IMOW: You are the founder of Sisters in Islam (also known as SIS) in Malaysia and were at its helm for twenty years before stepping down. SIS exists to bring justice to women as accorded to them by the Quran. What first inspired you to create this organization?
Women Living Under Muslim Laws, the Violence is not our Culture Campaign, and Justice for Iran are pleased to announce the release of a new publication: Mapping Stoning in Muslim Contexts. This report locates where the punishment of stoning is still in practice, either through judicial (codified as law) or extrajudicial (outside the law) methods.
"It's easy to heap unkind words on our family but nobody has tried putting themselves in our shoes,” said Mak Yah, 50, the mother of medical assistant Mohd Ashraf Hafiz Abd Aziz, 25, the transgender whose application to change his name to Aleesha Farhana was rejected by the High Court here on Monday. Eyes brimming with tears, Mak Yah lamented to the New Straits Times the pain and humiliation she felt when she read the negative comments about her and her husband, Abdul Aziz, 60.
The High Court yesterday ruled that pregnant women should not be discriminated from seeking employment. In a landmark ruling, judge Datuk Zaleha Yusof made her decision in favour of Noorfadilla Ahmad Saikin, who took the government to court to seek a declaration that pregnancy is not a reason for her to be denied employment as an untrained relief teacher.
The Casa Asia Award 2011, in its eighth edition, has been awarded to the Malaysian NGO Sisters in Islam for its solid committment in promoting women's rights in the Muslim world from Malaysia. Sisters in Islam is a Non-Government Organization of Muslim women that searches to articulate women's rights in Islam, highlighting the need to interpret Koran in its own historical and cultural context. This group, made up of several Malaysian women, who are lawyers, activists, academics and journalists, advocates for the right of women to hold public positions, and directs its efforts towards the promotion of rights, in global, of Muslim women, on the basis of principles such as equality, justice and freedom imposed by the Koran.
There has been much furore over the formation of the Obedient Wives’ Club by a fringe Islamic group causing heated debate among women and men, alike. Ipoh Echo sought the views of two Malay Muslim women who helm a women’s rights movement here in Ipoh. Dr Sharifah Halimah Jaafar and Puan Halida Mohd Ali are from the Perak Women for Women Society.
The ASEAN Progressive Muslim Movement (APMM), a network of twenty one (21) non-governmental organizations working for the protection and promotion of women’s rights in the ASEAN region, jointly with Women Living Under Muslim Laws and the Global Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women in the name of "Culture" (Violence is not our Culture Campaign), view the recent formation of The Obedient Wives’ Club (OWC) in Malaysia as disturbing and offensive. The Syarie Lawyers Association (PGSM) in Malaysia has attacked the Club for encouraging women to fulfill their husbands' needs by being "good prostitutes". See attached APMM's statement of concern.
Zainah Anwar, Sisters in Islam (SIS) founder answers ... What are your thoughts on the French government's ban on Muslim women from wearing the burqa in public?Susila B, Johor. Z.A.I believe the state has no role to play in deciding whether a woman should cover or uncover her hair. In Iran or Saudi Arabia, you cannot leave home without the hijab but in Turkey you cannot be in any public school or university or government building with the hijab. I wish the state would leave women's heads alone. However, when it comes to the burqaor niqab (face covering), I find myself conflicted about the role of the state in this.