Few developments in the post-Cold
War era have captured public attention, stirred primal fears, stoked the fires
of racism, and stymied critical thinking quite so thoroughly as the rise of
fundamentalism. Although it is a force to be reckoned with in virtually every
area of public endeavour, the rise of fundamentalism presents a very specific,
and somewhat unique, challenge to the emerging field of reproductive health and
Islamisms, or diverse
representations of political Islam, have become very difficult to ignore and
even more difficult to categorize and explain satisfactorily. This is
particularly the case when addressing a western audience, which is unfamiliar
not only with the multifaceted aspects of Islam, but also with the crucial role
Islamic faith plays, in the everyday lives of Muslim people.
Willy Claes, the Secretary
General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), gave Western
misperceptions and misrepresentations of Islam and Islamisms a new twist.
Mansiya, a pseudonym that means
‘the forgotten’, is a university student aged 22. She was born in the north of
Israel and lives today in the center of the country. She writes about what it’s
like to be an Arab lesbian.
Many claim that there’s no
difference between a Jewish and an Arab lesbian, because for both it demands
courage and lots of openness. In my opinion, there’s a difference between the
two experiences because Israeli society is composed of a majority and a
Is it a lapse into impressionism to ‘lend great
importance to the weight of Islam’ in considering the roots of the oppression of
Arab women? Despite all the social transformations that have occurred in the
Arab world since the era of the caliphs, secularisation has yet to take hold in
nearly all the Arab countries. Legislation dealing with marriage, divorce, and
the status of women (inferior in all cases) is still based on, or directly
inspired by, Koranic law in all the Arabic-Islamic states. What role is played
by Islam, what is its influence, and how is it used?
Nineteen eighty-four was a highwater mark for
popular and radical politics in South Africa. It also coincided with the
rejuvenation of conservative forces in the country. The upsurge in popular struggle was
precipitated by the advent of the National Party-inspired tricameral parliament.
In this resistance against apartheid several religious denominations (including
Muslims) joined the democratic movement.
We have to take stock of various developments
which took place in India in last fifty years of our independence. It is also
important to take stock of developments among Muslims in this period, especially
with reference to reform movements in Indian Islam.
India opted to be a secular
country and this decision had several repercussions. Right at the stage of
constitution making there were debates about uniform civil code. There were
heated discussions. Muslim members opposed adoption of uniform civil code.
Ultimately a compromised was accepted.
Women are the hidden
factor in the politics of ethnicity in the Muslim communities of Northern
England. The broader context to the apparent silence of women lies in a matrix
of patriarchy and imperial experience, as well as the impact of Orientalism on
contemporary European culture. In other words, there is a culturally embedded
assumption that women should know their place, colonial peoples should know
their place, and oriental women are too ethereal to have a place at all.