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30/1/2003
Editors note:The work of Prof. Nasr Abu-Zeid has been subject of concerted attack by fundamentalist groups in Egypt. He is currently in exile following charges of apostasy brought against him and the ruling of the Apex court in Egypt ordering his divorce from his wife Dr. Ithal Younis.

The following extracts from the book "Women in the Discourse of Crisis" by Prof. Nasr Abu-Zeid have been translated from Arabic by Marlene Tadros.

The discourse over women in the Arab world is generally discriminatory.
30/1/2003
Senegal has eight million inhabitants, 95% of whom are Muslim, with the remainder predominantly Christian. There are very few animists who formally practice traditional religions. I say formally because in fact traditional practices are present in the daily life of all Senegalese, be they Muslim or Christian, because these practices are profoundly rooted in their cultures.

Soon after the introduction of Islam to Senegal, Muslims organized into Confreries*. This meant that the first religious leaders taught Islam according to the tradition of their spiritual leaders.
30/1/2003
Editor’s comment: The article of Stasa Zajovic from the Women in Black-Belgrade rings a bell to all of us who live in multi ethnic, multi religious, multi cultural countries, threatened by growing nationalism- or communalism-, where the hatred of the Other closely entwined with population policies (as a mild form which can evolve into its drastic form of ethnic cleansing) put women at the forefront of these policies.
30/1/2003
As increasing numbers of scholars have pointed out, the study of Muslim peoples and their societies - including their faith, histories, behaviours etc. - has often been made difficult by a number of essentialisms and conflations. Before turning to the specific concern of this paper, I want to deal with some of these because of their implications for the issue of sexuality.
30/1/2003
February 17, 1995

Human Rights Watch's Women's Rights Project and Middle East division today deplored the assassination by suspected Islamist militants of Algerian women's rights activist Nabila Djahnine. Ms. Djahnine, a thirty-year-old architect who led an organization called the Cry of Women, was killed on February 15 in Tizi Ouzou, the capital city of the Kabyle region. According to a February 16 El-Watan report, she was gunned down by two men in a car as she walked to work.
30/1/2003
Introduction

At the beginning of the women’s emancipation struggle among the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent access to education and the campaign against Purdah were the main points. The late nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries were characterized by considerable debate on these issues in the Muslim community, throughout India. The reform effort by men on behalf of women was sparked by the considerable progress made by other communities in India and was inspired by changes taking place in Muslim countries of the Middle East.
30/1/2003
We, the women participating in the Arab Court of Women, held in Beirut, June 28-30, 1995, as testifiers and audience to those testimonies; we, who had the opportunity to take part in this great event, jointly assume the responsibility of what we heard of words of truth which broke the ring of silence that had long stifled our voices and sufferings of women.
30/1/2003
Once upon a time there was a people called North which was white and rich, and a people named South which was non-white and poor. The people North exploited, attacked and killed the people South according to their needs.
30/1/2003
In late eighties, with the consolidation of nationalism as the state ideology in Serbia, the propaganda directed against women grew stronger. It is well known that in periods of acute crisis, economic repression or marked repression, women are called to turn back to "home and family"; they are referred to as "the angels of the home earth", as ideal mothers, as faithful wives… Such propaganda, among other things, aims at postponing or preventing social tensions, outburst of social discontent caused by mass lay-offs of working men and women.
30/1/2003
The attacks by Muslim fundamentalists against Mr. Namassiwayam Ramalingum and against L'Indépendant, the newspaper he is editor of, were accurately described and rightly denounced in Index 3/1995. But Mr. Ramalingum has not provided a clear enough picture of what was going on in general in Mauritius. This is a pity, because knowing about the context helps towards a more thorough condemnation of all the attacks on free speech in Mauritius.

Mauritius has seen vast changes over the past fifteen years.