Friday Links — May 8, 2009

  • The American Civil Liberties Union, along with domestic violence groups and religion organizations, petitioned to change a proposed rule that allows judges to bar Muslim women from wearing niqab while testifying in court. More from Freep.
  • After a recent defamatory article, which claimed female Saudi journalists “resort to drugs, prostitution, alcohol and unlawful relations to reach high positions in their profession”, the Saudi Journalists Association is calling for a new set of rules regulating the issuing of website and online newspaper licenses. And, of course, there’s a lawsuit. Hit ‘em hard, ladies. Via TalkIslam.
  • A group of female attorneys from the U.A.E., Kuwait, Lebanon, and the West Bank are in Jordan to gain hands-on legal training.
  • Feministe reports on the trial for the U.S. soldier who is accused of being party to the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and her family. He has been found guilty and may face the death penalty.
  • Girls in the Swat valley have been allowed to return to school–with provisions.

  • muffy

    The “his thoughts” link to Aziz at City of Brass is broken. Also, there were lots of people commenting on the Alibhai-Brown article on

  • Fatemeh

    Whoops! Link fixed. Thanks!

  • saliha

    Why is it the Afghan “shi’a” law? When sunni laws are scrutinized they are called shari’a or Islamic law. While calling these things shari’a is problematic, there should be some consistency here. Shi’a laws are no less Islamic laws than Sunni ones.

    That’s a general complaint, btw, not specifically aimed at MMW.

  • Fatemeh

    @ Saliha: I think the law is aimed specifically at the Shi’a population, hence the Shi’a designation. My understanding is that it would not apply to the Sunni population.

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  • saliha

    As salaamu alaykum Fatemeh.

    I understand what you are saying, but it’s still a problem for me. When Sunni laws are passed, regardless of who falls under their authority, they are rarely described as Sunni laws. Sunni = Islamic, Shi’a = deviant too often in press coverage of Islamic issues. While we may be a minority, it’s not for the press in any way shape or form to take a stance on who “real” Muslims are or whose laws are Islamic.

  • Fatemeh

    @ Saliha: I definitely agree with that! And please be sure that no such dichotomy is intentionally presented in my use of the term “Shi’a law”: I designated it as such for the reasons I stated in comment #4.

  • Safiyyah

    I do agree with Saliha – if it were a “sunni” law, it would have been called “muslim” or “shariah”… I do find it a tad ridiculous to pass a “shi’i law… I mean, who defines the boundaries anyways, I can be sunni today, Shi’a tomorrow ( I am neither, btw) … the point is, this law is wrong and unjust for all Muslims, regardless of sect.

  • s.c.

    It also has to do with the way the law was framed even in Afghanistan. As if to say “Oh, women who aren’t Shia, don’t worry about it, it wont apply to you, only for those people”. I still don’t understand why it was framed like that.