-- Why America is the World's Shelter - 1/6/12
-- Muslim Brotherhood Fact Sheet - posted 1/01/12
-- Middle East - 9/21/12
-- Ägyptens sexuelle Belästigung von Frauen 'Epidemie' - 9/03/12
-- Egypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic' - 9/03/12
sexual harassment of women 'epidemic'
As Christianity is attacked and denigrated everywhere in America, Islam moves to the forefront. I have tried to tell everyone many times, under Islam women are not to work, do not receive schooling, and are not allowed on the streets without full cover and without a male relative in escort.
Read the article by the BBC below, Politicians from the Whitehouse down were gaga over the idea that Hosni Mubarik was deposed – this now is what Egyptians get in return. If you women don’t want that coming to America then you had better pay attention because obama does expect it here.
obama is not your savior - he is to be your oppressor. Read the article below by the BBC.
Egypt's sexual harassment of women 'epidemic'
3 September 2012 Bethany Bell BBC
Some Egyptian women are now scared to appear alone or even with female friends in public places
Campaigners in Egypt say the problem of sexual harassment is reaching epidemic proportions, with a rise in such incidents over the past three months. For many Egyptian women, sexual harassment - which sometimes turns into violent mob-style attacks - is a daily fact of life, reports the BBC's Bethany Bell in Cairo.
Last winter, an Egyptian woman was assaulted by a crowd of men in the city of Alexandria.
In video footage of the incident, posted on the internet, she is hauled over men's shoulders and dragged along the ground, her screams barely audible over the shouts of the mob.
It is hard to tell who is attacking her and who is trying to help.
The case was one of the most extreme - but surveys say many Egyptian women face some form of sexual harassment every day.
Marwa, not her real name, says she worries about being groped or verbally harassed whenever she goes downtown. She says it makes her afraid.
"This is something that scares me, as a girl. When I want to go out, walking the street and someone harasses or annoys me, it makes me afraid.
"This stops me from going out. I try to be excessively cautious in the way I dress so I avoid wearing things that attract people."
The day I met Marwa, she was wearing a long headscarf pinned like a wimple under her chin, and a loose flowing dress with long sleeves over baggy trousers.
But dressing conservatively is no longer a protection, according to Dina Farid of the campaign group Egypt's Girls are a Red Line.
She says even women who wear the full-face veil - the niqab - are being targeted.
"It does not make a difference at all. Most of Egyptian ladies are veiled [with a headscarf] and most of them have experienced sexual harassment.
"Statistics say that most of the women or girls who have been sexually harassed have been veiled or completely covered up with the niqab."
Harassers are getting younger, campaigners say In 2008, a study by the Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights found that more than 80% of Egyptian women have experienced sexual harassment, and that the majority of the victims were those who wore Islamic headscarves.
Said Sadek, a sociologist from the American University in Cairo, says that the problem is deeply rooted in Egyptian society: a mixture of what he calls increasing Islamic conservatism, on the rise since the late 1960s, and old patriarchal attitudes.
"Religious fundamentalism arose, and they began to target women. They want women to go back to the home and not work.
"Male patriarchal culture does not accept that women are higher than men, because some women had education and got to work, and some men lagged behind and so one way to equalise status is to shock women and force a sexual situation on them anywhere.
"It is not the culture of the Pharaohs; it is the culture of the Bedouins," Mr Sadek says.
Mr Sadek and women's campaign groups also blame what they call the lack of security enforcement. They say the police should do more to enforce laws protecting women from harassment.
And the harassers are getting younger and younger.
"If the girls were dressed respectably, no-one would touch them. It's the way girls dress that makes guys come on to them”
Male Cairo teenager
On the Qasr al-Nil bridge in central Cairo, a hotspot for harassment, I met a group of teenage boys hanging out near street stalls blaring loud music.
When I asked them about a recent case of mass harassment in which women at a park were groped by a gang of boys, they told me the girls brought it on themselves.
