d even Allah can't say where all that will end,'' Jose Policarpo, the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, said during a public debate. "When you recognise what a young European of Christian upbringing is subjected to, given Muslim attitudes to women, the first time she goes to their countries, we can imagine what that entails. "You can only dialogue with someone who is willing to dialogue. With our Muslim brothers, for example, dialogue is very difficult,'' he said. "We have taken the first steps, but it's extremely difficult - because for them, their truth is the only way.'' Around 40,000 Muslims live in Portugal, according to Lisbon's Islamic community leaders - who have yet to react to the cardinal's remarks. Source: The Australian News (English), h/t Weasel Zippers…
ssion of the Finnish media in finally coming to terms with the reporting of Islamic honor killings correctly. This sad story may not be the first honor murder in Finland, but it's sure the first being reported as a suspected Islamic honor killing. KGS H/T: Harri YLE: Those arrested in the murder in Lappeenranta are of Pakistani background. The victim murdered in Lappeenranta on Thursday was revealed to have came from Pakistan. Also the two men who are suspected of murdering the woman came from Pakistan. The police have them both in custody. The police told of the background of both the victim and those arrested on Sunday. The police will bring the men arrested to the Lappeenranta District Court on Monday. The killing occurred in a private residence in the city of Harapaista. The murdered woman was 34 years old and lived in Lappeenranta. The woman was killed with a knife. Detective Chief Inspector Kari Hyyryläinen did not provide any information on the victim nor on the victim’s connection with those arrested nor on any details of the case. He wouldn’t comment on the possibility of it being the question of an honor murder, but said all options will be investigated.…
man feminists thanked Femen for drawing attention to sexism in Italy. At first when I heard of Femen, I thought "they need to take their fight to islam, but they probaby won't". The very next interview I heard with them, they said that that was near the top of their list, but that it is going to be very dangerous.
If you don't watch Russia Today, then you will have missed them. And if they can get me jumping out of my seat and shouting "go, girls", then I think the rest of you will appreciate their efforts too.
I love this image on their home page: http://femen.org/
Here are images from many of their other confrontations.
Our history in the west could have been so different in the past 30 years if we'd had these kinds of feminists, instead of Germaine Greer and Maryam Namazie. Our feminists were in fact the direct ideological descendants of the suffragettes, who were only interested in the vote for middle class (property-owning women) rather than democracy and universal suffrage (and a host of other issues affecting women).
e as major reasons behind the cases
By Ahmad Quraishi
94 self-immolation cases registered in western Afghanistan. (Photo: PAN) More Photos
Over the past year, 94 cases of self-immolation were registered in western Afghanistan, where 88 of the incidents involved women, an official said on Wednesday.
A year before, when 95 cases of self-immolation were recorded, 54 people, including seven men, had died of burns, according to Dr. Mohammad Arif Jalali, based in Herat City, the provincial capital.
About last year’s death toll, he said, 59 people, including four men, had died after setting themselves on fire.
Jalali said 60 percent of the cases took place in districts and 15 in the city of Herat while 25 percent in neighbouring provinces, such as Farah, Ghor, Badghis, Nimroz, and Helmand.
The doctor saw family disputes, poverty, forced marriage, drug addiction and underage marriage as major reasons behind the cases.
Typically, young women are often burnt by fuel or cooking oil. Many suffer terrible scars and in some cases the injuries prove fatal.
The women under treatment in hospitals refused to speak to this scribe about the reasons behind their extreme step.
Read more: http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2012/03/28/94-self-immolation-cases-registered-in-western-afghanistan.html#ixzz1wimr1uF0…
Organisation (WHO) as the range of procedures which involve “the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reason”.
FGM is classified into four types. Types 1 and 2 involve excision of the clitoris and labia minora and are the most common forms of FGM. Type 3 involves infibulation where the clitoris and labia minora are completely removed and the vaginal opening is stitched or narrowed leaving only a small opening (1 – 2 cm) for the passage of urine and menstrual blood. Type 4 includes all other procedures including pricking or piercing the clitoris, cauterisation by burning the clitoris and surrounding tissues or the introduction of corrosive substances into the vagina.
There are severe consequences, both psychological and emotional and the medical consequences include extreme pain, shock, infection, haemorrhage, infertility, incontinence, HIV and death.
