On display here is a tactic that turns up wherever politics are at work in a society: advancing one’s agenda under labels that employ pleasant generalities that sound like good things at face value. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (what, don’t you like the will of “the people“?). The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (what, are you unpatriotic?). Stateside, that is why we have so many interest groups with names like Heartland Americans for Laurels and Hardy Handshakes (if Blazing Saddles had a “527” organization).
It is also used in Islamic proselytizing and to advance Sharia in Islamic societies: just think of how many glittering, unquestioned generalities are propagated in the mainstream media without questioning what is meant by “human rights,” “freedom of worship” (as opposed to freedom of religion), “within the limits of the law,” and so forth. Here, Egypt’s Islamic parties want to replace the council for women with a council for “families.”
If you object to this, you hate families. You… family-phobe. “Egypt Islamists want ‘family’ not women’s council,” from Agence France-Presse, March 9:
CAIRO “” A women’s conference organised by the dominant Islamist bloc in the Egyptian parliament has called for a council for families to replace the existing National Council for Women, a state-owned daily reported on Friday.
The conference, held Thursday on International Women’s Day, also condemned the 1978 UN convention against gender discrimination saying it was “incompatible with the values of Islamic sharia” law, the Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
The Freedom and Justice Party conference called for the formation of a national council for the family to “truly express the complementary roles of men and women,” the newspaper said.
The current National Council for Women has been heavily criticised for its association with former first lady Suzanne Mubarak, whose husband, veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak, was overthrown in a popular revolt a year ago.
The Freedom and Justice Party, political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, says it does not endorse gender discrimination, although the Brotherhood argues women should not be allowed to rule the country.
The party is the dominant bloc in both houses of parliament after a sweeping victory in a multi-phase general election that began in November. Women hold just two percent of the seats in parliament.