MUSLIM HATE FOR WOMEN
Survey finds deeply regressive views of women among large majorities of Muslim men
03 May 2017
National Secular Society
A large-scale survey of views in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine
has reported extensive anti-women views and widespread tolerance of
The three countries and Palestine were selected to be broadly representative and "to reflect the diversity of the region".
The report's authors said they wanted to "provide a more nuanced view
of men in the Middle East and North Africa" following gang rapes
committed by young Middle Eastern and North African men in Tahrir
Square and Cologne.
Unsurprisingly their data found that clear majorities of men in these
overwhelmingly Muslim-majority countries held anti-women views, and had
deeply regressive opinions about the role of women in society.
The report, produced by International Men and Gender Equality Survey
(IMAGES) found that "The majority of Egyptian men consider it their
duty to protect the honour of women and girls in their family, and
nearly three-fifths agree with honour killing in some circumstances.
More than 90 per cent of men saw male honour as directly contingent on
their female relatives' dress and behaviour".
Just 45% of Egyptian men believed there should be laws "criminalizing
domestic violence, including marital rape." And only 70% of Egyptian
women agreed with this statement.
43% of Egyptian Muslim men said they would approve of their son having
multiple wives, though just 9.5% said they would approve of their
daughter marrying a man who already had other wives.
Only 6.6% of unmarried men said they "have no problem with marrying
someone of a different religion", and a tiny 2.3% of unmarried Egyptian
women said the same.
Just 39% of Egyptian men approved of women serving as leaders of political parties, though 93% said they should be able to vote.
60% of Moroccan men said "if a woman is raped, she should marry her rapist."
62% of Moroccan men said "a woman should tolerate violence to keep the
family together", and 38% agreed "there are times when a woman deserves
to be beaten". Shockingly, 20% of Moroccan women agreed with this.
The report collected anecdotes and accounts from men and women across
the four countries surveyed, including many accounts of domestic
One young woman living in Cairo said her husband apologised for beating
her and she went back to him, and now "The beating decreased, and now
he beats me slightly if we disagree. But before, he used to beat me
'till my face and body became blue. But now things are better."
The report's authors said, "While a majority of men surveyed in the
four countries support a wide array of inequitable, traditional
attitudes; a sizable minority of men in the four countries acknowledge
and support women's equality in many aspects of public and private
Sultan rejects bill proposing equality for men, women
•Says it’s un-Islamic
28th December 2016
By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll, has rejected an equality bill being considered by the Senate.
The bill seeks equality for male and female children in the sharing of inherited family wealth or property.
It also proposes that a widow is entitled to the custody of her
children unless it is contrary to the interests and welfare of the
The bill also seeks that a widow shall have the right to remarry any
man of her choice and have the right to a fair share in the inheritance
of her late husband’s property and the right to live in her matrimonial
The Sultan, has, however said the bill is anti-Islamic and unacceptable to Muslims.
Tthe Sultan said this in Gusau at the closing of the 20th Zamfara State Annual Qur’anic Recitation competition, yesterday.
Abubakar said at the occasion that the bill is against Islam and, therefore, unacceptable to Muslims.
“Our religion is our total way of life; therefore, we will not accept any move to change what Allah permitted us to do.
“Islam is a peaceful religion; we have been living peacefully with
Christians and followers of other religions in this country. Therefore,
we should be allowed to perform our religion effectively,” he said.
He urged the Senate not to consider the bill because of its religious implications.
Calls to end Saudi male guardianship sweeping social media
By KATIE BEITER
The Jerusalem Post
Wed, 07 Sep 2016
Saudi women are not allowed to travel, marry, study, or even have surgery without permission from their guardians.
Reem, a 37-year-old Saudi nurse, who asked that her last name be
withheld, recalled when her family arranged her marriage. After
graduating from nursing school, she worked for 10 years until her
cousin approached her father asking for her hand in marriage.
“All of a sudden my father said to me, this is my nephew and you will
marry him,” Reem said. “We were complete opposites in character and I
didn’t like him, he wasn’t handsome. So, I refused, I cried, I did
everything a Saudi girl can do, but sadly, they forced me.”
“It broke my soul,” she added. After a year of being engaged, Reem
broke it off. Her parents then forced her to marry a man, who,
according to Reem, was a drug addict; so she divorced him.
“Now, I am divorced with one son. I am a nurse, but I stay with my
family. I have a good salary, but they refuse to let me live
independently. I am 37 years old and I still live with my parents,”
Stories like these are not uncommon in Saudi Arabia, a conservative,
Muslim country, where male guardianship laws still reign. These laws
require Saudi women, regardless of age, to have a male guardian,
usually a husband or a father, who makes all legal decisions for them.
The hashtag, #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen, has taken the Twitter social
networking world by storm, calling for an end to these oppressive laws.
“Basically, from when they are born to when they die, Saudi women
require male guardians, who are given legal control over their lives,”
Kristine Beckerle, a Human Rights Watch researcher recently reported.
According to Beckerle, the New York-based human rights organization
"has concluded that male guardianship is the most significant
impediment to women’s rights in Saudi Arabia today.”
Saudi women are not allowed to travel, marry, study, or even have
surgery without permission from their guardians. “If you go out against
your guardian’s will, he can go to the police and file a complaint that
you are a fugitive and the police will come after you and take you
home,” Reem added.
There is a Twitter hashtag in Arabic (#سعوديات_نطالب_باسقاط_الولاية51),
which updates the number of days the hashtag has been circulating. It
has reached 51.
“It's a unified effort by Saudi Women in attempt to voice their
struggle in the only legal way that they can in Saudi Arabia,” Isaac
Cohen, Director of the S.A.F.E. Movement, a non-profit organization
dedicated to helping Saudi women fight male guardianship, told The
Women have chosen the social media platform to raise awareness because
protest rallies are illegal and can even carry prison sentences in
Saudi Arabia. In the past, Saudi women have feared publicizing their
beliefs; however, women have now become more willing to take a stand in
the anti-guardianship campaign, according to Beckerle.
These women have gone so far as to record videos of themselves to post
on social media, articulating the horrors of the repressive laws. Aside
from the hashtags, there have been many other instances of solidarity
amongst Saudi women.
Some of which include the distribution of “I am my own guardian”
bracelets and stickers; a petition to the king, which gathered over
3,000 signatures in 24 hours; and a wall in Riyadh with the hashtag
written in graffiti.
“I am flabbergasted. The media is not free and Saudi women themselves
face many levels of difficulty. To see women take up the call and
demand their rights has been incredible,” Beckerle said.
There have been movements in the past to change laws in Saudi Arabia.
In October 2013, there was a campaign to allow women the right to
drive; however, that was unsuccessful.
However, activists hope that this campaign may be different. Because
the guardianship laws affect a number of different aspects of women’s
lives, Beckerle believes that this gives the government room to
initiate changes. Reem said that while she believes the government is
gradually making necessary changes, she does not believe that there
will ever be complete elimination of male guardianship laws.
“Un-Islamic” for women to seek divorce without husband’s permission
By Qaiser Butt
Published: February 18, 2016
The Express Tribune, Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has declared it
un-Islamic for courts to use ‘Khula’ (right of a woman to seek divorce)
without the consent of a husband to dissolve a marriage.
The powerful religious body observed on Thursday that courts were
dissolving nikkahs in the name of ‘Khula’, which is not correct since
only the husband has the right to grant Khula after which courts can
dissolve marriage contracts.
Urging civil courts to differentiate between ‘Khula’ and a unilateral
dissolution of marriage through a court order, the CII said several
women who had dissolved their marriages using ‘Khula’ were still not
certain if their marriage had actually been dissolved.
“While Shariah has explicitly defined the framework and procedure for
Khula, it has not been defined in the country’s existing marriage
laws,” the CII observed.