It is estimated that approximately 138 million African women have undergone FGM worldwide, with up to 80% of these having undergone type 1 or type 2.
The procedure is, in most cases carried out by an older woman with no medical training. Anaesthetics are rarely used, and the practice is carried out using basic tools such as knives, scissors, pieces of glass and razor blades. Often iodine or a mixture of herbs is placed on the wound to tighten the vagina and stop the bleeding.
FGM is typically performed on girls between 4 and 15, although in some cases it is performed on new babies to young women prior to marriage
Where does FGM take place?
The majority of cases of FGM are carried out, or originate, in communities from 28 African countries. In some countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, prevalence rates are alleged to be as high as 98% and in other countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Togo and Senegal, the prevalence rates vary between 20-50%. FGM also takes place in parts of the Arabian Peninsula such as Yemen and Oman and by Ethiopian Jewish Falashas, some of whom have recently settled in Israel. It is also reported that FGM is practised among Muslim populations in parts of Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
As a result of immigration and refugee movements, FGM is now being practised by ethnic minority populations in other parts of the world, such as USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
It is estimated that as many as 20,000 girls are at risk of FGM within the UK every year.
Why is FGM practised?
FGM is not an act of hate. It is carried out because their parents believe it is in the best interest of their daughters. In certain patriarchal communities where FGM takes place, marriage, is seen as necessary for a woman’s honour and survival. A woman who has not undergone FGM will stand little chance of marriage and will not be accepted by her community. The practice is often carried out in the belief that it is a means of purification and ensuring a woman is clean.
Many of the communities that practice FGM are Muslim and religion is often cited as a reason, despite the fact that neither the Qu’ran or any other holy text advocates for FGM. Also, FGM is also practiced by Christians of the Coptic Church in countries such as Egypt.
The law in the UK
Any FGM procedure on a woman or girl is unlawful under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. It is also an offence under the Act for UK nationals or permanent residents to carry out FGM abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal.
What to do if you suspect a girl to at risk of FGM?
FGM is usually practised in the country of origin. Suspicions may arise in a number of ways that a child is being prepared for FGM to take place abroad. These include knowing that the family belongs to a community in which FGM is practised and are making preparations for the child to take a holiday, arranging vaccinations or planning absence from school, and the child may talk about a “special procedure” taking place.
Indicators that FGM may have already occurred include:
Prolonged absence from school with noticeable behaviour change on return or
long periods away from classes or other normal activities, possibly with bladder or menstrual problems.
If you suspect that any girl is at risk of being subjected to any form of FGM, take action to report it immediately!! Time counts so please act as soon as you suspect that a girl may be at risk of FGM, the instructions below tell you what to do.
To protect a girl from FGM take the following actions:
You must inform your designated child protection Advisor
They must make a referral to the Local Authority Children’s Social Care
In urgent cases contact Children’s Social Care, or local Police direct
If it comes to your attention or you suspect that a girl has already undergone FGM, do not think there is nothing you can do. She will be in need of specialist care and support and if she has sisters they will be in need of protection.
Do not let labels of 'tradition' 'culture' 'religion' or a fear of being called a 'racist' stop you from taking action to protect girls at risk of FGM, it is a violation of human rights and is child abuse.…
ic 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 Quote
Traditional politicians now see educated and powerful women as a threat”
Saeed MoidfarRetired 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.
From 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”
NoushinA 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.
Q&A: Riots and political crisis
Black Bloc anarchists emerge
The testimony of women assaulted in Tahrir Square in recent weeks is shocking.
One report documented by an NGO concerns a woman whose genitals were lacerated using a bladed weapon during another assault.
On the internet, you can even see mobile phone footage of women in the square during demonstrations suddenly being surrounded by dozens of men, and carried away as they are groped and assaulted.
"People who pretended to help were actually harassing me more," says Shorouk al Attar, who was seriously assaulted with her sister close to the square during a protest last year.
"Everyone was holding me, pretending to take me out of the crowd but actually they were harassing me," Shorouk told us.
"It was hard to differentiate between who was helping and who was harassing. I heard some people laughing."
Shorouk says that after the attack she became scared to go outside.
"I spent three or four days alone at home," she said. "I couldn't stop thinking about it and crying. I kept asking myself 'why did this happen to me?'"
'What do you expect?'
