Friday Links

In Montreal, teenagers knocked a pregnant Mulslim woman to the ground by grabbing her hijab. Some have linked the attack to anti-Muslim bigotry fuelled by the federal debate over the place of the niqab in Canadian citizenship ceremonies.Statistics released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) points out that "Muslim female participation in the workforce is significantly lower in comparison to that of their Jewish, Christian and Druze counterparts."How can a Muslim woman be a … [Read more...]

Long Skirts aren’t “secular” enough in France

I write a lot about France and its national psychosis over headscarves. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the 2004 law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols. I lived there as a hijabi for almost five years. So it is safe to say nothing really involving France and headscarves shocks me any more. Until recently.One of the typical elements of the headscarf ban in schools is that women can’t wear headbands greater than a certain width, or caps, or hats, you know, because it might be t … [Read more...]

Friday Links | June 28, 2013

A court in Burma/Myanmar has found two Muslim women guilty of sparking sectarian violence; both are sentenced to two years in prison with hard labor. One of the women bumped into a monk earlier this year, which resulted in Buddhist monks raiding shops and homes in the region.Many Tajik marriages are arranged, but the country now has its first professional matchmaking services too; most of the clientele are divorced men and women.According to the British government about 20,000 girls in … [Read more...]

On Corrupt Bureaucrats, Nikah Siri Marriages, and Indonesian Women

Late last year, Aceng Fikri, a district chief in the West Java province, ignited public uproar when news leaked that he had divorced a 17-year-old teenager, Fany Octora, via text message. Aceng had married Fany for only four days in an unregistered ceremony as a second wife. According to his lawyer, Aceng complained that Fany was not a virgin as she had said she had been. Aceng also complained that he had spent 250 million rupiah ($26,000) on their wedding and additional expenses to enrol Fany … [Read more...]

Friday Links | May 24, 2013

The Afghan parliament has failed to pass an important women's law which would ban violence against women, as many members of parliament deem this particular law to be "un-Islamic."Two women made the news this week conquering Mount Everest: Samina Baig is the first Pakistani woman to do so and Saudi Raha Moharrak was the first female from her country to accomplish this.Last week the report Narratives of Conversion to Islam in Britain: Female Perspectives was launched by Centre of Islamic S … [Read more...]

Friday Links | May 10, 2013

Pakistan will vote on May 11, and women, both as voters and as candidates, are the subject of many articles in the news last week. First there is the question of women voters: IPS speaks with several Pakistani women and asks them what women voters really want. But not all women get a chance to vote in Pakistan: in the tribal areas leaflets have been spread urging men to not allow women to cast votes or to be influenced by any candidate and one village, Meetala, made the news when its men d … [Read more...]

Friday Links | January 25, 2013

The Syrian regime under leadership of Bashar al Assad is actively recruiting female soldiers to be deployed in checkpoints etc., so that more male soldiers can be deployed at the front lines.The statement by the Indonesian Ulema Council that female circumcision is a constitutional right has sparked a huge debate in the country. Women's rights groups on the other hand push for a ban, calling the practice gender discrimination.Bassima Hakkaoui, Morocco's only female minister, says that the … [Read more...]