"If the girls were dressed respectably, no-one would touch them," one of them said. "It's the way girls dress that makes guys come on to them. The girls came wanting it - even women in niqab."
One of his friends told me the boys were not to blame, and that there was a difference between women who wore loose niqabs and tight ones.
A woman who wore a tight niqab was up for it, he added.
But attitudes like these horrify many Egyptian men - like Hamdy, a human rights activist.
"I really feel very upset myself because I think about my family, my sisters and my mother," he said.
"Before Eid [the festival at the end of Ramadan], I was downtown and I had my sisters with me. It gets very crowded and I had my eyes everywhere, looking around and I shouted at a pedlar who got in their way. In our religion this is something that is not allowed."
The new government says it is taking the problem seriously - although many campaigners argue it is not a priority yet.
For women - like Nancy, who lives in central Cairo - it is a question of freedom.
"I want to walk safely and like a human being. Nobody should touch or harass me - that's it."
sexuelle Belästigung von Frauen 'Epidemie'
Einige ägyptischen Frauen sind jetzt Angst allein angezeigt werden oder auch mit Freundinnen in der Öffentlichkeit stellen
Lesen Sie die Hauptgeschichte
Ägypten ändernPower play
Was trieb die Mursi Ausbruch?
Mursi der Schlag am Militär
Aktivisten in Ägypten sagen, dass das Problem der sexuellen Belästigung epidemische Ausmaße, mit einem Anstieg solcher Vorfälle in den vergangenen drei Monaten erreicht ist. Für viele ägyptische Frauen sexuelle Belästigung - die manchmal zu heftigen Pöbel-Stil Angriffe macht - eine tägliche Realität, ist, meldet der BBCs Bethany Bell in Kairo.
Im letzten Winter wurde eine ägyptische Frau von einer Menge von Männern in die Stadt Alexandria angegriffen.
Im video-Aufnahmen von dem Vorfall im Internet veröffentlicht, ist sie über Männer Schultern gezogen und gezogen auf dem Boden, ihre Schreie kaum hörbar über die Rufe der Mob.
Es ist schwer zu sagen, die ihr angreift und wer versucht, zu helfen.
Der Fall war einer der extremsten - aber Umfragen sagen, dass viele ägyptische Frauen irgendeine Form von sexueller Belästigung täglich konfrontiert.
Marwa, nicht ihr wirklicher Name, sagt, dass sie darum sorgen, tastete oder verbal belästigt, wenn sie Innenstadt geht. Sie sagt, dass es ihr Angst macht.
"Dies ist etwas, das erschreckt mich, wie ein Mädchen. Wenn ich, zu Fuß die Straße gehen will und jemand belästigt oder ärgert mich, macht mir Angst.
"Das hält mich ab, ausgehen. Ich versuche übervorsichtigen in der Weise, die ich zu kleiden, so dass ich vermeiden, dass Dinge, die Menschen anziehen tragen."
Tages ich Marwa traf, trug sie eine lange Kopftuch fixiert wie ein hervorlugte unter ihrem Kinn und eine lockere fließenden Kleid mit langen Ärmeln über baggy Hosen.
Aber dressing konservativ ist nicht länger ein Schutz, nach Dina Farid die Kampagne Gruppe Ägyptens Mädchen sind eine rote Linie.
Sie sagt, dass auch Frauen, die den Integral Schleier - der Niqab - tragen vorgesehen sind.
"Es keinen Unterschied überhaupt macht. Die meisten der ägyptischen Damen [mit einem Kopftuch] verschleiert werden und die meisten von ihnen haben sexuelle Belästigung erlebt.
"Statistiken sagen, dass die meisten Frauen oder Mädchen, die sexuell belästigt wurden verschleiert oder völlig mit der Niqab vertuscht wurden."
Aktivisten sagen sexueller immer jünger werden, Im Jahr 2008 fand eine Studie des ägyptischen Zentrums für Frauenrechte, dass mehr als 80 % der ägyptischen Frauen sexuelle Belästigung erlebt haben und die Mehrheit der Opfer waren diejenigen, die islamische Kopftuch trug.