Therefore, a civil court decreeing dissolution of marriage on a wife’s
plea without her husband’s consent, under the name of Khula, would be
in violation of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, the council observed.
The council also observed that denying a husband the right to appeal
against such a ‘unilateral’ court decision would also be unjust as per
According to a majority of ulemas, a wife has to forfeit her financial
rights when ‘Khula’ is used to dissolve a marriage. However, the two
can reach an agreement outside the law if a mutual understanding is
As per the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act passed in 1939, “Judicial
khula is allowed to be authorised without the husband’s consent if the
wife has agreed to forfeit her financial rights. Marriage is not
considered a sacrament among Muslims but rather a civil contract with
spiritual and moral undertones.”
“Therefore, legally, the marriage can be dissolved for a good cause.
The wife has the right to dissolve a marriage on grounds of Khula if
she decides she cannot live with her husband [any longer].”
Sunni leader says 'women only fit to deliver children'; calls gender equality 'un-Islamic'
Saturday, 28 November 2015
leader Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliar, the chief of All India Sunni
Jamiyyathul Ulama, said women have no mental strength and the power to
control the universe, "which lies in the hands of men."
a controversial remark, Sunni leader Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliar
on Saturday described as "un-Islamic" the concept of gender equality
and said that women could never equal men as "they are fit only to
Musliar, the chief of All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, said women
have no mental strength and the power to control the universe, "which
lies in the hands of men.""
Gender equality is something which is never going to be a reality. It
is against Islam, humanity and was intellectually wrong," he said while
speaking at a camp of Muslim Students Federation (MSF) in Kozhikode."
Women can never equal men. They are fit only to deliver children. Women
cannot withstand crisis situations," he said. He wondered if there was
even a single woman among thousands of cardiac surgeons.
The 76-year-old Islamic scholar's remarks against reservation for women in elections had set off another controversy recently.
He had said 50% reservation of seats for women in civic polls was "too
high" but retracted the statement later when it became controversial.
to the ongoing debates over allowing girls and boys to share seats in
colleges, Musliar said it was "part of a calculated move to destroy
Islam and culture."
He also rubbished recent allegations regarding sexual exploitations at
Madrasas and asked those who raised allegations to bring evidence to
A controversy had erupted recently after a woman journalist wrote an
account on her Facebook wall about the alleged sexual abuse of young
boys and girls in Madrasas.
Saudi housewife could be put behind bars for posting online video of her cheating husband
Footage exposing partner as he tried to kiss maid could count as "defamation", lawyers warn
By Colin Freeman
08 Oct 2015
Saudi woman who posted footage online of her husband assaulting a
family maid has been warned that she may face jail for "defamation".
housewife used her mobile phone to secretly film her partner as he made
advances to a female servant in the kitchen of the family home.
video shows a man, dressed in traditional white robes of a Saudi male,
apparently trying to kiss the maid as she attempts to pull away from
The wife uploaded the footage to YouTube, alongside the caption "the minimal punishment for this husband is to scandalise him".
footage drew widespread support for the unnamed housewife, but Saudi
legal experts have warned that it could be the wife who ends up in jail.
faces up to one year in prison or a fine of SR500,000 (£87,214) for
defaming her husband in line with the law on information technology
crimes," Majid Qaroob, a lawyer in the ultraconservative kingdom, told
a local newspaper.
law includes stiff punishment for anyone using mobile phones with
camera or other equipment to photograph others and defame them."
encounter takes places in full view of another woman, also believed to
be a houseservant, who is also seen walking around the kitchen.
a country where women are still not allowed to drive, and must seek
permission from a male next of kin to travel or get a job, the
housewife's actions have received warm applause from other women.
case has also highlighted the plight of house servants, usually migrant
workers who have little in the way of employment rights.
salute you warmly for your valiant courage,” said Al Yamama, a blogger,
in remarks reported by Gulf News. “You did the best thing because there
was an urgent need for revenge and your revenge is the best."
‘Gang-rape victim’ faces public caning in Indonesia
May 6, 2014
ACEH A woman allegedly gang-raped in Indonesia’s Aceh as a punishment
for sleeping with a married man may still be caned for the affair under
the province’s Islamic laws, an official said on Tuesday.
A group of eight men allegedly carried out the sex assault last week on
the 25-year-old widow at her house in Langsa in East Aceh district, and
also beat up the man with whom she is accused of having an affair.
After the attack, which also saw the couple doused with sewage, the
pair were handed over to Islamic sharia law officials.
Ibrahim Latif, head of Langsa’s Islamic sharia law office, said both
the man, 40, and woman still face up to nine lashes of the cane in
public over the affair.
“We want the couple to be caned for violating sharia law on adultery,” he said.
He added that the rapists “will also be brought to justice”.
Police have arrested three suspected rapists including a 13-year old boy, while the five others are still on the run.
Teungku Faisal Ali, the head of the NU’s Aceh chapter, told the Jakarta
Globe that “the punishment for the mob that raped the victim must be
much harsher because they have set back efforts to uphold Shariah in
He also urged residents to leave Shariah enforcement up to the WH and not enforce the regulations themselves.
“If anyone sees any violation of Shariah, they must report it to the
Shariah police, in accordance with the prevailing standards and
procedures,” Faisal said.
He also bemoaned what he called the increasing prevalence of mob
violence in Aceh, particularly against those accused of Shariah
A 20-year-old university student was raped by three Shariah police
officers in Langsa in January 2010 after being caught riding on a
motorcycle with her boyfriend.
The town’s Shariah police chief, Syahril, was subsequently fired and
two of the perpetrators were later sentenced to serve eight years in
prison each. The third perpetrator has not been caught.
Conservative Afghan lawmakers block legislation protecting women’s rights
By Associated Press, Published: May 18, 2013
Afghanistan — Conservative religious lawmakers in Afghanistan blocked
legislation on Saturday aimed at strengthening provisions for women’s
freedoms, arguing that parts of it violate Islamic principles and
fierce opposition highlights how tenuous women’s rights remain a dozen
years after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime, whose strict
interpretation of Islam once kept Afghan women virtual prisoners in
Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a conservative lawmaker for Herat province,
said the legislation was withdrawn shortly after being introduced in
parliament because of an uproar by religious parties who said parts of
the law are un-Islamic.
“Whatever is against Islamic law, we don’t even need to speak about it,” Shaheedzada said.
Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women has been in effect since
2009, but only by presidential decree. It is being brought before
parliament now because lawmaker Fawzia Kofi, a women’s rights activist,
wants to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its potential
reversal by any future president who might be tempted to repeal it to
satisfy hard-line religious parties.
law criminalizes, among other things, child marriage and forced
marriage, and bans “baad,” the traditional practice of exchanging girls
and women to settle disputes. It makes domestic violence a crime
punishable by up to three years in prison and specifies that rape
victims should not face criminal charges for fornication or adultery.
who plans to run for president in next year’s elections, said she was
disappointed because among those who oppose upgrading the law from
presidential decree to legislation passed by parliament are women.
parliament has more than 60 female lawmakers, mostly due to
constitutional provisions reserving certain seats for women.
has been spotty enforcement of the law as it stands. A United Nations
analysis in late 2011 found only a small percentage of reported crimes
against women were pursued by the Afghan government. Between March 2010
and March 2011 — the first full Afghan year the decree was in effect —
prosecutors filed criminal charges in only 155 cases, or 7 percent of
the total number of crimes reported.
child marriage ban and the idea of protecting female rape victims from
prosecution were particularly heated subjects in Saturday’s
parliamentary debate, said Nasirullah Sadiqizada Neli, a conservative
lawmaker from Daykundi province.
suggested that removing the custom — common in Afghanistan — of
prosecuting raped women for adultery would lead to social chaos, with
women freely engaging in extramarital sex safe in the knowledge they
could claim rape if caught.
