Archives: Honor Killings
the crimes against women continue

June 22, 2010:
No one can have any fun in Saudi Arabia. Judicial officials say a Saudi court has convicted four women and 11 men for mingling at a party and sentenced them to flogging and prison terms. The men, who are between 30 and 40 years old, and three of the women, who are under the age of 30, were sentenced to an unspecified number of lashes and one or two year prison terms each. The fourth woman, a minor, was sentenced to 80 lashes and was not sent to prison. The ruling was handed down on Tuesday at a court in the northern town of Ha'il. The officials say the police saw the group partying until dawn last month. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media. Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam that prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling. June 23, 2009:
It seems that revolution is occurring all over the Muslim world. Yay!!!
Appealing to a powerful Saudi prince, an 8-year-old girl asked why she was not allowed to play sports in school like boys. She got an unexpected response: The prince said he hoped government schools for girls would allow playing fields.

The stand taken by Prince Khaled al-Faisal, governor of the holy city of Mecca and one of the most senior second-generation members of the royal family, on the controversial issue is the strongest official endorsement so far of women's sports and a sign the government may be tilting toward opening up on that front.

Physical education classes are banned in state-run girls schools in conservative Saudi Arabia. Saudi female athletes are not allowed to participate in the Olympics. Women's games and marathons have been canceled when the powerful clergy get wind of them. And some clerics even argue that running and jumping can damage a woman's hymen and ruin her chances of getting married. (This is the most ridiculous and dumbest thing I've ever heard!)

Like other restrictions on women in the kingdom, including the ban on driving and voting, the prohibitions on sports stem from the strict version of Islam the kingdom follows. Conservative clerics have strong influence on government and society, and they ban anything they believe might lead to women's emancipation or encourage women to abandon conservative Muslim values.

Despite the obstacles, there has been some progress in the past couple of years on this issue. Some Saudi women have quietly been forming soccer, basketball, volleyball and other teams throughout the kingdom.

Princess Adelah, King Abdullah's daughter, recently spoke publicly about the need to "seriously and realistically look into the issue of introducing sports in girls' schools because of the rise in diseases linked to obesity and lack of movement," according to Al-Riyadh newspaper. About 52 percent of Saudi men and 66 percent of women are either obese or overweight, according to Saudi press reports. (How about engaging in sports simply because they're enjoyable? Or, a woman might want to make it her career? Oh, sorry, for a moment I forgot this is about the Muslim world.)

And on Sunday, the National Retirement Association, a voluntary group that works under the umbrella of the Jiddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, opened a half-mile (one-kilometer) walkway inside a Jiddah mall for female retirees to encourage them to lead active lives. Dressed in the long black cloaks women have to wear in public and clutching their handbags, a few women took part in a "marathon" soon after it opened.

Khaled's remarks, which he made at the launch of a project Monday aimed at developing cultural and sporting activities in the western city of Jiddah, gives a boost to these individual efforts. The prince is interested in sports and has served as head of the General Presidency for Youth Welfare, the federation that oversees it.

According to local newspapers, the 8-year-old girl told Khaled: "I ask myself why is it that only boys can play sports and have courts while we girls don't have anything?"

"I hope to see sports courts for girls inside girls' schools," the prince responded, according to Al-Hayat newspaper.

He said if this were to happen, it will be in coordination with the Education Ministry and "according to certain mechanisms that take into consideration women's privacy in this country."

His remarks came amid an intense debate over the issue in Saudi newspapers. The government allows such debates because the views expressed by the readers, columnists and clerics help it to gauge people's opinions over controversial issues.

A statement issued by three senior clerics last month lashed out at Saudis who demand the opening of more gyms for women, saying such a move would "open the doors wide for spreading decadence."

"It is well-known that only women with no shame will go to these clubs," said the statement signed by clerics Abdul-Rahman al-Barrack, Abdul-Aziz al-Rajihi and Abdullah bin Jibrin. (WHAAAATTT???!!! Obviously, you live in a different universe! And what does any of this have to do with shame?)

In a recent column in Al-Watan newspaper, Sheik Abdullah al-Mani, an adviser at the royal court, said virgins should think twice before engaging in sports.

"Soccer or basketball require running and jumping and these could damage (a woman's) the hymen," he wrote. "If she marries, her husband will ... think that her hymen was destroyed as a result of an (immoral) action." (What if a man hurts his penis in sports? What then? A penis is an exterior genital and is ofen injured. Does it hurt his chances for marriage? Women and girls can do everything and the hymen does not get damaged or destroyed from sports or arts! How about the men get their focus off of their need to fuck a virgin and value women for being more than just a sex/procreation object and slave?)

"He will either divorce her or lose confidence in her chastity," he added. (Why is it always about what the men want?)

His words triggered an angry response from Al-Watan columnist Haleema Muthafar.

"I'd like to ask the sheikh, "If in his opinion the hymen is the reason why girls should not engage in sports, what about married women? What's to stop them?" she wrote. (TOUCHE! Excellent.) [Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,528541,00.html]

June 22, 2009:
MOGADISHU, Somalia — A court run by an extremist Islamic group sentenced four Somali men on Monday to each have a hand and a leg cut off for allegedly stealing mobile phones and guns. The ruling prompted an outcry from human rights activists. The court that handed down the sentence in Somalia's capital is run by al-Shabab, one of the nation's most powerful insurgent groups. The U.S. considers al-Shabab a terrorist group with links to Al Qaeda, which al-Shabab denies. The group, which controls much of Somalia, is trying to drive out the government and install a strict form of Islam. "We have convicted them of theft, so they deserve to have their arms and legs amputated," said Sheik Abdul Haq, the al-Shabab judge in the capital, Mogadishu. Sure, because there's no other kind of punishment you can give a minor thief, right? This is more evidence that extremist Muslims do not value life, nor do they have any compassion. Such cruel people. Fruthermore, the trial was unfair (what else is new?).

I support Iran's uprising against its dictatorship, politically and religiously, and appreciate that finally women's voices are being heard. Women are standing up to these evil tyrants and men are supporting the women. They cry about Neda's death, but where was all that support all the years when women were suppressed, oppressed, punished just for being female? Maybe it had to come to this to wake up and value life and freedom. Power to them.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to take steps toward removing rules requiring a woman to have a male guardian at all times, saying there is no such legal requirement, a rights organisation said. Saudi rights officials committed in a review with the UN Human Rights Council to take steps to end the male guardianship rule, to give women full legal identity and to ban discrimination by gender, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement from Geneva today.

HRW said that during the review Saudi officials said the Islamic sharia law concept of male guardianship does not exist in Saudi law.

"Islam guarantees a woman's right to conduct her affairs and enjoy her legal capacity," the Saudi officials said, according to HRW.

In Saudi Arabia much of life is governed by the strict Wahhabi branch of Islam and law is heavily based on sharia, or Islamic law.

Women are required to have male guardians to move in public, travel abroad, get married or even access many public services. They are also prevented from driving, making the country the only one in the world with such a restriction.

Many women, especially in the commercial sector, have been trying to have such rules changed, but face tough resistance from hardline clerics who have powerful influence over the legal system.

HRW said the Saudi officials also pledged to end the practice of executing people for crimes committed as juveniles, noting that Saudi Arabia is one of only five countries in the world that allow it.

The Saudis "should now work to carry out these reforms rapidly," HRW said. We'll see.... actions speak louder than words.

September 10, 2008:
Great news: The Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has launched a campaign to set a minimum age for marriage in the kingdom. The SHRC began its campaign following several high profile trials, where young girls, sometimes less than 10 years old, were married off to men above the age of 50 and even 70. "This is a violation of human rights, and a clear breach of international conventions that Saudi Arabia has signed onto," SHRC chairman Turki A-Sudeiri told the London-based daily al-Arab. "Child marriages should be considered the same as forced marriages, since valid consent has not been obtained from the bride, who is also under-aged," Sudeiri said, adding that this could lead to "severe health complications, since the girl is not psychologically, physically and sexually mature to enter wedlock." The minimum age for girls to marry is suggested to be 17 years old, and 18 for boys. That's a good start.

However, there is another issue directly linked to weddings and bridges of any age, the money one pays for a bride. Many old men temporarily marry young girls and divorce them soon afterwards. This is like paying for the services of a prostitute or child abuse. Take away the girl's virginity against her free will because they paid the parents for her, and then dump her. This practice must end. Women and children are not property to be bought and sold and abused. They should be free to decide for themselves who they marry, or even if they marry, and with whom they have sex. Saudi Arabia needs to address the purchasing of human slaves or this age minimum issue for marriage is only half resolved.

