Jerusalem

Sidi Nazim Baksh on the controversy over the visits of Habib Ali Al-Jifry and Shaykh Ali Gomaa to Masjid Alaqsa in Jerusalem

Sidi Nazim Baksh on the controversy over the visits of Habib Ali Al-Jifry and Shaykh Ali Gomaa to Masjid Alaqsa in Jerusalem

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

By Nazim Baksh

The Ikhwan and the Salafist political parties might be making electoral gains in the Middle East, but it appears a growing chorus of religious scholars is determined to test their commitment to the democratic ideals they so ardently espouse.

Among the scholars who are refusing to dance to the Ikhwan’s tune are Habib Ali Al-Jifry and Shaykh Ali Gomaa. Shaykh Ali Gomaa is Egypt’s Grand Mufti, a position that carries the weight of centuries of Muslim legal history. Habib Ali, on the other hand, is a rare type of public intellectual, admired by many Muslims both in the East and the West for the clarity of his religious commitments.

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“The only Democracy in the Middle East”: Women not allowed to speak at conference for Women

In Jerusalem, women are voiceless at a decidedly womanly event

The controversial exclusion of women from various settings in Israel because of pressure from ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders reached a new level this week with a major conference on gynecological advances that is permitting only males to address the audience.

The conference on “Innovations in Gynecology/Obstetrics and Halacha [Jewish law]” is being held by the Puah Institute this Wednesday in Jerusalem. It will include such topics as “ovary implants,” “how to choose a suitable contraceptive pill” and “intimacy during rocket attacks,” in which there are many qualified female professionals, but none will be permitted to speak, at least not from the podium.

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Not saying Muslim countries aren’t women-friendly either (some are better than others), but Muslim countries don’t claim to be the “only Democracy in the Middle East”. Then again, Democracy in another country known as the “defender of the of the free world” pre-1900 didn’t allow Women to vote.

Just postin…