A Publication of Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation
Volume 2, Issue 1
Editor: Maryam Namazie
Design: Kiran Opal
Against gender apartheid: Mixing is the future of humanity
Interview with Marieme Helie Lucas
Maryam Namazie: What is the nature of the recent sex segregation scandal at Universities UK where the representative body issued guidance saying side by side sex segregation was permissible? Why does it occur and by whom is it imposed? Also, it’s more than just a question of physical separation isn’t it?
Marieme Helie Lucas: Just like with the niqab, it’s an extreme-Right political organisation working under the cover of religion to promote sex segregation as a pawn in the political landscape and using all possible means to make itself visible and impose its mores and laws. The idea is to permanently demonstrate that the law of god (as interpreted by them) supersedes the law of the people. It is a blatant attack on the very principle of democracy and one woman/man, one vote, particularly relevant in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s death. Read the rest of the interview here.
News Flash: December 2013
Iran: The new president Hassan Rouhani pledged during election campaign speeches that he ‘would not allow any agent to question anyone in the street’ and that ‘girls should feel secure’. But only four months later, the Headquarters for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has announced improperly dressed women will be issued with official warnings. Cleric Hayder Zahraei, who is in charge of the nationwide plan, said: ‘This grand plan will be implemented in some 200 cities across the country. The plan will be expanded and fully implemented in society.’ Brig. Genral Ahmadi Moghadam, commander of the State Security Forces, also said on August 12: “With Rouhani there will be no changes with regards to the veil.” On September 8 an order was issued to ‘intensify dealing with women who are not properly dressed’. Read the rest of News Flash here.
Kiana Hayeri’s photographic project Beyond the Veil shows a predominantly young Iranian population (more than seventy-five percent is under the age of thirty-five) challenging compulsory hijab or veiling and restrictive rules in the way they dress or interact with the opposite sex despite fines, imprisonment and worse. Read the rest here.
More than a 100 protestors rallied outside the office of Universities UK (UUK) to condemn their endorsement of segregation of the sexes and demand gender equality on 10 December 2013, International Human Rights Day. The rally was organised by Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society. Read the rest here.
Letter to the Editor
Having naked women on your cover is offensive and pornographic, N Abraham: Having naked women on many of your covers daubed in slogans does not empower me – it reminds me of page three models who are said to be exploited by men/media. It feeds into western ideals that twerking is good, in my opinion, and loses the message these girls are trying to make (except look at her body; she wants to be a porn star. And I am not religious – yes we get that! It is also a bit clichéd). Much better to put Iman from a Vogue fashion shoot on the front – that would make a point without nudity (assuming you chose the right photo!) Also, having naked women half draped in the Muslim women’s covering showing their nude parts is offensive and belittles the women who choose to cover up…! I find this offensive. Women have the right to cover up or not. Your pictures and not just one, encourages pornographic imagery and the consequences of that – you saying these women want to be part of this industry under their burkas. I am not a feminist as defined by some people but a woman and this is my opinion.
Gender apartheid is an Islamist demand
Segregation of the sexes is an Islamist demand though it is often couched as a right and demand of ‘Muslims’. When Islamists have state power like in Iran or Saudi Arabia, it’s the law. Transgressing it can mean fines, imprisonment or worse. There, women must enter government offices via separate entrances from men; they must sit behind men or boys in classrooms and at the back of the bus… Read the rest here.