News Briefs for the Week of January 17, 2011

This week, a dictator’s fall from grace is reflected upon, Christian women continue to be targeted in Pakistan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks in Florida, an English judge voices concern over community pressure on Muslim women, and NPR reports on the high number of women converting to Islam in the UK.
The World Tribune reported on the ousting of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Bin Ali. Bin Ali left the country he had ruled since 1987 for Saudi Arabia on January 14, responding to massive riots throughout the country demanding he step down.

Energy Publisher reported that two women were assaulted over blasphemy charges in Pakistan. The mother and daughter were accused of abusing the Prophet Muhammad after the daughter, Saira Chand, got into an argument with her sister in law Amina.

The Alligator reported on a speech by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who spoke in Florida on the struggles she faced being raised as a Muslim. Ali attributed her decision to leave Islam to the blatant sexism she experienced as well as Muslim scholars’ positions on homosexuality and adultery.

The Mail Online reported that UK Judge Simon Newell has voiced concerns over the extreme pressure that he says Muslim communities exert on women after a rape case involving a husband and wife collapsed when the wife retracted her allegations. The wife had originally accused her husband of raping her twice.

NPR reported that most of Britain’s converts to Islam are women. Academic studies have found that many of these women are drawn to the religion’s values.

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