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28.9.14


The western countries are more Islamic than Muslim- dominated states: says US Professor
The Muslims in western countries are more religious than the countries in which the Muslims dominate the population, says Dr. Nadir Hashimi, Director of department of Western Asian studies of Denver University in USA speaking on the topic "Islam, Secularism and Liberal democracy" in a symposium conducted in Kolalampur, capital of Malasya. 
Western countries are giving much religious freedom,especially in Canada and they have more progress than the Muslims in countries of OIC(Organisation of Islamic States), he opined. Canada would be more preferable to them for living  than Muslim countries and the values contributed both by Islam and Canada are almost same which are not seen in most of the Arab countries, he added.


Qatar withdraws from Asian Games in hijab row
Women's basketball team pulls out of tournament after international body refuses to allow team to play wearing hijabs.
Qatar has pulled out of the women's basketball competition at the Asian Games after refusing to abide by international regulations preventing them from wearing hijabs. 
The Qatari players had been asked to remove their hijabs before their opening group game against Mongolia on Wednesday, but chose to forfeit the match instead. 
According to International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules, Article 4.2.2 dictates players cannot wear "headgear, hair accessories and jewellery".  
With no sign of the rule being relaxed ahead of their scheduled match against Nepal on Thursday, Qatar decided to withdraw from their remaining games at the 17th Asiad, which is being run under the slogan: "Diversity Shines Here". 
We have decided not to take part in the remainder of the Asian Games women's basketball competition," an assistant with Qatar's National Olympic Committee told Reuters news agency by telephone. 
Nepal's players took the court for 15 minutes at the Samsan World Gymnasium, passing and shooting among themselves, before the forfeit was announced. 
Both Qatar games were recorded as 20-0 defeats on the Games' official website.

Discrimination allegations

The wearing of hijabs has become a big topic in sport in recent years, with Muslim athletes complaining that they are being discriminated against. 


We knew about the hijab ban but we have to be here. We have to show everyone that we are ready to play, but the International Association is not ready
Qatari player Ahlam Salem M Al-Mana
Judoka Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani hit the headlines at the 2012 London Olympics when Saudi Arabia demanded she be allowed to compete wearing a hijab. 
While international judo federation rules at the time barred her from doing so, Shaherkani was eventually allowed to compete wearing a modified veil. 
Competition at the Asian Games is conducted under the regulations of the sports' international governing bodies, meaning athletes in other sports are free to wear hijabs.
All four bronze medal-winning rowers of Iran's lightweight women's quadruple sculls team wore hijabs on Wednesday, while Kuwait's Najlaa I M Aljerewi and Iran's Aghaei Hajiagha Soraya wore them in the triathlon and badminton events on Thursday. 
Basketball remains the exception. 
FIBA said earlier this month it had held discussions on the issue and was introducing a two-year 'testing phase' on what players can wear, though that only applies at the national level, not international competitions such as the Asian Games.

Taking a stand

An official from Incheon's organising committee had sympathy for the Qatari players but said the Games had to follow FIBA's regulations and that their hands were tied. 
"There is not much IAGOC can do to help the Qatari players.We can't change FIBA regulations right now even if we consult with them," the official told Reuters by telephone.  
"Personally I feel sorry for them. All the other sports allow hijabs." 
The situation has left Qatari athletes confused and angry. 
"We have to take this stand," said Qatari player Ahlam Salem M Al-Mana on Wednesday. "We knew about the hijab ban but we have to be here. We have to show everyone that we are ready to play, but the International Association is not ready."
The Asian Games, which prides itself on diversity and inclusiveness, has brought 9,500 athletes from 45 countries to Incheon to compete in the world's second biggest multi-sports event after the Summer Olympics.


Malaysia urged to stop transgender arrests


Rights group says Malaysian government should repeal laws that discriminate against transgender people. 
Malaysia's transgender population faces systematic repression, harassment and mistreatment, and the government must immediately repeal laws that criminalise their lifestyles, Human Rights Watch has said. 
On Thursday, the US-based group released a report it says details worsening abuses that transgender people face in the Southeast Asian nation.
They include arrest, assault and extortion by authorities, public shaming of transgender people by forcing them to strip off their women's clothing in public, and barriers to healthcare, employment and education.

Boris Dittrich, the group's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocacy director, said the situation was worsening due to the steady rise of conservative Islamic attitudes in Malaysia.
"Simply for being transgender you can be arrested. That is not something we see in the rest of the world," he said.
"It fits into this picture of Islamisation of the country."
Malaysia has civil courts based on British law, but also sharia courts regulating adherence to Islamic practices, and which apply only to Muslims.
Islamic law outlaws men dressing as women, which is punishable by up to three years in jail. Some Malaysian states also outlaw cross-dressing by women.

Homosexuality effectively outlawed
Human Rights Watch said many Malaysians who were born as men but who identify as women recounted physical and sexual assault at the hands of authorities.
The group said it interviewed dozens of such people for the 73-page report.
One, identified as Victoria, claimed to have been stripped naked and molested by officials.
"I was completely humiliated," Victoria said. "Everyone was looking... They took photos of my naked body."
Three transgender plaintiffs have filed a suit seeking repeal of the anti-cross-dressing law in one Malaysian state, calling it discriminatory and unconstitutional.
In a statement, Dittrich said transgender people "risk arrest every day" and that authorities faced no accountability in their treatment of them.
Homosexuality is effectively outlawed, with gay sex punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

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