Sadek, Soziologe an der American University in Kairo, sagt, dass das Problem in der ägyptischen Gesellschaft verwurzelt ist, sagte: eine Mischung aus zunehmenden islamischen Konservatismus, steigt seit den späten 1960er Jahren nennt er und alten patriarchalen Haltungen.
"Religiöser Fundamentalismus entstanden sind, und sie fingen an deiner Frau. Sie wollen Frauen in die Heimat zurückkehren und nicht funktionieren.
"Männlichen patriarchalischen Kultur nicht akzeptieren, dass Frauen höher als bei Männern, weil einige Frauen hatte Bildung und Arbeit, und einige Männer zurückgeblieben, und so ist eine Möglichkeit zum Ausgleich Status Schock Frauen und zwingen eine sexuelle Situation auf sie überall.
"Es ist nicht die Kultur der Pharaonen; Es ist die Kultur der Beduinen", sagt Herr Sadek.
Herr Sadek und Frauengruppen Kampagne Schuld auch, nennen sie die mangelnde Sicherheitsdurchsetzung. Sie sagen, dass die Polizei mehr zur Durchsetzung der Gesetze zum Schutz der Frauen vor Belästigung tun sollte.
Und die sexueller werden immer jünger und jünger.
Lesen Sie die Hauptgeschichte
Wenn die Mädchen anständig gekleidet waren, würde keiner berühren. Es ist die Art und Weise Mädchen Kleid, das macht Jungs kommen auf"
Männlicher Jugendlicher in Cairo
Auf der Qasr al-Nil-Brücke in zentralen Kairo, ein Hotspot für die Belästigung, traf ich eine Gruppe von jungen hängen nahe Straße stehen schmettern lauten Musik.
Wenn ich in der Frauen an einem Park waren fragte sie über einen aktuellen Fall Masse Belästigung brachte suchte durch eine Bande von jungen, man hat mir gesagt die Mädchen es auf sich selbst.
"Wenn die Mädchen anständig gekleidet waren, keiner berühren würde," sagte einer von ihnen. "Es ist die Art und Weise Mädchen Kleid, das macht Jungs kommen auf. Die Mädchen kamen wollen es - sogar Frauen in Niqab."
Einer seiner Freunde erzählte mir die jungen nicht Schuld waren, und gab es ein Unterschied zwischen Frauen, die lose Niqabs trug und dicht.
Eine Frau, die einen engen Niqab trug dafür war, fügte er hinzu.
Aber Haltungen wie diese erschrecken viele ägyptische Männer - wie Hamdy, Menschenrechtsaktivist.
"Ich wirklich sehr umgekippt fühle mich weil ich, über meine Familie, meine Schwestern und meine Mutter denke," sagte er.
"Ich war Innenstadt vor Eid [das Festival am Ende des Ramadan] und ich hatte meine Schwestern mit mir. Ist sehr voll und ich hatte meine Augen überall, rief schaut sich um, und ich eine Pedlar, die auf ihre Weise haben. In unserer Religion ist etwas, was nicht zulässig ist."
Die neue Regierung sagt, dass es das Problem ernst ist - obgleich viele Aktivisten argumentieren, dass es noch keine Priorität ist.
Für Frauen - wie Nancy, lebt in zentralen Kairo - ist es eine Frage der Freiheit.
"Ich will sicher und wie ein Mensch zu gehen. Niemand sollte berühren oder belästigen mich - das ist es."
Why America is the
The renowned author of the memoir Infidel found refuge here from persecution abroad
June 2012, By Ayaan Hirsi Ali Smithsonian magazine,
I remember when I was a child in Somalia and my father, who had graduated from Columbia University, would say, “My dream would be to make Somalia like America.” So, the first time I heard about America, it was as a place my father wanted to replicate.
I was born into a Muslim family in Mogadishu. It was a place in turmoil. My father, who was a politician and an opponent of the dictator Siad Barré, was imprisoned. He later escaped and when I was 8 we fled after him to Saudi Arabia. It is a theocracy: There is one state, one religion, that practically imprisons women. All Saudi women are under virtual house arrest; a male companion must accompany them whenever they leave the house. The subjugation of women is pervasive and deep.
