan said, according to Gulf News. "He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the women without breaking Islam's rules about mixing."

Obeikan said the fatwa applied to men who live in the same house or come into contact with women on a regular basis, except for drivers.

Al Obeikan, who made the statement after being asked on TV about a 2007 fatwa issued by an Egyptian scholar about adult breast-feeding, said that the breast milk ought to be pumped out and given to men in a glass.

But his remarks were followed by an announcement by another high-profile sheik, Abi Ishaq Al Huwaini, who said that men should suckle the breast milk directly from a woman's breast.

Shortly after the two sheiks weighed in on the matter, a bus driver in the country's Eastern Region reportedly told one of the female teachers whom he drives regularly that he wanted to suckle milk from her breast. The teacher has threaten to file a lawsuit against him.

The fatwa stems from the tenets of the strict Wahhabi version of Islam that governs modern Saudi Arabia and forbids women from mixing with men who are not relatives. They are also not allowed to vote, drive or even leave the country without the consent of a male "guardian."

Under Islamic law, women are encouraged to breast-feed their children until the age of 2. It is not uncommon for sisters, for example, to breast-feed their nephews so they and their daughters will not have to cover their faces in front of them later in life. The custom is called being a "breast milk sibling."

But under Islamic law, breast milk siblings have to be breastfed before the age of 2 in five "fulfilling" sessions. Islam prohibits sexual relations between a man and any woman who breastfed him in infancy. They are then allowed to be alone together when the man is an adult because he is not considered a potential mate.

"The whole issue just shows how clueless men are," blogger Eman Al Nafjan wrote on her website. "All this back and forth between sheiks and not one bothers to ask a woman if it's logical, let alone possible to breastfeed a grown man five fulfilling breast milk meals.

"Moreover, the thought of a huge hairy face at a woman's breast does not evoke motherly or even brotherly feelings. It could go from the grotesque to the erotic but definitely not maternal."

Al Nafjan said many in the country were appalled by the fatwa.

"We have many important issues that need discussing," Al Nafjan told AOL News Friday. "It's ridiculous to spend time talking about adult breast-feeding."

Unlawful mixing between the sexes is taken very seriously in Saudi Arabia. In March 2009, a 75-year-old Syrian widow, Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi, living in the city of Al-Chamil, was given 40 lashes and sentenced to six months in prison after the religious police learned that two men who were not related to her were in her house, delivering bread to her.

One of the two men found in her house, Fahd, told the police that Sawadi breast-fed him as a baby so he was considered a son and had a right to be there. But in a later court ruling, a judge said it could not be proved that Fahd was her "breast milk son." Fahd was sentenced to four months in prison and 40 lashes, and the man who accompanied him got six months and 60 lashes.

The original adult breast-feeding fatwa was issued three years ago by an Egyptian scholar at Egypt's al-Azhar University, considered Sunni Islam's top university. Ezzat Attiya was expelled from the university after advocating breast-feeding of men as a way to circumnavigate segregation of the sexes in Egypt.

A year ago, Attiya was reinstated to his post.
Filed under: World, Weird News



2010 AOL Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Afghanistan : Shelter tries to help abused child brides

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Arab woman reports on Muslim wife-beating in Gaza: exclusive

May 24, 9:28 AMNY Israel Conflict ExaminerRichard Shulman


Here is a reader’s comment: Entry: Violence against Arab women in Gaza increases?

myriam - I BEATEN TO THE BONE FROM MY PALESTINIAN HUSBAND..WE LIVE IN gAZA CITY..THIS IS A JOKE TO BLAME IT ON "ISRAELI OCCUPATION"I'M EMBARESSED HOW MY PEOPLE ACT-THATS WHY ALLAH DOESNT HELP US OUT.THEY HURT US-ME-THEIR OWN KIND!DURING THE WAR,I BEGGED ALLAH TO KILL ME..HOW DARE THEY USE ISRAELI OCCUPATION AS AN EXCUSE-ISRAEL-THESE ARE CIVILIZED PEOPLE..IN GAZA&OTHER MUSLIM PLACES THEY BEAT THEIR WIVES AND IT'S "OK"..WHY SHOULD ALLAH HELP US OUT ANYWAY?OUR MEN WANT TO DO NOTHING BUT FIGHT-INSTEAD OF DEALING WITH THE FACT,THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE-AND TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF IT..ALLAH DOESN'T SEE US WORTHY.YET, I DONT BLAME HIM.THE MEN HERE HAVE FAILED ALLAHS TEST-OF BEHAVING "DECENT" AND "HUMANE"EVEN UNDER HORRIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES!INSTEAD OF FIGHTING&CAUSING PROBLEMS-THEY DO NOTHING TO DEAL WITH THE CARDS WE WERE GIVIN!I'M PAYING THE PRICE FOR MY HUSBAND BEING AN ANIMAL,NOT BECUZ "OCCUPATION"-BECUZ HE HAS NO "NATURAL" MANNERS,DECENCY-THIS IS WHAT ISLAM TEACHES HIM.IT'S SICK. Posted/Updated: 05/23/2010 04:59 PM

Saudi woman beats up virtue cop

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=175779
You Go Girl! One Saudi woman has had enough! dolly p.

By BENJAMIN JOFFE-WALT / THE MEDIA LINE 17/05/2010

Incident follows a wave of challenges to religious authorities.
It was a scene Saudi women’s rights activists have dreamt of for years.

When a Saudi religious policeman sauntered about an amusement park in the eastern Saudi Arabian city of Al-Mubarraz looking for unmarried couples illegally socializing, he probably wasn’t expecting much opposition.

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But when he approached a young, 20-something couple meandering through the park together, he received an unprecedented whooping.

A member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Saudi religious police known locally as the Hai’a, asked the couple to confirm their identities and relationship to one another, as it is a crime in Saudi Arabia for unmarried men and women to mix.

