A silly story from Reuters, giving news about a silly women’s group that is being created to combat “fundamentalism,” Christian and Muslim.
Women’s groups from Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East said they had founded an alliance to fight religious “fundamentalism”, both Islamic and Christian, and what they called its oppression of women.
The new grouping, based in Geneva, will seek recognition as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) from the United Nations and campaign against hardliners of all faiths “seeking to deprive women of their human rights”, a spokeswoman said.
“Today, threats by fundamentalists and extremists in different countries against the rights and freedoms of women have risen dramatically,” it said in a mission statement.
“In some countries, the brutal suppression of women has become part of the law of the land.”
Speeches at the founding conference of the body, the Women’s International Federation Against Fundamentalisms and for Equality, focussed on women in Moslem countries and those in big Moslem communities in Europe.
“We will also be working against religious fundamentalism and its attack on women everywhere, including by Christian fundamentalist groups in the United States,” founder member Margaret Owen, a British human rights lawyer, said.
Swell. I hope they will point out which Christian groups are advocating female circumcision, wife-beating, and stoning for adultery. Their assumption of the equivalence of Christianity and Islam is not only false: it is dangerously misleading in a world in which jihad terrorists are fighting to impose Sharia anywhere they can, and are willing to commit violence to that end.
Habibeh Nafisi, leader of an organisation of Tunisian women living in France, said women in Moslem communities there were under increasing pressure to conform to strict rules laid down by male religious leaders, including wearing “Islamic dress”.
This included the hijab headscarf, which France is banning in schools from the autumn of this year despite protests from hardline Moslem leaders and some women who say the move is a violation of their rights.
Nearly 100 women from 18 countries, including Iraq where delegates said the position of women is worsening fast, attended the federation’s conference in a Geneva hotel as the UN’s Human Rights Commission was discussing religious freedoms.
Buried at the end of the story is a bit of information about a group that isn’t silly at all: ex-Muslims who are asking for the freedom of conscience and freedom from coercion and fear that Islamic law denies them.
At a separate meeting, former Moslems who have abandoned the faith for other religions or for humanism, told journalists the world body had become “infused with political correctness” and could not openly discuss oppression in Islamic countries.
The group, including prominent writer on Islamic issues Ibn Warraq, is campaigning for the UN to condemn the practice they say still exists in some Moslem countries of persecuting or executing “apostates” who renounce the faith.