Eventually, we moved to Ethiopia, then to Nairobi, Kenya, where we lived from the time I was 10 until I was 22 years old. In that period I learned the English language and read books not only about America, but also the world. We were reading Nancy Drew, Huckleberry Finn. And it wasn’t just that we read American literature—we watched television at a neighbor’s house, programs such as “The Cosby Show.”
I believe that the fact that I remained in school freed me. That experience constituted my first liberation from oppression and poverty and all else.
Ultimately, however, my father, as liberal and enlightened as he was, felt compelled to act according to our cultural heritage. He married me off to a man of his choice, who lived in Canada. Instead of emigrating to Canada, I made my way to Holland in 1992 and requested asylum. My father rejected me; it would be several years before we reconciled.
I studied political science at the University of Leiden. Through a gradual process, I came to shed the Islamic fundamentalist principles I held.
Eventually, in 2003, I was elected to a seat in the Parliament in the Netherlands and I was perceived as an example of someone who had assimilated within ten years. The Netherlands was attempting to assimilate at least two generations of immigrants from Muslim countries. My message was that we must emancipate Muslim women from the tenets of their religion and culture—emancipation being defined as access to education; owning one’s own sexuality; having the opportunity to work and keeping one’s own pay. If we give that opportunity and that freedom to women, I argued, their children will not become dropouts, unemployed, a nuisance to society or, worse, terrorists, because educated women tend to want what’s best for their children.
I began receiving physical threats: “You are no longer a Muslim, you are an apostate, you must be killed.” Finally, in 2004, the Dutch director Theo van Gogh and I created the film Submission focused on violence against Muslim women. Van Gogh was killed by a Dutch-born Islamic fundamentalist on a street in Amsterdam because of it.
Before van Gogh’s death I was placed under intense security. Afterward I was put in a virtual prison to keep me safe. The logical thing was for me to emigrate somewhere else, where I could be free and safe: I found that in America. In 2006 the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., offered me a job, a community of scholars, an application for a visa. The AEI raised money to pay for private protection, which I still have to this day. In terms of shelter and protection, this country has been so absolutely wonderful to me.
Today, I pursue the work of my foundation, which I established in 2007. Our mission is to protect and defend the rights of women and girls in the West from oppression and violence justified by religion and culture. By religion, I mean, first and foremost, militant Islam.
For me America is a place of refuge and a great nation. I say this without being blind to the problems we have in this country. But the people I have encountered here have given me protection, friendship, love. I feel not only safe, but also absolutely free to lead the life I wanted.
If you look at the number of green card and visa applications every year to the United States, then I think that the idea that you can arrive in this country and take a chance at building a life for yourself is very much alive. It is still a land of opportunity— the world’s shelter.
Find this article at:
Muslim Brotherhood Fact
The Muslim Brotherhood logo fits its motto:
"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope. Allahu akbar!” 
· The Brotherhood’s goal is to turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore the caliphate and strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries.
“It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna
· The Brotherhood wants America to fall. It tells followers to be “patient” because America “is heading towards its demise.” The U.S. is an infidel that “does not champion moral and human values and cannot lead humanity.” —Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010
· The Brotherhood claims western democracy is “corrupt,” “unrealistic.” and “false.”
—Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef 
· The Brotherhood calls for jihad against “the Muslim’s real enemies, not only Israel but also the United States. Waging jihad against both of these infidels is a commandment of Allah that cannot be disregarded.” —Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010
· The Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat in 1981 for making peace with the hated “Zionist entity.”It also assassinated Egypt’s prime minister in 1948 and attempted to assassinate President Nasser in 1954.
· Hamas is a “wing of the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to the Hamas Charter, Chapter 2. The Charter calls for the murder of Jews, the “obliteration” of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy.
