Editors note:The work of Prof. Nasr Abu-Zeid has been subject of concerted attack by fundamentalist groups in Egypt. He is currently in exile following charges of apostasy brought against him and the ruling of the Apex court in Egypt ordering his divorce from his wife Dr. Ithal Younis.

The following extracts from the book "Women in the Discourse of Crisis" by Prof. Nasr Abu-Zeid have been translated from Arabic by Marlene Tadros.

The discourse over women in the Arab world is generally discriminatory.
Given the rising tide of Islamisation in Muslim countries and its call for wider recognition of Shari'a as the primary legal basis of Muslim nations, concerns about Shari'a's conflict with human rights standards must be addressed.
Once upon a time there was a people called North which was white and rich, and a people named South which was non-white and poor. The people North exploited, attacked and killed the people South according to their needs.
I have been asking questions such as “What is the Islamic view of women?” and “What does it mean to be a Muslim woman?” for a long time. I was born female to a Muslim family living in Lahore, a Muslim city in a Muslim country, Pakistan. Not until 1974, however, did I begin my serious study of women’s issues in Islam and — I am still shocked to reflect — this happened almost by accident.

I was, at that time, faculty adviser to the Muslim Students’ Association chapter at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
History reveals that sexual oppression of women, in one form or another, exists in every society in the world. Nevertheless, it has been achieved by different methods, economically, intellectually, physically and psychologically. The control of women’s bodies, or in other words physical mutilation, was raised with the rise of patriarchy.

With the rise of patriarchy, many customs and traditions were developed. Of these customs and traditions, many have disappeared or were gradually abandoned, while some remain.
Most commentary on the condition of women in the Middle East assigns a central place to the role of Islam. In fact, there have been important variations, as well as persistent similarities, in women’s conditions in Muslim societies. To make sense of the varieties of women’s real, concrete historical experience, we must avoid confusing analytic and polemical goals.

Current writing on women in the Middle East exhibits two equally vigorous, but so far divergent trends.
Historic Day of Anti-War Protests Worldwide.
Ayesha Imam and BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights honoured for their work against the discriminatory application of the new Sharia laws in Nigeria's Northern States.
Ayesha Imam et BAOBAB for Women's Human Rights recevront le Prix pour leur opposition à l'application des nouvelles lois pénales de la charia dans les Etats du nord du Nigéria.
As the nomination period for judges to the International Criminal Court draws to a close on Saturday, at least two governments have chosen to bypass the nominations of qualified women and have instead put forward questionable candidates
لَقِّم المحتوى