For unknown reasons, the young man collapsed upon being questioned by the cop.

According to the Saudi daily Okaz, the woman then allegedly laid into the religious policeman, punching him repeatedly, and leaving him to be taken to the hospital with bruises across his body and face.

“To see resistance from a woman means a lot,” Wajiha Al-Huwaidar, a Saudi women’s rights activist, told The Media Line news agency. “People are fed up with these religious police, and now they have to pay the price for the humiliation they put people through for years and years. This is just the beginning and there will be more resistance.”

“The media and the Internet have given people a lot of power and the freedom to express their anger,” she said. “The Hai’a are like a militia, but now whenever they do something it’s all over the Internet. This gives them a horrible reputation and gives people power to react.”

Neither the religious police nor the Eastern Province police has made a statement on the incident, and both the names of the couple and the date of the incident have not been made public, but on Monday the incident was all over the Saudi media.

Should the woman be charged, she could face a lengthy prison term and lashings for assaulting a representative of a government institution.

Saudi law does not permit women to be in public spaces without a male guardian. Women are not allowed to drive, inherit, divorce or gain custody of children, and cannot socialize with unrelated men.

Officers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice are tasked with enforcing such laws, but it hasn’t been an easy year for Saudi Arabia’s religious police.

The decision last year by Saudi King Abdullah to open the kingdom’s first co-educational institution, with no religious police on campus, led to a national crises for Saudi Arabia’s conservative religious authorities, with the new university becoming a cultural proxy war for whether or not women and men should be allowed to mix publicly.

A senior Saudi cleric publicly criticized the gender mixing at the university and was summarily fired by the king.

That was followed in December by a surprise announcement from Sheikh Ahmed Al-Ghamdi, head of the Saudi religious police commission in Mecca, who published an article against gender segregation, leading to threats on his life and rumors that he had been or would be fired.


Meanwhile, the Saudi government has gone to great efforts recently to improve the image of the religious police, most notably by firing the national director of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice earlier this year. The new director Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Humain then announced a series of training programs and a special unit to handle complaints against the religious police.

Last month, however, members of the religious police in the northern province of Tabuk were charged with assaulting a young woman as she attempted to visit her son, in a move that marked an unprecedented challenge to the religious police’s authority.

"There is some sort of change taking place," Nadya Khalife, the Middle East women’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch, told The Media Line. "There is clearly a shifting mentality regarding to the male guardianship law and similar issues. More women are speaking out, there are changes within the government, there is a mixed university, the king was photographed with women, they want to allow women to work in the courts and there are changes within the justice ministry. So you can witness some kind of change unfolding but it’s not quite clear what’s happening and it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight."

Moudhi riding on a donkey

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2010040168079
This is a fun story! Saudi women are trying to stick up for them selves, keep praying for them! dolly p.

By Abdullah Nasser Al-Fouzan
MOUDHI, a noted Riyadh secondary school headmistress, is continuing in her five-year quest to persuade the relevant folk that women have as much right to drive a car as men, furnishing them with the evidence piece by piece, showing that the benefits outweigh the perils. The persistent failure of her previous efforts, however, led her to turn to more practical methods, and so it was that she recently got behind the wheel of a car and drove off into the streets of the capital.
When stopped by police Moudhi produced her international driving license, but the failure of officers to be persuaded by such a document led to a lengthy exchange during which Moudhi showed them that their reasoning was more fragile than a spider’s web. Unmoved, the police told her that she was required to have a driver to protect her and help her should she find herself in difficulties, such as her car breaking down.
“Okay...,” Moudhi said. “We’ll see...”
A few days later Moudhi got behind the wheel again, only this time, seated in the back of the car, was her foreign driver. When the police stopped her – along with the young men who had been pursuing her down the street – officers believed the man in the back to be her bodyguard, and so were taken aback along with the rest of the gathering crowd when Moudhi told them he was her driver, there to “protect her and help her if the car broke down.”
“Isn’t that what you told me I had to do when you stopped me last time?” Moudhi said as perplexed officers glanced at each other.
All the same, when she asked them to remove themselves from her path and let her be on her way, they refused to budge.
“Okay, what’s your reason this time?” Moudhi demanded to know. “I have my international driver’s license and a driver with me in the car. In fact, I’m a better driver than he is and I know the streets of the city better, and I speak Arabic and he can’t. So why do you want me to sit in the back and let him drive instead?”
“You’re not allowed to drive…” was their only response, and they ordered her to sit in the back. “Okay,” Moudhi obeyed. “Well, see…”
A few days later Moudhi took to the streets again. On a bicycle. As she made her way down the busy Olayya Street, prompting all sorts of commotion, she was inevitably spied by the police and a rather comedic pursuit ensued, able as she was to navigate between the traffic and slip down side streets at a moment’s notice. But in the end they caught up with her and told her to get off her bike. After having giving them a piece of her mind, Moudhi was finally obliged to abandon that means of transport as well. But, as is her wont, she immediately set about thinking of other ways.
And so it was that a few days ago Moudhi bought herself a donkey, and as evening descended she mounted the beast and headed down the side streets from her house towards Olayya Street, and by the time she hit the main road text messages had already gone around half the town informing everyone of the now famous Moudhi’s latest venture.
As per usual, young males crowded around whistling and the traffic piled up almost to a standstill, causing a right old hullabaloo. The police were duly informed.
As the police descended from their vehicles, Moudhi pulled over her donkey and drove it onto the pavement, where the following row ensued:
Police Officer: “Is everything alright, ma’am? You look like you’ve, might I say, lost your mind?”
Moudhi: “Why’s that?”
PO: “Well, what d’you think you’re doing?”
M: “Have I done something wrong?”
PO: “Wrong?! Just take a look at yourself!”
M: “C’mon, out of my way! You’ve no right to stop me!”
PO: “I’ve every right! Can’t you see what you’ve done?! Can’t you see the jams and fuss you’ve caused?!”
M: “How’s that my fault?! Go and ask the mob that’s been following me and whistling! I’m just using transport. You wouldn’t let me use a car, or a bike, and now you want to stop me riding a donkey?!”
PO: (Turning to his colleagues): “What’s the cause with this woman?! What are we going to do with her?”
M: “C’mon, out of my way! I’m going to ride a donkey every day, just like the female companions of the Prophet…or would you even deny them that right?!”
PO: “No, of course, not. But times have changed…”
M: “What’s changed?! Things are supposed to change for the better!”
PO: “That’s true, change for the better… and now the streets are designed for cars, not donkeys.”
M: “But you wouldn’t let me drive a car, or even ride a bike, why? I have the right to use transport, don’t I? Am’nt I a human being?! C’mon now, get out of my way, or is there some law you know of stopping me riding a donkey?”
PO: “No, there’s no law.”
M: “Do I need a donkey-riding license?”
PO: “No, no, you don’t need a license.”
M: “Okay, then. Out of my way!”
Quite a crowd had formed around Moudhi and the police as they argued, some of them siding with her, others suggesting the officers should dismount her by force and put an end to the farce, but at some point it would appear that news of the event reached the ears of the powers-that-be, for officers’ radios began to sound and the police suddenly withdrew from the location.
And as Moudhi found the path before her unobstructed, she said: “I’m going to get on my donkey every day, and demand the authorities provide donkey parking at the shops, as this is my right for as long as I’m not allowed to drive a car.”Moudhi drove her donkey off the pavement and back onto the road, amid the whistles of disapproval and applause of support, and turned down the side street towards her house, wondering what she would do the next day. – Al-Watan