Another lawmaker, Mandavi Abdul Rahmani of Barlkh province, also opposed the law’s rape provision.
“Adultery itself is a crime in Islam, whether it is by force or not,” Rahmani said.
said the Quran also makes clear that a husband has a right to beat a
disobedient wife as a last resort, as long as she is not permanently
harmed. “But in this law,” he said, “It says if a man beats his wife at
all, he should be jailed for three months to three years.”
Sexual violence rises in Egypt's Tahrir
Increasing number of women fall victim to gang assaults in square that was at the centre of last year's revolution.
Sally El-Sabbahy Last Modified: 05 Jul 2012
Egypt - Nearly a year and a half after Lara Logan was sexually
assaulted by a mob of men in Tahrir Square, women have increasingly
been coming forward with disturbing personal testimonies of similar
Smith, a British journalism student who was in Cairo on a research
internship, recently lit up the social media sphere with a detailed
blog account of an attack she suffered in Tahrir.
posting recounts how a horde of men encircled and quickly overpowered
Smith, who was accompanied by two male friends, on the outskirts of the
Square on June 24.
of men pulled my limbs apart and threw me around. They were scratching
and clenching my breasts and forcing their fingers inside me in every
possible way," she wrote. "Although a few men tried to form a human
shield around me, offering me rags to cover my bruised body, men were
still able to touch me. There were just too many."
being hidden in a tent, Smith only escaped her attackers by donning a
niqab and being smuggled out of Tahrir by a man who ordered her not to
cry for fear it would alert her assailants to her identity.
another account, an anonymous victim, who called herself "C", was also
subjected to a vicious gang assault in Tahrir on June 2 after being
separated from her group of friends.
I knew it, I was thrown up against a wall where a motorcycle was
parked," she recalled in her testimony to the Egyptian centre, Nazra
for Feminist Studies, a feminist organisation that has been seeking to
record as many of these incidents as possible. "I was standing on top
of the bike while my friend and a few other men tried to make a half
circle to protect me. But there were more men trying to hurt me than
protect me and I was grabbed all over and my pants and shirt were
being dragged into the foyer of a nearby apartment building, "C" was
continuously violated until she was finally rescued by a group of men
that hid her with a family living in one of the flats. Much like Logan
and Smith, the men attacking her not only forced their fingers into her
body repeatedly, but also brutally beat her throughout the attack.
A surge in violence
The month of June ushered in a series of startlingly volatile sexual assault cases across Tahrir.
In addition to recorded individual attacks like those above, an
attempted women's rally scheduled to take place in the Square on June 8
ended in terrorwhen the women participating in the demonstration were
beaten and violently groped, despite having male companions form a
human chain around them for protection.
While these are not the first such incidents - the women demonstrating
in commemoration of International Woman's Day in Tahrir on March 8,
2011 were also groped and attacked until the intervention of an army
soldier - private organisations like Nazra are saying that June
witnessed a sudden and alarming increase in their frequency.
Abd El Hameed, a researcher for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal
Rights (EIPR), confirmed a noticeable increase in the violence.
sexual assault was also a case in the first days of the revolution, it
was less obvious and less harsh and wasn't committed by gangs… what's
remarkable about these [incidents] is that they are [all] gangs," she
explained. "There was the incident of Lara Logan and a couple others,
but other than that it was primarily harassment in the frontlines in
places like Mohamed Mahmoud Street where the violence was highest."
to Abd El Hameed, one possible cause for the rise in violence is the
general increase in violence throughout the country since January 2011.
"The process of militarisation that the country is undergoing now is
creating a parallel culture of normalised violence," she said. "In
areas where there is conflict or transition or clashes, there is always
violence against women."
high-ranking police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity,
also linked the increase in sexual violence to "the overall instability
in the country and the lack of law enforcement".
added that it was especially true in Tahrir, where "the police are as
helpless as anyone else. They fear the crowd would turn on them."
In spite of growing sexual violence in the Square, it is unclear how - or if - these cases are being investigated.
anonymous police officer explained that daily reports containing all of
the crimes registered in police stations throughout Cairo are sent on a
daily basis to the Office of the Commissioner of the Police in the
city's Bab el Khalk district.
reports are then supposed to be reviewed by the commissioner, but when
asked about how the department follows up, the officer replied, "[only]
God knows what happens".
addition, the official also revealed his suspicion that officers omit
some incidents from the reports to give the impression that they are
managing crime effectively, and sometimes discourage sexual assault
victims to file cases by "mentioning how shameful the whole process
will be for the victims' families".
report published in 2008 by the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights
(ECWR), only 2.4 per cent of Egyptian women and 7.5 per cent of foreign
women in Egypt victimised by sexual violence said they reported the
incident to the police.
the reasons they gave were the beliefs that the police would be
ineffective, or that filing a report could negatively impact their
sense of frustration and helplessness about the sexual violence in
Tahrir has become increasingly evident across social media platforms,
which have been set ablaze with the subject since the beginning of June.
One of the organisers of the doomed demonstration on June 8 and a
popular figure in the local women's rights movement, @sallyzohney,
tweeted that same day: "Stop calling it harassment, a march of over 100
was attacked in #tahrir and no one gives a [expletive]. I'm sick to my
stomach. It's assault. #EndSH."
popular Egyptian activist, @NoorNoor1, tweeted on June 26 that Smith's
account "nearly brought me to tears", also ending his tweet with
hashtag #EndSH stands for "End Sexual Harassment"; its recent
predominant use in the Egyptian twitter scene is a strong indication of
how much attention the violence has drawn in social media outlets.
But amidst online outrage, twitter has also showcased varying degrees of denial among the Egyptian twitter community.
a friend of "C" who was also assaulted on June 2, angrily tweeted: "I'm
getting disgusted by tweeps who don't find @natasha_journo story
credible becuz no1 else tweeted about it."
Despite the escalating violence, Abd El Hameed said that women should not stop protesting in Tahrir.
right to protest and to peaceful assembly is ensured for every person,
this is what any person is entitled to any place in the world. [We]
don't have the agency to tell women to go or not to go to a certain
place," she said. "What we should call for is that women must have the
right to participate safely."
Chiao, the Founder of HarassMap.org, differed on this point, saying
"that the solution lies in society rather than in government. We waited
years for the government to pass a [sexual violence/harassment] law.
They passed one in March/April 2011, and nothing changed."
think we need to go back to community pride in the safety and dignity
of our streets, and I think the way to do this is to ask everyone to
stop ignoring or giving excuses and tell [offenders] to stop," she
the attack on Smith, Ikhwanweb, the official English language website
of the Muslim Brotherhood, posted a message from MP Azza al-Garf, who
condemned the incident and called for the enforcement of law.
it still remains to be seen if the Brotherhood's former party chairman
and Egypt's newly appointed head of state, Mohamed Morsi, will make
sexual violence against women in Tahrir and the rest of the country a
priority on his domestic agenda.
If last month was any indication of what is to come, Morsi should be acting fast.
Cairo mob brutally
assaulted CBS reporter Lara Logan
Michael Winter, USA TODAY
Feb 15, 2011
A mob in Tahrir Square
brutally beat and sexually assaulted CBS News' chief foreign correspondent, Lara
Logan, who was covering Friday's celebration of the departure of former
president Hosni Mubarak, the
says. She is in a U.S. hospital recovering.
CBS says Logan, who was
60 Minutes, was surrounded by more than 200
people "whipped into frenzy." She then became separated from her TV crew and
security and then suffered a "brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating."
She was saved by a group of women and about 20 Egyptian soldiers, and
reconnected with her colleagues CBS says. Saturday she flew back to the United
States and is now in a hospital. The network said it would have no further
The Washington Post notes that 39-year-old
Logan, who joined CBS in 2002, is the mother of two young children. She met her
husband, Joe Burkett, a defense contractor, in Baghdad while covering the war.
