Mahnaz Afkhami noted that women have largely been left out of the post-demonstration process despite playing a large role in the protests. She drew on lessons garnered from the Iranian Revolution in 1979 by noting that rhetoric of new leaders can quickly change, and that Arab societies must be prepared for such actions.
“Religious zeal makes democracy problematic because it turns every attempt at understand and compromise – the hallmarks of democracy – into an evidentiary test of religious righteousness.” – Rights of Passage
“Tuned to the law, Muslim societies are historically and structurally receptive to democracy’s motto of ‘government of law not of men’ “. – Faith and Freedom
Washington TV / By Amir Irani-Tehrani
In The Berlin Journal (Number 18 Fall 2009)
It is not Islam that holds women back; it is the road of patriarchy Muslim nations have taken.
To The Point KCRW Los Angeles / By Warren Olney / Listen
Muslim countries traditionally offer few leading roles for women. Does the selection of the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize change the equation? Can democracy be realized in Muslim nations if women there do not have equal rights? We get views from Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, an associate professor of political science, specialized on the issues of Islam and democracy, the founder and president of Women-s Learning Partnership, the director of an Islamic Center and a former U.S diplomat.
WAMU American University Radio “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” / By Kojo Nnamdi / Listen
As Iraq’s Shiite Muslims emerge from Saddam’s shadow, we go inside neighboring Iran to examine a government they may emulate – one that adds a splash of democracy to a religious theocracy. Afkhami says that in Iran elections include pre-selected candidates, chosen according to values in line with theocratic arrangements.
WAMU American University Radio "The Kojo Nnamdi Show" / By Kojo Nnamdi / Listen
Since the election of the reformist President Mohammed Khatemi in Iran two years ago, Iran’s conservatives have engaged in a heated political battle with an active reformist movement calling for democratic initiatives. Kojo and guests discuss Iran’s national debate on the merits of democracy.
NPR “Weekend Edition Sunday” / By Ted Clark / Listen
NPR reports on the power struggle now going on in Iran between those who want to maintain hardline fundamental policies and those who want democratic reform. “It is not a minor squabble… it is a deep search for a change that will bring democratic processes… It will affect the whole region,” Afkhami says.
The New York Times / By Barbara Crossette
Ever since the American Revolution, Americans have believed that democracies are the most enlightened form of government and, by their nature, should be friends and allies. Then along came Mohammed Khatami.