June 8, 2008:
Saudi Human and Women's Rights Activist Wajeha Al-Huwaidar Speaks Out Against Honor Killings

May 27, 2008:
The brutal "honor killing" of a 16-year-old Afghan immigrant by her brother has sparked a renewed debate in Germany over whether Islamic families can adapt to the social ways of the Western world. The girl, Morsal Obeidi, was ambushed in the parking lot of a Hamburg McDonald's restaurant by her 23-year-old brother Ahmad, who stabbed the girl 20 times, Spiegel Online reported. Hamburg is home to more than 20,000 Afghan immigrants, the most of any European city, the Web site reported. Morsal Obeidi had long struggled with a tug-of-war between her desire to live like her friends in Germany, and her family’s desire to preserve their Afghan lifestyle, the site reported. Obeidi's arguments with her brother and father, over things like her appearance, smoking and drinking, often turned physical. She reportedly sought the protection of a child and youth welfare agency to escape the violence on more than one occasion. Ahmed reportedly told police that he killed his sister because she had become too comfortable with Western life with her uncovered hair, makeup and short skirts. Click here to read the complete Spiegel story of Morsal Obeidi's tragic death.

May 11. 2007:
AHMADABAD, India: A man was arrested and charged for allegedly burying alive his 6-day-old twin daughters near his home in western India The baby girls later died, police said Friday. Samantsinh Sodha wanted a son but his wife gave birth to baby girls last week in Nakhtrana. Indian society has long favored boys, who do not require the enormous dowry payments that bankrupt many poor families when their daughters marry. Sodha, a gas station attendant, took the twins away while his wife was sleeping and buried them in a pit Wednesday night, Malik told The Associated Press. Police arrested him on Thursday, the police officer said. Many expectant couples in India will abort a fetus if they find it is a girl. International groups say the widespread practice of aborting female fetuses has killed more than 10 million female fetuses in the last two decades, leading to an imbalance in the ratio between males and females in India.

April 15, 2007:
Oh my - such a sin to HUG somebody! Pakistan's tourism minister says she fears for her life after clerics at a radical mosque issued an edict accusing her of sinning by hugging her French parachute jumping instructor, the state news agency reported. Minister of Tourism Nilofar Bakhtiar told a parliamentary committee of her fear on Saturday following the Taliban - style edict against her by Islamic clerics at Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, in Islamabad, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported. The clerics said the hug was "an illegitimate and forbidden act" and "without any doubt, she has committed a great sin." Two clerics at the mosque issued the edict against Bakhtiar last Sunday, demanding that she be sacked, her family punish her and she be made to ask for forgiveness after pictures in the Pakistani media showed Bakhtiar hugging her parachute jumping instructor at a fundraising jump in France. Hundreds of students from an Islamic seminary attached to the mosque have been running an anti-vice campaign in Islamabad, threatening music shops and brothels, in a bold challenge to President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a U.S. ally who has pledged to promote moderate Islam.

February 19, 2007 - the insanity continues:
Condolences to the family of Zilla Huma Usman. The minister for social welfare in Punjab province and an ally of President Pervez Musharraf was killed as she was about to deliver a speech to dozens of party activists, by a “fanatic”, who believed that she was dressed inappropriately and that women should not be involved in politics, officials said. Usman, 35, was wearing the shalwar kameez worn by many professional women in Pakistan, but did not cover her head. As Usman, 35, stepped out of her car – where she was greeted by her co-workers throwing rose petals - the attacker pulled out a pistol and fired a single shot at close range, hitting her in the head. She was airlifted to hospital in the provincial capital Lahore, but died soon afterwards.

The gunman, Mohammad Sarwar , was overpowered by the minister’s driver and arrested by police. A stone mason in his mid 40s, he is not thought to belong to any radical group but is known for his fanaticism. He was previously held in 2002 in connection with the killing and mutilation of four prostitutes, but was never convicted due to lack of evidence. Sarwar appeared relaxed and calm when he told a television channel that he had carried out God’s order to kill women who sinned. “I have no regrets. I just obeyed Allah’s commandment,” he said, adding that Islam did not allow women to hold positions of leadership. “I will kill all those women who do not follow the right path, if I am freed again,” he said. “He is basically a fanatic,” Raja Basharat, the Punjab Law Minister, said. “He is against the involvement of women in politics and government affairs.” A police statement added: “He considers it contrary to the teachings of Allah for a woman to become a minister or a ruler. That’s why he committed this action.”

“He killed her because she was not observing the Islamic code of dress. She was also campaigning for emancipation of women,” said Nazir Ahmad, a local officer. Usman, a married mother of two sons, joined the pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League after being elected in 2002. A strong supporter of the President’s policy of “enlightened moderation” - designed to tackle extremism - she was appointed to her current post in December last year according to her government biography.

In April 2005, she encouraged the holding of a mini-marathon involving female competitors in Gujranwala – an event which led to riots after police intervened to stop armed Islamic activists from disrupting the race. She also ran a small fashion business from her base in the town.

Shaukat Aziz, the Prime Minister, paid tribute to the minister, describing her as a “committed and dedicated politician”. “During her short span as minister, she took several steps for the welfare of the people of Punjab,” he said. Zobaida Jalal, the federal Minister for Social Welfare, added that Usman’s death was an “unbearable loss to the cause of women rights and their empowerment”. General Musharraf, whose support for the US-led war on terror has caused consternation among Pakistan's hardline elements, has promised to address women’s rights as part of his more moderate agenda. But analysts said that the murder of the female minister highlighted the failure of his government in curbing Islamic extremism. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in a recent report said that violence against women had increased alarmingly, with some of the incidents incited by Mullahs opposed to women’s emancipation.

Islamists also campaigned against the Women Protection Bill which was recently passed by parliament, which seeks to provide protection to women who have suffered discrimination under Islamic Sharia laws. Women make up just over 20 per cent of the lower house of parliament, according to the country’s main human rights group, and there are three women ministers in the cabinet of the federal government. But widespread discrimination against females continues to be a problem in what remains a male-dominated society, particularly in the countryside, where most Pakistanis live.

January 16, 2007
A 19-year-old was shot to death by unknown assailants on Tuesday at her home in the Jawarish [Muslim] neighborhood of Ramle, Israel, in what police estimate was an "honor killing." According to police sources, the teen was not involved in a "forbidden" relationship, but was considered a rebel in her behavior and choice of apparel. Police forces that arrived on the scene were not surprised to learn the teen's identity, as she had been threatened by her family members for a long time. About a year ago, the victim returned to her family's home after residing in a women's shelter for an extended period of time due to a fear for her life. When she turned 18, she left the shelter and returned to her parents' home, in spite of the threats for her life, even though police had informed her of the threats. The teen insisted on staying with her parents and even signed a police statement saying she was aware of the angers. Ramle police commander Chief Superintendent Yoram Yifrah said, "This is a terrible murder. We condemn it, and we will do everything possible to find the assailants." Last year, eight women were murdered for what is termed "honor killings." Can't trust your own family: what a lovely Islamic message to pass on to your children, children you might end up murdering anyway.

August 16, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- A woman who said she has been ordained as a Roman Catholic priest led a service during the weekend -- despite the risk of being excommunicated. Jane Via, 58, is among 15 American women who have recently gone through ordination ceremonies that are not sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church, which bars women from becoming priests or deacons. According to the group, a male priest presided over the first ordination of seven women in 2002 in Austria. The women were excommunicated by the Vatican in 2003. Via said such consequences were "unwelcome," but also, in a sense, liberating. "I will accept the consequences," she told NBC San Diego. "They're unwelcome, but they're apparently necessary." "If women like me don't stand up and do something for women in the church, no one else is going to," Via told NBC San Diego. "We've been waiting for the Vatican to do this for 40 years, since the second Vatican council. Not only has nothing happened, but things have gotten progressively worse for women since." The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has not taken a formal position on the issue, but three of the American women who say they are ordained priests received letters from diocese officials warning that they had chosen to excommunicate themselves. "The church needs women," Via said. "The church needs women's voices."

March 11, 2006:
The good news - This past year has yielded several new female presidents around the world. The first female president of Libera, first female president of an African country, a new president of Chile, Norway, Governor General of Canada, and Chancellor of Germany. Here is a list of current female world leaders.

December 25, 2005:
MULTAN, Pakistan — A father, angry that his eldest daughter had married against his wishes, slit her throat as she slept and then killed three of his other daughters in a remote village in eastern Pakistan, police said Saturday. Nazir Ahmad, a laborer in his 40s, feared the younger girls, aged 4, 8, and 12, would follow in their sister's footsteps, police officer Shahzad Gul said. Ahmad surrendered to police after the killings late Friday in Burewala, about 70 miles east of Multan . a main city in eastern Punjab province, Gul said. "He [Ahmad] told us today that he has killed his daughters, and we arrested him," he said. Gul said the man's 25-year-old daughter, Muqadas Bibi, had married the man of her choice against her father's wishes some weeks ago. Ahmad contacted Bibi this week, saying he was ready to forgive her, Gul said. During a visit by Bibi to her parents' house, Ahmad slit her throat as she slept and then killed the other three girls, Gul said. He said police were investigating whether other relatives helped in the killings and were also looking for Bibi's husband. Gul said police are looking for Bibi's husband to inform him of her death. Hundreds of women are killed in Pakistan every year, many by male relatives, after they are accused of staining their families' honor by having affairs or marrying for love without family consent. On a personal note - how about Nazir Ahmad and other men who commit these acts have their penises cut off while they're wide awake, and then have their throats slit? Would that be a fair sentence for what they do to their women?

