Women are significant part of Shia coalition in Iraq

Jim Hoagland:

Look beyond the jockeying for jobs in Iraq's embryonic transitional government. Focus instead on the final results in that Arab country's matrix-breaking election. They reveal a little-publicized result that President Bush, feminist organizations and democracy advocates should be shouting from the rooftops.

Nearly one-third of the 140 winning candidates on the Shiite parliamentary list are women. Moreover, those 45 women from the list supported by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani tend to be more educated, better informed and more committed to change than are their male counterparts, who include a number of political hacks.


Nor do gender liberationists in the West seem eager to publicize this stunning result. Could they not want to accept even implicitly the notion that war can create the conditions needed for a positive social revolution?

That revolution ultimately is even more important to transforming the Middle East than is U.S. military might or European diplomacy. There will be no democracy in the greater Middle East until women break through the crippling restrictions and humiliations imposed on them by Arab cultural chauvinism and widespread, if perverse, interpretations of Islamic faith.


"The fact is, the women candidates had to be competent to get on the list. They met higher standards," said Nabil Musawa, a campaign strategist for the Iraqi National Congress. The example they have set, and will continue to provide, cannot be lost on Arab women at large.

Hoagland's story is worthy of front page treatment. The silence of the feminist just proves their agenda is not really about women's rights, its about liberalism. They only support the advancement of liberal women. They are like the NAACP which does not support the advancement of conservatives blacks, or as Rush Limbaugh so aptly puts it they are the NAALCP.


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