March 21, 2010 — An Afghan shelter helps women like Bibi Aisha, whose husband cut off her nose and ears. CNN´s Atia Abawi reports. (Graphic content)

Taliban Executes Afghan women accusing them for prostitution

Man throws acid on daughter for love outside faith

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Bulandshahr (Uttar Pradesh), June 01:In an alleged attempted "honour killing", a man poured acid on his daughter and threw her into a canal for planning to marry a man from another religion Tuesday, police said. The girl is in critical condition in hospital.

Gulistan, 18, daughter of Asghar Ali of Charaura village in Bulandshahr district, 350 km from Lucknow, fell in love with Ravinder, 20, who ran a medical store in the village and often came to their house to deliver medicines.

The couple eloped 10 days back but were traced to Delhi and Gulistan was taken back to the village. Her parents then pretended that they had agreed to let her marry Ravinder and asked her to come with them to Delhi to buy clothes for the marriage.

The girl left with her father and brother. When they reached near the upper Ganges canal on Grand Trunk Road, they stopped and dragged her out. First they poured acid on her face, strangulated her and then threw her in the canal. Assuming that she had died, they left the place.

However, Gulistan revived in the water and shouted for help. Some local boys of nearby villages, playing there, rescued her and informed police, who admitted her to hospital.

Asghar has been arrested and a search is on for his son, Superintendent of Police (City) J.K. Sahi said.

"On the spot from where the girl was rescued, she said her father was annoyed over her love affair with the local Hindu boy but when her statement was recorded before the magistrate in the hospital, she shifted from her original statement made before the police and said after getting angry at her father’s objection, she poured the acid on herself," Sahi said.

It seemed she was trying to mislead police with her declaration, he added.

Sahi said a case under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered and investigations are on.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Deoband fatwa: It's illegal for women to work, support family

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Deoband-fatwa-Its-illegal-for-women-to-work-support-family/articleshow/5919153.cms

LUCKNOW: Darul Uloom Deoband, the self-appointed guardian for Indian Muslims, in a Talibanesque fatwa that reeked of tribal patriarchy, has decreed that it is "haram" and illegal according to the Sharia for a family to accept a woman's earnings. Clerics at the largest Sunni Muslim seminary after Cairo's Al-Azhar said the decree flowed from the fact that the Sharia prohibited proximity of men and women in the workplace.

"It is unlawful (under the Sharia law) for Muslim women to work in the government or private sector where men and women work together and women have to talk with men frankly and without a veil," said the fatwa issued by a bench of three clerics. The decree was issued over the weekend, but became public late on Monday, seminary sources said.

At a time when there is a rising clamour for job quotas for Muslims in India and a yearning for progress in the community that sees itself as neglected, the fatwa, although unlikely to be heeded, is clearly detrimental.

Even the most conservative Islamic countries, which restrict activities of women, including preventing them from driving, do not bar women from working. At the peak of its power, the Taliban only barred women in professions like medicine from treating men and vice versa. But there was a never a blanket ban on working, although the mullahs made it amply clear that they would like to see the women confined to homes.

The fatwa, however, drew flak among other clerics.

"Men and women in Sharia are entitled to equal rights. If men follow the Sharia, there is no reason why women can't work with them," said Rasheed, the Naib Imam of Lucknow's main Eidgah Mosque in Aishbagh.

Mufti Maulana Khalid Rasheed of Darul Ifta Firangi Meheli -- another radical Islamic body which also issues fatwas -- criticized the Deoband fatwa as a retrograde restriction on Muslim women.

The fatwa was in response to a question whether Muslim women can take up government or private jobs and whether their salary should be termed as `halal' (permissible under the Sharia) or `haram' (forbidden).

Well-known Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, however, justified the fatwa. "Women in Islam are not supposed to go out and earn a living. It's the responsibility of the males in the family," he said. "If a woman has to go for a job, she must make sure that the Sharia restrictions are not compromised," he added, citing the example of Iran, where Muslim women work in offices but have separate seating areas, away from their male counterparts.

