While many of us watch in horror as ISIS advances, and fundamentalist ideas spread across religious traditions around the world, Maryam Namazie and Marieme Hélie-Lucas - secular feminists from Iran and Algeria - told Karima Bennoune why they are convening the International Secular Conference in London this week.
As the UN Security Council tackles the entity claiming to be “Islamic State,” and President Barack Obama invokes global Muslim responsibility, many ask whether people of Muslim heritage do enough to counter extremism.
At the United Nations on Wednesday, President Obama said "it is time for the world -- especially Muslim communities -- to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of Al Qaeda and ISIL." As a human rights lawyer proud of her Muslim heritage, I concur entirely, and I hope this call will be heeded from Detroit to Doha. There is no way to fight jihadist terrorism without undercutting its ideological base.
Whether or not one believes a US/European military intervention against the Islamic State is a strategy that is likely to fail,
whether or not one foresees, as a result of opting for the wrong strategy, decades of chaos in the region and more fighters joining IS,
whether or not one considers military intervention as a cover up from imperialism in the Middle East,
whether or not one is aware of human rights past justifications for military interventions,
whether or not one is an all-out pacifist opposed to any war, even against Hitler (or the new Hitlers of our times that we, in Algeria, have been labeling ‘green-fascists’ since the nineties),
Karima Bennoune is UC Davis law professor, author of “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism” and a WLUML Board Member.
As President Obama prepares to chair the September 24 special session of the UN Security Council, it is critical to understand that this evolving conflict is not just between the United States and Islamic State. This is a global struggle against jihadist violence and the ideas that underlie it.
On 13 September 2014, the Police Institute near Tora postponed the trial of the seven women human rights defenders until 11 October 2014. The decision to postpone was taken after the court heard the prosecution’s evidence. The defense attorneys requested the postponement in order to allow a technical expert to examine and determine the veracity of the video footage evidence presented during the session.
Rochelle Terman is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines the consequences of global human rights shaming campaigns, especially around women’s rights in the Muslim World and she is a member of WLUML’s Advisory Council.
With the crisis in the Mideast escalating, I keep hearing the argument that Israel is being “singled out” for its human rights violations. Some people assert that human rights activists and the international community are disproportionately – and unjustifiably – focusing their attention on the Jewish state. They are “ignoring” human rights violations elsewhere — Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Chad, wherever — in order to unfairly vilify Israel. This bias, the argument usually goes, is motivated by anti-Semitism.
Warvin Foundation for Women's Issues have announced the formation of a group to address kidnappings and abuse of women by ISIS in the Kurdish region of Iraq. The "5+ Group for Women's Aid" was officially announced via a press-conference at the Chwarchara-hotel in Erbil on September 4 2014.
The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition has grave concerns for the wellbeing of Ms Sanaa Seif, a prominent Egyptian Woman Human Rights Defender, who began a hunger strike on 28 August 2014 to protest the Protest and Public Assembly Law. Ms Seif is currently being held in Qanater prison.
Ms Seif was one of seven women defenders who were arrested on 21 June 2014 while participating in a peaceful demonstration calling for the repeal of the law, which essentially grants security officials and authority figures the discretion to ban any protest without justifying the grounds for banning them. It also allows police officers to forcibly disperse any protest, and sets heavy prison sentences for peaceful protest and expression.
Yara Sallam, Hanan Mustafa Mohamed, Salwa Mihriz, Samar Ibrahim, Nahid Sherif (known as Nahid Bebo), Fikreya Mohamed (known as Rania El-Sheikh) also remain in custody awaiting trial, which has been set for 13 September 2014.