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Thursday night on air . . .

Paul Coletti | 17:52 UK time, Thursday, 26 October 2006

It's Thursday and we're on air discussing the Aussie Sheik's "uncovered meat" quote, India's Domestic Violence Act and the Africa good governance prize.

Australian Sheik’s “meat” comment

Barbara in a muslim suburb of Sydney: “I get respect from the men in my community but the cleric’s comments come from ignorance of Australian culture. He has shown disregard for the indigenous spirituality of this country. He is on a journey where he needs to learn. He’s need to go out into the Australian Bush to learn humility.”

Muhammad, originally from Egypt but now living in Oz: “I feel that he was talking to isolated groups. It’s not rational. I don’t agree with him. The muslim community needs a strong reply.”

Ros is pressing him for what that reply should be and two e-Mails just in

NO, the apology is not enough. The witch-hunt that the Muslim cleric declared to emancipated women is intolerable. I believe that comparing women to "meat" unveils the real way the Islamic cleric and so many of his fellows consider women.

If Pope's apology was enough, so should be this one. At least, both had the courage to speak out loud what they really believe (right or wrong doesn't matter here).
Ali - Stuttgart, Germany

Sigmund is in Melbourne: “It’s a mediaeval way of looking at things.”

Rick: “Even Jesus indicated that many people were dogs. He should have balanced his comments out but there is an element of truth within the comments. I believe that everybody should be dressed to the highest moral standard.”

Comments are flying in:

By saying that women without head scarves are like meat asking to be attacked is admitting that the behavior of its men is as uncontrollable as an animal.
Funny for a group who claims to love all people.
Karen in Holland.

The important Word here is "meat". Covered or uncovered, muslim or not… calling women "Meat" is discusting.
Mike, London.

Rick in Brisbane has been questioned and he’s hitting back: “Mothers instil their priorities in children. Muslims look at western moral decay and they end up rejecting the liberty which they see as the moral decay and use it to ignore the moral depravity of their own extremists.”

Des: “This has got the potential to escalate.”

Some more comments coming in:

What an appalling analogy! Comparing women with meat so easily, while implying that Muslim men are animals without impulse control. Horrifying on many levels.

. . . and another . . .

As I am sickened by the public comments by the cleric discussed on this program today, I am sickened by the remarks of the caller Rick who stated that women bear responsibility for any sexual assaults that they experience merely because of how they are dressed.

Is it to be that women shall always be blamed for crimes committed against them? domestic violence is a crime that is overwhelming perpetrated by abusive, controlling men who should be held accountable despite religious, cultural or personal views.

India’s Domestic Violence Act

Monica in New Delhi has experienced domestic violence: “It’s better late than never.”

Nazes, the BBC’s SE Asia editor knows India better than most, he says that a lot of this crime goes unreported: “The social stigma when women complain is a big pressure.”

We’re taking a break for the news but we’ll be back with Madhu and Gauri from India . .

Madhu says that there was an existing law on the statute: “We have already amongst the most stringent domestic violence laws.”

Some mails just in:

I see that Indian women are more educated these days, there are more girls in school than ever before, only these dynamics will eventually change the abusive culture for better

In India laws are not worth the ink they are written with. Laws are broken even before the ink dries. Education is the only way to improve their living condition.

Gauri: “This is definitely a welcome step. I agree – there was already a law.”

Nazes: “Women don’t want to come out and complain against their husbands. They are not economically empowered.”

Maneet: “There’s a difference between the rural and urban populations.”

More e-Mails on this topic:

The law is welcomed in India, but there are instances when the earlier version has been misused to bring infamy and dishonour to the people. I hope the lawmakers will look into this aspect and the politicians do not get carried away by mere emotions.

Laws coming into family disputes will not change anything. It is the mindset which has to change.

Monica: “The culture is not new. Since ancient times they’ve said women deserve to be beaten. It has to be understood that change does not happen with one law. We have to keep on and on re-evaluating. Education alone is not the key.”

Madhu: “It’s not so much education. In well-educated societies there is still a huge amount of domestic violence.”

Just a reminder that WHYS is coming to the States for the mid-terms. We look forward to seeing you and hearing your opinions. Now on to the world’s biggest (and possibly only) prize for being a good politician.

The Mo Ibrahim prize for Africa’s top head of state

Ros is explaining the nitty-gritty of the rules of the competition . . . but will it work?

Olimide: “It’s a novel idea. I don’t think it will motivate them.”

Billy: “I understand the cynicism – the moral fibre of African leaders is wanting. $5m looks like a walk in the park!”

Philip: “It’s commendable. Will it work? I don’t think so. Maybe for the smaller ones.”

Ros is outlining how this might just tempt a politician to go straight

Philip: “There’s no reason to wait for a prize.”

Dr Akwetey: “It’s too early to say. It’s a new idea. It’s put the spotlight on an important problem . . .“

Ros is asking the Doc who he’d vote for but he’s coming over coy . . .

Texts are flying in to +44 77 86 20 60 80. I particularly like Issa’s “honey” quote:

Issa, a Ghanaian in Algeria.
This money should be given to the struggling farmers and starving families rather than adding sugar to the honey.

"I think it is a welcome development. Another initiative should identify the non-performing leaders and bring them to public ridicule."

Billy: “How much is enough? I like it cos it’s an African idea for an African problem.”

More comments in on the African prize story ...

For many Third world leaders it is not only about money it is also about power + assuring a privileged future for their family and extended family.
Raouf Saad - Canada

Doesn't it show how hopeless the African situation is, that we have to give a $ 5million prize for running a country, a career choice they made?
Mukul Dayton, OH

Philip reckons Tanzania’s leader should get the prize, Johnson in Tanzania agrees . . . so step forward Edward Ngoyayi Lowassa you are currently in pole position!

We’re now speaking to a dinner party in Pretoria . . . Someone from Zimbabwe has broken away from the canapes: “For Zimbabwe it’s a bit too late! Maybe next time.”

More comments:

Five million? This may work in some countries-poor countries - but not those with oil, gold and diamonds. Corruption is a plague devouring Africa.

Felix: “Nigerian leaders are so rich - $5m would not add anything to their account. We should give an award for good leadership. We have so many people who are good leaders but they are not in government.”

Elvis in Nigeria is sticking up for Mr Ibrahim’s prize: “It’s not just the money. There’s the respect and the reputation one could acquire.

More comments:

It’s a good idea MO, but i'd rather he spend it on the poor Africans. Most African leaders make that kind of money in a day thru embezzlement.
Dan in Uganda

It won't change anything. The money won't change the mind set corruption which endemic. Unless law and order applied fairly then no leader should win it. Why waste such a large sum on an individual? Donate the money to the needy.
Emily in Uganda

We want to know which leader you think should win . . . feel free to get in touch: worldhaveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Billy: “Nairobians will greet this prize with a big yawn. I don’t think this will change the current crop of leaders.“

Some more comments:
Education of people could do more but it's a good example. Its true leaders need some litmus test on their performers.

No, i dont support this idea, why doesnt he open schools and hospitals which most Africans people need it.

Haambuli originally from Zambia but now in the Netherlands: “I think some in Zambia deserve this prize. The current president has done much in agriculture.”

Phew . . we covered three continents on tonight’s programme . . all in a day’s work for WHYS. Goodnight and sleep tight!


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