Fundamentalisms

[Belgrade, May 20th-August 5th, 1999]

The Kosovo crisis is at the heart of the decade long war drama of the late country that used to be called Yugoslavia. The symbolic sign of the scope of immensely shallow (mis)understanding of the dead country’s destiny is (for those of us who still remember) today painfully visible in CNN headlines: “War in Yugoslavia”.

What “Yugoslavia” the world is talking about today? The trick with people’s memory and amnesia is maybe unintentional, but it’s no less misleading.
9 of December ‘99

On 21st January 2000, Rajko Danilovic, Flora Brovina’s defence lawyer, filed an appeal against his client’ s twelve-year sentence. The appeal hearing was scheduled for 16th May 2000. The appeal called for the Supreme Court to either acquit Mrs. Brovina, or to release her on bail pending a retrial. Grounds for the retrial include violations of the due process during the trial hearings including a breach of the Serbian Code of Civil Procedure. On 7th June 2000 the Serbian Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of Mrs.
Whatever we understand and enjoy in human progress instantly becomes ours, wherever it might have its origins.

Identity is a subject which needs some reflection because I believe that certain things are taken for granted in this subject which do not, by any means, survive the scrutiny. This is not in any way to deny the importance of identity in our lives. It affects our actions, governs the loyalties that we have, the tides that we respect. It affects our reflections. It affects the way that we see ourselves.
Abstract

Using the often scarce space available to them in very different political circumstances, women’s strategies in defence of their human rights range from entryism to internationalism.

While fundamentalists read all women’s strategies as equally significant of betrayal of their identity, liberals outside Muslim countries and communities - and increasingly inside too - select the entryist strategy as the only legitimate one insofar as it matches our “nature”.

While the women’s movement remains united in standing for the need to use
Although all countries are unique, Iran may have claim to more surprising political changes in the past century than any other country existing continuously during that period. Among these changes have been notable alterations in women’s roles and status. The birth of urban mass politics during the constitutional revolution of 1906-11 saw women’s first political activism, which continued after World War 1, though that independence was eventually much diminished under the new Pahlavi dynasty of Reza Shah (1921-41) (Afary, 1996; Bayat, 1978; Paidar, 1995; Sanasarian, 1982).
February 11, 1979
Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers take power after a revolution.

February 26, 1979

Khomeini announces that the Family Protection Law (1967) is abrogated.

March 3, 1979

Khomeini announces that women cannot be judges.

March 6, 1979

Khomeini announces that women are to wear hejab in the workplace.
This essay draws on several talks and conversations: Brandeis University, 17 March 1998; Harvard University, 19 November 1998; and American Association of Religion, 23 November 1999. 1 would like to thank the organizers of each event for giving me the opportunity to present these ideas, and other panel participants and the audience for critical comments. Special thanks to Camron Amin, Janet Jakobsen, Irena Klepfisz, and Ann Pellegrini for many thoughtful conversations.
In the Arab world, a woman must convince the court that she is 'harmed' by her husband to get a divorce.

The Current Status

The current status of personal status laws in Arab countries have three distinct flaws: the absence of a unified law, the absence of equality between men and women, and the absence of equality between people of different religious denominations. We shall speak briefly of each to explain.

1.
• Excerpts from: New York Times, November 28, 1999

Sufia Kamal, Bangladeshi Writer and Women's Rights Advocate, Dies
By Douglas Martin

Sufia Kamal, a Bangladeshi poet, political activist and feminist, died at age 88 on Nov. 20 1999 and was buried [...] with full state honors, the first woman to receive that recognition from Bangladesh. [...] [Thousands] of people paid their respects to Ms. Kamal at her funeral [...] in Dhaka. [...] [Begum Kamal] ...
Introduction

The objective of this paper is to provide a historical overview of the processes of communal identity formation in Sri Lanka with special reference to the Muslim community [1]. Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic society in which Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others have coexisted for centuries. However, in more recent times, ethnic relations on the Island have been consistently strained by the rise of communalist politics which have deepened ethnic and religious divides.
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