Fundamentalisms

The violence of Islamism has roused anxious concern throughout the world, especially the Muslim world. In the United States, the media and policy makers wage a campaign to demonize Muslims and Islam as a threat to Western interests and civilization itself. This politically motivated propaganda has been aided by the Islamic resistance to Israel's occupation of Lebanon, the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan, along with such incidents as the plot to blow up New York's World Trade Center.
The question of Muslim personal law has become not only a question of Muslim identity but also a question with deeper political implications. The Muslim leadership doggedly resist any reform in certain aspects of the law particularly pertaining to marriage and divorce and the Hindu communal leadership would not accept anything short of complete abolition of personal law pertaining to Muslims.
ISLAMABAD, Nov 10, [1998] (IPS) - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's attempt to Islamise Pakistan has been checkmated by the imposition of Governor's rule in the troubled Pakistani province of Sindh.

The controversial 15th Constitutional Amendment Bill, popularly called the Shariat Bill, has lost even the slimmest chance of ratification in the Senate, but rights activists who are alarmed by the loss of freedom say the reprieve is at best temporary.

Just last Wednesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made the bill the main plank of a public speech in the mountainous nort
Introduction

We live in an era where relativism and humanism affect almost every facet of our lives. Not least among these facets is the discourse of Islam vis a vis women’s human rights. The importance of such factors as relativism, humanism and gender sensitivity has not come about in a vacuum.
The International Law and Instruments

Freedom of religion and belief is clearly stated in all the three well recognised international human rights instruments: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (1966) and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966).
General Outlook

Turkey has a secular system of government and operates nominally as a democracy. It is currently seeking membership in the European Community (EC) and has already become part of EC customs unity agreements. Many new laws have recently been introduced in Turkey, including a new national health service and laws that will increase penalties for rape and domestic violence.

Despite these promising changes, many marginalized groups including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, continue to be denied their rights.
There are few beliefs more entrenched in the modern liberal imagination than that of the virtues of pluralism and a multicultural society. The degree to which Sarajevo has assumed symbolic significance expresses the measure of attachment to the principles of a multicultural, multiethnic community. Just as in the thirties the struggle for Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War became symbolic of the defence of democracy against fascism, so the siege of Sarajevo has assumed a mythic status as a struggle between pluralism and barbarism.
Introduction

Dominating the courtyard of the homestead of Abdul Hossain is a large and ostentatious shrine. Decorated with Arabic designs and words, and surrounded by flags, the shrine (mazaar) is similar to hundreds of similarly venerated graves scattered over the landscape of rural Sylhet, in north-east Bangladesh. It proclaims for all to see that the late Abdul Hossain is a pir.
1. Introduction:

An attempt is made in this paper to trace the development of ethnic consciousness and religious fundamentalism among Sri Lankan Muslims and the bearings of this development on Sri Lankan Muslim women.*

At the outset, I should clarify the use of the terms ethnic consciousness and fundamentalism. Both these terms are very popular and controversial in the current socio-political discourse. There are a number of definitions and disagreements about them.
The implementation of the Shari’a and the institutionalization of gender inequality in the aftermath of the revolution led to the disillusionment of the gender-sensitive Islamist women and triggered their discontent. Through their involvement in politics they attempted to present a different reading of Islam and Islamic laws which would be more attentive to the condition of women.
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