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Women and Islam: New WAISer Marga Jann

     Our webperson Astrid Usong is properly indignant about the treatment of women in Afghanistan. She asked us to make Marga Jann, who shares her indignation, a member of WAIS, and we are glad to do so. Marga, a planner, writes:
     I do not have direct experience of the Afghanistan situation, but I can comment on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan from direct experience. Currently I am in Paris (my home base), practicing and teaching for Stanford's Paris Program. I will be back on the Stanford campus this spring teaching another studio or two, using orphanage projects in Mexico (Puebla and outside Ensenada). I am delighted to find there is some interest in human rights regarding women.

     My comment: She will be in good company in WAIS. She should be in touch with WAIS Vice-Chairman David Pike at the American University of Paris. Several members of UDLA in Puebla are members, and she will find a soulmate in Linda Nyquist, an UDLA graduate.
     Incidentally, in the list of countries of the world, Afghanistan comes first! As the good book says, the first shall, or rather, should be last. The official name of Afghanistan is "Islamic State of Afghanistan". Pakistan and Iran are "Islamic Republic of..." Comoros is "Federal Islamic Republic..." There may be more.
     This brings up the nature of Islam. It is politically correct to say that one criticizes fanaticism, not Islam, but I believe that discrimination against women is inherent in Islam. Like any good WAISer, I am open to persuasion, but WAIS eschews political correctness.

Ronald Hilton - 10/17/99