News briefs for week of April 27, 2009

This week, a “let’s get her fat” protest in Saudi Arabia (along with the divorces of child brides there), an interfaith effort to prevent deportation of a Muslim student and his family, and cruel and unusual torture in Iraq.
Nur Munir, a man devoted to “bringing Muslims, Jews, and Christians together,” faces deportation a couple months before the completion of his master’s degree in theological studies at Harvard. Professors, students, and a Jewish College in Pennsylvania are rallying together to keep the 41-year-old father in the United states with his ill wife and two young children.

The closing of unlicensed female-only gyms in Saudi Arabia has prompted Saudi women to protest under the banner, “let her get fat!” Women’s gyms can only exist as “health centers” in hospitals at which only the affluent can afford the minimum $266 monthly membership.

After mounting international pressure, 50-year-old Saudi man agrees to divorce his nine-year-old bride even though Saudi courts ruled in his favor, earlier in the month, by denying divorce being sought on part of the bride, her mother, and a women’s rights group in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi courts issued a divorce between an eight-year-old girl and a 58-year-old man on grounds that the marriage contract was illegal. In Islam bride price, Mahr, is the bride’s property, in this case the girl father took the funds to settle his financial problems.

Groups opposed to homosexuality in Iraq employed brutal forms of torture involving gluing the buttocks together and feeding the captives laxatives.

Shazia Riaz is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah

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