A shocking number of women are asking the same question. In a single day in January, 22 serious sexual assaults were reported in Tahrir Square.
There have been protests in Cairo calling for the attacks to stop. But it is an indication of how bad things are, and how some resent even the raising of the issue, that some people attending those demonstrations have themselves been attacked.
Continue reading the main story“Start Quote
If you are here and you see a girl dressed in an indecent way, what are you going to do? You can't help it”
Egyptian man in Tahrir Square
So who is carrying out the sexual assaults in Tahrir Square?
"If you are here and you see a girl dressed in an indecent way, what are you going to do? You can't help it."
So said one of a group of young Egyptian men, hanging around close to the square, when we asked about the increase in sexual assaults against women there.
"We are depressed, we can't find jobs and money, what do you expect?" says another of the youths, who was unsurprisingly reluctant to give his name.
Over recent years, Egyptian women have become used to sexual harassment, particularly in large crowds. Eid holidays in downtown Cairo had become particularly hazardous.
Now, it appears, protest gatherings in Tahrir Square, the home of the country's revolution, have become the big draw for young Egyptian men and boys wanting to leer, harass and now to even carry out assaults.
The young men we spoke to admitted they went to the square to look at women, and though they did not admit to being involved in serious assaults, their manner suggested they saw no problem in harassing women.
They even found the issue of rape something of a joke.
Shorouk al Attar suspects more sinister forces are behind the attacks
"If women don't want it, they shouldn't wear tight clothes and they shouldn't come here," one laughed.
But is the recent increase in frequency in assaults more than just a social problem that has spiralled well out of control? Is there something even more sinister at play?
Some victims think so, including Shorouk al Attar, who was attacked as she attended a demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.
"There's the theory that if you want to break a society you start with women because if you do this men will become afraid," she says. "I think it's organised. It's not by chance, like most people think."
The argument that the Muslim Brotherhood has organised the attacks to deter women from attending protests is one espoused by some other activists and women's support groups.
"Why else are the attacks concentrated where the demonstrations take place?" says Nevine Ebeid, from the New Woman Foundation, a group that documents attacks against women.
She does though acknowledge that solid proof is hard to come by, and that most of the evidence through testimony is circumstantial.
While the problem of sexual assaults in public gatherings began well before the revolution, Ms Ebeid feels that the political and social climate that has come with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood has made things worse.
"Political Islam has meant there is a discourse opposed to women's rights," she says.
Continue reading the main story“Start Quote
We are against any assault, especially sexual assaults”
Essam El ErianFreedom and Justice Party
"It does not believe that there is equality before the law and helps create a climate that encourages sexual harassment and sexual violence against women in Egypt."
It is a charge that has been strenuously denied by the Muslim Brotherhood.
"We are against any assault, especially sexual assaults," says Essam El Erian, the vice-chairman of the party's political wing. "Our religions, Christianity and Islam, prevent us from such."
Mr El Erian also reacted angrily to the theory the authorities were directly involved in orchestrating the attacks in Tahrir Square to stop people protesting, and instead blamed opposition groups for causing chaos.
"Tahrir Square has been captured by some of the revolutionaries," he says. "They are responsible for any case of sexual assault there."
For the last few months, opposition protestors have occupied Tahrir Square. It is closed to traffic and police have retreated beyond its boundaries.
Vigilante groups have started to operate to try to fill the security void and to protect women, but with limited success.
Even if police were present, respect for - and indeed fear of - the security forces has certainly diminished since the revolution and it is hard to imagine women would be safe from harassment in a large crowd here.
Whether or not the authorities are behind some of the attacks is hard to say, but there is little doubt the issue of sexual assault is not being taken as seriously as it should be; by politicians, security officials and throughout Egyptian society.
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Muslim Terrorism Count
Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them.
At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.
Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.
We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.
The 4 Freedoms
These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 1. SP Freedom of Speech Any speech is allowed - except that advocating the end of these freedoms 2. SP Freedom of Election Any party is allowed - except one advocating the end of these freedoms 3. SP Freedom from Voter Importation Immigration is allowed -except where that changes the political demography (this is electoral fraud) 4. SP Freedom from Debt
The Central Bank is allowed to create debt - except where that debt burden can pass across a generation (25 years).
An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:
Religious and cultural activities are exempt from legal oversight except where they intrude into the public sphere (Res Publica)"