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Corporate Harems of the West

Picasso, Le repos.

Fatima Mernissi, Moroccan academic and feminist, perturbs and eventually infuriates a French journalist in this interview, as she intentionally inverts Western cliches about the status of women in the Western and Arab worlds.

Psychologies: You claim that Western women live in harems. Are you just being provocative?

Burning the Muslim Witches in France

Photo CC: Wikemedia commons.

Can a “secular” state tell its citizens how to bear the emblems of their religion? As France debates yet another anti-Muslim law under the guise of secularism, Laurent Bazin writes that the burden of the French state’s strange crusade falls most heavily on women.

For some decades now, France has been carrying out an increasingly insidious and implacable witch hunt.

The Fast-Food Feminism of the Topless Femen

Blond young women stripping off their shirts to protest for…women’s rights. Le Monde Diplomatique‘s Mona Chollet reviews the purportedly feminist protest group called the Femen, finding little evidence of feminism and a budding affinity with France’s anti-Muslim right.

"Covering women's bodies seems to give Muslims a sense of virility, while Westerners derive their own from uncovering them", writes Moroccan essayist Fatema Mernissi in Scheherazade Goes West.

‘Okay, Let’s Grab Her, But Then Take Turns, Guys’

In this blog post addressed to other victims, a woman describes in excruciating detail her rape at the hands of a huge mob of men at a revolutionary demonstration. Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the central stage of the country’s ongoing revolution, has been the scene of numerous mob rapes and sexual assaults.

This is my story, one like many other women's stories. It is the story of what happened to me-and what happened to you. You and I know how it was: death came near, though it didn't arrive.

Egypt’s Faceless Candidates

Author of Sketch, Mounaqaba with a flower

The first free elections in the history of Egypt are taking place, and among the candidates are thirty women who wear the niqab – the religious veil that conceals the entire body including the face. Niqabi women campaigning for office can seem a paradoxically feminist decision, despite the fact that some in Egypt have accused them of being puppets.

Fatma is a munaqaba, running as an independent candidate for a parliamentary seat from Cairo. Running for public office "is twice a challenge," she says. "On one side, the liberals actively fight my presence and, on the other side, the salafis want me to go back home because they think that a woman