Friday Links | July 26, 2013

Last Friday French police just outside of Paris clashed with hundreds of demonstrators, after police had asked a woman to remove her face veil to check her identity. The demonstrators claim that the police provoked them, and by Saturday night the riots were spreading to surrounding areas. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said that the government stands by the ban on face veils, and that the police did their job perfectly.

A fatwa that prohibits the participation of Muslim women in beauty pageants has led to the withdrawal of four Muslim finalists in the Miss Malaysia competition. The organizer of the event, and the four disqualified girls, say that they regret the ban, especially because Miss competitions are held in various Muslim countries, such as Indonesia. The local Islamic authority has started an investigation against the four participants and several others for allegedly insulting Islam. All those that have questioned the fatwa will possibly be under investigation too, because “questioning the fatwa is similar to insulting Islam.”

Women in northwestern Pakistan are temporarily banned from shopping without a male relative in order to make sure that men are not distracted during the month of Ramadan.

A 32-year-old Egyptian woman committed suicide last week, allegedly because she had a very difficult time dealing with the fact that her younger sister got married recently, as she was not married yet, and feared she never would.

An earthquake last Monday in northwestern China has left approx. 100 people dead. These children have become displaced because of the earthquake and are now staying in a makeshift camp in Minxian county, Gansu province, China. Image by Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

Muslim teachers in the Philippines who are wearing face veils have been asked by the government to remove their veils in the classroom from last Tuesday onwards to “promote better relationships between teachers and students.” First news items reported spoke of a head scarf ban, but the government later clarified that.

According to a new UN report, around 30 million girls are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the next decade, but support for this harmful practice is on the decline.

A new Saudi satellite channel for and by women aims to clear the misconceptions about Saudi women around the world.

A video shot by the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal areas featuring women in training, has prompted fears that militant groups in the region are now actively recruiting women for combat roles.

Iranian activist Shahla Farjad passed away; in a final act of defiance women, instead of men, carried her to her grave in Tehran.

Misconceptions about TB and financial worries make that many (female) patients try to escape treatment facilities in Kashmir.

The book 99 Hijab Stories features the stories of 99 Indonesian Muslim women, some of whom are well-known, about their decision to wear hijab.

Burka Avenger is the name of a new cartoon series in Pakistan, which aims to promote girls’ education through a female, burqa-clad superhero.

Last Saturday 18 women have been released conditionally from prison in Sudan. The women were part of a group of 32 women who were detained in Obeid, Sudan in November 2012; some of the women are in critical health and 5 women had young children accompanying them in jail.

EurasiaNet speaks to Naheed Farid, Afghanistan’s youngest MP at 29. RFE/RL profiles another female Afghani MP, Noorzia Atmar, who has gone into hiding, after she was stabbed and threatened by her ex-husband.

A Nigerian pastor claims that his 24-year-old daughter has been forced to convert to Islam and is held against her will in the palace of the Etsu Nupe, Yahaya Abubakar. A ruling on this case, and whether the woman should be released to her family, is expected on August 1st.

Women in Pakistan’s Swat region have organized themselves in an all-female jirga/assembly to resolve local disputes, and make sure that their voice is heard.

The death of Roula Yaacoub, a Lebanese mother of five, who was beaten to death by her husband, has drawn once again attention to the stalled draft law on domestic violence, which is opposed by many Islamic leaders.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation features a short video in which Qatari female journalists speak about the participation of women in the media.

Rights activists in Aceh, Indonesia say that the local “shariah police” is targeting women and that regulations are becoming more sexist and unreasonable.

Haïdara Aïssata Cissé is the only female candidate running for president in the Malian elections this weekend, and she is the only one who includes walkabouts in her campaign schedule.

The Libyan Football Federation has stopped the women’s soccer team from travelling to Germany and participating in a tournament.

RFE/RL interviews Sahar Delijani, who was born in Iran’s Evin prison and has written a (fictional) book about her experiences as a child of jailed revolutionaries.

Indian Faizul Hasan Quadri is building a Taj Mahal replica for his late wife, as feared she wouldn’t be remembered, since they were childless.

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