Thursday 28 January 2016

The 'Rosa Parks' of Saudi Arabia

Only the most evil and lost of those who call themselves 'Muslims' would abuse a woman like this!! Such a disgrace.Truly too many have rejected the Sunnah and embraced the evils of tribalism and patriarchy. Respect to this sister!
 Nawal al-Hawsawi
Nawal al-Hawsawi is outspoken, black, a qualified pilot and married to a white man - everything her critics say a Saudi woman shouldn't be.
But despite receiving waves of abuse on social media, she refuses to bow to convention and hits back at her detractors "with love".
Al-Hawsawi has become something of a star on social media. She has amassed almost 50,000 followers on Twitter, where she posts about the importance of racial diversity and marriage equality. But not everyone reading her feed is a fan.
The deluge of racist abuse that came at the end of December was just the latest flurry in a long campaign. The trolls have had al-Hawsawi in their sights for years. They send her pictures of gorillas, grotesquely photoshopped African tribespeople, and they call her the A word - a derogatory Arabic term for black people which means "slave", not dissimilar in meaning to the N word.
Growing up in Mecca, a fairly cosmopolitan part of Saudi Arabia, al-Hawsawi says until she travelled to the US she hadn't consciously thought of herself as "black".
While she was there she learnt to fly and is now a certified pilot - though one who has yet to be allowed to take to the skies in her homeland. She also studied to become a marriage therapist, which is what she does now. She married a white man - an American - and returned to Saudi Arabia around a few years ago, which is when the trouble began.

Confronting abuse

At an event celebrating Saudi's National Day in 2013, she was verbally attacked by another woman who called her the A word. Racism is a criminal offence in the country and she took the woman to court. But after talking to her abuser, she received an apology and dropped the case, and says that the pair are now good friends.
The story made national headlines in the country, and al-Hawsawi appeared on television to talk about what had happened. The media dubbed her the "Rosa Parks" of Saudi Arabia - a reference to the iconic US Civil Rights protester. She used her newfound platform to launch an anti-racist campaign on Twitter, using the A word to raise awareness of the issue.
But the story doesn't end there. Because of the attention she received, her Twitter account - which al-Hawsawi uses to post messages about combating racism and domestic violence - became the focus of attention for trolls, who used it to mount a campaign of hate against her. Now her skin colour, gender, outspoken nature and interracial marriage are all sources of anger for the trolls, who she believes are mostly far-right conservatives based in Saudi Arabia.
"They didn't like my tweets about marriage, equality and unity," she tells BBC Trending. "They started a campaign publishing a picture of my husband and children, and asked others to retweet it. It was very shocking."
Al-Hawsawi is clear about why she she has become a target: "I represent everything that they hate, everything that they stand against. I'm a Saudi woman who married a foreigner. They're anti-American. My husband is white, I'm black. They condemn interracial marriages. They say women shouldn't have jobs, so to see a woman who can't just drive a car but has a pilots licence is unacceptable. And they don't like that my message resonates with a lot of followers."
Her plight doesn't seem to be going unheard. Al-Hawsawi sent a collection of the abusive messages to the ministry of the interior and says the issue is being taken very seriously, but attempts to track down the abusers - most of whom post anonymously - is taking time.
And in the meantime? "I learned a lot from Mandela, MLK and Gandhi," she says. "You don't fight hate with hate. You can light a candle and stay positive. It just makes you stronger."

Tuesday 26 January 2016


 This is just unacceptable.

It was early in the day, before dhur prayer. There was no prayer going on, but the imam was giving a lecture. There were maybe around 60 men in the main space, meaning it was mostly empty. I joined the few women who prayed in the back of the main hall, behind the small wooden rails where women usually pray. After a few minutes a man came and shooed at us, telling us to go upstairs. I ignored him the first time, then gave in on the third shooing and went up.
The stairs were narrow, cramped, steep, and circular. Treacherous really. I went up and there were about ten women on the balcony area. I started praying, asking God’s mercy and blessings for my family, friends, for Adnan’s hearing, for the health of loved ones, etc etc. Then I looked over and saw a woman emerge out of the stairway door. Except she wasn’t standing up. She was crawling.
She was the first of a number of very elderly women who crawled up those awful stairs on their hands and knees. One of them dragged her cane with her. They would get to the top, then have to be helped to stand up and wobble over to a place on the carpet to pray.
That pretty much broke me. I can’t remember the last time I wept, really wept. I had already been shooed away from a number of mosque doors that were the domain of men only, but this really broke me. What has happened to our men? Where is the mercy and compassion of our Prophet (saw)? How many would send their own elderly mothers up such stairs to sit away from…from what? From prayer?

Wednesday 20 January 2016

‘No to Sexism, No to Racism’: Syrian refugees


The heinous attacks on women in Cologne cannot be condemned enough. More should have been done to prevent them and more must be done to bring perpetrators to justice. This is an expression of rape culture, of patriarchy, misogyny that exists in all cultures and all places. But here it is only being discussed because of the Arab or North African appearance of the attackers. Even the victims themselves are being ignored. 

The attacks are being exploited by anti-refugee/right-wing protesters to malign and stereotype all refugees. Organisations like Pegida say sex attacks were "in principle bad for the women, but good for us, because the people are being woken up." Indeed no one is more pleased with such a backlash against the refugees than Daesh themselves. It completely reaffirms their agenda and their attempts to alienate and polarize Muslims in Europe. 

