Sunday, 19 November 2017

Australia's Iraqi Community Protest Proposed Law

In Australia, a vigil organised by the Iraqi Democratic Current gathered outside of the Iraqi Embassy, in protest to the proposed changes in Iraqi law, which if passed by the Parliament, would see the age of marriage lowered from 18 to 9 years of age. 

Whilst at the Embassy, a petition and letter from the Iraqi community in Australia, was also given to Embassy staff, which stated the community's objections to the plans of the Parliament, to lower the age of marriage. 

Iraqi Australians are a community whose population is estimated to be as high as 80,000 people. Australia's Iraqi community includes Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Armenians, Mandeans, Turkmens and Jews.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Democracy Vs ISIS in Iraq's legal bid for child marriage

Iraq first introduced its Personal Status Law in 1959, when under the Government of Abdul Karim Qassim (1958-1963), it was made law, that a woman was allowed to marry at the age of 18 years. 

Throughout the rule of Saddam Hussain (1979-2003), the legal age of marriage remained at age 18, despite his other policies, which have been descried as "oppressive" to women. 

Under the rule of the Islamic State (2014-2017), in Iraq reports have emerged of girls as young as 9, being forced to marry Islamic State fighters of various nationalities.

Under the rule of Democracy in Iraq (2003-present) the Parliament is wanting to revise the law, to lower the age of marriage from 18 down to 9. 

If Iraq makes these changes in its law, this will mean that Iraqi Democracy will share the same legal age for marriage, as the terrorist organisation known as the Islamic State.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

The Russian Revolution and the rights of Iraqi women

As people remember 100 years since the Russian Revolution, in Iraq, the October Revolution impacted Naziha Dulaimi, who was born in 1923 and who died in 2007. 

Naziha was a pioneer of the Iraqi feminist movement, was the first president of the Iraqi Women’s League and the first female Government minister in Iraq’s modern history, along with the being the first female cabinet member in the Arab world. 

In 1948, she became a member of the Iraqi Communist Party and in 1959 was central to Iraq gaining the Personal Status Law, which was declared in the wake of Iraq’s 1958 revolution. 

The Personal Status Law, which still remains, restricts child marriages by setting the legal age of marriage at 18 years, bans forced marriages and restricts polygamy. 

It curtails men’s prerogatives in divorce, expands women’s rights in divorce, extends child custody to mothers, and improves inheritance rights for women. 

It remains one of the most liberal laws in the Arab world with respect to women’s rights and by eliminating the differential treatment of Sunnis and Shiites under the law, it does not differentiate between all religious communities and sustains coexistence. 

During her government career, Dulaimi was also instrumental in turning vast slums in eastern Baghdad into housing projects and after the Baathist Military Coup in 1963, Naziha was the first Iraqi woman to address Britain’s Members of Parliament.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Proposed changes in Iraqi law sparks global outrage

Across Iraq and around the world, protests and images on social media are appearing, in opposition to the Iraqi Parliaments plan to introduce changes in the law, which would make it legal for adult males to marry 9 year old females. 

18 is the official marriage age and as campaigners have stated, at 9 years old, “a child hasn’t lived her childhood, and she won’t get a chance to live her youth, because the law will impose upon her a life she knows nothing about.” 

If such changes are made by the Parliament of Iraq, it will mean that under the law, Paedophilia will be legalised and will allow an adult or older adolescent, to carry out their sexual attractions on prepubescent children. 

Children affected by rape, can often suffer from depression, anxiety and the fear of being alone. They can withdraw from friends and family, have trouble sleeping and are often unable to concentrate in school, or participate in everyday activities. 

The experience of minors being raped, can also lead to suicidal behaviour as early as adolescence, self harming and often leaves people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in later life. There is more information on child sexual abuse, over on the website of the NSPCC

This information provides statistics on cases across the UK and can help strengthen the political argument for child welfare in our world.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The tipping point in the scales of justice?

At the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1962, his defence for involvement in the Holocaust, was “just following the orders”, laid down by Adolf Hitler, the NAZI Party and their plan for the Final Solution. 

In 2017, Britain has echoed the words of Eichmann, to say that British citizens who joined the ranks of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, will not be prosecuted because their actions were "simply naive”. 

Max Hill QC, who is the Government’s reviewer of terror legislation has stated to The Telegraph, “we (the UK) should be looking at reintegration” of British IS fighters and confirmed “not a huge proportion of returnees had been prosecuted" because it was “often hard to prove someone had committed a crime in a war zone.” 

Whilst Britain feels unable to prove British ISIS members “had committed a crime in a war zone”, the contradiction here, is how Britain spent £60m on the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), to investigate allegations of crimes against Iraqi civilians by UK armed forces in Iraq, “a war zone”, during the period of 2003 to July 2009. 

As a point of clarity, IHAT was initially set up in 2010 to investigate allegations from across Iraq and it was officially closed in 2017. Mosul was invaded by ISIL in 2014 and liberated in 2017. Around 850 Britons are thought to have travelled to Syria since 2011, which borders directly with neighbouring Iraq. 

Around 120 are believed dead fighting for groups including Islamic State and around half those remaining are thought to have already returned back to the UK.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Britain’s AMAR gives Iraqi children a bright future

The AMAR International Charitable Foundation’s wonderful new school opened its gates, to the first intake of boys and girls this week. Ten per cent of the schools pupils are orphans and each child will receive a superb education, to give them the best start in life. 

AMAR is also aiming to increase the number of pupils, who have lost their parents, in the coming years. Please help AMAR further their work in Iraq, by making an affordable donation:

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Book Club: Gentlehands by M.E.Kerr

Sixteen-year-old Buddy Boyle makes a shattering discovery about his family in this powerful and poignant novel by award-winning author M. E. Kerr . 

Buddy Boyle lives with his parents and younger brother in a small house on a half-acre of land in undesirable Seaville, New York. 

Skye Pennington spends her summers on the opposite end of town on five acres with a view of the ocean. Buddy’s dad is a police sergeant; Skye’s is the head of a multi-million-dollar industry. But none of that stops Buddy and Skye from falling in love. 

To impress her, Buddy takes Skye to visit his grandfather in Montauk. Frank Trenker is Buddy’s mother’s father, a man she never talks about. Just as Buddy feels he’s getting to know his estranged grandfather, reporter Nicholas De Lucca shows up. 

For three years, he’s been searching for a notorious Nazi war criminal known as Gentlehands. When De Lucca uncovers a shocking connection to Buddy’s grandfather, Buddy refuses to believe the accusations. 

One of M. E. Kerr’s very best novels, Gentlehands tells a spellbinding story of love, loyalty, and the family you thought you knew.

Book Club: Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Pax was only a cub when his family was killed and he was rescued by ‘his boy’, Peter. Now the country is at war and when his father enlists, Peter has no choice but to move in with his grandfather. 

Far worse than leaving home is the fact that he has to leave Pax behind. But before Peter spends even one night under his grandfather’s roof he sneaks out into the night, determined to find his beloved friend. 

This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their journeys back to each other as war rampages throughout the country. 

A profound and moving story with stunning illustrations by award-winning illustrator, Jon Klassen, Pax is destined to become a classic in the vein of Charlotte’s Web and Watership Down.

American author Sara Pennypacker has written over twenty children’s books including four books in the continuing series about Jeff Brown’s character Flat Stanley.