Fundamentalisms

The Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) international solidarity network expresses concerns and reservations regarding the decision of the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to represent the Yemen-based radical Anwar al-Awlaki's interests pro bono, in response to the US decision to authorise the targeted assassination of Awlaki.

طالب كاتب وإعلامي قطري المنقبات بعدم الظهور في وسائل الاعلام لأن ظهورهن وهن يرتدين النقاب يخالف أصول وحتميات العمل الإعلامي الذي يتطلب وضوح الصوت وأن يرى المتلقي عين من يخاطبه وتعابير وجهه. وحث أحمد عبد الملك المنقبات بعدم "جرح" نقابهن من أجل مقابلة تلفزيونية، وعدم نشر صورهن لأنها تفتقد الدلالة الحقيقية على صاحبة الصورة. واعتبر عبد الملك في مقال بعنوان "النقاب والشاشة... رؤية مهنية!" نشرته صحيفة "الاتحاد" الاماراتية، ظهور المنقبات على شاشات التلفزيون "مخالف لقواعد الإعلام وعلوم الاتصال"، مقترحا على المنقبات إرسال نص مكتوب يوضح وجهة نظرهن بدلا من الظهور بتلك الصورة.

In an article titled "Women's Breasts and Their Importance," posted on the liberal website Aafaq, Saudi reformist and women's rights activist Wajeha Al-Huweidar mocked the breast cancer awareness campaign recently conducted in Saudi Arabia. She said it is ironic that the Saudi authorities are so concerned for the health of the women's breasts, when they fail to regard them as full human beings with rights in the domains of education, family, housing, and employment. She added that women cannot be physically healthy when they suffer social and political repression.

International human rights law is not a sufficient basis for responding to religious fundamentalism. Fundamentalisms are about power as well as prejudice, Vijay Nagaraj tells Cassandra Balchin.

The International Solidarity Network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is deeply shocked that a court in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, has sentenced a 45-year-old Christian woman, Asia Bibi, to death on the charge of having committed “blasphemy”. Although illiterate, she has been accused of denying the institution of prophet-hood by citing copious examples from the key texts of Islam. We join local human rights organizations, international women’s groups and religious minorities in calling for Pakistan to urgently repeal its Blasphemy Laws. We also appeal to the authorities to guarantee the safety of Asia Bibi and her family from the rage of local extremists, as well as investigate the violent persecution of the Christian community in the Punjab.

The International Solidarity Network, Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is deeply shocked that a court in Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, has sentenced a 45-year-old Christian woman, Asia Bibi, to death on the charge of having committed “blasphemy”. Although illiterate, she has been accused of denying the institution of prophet-hood by citing copious examples from the key texts of Islam. We join local human rights organizations, international women’s groups and religious minorities in calling for Pakistan to urgently repeal its Blasphemy Laws. We also appeal to the authorities to guarantee the safety of Asia Bibi and her family from the rage of local extremists, as well as investigate the violent persecution of the Christian community in the Punjab.

Campaigners in Pakistan say the case of Asia Bibi – the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy – highlights the need for urgent reform of laws that are routinely used to persecute minorities and settle grudges. The 45-year-old Christian, who has at least two children, was sentenced to death by a court in Sheikhupura, near Lahore, after prosecutors accused her of insulting the Prophet Mohamed and promoting her own faith. Her family have rejected the allegations and launched an appeal. "We have never ever insulted the Prophet or Islamic scripture, and we will contest the charges," said her husband Ashiq Masih.

Le CCR, qui a été la seule organisation de droits humains à soutenir les victimes des groupes intégristes armés lors du procès contre Haddam dont Rhonda Copelon fut le fer de lance, alors que toutes les autres les ignoraient et abandonnaient sous prétexte que ces victimes n’étaient pas victimes de l’Etat mais d’acteurs non étatiques, trahit aujourd’hui ces même victimes en soutenant un des grands promoteurs et organisateurs de crimes contre l’humanité, un des chefs d’Al Qaida dans la péninsule arabique, sans même dire qui il est et quelles sont ses positions . Cet homme est aujourd’hui en liberté et continue à organiser les attaques et les crimes et à inciter à la haine et aux massacres, alors que son père continue à affirmer contre l’évidence sa totale innocence, cependant que son fils continue à publier ses incitations.

The Center for Constitutional Rights was the only human rights organization to support the victims of fundamentalist armed groups as it did in the case brought by Rhonda Copelon against Anouar Haddam [spokesman of the Islamic Salvation Front],while other human rights organisations ignored these victims and abandonned them, on the ground that they were not victims of the state but of non state actors. Today, CCR is betraying these same victims by representing the interests of Anwar al-Awlaki, an important promoter and organizer of crimes against humanity and a leader of Al Qaida in the Arabic Peninsula, without even saying who he is and what positions he has taken. Awlaki is currently at liberty and continues to organize attacks and crimes, and to incite hatred and massacres. All the while his father continues to affirm, against the evidence, his complete innocence, even as the son continues to publish his statements inciting violence.

Karima Bennoune's public criticism of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU's case in defence of Anwar al-Awlaki is a welcome stand for a universal vision of human rights that has largely gone missing from western human rights organisations.

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