Friday, May 02, 2003

Forwarded from Postcolonial List

MAY / 2003

Dear Mohammad,

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. The position of Iraqi women in any
future political configuration is of concern to me. I'm wondering how
you would respond to someone like Nadia Mahmoud who has spoken very
eloquently about what a theocratic or semi or pseudo-theocratic regime
might have in store for women.

I have heard a Shiite cleric in Basra state that high on his agenda is
the dismantling of the Iraqi Women's Council, a "prostitution ring," as
he called it. Unfortunately, I can't recall his name. What do you say
to all those women who now live in fear of seeing the few rights they
managed to secure under Saddam curtailed or done away with? Unlike
what the Al-Jazeerah presenter of "Lil Nisa' Faqat (For Women Only)
thinks, I believe it would be a crying shame to have Iraq ruled by
Iranian-style mullahs after everything the Iraqis had gone through over
the past three decades. I find it ironic that the same American
administration that ostensibly "put Afghani women high on its agenda,"
and was keen on seeing Afghani women freed of their burqas, something
which has yet to happen, may now be the agent by means of which
mandatory veiling might return to Iraq. I fear that the discourses in
currency today are only the tip of the iceberg for women.

Salwa Ghaly

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