Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Challenging Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan
Karima Bennoune in conversation with Horia Mosadiq. Hosted by: Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP), Faculty of Law, McGill University and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML)
Via Zoom: https://mcgill.zoom.us/j/86740286450
To mark the 10th anniversary of the release of her book "Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism," Professor Karima Bennoune and Horia Mosadiq, a leading Afghan woman human rights defender whom she interviewed for the book in Kabul in 2011, will address the international and local dimensions of the struggle by Afghan women today against the Taliban's oppression of women. They will also assess the evolution of the struggle by women human rights defenders against fundamentalisms across the region in the last decade.
Professor Karima Bennoune is the Lewis M. Simes Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School. She served as the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights from 2015-2021. Bennoune was also appointed as an expert for the International Criminal Court in 2017 during the reparations phase of the groundbreaking case The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, concerning intentional destruction of cultural heritage sites by extremists in Mali. A former legal advisor for Amnesty International, she has carried out human rights missions in most regions of the world. She has been on three missions to Afghanistan, visiting different regions of the country: in 1995, 2005 and 2011, and has worked closely with Afghan women human rights defenders for many years, including during the 2021 evacuations.
Most recently, she is the author of “The International Obligation to Counter Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan” which appeared in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review in December 2022.
Her book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, received the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction. Released by W.W. Norton & Company, the book addresses the work of many people of Muslim heritage against extremism and terrorism. The related field research took her to numerous countries, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Pakistan and Russia. The TED talk based on the book, “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism,” has received more than 1.5 million views. 2023 is the tenth anniversary of the release of "Your Fatwa," and an important moment for assessing developments in the struggles of women human rights defenders against fundamentalisms.
Horia Mosadiq is a leading award-winning Afghan human rights defender and journalist.
She is the founder of several organizations including Conflict Analysis Network (CAN) focusing on the issues of violent extremism, radicalization and its impact on human rights and Safety and Risk Mitigation Organization (SRMO) which focuses on the protection of Human Rights Defenders.
Horia has served as South Asia Researcher for Amnesty International, Director of Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium (HRRAC) Afghanistan, Media Commissioner for Afghanistan Elections Commission, Senior Advisor to Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Observer in the Constitutional Loya Jirga of Afghanistan in 2003- 2004, Political and Gender Advisor to the Canadian Embassy in Kabul and served as journalist and war reporter for many years in South Asia. She has also worked with the European Institute of Peace (EIP), Geneva Call, Safer World, PEN International, International Alert, Amnesty International, UNICEF, Action Aid, CIVICUS, UNICEF and UNDP.
Among others, she has received the 2007 national human rights award in Afghanistan, and the 2012 and 2015 Women Rights Defender Awardee of Amnesty International, in 2018, and 2019 she received the outstanding achievement in the field of human rights by Afghanistan Democracy Development Organization and in 2020 she received an award Award from Afghan Women Network (AWN) for her outstanding work on women, peace, justice and reconciliation.