In Lucknow, a city with strong secular and progressive traditions, where Muslim families train their daughters to be doctors, engineers and executives, there was a sense of shocked disbelief even in conservative quarters that such a decree could come from those who consider themselves to be advocates of the community.

"I am also a working woman and also ensure that my Sharia is not compromised," said Rukhsana, a lecturer at a girl's college in Lucknow and a member of the executive committee of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). "It's not necessary that one would have to go against the Sharia when going to work."

"Name one Islamic country which does not have a national airline and does not hire airhostesses? If I know correctly, even the Saudi Airlines has hostesses and they don't wear a veil," said Shabeena Parveen, a computer professional in the city.

Mali imam living in fear after backing women's rights

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8672618.stm
Pray for this Man who dares to stick up for Women's BASIC Rights!

Muslim protesters in Mali
Thousands protested when the new law was introduced in 2009

An imam in Mali is living in fear after backing a new family law which no longer obliges wives to obey their husbands, angering Muslim groups.

He has received threatening phone calls and local Muslim leaders have tried to dismiss him.

The new law is currently being given a second reading in parliament after Mali's president refused to sign it because of the Muslim protests.

More than 90% of Mali's population is Muslim.

In April, the imam of Kati, 15km (9 miles) north-west of the capital, Bamako, wrote a letter to Mali's High Islamic Council stating he saw nothing in the new family law which infringed the country's social values, much less Islam, the BBC's Martin Vogl in Mali says.

The High Islamic Council has said imams can only be dismissed by their congregation and it is unclear what weight the decision by local Muslim leaders to sack the imam will have, our reporter explains.

But the incident has highlighted the intense feelings among Muslims towards the new family law.

Its most contentious provisions give more rights to women.

For example, under the law husbands and wives owe each other loyalty and protection rather than obedience, women get greater inheritance rights and the minimum age for girls to marry in most circumstances is raised to 18.

When the law was introduced in August 2009, the parliament building was attacked and it was difficult to find anyone to defend the law in public, our reporter says.

Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure said he was sending the law back to parliament for the sake of national unity.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pakistani Christian burned alive, wife raped by police for refusing to convert to Islam

"News Alert: Pakistan Christian "Burned", Wife "Raped", For Refusing Islam," from BosNewsLife, March 20 (thanks to DJM):

RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- A Christian man was fighting for his life in Pakistan's Punjab province Saturday, March 20, after Muslim leaders backed by police burned him alive for refusing to convert to Islam, while his wife was raped by police officers, Christian and hospital sources familiar with the case told BosNewsLife.

Arshed Masih was burned Friday, March 19, in front of a police station in the city of Rawalpindi near Pakistan's capital Islamabad, following apparent death threats from his Muslim employer Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, an influential businessman, and religious leaders, said the Rawalpindi Holy Family Hospital.

His wife, Martha Arshed, was allegedly raped by police officers. Their three children -- ranging in age from 7 to 12-- were reportedly forced to witness the attacks against their parents.

"Both [Masih] and wife were rushed to the Holy Family Hospital and are under treatment," the hospital said.

He was listed in serious condition with about 80 percent of his body burned.

Local police officials said they were "aware" of the attacks carried out by Muslim leaders and apparently at least some officers and added that an investigation was underway. No arrests were reported yet late Saturday, March 19.

Sheikh Mohammad Sultan could not immediately be reached for comment and it was not clear whether he had been in contact with police Saturday, March 20.

Before tensions emerged about their Christian faith, Masih worked as a driver and his wife as a maid for the Muslim businessman since 2005, Christians said.

The couple apparently lived with their children in the servant quarters of Sultan's estate in Rawalpindi, a key trade and tourist destination. In January, religious leaders and Sultan allegedly asked Arshed to convert to Islam with his whole family. After he refused, the group reportedly threatened him with "dire consequences"

Arshed offered to quit his job, but the businessman allegedly said he would "kill" him if he were to leave.

He apparently also told Christian mediators that he would never allow the Christian family to live somewhere else.

This week tensions raised after Sultan reported a theft of 500,000 Pakistani Rupees (5,952$), according to a document seen by BosNewsLife.

The Christian family members were not named as suspects in the so-called 'First Information Report' from police.

Sources familiar with the situation, who asked not to be identified for security reasons, told BosNewsLife that the businessman had offered the couple to drop the case if they convert to Islam or "else that both would not see their children again."

However, "Arshed refused to convert and stood firm in his faith. Arshed`s wife was raped by the police and he was burned alive," Friday, March 19, local Christians said, speaking on condition of anonimity.

The case comes at a time when church groups have complained about growing attacks against minority Christians by Muslim militants, often with the alleged support by local law enforcement officials and other authorities.

Posted by Marisol on March 21, 2010 7:26 AM

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yemen - Child Brides

CHILD BRIDES: Divorced at 10?
Incredible story of a Yemeni 8-year old who was married off against her will to a 30-year-old man. And yes, the husband DID HAVE SEX with her.

Women's Rights in Islam: Divorced at 10 - More bloopers are a click away
Nujoud Ali, now 10 years old, describes the horrors of being pulled out of school and forced into marriage. This courageous little girl ran away after just 12 days, went to the court, and demanded to be given a divorce so she could go back to school. And she got it.

This 12-year-old doesn’t know if she will be able to get a divorce from the 26-year-old cousin whom her father forced her to marry. If she can’t, she says she will commit suicide.

She says she was happy at first, happy about the pretty wedding gown. After 11 days, she could stand it no longer and ran away.


March 13, 2010
Categories: Children . . Author: barenakedislam .

Diane Sawyer in Afghanistan

Diane Sawyer reports on the abject abuse of women in Afghanistan


This secret shelter for women is run by a Jewish American woman, Esther Hyneman, along with an Afghan woman, Manizha) H/T Debbie Schlussel

RELATED VIDEOS: Women

March 13, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WATCH THIS VIDEO, PRAY FOR THIS WOMAN!!




