Tomorrow seven Women Human Rights Defenders will go on trail in Egypt, charged under the so-called 'Protest Law' for exercising their right to peaceful assembly. Among these women is Yara Sallam, a WLUML networker and a friend and ally to many at WLUML. Here, Doaa Abdelaal, Chair of WLUML's Board, pays tribute to Yara's work and friendship.
Since the revolution erupted in Egypt in 2011, two main forces have been controlling the scene: the military junta and the Islamists. Tomorrow sees 7 Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) charged under the so-called 'Protest Law' appear in court. Fatma Emam, Egyptian feminist and member of WLUML’s Advisory Council, describes the situation from the ground.
Our era is marked by the rise of the religious-Right – not because of a “religious revival” but rather due to the rise of far-Right political movements and states using religion for political supremacy. This rise is a direct consequence of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism and the social policies of communalism and cultural relativism. Universalism, secularism and citizenship rights have been abandoned and segregation of societies and “communities” based on ethnicity, religion and culture have become the norm.
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.