Monday, April 25, 2005

Dull and 'Dullah


"W is for Women!"

The severe repression and brutality against women in Afghanistan is not a matter of legitimate religious practice. Muslims around the world have condemned the brutal degradation of women and children by the Taliban regime. - Laura Bush, November 17, 2001


"I believe that President Bush has done and is doing more to empower women all across this world and here in our very own country than other American president has," said the vice president's daughter, Liz Cheney. "Today there are 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan who live in freedom who used to live in tyranny and half of these people are women."


Women in Saudi Arabia who walk unaccompanied, or are in the company of a man who is neither their husband nor a close relative, are at risk of arrest on suspicion of prostitution or other "moral" offences.

Nieves, a Filipina who was working as a maid in Riyadh in 1992, was invited by a married couple to celebrate the wife's birthday at a restaurant. She and a female friend decided to go. At the restaurant they were joined by a male friend of the couple. A group of mutawa'een (religious police) entered the restaurant, saw the group and arrested them. They suspected Nieves of being there for an introduction to the male friend of the couple. Nieves denied the accusation, but was deceived into signing a confession written in Arabic which she understood was a release order. That confession was the sole basis of her conviction and sentence - 25 days' imprisonment and 60 lashes which were carried out. -Amnesty International - Saudi Arabia Campaign Website


The Saudi interior minister has said women will not be allowed to vote in the country's municipal elections starting in February 2005.

In response to a question about women's getting the vote, Prince Nayef bin Sultan said simply: "I don't think that women's participation is possible." -
BBC News, October 11, 2004


Dr. Saleh al-Sheikh, the minister for Islamic affairs in Saudi Arabia, says a combination of factors determines a Saudi woman’s obligations -- the most important of which is raising a family. "The circumstance of women here in Saudi Arabia is a mix of tribal, social, and historical circumstances. And there is religion, too," says al-Sheikh.

Does he believe in equal rights for women?

"I believe in equal right for everyone according to their circumstances," says al-Sheikh. "Women do have rights, but they are based on our view of their obligations in life." -CBS News Website, March 28, 2005

Actually, that last dude sounds suspiciously like one of our own home-grown Ayatollahs, a Dobson or Falwell . . .

(Photo was, er, borrowed from the AP, via Yahoo)


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