Young Christian girls in Iraq are being terrorized and savagely mutilated
“I have seen little Christian girls, aged 9 – 16, who had their intestines ripped out and their vulvas cut off.”

Here is a most heartbreaking testimony by Sister Hatune, of the Syrian-Orthodox monastery in Warburg, Germany. She makes an amazing effort to help and protect the ruthlessly persecuted Christians in Iraq. In recent years a horrifying number of kidnappings, rapes and mutilations of Iraqi Christian girls has been perpetrated by Muslim gangs. Some 700,000 Christians are fleeing this terror, but often find themselves exposed to similar dangers when they arrive in neighboring Muslim countries. With no rights and no help from authorities, they are surely in the most desperate of situations. FRONTPAGE

VISIT: Sister Hatune Foundation

H/T blogspotKitmanTV
March 10, 2010
Categories: Persecution of Christians . . Author: barenakedislam

Monday, March 8, 2010

Honor Killing - 16 yr old Girl Buried Alive

ANOTHER HONOR KILLING in Turkey: 16-year-old girl BURIED ALIVE
A 16-year-old Muslim girl buried alive by relatives in southeastern Turkey in a gruesome honor killing carried out because she reportedly befriended boys.

Acting on a tip, police discovered the body of the girl, identified only as M.M., in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a 2-meter-deep hole dug under a chicken pen outside her house in Kahta, a town in the southeastern province of Adıyaman, the news agency reported.

The body was found in December, around 40 days after M.M. went missing. She is being identified by her initials because she was under the age of 18. Her father and grandfather are suspected in the murder.

A subsequent postmortem examination revealed that M.M. had a significant amount of soil in her lungs and stomach, indicating that she was buried alive and conscious, forensic experts told the news agency. “The autopsy result is blood-curdling. According to our findings, the girl – who had no bruises on her body and no sign of narcotics or poison in her blood – was alive and fully conscious when she was buried,” one anonymous expert said.

The girl’s father and grandfather have been formally arrested and jailed pending trial over her killing, according to the agency. The father is reported to have said in his testimony that the family was unhappy that M.M. had male friends. HURRIYET NEWS H/T TROP


February 4, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam

Somalia

“Don’t kill me.” “Don’t kill me,” cries 13 year old Somali girl before she is stoned to death for being a rape victim
An innocent little girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was forced into a hole, buried up to her neck then pelted with stones by more than 50 MUSLIM men until she died in front of 1,000 jeering spectators.

The girl had been accused of adultery in breach of Islamic law, but sources told Amnesty International that she had in fact been raped by three men, and had attempted to report this rape. None of men she accused of rape were arrested.

She was detained by militia of the Kismayo authorities, a coalition of Al-shabab and clan militias. Initial reports said she confessed to adultery before a Sharia court. Amnesty said it had learned she was only 13 and that her father had said she was gang raped by three men. Yes, that was her crime, she was raped by three savage men! When the family tried to report the rape, the girl was accused of adultery and detained.

A human rights activist in the town told the BBC on condition of anonymity that he had received death threats from the Islamic militia, who accuse him of spreading false information about the incident. He denies having anything to with Amnesty’s report. Cameras were banned from the stoning in Kismayo, but print and radio journalists who were allowed to attend.

Court authorities have said the woman came to them admitting her guilt. She was asked several times to review her confession but she stressed that she wanted Sharia law and the deserved punishment to apply. However, a witness who spoke to the BBC’s ‘Today’ programme said she had been crying and had to be forced into a hole before the stoning.

STONING is a widely used punishment in Islam

A few minutes later more than 50 men threw rocks at her and stoned the poor girl to death. The witness said people crowding round to see the execution said it was “awful.” However, no-one tried to stop the Islamist officials, who were armed, the witness said. He said one boy was shot in the confusion.

According to Amnesty International, nurses were sent to check during the stoning whether the victim was still alive. They removed her from the ground and declared that she was’nt dead yet. So, she was replaced in the hole so the stoning could continue.

This story is a gruesome and horrific reminder of Islamic law! The killing of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow demonstrates the cruelty and the inherent discrimination against women in Islam. H/T Ali




January 18, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam

Rape Victim Gets Punished

BANGLADESH: Rape victim gets 101 lashes for becoming pregnant from the rape
16-year-old Muslim girl who was raped has been given 101 lashes for conceiving during the assault.

The girl’s father was also fined and warned the family would be branded outcasts from their village if he did not pay.

According to human rights activists, the girl, who was quickly married after the attack, was divorced weeks later after medical tests revealed she was pregnant. The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.

Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.

Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.

Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had “spoiled” her life. ”I want justice,” she said. UK TELEGRAPH


RELATED STORIES: Women

February 7, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam

SHACKLED WOMEN: Pakistan’s thriving slave trade in young girls

Islamic law is making the lives of countless women Hell. Up to 3,000 young girls are for sale on any day in Karachi streets, some as young as 10 years old.

Often seen as the legal or sexual property of men, many Muslim women are confined to a life of almost incessant childbirth, especially until they bear a son. In Pakistan, more than 200,000 girls have been sold over the past decade and the government doesn’t want to do anything about it because everyone profits. Under Pakistan’s Islamic zina law, a woman can be imprisoned for being raped or for running away from a forced marriage. Others are put away forever in insane asylums.

H/T blogspotKitmanTV



RELATED STORIES: Women

March 6, 2010
Categories: Women . . Author: barenakedislam

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Women beaten by husbands, then flogged for running away

Qur'an 4:34 has, in letter and in spirit, set a far-reaching precedent for using violence as a recourse against "disobedient" women. These are the consequences. "Runaway wives sentenced to public flogging by warlord," from France 24, March 2:

The footage, posted online by Afghani women's rights organisation RAWA, based in Pakistan, was originally aired by the Afghan TV channel "Tolo TV" on Feb. 18.

