News Briefs for the week of November 29, 2010

This week, Muslim women are prevented from skating at a roller rink, a Meccan religious leader says that there is no need for women to cover their faces, Malaysia launches an all-women’s bus service, and Muslim women oppose a new divorce ruling in India.
According to ABC News, two Muslim women in Connecticut were told that they could not skate if they wore their headscarves. A manger at the roller rink directed both Marisol Rodriguez-Colon and her sister-in-law were directed to a sign that read, “No hats, No headwear, No exceptions.” The Council on American-Islamic relations has filed a complaint on behalf of the women with Connecticut’s Human Rights Commission.

Al-Arabiya reports that Shaikh Ahmed al-Ghamdi, head of the Meccan branch of the Commission for the Promotion of virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Kingdom’s Religious Police), has said that there is no need for women to cover their faces or be banned from driving. Ghamdi stated that: “There is a difference in interpretation of the (Quran) verse… which leads some scholars to rule that the whole body must be covered … However other scholars approve showing the face, hands and elbows. And some even okayed the hair.”

Coach Broker News reports that Malaysia has launched an all-female bus service at the request of female passengers. Only women and young men under 12 who are accompanied by women may travel on the Rapid Lady Bus.

The Times of India reports that Muslim women are protesting the recent religious ruling by the group Darul Uloom Deoband that declares that a man’s pronouncement of divorce is valid over the phone, even if his wife is unable to hear due to network problems. Members of the Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan called the religious ruling, “anti-women” stating that ruling was “regressive ” and would render the lives of many Muslim women “miserable.”

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