News Briefs for week of November 16, 2009

This week, artist Shepard Fairey portrays the many faces of Muslim women, a Muslim woman’s headscarf is pulled on at a grocery store, burqa-clad Barbies will be auctioned off in London, 200 models are encouraged to convert to Islam, a female-only bank opens in Iraq and Lubna Hussein tours Europe to gain support for Muslim women.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art featured artist Shepard Fairey’s first solo exhibit. Fairey’s Obama Hope poster catapulted him into the national spotlight. His exhibit featured several images of Muslim women. The women are veiled and unveiled, sometimes strong and sometimes vulnerable.

The Christian Science Monitor reported that an Illinoisan, Valerie Kenney, tugged at the headscarf of Amal Abusumayah in a grocery store line this week. Kennedy was charged with a hate crime and can face up to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

The Daily Mail reported that London’s Southerby’s auction house is set to auction off a number of Barbies dressed in burkas. The event will benefit the charity Save the Children and is being held to commemorate the doll’s 50th anniversary.

The Telegraph reports that Libyan leader Col. Gaddafi paid 200 models to attend a meeting where he preached to them about the merits of Islam and encouraged them to convert. The models were recruited from an agency that sought “attractive girls between 18 and 35 years old” on behalf of Gaddafi.

3News reports that a female-only branch of a bank has opened up in the Iraqi city of Najaf. The branch is operated by a female-only staff as well.

The TimesOnline reports that Lubna Hussein, who was prosecuted for wearing pants in Sudan, defied a ban on traveling outside the country to visit Europe. Hussein was in France last week to gain European support for the rights of Muslim women.

Rabea Chaudhry is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah.

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