· The Brotherhood supports Hezbollah’s war against the Jews. Brotherhood leader Mahdi Akef declared he was “prepared to send 10,000 jihad fighters immediately to fight at the side of Hezbollah” during Hezbollah’s war against Israel in 2006.
· The Brotherhood glorifies Osama bin Laden. Osama is “in all certainty, a mujahid (heroic fighter), and I have no doubt in his sincerity in resisting the occupation, close to Allah on high.” —Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, Nov. 2007
· The Brotherhood “sanctioned martyrdom operations in Palestine.…They do not have bombs, so they turn themselves into bombs. This is a necessity.” — Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Dec. 17, 2010
· The Brotherhood advocates violent jihad: The “change that the [Muslim] nation seeks can only be attained through jihad and sacrifice and by raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life,” said Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi in a September 2010 sermon. Major terrorists came out of the Muslim Brotherhood, including bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (mastermind of the 9/11 attacks).
· The Brotherhood advocates a deceptive strategy in democracies: appear moderate and use existing institutions to gain power. “The civilizational-jihadist process…is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house…so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious overall other religions,” reads a US Muslim Brotherhood 1991 document. It believes it can conquer Europe peacefully: “After having been expelled twice, Islam will be victorious and reconquer Europe....I am certain that this time, victory will be won not by the sword but by preaching and [Islamic] ideology.” — Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, “Fatwa,” 2003
· The Brotherhood uses democracy, but once in power it will replace democracy with fundamentalist shariah law because it is the “true democracy.” “The final, absolute message from heaven contains all the values which the secular world claims to have invented....Islam and its values antedated the West by founding true democracy.”
—Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, Nov. 2007
· The Brotherhood’s view of women’s rights is to subjugate and segregate women: The ideal society would include “a campaign against ostentation in dress and loose behaviour…segregation of male and female students; private meetings between men and women, unless within the permitted degrees of relationship, to be counted as a crime for which both will be censured…prohibition of dancing and other such pastimes." —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, “Five Tracts”
· The Brotherhood supports Female Genital Mutilation: “[the Americans] wage war on Muslim leaders, the traditions of its faith and its ideas. They even wage war against female circumcision, a practice current in 36 countries, which has been prevalent since the time of the Pharaohs.” —Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, 2007
· The Brotherhood will not treat non-Muslim minorities, such as Coptic Christians, as equals. “Allah's word will reign supreme and the infidels' word will be inferior.” —Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Badi, Sept. 2010
· The Brotherhood refuses to commit to continuing the Israel-Egypt peace treaty.Muslim Brotherhood leaders have said that “as far as the movement is concerned, Israel is a Zionist entity occupying holy Arab and Islamic lands...and we will get rid of it no matter how long it takes.” —Former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammed Mahdi Akef, 2005 and 2007
· The Brotherhood has anti-Semitic roots. It supported the Nazis, organized mass demonstrations against the Jews with slogans promoting ethnic cleansing like “Down with the Jews!” and “Jews get out of Egypt and Palestine!” in 1936; carried out a violent pogrom against Egypt’s Jews in November 1945; and made sure that Nazi collaborator and Palestinian Mufti al-Husseini was granted asylum in Egypt in 1946.
· The Brotherhood remains virulently anti-Semitic. “Today the Jews are not the Israelites praised by Allah, but the descendants of the Israelites who defied His word. Allah was angry with them and turned them into monkeys and pigs….There is no doubt that the battle in which the Muslims overcome the Jews [will come]....In that battle the Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them." —Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi
| Middle East
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21 September 2012 Last updated at 20:57 ET
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Iranian university bans on women causes consternation
By Fariba Sahraei
BBC Persian Female university students in Iran have outnumbered men for the past decade
Continue reading the main story Related StoriesTerrace hope of Iran's women fans [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18071669] Iran fails to get UN women's seat [http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11729848] Iran's role model and inspiration - on skis [http://www.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8533376.stm]
With the start of the new Iranian academic year, a raft of restrictions on courses open to female students has been introduced, raising questions about the rights of women to education in Iran - and the long-term impact such exclusions might have.