The attack highlights
the risks female journalists face,
The Atlantic's Garance Franke-Ruta writes.
Most mainstream American
news outlets have a policy of not naming the survivors of sexual assault and it
is hard to imagine that CBS would have issued this statement, which landed like
a thunderbolt in the close-knit media world, without Logan's permission. That
makes her one very brave woman, as news of the attack ricocheted across Twitter
and newspapers with lightning speed.
Islam: A Religion Custom Made For Men
26 Dec 2010
Muslims, by belief and practice, are
the most blatant violators of human rights. We hardly need to detail
here Muslims’ systemic cruel treatment of the unbelievers, women of all
persuasions, and any and all minorities across the board. To Muslims,
human rights have a different meaning, and its protective provisions
are reserved strictly for Muslims—primarily for Muslim men. Just a
couple of examples should suffice for now.
Oppression of women, for one, is so
systemic in Islam that to this day women are, at best, second-class
citizens under Islamic law. Saudi Arabia, the custodian of Islamdom,
denies women the right to drive, vote or hold elective offices—the most
basic rights of citizens in democratic societies. Arabs and Muslims are
masters of double-acts. They do all things in private, yet the public
display of morality, decorum, and even piety is something you wear as
you would your Keffiyeh even under the sizzling sun.
In model Islamic states such as Saudi
Arabia and Iran, for instance, women do not dare complain about their
Allah-decreed chattel status. If they protest in the least, they are
beaten by their husbands. And if they dare to demonstrate in public for
equal family rights with men, they get severe beatings by the police
and are hauled to jails for additional indignities and violence.
One may wonder then why is it that
millions of Muslim women meekly submit to their subservient rank and
thank Allah for it. These women are virtually imprinted by their
parents and the clergy from birth to adopt the gender inequality as
well as the entire pathological Islamic ethos.
Islam can be a “forgiving” religion,
specifically for the male. If you neglect to say your prayers or you
simply don’t want to, you can hire someone, preferably an imam or a
mullah, to pray on your behalf. Going to the Hajj is too onerous and
takes you away from the pleasures and comforts of your life? You can
deputize someone else to go in your stead. You have a few drinks of the
forbidden brew and it is time to say your prayer? Simply rinse your
mouth and go ahead with praying. But, always remember the will of Allah
and serve him. Do your duties to vanquish the unbelievers, promote the
rule of the Sharia, and make the earth Allah’s.
In Islamic societies, freedom of
expression, worship, and assembly are taken away. Women are indeed
treated as chattel. Young girls are subjected to barbaric genital
mutilation to make them sex slaves and birth channels without the
ability to enjoy intercourse. Minors are executed, adulterers are
stoned to death, thieves have their limbs amputated, and much much
more. Isn’t that everyone’s idea of paradise?
Women, by the very nature of their
second-class status expressly stipulated in the Quran, are occasionally
allowed a token high position in government, while non-Muslim minority
citizens are virtually barred from securing any positions at all.
“Men have authority over women
because Allah has made the one superior to the others and because they
spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They
guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those
from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds
apart and beat them. Then if they obey you take no further action
against them. Allah is high, supreme.” Quran 4.34
This misogynist religion of Allah is
custom-made for the savage male. A faithful follower of Allah is
allowed to have as many as four permanent wives-and replace any of them
at any time he wants-as well as an unlimited number of one night or
one-hour-stands that he can afford to rent. But, woe unto a woman if
she even has a single love affair with another man. Nothing less than
death by stoning is her just punishment.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran and
under the Islamic Sharia that became the unofficial law of the land, a
religiously sanctioned ceremony immediately filled the void. Many
mosques provided the service of Seeghe—temporary marriages—. Women
interested or forced by circumstances beyond their control to seek this
type of ‘marriage’ would register with a local Mullah. Men seeking a
temporary wife would contact the Mullah and specify what kind of woman
they desired and for how long. Depending on the marketability of the
candidate woman, a fee is levied on the man and the Mullah pronounces
them husband and wife for a stipulated duration. Once the patron
satisfies his urges, the same Mullah simply annuls the marriage. Viola.
No problems. The pair parts company and the Mullah, a replacement for
the former pimp or madam, pockets his fee.
Thanks to Western technology, the
Seeghe business has also joined the 21st century world. In some of the
bigger cities and Tehran, a man can pick up a woman and call in for a
Seeghe authorization which is granted over the phone and the fee is
charged to the patron’s credit card. Islam is a custom-made religion
for men. Well, as long as men rule and the rule serves them, the
horrific plight of women plays out. It is a great deal for men.
What is incredible is the gall and
audacity of Muslims in demanding that Western and other democracies
legalize Sharia in their societies. Due to large populations of
Muslims, mostly recent arrivals, in countries such as Canada, Great
Britain, and Sweden, these countries are experiencing the insistent
demands by Muslims to have Sharia rule their Islamic communities. This
is just the beginning and it may seem relatively harmless to the
simpletons in our midst. Yet, once Sharia is recognized to any extent,
it will reach out to rule not only on matters that concern Muslims, but
also those that may involve a Muslim and non-Muslim. Under Sharia, a
Muslim man married to a non-Muslim woman is able to divorce the woman
at will, automatically have custody of the children, and literally toss
the wife out of “his” home with practically no compensation.
“Death to the Islamic Republic, Stop
stoning women, Death to the Criminal Mullahs and Democracy for Iran,
are the banners read almost routinely in most European countries by the
Iranian ex-patriot sympathizers condemning the Islamic Republic’s
brutality against women. They demand equal rights and treatments for
the largest oppressed minority in the world.
As the world turns, we become
convinced that the Islamic system is custom-made for men, by men and
for the pleasure of men. And the men in power, the clergy, the prime
beneficiary of the system, do not intend to voluntarily relinquish
their privileged status.
There is a hope that Muslims
themselves may leave this Bedouin slaveholder religion. Yet, the hope
is slim. Islam has a stranglehold on its slaves and will neither let
them go, nor do the Muslims seem to have the insight or the will to
leave it in large numbers. But hope, as slim as it is, keeps me
sounding the alarm before the fire of Islam engulfs us all.
Imani is the author of the riveting book “Obama Meets Ahmadinejad”.
Court in UAE says
beating wife, child OK if no marks are left
October 19, 2010
(CNN) -- A court in the United Arab Emirates
says a man is permitted under Islamic law to physically discipline his wife and
children as long as he leaves no marks and has tried other methods of
punishment, the country's top court ruled.
The ruling came in the case of a man who slapped
his wife and slapped and kicked his 23-year-old daughter, the document said.
The daughter had bruises on her right hand and
right knee and the wife had injuries to her lower lip and teeth, the ruling
The court ruled that a man has the right to
punish his wife and children. That includes beating them, after he has tried
other options, such as admonition and then abstaining from sleeping with his
However, the court ruled that in this case the
man exceeded his authority under sharia, or Islamic law. His wife was beaten too
severely and his daughter was too old to be disciplined, the ruling said.
"Although the [law] permits the husband to use
his right [to discipline], he has to abide by the limits of this right," wrote
Chief Justice Falah al Hajeri in a ruling issued this month and released in a
court document recently. It was reported in the English-language publication The
"If the husband abuses this right to discipline,
he cannot be exempted from punishment," according to the ruling.
Several experts said it is against Islamic law
to permit wife-beating.
Jihad Hashim Brown -- the head of research at
Tabah Foundation, which specializes in the interpretation of Islamic law --
couldn't comment specifically on what the courts did and didn't say because he
hadn't read the ruling.
However, he said he feels confident that the UAE
court didn't sanction injury or abuse. He said sharia law is complex and has
been open to interpretation.
But he argued that in Islamic law it is
"absolutely unlawful" to abuse a wife, injure her, or insult her dignity.
"When a situation in a marriage reaches the
point where people feel like they need to hit someone, that is time for divorce.