October 6, 2005:
KABUL, Afghanistan: A 27-year-old woman critic of Afghanistan's powerful warlords has won one of the first seats declared in provisional results from landmark parliamentary elections, a key step in the central Asian nation's transition to democracy. The U.N.-Afghan election body on Thursday reported "serious" cases of fraud, including the stuffing of ballots into boxes after polling day. It excluded 299 polling stations from the vote count but declared the September 18 poll was still credible. It declared unofficial winners for national and provincial assembly seats in two of the country's 34 provinces, Farah and Nimroz, and said most other results would be released in the coming week. Final, certified results are expected by late October after what officials predict will be a frenetic complaints period. "I'm very happy and thankful for Afghan men and women who voted for me," said Malalai Joya, 27, a women's rights worker from Farah, who polled second in the race for the province's five seats in the 249-seat Wolesi Jirga, or National Assembly. "My first priority when I go to parliament will be peace, security and stability, and to collect all the guns from warlords," she told The Associated Press. Hope she will live long and be able to achieve her goals.

June 22, 2005:
Nature is trying to tell you something - stop doing this to girls and women! ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - A 12-year-old girl who was abducted and beaten by men trying to force her into a marriage was found being guarded by three lions who apparently had chased off her captors, a policeman said Tuesday. The girl, missing for a week, had been taken by seven men who wanted to force her to marry one of them, said Sgt. Wondimu Wedajo, speaking by telephone from the provincial capital of Bita Genet, about 350 miles southwest of Addis Ababa. She was beaten repeatedly before she was found June 9 by police and relatives on the outskirts of Bita Genet, Wondimu said. She had been guarded by the lions for about half a day, he said. "They stood guard until we found her and then they just left her like a gift and went back into the forest," Wondimu said, "If the lions had not come to her rescue, then it could have been much worse. Often these young girls are raped and severely beaten to force them to accept the marriage," he said.

Tilahun Kassa, a local government official who corroborated Wondimu's version of the events, said one of the men had wanted to marry the girl against her wishes. "Everyone thinks this is some kind of miracle, because normally the lions would attack people," Wondimu said. Stuart Williams, a wildlife expert with the rural development ministry, said the girl may have survived because she was crying from the trauma of her attack. "A young girl whimpering could be mistaken for the mewing sound from a lion cub, which in turn could explain why they didn't eat her," Williams said. Ethiopia's lions, famous for their large black manes, are the country's national symbol and adorn statues and the local currency. Despite a recent crackdown, Hunters also kill the animals for their skins, which can fetch $1,000. Williams estimates that only 1,000 Ethiopian lions remain in the wild. The girl, the youngest of four siblings, was "shocked and terrified" after her abduction and had to be treated for the cuts from her beatings, Wondimu said. He said police had caught four of the abductors and three were still at large. Kidnapping young girls has long been part of the marriage custom in Ethiopia. The United Nations estimates that more than 70 percent of marriages in Ethiopia are by abduction, practiced in rural areas where most of the country's 71 million people live.

July 19, 2004:
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Arab militias in Sudan are gang-raping and abducting girls as young as eight and women as old as 80, systematically killing, torturing, or using them as sex slaves, an Amnesty International report said on Monday. Militias known as Janjaweed, which rights groups say are backed by the government, have been fighting rebels in Sudan's western Darfur region since last year, triggering one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. "When we tried to escape they shot more children," one woman identified only as A. told Amnesty researchers.

"They raped women, I saw many cases of Janjaweed raping women and girls. They are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell us that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish." As many as 30,000 people have been killed in Darfur and more than a million displaced, their homes bombed by government planes, their crops stolen. In a report called "Rape as a Weapon of War," Amnesty outlines sexual violence against women it says is happening on a massive scale. It says Khartoum is actively violating its legal obligations to protect civilians. "Soldiers of the Sudan government army are present during attacks by the Janjaweed and when rapes are committed, but the Sudan government has done nothing so far to stop them," Amnesty researcher Benedicte Goderiaux told a news conference. Darfur's rebels accuse the government of arming the Arab Janjaweed to loot and burn African villages in a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Khartoum denies the charge. The Sudan embassy in Beirut said in a statement that the Amnesty report was aimed at defaming the government, distorting Arab culture and driving a wedge between Sudan's ethnic groups.

Sexual slavery
The Amnesty report, launched in Beirut and Nairobi, details gang rapes, public rapes, killings of those who resist rape, abductions for sexual slavery, and cases where women and girls have had their legs broken to stop them running away. It is based on hundreds of testimonies collected from refugees in camps in Chad. Although the sample of victims was limited, Amnesty said it pointed to widespread abuse. The London-based group said rebels fighting the Janjaweed may also have raped civilians, but facts were limited. One woman was five months pregnant when the Janjaweed abducted her and eight others during an attack in July. "After six days some of the girls were released. But the others, as young as eight years old, were kept there," she said. "Five to six men would rape us in rounds, one after the other for hours during six days every night. My husband could not forgive me after this, he disowned me."

Efforts to end the crisis through negotiations are in tatters after rebels stormed out of peace talks last week. They said they would only meet government delegates when Khartoum fulfilled promises including disarming the Janjaweed. Amnesty called for an end to the conflict, better protection of civilians, Janjaweed disarmament, trials for those carrying out the attacks and an international commission of inquiry to examine war crimes in Darfur. A separate conflict in Sudan between the government and southern rebels has killed around two million people in the past two decades. Peace negotiations have brought it close to an end.

In another report today: Evoking the lesson of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem on Sunday urged the international community to take immediate action to stop the mass murder going on in Sudan. The rare public warning issued by Israel's Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority calls on the world to "act before it is too late" and stop the slaughter going on in Sudan's western Darfur region, which "includes aspects of ethnic cleansing and perhaps even genocide."

"Yad Vashem urges world leaders to take immediate concerted action to halt the tragedy in Darfur before it devolves further, to provide effective humanitarian aid to the region and to punish the perpetrators of the heinous crimes that are being committed there," a press release issued Sunday read. Tens of thousands of black Africans have died in more than a year of violence that has turned into a systematic slaughter carried out by Arab militiamen in Darfur, a vast and remote region in western Sudan the size of Iraq.

The United Nations estimates up to 30,000 people have been killed in the violence, although some analysts say that the death toll is in fact much higher. The fighting, which broke out 15 months ago, has forced over one million to flee their homes, while more than 2 million people are in desperate need of food and medicine. The violence erupted when two groups drawn from Darfur's African tribes took up arms over what they regard as unjust treatment by the government in their long-simmering struggle over land and resources with Arab countrymen.

The Arab militias then began attacking the black Africans. The deadly African violence comes as the world marked 10 years since the 1994 Rwandan genocide where at least 500,000 and as many as 1,000,000 people were murdered in 100 days. "It is imperative that we learn the lesson from past failures to respond in time to evolving, genocidal evil," Yad Vashem said. "The red line for world response has to be much before a Holocaust or genocide, said the director of Yad Vashem's library, Dr. Robert Rozett.

June 6, 2004:
Gautam Singh, Associated Press Writer, writes, "She's blind and disfigured. Her college friends don't visit anymore, and children are terrified of her. On rare trips out of the house, she hides behind a cotton scarf. Her anger still burns. Five years ago, Haseena Hussein's former boss flung acid onto her, angry that the woman he'd become infatuated with resisted coming back to work for him. In July, that man may walk free from jail in this southern Indian city, a place best-known for its software engineers and high-tech millionaires. "I want the worst for him," said Hussein, 25, who has lost count of the skin grafts she has had on her face and body. Her family has spent $15,555 on her care, and donations dried up long ago. In early May, a court sentenced Hussein's attacker, Joseph Rodrigues, 32, to five years and three months in jail and ordered him to pay her compensation of $6,666. Because Rodrigues has already spent more than five years in jail while awaiting trial, he could be released in July. Prosecutors are appealing the sentence. "I only wanted that he should be punished severely. I have to suffer this lifelong," said Hussein, who once dreamed of being a fashion designer but now spends most of her day applying creams to her scarred face and body. She sits on the porch of her parents' apartment, keeping her back to the road to spare passersby a glimpse of her badly burned face. Hussein is far from alone. Thousands of Indian women are thought to have been burned in acid attacks, some by spurned lovers, others by relatives who believe that the women have somehow tarnished the family honor. Although there are no precise figures on the number of victims, women's groups contend that cases are on the rise. The Campaign and Struggle Against Acid Attacks on Women has documented more than 30 cases in the last five years in Karnataka state, of which Bangalore is the capital. Women's groups want faster trials for the accused, stiffer sentences, tough laws restricting sales of acid and compensation for victims. In most cases now, attackers are charged with attempted murder, which carries a prison term of not more than 10 years. Police said Rodrigues threw acid on Hussein outside her office on April 20, 1999. He owned a software firm where she had worked until the company closed. When it reopened, she already had another job. Rodrigues told Hussein that he loved her, police said, and tried to persuade her to rejoin his company. When she refused, he attacked her, police charged. Rodrigues denied throwing the acid. Hussein remembers the excruciating pain, the burning. Then there were the rounds of plastic surgery and skin grafts. In an attempt to restore sight to her right eye, she recently underwent a cornea transplant. Doctors won't know for a few months whether any vision has been restored. No matter what, her anger won't go away. "Even if I die," Hussein said, "I'll never forgive him.""