Morever people like the Czech President Milos Zeman further assist Daesh by making statements like “The experience of western European countries which have ghettos and excluded localities shows that the integration of the Muslim community is practically impossible,” Ignoring the fact that there are many well integrated Muslim communities in Europe indeed European countries like Bosnia and Kosovo are Muslim!

Therefore is is imporant to not give in to the steretypes and to share news which also shows refugees in a postive light.

In Cologne, Syrians gathered with plaques condemning the attacks that took place in the city, and to thank the country for taking them in.

Refugees also gave out flowers to passers-by, and held signs saying: ‘We respect the values of German society’ and ‘We are all Cologne’. 

An American woman has told how she was rescued from being sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in Cologne by a group of Syrian refugees. She remains friends with one of her rescuers, a refugee who condemned the attackers saying they had “lost their minds” on drink and drugs.


Monday 18 January 2016

Ruqia Hassan: the woman who was killed for telling the truth about Isis

 A hero and a martyr: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un
 A photograph of Ruqia Hassan posted on Twitter
After Hassan’s arrest, her distraught family visited the prison every day, desperate for news. They were never allowed to see her. Rather than shutting down her Facebook page, the militia left it active to entrap her friends – at least five people are thought to have been arrested as a result, according to Abu Mohammed. Months would pass before the family learned of Hassan’s fate. “We hoped that she would be released,” says Ali. “But on New Year’s Day her brother went to see Isis again; they told him they had executed her and five other women. They wouldn’t give the family her body.”
Since then, Hassan’s cousins have been unable to contact the family in Raqqa. In her last Facebook post, Hassan wrote: “I’m in Raqqa and I received death threats. When Isil arrest me and kill me it’s OK, because [while] they will cut [off] my head I will have dignity, which is better than living in humiliation.”
Abdullah says he hopes his cousin will be an inspiration. “She taught many people a lesson they would never forget. She taught us not to fear the tyrant ... I’m sure we will have many other Ruqias from now.”
Ali, too, could not be prouder of his cousin. “She become a hero in our village for her courage and being the voice of the truth. She was fearless ... A little Kurdish girl from Kobani faced a brutal militia and exposed them. She will never be forgotten.”

Tuesday 12 January 2016

How racism is making a comeback, and exploiting tensions between Sikhs and Muslims

Around four months ago, 12-year-old Armaan Singh Sarai and his parents moved to a suburb in Dallas, Texas and they enrolled him into the local school. They were especially worried about his future, as he had a condition that had already required three open heart surgeries.
Last Friday, another child at school made a joke about Armaan concealing a bomb. The school immediately called the police without even questioning him. They in turn put him in a juvenile facility without informing his parents, who only found out after he was late that evening and called the school. Their child spent three days in the facility. 
When Armaan’s parents complained of excessive force, the local police blamed the pupils for making a joke and said they had to take every threat seriously. The episode only came to light after a cousin took to Facebook to express shock at the way the family had been treated and her post went viral.
Such incidents are being shared on social media with alarming regularity. On 3 December, another American Sikh, Valarie Kaur, was almost pulled off a flight after a man complained about suspicious activity while she was using her breast-pump. On the same day a Muslim woman in Boston, Massachusetts was taking the bus when a man shouted: “She has a bomb in there! Women are doing it too now, don’t you see the news?” She wrote on Facebook that she had to show her Harvard ID and computers to other passengers before they backed off.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

More Norwegians convert to Islam

     This really moved me :)
‘Religious experience’ on Utøya
Morten Ibrahim Abrahamsen, now a 23-year-old man from Hamar, converted after surviving the massacre of July 22, 2011 on the island of Utøya that was carried out by another young but right-wing anti-Islamic extremist. Abrahamsen told Aftenposten he had a religious experience while he desperately tried to hide from the lone gunman Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 69 people at the Labour Party’s youth summer camp that Abrahamsen was attending.
“I met a lot of resistance, also publicly, from people who thought I was vulnerable and had all but been forced to convert,” Abrahamsen said, after he’d declared his faith to representatives of the Islamic organization Islam Net in Oslo. It’s been a target of controversy for organizing conferences featuring radical Muslim clerics, for segregating men and women who attend and for spreading the word about Islam from information stands on the street, among other things.
“But now it’s been nearly four years (since the massacre and his conversion) and I’m thriving with my religion,” Abrahamsen told Aftenposten. “I have found the sense of calm I was looking for.” He and several of the others interviewed oppose extremism and claim the Koraninstructs them to follow the laws of the land where they live. They cannot, according to Abrahamsen, demand introduction of sharia law that can impose death sentences for such things as infidelity, homosexuality or abandoning the faith, while he noted that sharia law itself “is often not practiced as it should be, and many people who gain power often make mistakes.”

Monday 4 January 2016

Love your neighbors


The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "[The angel] Gabriel continued to recommend that I treat neighbors kindly and politely, so much so that I thought he would order me to make them my heirs." Sahih Al-Bukhari

I thank God for my neighbors everyday, Sikhs, Hindus, Athiests, Catholics, young, old, all helpful, all awesome, alhamdulilah!