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Tom's Take

March 8th, 2010
02:03 PM ET
Sr. Writer for Amanpour, Tom Evans, works on scripts with Christiane

Sr. Writer for Amanpour, Tom Evans, works on scripts with Christiane

On AMANPOUR. we focus on women in the Muslim world on this International Women’s Day. Are women’s rights compatible with Islam?  Christiane looks at Sunday’s national elections in Iraq with a political activist working to get more women elected to the Iraqi Parliament.  And then, Christiane sits down with three leading women activists from elsewhere in the Middle East to discuss the pressing issues in their respective countries and the region as a whole.  From honor killings, to repressive family laws and added economic burdens exacerbated by the financial crisis, these three leaders are educating and organizing women to lobby their governments on gender equality in all realms.  With the threat of encroaching Islamic fundamentalism, will women’s hard-won gains be reversed? The Iraqi election is among the top stories today. Here are some perspectives.

Tom Evans
Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.

IRAQ – Will Sunday’s parliamentary elections help decrease sectarian and ethnic tensions in the country?

–    Head of Iraq’s election commission tells Associated Press turnout for poll was 55 to 60 percent, which is down from roughly 76 percent in parliamentary elections in December 2005
–    Faraj al-Haidari told AP the preliminary results are likely to be released in the next two to three days, most likely on Thursday

–    U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill says overall, it was a “very successful election”.  U.S. Commander, General Ray Odierno, say U.S. will draw down forces to 50,000 troops by the first of September, as scheduled, for a train and advise mission.
QUESTION:  Will U.S. be forced to leave some combat troops in northern Iraq past September 1st because of tensions in that part of Iraq?

AFGHANISTAN – Is Iran challenging U.S. military presence in Afghanistan?

–    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrives in Afghanistan on unannounced visit, on same day Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was due there. Iran said Ahmadinejad’s visit has now been postponed until middle of the month
–    Gates: “Iran is playing a double game in Afghanistan. They want to maintain a good relationship with the Afghan government. They also want to do everything they possibly can to hurt us, or for us not to be successful.”
–    Gates comments come as tensions between U.S. and Iran increase over Tehran’s refusal to suspend its nuclear enrichment program and America tries to enlist international support for new sanctions

QUESTION: Is Tehran helping the Taliban in Afghanistan?

NIGERIA – Is Nigeria on the brink of a major explosion of sectarian violence?

–    At least 200 people killed in central Nigeria after members of a machete-wielding Muslim group attacked mostly christian villages. One NGO put the death toll even higher, at almost 500
–    Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, who is acting head of state, puts security on high alert and begins operations to apprehend what he calls the “roving band of killers”
–    Violence resembled previous outbreaks of ethnic and religious clashes in Nigeria

QUESTION:  What should the Nigerian government do to prevent further sectarian attacks now and in the longer term?

Filed under:  1 • Tom's Take
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. your reader

    Hey Amanpour!

    Your often did stories on women but this video on youtube might strike you
    women are flogged.

    March 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  2. Vachik Hacopians Khoie

    Hello Mrs. Amanpour,
    I hope all is well with you and also appreciate taking your time reading this electronic mail of mine. My name is Vachik Hacopians Khoie, Armenian, and if you could see the Khoie at the end of my name? It's the city of Khoie where my dad was born, and that is a good proof of my family were all born and raised in Iran; Of course, Christian's. I was about 24 years old when left Iran, and I have older sisters and brother also; During of our life time in Iran, we, neither one of us, nor anybody in friends and family had one complain of Muslim government and also majority of people who we been living with for very long time. But life has teach me that not all the people are nice and good, there are good and bad in everything, in Muslims, Christian's, Chinese and in the right or left people also; I hope that you are agree with me; But why am I asking this? I, by pretty much following most of your reports and programs, have got to the conclusion that you were very upset and angry with the war of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and few hundred Muslim that unfortunately killed in that war; I could see and I bet a lots of people are thinking that way also; But that is OK, that's normal, war and death makes a lots of people mad and upset; You are a very high ranking CNN correspondent, by saying this? I don't think you have to take side and try to defend all the Muslims of the world, yet, I believe that you have to be mutual and do your honest reporting of what happiness in the world. every time you are on t.v? Muslim word, come out of your mouth. Are you aware of Armenian genocide by Muslim Turks in 1915? What is it that you have never ever say one word about it? And now, these days, last I heard, few days ago, that about 500 Christians were killed by Muslim machete's in Nigeria, why is it you not saying a word about it.
    With all the respect Mrs. Amanpour; I hope you are not kind of Muslim that they think that the world has to turn to Muslim, or some day, all the Church's should be converted to musk in London, and the queen of UK should also become Muslim.
    I would like to thank you again for reading this mail; And like and I wish to have some kind of a respond from you, and as if you can proof me wrong , hopefully.
    VHK Curitiba, Brazil

    March 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  3. Yakubu MAGAJI , From Bauchi State- NIGERIA.

    You know the problems of this group of people in the world ?. Even if you say No, the women's right is incompatible with Islam, the fact that you mention Islam,although they know that they have no right to talk in the public,they have no right to be seen outside by others,they have no right to drive cars,they have no right to work in Govt.offices,they have no right to enter thesame car or taxi with men,they have no rights to leave their heads uncovered in the public,which is clearly part of social prison unless as objects for sex and cooking for their husbands in their houses.
    Yet these women,the fact that you mention the word Islam,they will tell you that they have all the human-rights it takes to be a woman in the muslim world. So don't just talk of compatibility of women's right with Islam in the muslim world in your own context.
    They say, your kind of democracy, is not the kind of democracy in the muslim world. So allow them, until when they will realise that it is too late to cry when the head is off.

    Yakubu MAGAJI
    Bauchi state Zimbabwe-Nigeria.

    March 13, 2010 at 9:14 am | Reply

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