Your Weekly Digest on What Muslim Women Are Talking About

World News Updates You Might Have Missed: The Death Penalty in Saudi for Female Activist & First Muslim Female Senate in Australia

by in World on 20th August, 2018

1) Ilham Omar First woman in Congress to wear the hijab?

Ilham Omar, a 36-year-old mother of three, a black Somali female refugee, has won the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s 5th district congressional seat, the 5th district is inclusive of Minneapolis which has a history of voting Democrats, this means she may well be the one to replace U.S rep Keith Ellison.  She is in line to becoming the first, Somali, American Muslim woman, that may be elected to Congress. The leader escaped Somalia and lived in a refugee camp for 4 years, at the tender age of 8, she said in a speech recently, “I still think about her (younger self) and those 8-year-olds around the country and around the world, get from seeing you elect and believe in someone like me.” AJ plus has reported, “she has previously been physically beaten, at a political meeting, attacked in 2014 at a Minnesota party caucus, where she was working as an aide.” She also told the Guardian how much she had to laugh off hateful verbal threats that would get quite personal. She often uses her platform for values she believes in as an intersectional feminist, as well as to promote tuition-free college, abolishing ICE, supporting Medicare for all, and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.”

2) Saudi prosecution calls for beheading of Israa Al- Ghomgham

A human rights activist Israa Al- Ghomgham is now facing the possibility of a death penalty sentence. This will be the first time the death penalty will be used as a measure of punishment for a female. Israa Al- Ghomgham, from Hayy Al Shawikah in Qatif, located in the Eastern province,  partook in, “peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations during the Arab spring. Despite being aware of the risks and Saudi authorities suppression of the peaceful protest movement, as part of her activism, she called for fundamental and basic civil and political rights such as peaceful assembly and expression”, she called for the release of prisoners and human rights defenders and expressed her opinions on social media platforms. Her activism has caused her to be a target for Saudi authorities. She was bought to the (SCC) a specialised criminal court in Riyadh, for her first court session. The news only reached others via social media after her father circulated her case via WhatsApp. Before long the case went viral, causing a number of high profile women to call out the brutal punishment. The trial began 32 hours after, ‘arbitrary detention’, Israa currently has not been given legal representation. Israa’ has been arrested previously in 2015 by Saudi authorities.

3) First Muslim woman Senate in Australia

Fantastic news in politics for Muslim women as Mehreen Faruqi has become the first Muslim female senate in Australia. The Pakistan born politician told the BBC that, Australia’s future would be stronger for our diversity”. This news transpired around the same time another new senator received criticism for racist views surfacing calling for ‘final solution on immigration’. Both senates being appointed has caused a lot of controversies, causing the country to be caught up in bitter race rows.  Faruqi has said,” Mr Anning had spat in the face of millions of Australians, spewing hate and racism in his first speech to parliament on Tuesday. I’m a Muslim migrant, I’m about to be a Senator and there’s not a damn thing Fraser Anning can do about it,” she further wrote.

4) 300 die in India

Over 300 people have died in Kerala, after facing its worse flood in over 100 years in India starting last Monday. A total of, “6,33,010 people have been staying in 2,971 relief camps and around 38,000 flood-affected people have been rescued by different agencies so far”.  Over 2,500 tonnes of rice has been sent, hundreds of government boats and helicopters, have been sent in aid of the rescue of the people. It has also been reported that the Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, will donate one month of his salary towards the relief work in a flood that has hit Kerala. The officer of chief minister has relayed that migrant workers must also receive priority in aid, as he has instructed officials that relief must reach them.

5) Swedish Muslim woman wins case over ‘shaking hands with men’

A Swedish Muslim woman has won a court case, called after refusing to shake hands with a man during a job interview. The woman’s interview was terminated right after she refused to shake the man’s hand, to which she has now received compensation for after the case went to court. Farah Alhajeh just 24 years old, applied for a job as an interpreter in Uppsala, Sweden, when she refused to shake the man’s hand, and “instead placed her hand over her heart” The Independent reported. The woman won the first case of its kind where Swedish courts ruled in her favour, ruling that the company had discriminated against her. The company has been ordered to pay 40,000 kronor (£3,400) in compensation. Go sis!!

6)  What 8 years of Palestinian Mail looks like

10 tonnes of Palestinian mail has finally been revealed as aid workers sort through it, Israel recently revealed the tonnes of Palestinian Mail, that had accumulated over 10 years, after being held by Israel. JERICHO, West Bank postal workers have been sorting through a room filled with packages, letters, and even a wheelchair.  Palestinians have said Israel withheld delivery of “post shipments” to Palestinian territories, through the national postal service since 2010. The Palestinians say: Israel has withheld delivery of post shipments to the Palestinian territories through its national postal service since 2010. Postal official, Ramadan Ghazawi, said Israel has failed to honour a 2008 agreement with Palestine, to facilitate the sending and receiving of mail through Jordan. The mail had been delivered via Jordan but was seized and denied entry causing years of backlog.



Hanan has a Masters in Media in the Middle East from SOAS University. Trainee of the Muslim Women in Media institute Annual Cohort at UC Davis, California. Her interests lie in ethical fashion, modern-day slavery, and when not making Youtube videos she is somewhere in between Ballet and Kickboxing. King Julian is her spirit animal.