March 9, 2005
Here's a major reason why democracy as we know it may not be so easy in the Middle East.
It's because of women like Fatima Yaquob.
She's a councilwoman in Baghdad 's new government.
She has organized computer courses for women and traveled to Egypt for a course of constitutional law paid for by the U.S. during the January elections in Iraq, Yaquob supervised a polling place and oversaw the counting of ballots.
But, she is a devout Shiite Muslim, part of a group of powerful female politicians trying to erase laws that provide women with some of the same rights as men.
She favors allowing Iraqi men to have up to four wives and repealing laws that guarantee alimony payments and child custody rights for divorced women.
The religion component is going to be difficult to overcome in reshaping the Middle East....
This Saturday night on my Fox News channel show, "After Hours," we have former CBS News correspondent Tom Fenton, former EPA administrator and Governor Christie Whitman and the director of the new film "Robots."
I hope you'll watch at 11 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.