Why is Isis a wake-up call to Muslim women?

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 April, 2015 - 19:22

American professor Amina Wadud argues that male interpretations of Islam has lead to wildly discriminating laws against women around the world – and the rise of extremist groups proves they need to be challenged

With her warm manner, academic language and grey-tinged dreadlocks partially covered by a headscarf, Amina Wadud makes an unlikely rebel. But the 62-year-old African-American professor, the daughter of a Methodist minister, is one of Islam’s leading feminists. Ten years ago, she faced down a bomb threat in New York when she led Friday prayers to a mixed congregation of men and women – something many religious scholars argued was forbidden in Islam. Three years later, she defied protests from local groups to do the same in London. Not content with taking on the mosques, now she has her sights set on revolutionising sharia councils and the laws that underpin them.

Sharia, she points out, is a world view, “the divine order of the universe”. What she is interrogating is fiqh, the Muslim legal tradition of man-made rules based on almost exclusively male interpretations of sacred texts. “When we are talking about laws, we are into talking about who is interpreting the laws, and what judicial methods they use,” she tells me. “The prophet made radical reforms but [Muslims] didn’t keep pace with that. If you start with that and no one else on the planet has it, you should be ahead of anyone else on the planet with regards to gender. But instead we let patriarchy to take over.”

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MCB statement on BNP’s election to European Parliament

Islamophobia Watch - 13 April, 2015 - 10:45

MCB Alarmed Over Neo-Nazi victory

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) today joined other British people in voicing their alarm and concern as the British National Party (BNP) gained its first two seats in the European parliament. This is a party that has a history of whipping up hatred against black people, Asians, Jews, Muslims and immigrants and has described Islam as “a vicious, wicked faith”.

Unlike other European countries, the UK has, in the past, prided itself in refusing to send MEPs who belonged to the far-right. Today we have reached a sad and historic milestone where we can no longer claim that racism has no place on our political landscape.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “This is a sad day for British politics. The news of the election of far-right MEPs comes at a time when we mark the 65th anniversary of D-Day, celebrating the heroism of those who fought the same hatred and fascism and racism we are witnessing today”.

“They now have a platform and taxpayer resources to perpetuate hate. They now have the ability to join racists and fascists in continental Europe to create a coalition of racists and Islamophobes. I call on all mainstream parties, and all British people, Muslims included, to come together to ensure we challenge the far right. We must ensure that this is a mere blip, and not a milestone, in British politics”.

MCB press release, 8 June 2009

Iran suspends 'lesser pilgrimages' to Saudi Arabia by minors - reports

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 April, 2015 - 10:33

Tension rises between countries amid reports of alleged abuse of Iranian pilgrims and Saudi-led strikes on Shia rebels in Yemen

Iran has suspended all “lesser pilgrimages” to Saudi Arabia by minors, state television is reporting, amid growing diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

The report said Iran’s culture ministry made the decision after two male Iranian pilgrims were allegedly abused at Saudi’s Jeddah airport in March. The alleged abuse, the details of which authorities have not publicly discussed, has sparked unauthorised protests at the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

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#ListenNotSave – Niqab in Canada

Muslimah Media Watch - 13 April, 2015 - 10:00
Last month Canadian social media went wild with covering puns and jabs at the extraordinarily Islamophobic leader of the government, Prime Minister Harper. The Harper Government are challenging a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada that allows Ms. Zunera Ishaq to wear her niqab at her Canadian Citizenship ceremony.  A ruling that Harper insists [Read More...]

Barnaby Joyce defends halal after Coalition MPs express concern

The Guardian World news: Islam - 13 April, 2015 - 08:17

Agriculture minister says halal certification essential for export markets and warns failing to get it could triple the price of beef for Australian consumers

The agriculture minister, Barnaby Joyce, has issued a warning to colleagues who are against halal certification, saying picking a fight with Islamic export countries could triple the price of beef for Australian consumers.

A number of Coalition MPs and senators have expressed concern about halal certification, claiming that money for the process goes to extremist clerics.

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