Anyone who would abuse, injure or even insult the dignity of their wife, this
has now become a criminal offense which can be prosecuted in a court of law."
Canadian-Egyptian scholar Dr. Jamal Badawi, who
has written about this topic, said "wife beating is not allowed in Islam" and
said the Quranic verses and sayings back "the prohibition of any type of wife
beating," especially on the face.
Summer Hathout, a lawyer and an activist for
women's rights in California, argued that the UAE rulings are based on
maintaning a patriarchal elite power structure.
"To those of us who know Islam and the Quran,
violence against women is so antithetical to the teachings of Islam," she said.
Iran stoning woman 'tortured' to confess on TV
August 13, 2010
LONDON — A lawyer for an Iranian
woman sentenced to death by stoning in the Islamic republic told a
British newspaper she was tortured before confessing on state
television to involvement in her husband's murder.
Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani's lawyer
told The Guardian newspaper on Thursday that his client, a 43-year-old
mother of two, was forced to give the interview, recorded in Tabriz
prison where she has been held for the past four years.
"She was severely beaten up and
tortured until she accepted to appear in front of camera," lawyer
Houtan Kian said on the newspaper's website.
The lawyer said he feared the Iranian
authorities would act quickly to carry out the death sentence, which
was reportedly commuted to hanging after an international outcry
against her sentencing last month.
The Guardian gave no details of where the lawyer was speaking.
Another of her lawyers, Mohammad
Mostafaie, fled Iran this month and is now in Norway after Iranian
officials issued an arrest warrant for him and detained his wife.
He said Thursday that the television
programme Mohammadi-Ashtiani had appeared on was designed to "justify
the actions of those who abuse their power".
"In my opinion this programme is
produced by the security apparatus, particularly the ministry of
information. They broadcast mostly lies and misinformation," Mostafaie
told BBC television.
"I know that she said those things under duress."
The sentence against
Mohammadi-Ashtiani was initially for "having an illicit relationship
outside marriage," which drew condemnation from many countries.
But in the interview broadcast on
state television, she said that a man with whom she was acquainted had
offered to kill her husband and she let him carry out the crime.
In a separate interview with The
Guardian last week, she said she had been acquitted of murder, "but the
man who actually killed my husband was identified and imprisoned but he
is not sentenced to death."
The television interview of the woman
in Muslim face-covering was aired on Wednesday during a political
broadcast condemning Western "propaganda" over her case as part of
pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.
The chief justice of East Azerbaijan
province, where the alleged murder took place in 2006, told the TV show
that Mohammadi-Ashtiani injected her husband with a substance that made
him unconscious before the killer electrocuted him.
Iranian officials have maintained the
death sentence was for murder, although initial reports said she was
acquitted of that charge and convicted for "having an illicit
relationship outside marriage."
The stoning sentence has been temporarily suspended by Iranian judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani.
Iran's ambassador to Brazil said
meanwhile that Mohammadi-Ashtiani would not be transferred to the South
American country, which had offered her asylum.
"We have not received any official
demand or offer that this woman be transferred to Brazil. There is no
written document or exchange of (diplomatic) notes," Moshen Shaterzadeh
told Agencia Brasil news service.
The British foreign ministry said it
was "appalled" by the televised confession and "deeply concerned by her
lawyer's claim that the confession was a result of torture."
Amnesty International criticised both the television interview and the Iranian authorities.
"Televised 'confessions' have
repeatedly been used by the authorities to incriminate individuals in
custody. Many have later retracted these 'confessions,' stating they
were coerced to make them," it said in a statement.
"Statements made in such televised
exchanges should have no bearing on Iran's legal system, or the call to
review her case. This latest video shows nothing more than the lack of
evidence against Sakineh Ashtiani."
The Guardian reported Friday that
Iran was quietly changing the sentences of Iranians awaiting death by
stoning to hanging in the wake of the international outcry.
Mariam Ghorbanzadeh, 25, was
initially sentenced to death by stoning for adultery but her sentence
has been commuted to hanging, said the paper, citing her lawyer Kian,
who also represents Mohammadi-Ashtiani.
Palestinian says women's rights forgotten in Gaza
Naila Ayesh says political and economic upheaval in the territory has
forced women to give priority to more immediate needs, such as finding
work and providing for their families.
By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
June 27, 2010
Reporting from Ramallah, West Bank —
Naila Ayesh's path to becoming a
Muslim activist for women's rights began when she miscarried in an
Israeli detention center in 1987 after being arrested for belonging to
a Palestinian student union.
Today Ayesh, 49, founder of the Gaza
Strip-based Women's Affairs Center, has become one of the only feminist
voices in the seaside territory that was seized three years ago by
Hamas, an armed Palestinian group that aspires to impose Islamic law.
Besides being married to Jamal
Zakout, a top advisor to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of the Fatah-led
Palestinian Authority — Hamas' political rival that rules the West Bank
— Ayesh also raises eyebrows in Gaza as she moves in public without
covering her head and sometimes even partakes of a shisha water pipe.
Speaking to The Times during a trip
to Ramallah, Ayesh said women's rights had been forgotten amid Gaza's
political and economic upheaval.
Q: Can you be a feminist in Gaza today?
A: We try. Things in Gaza now are not
like before, when there were some openings to express different ideas
and to have more freedom. Hamas controls everything, and they know
everything that is going on. The situation in Gaza may look normal, but
it's not the real picture. Now, even speaking to journalists makes us a
Q: What has been Hamas' approach toward women's issues since it took over three years ago?
A: The social agenda was always very
important to Hamas, but they have not been very public or formal about
[imposing] it. There is no official statement, for example, that women
must cover their heads. But people know that's what Hamas wants. So I
can walk freely on the streets, like this, without a cover. But often I
use taxis whenever I can.
Covering is not something that is
new, by the way. Since the first intifada [in 1987-1993], Hamas has
pushed women to cover because they said they didn't want Israeli
soldiers to see Palestinian women without cover. So even back then,
women who didn't believe in it started covering. I was threatened
several times by people saying they would throw acid at me if I didn't
cover. Gaza society has always been perceived as a little more
traditional and conservative, even before Hamas took over.
Q: But haven't we seen cases recently
of uncovered women being harassed at the beach, being banned from
riding motorcycles, female attorneys having to cover in courtrooms and
men being prohibited from working in beauty salons? Hamas recently even
put up posters in which a woman wearing pants is labeled "satanic."
A: These are individual cases, to
tell the truth. It's not a widespread phenomenon. Hamas doesn't want to
raise this issue in the society right now because they know they will
lose. They are very eager to have good relations with Europe and the
West. So they don't want to touch this issue.
But sometimes they will put their
ideas out there. For example, they will push elementary school girls to
cover their head. Then, after women's rights groups voice concerns,
they back off. So it's not an official decision, really. They put
things out there, and then ease off.
But the result is the same. Even if
people don't really believe in the agenda of Hamas, they comply. They
get the message without being forced. So even though women are not
technically required to cover their heads in court, female judges are
now doing it.
Q: Violence against women in Gaza is
rising. In one recent study, 52% of women reported physical violence
and 14% said they were victims of sexual violence. Honor killings are
also rising. What's driving this?
A: In the current environment in
Gaza, it's not surprising to see an increase in violence, especially
after three years of [Israeli-imposed border restrictions] and
following the Israeli war on Gaza [in the winter of 2008-09]. Violence
is related to poverty, which is at about 80%, according to a
Palestinian Human Rights Center study in 2008. Unemployment rates have
reached unprecedented levels. Unemployed men spend their time at home
without doing anything, and they take all this pressure, frustration
and despair out on their wives and children.
