Sally Jolles is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently researching Saudi students living and studying in the United States. Jolles interviewed two Saudi men in their 20’s and 30’s studying English in Madison, Wisconsin, through the Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Scholarship Program. The following statements are unedited transcriptions from their recent conversation related to women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. The names of the speakers have been changed at their request.
In the wake of the pro-democracy protests in Tahrir Square, many Western observers are dismayed by the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Dr. Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, joins us to talk about what the Brotherhood’s leadership means for the future of Egyptian democracy.
Even though 98% of its population practices Islam, the Western African country of Niger is a secular state, protected by laws mostly inherited from the French. In recent years, the government has adopted some woman-friendly policies but rejected a few as well. What’s behind those rejections? What role does Islam play in the politics of women’s rights laws? Alice Kang, a PhD candidate in political science at UW-Madison with focus on African Studies, spent a year in Niger to look for answers. She sat down with Inside Islam to share her findings. Continue reading