[fund] resisting fundamentalisms

Karima Bennoune's public criticism of the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU's case in defence of Anwar al-Awlaki is a welcome stand for a universal vision of human rights that has largely gone missing from western human rights organisations.

Chronology: 1843 — Officially recorded year of Joseph Smith's revelation that Mormon men are allowed to have more than one wife.

1852 —The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reveals Doctrine and Covenant 132, which makes plural marriage legal in the eyes of the church.

1862 — U.S. Congress passes a bill prohibiting polygamy.

1879 — George Reynolds (LDS prophet Brigham Young's secretary) appeals his conviction on polygamy to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that the law infringes his constitutional right to freedom of religion. The justices disagree and Reynolds goes to prison.

Ofcom has ruled that Islam Channel, a London-based broadcaster, broke the broadcasting code for advocating marital rape, violence against women and describing women who wore perfume outside of the home as "prostitutes". Five programmes broadcast on the satellite TV channel were ruled to be in breach of broadcasting guidelines, the media regulator said today. Ofcom launched its investigation into the programmes, which aired in 2008 and 2009, following a report by the Quilliam thinktank that was published in March.

Muslim women fighting for women’s rights have been largely abandoned by the left, by human rights organisations, and by anti-racist campaigners. That sums up the basic argument put forward by Gita Sahgal at a meeting held in Glasgow on 28 October as part of Black History Month 2010. Sahgal left her post of Head of Gender Unit at Amnesty International earlier this year after Amnesty had ignored her complaints about the organisation’s collaboration with Islamists (specifically, Moazamm Begg and his “Cageprisoners” organisation).

 Sisters in Islam (SIS) can continue using the word ‘Islam’ in its name, the High Court ruled here today. The court struck out an application by Muslim non-governmental organisation Malaysian Assembly of Mosque Youth (MAMY) to prevent SIS from using its Sisters in Islam name on grounds that the word ‘Islam’ was controlled and limited by the Registrar of Companies. Update to Malaysia: Open letter by FORUM-ASIA regarding lawsuit against SIS

On Monday 4 October 2010 OHCHR organised a seminar on 'Traditional Values and Human Rights'. The seminar was the outcome of a controversial resolution presented by the Russian Federation and adopted last year at the Human Rights Council's September session (Resolution 12/21 on promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms through a better understanding of traditional values of humankind in conformity with international human rights law). The stated purpose of the seminar was to discuss how traditional values can contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights. It was organised as a series of panel discussions with experts, primarily from an academic background. Regrettably, no civil society speakers were included as panellists. However, a number of NGO representatives were able to speak from the floor. While the seminar was well-attended by States, very few took part in the debate (only Belgium, the Netherlands, the USA, Ireland, Cuba, China, and Egypt spoke).

  (نيويورك) - قالت هيومن رايتس ووتش في تقرير أصدرته اليوم إن على الملك عبد الله أن يبذل المزيد من الجهد لكي يحول إصلاحاته - الرمزية إلى حد بعيد حتى الآن - إلى ضمانات مؤسسية. وقالت هيومن رايتس ووتش إن تحويل الملك لوعوده إلى قوانين هو الضامن لاستدامة المكاسب للمواطنين.

King Abdullah should do more to transform his reforms - largely symbolic so fa r - into institutional guarantees, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. By turning promises into law the monarch can secure lasting gains for his citizens, Human Rights Watch said.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist, writes Christiane Amanpour, the broadcast journalist of America's ABC News who interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week. Originally in Rah-e-Sabz and translated by Hasty Pezhman:

The posters put up Tuesday in Mea She'arim, a Haredi (ultra-Orthodox ) neighborhood of Jerusalem, answered some questions about what to expect during the week-long Sukkot holiday, and especially the mid-holiday Simhat Beit Hasho'eva celebrations. On one hand, contrary to rumors, women will not be forcibly prevented from entering the neighborhood. On the other, women are definitely not invited. But that is not a good enough reason for a group of non-Haredi women to cancel a planned march through the neighborhood Friday morning to protest discrimination against women. On the contrary: They are threatening to petition the High Court of Justice against the police for having given them a permit to demonstrate only outside the neighborhood rather than in Shabbat Square, as they had wanted.

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