Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Rice doesn't stand up for Saudi women

That tough-talkin', spike-heeled, Bush-buddy, veiled personality of a secretary of state of ours is a study in contrasts. You have to love this description of SOS Condi Rice.

On the one hand, Condoleezza Rice isn't afraid to display herself in a very public forum donned in disco-diva black-leather boots and militarylike regalia. She'll also take on the most rigid of autocratic country leaders when it comes to "spreading the word" about democracy or criticizing their domestic policies. But she's an absolute wimp when it comes to standing up for some of the most democracy-deprived citizens of Planet Earth -- to wit, the women of Saudi Arabia. Link

I wouldn't be the spokeswoman for Saudi women either. Speaking for these women will come back and bite you. Look at the backlash from Oprah's show about women around the world. Can you believe a few young women registered a complaint? On many occasions, I've seen Muslim women come in defense of the virtues of Islam although the topic is about women being abused without any form of justice for the act committed against them. I am always perplexed when this happens.

I was on an African Website for about 1-½ years. Most of the citizens of this particular country are Muslim and a few Imams wanted to institute Sharia laws as the fundamental justice system for the country. I was surprised to see that all the men were against this idea and spoke passionately against instituting these laws, but every single woman that spoke about this topic was in favor of those laws, although you can't find one place that interprets those laws in favor of women and this was pointed out to them.

When it comes to Islam, women, and abuse, many women will fight tooth and nail to keep this seemingly repressive system in place. Therefore, I will never fully fight for overall rights of women in Islamic countries. Individually, I will stand with a woman who has the courage to stand up in the face of the harsh abuse they face, but that will be the extent of my involvement. So Condi, I say good for you. We may not agree on much, but I stand with you on this issue. If an individual asks for help, it should be given.

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