More than 30 universities have introduced new rules banning female students from almost 80 different degree courses.
These include a bewildering variety of subjects from engineering, nuclear physics and computer science, to English literature, archaeology and business.
No official reason has been given for the move, but campaigners, including Nobel Prize winning lawyer Shirin Ebadi, allege it is part of a deliberate policy by the authorities to exclude women from education.
"The Iranian government is using various initiatives… to restrict women's access to education, to stop them being active in society, and to return them to the home," she told the BBC.
Higher Education Minister Kamran Daneshjoo has sought to play down the situation, stressing Iran's strong track record in getting young people into higher education and saying that despite the changes, 90% of university courses are still open to both men and women.
Iran was one of the first countries in the Middle East to allow women to study at university and since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 it has made big efforts to encourage more girls to enrol in higher education.
The gap between the numbers of male and female students has gradually narrowed. In 2001 women outnumbered men for the first time and they now make up more than 60% of the overall student body.
University entrance exams are highly competitive in Iran, with the number of female applicants increasing each year
Year-on-year more Iranian women than men are applying for university places, motivated some say by the chance to live a more independent life, to have a career and to escape the pressure from parents to stay at home and to get married.
Women are well-represented across a wide range of professions and there are many female engineers, scientists and doctors.
But many in Iran fear that the new restrictions could now undermine this achievement.
"I wanted to study architecture and civil engineering," says Leila, a young woman from the south of Iran. "But access for girls has been cut by fifty per cent, and there's a chance I won't get into university at all this year."
Continue reading the main story “Start QuoteTraditional politicians now see educated and powerful women as a threat”
End Quote Saeed Moidfar Retired professor from Tehran
In the early days after the Islamic revolution, universities were one of the few places where young Iranian men and women could mix relatively freely.
Over the years this gradually changed, with universities introducing stricter measures like separate entrances, lecture halls and even canteens for men and women.
Since the unrest after the 2009 presidential election this process has accelerated as conservative politicians have tightened their grip on the country.
Women played a key role in those protests - from the traditionally veiled but surprisingly outspoken wives of the two main opposition candidates, to the glamorous green-scarved demonstrators out on the streets of Tehran and other cities.
Some say it was the prominient role of women in 2009's protests that has unnerved Iran's conservative leaders
Some Iranians say it was the sight of so many young Iranian women at the forefront of the protests in 2009 that unnerved the country's conservative leaders and prompted them into action.
"The women's movement has been challenging Iran's male-dominated establishment for several years," says Saeed Moidfar, a retired sociology professor from Tehran.
"Traditional politicians now see educated and powerful women as a threat."
In a speech after the 2009 protests, the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for the "Islamisation" of universities and criticised subjects like sociology, which he said were too western-influenced and had no place in the Iranian Islamic curriculum.
Since then, there have been many changes at universities, with courses cut and long-serving academic staff replaced with conservative loyalists.
Continue reading the main story “Start QuoteFrom age 16 I knew I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, I really worked hard for it ... But although I got high marks in the entrance exam, I've ended up with a place to study art and design instead”
End Quote Noushin A student from Esfahan
Many see the new restrictions on female students as a continuation of this process.
In August 2012 Ayatollah Khamenei made another widely-discussed speech calling for Iranians to return to traditional values and to have more children.
It was an affront to many in a country which pioneered family planning and has won praise from around the world for its emphasis on the importance of providing families with access to contraception.
"People are more educated now and they are more concerned about the size of their families," says Saeed Moidfar. "I doubt that the government plans will change anything."
However, since the speech there have been reports of cutbacks in family planning programmes, and in sex education classes at universities.
It is not yet clear exactly how many women students have been affected by the new rules on university entrance. But as the new academic year begins, at least some have had to completely rethink their career plans.
"From the age of 16 I knew I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, and I really worked hard for it," says Noushin from Esfahan. "But although I got high marks in the National University entrance exam, I've ended up with a place to study art and design instead."