When contacted by FRANCE 24, the Afghan channel told us that the scene had taken place in December 2009 in the Dolina district (Ghor province, central), and that the footage was filmed by one of its sources there.

According to Ghor governor Abdul Hai Khatibi, the two women flogged that day -- only one is seen on the video -- had been forced to marry against their will. Beaten by their husbands, they ran away from their respective homes disguised in men's clothing. After a month on the run they were caught by police in Chasht (Herat province, west), arrested, and sent back to their husbands.

Both women were sentenced to 45 lashes in public. In a statement made on Pajhowk Afghan News, the deputy chief of police of Dolina district, Jahan Shah, explained that the case had been handed over to the local warlord, Fazl Ahad. He decided to have the women punished for running away, but also demanded that the husbands, whom he deemed guilty as well, divorce their wives.

Posted by Marisol on March 2, 2010 5:56 PM | 8 Comments
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Female Genital Mutilation


Today, an estimated 130 million women have undergone sexual mutilation.

It is performed in many African countries, including Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Chad. It is also a tradition among Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia, and in a number of countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, the UAE, and parts of rural Saudi Arabia. Lately, it is happening to Muslim girls in Western countries.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali explains that many Muslim clerics endorse female circumision to repress sexuality in young girls, depriving their right to pleasure and causing extreme pain, and even death. Many girls die from hemorrhaging and use of non-sterile instruments.
It appears to be driven originally by men’s desire to have power over womens’ sexualityto remove fear of paternity uncertainty by keeping women chaste and uninterested in love affairs, but the practice has become so old and rooted that it is now perpetuated by womenupon women in many places.
There is no mention of it in the Koran, and only a brief mention in the authentic hadiths, which states: “A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: ‘Do not cut severely, as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband.’ But because of this still debated hadith, some scholars of the Shari school of Islam, found mostly in East Africa, consider female circumcision obligatory. The Hanafi and most other schools maintain it is merely recommended, not essential.The small girl’s torn genitalia are stitched with thorns and her legs tied together to reduce blood loss. Many die.


Primitive tools often used in FGM


The majority of rural Egyptian women are still circumcised. Here they remove only the clitoris; they do not do the much more extensive procedure, but even so, there are many problems. Infection, bleeding, urinary tract damage, sepsis, even death.
More than 90 percent of Sudanese women undergo the most severe form of circumcision, known as “pharaonic,” or infibulation, at the age of seven or eight, which removes all of the clitoris, the labia minora, and the labia majora. The sides are then sutured together, often with thorns, and only a small matchstick-diameter opening is left for urine and menstrual flow. The girl’s legs are tied together and liquids are heavily rationed until the incision is healed.

During this primitive yet major surgery, it is not uncommon for girls, who are held down by female relatives, to die from shock or hemorrhage of the vagina, urethra, bladder, and rectal area may also be damaged, and massive keloid scarring can obstruct walking for life.
After marriage, women who have been infibulated must be forcibly penetrated. This may take up to forty days, and when men are impatient, a knife is used. Special honeymoon centers are built outside communities so that the screams of the brides will not be heard. Sometimes the husband traditionally runs through the streets with a blood-stained dagger.
Female genital mutilation is carried out for cultural and religious reasons. Women across the world are affected by the practice which is widely recognised as a violation of human rights.



“I heard the sound of the dug blade sawing back and forth through my skin,” The woman used thorns from an acacia tree to puncture holes in her skin and sew her up, leaving a tiny hole the diameter of a matchstick, through which urine and menstrual blood could dribble.

“My legs were completely numb, but the pain between them was so intense that I wished I would die.” Five-year-old Waris was left in a hut to recuperate her infibulation.

Uncircumcised girls are seen as unclean and treated as outcasts. For more than 20 years Dirie suffered health problems from her radical circumcision. Menstruation was a long, agonizing process each month, as the menstrual blood backed up in her body.

Egyptian Muslims Explain Why They Circumcise Their Daughters.

5/17/08 “Conservatives in the Egyptian parliament have made female genital mutilation (circumcision) legal again in Egypt.” Following are excerpts from a television program about female circumcision in Egypt, which aired on Al-Mihwar TV on May 10, 2007. Female Circumcision of Egyptian Muslim women has been adopted and promoted by various groups within Islam.The practice of circumcision in Islam comes from the Hadith, Shariah law, and the consensus of Islamic communities.



“I was unable to see, and somehow my breathing seemed also to have stopped. Yet I imagined the thing that was making the rasping sound coming closer and closer to me. … At that very moment I realized that my thighs had been pulled wide apart, and that each of my lower limbs was being held as far away from the other as possible, gripped by-steel fingers that never relinquished their pressure.

I felt that the rasping knife or blade was heading straight down towards my throat. Then suddenly the sharp metallic edge seemed to drop between my thighs and there cut off a piece of flesh from my body.
I screamed with pain despite the tight hand held over my mouth, for the pain was not just a pain, it was like a searing flame that went through my whole body. After a few moments, I saw a red pool of blood around my hips. I did not know what they had cut off from my body, and I did not try to find out. I just wept, and called out to my mother for help.

But the worst shock of all was when I looked around and found standing by my side. Yes, it was her, I could not be mistaken, in flesh and blood, right in the midst of these strangers, talking to them and smiling at them, as though they had not participated in slaughtering her daughter just a few moments ago.” FGM

Related Videos: children

July 12, 2009
Categories: Children . . Author: barenakedislam

‘AFGHAN IDOL’ – The most hated woman in Afghanistan

Why? Because she dared to sing and dance in the TV final of her country’s version of American Idol. During her sedate routine, her headscarf slipped, showing her hair and outraging the war-torn country’s religious fundamentalists.

