Iranian Women Take On the Constitution

by Mahsa Shekarloo | published July 21, 2005

Activists for women’s rights are prominent among the many Iranians who fear a reinvigorated crackdown on personal and social freedoms in the wake of the surprise election of the ultra-conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency of the Islamic Republic. Though Ahmadinejad sought to soften his image on gender issues during the week before the runoff on June 24, 2005, even speaking against “sexist attitudes,” his electoral base on the far right continually agitates for a harder line. His base is particularly offended by the looser standards of “Islamic dress” for women and the freer mixing of the sexes in public places that have slowly developed over the two terms of President Mohammad Khatami, who will vacate his office on August 4.

Women's Rights and the Meaning of Citizenship in Kuwait

by Mary Ann Tétreault | published February 10, 2005

Prosperous and possessed of a spirited parliament, Kuwait has prided itself on being a standard setter among the Arab monarchies on the Persian Gulf. With respect to women's rights, however, today Kuwait ranks just above Saudi Arabia. Kuwaiti women are allowed to drive and they occupy positions in public life ranging from secretary to second-level government ministers, but like their sisters in Saudi Arabia, they can neither vote nor run for political office.

Kuwait's Parliament Considers Women's Political Rights, Again

by Mary Ann Tétreault | published September 2, 2004

When Kuwait's parliament reconvenes in late October, it will be facing a full agenda. Member initiatives include an ambitious redistricting bill and threats to interpellate at least two cabinet ministers. The government's wish list is equally contentious; it includes a wide-ranging privatization program and a proposal to confer full political rights on Kuwaiti women. Despite promises of enfranchisement in return for their highly lauded performance resisting the Iraqi occupation of 1990-1991, Kuwaiti women are still denied the rights to vote and run for national office.

A Part of US or Apart from US?

Post-Septmeber 11 Attitudes Toward Muslims and Civil Liberties

by Kathleen Moore
published in MER224

Is the American public willing to accept suspended freedoms, if not for everyone, then for a select few disfavored groups, such as Muslims and Arab-Americans? Much press reporting has said yes, but a survey conducted directly after the September 11 attacks says no.

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American Justice, Ashcroft-Style

by Keith Feldman
published in MER224

The Bush administration's large-scale detentions of Arab and Muslim men -- without charge -- and draconian immigration restrictions are only two of its initiatives to erode civil liberties, civil rights and norms of procedural justice under cover of the "war on terrorism." Many initiatives were enabled by the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act, signed into law by George W. Bush on October 26, 2001, after little public debate and no public hearing. The USA PATRIOT Act, approaching its first anniversary on the books, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 356 to 66. Only one senator, Russell Feingold (D-WI), voted to stop it.

Equal Rights for Arabs in Jewish State: A Goal Unrealizable

An Interview with Azmi Bishara

by Laurie King-Irani | published December 14, 1999

Land, Identity and the Limits of Resistance in the Galilee

by Laurie King-Irani
published in MER216

There has never been anything abstract about the longings of the Palestinians. The object of their longing has always been well defined: the places that had been left behind in 1948. For these places were, and still are, the dominant components of the Palestinian identity. -- Danny Rubinstein