Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Two Key Metrics to Gauge Stability in Islamic Societies: How women and religious minorities are treated

Mrs. Mahvash Sabet, imprisioned Baha'i
Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, imprisioned Baha'i

In the Muslim world, few issues are as accurate a barometer of societal dynamism as the status of women. As recent scholarship convincingly shows, women have consistently been at the forefront of societal change in the region. Whatever their political orientation, countries that reward (or at least permit) this behavior, such as Tunisia and post-Saddam Iraq, tend to be vibrant and hopeful places. Those that do not, like Saudi Arabia, are stagnant and sclerotic. ...


Another key metric in gauging stability in Islamic societies is the disposition of religious minorities. In places where political Islam has crowded out alternative views, other faiths have found themselves under siege. The plight of Zoroastrians and Baha'i in today's Shi'ite Iran and of Shi'a Muslims in contemporary Sunni Saudi Arabia are sorry reminders of this truism.


May Iran become a vibrant and hopeful place again. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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