Fundamentalisms

The current violence in Algeria is both tragic and deeply alarming in its scope and intensity to all observers, but it is especially heartbreaking for those who have followed the country's history for the last 40 years. Algeria was once a symbol of progressive anti-colonial struggle which brought women and men together to fight for their basic human rights. Djamila Bouhired and the other women fighters in the war of national liberation became the international symbols of Algeria's freedom struggle and were revered throughout the Arab World.
On January the 18th 1985, Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha was executed in Kober Prison in Khartoum Sudan after a short trial on the previous day. His trial reflected the collapse of the rule of law after the promulgation of the September 1983 Laws, the declaration of emergency and the "Prompt Justice Courts" of 1984. Ustadh Taha's trial was a classic example of an unfair trial.

Ustadh Mahmoud Mohamed Taha was born in a sufist family, in the town of Rufaa (160 miles south of Khartoum) in 1909. His mother died when he was one year old and his father died when he was ten.
Editor’s note

Women migrants in Europe or North America have long started to denounce the dangerous softness with which oppressive laws, customs and practices against women, imported from our countries and cultures, are tolerated or encouraged in the host countries, - in the name of tolerance, of respect of the Other, of the right to difference, of putting at par different cultures or religions, etc...

Like our own governments, governments of the countries of immigration are prepared to sell out the well being, the human rights and the civil right
Today, in Algeria, the execution and murder of women, foreigners and intellectuals by Muslim extremists have become systematic. Such typically fascist acts have given rise to feelings of outrage. Logically, therefore, one would expect that the most lucid would rally around a struggle against such a political vision or, at the very least, in defense of the memory of the victims.
Editor’s comment: The article of Stasa Zajovic from the Women in Black-Belgrade rings a bell to all of us who live in multi ethnic, multi religious, multi cultural countries, threatened by growing nationalism- or communalism-, where the hatred of the Other closely entwined with population policies (as a mild form which can evolve into its drastic form of ethnic cleansing) put women at the forefront of these policies.
The attacks by Muslim fundamentalists against Mr. Namassiwayam Ramalingum and against L'Indépendant, the newspaper he is editor of, were accurately described and rightly denounced in Index 3/1995. But Mr. Ramalingum has not provided a clear enough picture of what was going on in general in Mauritius. This is a pity, because knowing about the context helps towards a more thorough condemnation of all the attacks on free speech in Mauritius.

Mauritius has seen vast changes over the past fifteen years.
We, the women participating in the Arab Court of Women, held in Beirut, June 28-30, 1995, as testifiers and audience to those testimonies; we, who had the opportunity to take part in this great event, jointly assume the responsibility of what we heard of words of truth which broke the ring of silence that had long stifled our voices and sufferings of women.
Women's reproductive rights and the politics of fundamentalism: A view from Bangladesh [1]

Sajeda Amin and Sara Hossain


Will it be we, the women living in the Muslim city, who will pay the price…?
As increasing numbers of scholars have pointed out, the study of Muslim peoples and their societies - including their faith, histories, behaviours etc. - has often been made difficult by a number of essentialisms and conflations. Before turning to the specific concern of this paper, I want to deal with some of these because of their implications for the issue of sexuality.
Who we are

We are a group of Afghan women and their supporters who live in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In a country where over 90% of the women and girls are illiterate, we are a group of women who were encouraged by their families to become educated. Many of us have university degrees. Many of us previously worked in Afghanistan as lawyers, engineers, professors and doctors. Now we are working with NGOs (non governmental organizations), UN agencies and schools. Some of us are widows. Many of us are the sole support of our families.
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