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The South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC) is deeply saddened by the killing of 88 people at a Sufi shrine in Sehwan, Pakistan on February 16th.  This atrocity comes just a couple of weeks after the killing of 6 people at a Quebec mosque.  SAWCC respects the principle of religious freedom. The Sehwan shrine is a place where religious minorities are welcomed and where one of the hereditary tomb guardians is a Hindu, 70 years after Partition (of the Indian sub-continent into India and Pakistan, often seen as based on religion).

Le Centre communautaire des femmes sud-asiatiques (CCFSA) est profondément attristé par le meurtre de 88 personnes à un sanctuaire soufi à Sehwan, au Pakistan, le 16 février dernier. Cette atrocité survient quelques semaines après le meurtre de six personnes à une mosquée québécoise. Le CCFSA respecte le principe de la liberté religieuse. Le sanctuaire de Sehwan est un lieu où les minorités religieuses sont accueillies et où l’un des gardiens de la tombe héréditaire est un hindou, 70 ans après la Partition (du sous-continent indien en l’Inde et le Pakistan, considéré souvent comme étant basé sur la religion).


In defence of Dr. Homa HOODFAR

In defence of Dr. Homa HOODFAR

At our Annual General Meeting on 11th June 2016, we, the members of Montreal’s South Asian Women’s Community Centre unanimously expressed  our deep concern over the arrest and incarceration of Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a respected academic and scholar and Professor Emeritus at Concordia University in Montreal. Dr. Hoodfar has been arrested and detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Evin prison in Tehran since June 6, 2016.

It is believed that her detention by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is a result of a fundamental misinterpretation of her ethnographic research on women in Iran. She has published extensively on diverse topics including poverty, development, women’s labor force and political participation, family law, and refugees in many different countries in the Middle East, Canada, and South Asia. She is known for highlighting Muslim women’s ability to realize their rights within an Islamic framework, and for her critique of essentializing Western stereotypes about veiling.

Dr. Hoodfar’s lawyer has not been granted access to her and she has been denied visits from her family as well as denied medication for a neurological condition. This has raised further concerns for her health and safety.

As a women’s organization dedicated to women’s empowerment and equal rights we call upon the Canadian government to do everything in its power to ensure her immediate and unconditional release and safe return to Canada. We also call upon all those who work with us and support us to lend their voices to the call for her release and safety.

Montreal

12 June 2016