Over the coming months campaigners will be watching closely to track the effects of the policy and to try to gauge the longer-term implications.
|Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Protecting Women From Militant Islam
Even in democratic nations, mothers and daughters are held back from basic freedoms
May 15, 2012 By Kathleen Burke Smithsonian.com
In the United States, author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali continues her work on behalf of Muslim women and girls with her eponymous Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation. She spoke with Smithsonian about the Foundation’s mission and its ongoing efforts to protect Muslim women in this country from oppression and violence.
Could you discuss the work of the AHA Foundation, the essence of your goal and what your future plans are?
The foundation’s mission is to protect women from violence justified in the name of culture and religion. By religion, first and foremost I mean militant Islam. The violence that these women encounter is the result of their desire to be free. The freedom they seek is to pursue education; freedom to work, and most importantly, freedom to own their own bodies. To be mistresses of their own bodies, they want to choose their own mate, to choose how many children they have. In some Muslim households, this is not possible.
As soon as young women make these kinds of lifestyle choices, they are confronted by violence justified in the name of honor. The families say, “If you do this, you will smear my family honor,” and so fathers and brothers and so on stop them from doing that. If these girls persist in their cause, they are beaten, locked up at home, forced into marriages they don’t want; some are killed. The mission of the foundation is to bring awareness to these practices. We educate the relevant agencies that this kind of domestic violence is different from domestic violence common in the West.
As a Western woman, you could be a victim of violence in your home, your husband or your brother or someone could beat you. The perpetrator, if caught, would be punished for that; it is recognized that battering women is wrong. Women are protected.
In the type of violence I am talking about, most of these fellows are law-abiding, affectionate men. The problem arises when the father feels that his perceived honor is shamed.
Our goal at the AHA foundation is to educate all relevant agencies—to influence, to inform and to investigate. We’ve begun a project with the John Jay College in New York, collecting data on how many types of these cases we have in the United States.
We’re talking to the State Department on how to deal with forced marriages. Young women here in America are taken back to their country of origin, the country of the parents. Their papers are confiscated; they are forced to marry. What we’re doing with the State Department is to help those girls to return, and to protect girls who are here from that kind of practice.
In the case of female genital mutilation, it’s very hard to enforce laws. Girls are taken on summer vacation to their countries of origin. So how do you know it’s happening?
The foundation speaks to women’s shelters, to prosecutors and to anyone else that deals with violence— the Justice Department, members of Congress. We want them to know that this is the type of woman who is faced with this type of violence.
So you are looking at the circumstances of girls and young women in particular, in Muslim communities across the United States. How did your experiences in Europe inform your efforts in the United States?
My experience in Europe was that a girl would go to the police saying, “I am afraid that my father is going to kill me. ” In the beginning, the police would just laugh and say “What did you do?” or “If you were my daughter, I would kill you too,”—as a joke, you know. And then these girls would be killed. Or the girl would come to the police and say, “If you don’t help me, I will be kidnapped, I will be taken abroad, I’ll never be able to come back because they will take my papers.” People wouldn’t believe them. They thought, “These are teenage girls, saying and doing what teenagers do.” Only after that did they find these claims were true and the girls were vanishing.
What I did in Holland was change attitudes, make sure that when you are confronted with problems like this from girls, that certain communities—teachers, social workers, child protection agencies, policemen—needed to pursue these cases.
Do you feel that your message is beginning to register here in the United States?
Yes. The United States is a million times bigger than Holland. When I look at what we’re doing in New York and what the State Department is doing now, awareness is increasing. Our goal is that every American knows that it is wrong for families to control the sexuality of girls and women and to stop them from education, from work.
How does your work have its roots in your history as a refugee from many kinds of oppression, in many cultures?
The way I see my job or the work I do is: Here is the meeting of two cultures, the Muslim culture and Western culture. Some of the Muslims living here in the West, like women, are faced with problems that Westerners don’t see. I see it because I’m familiar with patterns that for many may seem “strange” and therefore hidden. So if I create awareness, then a woman asking for help, from the type of culture that I come from, will be understood.
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