“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for August 18th, 2005

Trade Unionist and the New Iraqi Constitution

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The IFTU has produced a very sensible list of concerns with new Iraqi Constitution:

“The IFTU drew the UN Support Team’s attention to four discrete areas within the draft Constitution, which has changed frequently in recent weeks and which according to the IFTU in its current draft fails to adequately address the justified concerns of its members. These are;

1. Rights of Children: IFTU wishes to insist on the rights of Children aged younger than 16 years of age, not to be allowed to work and to have a full education. IFTU expressed its concern that the draft Constitution made general references to the rights of children without defining at what age these rights apply. In IFTU’s estimation this is a serious weakness, which would have the effect of undermining future attempts to improve the terrible situation for Iraqi children.

2. Right to Strike: IFTU expressed its strong dismay that an explicit Constitutional right of workers to take strike action has been removed from the draft version of the Constitution, although such a right exists in the current Transitional Administrative Law. The draft Constitution refers only to the right of workers to representation, without defining the right of workers to join or form the trade union representation of their choice, or as mentioned the right to withdraw their labour.

3. Rights of Women: IFTU made clear the complete opposition of the trade union to any attempt to revive the notorious Decree 137, which sought to remove the fundamental human rights of women in the name of imposing sharia law. Womens’ rights to marriage, divorce, to own property, inherit and pass on property to their children and others, to access education at all levels, to work and to play a full part in all aspects of civil society and political life must be guaranteed in the Constitution of a modern democratic, federal Iraq.

4. Separation of Politics and Religion: IFTU insists on the complete separation of the powers and authority of ‘the mosque’ from the constitutional state law. Freedom to practice religion must be guaranteed by the Constitution. The Constitution should not take Islam as its sole source of legitimacy. “

Written by modernityblog

18/08/2005 at 23:40

Posted in Uncategorized

An Education?

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The Daily Times relays an article on education in Pakistan:

“LAT quoted the education minister of a nation with Asia’s highest illiteracy rates as saying that he was determined to have specialists rewrite course guidelines and textbooks, from the first grade to the college level, so that the curriculum would be in line with that of any other advanced country.

He told LAT, “We don’t want to condemn any religion, which we will not.”

“A study of the public school curriculum and textbooks by 29 Pakistani academics in 2002 concluded that public school ‘textbooks tell lies, create hatred, inculcate militancy and much more’,” the paper said.

“The study by the independent Sustainable Development Policy Institute angered religious conservatives, and even a few liberals, who saw it as an attack on the country’s Islamic values, or even a plot by Western governments and rival India to subvert the Islamic state,” it added.”

The report by the SDPI is here

Written by modernityblog

18/08/2005 at 23:35

Posted in Uncategorized

A Panorama of Leadership

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I am not much of a TV person but will be interested to see Panorama on Sunday, 21 August 2005 22:15 on the topic of ‘A question of leadership’:

“For a sixty minute Panorama special, John Ware has spent the weeks since the London bombs traveling to Britain’s Muslim communities, to discover whether their leaders can tackle the growth of extremism in their midst.

The programme contains strong, frank interviews with British Muslims on attitudes to integration, sectarianism, supremacy and suicide bombings in Britain and abroad. “

Written by modernityblog

18/08/2005 at 14:15

Posted in Uncategorized