Women are the hidden
factor in the politics of ethnicity in the Muslim communities of Northern
England. The broader context to the apparent silence of women lies in a matrix
of patriarchy and imperial experience, as well as the impact of Orientalism on
contemporary European culture. In other words, there is a culturally embedded
assumption that women should know their place, colonial peoples should know
their place, and oriental women are too ethereal to have a place at all.
“That was an army of Black men
standing in front of me...They loved the message and they loved the
Messenger,” Minister Louis Farrakhan on the
Million Man March (Arizona Republic, 1996:
movement or agenda that defines manhood in the narrowest terms and seeks to make
women lesser partners...can be considered a positive step,” Angela Davis on the Million Man
March (Pooley, E
“To The Beat of His Drum” Time, Vol 143, No.
In the early I990s the Arab world
has witnessed an extraordinary publishing phenomenon. An 800 page book on Islam,
Al-kitab wa’lqur’an: qira’a mu’asira (The Book and the Qur’an: a contemporary
reading), was first published by the Ahali Publishing House Damascus in 1990.
The book challenges a millennium of Islamic tradition. It is highly critical of
the social, political and intellectual state of contemporary Arab countries. The
author has been denounced as ‘an enemy of Islam’ and as ‘a Western and Zionist
agent’. To date eleven other books have been written attacking his theses.
There are few women interpreters in
the history of Islam because women are seen to be the subject of the Islamic
shari’a and not its legislators. Yet even the few interpreters who have appeared
during the long history of Islam have been kept at the periphery, their views
never allowed to influence Islamic legislation. Moreover, even men interpreters
who were open-minded about women were marginalized and, in some cases, found
their authority questioned.
This research is an
examination of the relationship of the Sudanese state to issues of gender,
religion and class. It is one
component of my interest in the mechanisms the state employs for achieving both
political and cultural hegemony.
Editor’s note: This famous short story by the late
Ismat Chugtai (1915-1991) was written in 1941 and banned by the then State
Government on charges of obscenity. Ismat Chugtai challenged this decision and
won her law suit.
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