News briefs for week of September 7, 2009

This week, Sudanese journalist Lubna al-Hussein is freed after serving one day of her sentence for wearing pants, the LA Times ran an opinion piece questioning if the hijab really is liberation, a piece in the New York Times discussed the challenges that Muslim women in hijab face when exercising, a Muslim woman in France testifies in favor of a burqa ban and pig-free cosmetics are created for Muslim women.
In Sudan, Lubna al-Hussein, whose trial for wearing pants was widely covered by the media, was released from prison after serving one day of her sentence. Al-Hussein, a journalist, was arrested and charged for wearing tight pants and opted to go to trial instead of succumbing to lashes and a fine.

Here in Amerca, the “LA Times” ran an opinion piece on [url=,0,4040349.column]Meghan Daum criticizing[/ur] the reduction of the hijab as liberating when, as in the case of Lubna al-Hussein, so many women are forced to wear it around the world.

Another major American media outlet, “New York Times”, ran a piece on the challenges that hijabis face when exercising and featured Muslim American women who are finding ways to exercise despite the modesty requirements that they adhere to.

In France Sihem Habchi, leader of a Muslim women’s advocacy group, [url=
testified]]testified before a French panel[/url] in favor of a burqa ban. Habchi stated that “the survial of many young women depends” on new laws to protect them.

In South Africa, the government is still waiting for the go-ahead from the nation’s Muslim community for the implementation of the Muslim Personal Law which will recognize, among other things, Muslim marriages. The Muslim community in South Africa has been debating the bill for 15 years with some worried that the bill will allow secularism to cloud the Sharia.

And Canadian Muslim Layla Mandi has created a pig-free cosmetic line for conscientious Muslim women. The line abstains from pork derivatives and alcohol, both ingredients considered unclean substances by Muslims.
Rabea Chaudhry is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah

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