News briefs for week of January 4th, 2010

This week, violence against women in Gaza is highlighted along with a Canadian Muslim women calendar. Muslim punk music and niqab bans continue to ruffle feathers and a Chinese professor speaks out about the Uighur, predominantly Muslim, minority.
The San Francisco Examiner reported that violence against women in Gaza has been on the increase since 2007. Relying on the findings of Gaza’s Palestinian Women’s Information and Media Center, The Examiner cited financial strains are the primary reason why up to 77% of Gazan wives have experienced violence at the hands of their husbands.

The Examiner also reported on a new Canadian calendar featuring Muslim women of distinction. The calendar, which depicts Muslim women as successful, intelligent and well-accomplished, is an attempt by photographer Shazia Javed to challenge prevailing stereotypes of Muslim women in Canada.

USA Today reported on the Hindu-Muslim punk band The Kominas. The band seems to be at the forefront of the ongoing discovery of what it means to be a South Asian and Muslim in America by tackling issues of sexuality, women’s rights, and identity. Made up of Indian and Pakistani Americans, the band is credited by the publication with “help[ing] launch a small, but growing, South Asian and Middle Eastern punk movement that is attracting children of Muslim and Hindu immigrants[.]”

In Cairo, Afrol News reports that women’s rights activists have vowed to appeal the niqab ban, imposed by the Government on all women taking university examinations.

The Washington Post profiled Chinese university professor Ilham Tohti, who hails from the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region of China. Tohti lectures openly about his ethnic group, the Uighurs, and challenges China’s attempts to silence the minority.
Rabea Chaudhry is Associate Editor of Altmuslimah.

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