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IRANIAN WOMEN AFTER THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

Ansiia Khaz Allii


More than thirty years have passed since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, yet there remain a number of questions and ambiguities about the way the Islamic Republic and its laws deal with contemporary problems and current circumstances, particularly with regard to women and women’s rights. This short paper will shed light on these issues and study the current position of women in various spheres, comparing this to the situation prior to the Islamic Revolution. Reliable and authenticated data has been used wherever possible. The introduction summarises a number of theoretical and legal studies which provide the basis for the subsequent more practical analysis and are the sources from where the data has been obtained.
The first section considers attitudes of the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards women and women’s rights, and then takes a comprehensive look at the laws promulgated since the Islamic Revolution concerning women and their position in society. The second section considers women’s cultural and educational developments since the Revolution and compares these to the pre-revolutionary situation. The third section looks at women’s political, social and economic participation and considers both quantative and qualitative aspects of their employment. The fourth section then examines questions of the family, the relationship between women and the family, and the family’s role in limiting or increasing women’s rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On the American Constitution from the Perspective of the Qur’an and the Madinah Covenant

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

This paper is by no means an exhaustive comparison of the American Constitution with the Qur’an and the Madinah Covenant. Rather, it explores the kinds of insights that a comparison between these two documents may suggest. Accordingly, the constitutional topics selected are those in which the author or the commentators on earlier drafts perceived an assessment within the Islamic sources.4 This paper should be taken as an invitation for future studies with more systematic comparisons. In addition to rational inference from the text of the Qur’an and of the Madinah Covenant, I shall draw on the views of the Prophet’s Companions as recorded in the leading Hadith books. Analogously, the views of the Founding Fathers of the American Republic on constitutional
matters are articulated in The Federalist Papers.We shall begin by reviewing the Madinah Covenant, and then evaluate the Constitution’s goals as expressed in the preamble. After that, we shall explore a variety of topics in the main body of the text that lend themselves to the examination proposed here. In particular, these are the roles of the branches of government according to the separation of powers, the role of elections in determining the next head of state, the penalty for treason, the existence of the slave trade and racism, the republican form of government, the provisions for amending the Constitution, religious tests, and the Bill of Rights. Finally, we consider the Madisonian arguments on how the Constitution may be considered a model for avoiding fitnah.
The Madinah Covenant That Muslims attach great significance to their organization as a political community can be seen in the fact that their calendar is dated neither from the birth nor the death of the Prophet, but from the establishment of the first Muslim polity in the city-state of Madinah in 622. Before Madinah was founded, the Arabs had no state to “establish justice, insure domestic
tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty” The custom at that time was that those who were too weak to protect themselves became clients of a protector (wali). Muhammad, himself an orphan, was brought up under the protection of his uncle Abu Talib.
After his uncle’s death in 619, Muhammad received an invitation from Yathrib’s feuding Arab tribes to govern there. Once in Yathrib, he entered into a covenant with all of its residents, whether they had accepted Islam or not. Even the Jews living on the city’s outskirts subscribed to it.

US Hamas policy blocks Middle East peace

هنری Siegman


Failed bilateral talks over these past 16 years have shown that a Middle East peace accord can never be reached by the parties themselves. Israeli governments believe they can defy international condemnation of their illegal colonial project in the West Bank because they can count on the US to oppose international sanctions. Bilateral talks that are not framed by US-formulated parameters (based on Security Council resolutions, the Oslo accords, the Arab Peace Initiative, the “road map” and other previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements) cannot succeed. Israel’s government believes that the US Congress will not permit an American president to issue such parameters and demand their acceptance. What hope there is for the bilateral talks that resume in Washington DC on September 2 depends entirely on President Obama proving that belief to be wrong, and on whether the “bridging proposals” he has promised, should the talks reach an impasse, are a euphemism for the submission of American parameters. Such a US initiative must offer Israel iron-clad assurances for its security within its pre-1967 borders, but at the same time must make it clear these assurances are not available if Israel insists on denying Palestinians a viable and sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza. This paper focuses on the other major obstacle to a permanent status agreement: the absence of an effective Palestinian interlocutor. Addressing Hamas’ legitimate grievances – and as noted in a recent CENTCOM report, Hamas has legitimate grievances – could lead to its return to a Palestinian coalition government that would provide Israel with a credible peace partner. If that outreach fails because of Hamas’ rejectionism, the organization’s ability to prevent a reasonable accord negotiated by other Palestinian political parties will have been significantly impeded. If the Obama administration will not lead an international initiative to define the parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and actively promote Palestinian political reconciliation, Europe must do so, and hope America will follow. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that can guarantee the goal of “two states living side by side in peace and security.”
But President Obama’s present course absolutely precludes it.

ISLAMIC FAITH in AMERICA

JAMES A. بورلی

AMERICA BEGINS A NEW MILLENNIUM AS ONE OF THE MOST RELIGIOUSLY diverse nations of all time. Nowhere else in the world do so many people—offered a choice free from government influence—identify with such a wide range of religious and spiritual communities. Nowhere else has the human search for meaning been so varied. In America today, there are communities and centers for worship representing all of the world’s religions.
The American landscape is dotted with churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques. Zen Buddhist zendos sit next to Pentecostal tabernacles. Hasidic Jews walk the streets with Hindu swamis. Most amazing of all, relatively little conflict has occurred among religions in America. This fact, combined with a high level of tolerance of each other’s beliefs and practices, has let America produce people of goodwill ready to try to resolve any tensions that might emerge. The Faith in America series celebrates America’s diverse religious heritage.
People of faith and ideals who longed for a better world have created a unique society where freedom of religious expression is a keynote of culture. The freedom that America offers to people of faith means that not only have ancient religions found a home
here, but that newer ways of expressing spirituality have also taken root. From huge churches in large cities to small spiritual communities in towns and villages, faith in America has never been stronger. The paths that different religions have taken through
American history is just one of the stories readers will find in this series. Like anything people create, religion is far from perfect. با این حال, its contribution to the culture and its ability to help people are impressive, and these accomplishments will be found in all the books in the series. Meanwhile, awareness and tolerance of the different paths our neighbors take to the spiritual life has become an increasingly important part of citizenship in America.
Today, more than ever, America as a whole puts its faith in freedom—the freedom to believe.

IS TAYYIP ERDOĞAN THE NEW NASSER

حریت DailyNews
مصطفی AKYOL

Last Thursday night, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan suddenly became the focus of all the news channels in the country. The reason was that he had stormed the diplomatic scene at a World Economic Forum panel in Davos by accusing Israeli President Shimon Peres forkilling people,” and reminding the biblical commandment, “Thou shall not kill.

This was not just breaking news to the media, but also music to the ears of millions of Turks who were deeply touched by the recent bloodshed that Israel caused in the Gaza Strip. Some of them even hit the streets in order to welcome Erdoğan, who had decided to come to Istanbul right away after the tense debate. Thousands of cars headed toward the Atatürk airport in the middle of the night in order to welcomethe conqueror of Davos.

’Turkey is proud of you’

I personally had a more mundane problem at that very moment. In order to catch my 5 a.m. flight, I had left home at a quite reasonable time, 2.30 a.m. But the traffic to the airport was completely locked because of the amazing number of cars destined toward it. So, after leaving the taxi at the start of the long river of vehicles, I had to walk on the highway for about two kilometers, my hands on my luggage and my eyes on the crowd. When Erdoğan finally stepped out of the terminal, while I just walking into it, thousands applauded him and started to chant, “Turkey is proud of you!”