Originally published by CBN.com.
As former Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi’s trials continue, it’s enlightening to consider what is likely to be one of the centerpieces of the trial: longstanding accusations that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party worked with foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, against the national security of Egypt.
Based on these accusations of high treason, Morsi and others could face the death penalty.
Concerning some of the more severe allegations, one of Egypt’s most widely distributed and read newspapers, Al Watan, recently published what it said were recorded conversations between Morsi and Muhammad Zawahiri, al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri’s brother.
A Saudi court sentenced a local man and his girl friend to 50 lashes each and ordered him to wash 10 dead people after they were caught in a car parked in a deserted place under the cover of night.
There are no national teams for women, and physical education for girls does not exist in state schools (although it does in private schools). Fitness clubs open to women are few and costly. Many of the swimming pools and running tracks that did exist for women were closed by the government in 2009 for being unlicensed, leaving women to search out gyms operating under the radar or to exercise at home.
Shakila, 8 at the time, was drifting off to sleep when a group of men carrying AK-47s barged in through the door. She recalls that they complained, as they dragged her off into the darkness, about how their family had been dishonored and about how they had not been paid.
It turns out that Shakila, who was abducted along with her cousin as part of a traditional Afghan form of justice known as “baad,” was the payment.
Although baad (also known as baadi) is illegal under Afghan and, most religious scholars say, Islamic law, the taking of girls as payment for misdeeds committed by their elders still appears to be flourishing. Shakila, because one of her uncles had run away with the wife of a district strongman, was taken and held for about a year. It was the district leader, furious at the dishonor that had been done to him, who sent his men to abduct her.
[ . . .]
“Despite being denounced by the United Nations as a “harmful traditional practice,” baad is pervasive in rural southern and eastern Afghanistan, areas that are heavily Pashtun, according to human rights workers, women’s advocates and aid experts. Baad involves giving away a young woman, often a child, into slavery and forced marriage. It is largely hidden because the girls are given to compensate for “shameful” crimes like murder and adultery and acts forbidden by custom, like elopement, say elders and women’s rights advocates.
Read the rest here.
The honor/shame belief system of the mid-East is the engine that drives the oppression of women in these cultures. Islam is the fuel that provides the machine with its power.
Born in Tehran, Raboudan danced at parties and birthdays as a child. Her family fled Iran in 1989, 10 years after the Islamic revolution.
“Among other rules, women had to wear much more conservative clothing after the revolution and there has been no public belly dancing since then,” she says.
[ . . .]
Just back from Egypt — considered by many to be the longtime centre of belly dancing — Raboudan says the Muslim Brotherhood is dropping the curtain on belly dancing.
“It’s sad,” she says. “I fear Egypt will go the way of Iran. Fortunately, there are many Muslims in Edmonton who understand and enjoy belly dancing.”
Read the article here.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of seeing a belly dance, here is a video of the best belly dancer in the world, Tito Seif, who happens to be a man, dancing with one of his students! Here is another video of the Classical Egyptian style belly dance by Zaheea.
Singing and dancing are disputed by various Islamic sects. However, even some of the most fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan allow dancing at celebrations when it is gender specific and men dance with men, and women dance with women. Also, some Muslims say that it is permissible for wives to dance for their husbands. Here’s a typical discussion about these arts.
Several years after the little-known procedure became a topic of political debate, doctors are reporting that demand for hymenoplasty operations has not decreased.
Doctors who perform these operations have come under sharp criticism for legitimising the procedure and thereby protecting what critics say is the chauvinism and oppression that underlies the demand that new brides must be verified virgins.
“I don’t have any scruples about helping. The important thing is that these girls have good lives moving forward. You could call it my form of foreign aid,” Dr Christine Felding, who performs 30 to 40 hymenoplasty procedures each year, told Berlingske newspaper.
The procedure involves reconstructing the hymen – the membrane that partially covers the opening to the vagina, and which is presumed to tear and bleed the first time a woman has sexual intercourse. The doctor literally sews bits of the vaginal lining together to narrow the opening. It takes a little over an hour and is done under local anaesthesia. Felding charges 5,000 kroner. Other doctors charge as much as 12,000 kroner.
Felding estimates that three or four women with immigrant backgrounds call her each week asking about the procedure. Most of them, she said, are frightened about what will happen if their fiancés or their families find out that they are not virgins.
Women have been known to suffer rejection, public shaming and even violent retribution at the hands of men in their own families if there is a lack of ‘proof’, in the form of a bloody bed sheet, on the wedding night.
It is more cultural than religious. If the bride is not a virgin and does not bleed on the wedding night, it is a big shame on the family. There have been honour killings in extreme cases,” Dr Magdy Hend, a UK surgeon who performs several hymenoplasties a week, told the UK tabloid Daily Mail.
Doctors in the UK, France, Germany and Belgium also report that the procedure is highly sought after in Muslim communities. The irony, as Time magazine’s Bruce Crumley writes, is that “the increase in the procedure reflects the growing emancipation of women from tradition-rooted communities, but also the ongoing male oppression signified by the obsession with female virginity.”
Read the rest here.
(h/t to NewEnglishReview)
Deaf Mute Girl Kept as a Sex Slave in Britain
A woman allegedly imprisoned in a cellar, raped and kept as a virtual slave while a child was stabbed in the stomach for smiling, a jury was told.
The woman, who is deaf and unable to speak, is said to have been subjected to years of abuse after being trafficked into Britain from Pakistan. It is alleged that she was locked in a cellar by Ilyas Ashar, 83, and his wife Tallat Ashar, 66, at their home on Cromwell Road in Eccles, Salford, and forced to sew, wash, cook and clean without pay.
