Communications Intern Noor Salahuddin discusses whether lawmakers around the world should have the right to decide what kind of religious dress, if any, should be allowed in public places.
“Far from a victory in the fight for women’s rights, France’s ban of the burqa, the head-to-toe covering worn by some Muslim women, is a red herring, a deflection, and a blow for free societies everywhere,” writes Christina Abraham, CAIR-Chicago’s Civil Rights Director.
In what may be the nation’s only law firm composed solely of Muslim women, the attorneys represent the ethnic and religious diversity within the Islamic faith: Some cover their hair, some don’t. Some are Sunni; others are Shiite, and at least one is happy to be secular.
WHAT: “Women’s Rights in Islam” Lecture and Discussion
Topic: A Muslim Woman’s Guide to Her Civil Rights
It is fair to say that women in many parts of the Muslim world have been prevented from receiving equal rights with men. But it is not fair to say that the rights of women in Iraq have somehow gotten better because of the presence of American troops in the country, an idea Karen Hughes tried to sell to Muslim women who oppose the war in Iraq.
The lack of understanding towards Islam and the Middle East among Americans was displayed openly in the efforts of Karen Hughes to urge Saudi women to demand more “freedoms” that allow them to “fully participate in society” like women in the United States do (“Saudi women give Hughes as earful,” Sept. 28).
There is a myth circulating around the world that women’s rights in the West are perfect. Thus any other body of rights is automatically labeled as discriminatory. In his column Derrick Z. Jackson propagates this myth by claiming, “It would be a travesty of American women, who have fought for equality to the level of dying in the military, did all this dying only to watch the burials of women’s rights in Iraq” (“What are our women fighting for?” Aug. 15).
The July 21 article in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled “Iraqi constitution framers promise to make deadline” warned that Islamic law “could erode women’s rights in such matters as marriage, divorce and inheritance.” While a woman does have different rights under Islamic law than she does under Western law, using the word “erode” adds a judgment to the status of Muslim women that does not belong in a news article.
CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Coordinator, Dina Rehab, gave a presentation on Women’s Rights in Islam as part of a Women’s Studies class at the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Northwestern University. The class is composed of retired professional women.