The Great Debate UK
Egypt's army rulers face a dilemma as a bolder stance adopted by Islamists in the post-Mubarak era is worsening sectarian tension and triggering demands for the kind of crackdown that made the former president so unpopular. Armed clashes between conservative Muslims and Coptic Christians left 12 dead in a Cairo suburb on Saturday, touching off angry protests by some of the capital's residents who called for the army to use an "iron fist" against the instigators.
The violence has deepened fear among Christians, who complain of poor police protection and a new tolerance of Muslim extremists, raising the risk of new flashpoints in a country dogged by poverty, soaring prices and a faltering economy. Police deserted their posts during the January and February uprising against Mubarak. Many have returned but many Egyptians say that has failed to stop theft and violent crime spreading as Egypt looks ahead to its first free elections in September.
"The softness of the state is a problem right now," said political analyst Issandr El Amrani, who expects the interim military government to restore a tough line against conservative Salafist Islamic groups and others that incite religious hatred. "It's not going to be popular with a segment of the population but a government has to do unpopular things sometimes," said Amrani.
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
In one of the more anguished posts about the murder of provincial governor Salman Taseer, Pakistani blogger Huma Imtiaz wrote that his assassination "is not the beginning of the end. This is the end. There is no going back from here, there is no miracle cure, there is no magic wand that will one day make everything better. Saying 'enough is enough' does not cut it anymore ..."
It was a sense that permeated much of the English-language commentary about Taseer's killing in Islamabad by one of his own security guards. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Taseer, governor of Punjab province and a leading politician in the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was killed because of his opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy laws. A sense that the forces of religious intolerance are becoming all but unstoppable; and that those who oppose them by promoting a more liberal vision of Pakistan occupy an ever diminishing space.
- Sandra Dickson is a feminist working to prevent sexual violence in Aotearoa, New Zealand. She helped establish the counter-trafficking Poppy Project and wrote “Sex in the City, Mapping Commercial Sex across London,” the first attempt to map the commercial sex industry. Sandra has also been involved in the Women’s Refuge movement in both the UK and New Zealand, and has written a number of research papers about women’s experiences of intimate partner violence. She blogs as Luddite Journo. The opinions expressed are her own. Reuters will host a “follow-the-sun” live blog on Monday, March 8, 2010, International Women’s Day. Please tune in.–
International Women’s Day number 99, Aotearoa New Zealand.
Stage set for the perennial argument – is feminism still necessary? Or merely an academic subject for historians, with IWD covered in a lecture?
The murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller has been condemned by prominent groups and activists on both sides of this divisive and emotive issue.
But the language used by some opponents of abortion rights who reviled Tiller for his work providing late-term abortions remained very strong.
- Sandra Dickson is a feminist studying journalism at Whitireia Journalism School. She has worked to prevent violence against women in organizations in the UK and New Zealand, helping establish the counter-trafficking Poppy Project where she wrote “Sex in the City, Mapping Commercial Sex across London,” the first attempt to map the commercial sex industry. Now living in New Zealand, she is active in the Women’s refuge movement. She blogs as Luddite Journo. The opinions expressed are her own -
New Zealand was formally colonised late in world terms, after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed with indigenous Maori in 1840. Colonists came with grand ideas of building a “better Britain.” All could aspire to own property, and the most advanced indigenous people in the world were to be treated the best by the most humanitarian settlers.