Dossier Articles

The beginnings of the al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (henceforth, Ikhwan) movement in Sudan may be traced back to the mid-1940s.
Un Parisien est tout surpris quand on lui dit que les Hottentots font couper à leurs enfants mâles un testicule. Les Hottentots sont peut-être surpris que les Parisiens en gardent les deux. Voltaire
Islamisms, or diverse representations of political Islam, have become very difficult to ignore and even more difficult to categorize and explain satisfactorily. This is particularly the case when addressing a western audience, which is unfamiliar not only with the multifaceted aspects of Islam, but also with the crucial role Islamic faith plays, in the everyday lives of Muslim people.

Willy Claes, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), gave Western misperceptions and misrepresentations of Islam and Islamisms a new twist.
Few developments in the post-Cold War era have captured public attention, stirred primal fears, stoked the fires of racism, and stymied critical thinking quite so thoroughly as the rise of fundamentalism. Although it is a force to be reckoned with in virtually every area of public endeavour, the rise of fundamentalism presents a very specific, and somewhat unique, challenge to the emerging field of reproductive health and rights.
The aim of this paper is to explore some contradictory implications of nationalist projects in post-colonial societies. It examines the extent to which elements of national identity and cultural difference are articulated as forms of control over women and which infringe upon their rights as enfranchised citizens.

Despite the extensive literature on nationalism, there are relatively few systematic attempts to analyse women's integration into nationalist projects. The little there is conveys seemingly contradictory messages.
Is it a lapse into impressionism to ‘lend great importance to the weight of Islam’ in considering the roots of the oppression of Arab women? Despite all the social transformations that have occurred in the Arab world since the era of the caliphs, secularisation has yet to take hold in nearly all the Arab countries. Legislation dealing with marriage, divorce, and the status of women (inferior in all cases) is still based on, or directly inspired by, Koranic law in all the Arabic-Islamic states. What role is played by Islam, what is its influence, and how is it used?
“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: 6)

“No march, 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.
During the past decade, the issue of gender relations and women’s conduct and dress has been occupying an increasingly prominent place in the discourse of Islamist movements.
Bradford, England — She has had to move 19 times in the last five years. She steps outside her suburban home only after checking the street for strange cars and rehearsing the nearby footpath escapes.

Once back inside, she shoves heavy furniture under the front door handle and places a knife within quick reach.

The British-born daughter of Pakistani immigrants, she is under a death threat from her own father and brother.
The custom of arranged marriages is generally endorsed by South Asian communities of all religious affiliations. The system may have some advantages if due regard is given to the wishes and preferences of the intended spouses, and if dowry considerations do not turn the exercise into a commercial transaction — both very big “ifs.” It is the ugly side of arranged marriages that has made headlines in the British and American press several times in recent years.
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