Raif Badawi, Charlie Hebdo und der radikale Islam
Die schockierenden Ereignisse der vergangenen Wochen – von den Terrorangriffen in Paris über die Auspeitschung Raif Badawis bis hin zu den Massakern in Nigeria und Pakistan – verdienen alle die gleiche Aufmerksamkeit und vorbehaltlose Empörung, meint die jemenitisch-schweizerische Politologin Elham Manea.
Ich betrachte die Welt als eine, die aus vielen einzelnen Punkten besteht. Und wenn ich diese miteinander verbinde, sehe ich das Antlitz eines Menschen. Es gibt nur diese eine Welt – ob es einem gefällt oder nicht. Geteilte Menschlichkeit, geteiltes Schicksal.
“We are ISIS”.
A startling statement? Yet this was the title of an article written by former Kuwaiti Minister of Information, Saad bin Tafla al Ajami, published by the Qatari newspaper al Sharq in 7 August 2014. He was not celebrating the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), nor the atrocities it is committing against civilians and minorities in Iraq and Syria.
On 9 January 2014, a group of protesters organised a sit-in in front of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Rome, calling for the immediate release of blogger Raif Badawi. According to Elham Manea, he was imprisoned in 2012 on trumped up charges rooted in the ruling dynasty's fear of dissent and rebellion. He now faces the death penalty.
Raif Badawi is a Saudi intellectual, blogger and editor of a liberal website who faces the death penalty in his home country. The crime of which he stands accused is "committing apostasy". But there's a catch: Badwai never renounced his religion, Islam. Choosing one's religion is a fundamental human right, but the case of Raif Badawi has very little to do with the right to choose one's religion and everything to do with politics.
No professional or vocational training, no visits to the doctor, no lawsuits without male approval. The Yemeni-Swiss political scientist Elham Manea describes the plight of women in Saudi Arabia
I will never forget the words of my father when he turned down an offer to work at our Yemeni embassy in Saudi Arabia in the mid-eighties. He simply said: "I have a daughter!"
His words came back to me this 26 October, when more than 60 Saudi women's activists got behind the wheels of their cars protesting against a ban on women driving in the kingdom. Their demand symbolized in a nutshell what it means for a woman to live in Saudi Arabia: perpetual minors in a system of gender apartheid.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that outlaws this right of driving. And yes, depriving a woman of the right to drive serves the purpose of controlling her physical mobility and hence independence. But focusing on the right to drive misses the whole spectrum of the issue.