Column: Not all Muslim nations restrict women’s rights | Des Moines Register

Morocco’s women’s rights development profiled in the Des Moines Register:

demoins register“This idea that there is one unified Islamic world is wrong,” says the man who heads Morocco’s independent human rights commission. There is the Saudi version, in which women are not allowed to drive. There are North African, Indonesian, Malaysian, Turkish and sub-Saharan versions.

I had the opportunity Monday to talk by phone with Driss El-Yazami, president of the Moroccan National Human Rights Council (CNDH), created in 2011 and enshrined in the country’s constitution. It came about in response to massive demonstrations demanding greater recognition of human rights. El-Yazami had been a human-rights activist living in exile in France since the 1970s during the tenure of a former king. A few years ago, he was invited  by current King Mohammed VI to head the council. When we spoke, El-Yazami was visiting Washington, D.C.

Under Morocco’s constitution, the king is the commander of all people of faith, including Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The council’s approach to increasing democratic rights and freedoms in Morocco is to study an issue, make a report and initiate dialogue between various factions. Then the recommendations go to Parliament to vote on…[FULL STORY]


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