Gaza has very few entertainment
venues, if at all. No cinemas, no clubs, no parks, and therefore
mosques became the main place where people meet, socialize and even
conduct activities such as collecting donations and so on. People do
not go to mosques just for praying. And, of course, in the mosque they
hear traditional views about the role of women. It's a kind of
It's not just the men. Women are also
going more to the mosque. They didn't go so much before. But now they
go mainly to find support, such as money or food. Men might be able to
prevent them from going to one of our workshops about raising
awareness, but they can't stop women from going to the mosque.
Q: What sort of effect has that had on women and on your work?
A: It's made our work more difficult.
Our purpose is to empower women's status and involvement in the
Palestinian society, through raising awareness and advocating for human
rights and women's rights. We focus on ordinary women from different
But now sometimes we encounter
resistance from women, who are becoming more aware about religious
matters, and when we discuss women's rights they usually debate it from
a religious point of view.
To give you an example, if we
advocate that a man should have only one wife, women might debate that
religion allows for four, and that the prophet had more than one wife.
If we speak against underage marriage, women might note that one of the
prophet's wives is claimed to have been underage when he married her.
Some will even defend violence [against women] in the household.
Q: It sounds as if women's issues are not a priority to many in Gaza right now.
A: People are worried about the
central needs. Ask people now about their priority, and they will say
food and work. They don't care about politics right now. A lot of other
issues are more important to women now than women's rights.
Q: How have women been affected by the economic collapse?
A: Women represent less than 11% of
the working force in Gaza. Due to the failure of the political process
to change their reality, and the very difficult economic situation and
the increasing unemployment rate among men, women became responsible
for providing for their families through seeking support from
humanitarian agencies. This became the main purpose in their lives
rather than their rights as women or political participation. Women are
trying to find support wherever they can.
In our center, we try to find work
for 250 women each year through our job-creation projects. But it's a
small number. It's the responsibility of international donors and other
aid groups to not just provide money and food, but work on the
long-term development of the society.
Because of this deterioration in the
socioeconomic situation, there have been some cases of women who
provided sexual services for men in return for money. Even married
women. Even young women. It's not a lot of cases, but it's there.
Even Hamas is concerned now. Before
they opposed us when we tried to open a shelter for women. They thought
it would encourage bad behavior of women. Now they have a number of
cases in which it would be dangerous to send a woman back to her family
[after a case of perceived sexual misconduct]. They can arrest the man,
but what do you do with the woman? The family might kill her. Last
year, there were more than 14 honor killings [in which male family
members killed a female family member who was perceived as bringing
shame to the family].
Q: What have been some of the biggest effects on women in Gaza during the last three years?
A: In cases where wives have lost
their husbands in the conflict, we are seeing the husband's brother
marrying the widow. If the woman doesn't agree, she is thrown out of
the house and the children are taken. She's just a piece of furniture.
There is another phenomenon now,
which is the collective weddings. We think they are humiliating. Hamas
is arranging for hundreds of men to marry at the same time, paying for
the wedding and giving the men money to encourage them to marry widows.
Thousands have been married like this, and who knows how many of these
marriages will last?
Also, families have been divided by
the political split between Hamas and Fatah. If a woman's father is
Fatah and she's married someone from Hamas, the woman might be
prevented from visiting her family.
Q: Are there any female leaders within Hamas?
A: Women are represented in Hamas as
… members of the party. However, from our experience they have no
influence and thus they are not decision-makers.
Pakistan edges closer to banning domestic violence
By NAHAL TOOSI (AP)
April 8, 2010
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — For seven
years, her husband taunted, threatened and thrashed her, she says.
After she filed for divorce, he struck again, throwing enough acid on
her face to destroy her left eye.
Why didn't she leave sooner? Or turn
to the police for help? Zakia Perveen's scarred lips are quick to
explain: She would have become a pariah in her conservative Pakistani
town of Jhelum.
"People don't appreciate women who go to police stations," the 38-year-old says. "I just thought it was my destiny, my fate."
Rights advocates hope a proposed law
banning domestic violence will chip away at such attitudes, giving
women a more even playing field and bringing Pakistan in line with a
growing number of developing nations that have outlawed spousal abuse.
But Islamist lawmakers in Parliament are objecting, claiming the law could tear apart the social fabric by undermining families.
Violence against women is a
widespread phenomenon in Pakistan, a Muslim-majority nation of 175
million where most people are poor, only half the adults can read and
extremist ideologies, including the Taliban's, are gaining traction.
In 2008, there were at least 7,571
incidents of acid attacks, rapes, spousal beatings and other violence
against women, according to The Aurat Foundation, a women's rights
group. Because the group relied mostly on media reports, the figure is
likely a vast undercount.
Other surveys have shown up to 80
percent of wives in rural parts of Pakistan fear physical violence from
their husbands, while 50 percent of women in urban areas admit their
husbands beat them, according to a 2009 U.S. State Department report on
"It happens even in good families —
wealthier families," says Yasmeen Rehman, the sponsor of the bill now
stuck in a committee in Parliament. "In the rural areas, it's almost
like a habit for the men."
The bill lays out a broad definition
of domestic violence beyond assault, including emotional abuse,
stalking and wrongful confinement. Depriving a spouse of money or other
resources needed to survive is also considered a violation.
The bill strives to cover everyone in
a household, including elderly parents, children and husbands. It also
sets up local "protection committees," which are required to include
women and empowered to file complaints on behalf of victims.
Abusers can face months or years in
prison and thousands of dollars in fines if they violate court
protection orders, the bill says.
Under current Pakistani law, women
could turn to anti-assault statutes, but unless they are severely
beaten, such claims are hard to prove, activists say. Police are rarely
willing to interfere in domestic matters and often don't take women
Most women are unwilling to report on
a family member, especially if he's the breadwinner, and they give in
to societal pressure to just put up with the abuse.
It's one of the many paradoxes in a
country that has tried to blend Islamic strictures with a more secular
legal tradition inherited from the British, a place where a woman has
served as prime minister and yet militants regularly torch girls'
"Laws are very good, but unless and
until you change the mindset of the people, things won't change," said
Nayyar Shabana Kiyani, who has worked on the legislation as part of the
The Aurat Foundation.
One person these women are working hard to persuade is a leading Islamist lawmaker, Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani.
In a lengthy interview with The
Associated Press, Sherani insisted domestic violence was not a big
problem in Pakistan until advocacy groups appeared and created the
"issue" of women's rights.
Because of this, he explained, women
became "contenders" to men in the public realm, and were no longer
content in the home. The new law led to more divorce and disrupted
family life by allowing police and other authorities to interfere, he
"We oppose this law because it is not
the solution — rather it is a possible cause of more chaos in society,"
he said. The solution, he suggested, was striving for a truer Islamic
Pakistan is behind many other countries when it comes to banning domestic violence.
Among the growing number of
developing nations that have passed laws against domestic violence are
Bangladesh, Indonesia and India, all of which have majority or
substantial Muslim populations.
Zakia Perveen is supportive of the
bill, even though no law will restore her face to what it once was.
With her husband on trial following the acid attack last year, Perveen
says she's focusing on her children.
"I will teach my son to look after
his wife when he gets married," she said. "God forbid if something
happens to my daughters. I will tell them not to conceal the facts."
Uzbek filmmaker convicted of slander
By MANSUR MIROVALEV (AP)
February 10, 2010
MOSCOW — An Uzbek film director was
convicted of slander on Wednesday for making a documentary on wedding
rituals in the authoritarian ex-Soviet state, but released on amnesty,
the artist and her lawyer said.
Umida Akhmedova said the court in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, found her guilty of slander and "offense through mass media."
Akhmedova's film, "The Burden of
Virginity," describes hardships young women face in the mostly Muslim
nation during and after the traditional nuptial ceremonies, including
the public demonstration of a bloodstained bedsheet after the first
The film has never been shown in Uzbekistan, but is available online.