April 19, 2004:
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- A popular Saudi television host publicly showed her bruised and bloodied face and has shocked her compatriots into openly talking about one of the kingdom's long-hidden problems: violence against women. Rania al-Baz has been hailed as a hero for letting newspaper photographers snap pictures of her face and for frankly discussing her case after she said a beating by her husband earlier this month left her unconscious. Her story has been widely reported in the Saudi media. A Saudi princess stepped forward to pay al-Baz's medical bills. Representatives of the new Saudi National Human Rights Association visited her in the hospital. Al-Baz told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Sunday that once she is back at work, she will press a violence-against-women awareness campaign. "I know many women in Saudi Arabia are badly beaten and when I recover I will do a program addressing that," she said. She said she also will try to tackle other topics, like rape, that are usually not publicly discussed in conservative Saudi Arabia. Al-Baz is well know throughout the kingdom for her chatty, magazine style show, "The Kingdom This Morning." The program usually offers lighter fare and is shown on state-run Saudi Channel One.

Al-Baz made the photographs of her wrecked face after the April 10 beating all the more startling. Al-Baz suffered 13 facial fractures required 12 operations. "Though the photo was too gory for some people -- blood was dripping from her face -- she wanted her case to be publicized so that other battered women would be encouraged to speak up," columnist Raid Qusti wrote in the Arab News. Qusti said that all Saudi women should salute al-Baz. "She knew the story was going public, and she did not do that for publicity, she did it to help other women -- because no man has the right to beat a woman," said Arab News' editor, Khaled al-Maeena. Al-Baz, in her 30s, said her husband of six years, singer Mohammed Bakr al-Fallatta, had beaten her before. But she said the April 10 attack was especially vicious, and that she thought he wanted to kill her. After banging her head on the floor and the wall until she lost consciousness, al-Baz said her husband drove her to the hospital and left her at the front doors, claiming she was a victim of a traffic accident and that he was going to pick up others who had been hurt. He then drove off and has not been seen or heard from since.

Al-Baz said she is not sure what triggered the attack. But al-Fallatta had been out of work for nearly three years and was depressed, she said. And days before the beating, he got angry when he found her watching a Lebanese TV show that featured his sister, a singer who lives in Beirut. Police say when they find al-Fallatta, he will likely face charges of abuse and attempted murder. For her part, al-Baz has expressed concern about her husband, saying she hoped he would be arrested before he harms himself. But she also told the AP she will ask for a divorce and custody of their three children, one of whom, she said, witnessed the beating. Although Islam prohibits violence against women, many believe spousal abuse is common in the almost entirely Muslim Saudi Arabia. There are no statistics available on wife abuse in the kingdom, but husbands rarely meet disapproval for "reforming" spouses deemed "disobedient" by hitting them. According to the U.S. State Department, "hospital workers report that many women are admitted for treatment of injuries that apparently result from spousal violence." Nahed Bashatah, a Saudi who has written extensively about abuse of women, said al-Baz's celebrity has given her case prominence, but "there are hundreds of other abused women who nobody hears about." Bashatah pointed out that Saudi women need to be accompanied by a male guardian even if they want to go to the police to report abuse. Saudi law requires a woman to be accompanied by a male guardian -- her husband, or, for unmarried women, her father, brother or son -- on almost any public chore. Saudi women also are not allowed to drive. Still, Bashatah said Saudi courts have judged in favor of abused women before.

September 25, 2003
Victory for Amina! May she and her baby have a long, safe, and healthy life. The Shariah Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday (interestingly near the eve of the Jewish New Year) that Amina Lawal's conviction was invalid because she was already pregnant when harsh Islamic Shariah law was implemented in her home province. The 31-year-old, who was in court with her baby, Wassila, has been appealing the death sentence for two years. "It is the view of this court that the judgment of the Upper Shariah Court, Funtua, was very wrong and the appeal of Amina Lawal is hereby discharged and acquitted," judge Ibrahim Maiangwa said. Shariah law, based on the teachings in the Quran, Islam's holy book, is practiced in 12 of Nigeria's 36 states. Any way you look at this, there was NO justification for stoning this woman to death!

August 14, 2003
NAIROBI, Kenya: Dozens of Kenyan women carrying children they say are the sons and daughters of British soldiers who raped them protested outside the British mission in Nairobi. Holding posters reading "All the colonialists should go!" 60 women from the nomadic Masaai and Samburu tribes delivered a petition to the high commissioner on Thursday, calling for a public investigation and money to provide schooling for their children. The children born to these women have lighter skin and hair and some are blonds. 650 women from the rural north, where the British army has exercised for three decades, have said they have been raped by soldiers while herding, fetching water or collecting firewood. The women say their children are treated worse in their communities because of their mixed blood. The British government says it's taking this very seriously and will get to the truth of it and prosecute anyone responsible for such acts.

July 4, 2003
Dismemberments worry El Salvadorans. There have been a half-dozen instances since November in which body parts, mainly female, have turned up in El Salvador. Several suspects, all reputed gang members, have been taken into custody on suspicion of having participated in the killings. In Guatemala, the figures are even more chilling; 158 women were killed there in the first three months of 2003, and recently more women have turned up dead and dismembered. On Thursday, a nonprofit Guatemalan group, the Network to Oppose Violence Against Women, called on authorities to bring an end to the killings, noting they had become increasingly gruesome.

June 15, 2003
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- An Egyptian woman married to a man with six daughters from previous marriages drowned herself Saturday just hours after giving birth to a girl because she feared her husband's reaction to fathering another daughter. The woman, only 27 years old, left her home in Saff, south of Cairo, and drowned herself in an irrigation canal three hours after giving birth to her second daughter, police officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Before his wife gave birth, her husband had threatened to kill or divorce her if the couple had any more daughters. Society in rural Egypt is largely conservative, and many parents often prefer having sons to daughters for cultural and economical reasons. Divorce is also considered a taboo in such areas. Many women would rather their husband take a second wife than be divorced. The husband, 38, had been married three times before. In each case, he divorced his wives after they gave birth to girls. Seems to me the problem is the man (the father determines the child's gender, not the mother), his attitude, and the backwards idea that girls aren't as valuable as boys! It's their child, no matter what gender it is - how can they not love what they created? Pity the daughters who are left with him.

April 29, 2003
Los Angeles - Women employees of Wal-Mart were taken to strip clubs on business trips, demeaned as "little Janie Qs" by senior managers, paid less than men for the same jobs, and denied promotions, plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the world's largest retailer claimed. The allegations, denied by a Wal-Mart spokesman, are contained in 110 declarations by a group of women suing the company for gender discrimination in federal court in San Francisco. They were submitted as part of a petition by the women to gain class status and represent all women who have worked for Wal-Mart since Dec. 26, 1998. If that request is granted by a judge, lawyers for the plaintiffs say, the lawsuit would become the largest employment discrimination case ever brought. To win it they must prove that discrimination at Wal-Mart is companywide.

April 10, 2003
KABUL, Afghanistan - Kabul University now has 17 Afghans graduates who trained to earn industry standard certificates in computer networking skills - 6 of those are women. Afghan women, under the Taliban, were forbidden to have education, or to be allowed outside of their homes (especially without being completely covered up). Afghanistan is trying to catch up with other parts of the world in technology. The women in the program are very optimistic and want to help their country and other women learn about computers and the Internet. Graduate, Rita Dorani, aged 23, echoed her thoughts. "My message for all Afghan women is to try as much as possible to learn about computers, because it is essential for every man and woman to be aware of this global technology. Men should allow women to learn this technology." There are still areas outside of the major cities that need to come into the current century with education and women's rights, and little by little they will be transformed.

October 9, 2002
Palestinian poll: A husband may beat his wife if she hurts his manhood
By Itamar Marcus
A poll conducted in the Palestinian Authority by a Palestinian public opinion company shows that a majority of Palestinians are of the opinion that a husband may prevent his wife from working, that a woman should strive to devote herself to her husband and that a husband is entitled to beat his wife if he thinks that she "hurt his manhood". Nearly half the Palestinians believe that neither law enforcement nor social welfare agencies' intervention in husbands' violence towards the wife is warranted, while at the same time a the majority calls for tough punitive legislation for violence towards women. These two attitudes are, it seems, not viewed as contradictory. One possible explanation is that the support for punitive measures expressed by a majority of Palestinians does not apply to a husband's violence towards his wife.

