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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Women candidates receiving threats

Khaleej Times Online
MANAMA — "Much concern is mounting in political and other circles as female election candidates have reportedly started receiving anonymous threats and blunt mobile messages urging them to back out from next month's parliamentary and municipal polls in Bahrain.

The anonymous mobile messages, according to Dr Muneera Fakhro, who is one of the candidates, are specifically urging women candidates to withdraw their registration papers to avoid clashing with Islamic principles.

She told Khaleej Times yesterday that these messages are very upsetting for women candidates. They have been worrying about many things recently, including how best to convince people in a male-oriented society to vote for them and also how to secure the political endorsement and financial backing of recognised political societies.

Dr Fakhro and other female candidates have already filed official complaints in this connection to the Supreme Council for Women and urged the SCW to address this issue and ensure that women candidates are not intimidated in any way.

The SCW, she pointed out, is very influential as it is chaired by the First Lady Shaikha Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa and is committed to supporting and empowering women in all spheres including politics.

Dr Fakhro has also called upon the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to tackle the matter as well as the Ministry of Justice to take appropriate action as it is the official supervisor of the parliamentary and municipal polls.

Dr Fakhro claimed that some conservative scholars (Salafi) are behind the threatening mobile messages because many of them are strongly opposed to the idea of women participating in these polls, slated for November 25.

'We have five weeks remaining for voting day and I now fear tougher negative campaigns against women candidates. This is because despite the openness of Bahraini society, there are many people who are still against the political empowerment of women,' she said."


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