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
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.
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.
The following extracts from the book "Women in the
Discourse of Crisis" by Prof. Nasr Abu-Zeid have been translated from Arabic by
The discourse over women in
the Arab world is generally discriminatory.
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
We are a group of Afghan women and their supporters who live in Pakistan and
Afghanistan. In a country where over 90% of the women and girls are illiterate,
we are a group of women who were encouraged by their families to become
educated. Many of us have university degrees. Many of us previously worked in
Afghanistan as lawyers, engineers, professors and doctors. Now we are working
with NGOs (non governmental organizations), UN agencies and schools. Some of us
are widows. Many of us are the sole support of our families.
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.
Due to the multi-ethnic and multi-religious population of Malaysia, a dichotomy exists between Muslims
who are predominantly Malays and the non-Muslims. Article 3 of the Malaysian
Constitution enacts that Islam is the religion of the nation. However as a
provision in Clause (1) of Article 3, it is guaranteed by the Constitution that
non-Muslim nationals would be free to profess and practise their own religions.
In many ways, it is possible to say that feminism has erupted onto the Turkish political scene in
the latter half of the 1980’s. Since 1983, a number of publications and public
meetings organised by feminists have already made an impact on political and
intellectual circles in Istanbul and Ankara (cf. Tekeli 1986 and forthcoming).
The general public heard of these women on two separate occasions.
The research project on Women,
Religion and Social Change in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka currently being
undertaken by ICES provides a unique opportunity to explore the cross-cultural
dimensions of continuing tradition and the process of change as these relate to
women and in this the role of religion. A grey area of uncertainty, prejudice,
and very little research, the role of religion in determining the possible for
individual actors, particularly women, has rarely received the attention it