The text:
“The Society for the Advancement of the Palestinian Working Woman, in conjunction with The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion Polls, conducted a poll under the supervision of Dr. Nabil Kokali, on the topic of violence against women..."
“56.9% of Palestinians feel that it is a husband’s right to hit his wife if he thinks she hurt his manhood...”
“59.1% of Palestinians feel that it is a husband’s right to prevent his wife from working outside the home..."
“66.4% of Palestinians declare that the crown of success of the Palestinian Woman is devoting herself to the care of her children and her husband above devotion to herself…"
“47.1% feel that there is no need for intervention of social or law enforcement agencies in instances of husbands attacking wives, because that is a family problem..."
“73.9% feel that a woman must think of how to become a mother and wife rather than engage in her economic and social freedom..."
"86% of Palestinians feel that the [Islamic] traditions and customs retard advancement of women..."
“68.5% of Palestinians feel that the [Palestinian] Authority should legislate firm punitive legislation for violence against women...."
[Al-Ayyam women’s supplement ‘The Woman’s Voice’, October 3, 2002]

The rest of this archive begins here and continues to August 19, 2002.

Sudenese women woke up on Tuesday, September 5, 2000, to find that their freedoms were removed. Police on Tuesday began enforcing a decree issued by Khartoum's governor that ordered women in the capital to stop working in gas stations, hotels, restaurants and other public places where they are in direct contact with men. Governor Majzoub Khalifa said his decree, issued late Sunday, was in line with Islamic sharia law. "This is to honor women, uphold their lofty status and put them in the appropriate place that respects the values and observes the tradition of our nation," he said. Ironically, he added that these women shouldn't be harmed (as if controlling where they can work, how they support their families, and that he removed their free will isn't harmful), but they should be employed elsewhere! Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, the Sudenese women were shocked and angered. This came AFTER a UN official encouraged the government to sign a 20 year treaty to promote equal opportunity for women. Talk about insane.

In Algiers, Algeria, twenty-five people, including a family of twelve, were killed in the past three days during a surge of violence in Algeria, where an Islamic insurgency continues to claim new lives on an almost daily basis, news reports said on Oct. 21. The latest casualties are 50 people killed in the North African country in the past week, newspapers reported. Fourteen civilians, two police officers and nine Islamic militants were among those killed since Wednesday. A group of 20 armed militants attacked the family of 12 late Thursday night at their home near Chlef, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west of Algiers. The daily Liberte reported that five young children, between 4 and 12, were among the dead. Nine Islamic militants died in three separate gun battles in southern and eastern Algeria, which took place Thursday in Khemis el-Khechna and in Tebessa, and on Friday morning near Mestah, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the capital, Algiers, the dailies, El Watan and La Tribune reported.

November 3, 2000
Batman, Turkey: Aysegul (a 17 year old) threatened to shoot herself with her father's shotgun unless her father agreed that she could marry the man she loved. Speaking with radio DJ Mustafa Seven, Aysegul said that she would rather die than marry her cousin, as her father was demanding. The DJ went to her house and talked her out of committing suicide. Fortunately, he was able to get the girl's parents to change their minds.

In the past year more than 100 women attempted suicide (28 succeeded) in this town alone. And the suicide rate has risen more than 50 percent since 1993. Compared to the West, where most suicides are by men, 80% of suicides are by women in Turkey, with 75% of those being between the ages of 17-25. Associated Press reports that "girls as young as 13 are sometimes married to sexagenarians against their will and many girls are not allowed out of the house by their fathers or husbands." Some suicide victims were women who had rumors spread that they were no longer virgins or women who gave up their virginity to men they hoped to marry in order to escape their poverty. War has also contributed to the growing number of suicides. And the increase of television has shown these young women that there are lifestyles elsewhere where they could fit in and not suffer in silence. In China (where there are almost 500 suicides A DAY - AP), Afghanistan and Iran the rate is equally high - especially true in countries where cultures are traditional and repressive against women.

There is some good news, however. The government has instituted a hotline for women, a female counselor, is spreading leaflets around saying that "killing God's masterpiece" is a sin and getting out a message that Islam forbids discrimination against women. But, it is not easy in a place where most fathers hardly care what their own daughter's names are. The government is also setting up programs to help teach women traditional crafts which they think will help them out of their depression. Still, programs are rare and not available to everyone, as yet.

November 15, 2000
The news in America regarding women is that on the average, women earn 78 cents (up four cents in the past couple of years) for each dollar a man makes, which has gone up from 60 cents twenty years ago. (The actual amount varies from state to state, with a wide range between some of them.) In government, 12 percent of the U.S. Senate, 5 governors, and about 22 percent of state legislators are women. Poverty remains high among women - 50 percent higher than men's. Single mothers are still the hardest hit.

December 2, 2000
Kuwait's highest court says that next month they will rule on whether women shall have the right to vote, run for office, or remain excluded from their own country's political business - which has been in effect since 1962. Parliament is the only power who is against giving women equal political rights. Women in Kuwait can travel on their own, work, drive, go to school and hold senior positions in the government and at universities. I'm sending my positive vibes to the women of Kuwait and hope they obtain their right to vote and run for office.

January 9, 2001 Update:
Please see full report at this site
Yesterday, Afghanistan's Taliban rulers imposed the death penalty for anyone who converts from Islam to another religion. Any non-Muslim found trying to win converts will also be killed, leader Omar said on Taliban-run Radio Shariat. He also accused followers of other faiths - particularly Christians and Jews - of trying to convert Muslims and seeking to demonize the harsh brand of Islam practiced by the Taliban. These lies are geared for only one thing - for control through hatred and fear while using their own version of Islam and God as their justification for their terrorist acts.

As already mentioned on this page, Afghan women are barred from working, and the Taliban has stopped all schooling for girls beyond age 8. Men are required to wear beards and must pray regularly in mosques, while women must be covered, head-to-toe. The only form of entertainment left, if you can call it that, are religious songs. Omar also announced a five-year jail term for bookstore owners found selling material critical of Islam and describing other religions.

January 18, 2001
Iran's Guardian Council, the conservative constitutional watchdog, has rejected a parliamentary bill to allow single women to study abroad on state scholarships. It also would have allowed unmarried women to travel abroad without their parents' permission. If parliament persists in its support for the measure, it will go before the Expediency Council for final arbitration.

February 27, 2001:
According to reports from the Associated Press, over 1,000 people watched as two women convicted of prostitution were hanged Friday in southern Kandahar, the headquarters of Afghanistan's hard-line Islamic Taliban rulers. The women, also convicted of "corrupting society," were hanged in the sports stadium, their faces hidden behind that all-encompassing burka. Two other women were publicly lashed for adultery. One was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the other to two years. Ten men convicted of adultery also were lashed and sentenced to prison terms. The Taliban, who rule about 95 percent of Afghanistan, have imposed a harsh brand of Islamic law, enforced with public punishment. Murder, adultery and blasphemy can carry the death penalty, and the limbs of thieves are amputated.

March 2, 2001:
The Taliban are in the process of destroying two 2,000 year old statues of the Buddha carved into a rock face near the central town of Bamiyan. The Taliban's reason for doing this is because these statues are considered insulting to Islam, they are false gods. Since a secret deal was struck between the Taliban and the Afghan legislature, (and if total support for the Taliban isn't shown it can mean death) no one can speak out against this destruction.

May 29, 2001:
A 34-year-old woman (and a mother of two teenage boys) in southeast China's Fujian province was beaten to death by birth-control officials who wanted to sterilize her against her will, her relatives said on Saturday. Her family wanted to report the manner in which Sun was taken, but there was no one to whom they could report it. Sun Zhonghua was forceably taken to have this procedure, even though she had medical documents showing that the procedure was not advisable because of a medical condition. Officials lied to her family, saying Sun died from a suicidal jump off a building. Family members who were allowed to see her body discovered large bruises to her head and different parts of her body. "There is no way she could have received those injuries from jumping to her death," said the relative. She had gone to the hospital every year since 1992 to make sure she was not pregnant, they said. China's controversial "one child" policy continues to result in serious human rights violations 20 years after it became law. The present policy is being enforced in ways that many human rights groups say are equally unjust. Pressure on China's army of family planning workers to meet the birth quota in their jurisdiction have led to widespread excesses. Family planning workers and local officials resort to beating people, locking them up illegally, confiscating livestock and destroying their homes. Despite the harsh measures, births are still growing at an annual rate of 10 million and the government has vowed to continue the policy to cap the population at 1.6 billion by the year 2050. China's population now stands at nearly 1.3 billion, the largest in the world.