SETARA HUSSAINZADA is a shining beacon of hope for the peace-starved young people of Afghanistan. Yet the Muslim woman, 25, is now in hiding and too terrified to show her face.

She received death threats for her “blasphemy” on the Afghan Star show two years ago, was evicted from her home and now will not venture into the street without armed bodyguards. Setara admits that she was devastated when her fellow countrymen called her “loose” and said she “deserves to die” for dancing and showing her hair. She says: “I felt like a bird in a cage.

“Any artist who lives in Afghanistan and gets to some sort of popularity, especially females, they face a lot of problems from the people, especially the religious people.” The scarf moment was captured on a documentary made by British director Havana Marking. The docu, also called Afghan Star, is out on DVD on Monday and is the UK’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film.

Setara in headscarf pre-slipping

Setara says: “When I watched the film I had a very tragic feeling, it broke my heart. ”What kind of ground is Afghanistan made from? I’m still wondering, what is this country like, that the young people of this country cannot make their voices heard? I can’t bear it any more.

“Maybe hundreds like me have had their dreams killed because of these religious narrow-minded people.”

Headscarf going, going...

But her fellow talent show wannabe Tahir Shaqi says of Setara: “She has a nice voice but her actions on stage aren’t favoured by the Afghan people.”Setara did a very bad thing. Even if she wanted first place, she should not do that. Her life is in danger. She will pay a very big price.”

But Setara is unrepentant. She says: “It’s like they’ve never seen a person before. ”The feelings I had on stage made me act in this way. I always act according to my emotions. ”I wanted to lift the heaviness from my heart and music is the language of emotion. ”To be honest I didn’t feel my heart or blood or anything. ”Even if all my clothes had fallen off I would not even have felt it and so that’s why I didn’t care about the scarf.

...gone!

“My heart couldn’t believe that I was voted out. When they said my name I felt like I had died. ”After the Afghan Star programme, those who were against me dancing, they didn’t like me and since then my life has been at risk.” Setara had been one of just three females among the 2,000 entrants to the show back in 2007. Adored by youngsters nationwide, she got as far as the last four before her dream turned to dust.

Desperate to become a world famous pop star, she has instead become a wanted woman.

She had the word “whore” daubed on her parents’ door in Hetar and was forced to move to capital Kabul, but is still afraid to walk the streets. She was initially evicted from one house and her new home is regularly spied on by suspicious neighbours.

Setara lives in hiding in fear for her life everyday

Under the Taliban it was made a crime to dance, listen to music or watch TV. But in 2001 the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was formed and in 2004, the restrictions on music and dancing were lifted. Afghan Star hit TV screens for the first time in 2005 and soon became a huge hit – watched by 11million Afghans, a third of the population.

Setara decided to enter even though women were heavily frowned upon. She says: “We had a lot of hardships during the time of the Taliban, every second was dangerous. We thought that if the Taliban caught us we would not be left alive.

For many Afghans the idea of democracy – even if only to choose the winner of a singing competition – was totally new. Thousands had rushed to buy television sets and mobile phones so they could vote in the show.

Despite a Taliban attempt to bring down the mobile phone network to prevent voting on Afghan Star, and pressure from conservatives in the government to axe the programme, it still continues.UK SUN

And this is the same Taliban with whom Obama wants to make a deal and pay off with hundreds of millions of US taxpayer dollars, while offering them a say in the Afghan government. Maybe he should ask Setara what she thinks about this?

RELATED STORIES: Women

SUDAN

The same laws that subject a woman to being whipped for wearing pants…

…give a man who rapes a little boy or girl only one month in prison.

Sudanese jouranlist tells the story of how tens of thousands of women are arrested and flogged for wearing “indecent” attire, indecent in this case being loose-fitting pants, a long shirt and a veil that covers the hair.

RELATED VIDEOS: Women

PUBLIC FLOGGINGS, STONINGS and other punishments for Women


PAKISTAN

AFGHANISTAN

IRAQ

AFGHANISTAN

PAKISTAN

SUDAN

EVEN GERMANY

H/T STOPShariaLAWnow

RELATED STORIES: Women

In Egypt, Some Women Say That Veils Increase Harassment

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, August 17, 2008

CAIRO -- In a Muslim country where the numbers of women wearing the veil are rising, and so -- by most accounts -- are incidents of groping and catcalls in the streets, the message in ads circulating anonymously in e-mails here in Egypt is clear:

"A veil to protect, or eyes will molest," one warns.

The words sit over two illustrations, one comparing a veiled woman, her hair and neck covered in the manner known to Muslims as hijab, to a wrapped candy, untouched and pure.

The other picture shows an unveiled woman, hair flying wildly and hip jutting, next to a candy that has had its wrapper stripped off -- and is now covered in flies.

"You can't stop them, but you can protect yourself," warns another ad likening men to flies and women to sweets. Bloggers in Egypt have taken to calling such messages the "veil your lollipop" campaign.

No group has asserted responsibility for the online ads, which so far have drawn little attention outside Egyptian blogs. But the campaign comes at a time of converging debate on two keenly felt issues in Egypt: the growing social pressure on Muslim women to veil themselves; and the rising incidence of sexual harassment of women by strangers.

Surprisingly, some Egyptian women say that their veils don't protect against harassment, as the lollipop ads argue, but fuel it. A survey released this summer supports the view.

"These guys are animals. If they saw a female dog, they would harass it," Hind Sayed, a 20-year-old sidewalk vendor in Cairo's Mohandisseen district, said, staring coldly at a knot of male vendors who stood grinning a few feet from her.

In accord with her interpretation of Islamic law, which says women should dress modestly, Sayed wore a flowing black robe and black veil. Together, they covered all but her hands and her pale face with its drawn-on, expressive eyebrows. Despite her attire, Sayed said, she daily endures suggestive comments from male customers and fellow vendors.

