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28/2/2003
The paper thus outlines the social and political conditions that have led not only to the development of secular feminist perspectives in Iran, but to the emergence of woman-centred Islamists and their strategies which aim, thus far with considerable success, to fundamentally challenge conventional gender visions often presented as "Islamic." This analysis of the gender debates in Iran, and by extension elsewhere in the Muslim world, reiterates that Islam, particularly as a political ideology, is far from static and unchanging; it is a dynamic and evolving ideological force that
3/2/2003
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.
3/2/2003
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.
3/2/2003
Introduction:

Violence against women is one of the sharp indicators of the subordinate position of women in the society. Violence exists in different forms, different levels from personal to physical violence to structural violence, justified by religion, culture and laws. Most of the steps taken from the protection of women against violence tend in addressing the women rather than men. These steps don’t enforce laws or take action against men.

The women issues are political issues. The social paradigms don’t recognize this.
30/1/2003
Farida Rahman MP’s Private Member’s Bill on a proposed amendment to section V1 of the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961 has become a much-talked-about subject because of its unconventional and contentious nature. Particularly, various women’s activist groups have shown tremendous interest in it. The subject of the bill raises the whole issue of women’s rights of general interests.
30/1/2003
In referring to Middle Eastern cultures, writers and speakers often allude to the Arab, Persian, Turkish etc. Cultures. What do these terms mean? What do they imply? Are these the true cultural boundaries in the Middle East?
30/1/2003
We seek to have a large international response to stress to the Secretary- General the outrage that women feel. We also want to show our solidarity with our sisters in Afghanistan, who have been asking what we in the international community are doing to assist them. Therefore, it is important to have NGOs from as many countries as possible sign-on to this letter.
30/1/2003
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.
30/1/2003
The innumerable bans imposed by Taliban renders everyday life a veritable punishment.

The latest orders for regulating the life of Afghans came into force yesterday. Their severity reveals the determination of the Taliban, out to capture the parts of the country that have so far evaded them.

In Kabul, life has become a never-ending punishment. Since the enforcement of law on "the commandment of the good and interdiction of the evil", whose latest measures are applicable as of yesterday, everything is forbidden. For the Taliban government, gaiety is suspect.
30/1/2003
The seizure of power by the Taliban has reduced the Afghan capital to a ghost city. Half of the men are out of work, the women find themselves forbidden from the work place. To top it all, winter is particularly trying.