June 5, 2001:
If you think slavery is over, you're wrong. Please read the latest news about slaver in the Sudan, India, and other places, from the American Anti-Slavery Group's web site at http://www.iabolish.com

July 25, 2001:
An amazing life, yet demonstrative of the abuse women face in India, and what some women feel they must do in order to fight back, or be powerful. India's former "Bandit Queen" turned politician, Phoolan Devi, who held the post of MP for the district of Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, was shot dead by masked gunmen outside her home in New Delhi. Her story was the subject of numerous films and books, but first came to international prominence in the 1994 movie "Bandit Queen," directed by Shekhar Kapur. Devi was born into a poor family from the low-caste Mallah community. She was forced into marriage at age 11 to a man more than 20 years her senior. She ran away from her abusive husband and was kidnapped several years later by lower-caste bandits who roamed the lawless Chambal Ravines in India's central Hindu heartland. Two bandits shot dead Devi's gang leader lover and took her to their village where she was confined in a shack and allegedly gang raped by local men. She escaped three weeks later only to return on Valentine's Day, 1981, as the head of her own gang, whom she allegedly told to kill 22 high-caste Hindu men in revenge for her rape. After two years on the run, during which she developed a reputation as a latter day female Robin Hood, Devi surrendered to police in 1983 at a ceremony attended by thousands of villagers. She was jailed for the following 11 years until 1994 without ever going to trial, and has always denied she ever personally killed anyone. Devi returned to the spotlight two years later when she successfully contested the parliamentary seat of Mirzapur, a low-caste dominated constituency, in the 1996 elections. She was defeated in polls two years later but made a triumphal return to parliament in 1999. The Times of India said members of the Indian lower house, known as the Lok Sabha, stood for a minute's silence after hearing the news before adjourning business for the day as a mark of respect.

August 19, 2001:
Phoolan Devi's estate is now in question as her mother and sisters fight her two abusive ex-husbands (who claim all of Devi's property is theirs) in court. Read the details here.

August 8, 2001:
[SOURCES: THE JERUSALEM POST, ISRAEL LINE, HA'ARETZ, IMRA, REUTERS, CNN, ASSOCIATED PRESS, ARUTZ 7, IBA NEWS, WASHINGTON TIMES, AFSI, MENL, AFP. This bulletin was Edited, compiled and written by David Parsons. ICEJ NEWS SERVICE provides news and comment on Middle East affairs, compiled by journalists at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, publishers of the monthly Middle East Digest. Please feel free to publish/broadcast, with attribution.]

As evidenced by the averted bombing attack at Tel Aviv's central bus station last Friday, Palestinian women are now getting more and more involved in terrorism, even volunteering as suicide bombers.

A report published on Sunday in the London SUNDAY TIMES claims that scores of Palestinian women have responded to a fatwa (religious decree) issued by the High Islamic Council in Saudi Arabia last week, urging them to become suicide bombers.

Crowds of angry Muslim women are a mainstay at mass funerals for Palestinian "martyrs," and the TIMES quoted some as recently shouting, "Make a bomb of me, please!"

The latest such female terrorist was a young mother of two from Nablus who was caught trying to sneak a powerful bomb into the Tel Aviv bus station Friday afternoon. According to Israeli security sources, many more Palestinian women are expected to attempt such attacks in the coming weeks.

There are several notable instances of Arab female terrorists, the most notorious being Dalal Maghrebi, who was part of the terror squad that hijacked an Israeli bus and ended up killing 37 people in what is known as the 1978 coastal road massacre.

August 8, 2001:
From the Times:
Shazia Mirza, 25, is a Muslim woman (and science teacher) from Pakistan determined to succeed as a stand-up comedian that she that she is prepared to risk physical attacks and the threat of a fatwa against her. This first female Muslim stand-up is appearing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a sketch about being a Muslim woman in a Western culture. She was attacked by three Asian men during a recent performance in a London club. One of them punched her in the face while the others screamed abuse. She said, "They said I was a disgrace to my religion and a disgrace to my culture, that being a woman you have no right."

The night she was attacked, she didn't perform for two weeks, but she realized that it's important for her to carry on for Muslim women and people who live their lives in oppression. Her critics misunderstand her motives, she said, "I'm celebrating Islam. I'm not against it. Islam gives women a lot of power, but the culture takes that away and says women are not allowed to do this and that. We're brought up not to speak out in public. But it doesn't say that in Islam. Men condemn me for doing that." She has been winning prizes for her comedy in London and Scotland.

Sept. 11, 2001:
What more can be said but it is spreading. Learn WHY this happened and prevent it from happening again.

Here's a little something I received through email:

What can you do about Osama bin Laden?

The problem is, what do you do with him once he's found?

Kill him -- he becomes a martyr...

Don't kill him -- he's a hero to the extremists ....

Capture him alive, convict him for his crimes, sentence him to his punishment.

What punishment, you ask?

Why, a full blown sex change of course!

Then, send him back to Afghanistan to live out the rest of his life as a woman under the Taliban regime.

All these items signal our need to intensify our focus on what kind of a world we choose to have. This is a reflection of diseased societies which are in poverty (in more ways than just financial), lacking love and honesty, and we must treat these actions as very serious crimes against humanity, women and our divinity. Let your voices be heard to stop these vile crimes. Educate your children to love and respect both men and women, the male and female within yourselves (you need both to be balanced), and ALL life. Be responsible for life on this beautiful Mother Earth. Without women all of us wouldn't be here, and if this violence, laws that are created or removed to remove our free will, and lack of respect keeps up, there will be no future.

If you are moved to assist in bringing peace, freedom, equal rights, safety and support to women and all people in the world, what can you do to help? Here is a page with some suggestions and links.

Letter to Leaders:
Please insist that Afghan women leaders be included in the rebuilding of a democratic government and that restoring women's full human and democratic rights be a top priority in this process.

The U.S. must ensure that these women leaders, many living in exile or still under virtual house arrest, are a part of creating a ''broad-based'' government in Afghanistan.

Prior to the Taliban's 1996 takeover of the country, Afghan women were 70 percent of the schoolteachers, 40 percent of the doctors, 50 percent of civilian government workers and 50 percent of the college students in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. They were scientists, professors, members of parliament and university professors. They led corporations and non-profit organizations and local communities.
Clearly, there are many women well-equipped to participate in leading
Afghanistan back to full democracy.

Further, the U.S. must also insist that women's human and democratic rights be protected against the warlords -- many who also have horrid records on human rights -- fighting for post-Taliban control. Afghan women leaders must be sought out and empowered to participate in rebuilding Afghanistan.

Please make sure that a new Afghan government will include women's voices and that all repression of the country's women and girls be eliminated.

When certain cities were liberated from the Taliban, some women joyfully threw off their burkas, and some even put on make-up. Even though they have no bread, no homes, nothing, they are happy because the Taliban is gone. Other women are fearful that the Taliban aren't completely gone, and keep their burkas on because no one has given them the order to remove the buraks. That's how sad it is - some women can no longer think for themselves due to oppression. Men and boys, who saw women who had removed their burkas, remarked that they hadn't seen a woman in six years.

November 17, 2001:
First Lady Laura Bush made history by delivering the president's weekly radio address in its entirety. Mrs. Bush focused on the Taliban's treatment of women, reiterating exactly what has been said thus-far on this Page. She adds, "The plight of women and children in Afghanistan is a matter of deliberate human cruelty, carried out by those who seek to intimidate and control. Afghan women know, through hard experiences, what the rest of the world is discovering: The brutal oppression of women is a central goal of the terrorists." But it is indicative of an even greater threat, Bush said -- that the Taliban's treatment of women and children is a clear picture of "the world the terrorists would like to impose on the rest of us."

The State Department launched the second volley, releasing a nine-page report it on what it called "The Taliban's War Against Women," calling the group's policies "particularly appalling" in "its systematic repression of all sectors of the population...The Taliban has prohibited schooling for girls over the age of 8, shut down the women's university, and forced women to quit their jobs," the report said. "It has restricted access to medical care for women, brutally enforced a restrictive dress code, and limited the ability of women to move about freely."

Before the Taliban took control of the country in 1996, the report says, 70 percent of Afghanistan's teachers and 40 percent of its doctors were women. The Taliban's repression of women, it says, "has stripped a society in desperate need of trained professionals of half its assets."

Saying the Taliban treatment of women is not in line with treatment of women in many other Islamic nations, the report advocates a role for women in a post-Taliban Afghan government.

"Afghan women should have the right to choose their role in that future," the report says. Amen to that!

An important interview with Sahar Saba (spokesperson for RAWA) on Women's Rights in Post-Taliban Afghanistan.

December 22, 2001:
Today Hamid Karzai became the interim leader for the new government of Afghanistan. In his new cabinet, determined to remove the Taliban, are two women. (Karzai's wife is a doctor.) Rebuilding Afghanistan begins. With my prayers, and I hope yours, the role of women will radically change for the better in Afghanistan, and pave the way even more for women in other nations, who are severly repressed and abused, to improve their status and living conditions...for a better lifestyle everywhere.

