Ottawa cancels funding for Toronto theatre festival

Ottawa cancels funding for Toronto theatre festival that presented terrorist play – The Globe and Mail.

Cost cutting is one thing; denying funding because a bureaucrat or politician is making decisions based on what some one said about a piece of art without actually seeing it is quite another. The first is just the way it goes; the second is a governmental attempt to control the arts, and indeed freedom of speech. Does the Harper government think that it was elected to make artistic judgements for all of us?

Saudi women: Some brave women of Saudi Arabia continue to make incursions against the status quo, the latest one aided by her husband, an imam, who taught her how to drive. It still astounds me that countries need to have religious police. Not that the same thing didn’t happen in the history of western nations, but it was several hundred years ago. This is the 21st century, and a woman in Saudi Arabia can’t leave the house without the permission of some one with male genitalia, her guardian, lest the dreaded religious police intervene and cart her off to jail.

A lovely weekend here, warm and sunny with a breeze to keep the bugs away, and a country to live in without fear. Happy Canada Day.

Saudi Women’s Rights

http://www.amnesty.ca/SaudiArabia/5.php

A woman in Saudi Arabia, who had started or joined an online movement to allow women to drive, has been detained, along with her brother, after she put a video of herself driving on the internet. In 1990 a group of religious scholars issued a fatwah(edict) against women driving. Why? Who knows? Just another example of the inequality women endure in that country. The abhorrent guardianship  system that restricts women’s movements unless accompanied by a male “guardian” is another of the human right abuses that continue there.

I think the men of Saudi Arabia should be embarrassed and ashamed that they treat the women of their country like children, and allow religious police to arrest them, abuse them, beat them, force them into false confessions and sentence them to such inhumane punishments as lashing for such crimes as wearing “indecent” ie western clothing.

Sakineh

Sakineh remains in prison.

http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/havel-launches-ai-campaign-in-support-of-political-prisoners/638683

The link above details the Amnesty campaign to free her and two other political prisoners. Havel, of the Czech republic, himself a former political prisoner believes his own release came much sooner because of voices raised from outside.

http://freesakineh.org/

Please sign the petition.

Saudi Women

‘Saudi Women Revolution’ makes a stand for equal rights – CNN.com.

http://www.hrw.org/en/world-report-2011/saudi-arabia

The laws as they pertain in women in Saudi Arabia have so much potential for harm it’s difficult to know where to start. I fear for the safety of the brave women in the Saudi Women Revolution movement. It is intolerable in the 21st century that women, all the women in a country, are placed under the guardianship of a man. It doesn’t matter how competent she is, or how incompetent, avaricious, cruel or self-serving her brother, husband, father or son happen to be. The potential for all kinds of abuse is very high.

State-sponsered abuse as detailed in the Human Rights Watch report, such as lashing for the crime of “appearing in court without a male guardian” is abhorrent and primitive.  That woman went to jail as well as receiving 300 lashes. The male population treats its female population as though they were slaves. Some poor women actually seem to have a variation of Stockholm syndrome, claiming to “love their guardianship.”

I think we need to speak out against such human rights abuses whenever we can, as we did over the case of Sakineh in Iran.