Deaf mute girl allegedly kept in a cellar in Eccles was raped and treated as slave, court told. A jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court was told she slept on the cellar’s concrete floor without access to a toilet until she was rescued by police in June 2009.
She is also said to have been regularly beaten, repeatedly raped and assaulted. The couple are on trial and deny any mistreatment.
Read more here.
Afghan woman burnt to death in Iran
The charred body of an Afghan refugee, allegedly killed by her in-laws in neighbouring Iran, was brought to southwestern Nimroz province, the victim’s father said on Monday.
Abdul Basir told Pajhwok Afghan News his daughter was burnt by her mother-in-law and husband in Iran’s Sistan Baluchistan province five days ago. She had been sprinkled with gasoline before being set on fire, the father alleged.
Basir, who is currently living in Iran, said her daughter was married to a young boy of an Afghan refugee family a year ago. But her mother-in-law would always encourage her son to rough up his wife.
Read more here.
(h/t to the thereligionofpeace.com)
What links these stories? The answer is: the ideology of Islam.
Use of Sharia law in Britain is soaring, but a women’s group wants it banned.
Listen now (30 minutes)
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Last broadcast on Monday, 18:00 on BBC Asian Network.
The use of Sharia law is rapidly spreading across Britain with a growing number of Muslims and Non-Muslims using Sharia councils to settle disputes – claiming its quicker and cheaper. A BBC Asian Network investigation has learnt that thousands of people, mainly women, are now turning to Sharia councils and tribunals every year. The largest council in the UK – the Islamic Sharia Council has seen cases more than triple in the last 5 years – now dealing with hundreds of cases every month.
When Saba‘s marriage broke down again it was the Sharia council who helped her – although legally granted a divorce through the British courts she still needed her Islamic marriage annulled – without it she says she couldn’t move on. As soon as her ex-husband found out she’d gone to her local Sharia council he felt a sense of duty and shame in not divorcing her as people in the community would find out – he did the ‘honourable’ thing.
However, for women like Zee, trying to get her Islamic divorce has been a nightmare. She claims the Sharia council is simply not recognising her rights and is taking her ex-husband’s version of events – something which those who are opposed to Sharia say is the danger. A leading women’s group wants Sharia banned in Britain claiming it not only discriminates against women but in some cases of domestic violence puts their lives at risk. And now it has the backing of Lady Cox who’s putting a bill before the House of Lords to regulate and control the growth of Sharia in Britain. Will Sharia councils be blocked or become even more engrained in British life and ‘unavoidable’ as the Archbishop of Canterbury said in 2008?
Presenter: Divya Talwar. Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.
Islamic Sharia Council
A hearing at the Islamic Sharia CouncilSheikh Haitham al-Haddad hears a case.
Sheikh Abu Sayeed
Outside the Islamic Sharia Council
”You must speak the truth, sister. Because Allah is listening to your every word, you can lie to us but not to Him.”
The bearded sheikh is instructing his first client of the day to explain why she is unhappy in her marriage.
Sitting behind a small desk in the back room of a converted terrace house, Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad is a representative of the Islamic Sharia Council, the largest Sharia body in the UK, based in Leyton, east London.
The woman has come to the council for an Islamic divorce because her husband refuses to grant her one.
”I’m not happy. He’s never at home and I’ve seen messages from other women on his phone. He doesn’t even give money to help support the kids,” the woman tells the sheikh.
“We are presently there, evacuating the dead and the injured but unfortunately we don’t have enough ambulances.
Damage after the explosion at St Theresa Catholic church at Madala
“Most of our ambulances have gone to operate on the major highways of the country.”
A police officer was killed when gunmen opened fire on officers guarding the area around the Jos bombing, a government spokesman said.
Two other locally made explosives were found in a nearby building and disarmed, he added.
A car peppered with shrapnel after the attack at Madala
There were two blasts in the north eastern city of Damaturu, one of them a suicide car bombing.
Local police commissioner Tanko Lawan said the headquarters of Nigeria‘s secret police in the area was the target of the car bomb. There is no immediate information on casualties. Read the rest of this entry »
Authorities said the explosion Monday happened as the officers were traveling in a vehicle.
It is the latest in a series of small-scale attacks that have hit Kenya since the government sent troops into neighboring Somalia to pursue al-Shabab militants. Kenya accuses the al-Qaida-linked fighters of kidnapping foreigners on Kenyan soil. Read the rest of this entry »
Call the religious police’s Anti-Witchcraft Unit and get them to set up a sting operation.
BY URI FRIEDMAN | DECEMBER 13, 2011
In yet another reminder that the phrase “witch hunts” isn’t only used figuratively these days, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced on Monday that it had beheaded a woman named
Amina bint Abdul Halim bin Salem Nasser for practicing “witchcraft and sorcery.” The London-based al-Hayat newspaper, citing the chief of the religious police who arrested the woman after a report from a female investigator, claimsNasser was tricking people into paying $800 per session to have their illnesses cured.
So, how did Saudi authorities prove Nasser was a witch? The government hasn’t gone into detail, but a look at the kingdom’s past witchcraft cases suggests the bar for proving someone guilty isn’t very high. Witch hunting is fairly institutionalized in Saudi Arabia, with the country’s religious police running an Anti-Witchcraft Unit and a sorcery hotline to combat practices like astrology and fortune telling that are considered un-Islamic.
But institutionalized is not the same thing as codified.
A top official in the kingdom’s Ministry of Justice told Human Rights Watchin 2008 that there is no legal definition for witchcraft (Saudi Arabia doesn’t have a penal code) or specific body of evidence that has probative value in witchcraft trials.