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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Friday, June 9, 2006

Iraqi women get trampled as 'freedom marches on.'

I'm sure that Dubya's supporters couldn't care less about what's happening to Iraqi women in Basra. After all, the US effort in Iraq has passed yet another turning point with the death of al-Zarqawi and the prez continues to spread freedom and democracy in the Mideast.

Under Saddam, women played little part in political life but businesswomen and academics travelled the country unchallenged while their daughters mixed freely with male students at university.

Now, even the most emancipated woman feels cowed.

A television producer Arij Al-Soltan, 27, now exiled, said: "It is much worse for women in the south. I blame the British for not taking a strong stand."

Sajeda Hanoon Alebadi, 37, who — like Mrs Aziz — has now taken to wearing a headscarf, said: "Women are being assassinated. We know the people behind it are saying we have a fatwa, these are not good women, they should be killed."

Behind the wave of insurgent attacks, the violence against women who dare to challenge the Islamic orthodoxy is growing. Fatwas banning women from driving or being seen out alone are regularly issued.

Infiltrated by militia, the police are unwilling or unable to crack down on the fundamentalists.

Ms Alebadi said: "After the fall of the regime, the religious extremist parties came out on to the streets and threatened women. Although the extremists are in the minority, they control powerful positions, so they control Basra."

To venture on the streets today without a male relative is to risk attack, humiliation or kidnap.

A journalist, Shatta Kareem, said: "I was driving my car one day when someone just crashed into me and drove me off the road. If a woman is seen driving these days it is considered a violation of men's rights."

There is a fear that Islamic law will become enshrined in the new legislation. Ms Aziz said: "In the Muslim religion, if a man dies his money goes to a male member of the family. After the Iran-Iraq war, there were so many widows that Saddam changed the law so it would go to the women and children. Now it has been changed back."

Via UK Independent.

| | Posted by Magpie at 12:54 AM | Get permalink




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