News briefs for week of March 9, 2009

Every day, issues related to gender intersect with our society, politics, economics, and culture. Altmuslimah is your source for up-to-date news and commentary on these critical intersections. Here are our news briefs for the week of March 9, 2009.
Last Thursday, March 5, a woman in her early 20s was arrested in Mecca for driving a car. She was arrested after her Lexus 4×4 crashed into another vehicle. This Monday, March 9 marked the birth date of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and to commemorate the day Egyptian Blogger Dalia Ziada launched a campaign calling for Saudi Arabia to end their discrimination against young women by lifting the ban against travel to the kingdom by young women unaccompanied by a male relative.

Also on March 9, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced 75 year-old Syrian Khamisa Mohammed Sawadi to 40 lashes, four months imprisonment, and deportation from the country for having two young men in her house – “Fahd” and “Hadian”. Fahd was reportedly breast-fed by the woman and was at the house to deliver bread, and Hadian, a friend of Fahd’s, was accompanying him.

On this side of the Atlantic, on Thursday, March 12 a 54-year-old Muslim woman was asked to leave a line at the Navy Federal Credit Union in Southern Maryland to be served in a backroom because her head covering violated the company’s “no hats, hoods or sunglasses” policy. She was issued an in-person apology.
Rabea Chaudhry is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah.