the UK’s Sharia Review resemble the sharia ‘courts’: secretive procedures and discriminatory
advisors? Are the Home Office and the Church ignoring conflicts of interest and
evidence of discrimination?
Tax just had to find out who they were - the revolutionary women of Rojava,
bearing arms against ISIS, building a new world...she had to find their story,
for herself, and in her new book, for us.
government's programme to counter violent extremism hands
religious fundamentalists the gift of a narrative of victimhood, narrowing the political space for secular feminists and others
to challenge fundamentalism.
religious fundamentalism is a dangerous political activity. It is not a
distraction from ‘real’ politics - the demands of social justice and civil liberties - but a pre-condition
for achieving them.
On the first anniversary of Mohamed
Brahmi’s assassination, his widow, Mbarka Brahmi, denounces fundamentalism and terrorism
in Tunisia. This article is republished following the murderous attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis.
of distancing ourselves from terrorist crimes, as progressive Muslims we should
confront the ultra conservative, violent Wahhabi/salafi version of Islam
that is practised by both professional terrorists and despotic nations like
The war on women continues to manifest
itself in different forms and intensity globally; tarnishing all societies with
a ‘bloody stain’. In Iran, hard-liner interpretations of Islamic principles dictate
gender norms, violation of which can be fatal.
pundits could have nurtured the hope
that someone with strong loyalties to Sharia would also abide by secular law in
Turkey. Turkish opposition MP, Safak Pavey, says that by now they must be amazed at how wrong they were.
Access to justice is being denied in the UK in the
shadow of neoliberalism and religious fundamentalism. Minority women are being denied the right to participate in the wider
political community as citizens rather than subjects.
is being challenged in several Sub-Saharan African states which have long
guarded it as a principle of governance. Its preservation is important for
the protection of women's citizen rights from religious
La laïcité est mise à l’épreuve dans plusieurs États d’Afrique
subsaharienne qui l’ont gardé comme principe de gouvernance. Or sa préservation
est importante pour les femmes, car elle permet de protéger leurs droits
citoyens de toute intervention religieuse qui n’a jamais été aussi
conservatrice et liée à la ‘droitisation’ complice du politique.
The Secularism Conference taking place in London this weekend is a chance to
hear activists who are
transforming human rights. As western
academics teach that secularism has had its day, many activists from the global
south consider that it is vital to oppose the religious right.
many of us watch in horror as ISIS advances, and fundamentalist ideas spread
across religious traditions around the world, Maryam Namazie and Marieme Hélie-Lucas - secular feminists from
Iran and Algeria - told Karima Bennoune why they are convening the
Conference in London.
What is the ideology motivating alleged “warriors of God” to
“trample Islam underfoot in the name of Jihad”? Algerian anthropologist
Mahfoud Bennoune explored this question in 1994, offering an analysis of the
political beliefs motivating “throat-slitting emirs” still much-needed today.
jihadists like “Islamic State” follow in the footsteps of fundamentalists who
have afflicted Muslim majority societies since the 12th
century. Algerian anthropologist Mahfoud Bennoune revisited that history
in order to strategize against jihadists - a task which remains essential.
In 1989 women of many faiths and none formed a collective in London to work at the interface of feminism and anti-racism, in struggles against both religious fundamentalism and the excesses of neo-liberalism. They told Deniz Kandiyoti the story of Women against Fundamentalism.
up moral anxieties over women's conduct and propriety is key to a populist
discourse that pits a virtuous “us”- the people- against an immoral
“them”. But despite its potential for authoritarian control of gender
relations, this new populism holds many attractions for women.
in Gaza has strengthened both the Muslim Right and the Jewish Right; while the
results have been disastrous for the people of Gaza, they aren't good for the
people of Israel either. Meredith Tax
asks, what does this mean for the two state solution?
Is separation between religion and the
state essential to human rights?
Meredith Tax says secular space is necessary for the protection of
religious and sexual minorities, freedom of thought and expression, and women's
rights. It might even be central to the survival of the planet.
In countries where there are no apostasy laws,
blasphemy laws are frequently used to persecute and punish apostates. Rahila Gupta reports
on how the dangers of apostasy in Muslim majority countries is making British courts
more open to granting asylum.
Defenders of Pakistan's blasphemy laws say the rule of law
prevents rule by mob. The May 7 murder of human rights lawyer Rashid
Rehman - to prevent him from defending a young professor accused of blasphemy -
shows the hypocrisy of such a defence, says Meredith Tax.
In the six weeks since
the citizens Barakat movement for a free and democratic Algeria was founded it
has moved from cyberspace onto the streets. The voices calling for democratic transition
are being heard. Pro-democracy activist Louiza Chennoub spoke to
UK universities appear to be elevating the right to
manifest religion and religious freedom over other rights, including freedom of
expression and gender equality. Students need to resist this tide of
religious privilege in the interests of a secular and progressive university
education, says Radha
Balchin was a founding sister of openDemocracy 50.50 and a leading contributor to our
dialogue on Gender Politics and Religion which explores the impact of the global resurgence of
religion in public life on women's human rights, and examines the possibilities for gender equality and pluralism.
time when global warming requires that we do our most creative thinking, public
education and free thought are under attack by both austerity programs and
religious fundamentalism. So where are
our new creative thinkers supposed to come from?