Muslims protest for sexual rights in 12 nations

by Rex Wockner

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Members of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies staged simultaneous actions in 12 nations Nov. 9 under the theme "One Day One Struggle."

Hundreds of members of 40 organizations held panels, workshops, film screenings, theater performances, photo exhibits and press conferences in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey "to assert that sexual and reproductive rights are universal human rights based on the inherent freedom, dignity and equality of all human beings."

"Rising conservatism fueled by militarism, increasing inequalities, the politicization of religion and Islamophobia have strengthened patriarchal and extremist religious ideologies that use sexuality as a tool of oppression," organizers said. "This has manifested itself in various forms over the last year, be it the revocation of the permit for the regional Asia Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association by the police in Indonesia, or the harassment of conference participants by radical Islamic groups, or political pressure on a women's group promoting women's rights in Islam in Malaysia, or women like Sakineh Ashtiani being sentenced to death by stoning in Iran, or killings of hundreds of women and transsexuals in Turkey under the pretext of honor."

CSBR is a solidarity network of progressive organizations and academic institutions in the Middle East, North Africa, and South and Southeast Asia working to promote sexual and bodily rights as human rights in Muslim societies. For more information, see http://www.wwhr.org/csbr.php.

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