Fundamentalisms

Whatever we understand and enjoy in human progress instantly becomes ours, wherever it might have its origins.

Identity is a subject which needs some reflection because I believe that certain things are taken for granted in this subject which do not, by any means, survive the scrutiny. This is not in any way to deny the importance of identity in our lives. It affects our actions, governs the loyalties that we have, the tides that we respect. It affects our reflections. It affects the way that we see ourselves.
Abstract

Using the often scarce space available to them in very different political circumstances, women’s strategies in defence of their human rights range from entryism to internationalism.

While fundamentalists read all women’s strategies as equally significant of betrayal of their identity, liberals outside Muslim countries and communities - and increasingly inside too - select the entryist strategy as the only legitimate one insofar as it matches our “nature”.

While the women’s movement remains united in standing for the need to use
Although all countries are unique, Iran may have claim to more surprising political changes in the past century than any other country existing continuously during that period. Among these changes have been notable alterations in women’s roles and status. The birth of urban mass politics during the constitutional revolution of 1906-11 saw women’s first political activism, which continued after World War 1, though that independence was eventually much diminished under the new Pahlavi dynasty of Reza Shah (1921-41) (Afary, 1996; Bayat, 1978; Paidar, 1995; Sanasarian, 1982).
February 11, 1979
Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers take power after a revolution.

February 26, 1979

Khomeini announces that the Family Protection Law (1967) is abrogated.

March 3, 1979

Khomeini announces that women cannot be judges.

March 6, 1979

Khomeini announces that women are to wear hejab in the workplace.
This essay draws on several talks and conversations: Brandeis University, 17 March 1998; Harvard University, 19 November 1998; and American Association of Religion, 23 November 1999. 1 would like to thank the organizers of each event for giving me the opportunity to present these ideas, and other panel participants and the audience for critical comments. Special thanks to Camron Amin, Janet Jakobsen, Irena Klepfisz, and Ann Pellegrini for many thoughtful conversations.
In the Arab world, a woman must convince the court that she is 'harmed' by her husband to get a divorce.

The Current Status

The current status of personal status laws in Arab countries have three distinct flaws: the absence of a unified law, the absence of equality between men and women, and the absence of equality between people of different religious denominations. We shall speak briefly of each to explain.

1.
• Excerpts from: New York Times, November 28, 1999

Sufia Kamal, Bangladeshi Writer and Women's Rights Advocate, Dies
By Douglas Martin

Sufia Kamal, a Bangladeshi poet, political activist and feminist, died at age 88 on Nov. 20 1999 and was buried [...] with full state honors, the first woman to receive that recognition from Bangladesh. [...] [Thousands] of people paid their respects to Ms. Kamal at her funeral [...] in Dhaka. [...] [Begum Kamal] ...
Introduction

The objective of this paper is to provide a historical overview of the processes of communal identity formation in Sri Lanka with special reference to the Muslim community [1]. Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic society in which Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others have coexisted for centuries. However, in more recent times, ethnic relations on the Island have been consistently strained by the rise of communalist politics which have deepened ethnic and religious divides.
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.
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