500 Lashes, Death by Stoning: Women in Islam
Saudi authorities have sentenced Najla Yehya Wafa, a 35-year-old Egyptian woman, to 500 lashes. Her family says she was arrested after a business dispute with a Saudi Princess. Leila Jamul, a 23-year-old Sudanese woman, was sentenced last July to death by stoning for adultery. She is being held in prison, meanwhile, with her six-month-old baby.
A Pakistani girl and an Egyptian woman have become the latest victims of Muslim extremists who hide behind Islam's Sharia laws.
In countries where Sharia laws are enforced, women have often found themselves subjected to various forms of persecution and intimidation.
In the first case, Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old , mentally damaged, Christian girl from a poor suburb outside Islamabad, Pakistan, was arrested two weeks ago after her neighbors complained that she had burned documents containing verses from the Quran.
This is a "crime" punishable by life sentence in Pakistan. Rimsha was arrested after a local Muslim community leader and his followers exerted pressure on the Pakistani authorities to take action against her.
In a second recent case, Saudi authorities have sentenced Najla Yehya Wafa, a 35-year-old Egyptian woman, to 500 lashes. Her family says she was arrested after a business dispute with a Saudi princess.
The plight of the two women is added to that of Leila Jamul, a 23-year-old Sudanese woman who was sentenced last July to death by stoning for adultery. She is being held in prison, meanwhile, with her six-month-old baby.
Women in Tunisia and Egypt, where Islamists have come to power thanks to the "Arab Spring," are also beginning to feel the heat. In recent weeks, an increasing number of women in the two countries have been publicly protesting discrimination and persecution.
In the Tunisian capital, thousands of women marched in the streets recently to protest a provision in the new Islamist government's constitution describing women as "complementary to men."
The demonstration came as a Tunisian Islamist leader, Adel Elmi, called for his country to legalize polygamy. "Sanctioning polygamy is a popular demand now in Tunisia," Elmi was quoted as arguing.
In Egypt, an Egyptian TV presenter appeared this week for the first time wearing a hijab.
Her appearance served as a reminder to all Muslim women that the the name of the game has changed under Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi.
The "Arab Spring" may have been successful in removing or undermining secular dictatorships. But in no way has it brought good news for women like Rimsha in Pakistan and Wafa in Saudi Arabia. Unless women — and men — continue to raise their voices and launch campaigns against Muslim extremists, women will continue to suffer from oppressive Sharia laws.
Reader comments on this item
|Perhaps the males could let the women run the country. [18 words]||Len Clement||Sep 11, 2012 20:28|
|I agree with half your argument but strongly dispute the second half [248 words]||Nahed Eltantawy||Sep 10, 2012 14:04|
|medieval [37 words]||Illuminotty||Sep 10, 2012 06:52|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
The "Arab Spring" did not erupt as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it was the outcome of decades of tyranny and corruption in the Arab world. The Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis who removed their dictators from power did not do so because of the lack of a "two-state solution." This is the last thing they had in mind.
The thousands of Muslims who are volunteering to join the Islamic State [IS] are not doing so because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The only solution the Islamic State believes in is a Sunni Islamic Caliphate where the surviving non-Muslims who are not massacred would be subject to sharia law.
What Kerry perhaps does not know is that the Islamic State is not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Unlike Kerry, Sunni scholars fully understand that the Islamic State has more to do with Islam and terrorism than with any other conflict.
by Steven J. Rosen
Palestinian officials have generally been silent about security cooperation with Israel. They are loath to acknowledge how important it is for the survival of the Palestinian Authority [PA], and fear that critics, especially Hamas, will consider it "collaboration with the enemy."
"You smuggle weapons, explosives and cash to the West Bank, not for the fight with Israel, but for a coup against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli intelligence chief visited me two weeks ago and told me about the [Hamas] group they arrested that was planning for a coup... We have a national unity government and you are thinking about a coup against me." — Mahmoud Abbas, PA President, to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader.
According to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, if the IDF leaves the West Bank, Hamas will take over, and other terrorists groups such as the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State would operate there.
In recent months, Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel. If Abbas becomes another Arafat, it could be the Israeli side that loses interest in security cooperation.
by Burak Bekdil
It was the Islamists who, since they came to power in the 2000s, have reaped the biggest political gains from the "Palestine-fetish."
But the Turkish rhetoric on "solidarity" with our Palestinian brothers often seems askew to how solidarity should be.
by Raheel Raza
One blogger writes that Malala hates Pakistan's military. I believe it is the other way around.
I would so like to see the day when Malala is welcomed back in Pakistan, with the whole country cheering.
by Francesco Sisci
Democratic evolution in China was being seriously considered. The failures of U.S. support for democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya gave new food for thought to those opposed to democracy. Lastly, the United States did not strongly oppose the anti-democratic coup d'état that overthrew a democratically elected government in Thailand.
On the other hand, Russia -- dominated by Vladimir Putin, a new autocrat determined to stifle democracy in Russia -- provided a new model.
The whole of Eastern Europe and most of Latin America, formerly in the clutches of dictatorships, are now efficient democracies. This seems to indicate that while democracy cannot be parachuted into a country, there is a broader, longer-term global trend toward democracy and that its growth depends on local conditions.
As economic development needed careful planning, political reforms need even greater planning. The question remains: is China preparing for these political reforms?