Saturday, February 25, 2006

Women's Soccer a Toe-hold in Sudan

Even though conflict continues in Sudan, the shaky peace between the Islamist north and the Christian/Animist south has created fertile ground for women wishing to dust off the years of oppression under sharia. For the first time, six women's soccer teams are playing in a competition that they are hoping to grow to form a national competitive team. Islamic laws restrict women from participating in sports -- and even when they pushed those boundaries, the had to be covered from head to foot. Yet, with determination and perseverance, the women have risked it all to play. If only they can now get support from the country's football association.

This is yet another example of why Africa needs to be saved. Despite all the conflicts; the pandemics; the scourges that are attempting to rout life from the continent, life and human spirit flourishes. For these girls, and others like them, there is hope. We just need to help that hope.


  1. Andy, great story but one small correction. No where in Islamic law are women not permitted to play sports. That is a patriarchal interpretation of Islamic law that is also wrong. I asked when I read your post.

  2. I'll take your correction. The difference between Islamic law and sharia confuses me. Are they one and the same? What is Islamic law? Is it open to interpretation?

    Regardless, I think the popular Islam in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia is the problem.

    Is there such a thing as a matriarchal interpretation of Islam? As far as I'm concern, all religions are patriarchal. I've given up on religion. In fact, I think I'm on a one man mission to eradicate religion!

    (OK, I'll go to sleep now.)

  3. Islamic law and Sharia are supposed to be one in the same. At the time it was created (we are talking 14-1500 years ago), it was considered very enlightened on the status of women. Unfortunately, like everything else, over time, it became very distorted and on top of that, cultural traditions got mixed up with religious law hence the anti-woman stance.

    I don't disagree with you when you say popular Islam because as far as I am concerned, enlightened Islam is not being practiced by the many, it is being practiced by the few. They call us heretics. LOOOOL.

    There is no such thing as matriarchal Islam unfortunately. And you are right, all religions are patriarchal. If you knew me as well as my best friends do, you would be very surprised that I have waded into this stupid cartoon controversy. I am the least religious person I know. In fact, I am borderline atheist. Most of the fanatics who hate mail me (and there are many) tell me that I will burn in hell.

    :) Thanks for your comments on my blog. You are right, when I get going, I really get going. LOL, I try very hard to remember that I was raised to be a lady but my temper gets the better of me. At 32, I don't feel like I have to pull punches. I say it like I see it.


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