Articles

Citizen Ali

Arzu Merali examines how equal citizenship has been denied Muslims, and the challenges that poses for a supposedly new politics in the UK.* In 2004 the Islamic Human Rights Commission (www.ihrc.org) began an eighteen month project to articulate British Muslims’ expectations of the government to those in power, as a way of

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Viewpoint: Islam and modernity

I was asked for this viewpoint from the BBC News Website. “Modernise or die” screamed an email we received a few months back at our offices. Though brutally put, the charge is not uncommon. Just as victims of rape are sometimes accused of “asking for it”, Muslims – the targets of amongst

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They Hate Women Don’t They?

“It must be terrible having to wear all that,” a friend of mine was told last December as she attended a meeting to discuss the future of Afghanistan, particularly its women – “all that” being some baggy clothing and a headscarf. “Not particularly,” she retorted, putting an abrupt end both to the

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War on Islam, Turkish Style

As the War on Terror – Bush’s crusade – is launched, Turkey has joined its ranks.  What are the implications for the already poor human rights record of this country? So Turkey – that shining example of modernity, a secular Muslim country – will be sending special forces to Afghanistan to “support

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Freedom is My Daughter’s Name

Can Turkey justify its horrendous catalogue of human rights’ abuses in the name of modernity? I had thought that after years working in Human Rights, I had become desensitised to horrors inflicted and suffering unlimited. Torture should have been just another research topic. Talking to Ipek Firat, the wife of a political

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Lebanon’s Forgotten Hostage

Arzu Merali looks at the case of Sheikh Abdulkareem Obaid, and the wider issues of the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon. Saged is 15 years old. Like many boys, he wants to be like his father. An architect and Muslim cleric, Abdulkareem Obaid is also one of dozens of hostages abducted from

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Srebrenica: The Call for Justice

Written in 1996, a year after the worst massacre on European soil since the Second World War, this essay outlines the complicity of international institutions and European governments in the crimes. “How should ye not fight for the cause of Allah and of the oppressed among men and of the women and

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The World’s Women According to the UN

Arzu Merali provides a brief critique of UN literature compiled for the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, September 1995, based on a review of some of the agency literature she found there. Download the report here. The report gives examples of racist and Islamophobic imagery and text used

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