Akhmedova's public trial before Judge
Bekzod Irmatov used a conclusion of government-appointed experts that
found her film "offensive for the Uzbek nation" and a media campaign
that lambasted her films and photographs.
Akhmedova also said the experts
negatively evaluated her photo album on the life of rural Uzbeks,
concluding the pictures prompt foreigners to think that Uzbekistan
"lives in the Middle Ages."
Her lawyer, Sergei Mayorov, said the
court "completely ignored" his arguments and evidence proving
Akhmedova's innocence. He said the judge could have used the conviction
to sentence the director to three years in jail, but instead used an
amnesty to release her.
Uzbek officials were not available for comment.
Since the 1980s, Akhmedova, 55, has
filmed more than 20 documentaries. Her recent films cover topics
tabooed in the official Uzbek media such as ordeals of Uzbek women
whose husbands earn a living abroad, the life of ethnic Russians amid
rising nationalism, and the official condemnation of the country's
Uzbek President Islam Karimov, the
nation's former Communist boss, has ruled the Central Asian nation with
an iron fist since before the Soviet collapse, wiping out dissent and
Karimov's government censors the
media, filters unwanted Internet resources and bans "corrupting" films
from Russia or Hollywood.
In 2006, folk singer Dadakhon
Khasanov was given a three-year suspended sentence for writing a song
about a bloody government crackdown on the 2005 popular uprising in the
eastern Uzbek city of Andijan.
Rights groups and witnesses say
hundreds of mostly unarmed protesters were killed by government forces
in Andijan. Authorities insist 187 died and blamed Islamic radicals for
instigating the violence.
Seven women shot dead in Russian sauna
8 police officers killed in separate attacks in volatile region
August 14, 2009
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Seven women were
shot dead in a sauna in Dagestan and, in separate attacks, eight
policemen and two separatists were also killed in Russia's northern
Caucasus region late Thursday, police and media said Friday.
Growing lawlessness and Islamist
violence in Dagestan, Chechnya and neighboring Ingushetia are
undermining the Kremlin's control of its southern flank.The attacks are
the latest in a sharp upswing in violence against civilians across the
region, where a local minister was shot dead in his office earlier this
The seven women were shot by rebels
at around the same time as separatists attacked and killed four
policemen manning a nearby checkpoint in Buinaksk, a town 25 miles from
local capital Makhachkala. "At least four died when they attacked the
traffic police. Around the same time they entered the sauna and shot
seven women," a spokesman for local police said Friday. He gave no
Shootout in Chechnya
Separately, four policemen and two
separatists died in a shootout in Chechnya, Russian news agencies
reported on Friday. The Chechen deaths occurred in an abandoned house
near the capital Grozny, RIA news agency said. Five other security
force officers were also injured in a separate clash in the republic on
Thursday, Interfax reported.
On Wednesday, Ingushetia's
construction minister was shot at close range in his heavily guarded
office. In Chechnya three human rights activists have been shot and
killed in the past month, two earlier this week and one in July.
Shooting prompts tighter security
Attack on Seattle Jewish group being treated as
William Yardley, New York Times
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Seattle -- Jewish groups around Puget Sound
moved to increase security Saturday as the police identified a Muslim man who
they say shot six people, killing one, in the offices of the Jewish Federation
of Greater Seattle on Friday.
The police identified the suspect as
Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, whose family lives in Pasco, in southeast Washington about
180 miles from Seattle.
The police are treating the shooting as a
hate crime based on what they say Haq told a 911 dispatcher shortly before
"He said he wanted the United States to
leave Iraq, that his people were being mistreated and that the United States was
harming his people," Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske of the Seattle police said
Saturday at a news conference. "And he pointedly blamed the Jewish people for
all of these problems. He stated he didn't care if he lived."
A judge on Saturday found probable cause
to hold Haq on one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder. Bail was
set at $50 million.
The police chief said Haq apparently
selected the federation as a target by randomly searching the Internet for
Jewish organizations in the area. The police confiscated at least three
computers, he said.
A neighbor of Haq's family in Pasco said
Haq had spoken of Jews as recently as 10 days ago, sometimes using stereotypes
about Jewish influence in the United States.
"He was saying he wasn't trying to be
racial about it but how they had control over a lot of the newscasts and things,
ownership and stuff," said the neighbor, Caleb Hales, 21.
Colleagues of the victims said the gunman
had identified himself as "a Muslim American" who was "angry at Israel."
Haq surrendered to police at the
federation offices near downtown 12 minutes after the shootings were reported to
The police have not released the names of
the victims, all women. Three of the survivors were in serious condition
Saturday and two were in satisfactory condition, according to the media
relations office at the Harborview Medical Center.
The survivors range in age from early 20s
to 40s and had gunshot wounds in the knee, groin, abdomen and arm. Amy Wasser-Simpson,
the federation's vice president, said the woman who was killed was Pam Waechter,
its director of annual giving.
Asked to describe her group's general
relations with area Muslim groups, Wasser-Simpson said, "We have had no negative
interactions with the Muslim community whatsoever."
Robert Jacobs, regional director for the
Pacific Northwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League, who knew several of the
victims, said the three with serious injuries are not Jewish, including Cheryl
Stumbo, the federation's marketing director.
"These were really good, hardworking
people who cared about the community," he said.
The gunman apparently hid behind a plant
at the federation's offices and waited for someone to enter the building, then
forced his way inside when a teenager opened a locked door, Kerlikowske said.
Hales, the neighbor of Haq's family, said
he spoke with Haq on July 20, in a casual conversation near the Haq family's
mailbox. Hales, whose family is Mormon, said he had talked about his plans to
attend a business college in Salt Lake City and that Haq had talked about
finding a job, perhaps in engineering. The conversation wandered, Hales said,
with Haq talking about Jews and also expressing curiosity about Hales' religion.
"He told me he would stay up late up at night reading about people's religions
and cultural backgrounds," he said.
Officials stepped up security at
synagogues and mosques around Seattle and beyond on Saturday. The Jewish
Community Center of San Francisco enhanced security at its 3200 California St.
"We have fairly robust security as it is,
but we had a few extra people come in who were not scheduled to work," said
Aaron Rosenthal, the center's communications manager. "Our head security officer
has been in touch with the police, but the upshot is that no one really feels
like there is a need for police presence and that doing that would be taking
things a step too far."
The Associated Press and Chronicle
staff contributed to this report.
Taliban kill top Afghan woman
Walsh in Kandahar
Tuesday September 26, 2006
Taliban gunmen shot dead a leading women's rights campaigner in Kandahar
yesterday in the latest assassination of a government official in the restive
director, Safia Ama Jan, was killed on the city outskirts as she left for work
yesterday morning. The assailants shot her four times in the head, through a
burka, before fleeing.
Ms Ama Jan, 56,
has been an advocate for women's rights in Kandahar, the former Taliban
headquarters, since the fundamentalists were ousted five years ago. Her murder
appeared to mark a return to a strategy of intimidation and assassination after
the defeat of Taliban fighters at the hands of a Nato force in western Kandahar
described Ms Ama Jan as religious and a champion of women's education for more
than three decades. She stayed in Afghanistan under the Taliban to give secret
classes to local girls at home.
Duchess Of Cornwall Accidentally Exposes Ankle In Pakistan
November 3, 2006
Maira Oliveira - All Headline News Reporter
Islamabad, Pakistan (BANG) - Camilla, the Duchess of
Cornwall, caused a panic in Pakistan on Thursday. The duchess unwittingly
revealed her ankle inside a mosque.
Camilla visited the Lahore mosque with her husband Prince
Charles dressed in modest slacks. However, when Camilla replaced her shoes -
which she had removed for the tour in accordance with Muslim tradition - she
accidentally tucked her pants' leg into her sock and flashed her ankle.
Her assistant private secretary, Amanda McManus, was heard
frantically whispering "Ma'am, ma'am" and then rushed down the steps after her
to rectify the wardrobe malfunction.
