New Controversy Rages around the Hijab in Egypt

Add this to the list of how stupid and insipid men can be.

Nervana

( Dr.Ali Gomaa’s comments with English subtitles)

The debate around Islamic headscarves (Hijab) and an Islamic dress code for women is still raging in Egypt. Sheikh Ali Gomaa, an internationally known Islamist jurist and Egypt’s ex-Grand Mufti (top interpreter of religious edicts issued by Muslim clerics), recently joined the debate with some very surprising and alarming comments. In his own television program, Sheikh Gomaa not only reaffirmed that headscarves (Hijab) are mandatory in Islam; he labeled any woman who disputes this interpretation as an infidel. His comments have raised fears among non-Islamist Egyptians that supposedly moderate mainstream scholars are now giving their blessing to new institutionalized Islamism.

In Egypt, the dress code for women has been controversial for nearly 100 years. The controversy started in 1919, when many women took off their veils as a gesture of support for Egypt’s freedom from British occupation. Political Islamist groups, however, such as…

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Mexico’s Yaqui People Launch Defence of Water and Territory

dorset chiapas solidarity

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Mexico’s Yaqui People Launch Defence of Water and Territory

Reina Lourdes, Yaqui activist, affirms the defence of water is the defence of the Yaqui's existence | Photo: Clayton Conn / teleSUR Reina Lourdes, Yaqui activist, affirms the defence of water is the defence of the Yaqui’s existence | Photo: Clayton Conn / teleSUR

Dozens of social organizations, unions and indigenous groups are backing the defence of Mexico’s natural resources and indigenous peoples’ rights.

The Yaqui indigenous people launched three simultaneous routes this week as part of a National Caravan for the Defence of Water, Land, Work and Life.

The convoy aims to reach the historic Zocalo square in Mexico City on May 22nd.

It will travel through 23 states of Mexico with the goal of bridging different social struggles into a so-called “National Process”.

Specifically the caravan seeks the cancellation of all mega-projects that affect life, water, land and air; the cancellation of recently approved neoliberal structural reforms; an end to the militarization of the country; the presentation alive of the…

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Feminist Cuban author visits Bay Area

Repeating Islands

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Cuban feminist author Aida Bahr will be reading from her collection of prize-winning short stories, Ophelias/Ofelias , to Bay Area audiences at two special events.

Bahr and her translator, Dick Cluster, will host readings and discussions in Berkeley and San Francisco May 18-19.

Noted lesbian Cuban author Achy Obejas, who is in residence at Mills College, will join Bahr at one of the events.

Bahr is special guest of Sara Cooper, Ph.D., publisher of Cubanabooks Press, which publishes Bahr’s translated and bilingual books in the United States. Cubanabooks is an independent publishing house focused on bringing expertly translated Cuban women’s literature to English and Spanish audiences in the U.S.

Bahr, who Cooper said doesn’t identify her sexual orientation, was born in 1958 in Cuba. She is the author of several novels and books of short stories; screenplays for films and TV; and two books of literary criticism, according to her…

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A third of Europe’s birds under threat, says most comprehensive study yet | Environment | The Guardian

Turtle dove populations have plunged by 90% or more since 1980 and could soon be placed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) ‘red list’ of threatened species. Numbers of skylark and ortolan bunting, a songbird illegally hunted and eaten whole in France, have fallen by around half.

via A third of Europe’s birds under threat, says most comprehensive study yet | Environment | The Guardian.