“We respect Afghan women who are half of our country's population, and we give the rights to them under the country's law,” Karzai said to warm applause from the overwhelmingly male audience. Two women, including one as health minister, will serve on Karzai's 29-member cabinet...it's a start. Hardly representing HALF of the country's population as half of the cabinet, but it sure is better than nothing and what it's been under the Taliban.

I hope this page will soon come down, the horrors becoming obsolete, because we will have restored balance to our planet of the male and female, and are achieving peace, allowing freedom, education, and health to blossom.

January 7, 2002:
Excerpts Status of women. Palestinian culture. US' mistaken response to 11 September 6 January 2002. JORDAN TIMES 3 Jan. '02:"Women activists set their eyes on 2002 polls after positive legislative changes" By Rana Husseini. For more on the so-called "Palestinians" and the Middle East, please read the many current articles on this page.

January 22, 2002:
The horrible conditions of life in the Congo is coming out into the open. Malaria, polio, whooping cough, TB, bubonic plague, AIDS, are growing. Hundreds of women have been raped - in front of their children and their husbands. The people are starving, and also killing them are endless wars and nature (volcano). The women are begging us for help. They do not want to hide what has happened to them. They want everyone to know so they can receive help. Between 37%-75% have no access to any kind of health care. But you can help.

International Rescue Committee was founded at the request of Albert Einstein to assist opponents of Hitler. The IRC helps people fleeing racial, religious and ethnic persecution, as well as those uprooted by war and violence. To donate by mail to the IRC, send your contribution to:
P.O. Box 98152
Washington, D.C. 20090-8152

World Food Program
Established in 1963, the World Food Program is the United Nations' frontline agency in the fight against global hunger. In 2000, WFP fed 83 million people in 83 countries, including most of the world's refugees and internally displaced people. To donate by mail to WFP, send your contribution to:
U.S. Friends of the WFP
P.O. Box 11856
Washington, D.C. 20008

January 27, 2002:
Yesterday on Arab TV Arafat ordered his people to march into Jerusalem as suicide bombers and destroy Israel! Arafat told the Palestinian crowd they were "facing a military crisis, but despite all this, no one has complained of the suffering. They have said, 'Allah is great, and jihad, jihad, jihad'," and "To Jerusalem we will march - millions of martyrs. And, O Allah, Master of the Universe, please let me be one of the martyrs." Arafat's words in Arabic were broadcast across the Middle East by "Al-Jazeera," the pan-Arab satellite television station, which showed Arafat wagging his finger as he led the crowd in chants of "jihad, jihad, jihad," and "until victory, until victory, until victory." Pure incitement to murder...and a cause for celebration. What happened almost immeditely afterwards was a female suicide bomber went into Jerusalem, blew herself up, killed an elderly man and injured many Israelis. So now both men and women are also being brainwashed and used as martrys. Their pictures plastered on the walls as heroes, encouraging their youth to follow suit. After all, their families will receive money and praises, parties will be thrown, they will go down in history as being great for blowing up themselves, and others. Arafat said in a speech addressed to the world "terrorism is a symptom, not a disease" - meaning - he defends terrorism as a means of curing the disease. Do you agree? Commiting suicide is against Islam.

The Muslim world may well have a long line of women ready to blow themselves up. It is very possible that these women are blackmailed. Whether true or not, men can say these women had sex with someone, won't marry who they're supposed to, did something they consider taboo, and then tell the women that they can blow themselves up and restore their family's honor by killing Jews. Then their families will be compensated, to boot. I wouldn't put it past them to pull such a heinous thing. They don't think a woman's life is worth much anyway, right?

March 8, 2002 - International Women's Day:
Today Afghan women celebrated their freedom and a new day. Some were without burkas, they read verses from the Koran. Laura Bush made a radio address today, as well affirming our dedication to protecting women's rights in Afghanistan and around the world, and we must continue to do so to ensure a peaceful and stable world.

April 1, 2002:
More hypocrisy: Lebanese cleric today okayed the use of female suicide bombers, and added, "This is a new glorious history for Arab and Muslim women." How much sicker can a society get than this? I'm sure, in time, these guys will show us how much sicker it can get. This is perhaps the greatest abuse of women to date - VALIDATED and SUPPORTED by Islam and politics, WITH THE INTENT TO MAIM AND KILL. As always, instead of valuing, elevating, and loving life, they are demeaning and dismissing it as being useless - thereby torturing all through the act of suicide bombing. If this isn't a crime against humanity, I don't know what is. And what will the dear U.N. say? Probably not a thing. There must be unity within the Arab and Muslim world to wipe out the entire concept of a suicide bomber. It works pretty well in Jordan where if anyone becomes a suicide bomber their entire family will be executed. That's a mighty strong deterrent.

April 3, 2002:
Saddam Hussein believes (guess he knows his people) that everyone has their price. He's offering $25,000 to Palestinian families who will have their kids be suicide bombers against Jews. Wonder what your own children, or any children you know, would think about that? Is their life worth that? Would they think anyone who makes them commit suicide cares about them or loves them, that their lives are so worthless that all they're good for - not their future and welfare - is for their families to profit from their deaths? Is this the only kind of "equality" that can be accepted for women in Arab and Muslim nations? Download or just watch this slide show showing the true face of terror. Be sure to wait until each screen is finished and then click "enter" to go to the next one. Email me and I will send you a [warning - graphic] film of a Palestinian child's education.

April 9, 2002:
The Queen Mum is laid to rest. Whether or not you support a monarchy, one thing is for certain: Brits sure do know how to adore, honor, respect, and celebrate women - and kind, powerful women, at that.

April 12, 2002:
A Palestinian woman who planned to carry out a suicide bomb attack inside Israel - by hiding the bomb while disguising herself as a pregnant woman. In the West Bank, a 14-year-old Palestinian girl who entered Na'aleh armed with a knife was arrested and handed over to security forces for questioning. The girl said she had entered the community to kill Jews, as she wanted to be a martyr. The girl had a piece of paper in her pocket stating her intentions to carry out an attack. [Jerusalem Post] Later on, a Palestinian woman succeeded in blowing up people in Jerusalem, just as Colin Powell was leaving to survey northern Israel. One of the women (a mother) who attempted to be a suicide bomber, but was caught by The IDF was interviewed. She said that she feels being a suicide bomber and murdering Jews is a holy mission. When asked how she would feel if her daughter grew up to be a suicide bomber/terrorist and she said that it would be up to God, but it would be fine with her.

April 17, 2002:
The insanity gets more intense: Six members of the European Union joined 44 other countries on Tuesday in endorsing a United Nations document that condones violence as a way to achieve Palestinian statehood. The U.N. condemned Israel for defending itself, but DID NOT condemn homicide bombings. So, prepare for more from men and women willing to blow up themselves and others in order to get what they want. And prepare for it to come to your town....endorsed by the good old U.N. As for me, I will boycott products from each and every country who supported that resolution.

May 9, 2002:
Radio interviews with young girls in Afghanistan is very optimistic. The girls I heard speaking were thrilled to be able to be back in school, and happy to not have to learn in secret and hide from the Taliban. They have goals for their future: for example, some want to be doctors, some want to be television journalists, and they feel that they can be whatever they want to be now. They are joyful and thankful for this positive change.

A victory: For the first time women in Bahrain voted today. "As a loyal citizen I've been waiting for this opportunity all my life," 80 year-old Maryam Mohammed Yousuf said. "This is a new birth for the nation, this is very, very, very, good." There was even a female candidate, Badriya Ali. "This is the first light and we hope that it leads us to a brighter future," said Hassan Mushaima, a former dissident who voted. "It was a great experience and we are eagerly looking forward to the parliamentary elections." Former dissident and Shiite leader Mansoor al-Jamri after voting Thursday said, "This is the starting point for democracy."

May 30, 2002:
Two female Palestinian wannabe suicide murderers changed their minds and decided not to be used as martyrs in that way. Underlying her original decision to blow herself and Israelis up were the teachings which preach the need for jihad to "create a just and equal, non-corrupt and non-criminal society by the spread and unification of Islam." Thauriya Hamamreh's (25 years old) instructions unleashed a series of doubts, primarily over the "righteousness" of the operation and whether her prime motivation, which was of a personal nature rather than a pure religious belief, would weigh against her when she confronted God after her death. "I also began to imagine the people I would be killing, whether they would be women and children, families sitting down at a cafe. I became a bit disillusioned, because I had been told to blow myself up in any event," she said. "This meant to me that what was important for them was to succeed in perpetrating an attack, whether there were casualties or not, and then they would be able to pat themselves on the back. I felt like they were playing a game with the blood of the martyrs." Instead of obeying instructions, she decided to visit the home of an aunt in Tulkarm, pretending that it was a normal visit even though she had basically run away from home. Hamamreh said that the intifada and the wave of terror attacks and suicide bombings has not benefitted the Palestinian people in any way. "...You are killing our people and we are killing yours," she said. "Now I believe that it is the role of women to raise families, to have children, and that the real jihad for men and women is to believe wholeheartedly and follow the path of Islam," she said. She stressed that she had no personal fear and that for her to be shot and killed was not something that frightened her. She only fears God. When she was asked how she would react when she met members of her family, she suddenly broke down and started crying. "I would ask their forgiveness for having gone away and for having caused them so much concern, because parents do not raise their children to seek death. I would hope they would forgive me as parents do, although I would prefer not to see them now because I wouldn't really know what to say." [Source: David Rudge, for The Jerusalem Post]

By Daniel Pipes
Edited by Wladyslaw Pleszczynski
Our Brave New World: Essays on the Impact of September 11 2002
An important historical and realistic look at the Islamic view of the world
and their plans in it. Worthy of reading.

