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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Shaheen Sehbai,On Feminism in Islam, Pakistan editor wins WAN press freedom award

Shaheen Sehbai: The Obama administration is seriously worried about the fast weakening grip of President Asif Zardari in Pakistan and on Monday two top US newspapers predicted, in powerful reports by seven leading writers and correspondents, that the Zardari regime seemed to be near collapse. The New York Times in a report filed by five correspondents said: “The problems in Afghanistan have only been compounded by the fragility of Mr Obama’s partner in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari, who is so weak that his government seems near collapse.”

Margot Badran. Feminism in Islam: Secular and Religious Convergences. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2009. pp.349.

Countless volumes have been written on the issue of Islam and women, by Muslims as well as others. Indeed, the 'Muslim woman' question has, for long, occupied a central place in discourses about Islam. Interestingly, the vast majority of works on this furiously-debated question have been penned by men. For many male Muslim writers, the notion of normative Muslim womanhood is key to their understanding of Islamic authenticity. For non-Muslim scholars of Islam, it is a central trope in their critique of the religion. Caught between the two, the diverse voices of Muslim women themselves have received but scant attention in the scholarly literature.

Pakistan editor wins WAN press freedom award - HYDERABAD, India — Pakistani editor Najam Sethi, repeatedly jailed under various regimes, received a prestigious press freedom award Tuesday for his work in the face of constant death threats. Sethi, editor-in-chief of the Friday Times and Daily Times in Pakistan, accepted the 2009 Golden Pen of Freedom from the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), warning that extremists now posed as great a threat to press freedoms as repressive governments. Speaking at the WAN's annual conference in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, Sethi noted that the Taliban had prevented the sale of his newspapers in areas of Pakistan under their control and had placed him on a hit-list along with three other Pakistani journalists.


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