The Taliban's leadership is prepared to drop its ban on girls' schools, one of Afghanistan's most influential cabinet ministers has claimed. According to Farooq Wardak, the country's education minister, the movement has decided to scrap the ban on female education that helped earn the movement worldwide infamy in the 1990s. Wardak said the Taliban's leadership had undergone a profound change since losing power after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Bibi, the Christian woman who triggered a blasphemy furore in Pakistan and in whose defence Punjab governor Salman Taseer lost his life, is facing a threat of a suicide attack inside a jail, where she is currently lodged. The "Moaviya group", a militant organisation plans to mount a suicide attack on Sheikhupura district jail, where 45-year-old Asia is being held, The Express Tribunequoted its sources as saying. An intelligence report issued last week has corroborated threat to her life.
بقلم نيفين مسعد. اليوم ليلة عيد الميلاد المجيد، أعود إلى بيتى فى المساء وأمر على الشرفة الزجاجية لمدام ليلى فى الطابق الأرضى من العمارة. ألاحظ نجمة فضية جديدة فى وسط شجرة الميلاد التى تتلألأ أنوارها من خلف الزجاج، هكذا اعتادت مدام ليلى أن تضيف إلى زينة الشجرة لمسة جديدة كل عام. أنقر على باب شقتها فتفتح لى متدثرة بشالها الصوف الكاروهات الذى لا يفارقها فى فصل الشتاء، أمازحها وأجذبه قليلا عن رأسها فتردنى برفق، أسألها إن كانت تطلب مساعدة فترد بالنفى، كنت أعرف أنها سترد بالنفى.
Mahjouba was raped in March on the nighttime streets of Mauritania's capital, but she will not bring charges against the man she says did it since she may be the one who ends up in prison. The 25-year-old says the legal advice she received was to not go to court, leaving her to suffer in silence. There is no law in Mauritania that defines rape. According to a local U.N.-funded group working with the victims, the law criminalizes the women instead of their rapists -- and society ostracizes the women.
Palestinian feminist Asma Al-Ghoul arrived to our meeting at a Gaza coffee shop sporting blue jeans and a T-shirt—in stark contrast to the Islamic headscarves and tent-like dresses worn by the vast majority of Gazan women. It's not just clothing that sets this 28-year-old secularist apart. She once publicly chastised a senior Hamas military leader—her uncle—who threatened to kill her, and she continues to publish gutsy articles, read banned books, and defy discriminatory policies. "Gaza needs all the liberal, secular people to stay here," she insisted, when I asked why she had declined opportunities to live abroad.
Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, said the country would adopt an Islamic constitution if the south split away in next month's referendum, in a speech today in which he also defended police filming a woman being flogged. "If south Sudan secedes, we will change the constitution and at that time there will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity," Bashir told supporters at a rally in the eastern city of Gedaref. "Sharia [Islamic law] and Islam will be the main source for the constitution, Islam the official religion and Arabic the official language," he said.
Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on Friday for the closure of bars and liquor shops in Iraq following a renewed campaign by authorities in Baghdad to shut down nightclubs and shops selling alcohol.
It's not known exactly how many Ahmadis have settled in Britain - because many are too fearful to even admit they belong to the religion. They are a small, peaceful community who came here after fleeing persecution in Pakistan. But many Ahmadis are now living in fear for their lives - because they claim a campaign of hatred against them by other, extremist Muslims, is being exported from Pakistan onto the streets of the UK.