June, 2002:

Palestinian children have tossed away their Pokemon necklaces for the new rage - martyr necklaces. "I used to have plenty of Pok mons - my school bag was half full of them," Saleh Attiti, 14, told the paper. "I threw them all away. They're not important now. The pictures of martyrs are important. They're our idols." "These children are convinced that martyrdom is a holy thing, something worthy of the ultimate respect," Munir Jabal, head of a Balata teachers association, said in an interview "They worship these pictures. I think it will lead them in the future to go out and do the same thing." In Balata, the most desired necklaces have pictures of Mahmoud Attiti, Raed Karmi, and Yasser Badawi, members assassinated by the IDF during the conflict. The hottest item is a pendant of Jihad Attiti, the 18-year-old who became the camp's first suicide bomber two weeks ago by blowing himself up and killing two Israelis - an 18-month-old baby and her grandmother - in Petah Tikva. Added Saleh, a nephew of bomber Attiti: "We love them and we want to be like them."

June 16, 2002:
American citizen, Pat Roush's daughters were kidnapped 16 years ago by her estranged husband and taken to his country, Saudi Arabia, where they remain held hostage. The father married one daughter off to his cousin, and plans are to marry off the younger daughter - against their will. The daughers have tried to leave Saudi Arabia, but because they are their father's and husband's property, they cannot leave the country without their permission. Doesn't matter that they are U.S. citizens who don't want to be there. As we all know, women have almost no rights in Saudi Arabia.

Three mothers of kidnapped offspring testified at a House committee hearing June 12, 2002, telling members how their children were abducted illegally by their former husbands and forced to live in the Middle Eastern kingdom. Members of the House Committee on Government Reform, agreeing that the government should take more action on behalf of kidnapped Americans, promised to write a letter to President Bush asking for his personal involvement in the international kidnappings. Until now, no one has helped them. In her statement to the committee, Roush said: "Saudi Arabia has violated my human rights and the human rights and constitutional rights afforded to my daughters as American citizens. The U.S. State Department is an accessory and active conspirator in the denial of these rights." Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., chairman of the committee, asked Roush if the State Department currently had a plan to bring her daughters back to the U.S. "The State Department never had a plan to get my daughters out of Saudi Arabia." Roush attempted to enlist help from Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, without success. She doesn't understand why George W. and Laura Bush care so much about the rights of Afghan women, but not about the rights of American women. If you'd like to join the support group for Pat Roush, please go to this page.

July 4, 2002:
MUZAFFARGARH, Pakistan - Police continue to search for four men accused in the gang rape of an 18-year-old girl as a tribal punishment believe they have fled their village to evade authorities. As outrage at the teen-ager's rape grew, the government handed her a check for 500,000 rupees (dlrs 8,000) as compensation and said a new school would be built in her honor. The gang rape took place June 22 in Meerwala village in southern Punjab province. Police said a tribal council ordered the rape as punishment for the victim's family after her 11-year-old brother was seen walking unchaperoned with a girl from a tribe considered higher-caste. The victim's family were from the Gujar tribe, the other tribe were Mastoi. Geeeez!

July 8, 2002:
There has been a wave of husband killings in Iran. CNN has an article on this serious development. Women feel their own way out of an undesirable marriage is to murder their husbands, either by themselves or with a hired killer. Women are fed up with being abused, having few legal rights, living in poverty, lacking healthy entertainment, complete inequality, men having many wives and legal prostitution with temporary wives, horrible divorce laws, and more. They know they will face the death penalty for killing their husbands - but that doesn't matter to them. Men, look out, treat women much better. In the last year divorce has gone through as 12% increase, and marriages are down 4.5 % in Iran.

July 19, 2002:
Reports are surfacing about Sudanese adolescent boys and girls being gang raped and held as slaves by Arabs. These Sudanese youngsters are mostly Christian who refuse to convert to Islam and are beaten and murdered for not converting. Some Muslims are even speaking out against these atrocities. This situation largely has to do with politics and whose controlling the region. The International Criminal Tribunal needs to convict the Sudan government for their crimes against the black Africans of southern Sudan, and more media coverage and other governments need to investigate this horror and put and end to it.

July 26, 2002:
Four military wives were murdered by their husbands who served at Fort Bragg, in the U.S. The husbands served in Afghanistan prior to killing their wives. Also, two young girls in the U.S. were raped and murdered within a week. In So. Africa a man was convicted of raping a 9 month old baby, requiring the baby to have reconstructive surgery to repair her genitals and internal organs! What is wrong with some men to do these horrible things to infants, to girls, women?

August 19, 2002:
A Nigerian Islamic court ruled that a young woman must face death by stoning according to Muslim law for having a child outside marriage. "If one can be sentenced to death for fornication then it makes nonsense of our democracy," said Innocent Chukwuma of the Centre for Law Enforcement Education, a Lagos-based legal rights pressure group. "The majority of Nigerians should be sentenced to death by such a ruling." How kind of the judge to allow her death sentence to be postponed until she has weaned her 8 month old daughter, which may be another two years, so the girl can grow up without a mother. There will be an appeal. The woman believes God will vindicate her. Yeah, but what about the Muslim men who will still decide her fate, those who are so disconnected from godliness?

September 2, 2002:
A court in Pakistan sentenced six men to death for the gang rape (in front of her father) and public humiliation of a woman whose brother was accused of having relations with a higher-caste woman. After the woman's brother was accused of having relations with a higher-caste woman, (how is this such a freaking crime?) members of her family called a tribal council to determine proper punishment. That punishment was for the four men to gang rape the man's sister. To add insult to injury, the families of those six men sentenced vowed revenge against the woman's family! This is an insult to humanity. I can't believe in these times such primitive and stupid ideas persist. A defense lawyer for one of the accused had the audacity to argue during the trial that the rape charge against his client was invalid because Bibi was technically married to him at the time - as if that makes rape okay.

Arafat's henchmen murdered a mother of seven because she was accused of conspiring with Israelis. We don't know if there's any truth to this, nor do we know if she was murdered because she simply wanted peace with Israel, or food for her family. And now it seems that yet another woman was murdered by the PA using the same lame excuse. It's all about control through fear to keep war and hatred strong, and to keep women down.

September 4, 2002:
Women claim a victory at U.N. Summit:
The more than 100 assembled heads of state or government are first expected to adopt a new plan, which is designed to bring clean water, sanitation and energy to the poor while protecting the environment and preventing further extinction of species. The issue of women's reproductive rights triggered protests both inside and outside the convention center. "Women's rights are human rights," Nkosazana Zuma, South Africa's foreign minister, said Tuesday. "Health is a human right." Under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, she said, "women couldn't go to the hospital, because women were not allowed to be doctors and women patients were not allowed to be examined by male doctors. Without such an expression of human rights, some countries could hide behind their laws and local customs to justify everything from genital excision to denying women health care, she and U.N. officials said. Advocates for women complained that the plan, at more than 70 pages, retreated from standard language that has been carefully crafted in other United Nations declarations to balance the interests of religious conservatives with the rights of women to control their health care and future. Brava!

September 7, 2002:
Miss France, Sylvie Tellier, said she will boycott the Miss World pageant in Nigeria in protest at a death by stoning sentence given to a woman there for having sex, and a baby, outside of marriage. Miss France said, "We have to revolt against it" in asking other beauty queens to join her boycott.

December 20, 2002:
(took a break from adding more up-dates until today)
PARAOTT, Indian-controlled Jammu: Suspected militants entered a home and brutally killed three young women (slitting the throats of two of them and shot the third), just days after posters ordered females to wear a veil. While the motive of the attack is still unclear, one police official told Reuters news agency it could be related to an order for women not to step outside their homes without a veil. Do you think they allow women to kill men for what they wear, or don't wear, in public? Would that be okay? Just let people kill someone who dresses differently? Who is condemning this? Who is adding such groups to terrorist/murdering organizations and the nations that harbor them?

There is no exercise better for the heart
than reaching down and lifting people up.

--- John Andrew Holmes

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