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Once more, the unholy alliance between human rights and Muslim fundamententalism...

Monday 25 May 2020, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Source: Press release, WICUR

Once more, the unholy amliance between human rights and Muslim fundamententalism...

May 18 2020

Human Rights Watch has posted a tweet taking up an article in the Washington Post entitled « France advises wearing masks to help control the coronavirus, but France still forbids wearing a burka.”

Under this apparent irony, the Washington Post and Human Rights Watch attempt to relaunch the debate on totally hiding women’s bodies in France.

Why this amalgam during the present pandemic period? How can anyone compare wearing a medical mask, obligatory for public health for women and men alike with no distinction, to a compulsory garment that discriminates only against women and that is accompanied by a multitude of bans.

How can an international NGO like Human Rights Watch, that supposedly exists to denounce attacks and discriminations against human rights endorse a press headline comparing a temporary health measure to the permanent confinement of women behind burkas, Islamist head scarves and physical confinement?

How can Human Rights Watch endorse one of the most humiliating and reactionary attitudes towards women? Can it really ignore the fact that so many countries like Tchad, Cameroon and others with large Muslim populations have all forbidden this wholly confining garment?

This deplorable amalgam arises from an ideological confusion and offers the victimization constantly sought by Islamist fundamentalists and the preachers of a Salafist Islam.

It is perhaps necessary to remind Human Rights Watch of the thousands of women in Algeria, Iran and elsewhere who were, and are today assassinated for their refusal of thisclothing dictate.

In the name of all these victims:

We, secular, activist women, Muslim, of Muslim origin or from largely Muslim majority countries, reject the notion that such an article can attempt to make anyone believe that the burka is a religious obligation and that it is therefore legitimate to demand it


We condemn this article that endangers those thousands of women who are fighting, in alltheir respective countries, for true gender equality.


Lalia DUCOS, Président of the Association Initiative des Femmes for Citizenship and Universal


Cherifa Kheddar, Algérie, présidente de « Djazairouna », des familles victimes du terrorisme islamiste

Samia Allalou,algérienne, militante féministe, journaliste

Fatou Sow,Sénégal, sociologue et chercheure,

Esther Fouchier , France,Présidente du forum Femmes Méditerranée

jeanine Caraguel, algérienne, linguiste

Marieme Helie Lucas, algérienne, sociologue , fondatrice de Women living under muslim laws(WLUML)

Michèle Idir, Algérie-france, militante associative,

Soad Baba Aissa, Algérie-France, présidente de l’association Mixité, égalité, laicité (AMEL)

Anissa Helie, professeure d’université, US/Algérie/France.

Nadia Benmissi, algérie-France, fondatrice de « Femmes sans voile »

Khadra Hessas, algérienne, coordinatrice du « réseau algérien contre la répression et pour la libération des détenus d’opinion et politiques »

Jamiley Nedai, Iran, cinéaste

Samira Khelifa, Algérie-France, juriste ,administratrice

Souhila Boughoufalah ; Algérie-france, informaticienne