News briefs for week of April 5, 2010

This week, Canadian police announce that they will fine arrested women in niqab, Belgium moves closer to becoming the first European country to outlaw the niqab, Bomber Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova is profiled and Malaysian authorities decide not to cane a women charged with drinking beer.
The India Times reported that Canadian police in have announced that they will begin to charge women in niqab who refuse to remove their niqab for mug shots after being booked. Although no Muslim woman in a niqab has been arrested before, Canadian police announced their plans shortly after the Canadian province Quebec passed a niqab ban.

The Epoch Times reported that on March 31 Belgium MPs of the Interior Affairs Committee of the Belgian Parliament unanimously voted in favor of a burqa ban in the country. Belgium lawmakers said they believed the bill is in the best interest of public safety and women’s dignity. The bill will fine anyone covering his or her face with a 15 – 25 Euro fine and up to a week in jail. It is expected that motorcyclists and firemen will be exempted from the bill.

Calling her the “baby face” of the March 29th Moscow subway bombings, The Sydney Morning Herald profiled suicide bomber Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova. She was a widow to a leading Causcasus militant killed by Russian forces on December 31, 2009. Another, still unidentified woman, is believed to have carried out the bombings with Abdurakhmanova.

Reuters reported that Malaysian authorities have dropped the caning sentence of a woman who was charged with drinking beer in the country. The Islamic authorities of the country decided on another form of punishment for the women, which was still undisclosed.
Rabea Chaudhry is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah

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