Friday Links — February 6, 2009

  • Women still get abortions despite the fact that they’re illegal in Indonesia.
  • On Dubai’s TV program Millions Poet, Saudi poet Aydah Al Aarawi Al Jahani  is making history. More from Middle East Online.
  • You can download the Cambridge study of Muslim women in Europe here.
  • Bahraini artists, particularly female ones, face bias against their profession.
  • The Gulf Daily News reports that an American lecturer has been charged in a case of insulting the Prophet. But she didn’t stop at the Prophet; she also insulted a female student who raised objections. Classy.
  • The Netherlands decides to take a tough approach to female genital cutting in an attempt to stop the practice.
  • Progressive Muslima News shares her feelings about an IslamOnline scholar’s declaration on marital rape.
  • Dr. Maha Al-Moneef says that domestic violence in Saudi Arabia is no longer a problem, but a social phenomenon.
  • Women in the Yemeni Women’s Shadow Parliament receive training on advocacy and lobbying skills and means of communication with societies for lobbying women issues.
  • Sania Mirza has withdrawn from the Federation Cup.
  • A suit alleging religious discrimination, filed against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, has been settled: two employees who were not allowed to wear a headscarf at work now have the right to do so.
  • In India, the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education has banned coeducation in schools across the state.
  • Fremont, California, has hit the big screen in a documentary which looks at the increasing numbers of Muslims in the area. The documentary features footage from the Alia Ansari murder coverage and “Wear a Hijab Day”.
  • MR Zine interviews Maya Jribi, leader of the Democratic Party of Tunisia.
  • As the trial of a boy accused of killing his sister comes to a close, it appears more likely that the murder was sparked by sibling rivalry rather than honor.
  • If you have some time to kill and are a Muslim woman, you might consider helping a sister out with her thesis project by filling out this survey.
  • Iraq’s minister of women’s affairs resigned in protest at the lack of resources to deal with disenfranchised and impoverished women in the country.

  • hannah

    Here’s a link for you all, live and direct from Saudi Arabia. Abeer is one of my coworkers at Embassy Riyadh, and we’re all really proud of her!

  • Dude

    An Uzbek imam tells women not to wear hejab. Interesting.

    Not at all surprising. Over the last few years, I’ve often told people that I felt the country with the worst religious freedoms (with respect to Islam) is Uzbekistan. And their overall human rights is amongst the worst as well.

    Here’s from a 2004 HRW report:

    “Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, like Muslims labeled “Wahhabi” by the state, are overwhelmingly self-defined Hanafi Sunnis, as are most Muslims in Uzbekistan, and not adherents of Wahabbism as it is understood in the Saudi Arabian context.[7] Some so-called Wahhabis were thus labeled because they prayed five times a day-deemed by some local authorities in Uzbekistan’s provinces as evidence of excessive or suspicious piety-or overtly manifested their religious belief by growing a beard or wearing a headscarf that covered the face. ”

    And elsewhere in the report:

    “The torture and public shaming rituals that accompany arrests, the planting of drugs and bullets in people’s homes, and trials in which evidence that a person prayed five times a day is accepted as proof of intent to overthrow the state are equally indefensible and violate fundamental principles of due process.”

    A woman discusses gender issues and dressing in the Kyrgyz workplace.

    I must say I disagree with posting entries with an assumption that it has something to do with Muslims without it being clear. Kyrgyzistan has a sizable non-Muslim community.

    But hey – not my blog…

  • Fatemeh

    @ Dude: Kyrgyzstan is roughly 75% Muslim. Good enough for me.

  • Muffy

    I’m glad that you posted the article defending the mother of the octuplets. The scorn that Suleman has faced is just appalling.

  • Dude

    Kyrgyzstan is roughly 75% Muslim. Good enough for me.

    I wrote my comment with the assumption of 85% (Wikipedia). I could argue further about it in general, but won’t bother. For me, I just can’t assume it had anything to do with Muslim women. But everyone has their own criteria…

  • coolred38

    Wondering why there are never any articles about Ghada Jamsheer…here in Bahrain. She is a tireless fighter for womens rights and yet has antagonized the govt to such an extent that she is constantly harrassed and under careful watch at all times…as well as her family members. Not to mention there has been a media blackout against her…so that nothing she says or does gets reported here in Bahrain….we have to read about her good works from outside sources.

    Also Mona Eltahawy in noticeably absent from this list. I think she deserves a mention now and then…just a thought.

    btw…referring to the “Arabs should divorce their mothers”…if only!!! sigh.

  • Fatemeh

    @ coolred: Don’t forget that you can participate in the link lists! Anyone can submit articles to be included in the link lists by emailing me at, or submitting them for:fatemehmmw on, or posting them in the comments here every Friday. As long as they’re about Muslim women or concern Muslim women, they’ll be included.

  • Fatemeh

    We’ve just discovered that the woman who gave birth to octuplets is actually a Christian. We regret the error!