Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hate Comes to San francisco

San Francisco hosted Hate group "Westboro Baptist church" on Friday, January 29, 2010, and I am embarrassed to say, they were unchallenged. I suppose some of the community felt ignoring them would make them go away- it didn't work in this case.

Generally this group focuses its hate on queers- interestingly enough, here in San Francisco, birthplace of gay rights, they changed their focus to good old fashioned Jew hatred.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Gazan slave trade

The Gazan slave trade- the situation for ALL women in Gaza is so much worse than you can imagine.

Firas Press has an article on how Gazans are taking advantage of poor Egyptian families. Acting as middlemen, Gazans offer to smuggle underage Egyptian girls through tunnels to Gaza to get married to weathy Gazans. Yes, there are many wealthy Gazans. For this service, they charge $1000. Once the girls come over, they are married as second or third wives to Gaza men who treat them as maids for their extended families. Others are forced into prostitution or to work for drug dealers. One smuggler who was interviewed is getting so wealthy from the slave trade that he has bought a house in Rafah to facilitate the smuggling of more Egyptian girls. The article claims that hundreds of girls have been taken advantage of this way, and they cannot afford to pay to escape back to Egypt.

77% of women in the Gaza Strip are subject to violence

According to a recent study by the Center for Information and Media Study of Palestinian Women
77% of women in the Gaza Strip are subjected to violence

أعد مركز معلومات وإعلام المرأة الفلسطينية دراسة عن أوضاع النساء في قطاع غزة رصد من خلالها الانتهاكات التي تتعرض لها المرأة الفلسطينية والتي تتنافى مع الاتفاقيات الدولية الداعية إلى احترام كرامة النساء والقضاء على كافة أشكال العنف والتمييز ضدهن, وقد اعتمدت الدراسة على المجموعات البؤرية حيث تم تنفيذ 24 ورشة عمل لمجموعات بؤرية من النساء كما تمت مقابلة 350 امرأة من مختلف محافظات قطاع غزة وقد أجريت هذه المقابلات في الربع الأخير من عام2009

The study relied on focus groups where the implementation of the 24 a workshop to focus groups of women were also interviewed 350 women from different governorates of the Gaza Strip have been conducted these interviews in the last quarter of 2009

In Gaza: 67% of women are subject to verbal violence 71% to psychological violence 52% to physical violence 15% to sexual violence 45% to more than one form of violence If you combine the victims of physical and sexual violence, we see that half of Gaza women are physically abused or sexually assaulted. This must stop!

You cannot blame Israel for this- this is an issue with the oppressive, patriachial Hamas regime, and yes, with a corruption by the ruling elite of the original message of Islam.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Girls Behaving Badly: West Bank edition

You know girls, if you grab a soldiers machine gun, you are going to get arrested.

Life is about smarter choices, sisters. This a Reuters photo, captioned "A Palestinian woman tries to grab the weapon of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank village of Nabi Salih, near Ramallah, January 22, 2010. The scuffles erupted between Israeli forces and about 20 Palestinians near a violent protest staged by Palestinian, Israeli and international activists over a land dispute with Jewish settlers in the area, witnesses said on Friday."

I believe in non-violent resistence, but that means no touchy touchy, no grabby grabby and no rock throwing. Real non-violence.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In Khartoum Alone, 43,000 Women were Arrested because of their Clothing

On July 3, 2009, Sudanese journalist and activist Lubna Al-Hussein was arrested, along with 12 other women, for wearing trousers, under a law that metes out a punishment of 40 lashes for wearing "indecent clothing." Refusing to plead guilty, Al-Hussein resigned from her position in the UN and waived her diplomatic immunity, demanding to be placed on trial, in what rapidly became a cause célèbre for women's rights in Sudan.

Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "I was not the only woman to be arrested. Tens of thousands of women were arrested... In one year..."
First interviewer: "On the cover of your book there is a picture that says a lot. Your pants are wide and are covered by a long blouse. If we could just focus on the photograph.. ."
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "These are the clothes I was wearing when I was arrested. I should point out that this veil is heavy and large, and I usually don’t wear it. I wear a lighter veil. But that day I had washed my hair, so I wore this."
First interviewer: "So a woman could get a lashing for wearing clothes like that?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "Of course. As I told you, I am not the only one. There are tens of thousands like me. In a single year, 43,000 women were arrested because of their clothing – not in all of Sudan, but in Khartoum alone, as declared by the police general commissioner. "
Second interviewer: "Lubna, you are a journalist, and journalists are a model of enlightened activity in society. What have you in Sudan done to change this law?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "This law, I’m sad to say... This clause contains both moral and physical violence. Physical violence is manifest in the punishment of lashing, which abases human dignity. Moral violence is manifest in the fact that this is called 'indecent acts,' and this is the reason that the tens of thousands of women before me did not have the courage to complain. The courts that try such cases are not regular courts. They are special courts established during the presidency of [Omar] Al-Bashir. They are called 'public order courts,' but their names keep changing. In these courts, the defendant has no right to defend himself."
Second interviewer: "Not at all?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "No."
First interviewer: "There is no lawyer?"
Second interviewer: "Then why is there even a trial?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "Excuse me?"
Second interviewer: "So what’s the point of holding a trial?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "In my case, because of the publicity and the public support I received, I took a lawyer who defended me, but the judge refused to give the defense witnesses a chance to be heard. This is what happened. It was all decided in advance, and..."
First interviewer: "Lubna, didn’t you ask [the court] what the definition of 'indecent clothing' is? What you are wearing is not... What is defined as 'indecent clothing'?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "It depends on the policeman’s mood."
"They Say This Is Islamic Law, But in Fact, This Is the Law of Al-Bashir"
First interviewer: "But if somebody wears a long blouse, long pants, and her hair is covered, what is indecent about it?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "I don’t know. The law is in the hands of the authorities. "
First interviewer: "The authorities interpret [the law]."
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "Yes. [The law says]: clothing that offends public sentiment. Let me tell you, I was at a place with 400 people, and I didn’t offend anybody. The same law that requires giving a woman forty lashes for wearing pants, requires giving a man who rapes a boy, a girl, or a woman one month in prison. Nevertheless, they say that this is Islamic law, but in fact, this is the law of Al-Bashir."
Second interviewer: "Was the verdict implemented on you, Mrs. Lubna?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "No, it wasn’t, but I was the exception. I don’t know why. All the women are punished with floggings and with a fine. The entire group... We were 13 women, and 12 were sentenced to a flogging and a fine. I was fined, but when I wanted to pay, they refused to accept the money."
Second interviewer: "So they take women who wear such clothing, and without a trial, they implement the verdict?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "Immediately. On the spot. We were arrested on a Friday, so it was delayed to the following Sunday. The latest to be arrested is a 16-year-old Christian girl – not even a Muslim – from southern Sudan. She wasn’t wearing pants like me, but a skirt which they said was tight."
First interviewer: "Is a skirt considered indecent, or not?"
Lubna Ahmad Al-Hussein: "They said it was indecent. It depends on the policeman’s mood."

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv. org/clip/ en/2346.htm.
For more on this issue of women's rights in the Middle East, visit http://www.memri. org/subject/ en/141.htm.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why ALAH? Because we're manly women and we're proud!

Why have we started ALAH (Arab Lesbians against Hate)?

Because we're "manly women". Because we're deviants. Because we threaten "normal" girls.
No, we don't believe that, either, but the United Arab Emirates does, and they've started a campaign against us.

Last year, Naji Hay of the UAE ministry of social affairs said on Al-Arabiya TV: "The phenomenon of manly women has become apparent in society ... These women are against the normal nature of females. Their deviant behavior threatens other normal girls. This is why we had to launch this initiative to protect society from this menace."

The campaign is called “Excuse me, I am a girl," directed against the "fourth gender," a euphemism for gays.

Excuse me while I vomit.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

80 year old Saudi marries 11 year old girl

"Save me. I don't want him", an 11 year old girl cries. But in Saudi Arabia young girls are property and they can be disposed of at father's whim.

First published in Al Arabiya:

News of a Saudi octogenarian marrying an eleven-year-old girl has outraged human rights activists amid calls on the government to regulate the marriage of underage girls, local media reported Saturday.

The Saudi National Human Rights Commission formed a committee to investigate the marriage, which activists consider a flagrant violation of human and children rights, the Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh said.The father, who took 85,000 riyals (more than $22,000) in dowry, defended his decision to marry off his 11-year-old daughter even though his wife vehemently objected."I don't care about her age," he told the paper. "Her health and her body build make her fit for marriage. I also don't care what her mother thinks."

The father added that marriage at such an early age has been a custom in the Saudi society for a very long time and that he saw no reason why it should be a problem now."This is a very old custom and there is nothing wrong with it whether religiously or socially." On the other hand, the groom said that the father, who is also his cousin, was the one who offered him his daughter and that the mother was totally against the marriage."He told me 'I have a girl and she will marry no one but you,'" the groom told the paper. "So, we got the witnesses and summoned the registrar. I paid the dowry and we held the ceremony and that was it. "

The groom expressed his surprise at how the media leveled harsh criticism against him and his family for marrying the girl."It is very simple. We didn’t do anything wrong. It is a valid contract that meets all the conditions for marriage? What's the point of all this fuss?"

The groom has three other wives, all much younger, and they all have kids. As for the bride, she just called for help as she burst into tears."Save me. I don't want him," she cried.

Resistance to Tyranny can begin with one keystroke

ALAH: Arab Lesbians Against Hate.

We are women.
Mothers, daughters, sisters
And wives.

Marginalized as women. Marginalized as queer.
Living in two different world, but not belonging fully to either.
Forced into veils. Forced into marriage.
Voices that has been marginalized through generations will join together here in strength. Together we will gather courage.

It is our sincere hope that this blog will provide a forum for our sisters throughout the world.

Resistance to Tyranny can begin with one keystroke. Lets start now.