Is veil an Islamic requirement, or not?

By: Alexandra Kinias When the Egyptian newspaper Al-Massa published on May 25th, 2012 an article about Al Azhar’s endorsement to Sheikh Mustafa Mohamed Rashid’s PhD thesis on Sharia and Law, which stated that veil is not an Islamic requirement (fard), not much reaction to this controversial news was reported. Ranked at the bottom of the government publications that had lost credibility with the public, Al-Massa newspaper is hardly read by Egyptians. In May, the news media and Egyptians were already tangled with the presidential race and an article in Al-Massa was the last thing anyone would pay attention to. Rashid … Continue reading Is veil an Islamic requirement, or not?

Childhood Interrupted

By: Alexandra Kinias Summer; it is the time of the year when news media and NGOs, in Egypt, remember to write about the underage marriages of Egyptian girls to wealthy men from Arabia and the Gulf area. Not that the rest of the year the girls are safe, but it became a seasonal phenomenon that escalates during the summer holidays, and remembered especially after the annual U.S. State department report about trafficking in person is released. The 2012 report classified Egypt, again, as a Tier 2, which means that Egypt is among the countries whose governments do not fully comply … Continue reading Childhood Interrupted

Taliban shoot woman 9 times in public execution

CNN Edition Warning: The video is very disturbing Afghanistan A shot rings out, but the burqa-clad woman sitting on the rocky ground does not respond. The man pointing a rifle at her from a few feet away lets loose another round, but still there is no reaction. He fires a third shot, and finally the woman slumps backwards. But the man fires another shot. And another. And another. Nine shots in all. Around him, dozens of men on a hillside cheer: “God is great!” Officials in Afghanistan, where the amateur video was filmed, believe the woman was executed because two … Continue reading Taliban shoot woman 9 times in public execution

The Stolen Lives of Mauritania’s Slaves

  By: Alexandra Kinias The news from Mauritania, the sub-Saharan country to the west of the African continent on the Atlantic coast, hardly catches anyone’s attention or interest, to say the least. With its vast deserts and small population, hidden among its sand dunes, and an economy that ranks among the poorest in the world, Mauritanians are living on the fringe of humanity. The forgotten nation was brought to the light when CNN made a special documentary that sheds the light on Mauritania’s slavery that is still practiced today. All men are created equal theoretically applies in Mauritania. In 1981, the … Continue reading The Stolen Lives of Mauritania’s Slaves