President Barack Obama has an opportunity this month to lead from behind on women’s rights in Saudi Arabia - behind, that is, a woman driver.
The president is visiting the repressive Gulf kingdom this month. In a letter delivered to the White House, Amnesty International is calling on him to take a stand on women’s rights by meeting with the female leaders of a campaign to end the ban against women driving. We are also calling on him to have a woman Secret Service driver himself during his visit.
Take action to demand the president support women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.
There are five reasons why the president should hand over the car keys to a woman:
If you view the video on youtube you can see the list of his sources.
This is one of the most eloquent articles I’ve read on the subject of how Muslim women’s rights, and “Muslim women” as a category, are perceived by Westerners versus how Muslim women (and the male activists who are working with them for gender equality) perceive themselves.
if you post Pages about Muslim women’s rights and sincerely want to see things change for the better for them, then please ready the entire article thoughtfully and heed the important distinctions Ms. Lalami is making, especially in the last two paragraphs. Oh, and you can follow her on Twitter at @LailaLalami.
There came a moment when I realized that there are two distinct kinds of conversations taking place around Muslim women — one in Muslim countries and one in Western countries. The first conversation is highly specific, and focuses on local problems. In Morocco, for example, feminist activists pushed for a reform of family law for more than a decade; it was finally passed by parliament in 2004, and it granted women greater rights in marriage, divorce, and custody. These activists also successfully lobbied parliament for another reform, this time of the penal code, because it contained a loophole that allowed a man to escape statutory rape charges in case of marriage. Now feminists are focusing on access to education in rural areas, the practice of hiring underage girls as domestic workers, sexual harassment on the street — these are issues that Moroccan women and girls face every day, but they might not be exactly the same issues faced by women in Somalia or Comoros, where the legal apparatus and cultural practices are quite different.
The second kind of conversation takes place in Western countries, primarily via the Chronicles of the Veil™ and other sensationalistic materials. Here, the terms of the debate are global. One hears about arranged marriages, forced veiling, honor killings, female genital mutilations, and punishment by stoning, the narrative line always the same: Muslim women are victims, and they need Western saviors. So simple and so powerful is this message that even when Muslim women speak out against it, their supposed saviors refuse to believe them. Last April, for instance, when the Ukrainian group FEMEN staged topless protests outside mosques in Europe, billing them as “International Topless Jihad Day,” Muslim women organized their own counterprotests online, in which they made clear they did not need FEMEN’s help. But FEMEN’s Inna Shevchenko’s response was, “through all history of humanity, all slaves deny that they are slaves. […] [These Muslim women] write on their posters that they don’t need liberation, but in their eyes it’s written help me.” […]
More: Chronicles of the Veil
Speaking of sensationalistic Chronicles of the Veil™ type materials regarding Muslim women, I’ll soon be creating a Page about a film that’s due to start screening in March. It looks and sounds legit and even seems to have managed to suck in some legitimate human rights organizations, however it’s backed by an organization that’s one of the biggest funders of anti-Muslim fear-mongering. You’ll see lots of familiar faces, so stay tuned…
Almost 12 years ago, a fire broke out at a Mecca School for girls in Saudi Arabia. Because several of the girls were, according to the Mutaween (religious police), not covered properly, they were not allowed to leave the building, and prevented by force civil services from rescuing these girls. 15 girls died, with 6 of the 15 being from various African states.
Why do I bring this up? Because it happened again, this time at a women’s college in the capital of this despotic nation, Riyadh.
Saudi female student dies after male ambulance crew denied access
However, when the ambulance arrived, the medics were not allowed to enter the college for two hours.
The university officials argued that the ambulance staff were males and could not enter the premises as the student was not covered and that no man could be allowed into the women’s college even though Amna needed prompt and vital treatment, local daily Okaz reported on Thursday.
Most of the students who witnessed the incident suffered a psychological shock and some of the young women collapsed after crying hysterically amid loud protests about refusing the medics to enter the building and rescue their friend who had suffered a massive heart attack, the report said.
Some of the students said that they were shocked by the university officials’ attitude not to allow male medics to enter the college.
“Islam is a religion that facilitates practices, and the religious rule, in exceptional situations, are relaxed,” some of the students told the daily. “We do not see any necessity that is more pressing than rescuing the life of a human being from imminent death.”
Once again, this is the nation we support in the region. This sick, twisted monarchy that persecutes everyone except for Wahhabi Males who came from what was, until about a century, the biggest backwater in the Muslim World, the Nejd.
It should also be noted, n regards to the Mutaween, that the are largely degenerate thugs. Research has shown most of them got their positions by memorizing the Quran in order to lessen their prison sentences, and have no other religious training, or skills for that matter.
Author Lawrence Wright has written of a conflict between the Mutaween and at least one allied imam and Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, the head of the Presidency of General Intelligence (Al Mukhabarat Al A’amah) between 1977 and 2001. After an imam denounced a female charitable organizations run by some of Turki’s sisters and accused them of being “whores” during a Friday sermon, Turki demanded and received an apology. He then “secretly began monitoring members of the muttawa. He learned that many of them were ex-convicts whose only job qualification was that they had memorized the Quran in order to reduce their sentences.”
Here are a few of their greatest hits.
In 2006 the police issued a decree banning the sale of dogs and cats, also seen as a sign of Western influence. The decree which applies to the Red Sea port city of Jeddah and the holy city of Mecca bans the sale of cats and dogs because “some youths have been buying them and parading them in public,” according to a memo from the municipal affairs ministry to Jeddah’s city government.
