08/13/2005: Women's Rights - Back to Basics 101...
Ahh - Maureen Dowd (NY Times), I am so glad you’re back and in excellent wit and form!! Your pen has never been sharper. Refomer Without Results:
”…Americans like it when the president talks up women's rights in Iraq and Afghanistan, so he does it often. It helped him sell the invasions of those two countries. But W. should stop listening to "My Sharona" on his iPod and start listening to their Sharia.
The fundamentalist Taliban is recrudescing in Afghanistan, young girls in Iraq are afraid to leave their homes because there are so many kidnappings and rapes, and women's groups in Iraq are terrified that the new constitution will cut women's rights to a Saudiesque level.
Some Shiite politicians are pushing to supplant the civil courts that have long governed marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance with religious courts that are based on Sharia, or Islamic law.…
… Clerics running religious courts based on the Koran could legitimize polygamy, honor killings, stonings and public beheadings of women charged with adultery, and divorce by "talaq" - where all a husband has to do is declare, "I divorce thee," three times.
Saddam repressed Islamic politics, so under him, Iraq was one of the most secular countries in the Middle East. It has become far more fundamentalist since the U.S. took over.
The back-to-burka trend has been widely reported throughout Shiite-dominated southern Iraq, and young women activists told The Los Angeles Times that their mothers had more freedom in the 60's.
Najla Ubeidi, a lawyer in the Iraqi Women's League, agreed: "During the 1960's, there was a real belief in improving women's conditions. We could wear what we liked, go out when we liked, return home when we liked, and people would judge us by the way we behaved."
If W. liked exercising his mind as much as his body, he could see that his mission to modernize Muslim countries is backfiring on women. The most painless way for Muslim men to prove that they have not abandoned Arab culture and adopted Western ways is to tighten the burka.
To us, the "liberated" but repressive Iraq is a paradox. To the women, it's a prison.”
Karen on 08.13.05 @ 08:07 AM CST