"I think a woman who wears hijab can be more provocative to them," Sayed said. "The more covered up you are, the more interesting you are to them."

Zuhair Mohammed, a 60-year-old shopper on the same street, said she long ago stopped wearing the traditional Islamic covering, in part for that reason.

"I feel like with the hijab, it makes them wonder, 'What are you hiding underneath?' " Mohammed said.

Mona Eltahawy, a 41-year-old Egyptian social commentator who now lives, unveiled, in the United States, said that as a Muslim woman who wore hijab for nine years and was harassed "countless times" in Egypt, she has concluded that the increase in veiling has somehow contributed to the increase in harassment.

"The more women veil the less men learn to behave as decent and civilized members of society," Eltahawy wrote in an interview via Facebook. "And the more women are harassed, the more they veil thinking it will 'protect' them."

Female travelers consider Egypt one of the worst countries in the world for harassment on the streets -- second only to Afghanistan, where the Taliban forced all women behind the veil and into seclusion in their homes.

And it's not just women's perceptions. The United States and Britain both warn female visitors in travel advisories that they may face unwanted attention, or sexual attacks, in Egypt.

When Egyptian lawmakers objected to Britain's advisory this summer, calling it a slur, Britain responded that more female British tourists were harassed and assaulted, even raped, while in Egypt than in any other country.

A new survey by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights makes harassment on the streets appear not a risk, but a virtual certainty. According to the center, 98 percent of the foreign women and 83 percent of the Egyptian women surveyed said they had been sexually harassed in the country.

About half of the women, Egyptian and non-Egyptian, said they were harassed every day as they went about the streets. The survey polled 2,020 Egyptian men and women and 109 non-Egyptian women.

Foreign women identified Egyptian policemen and other security officials as the most frequent harassers.

Two-thirds of the Egyptian men surveyed admitted to harassing women, in actions ranging from staring openly at their bodies, shouting explicit comments, touching the women or exposing themselves.

"It makes a woman happy when I call to her. It makes her know she's attractive," 20-year-old Alla Aldin Salem said on the sidewalk in Mohandisseen, after going out of earshot of the glaring fellow vendor in hijab.

"The woman herself is the one who makes men harass her," said Fawzi Tahbet, a 50-year-old man selling kitchenware on another stretch of the sidewalk, under the shade of a tree. "If she's walking, swinging as she goes, of course it will happen."

In fact, the survey's results challenged a stereotype, according to Nehad Komsan, chairwoman of the women's rights center.

While both men and women surveyed said that short skirts and tight clothes triggered harassment, the survey found that women in hijab were the most frequent targets of unwanted comments and touching on the street.

Among Egyptian women, 72 percent of those who described incidents of harassment said they were veiled at the time.

"It surprised me," said Komsan, who wears hijab. "It doesn't matter what you wear."

Egypt's most notorious case of harassment occurred last year when two fully veiled Gulf Arab women were surrounded by dozens of men on a street and molested.

Bystanders filmed the episode and posted it on YouTube. It became an embarrassment to Egypt's government and a spark for the first public debate on sexual harassment in Egypt. A female lawmaker now is pushing legislation that would allow jail sentences for some forms of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Anecdotes told by the women who were surveyed portrayed women choosing to give up jobs and education because of harassment, Komsan said. She presented Egyptian news media with the case of a 14-year-old girl who stopped going to school because of the harassment she suffered on a public bus during the daily trips to school and back. The girl's father had come to the women's rights center, seeking help in getting his daughter back to class.

An estimated 80 percent of Egyptian women now wear hijab. Pressure on the remainder to cover up grows every year, as fundamentalism gains influence in Muslim societies worldwide.

"Bravo, you've taken the veil," a popular Egyptian singer croons in one music video, which shows a previously neglectful boyfriend beaming and offering a wedding ring when his formerly uncovered girlfriend dons a head scarf.

Veiling parties laud girls who've covered up. Egyptian women who don't wear hijab say that, more and more, they encounter strangers urging them in the streets, "Sister, you'd be more beautiful if you veiled."

At the women's rights center, Komsan recounted a few of the many reasons, in addition to religion, that prompt women to veil: rebellion against a less openly devout older generation; a desire to demonstrate Islamic solidarity; a desire to show oneself a good girl who would make a good wife.

Asked how many women also wore the veil in hopes of protecting against harassment, Komsan smiled. "Most," she said.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tracking the war on women in Darfur

There are more Darfur Stories in the older posts!

Boston doctors detail accounts of rape, assault

Boston.com article page player in wide format.
By James F. Smith Boston Globe Staff / May 31, 2009



On a side note: Rape is considered a weapon in Darfur. Just as they use a machine gun, a bomb, a machete, etc... they use rape! Dolly P

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

SAUDI ARABIA Malaysian woman married to Saudi sends SOS to family over "serious physical abuse at the hands of her husband"

"Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them." -- Qur'an 4:34

"Abused woman sends SOS from Saudi Arabia," from The Star, January 5 (thanks to Raja):

MIRI: A woman married to a Saudi Arabian has sent an SOS to her family in Ulu Baram, claiming she is being abused and ill-treated by her husband there.

Dorcas Imang appealed to her father Imang Ngau to highlight her plight to Malaysian and Saudi authorities and alert the Malaysian High Commission in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Imang Ngau, in his late 60s and a farmer living in a longhouse in Ulu Baram, some 200km from here, has lodged a police report here over Dorcas' situation.

According to sources, Dorcas alerted her elder sister, who is living in Sabah, via a hurriedly-made telephone call a few days ago saying she was suffering serious physical abuse at the hands of her husband.

She asked her sister to seek help from the authorities soon as she could not endure the abuse any more.

"In his report, the father said that his daughter claimed she was being locked up by her husband in their Saudi house and is being abused physically," said a source....