In 2013 two Saudi men were arrested for giving “free hugs to passersby”
And some yutz thinks Twitter is the Devil, again from the BBC:
In May, 2012, the head of the mutaween, Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, stated that anyone using social media sites, such as Twitter, “has lost this world and his afterlife”
In January 2013, the CPVPV marched into an educational exhibit of dinosaurs at a shopping center “turned off the lights and ordered everyone out, frightening children and alarming their parents”. It was not clear why the exhibit—which had been “featured at shopping centres across the Gulf for decades”—was closed, and Saudi’s speculated irreverently as to the reason on twitter.
It should also be noted that Saudi Arabia spends massive amounts of money per year peddling this toxic perversion of Islam. Including right here in the United States. Or to put it another way, we are shooting ourselves in the foot.
David Futrelle exposes Warren Farrell and other “MRAs” who dishonored the memory of Martin Luther King, by denying that women played a significant role in the civil rights movement, ( or any movement for freedom or social justice for that matter ) despite the fact that they did. Also he points out how despite the fact that these people are trying to associate with the civil rights movement, many of them support white nationalist organizations.
On Monday, Martin Luther King Day here in the United States, this was posted in the Men’s Rights subreddit, where, as you can see, it was quite popular with the assembled Men’s Rightsers:
How wrong is this? Let me count the ways.
*There was a link in this part of the story that I quoted but I couldn’t get it to work on this site. Click on the read more link and you should see it when you read the Manboobz article. I also changed the title, because his wouldn’t fit.
Remember that story Charles Johnson talked about awhile back about the Israeli government funding all abortions for people who are 20 to 33 years of age?
It turns out, at least one American wingnut was logically consistent after all. Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch points out that Mark Gordon, a writer for a conservative catholic website, has demanded that the US government end all aid to Israel until the country stops funding abortions. He maybe wrong, but at least you won’t be able to accuse him of hypocrisy here.
Religious Right activists often claim that they will never be silent about “Nazi” abortion rights …that is, unless those rights exist in Israel. We noted last week that Israel’s decision to expand public funding for abortion coverage was met with crickets from many American anti-choice groups that also embrace Christian Zionism and accuse President Obama of being unfriendly to Israel.
These organizations, of course, would have erupted with rage if the Obama administration had even contemplated implementing a similar policy.
In a column today, a writer at the conservative Catholic website Aleteia calls out U.S abortion rights opponents for responding to Israel’s new policy “with little comment or condemnation,” wondering if they either “missed the story” or think “abortion in Israel just doesn’t matter.”
Aleteia’s Mark Gordon writes that in order to be consistent, the same anti-choice movement that demands a ban on government funds for abortion coverage and groups like Planned Parenthood in the U.S. should also call for the end of U.S. aid to Israel: “American taxpayers should not be put in the position of underwriting the culture of death. But if that’s true of Obamacare – and it is – then shouldn’t it be true for American foreign aid?”
Yes why didn’t we all see this before!?
Oh and I Intend on using that video again!
Note : In case you’re interested, the folks over at Wonkette had a lot of fun with this
If any of you work for one of these companies, and you support the contraception mandate and you don’t want your employer to be to violate your reproductive rights, American’s United is her to help! In case you are worried about contacting them, it is completely confidential. You can remain anonymous.
The Affordable Care Act’s so-called contraception mandate, met with immediate outrage from the Religious Right and the Catholic bishops. These groups, unsatisfied with generous religious exemptions to the law, are demanding broader loopholes that are tantamount to a radical redefinition of religious liberty.
Houses of worship are wholly exempt from the mandate, and accommodations have been made for many religious non-profits. But for-profit corporations want the courts to extend those exemptions to them, too. Represented by outfits like the Becket Fund and the Alliance Defending Freedom, owners of secular companies have filed dozens of challenges to the law.
Now, the Supreme Court is set to hear two such challenges to the contraception mandate. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, both secular, for-profit companies owned by conservative Christian families, are asking the highest court in the land to allow them to seriously impede their employees’ fair access to contraception coverage.
Graffiti on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, Cairo, Egypt, depicting a woman fighting against sexual harassment. (c) Amnesty International
Ahmed Ezz, a mechanical engineer, talks about his voluntary work with Operation Anti-Sexual Harrassment/Assault (OpAntiSH), an activist organization based in Cairo, Egypt, known for intervening in sexual assaults by mobs in Tahrir Square.
When people find out that a woman has been sexually harassed and assaulted, their first reaction is “what was she wearing?”. They always lay the blame on the women themselves. I’ve witnessed this so many times.
It is not safe at all in Cairo for women and girls. Their freedom of movement is constantly constrained. Some avoid using the metro, and spend more money on taking taxis or multiple buses, simply to minimize the risk of harassment and assault. If women and girls complain about sexual harassment, people around them just try to calm them down, belittle their concerns or accuse them of unjustly pointing the fingers at harassers.
The U.S. Supreme Court should find that the owners of secular, for-profit corporations have no right to impose their religious views onto employees by denying them access to contraceptives, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
Americans United urges this action in response to today’s announcement that the Supreme Court will consider the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. The cases challenge the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, which requires most businesses to provide their employees with health insurance that includes access to no-cost birth control.
“The Supreme Court needs to make it clear that religious freedom is not a battering ram to use against individual rights,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United.
Added Lynn, “The question before the court is simple: Does the owner of a secular corporation have the right to impose his religious views onto his employees? And the answer is equally simple: No.”