Friday Links | October 25, 2013

A female suicide bomber attacked a bus in southern Russia last Monday, killing six and injuring dozens. Naida Asiyalova, the alleged bomber, is from the region of Dagestan, and her husband, an ethnic Russian convert to Islam, is currently on the run.

An online “halal” sex shop has opened in Turkey. While some welcome the concept, other reactions are more critical and even ridicule the enterprise.

At time of writing, 61 Syrian women were released as part of a hostage swap by the Syrian government; the women were detained for aiding the opposition.

Saudi authorities have contacted the organizers of the campaign to end the ban on women driving, which is planned for this Saturday, and let them know that they will be punished if they will defy the driving ban for women. An article on Al Monitor points out that even though women are still not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, there has been some progress lately when it comes to women and women’s rights.

A Somali migrant lies on her bed in a detention center for immigrants in Malta. Image by Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters.

Registan features an article on the impact that the 2010 inter-ethnic conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz has had on the women of Osh.

Norway has issued an international alert for two teen sisters, who disappeared last week from their home, leaving a message that they were on their way to Syria to help Muslims there.

Earlier this year, the homes of two Muslim women in Krasnoyarsk, Russia were raided and the women were accused to be members of an extremist group called Nurdzhular, a group that doesn’t even exist, according to several Muslims in Krasnoyarsk. In one home, the Russian police were said to have found a eight women-strong cell of this “group”.

A recent report by the Minority Rights Group accuses the Sri Lankan government of failing to address the marginalization and sexual abuse of women in the former war zones; Tamil and Muslim women, the largest minority groups, are in particular fearful of reporting crimes to the local police.

The BBC shares the story of Syrian Suha Omar Ali, who lost three daughters in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea and make it to Europe. With her sole surviving daughter Sara, she now is staying indefinitely at a police station in Alexandria, Egypt with many other Syrian refugees.

A Handful of Ash, a documentary film on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Iraqi Kurdistan, which has been filmed over 10 years, has been changing Kurdish society, and the number of girls mutilated has dropped drastically, partly as a result of this film.

Women News Network shares a letter by Khawlah al Suwaida, a stateless woman of Iraqi descent in Kuwait about her struggles and her plight to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship.

A Tajik mullah is facing court for his rather unique, and disgusting, infertility treatment sessions; he was arrested after one of his sessions appeared on YouTube. On Thursday he was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud and sexual misconduct.

Reuters features an article on the rise of Islamic fashion in Indonesia.

A woman in New Zealand has been fined for ordering a student to remove her face veil in a supermarket, where they both were shopping.

Brunei’s first box-office movie Yasmine tells the story of a high school student who wants to be a martial arts champion; the film is directed by the country’s first female director.

A Muslim girl from Bihar, India has refused to marry her prospective groom, as the groom and his family were demanding a dowry from her family.

The BBC features an article on a women’s poetry club in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Fashion plays an important role in celebrating Eid ul Adha, or Tabaski, in Senegal; many consult a tailor to get unique, made-to-order outfits. .

Saudi Arabia came under fire at the U.N. last Monday for its human rights record, especially concerning women and migrant workers.

The arrest and pending trial of the three Moroccan teenagers in a public decency case has sparked a heated debate about the vague public decency laws in Morocco.

After nine polio workers were killed earlier this year in northern Nigeria, the polio vaccination campaign has resumed in secrecy and the predominantly female vaccinators are concealing their identities.

Deutsche Welle speaks with the chief of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka about the current situation of women in Afghanistan.

Two women in Vancouver, friends and both of Egyptian descent, mourn the death of their brothers, who were both killed during the violent crackdown of protests on Cairo’s Rabaa square.

Lawmakers in Indonesia are contemplating a plan to stop sending domestic workers abroad by 2017.

The Greek documentary film Kismet looks at the impact Turkish soap operas have on their female audiences in countries like Egypt, Turkey and Greece.

A 15-year-old Yemeni girl has allegedly been burned to death for meeting her fiancé prior to her wedding.

Reuters features an article on female police officers in Pakistan and the difficulties they face in their profession.

The Sultan of Brunei has announced that in six months time the country will adapt a new Sharia Penal Code, which will include penalties such as stoning.

A survey in Kerala, India shows that most local Muslims are against underage marriage; 84% of the Muslim women and 81% of the Muslim men are said to be against this.

Five men have been arrested in northwestern Pakistan for their involvement in the marriage of a 6-year-old girl to a 16-year-old boy.

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