It is considered disrespectful to Islam for women to show too
Charles' first wife, the late Princess Diana, caused outrage
when she visited the same mosque in 1991 wearing a green wrap dress which
stopped above the knee.
Charles and Camilla were shown around the mosque by preacher
Maulana Adbul Khabir Azad, whose father was threatened with imprisonment over
Diana's visit in 1991.
Fortunately, it is not believed Camilla's mishap will cause
the same controversy.
So far the tour has not gone well for Camilla. Earlier this
week she was accused of insulting the memory of British servicemen after
removing her Remembrance Day poppy pin, claiming it kept catching on her
Islamic-style dupatta scarf.
He was only quoting a scholar,
Allard and Alan Mascarenhas
Sidney Morning Herald
October 28, 2006
THE defence by Taj el-Din al Hilaly of his
inflammatory remarks on women and sex rests on three factors - his audience
already knew he condemned rape, he wasn't talking about rape and, like the Pope,
was quoting a religious scholar.
The remarks were made last month to a group
of men and women following one of his regular sermons at Lakemba mosque.
While his speech begins with a dissertation
on adultery, it soon makes a thinly veiled reference to the gang rape by Bilal
Skaf that shocked Australia. "But when it comes to this disaster, who started
it?" he ponders.
It's then that he quotes an Islamic scholar,
al-Rafii, saying he would discipline the man but arrest and jail a woman for
life "if I came across a rape crime".
The explicit reference to rape seems to make
a mockery of Sheik Hilaly's claim that the talk was about "the causes that lead
to fornication for both men and women", not sexual assault.
It's when quoting the Islamic scholar Rafii
that he makes the incendiary comparison between a scantily clad woman and
"uncovered meat" and it's the "uncovered meat that's the problem" in the event
of sexual assault.
Sheik Hilaly's spokesman, Keysar Trad, did
not dispute the content of the translation yesterday, saying he had not heard
the tape properly, but he offered a new defence.
He likened the quoting of Rafii to Pope
Benedict's recent citing of a Byzantine religious scholar who said that Islam
had been spread by the sword.
Quoting someone doesn't automatically confer
endorsement, Mr Trad said. "It's a given that he doesn't support rape," he said.
"When something is a given, you don't have to say it."
The explanation did little to placate Iktimal
Hage Ali, a prominent Muslim woman who has heard the sermon in Arabic and say
it's clearly about rape.
But Sheik Hilaly has his supporters, who
offered another defence. His comments were only meant for Muslims and
understandable within the prism of Muslim culture.
Worshipper Barea Kamaledine, 39, from
Greenacre, said: "The sermon that everyone's chucking a big mental about was
aimed at us and our men, our community and our community only. He's just telling
us to do the right thing. I don't know why everybody's offended."
"You guys [the media] never understand the
things he says. We understand it because we know where we're coming from. We
understand our religion, whereas you don't. There are a lot of problems in our
community and he's just trying to stop them."
"fanatic" kills Pakistani woman minister
Wed Feb 21, 2007
Pakistan (Reuters) - A suspected Islamist zealot shot dead a Pakistani woman
provincial government minister on Tuesday because he believed women should not
be in politics, officials said.
social welfare minister of the Punjab government, a women's activist and
supporter of President Pervez Musharraf, was about to give a speech to dozens of
people when the lone attacker shot her in the head. She died later in hospital.
identified as Mohammad Sarwar, was immediately arrested.
Minister Raja Basharat told Reuters the gunman had been implicated in six
previous murder cases but had never been convicted because of a lack of
basically a fanatic," Basharat said. "He is against the involvement of women in
politics and government affairs."
occurred at Huma's party office in the town of Gujranwala, 70 km (43 miles)
north of the provincial capital, Lahore.
it contrary to the teachings of Allah for a woman to become a minister or a
ruler. That's why he committed this action," the police said in a statement.
Huma, 37, was
married with two sons. Her husband is a doctor. She also ran a small fashion
design business in Gujranwala.
key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, promotes a vision of "enlightened
moderation" for the predominantly Muslim country of 160 million people and has
vowed to empower women.
Women make up
just over 20 percent of the lower house of parliament, according to the
country's main human rights group, and there are three women ministers in the
cabinet of the federal government.
still face widespread violence and discrimination in a male-dominated society,
particularly in the countryside, where most Pakistanis live.
German Judge Cites
Koran, Stirring Up Cultural Storm
New York Times
March 23, 2007
FRANKFURT, March 22 — A German judge has stirred a storm of protest by citing
the Koran in turning down a German Muslim woman’s request for a speedy divorce
on the ground that her husband beat her.
In a ruling that underlines the tension between Muslim customs and European
laws, the judge, Christa Datz-Winter, noted that the couple came from a Moroccan
cultural milieu, in which it is common for husbands to beat their wives. The
Koran, she wrote in her decision, sanctions such physical abuse.
News of the ruling brought swift and sharp condemnation from politicians, legal
experts and Muslim leaders in
Germany, many of whom said they were confounded that a German judge
would put seventh-century Islamic religious teaching ahead of German law in
deciding a case of domestic violence.
The court in Frankfurt abruptly removed Judge Datz-Winter from the case on
Wednesday, saying it could not justify her reasoning. The woman’s lawyer,
Barbara Becker-Rojczyk, said she decided to publicize the ruling, which was
issued in January, after the court refused her request for a new judge.
“It was terrible for my client,” Ms. Becker-Rojczyk said. “This man beat her
seriously from the beginning of their marriage. After they separated, he called
her and threatened to kill her.”
Muslim leaders agreed that Muslims living here must be judged by the German
legal code. But they were just as offended by what they characterized as the
judge’s misinterpretation of a much-debated passage in the Koran.
While the verse cited by Judge Datz-Winter does say husbands may beat their
wives for being disobedient — an interpretation embraced by fundamentalists—
mainstream Muslims have long rejected wife-beating as a medieval relic.
“Our prophet never struck a woman, and he is our example,” Ayyub Axel Köhler,
the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said in an interview.
While legal experts said the ruling was a judicial misstep rather than evidence
of a broader trend, it comes at a time of rising tension in Europe as
authorities in many fields struggle to reconcile Western values with growing
Last fall, for example, a Berlin opera house canceled performances of a
Mozart opera because of security fears stirred by a scene that
depicts the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad. Stung by charges that it had
surrendered its artistic freedom, the house staged the opera three months later
To some here, the judge’s ruling reflected a similar compromising of basic
“A judge in Germany has to refer to the constitutional law, which says that
human rights are not to be violated,” said Günter Meyer, director of the Center
for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz. “It’s not her task to
interpret the Koran. It was an attempt at multicultural understanding, but in
completely the wrong context.”
Reaction to the judge’s decision has been almost as sulfurous as it was to the
cancellation of the opera.
“When the Koran is put above the German Constitution, I can only say, ‘Good
night, Germany,’ ” Ronald Pofalla, general secretary of the Christian Democratic
Union, said in the mass-market newspaper Bild.
The 26-year-old woman in this case was born in Germany to a Moroccan family and
married in Morocco in 2001, according to her lawyer, Ms. Becker-Rojczyk. The
couple settled in the Frankfurt area and had two children.
In May 2006, the police were summoned after a particularly violent incident. At
that time, Judge Datz-Winter ordered the husband to move out and stay at least
55 yards away from the couple’s home. In the months that followed, her lawyer
said, the man threatened to kill his wife.
Terrified, the woman filed for divorce in October and requested that it be
granted without the usual year of separation because her husband’s threats and
beatings constituted an “unreasonable hardship.”
“We worried that he might think he had the right to kill her because she is
still his wife,” Ms. Becker-Rojczyk said.
lawyer for the husband, Gisela Hammes, did not reply to an e-mail message and a
telephone message left at her office in Mainz.
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX