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  • Tony and Cherie Blair in India - wife more interesting than the husband

    by Al-Hack
    9th September, 2005 at 2:59 pm    

    The Prime Minister has just finished a short summit with China and India to shore up trade relations with both countries. But it doesn’t look like he’s come back with much. India announced a $2.2bn order for Airbus planes, which was in the planning anyway. They both made some noises about a joint fight on terrorism and err, that’s about it. Nothing major with China either - the ‘bra wars’ had been resolved just as he got there.

    The BBC has some general analysis here.

    Cherie Blair was far more interesting, admitting she had harboured a fantasy of “coming to India and falling in love with an Indian prince”. Haha! The boys there must be puffing their chests. She then said it how it was by criticising the status of women in India and in some Muslim societies.

    Mrs Blair spoke of how as a Christian she was fascinated by Islam and thought there was much good about it. But after she was asked about the London bombings she said: ‘The religion has a deep philosophical base but there are misinterpretations by some groups in some parts of the world about women that I have a problem with.’

    Mrs Blair then suggested that Islamic scholars should review or re-examine Muslim teaching on the place of women. But at that point she appeared consciously to check herself.

    Several hours later, however, Mrs Blair again criticised discrimination against women, this time referring specifically to India, which has the world’s second-largest Muslim population. She said that traditional patriarchal structures did not allow equality between men and women to be a priority. ‘Discrimination stems from socio-cultural norms and hence [the] struggle for equality becomes a challenge.’

    Cue some liberals and MCB/Mpac with the headline ‘Cherie Blair declares war on Islam’, but we think the woman is talking sense! The Times has the story.

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    Filed in: South Asia

    5 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. inders — on 9th September, 2005 at 5:11 pm  

      I feel a bit sorry for Cherie sometimes, she’s going to get flak from everyone. The newspapers hate her, and asian community leaders (all seem to be men, notice that?) won’t like these comments.

      In a country where two thirds of women are ilieterate and theres wide spread child marriage, India should expect this stick and perhaps act upon her advice.

      I notice how she kept very quiet in China about human rights though, it’d take a brave person indeed to start speaking their mind while sitting next to the Chinese premier.

    2. inders — on 9th September, 2005 at 5:12 pm  


      How embarrasing.

    3. rizwand — on 9th September, 2005 at 5:53 pm  

      A time and a place?

      I agree that Cherie Blair is talking sense. However, and this is true on both a personal and geopolitical level, nobody likes it when other people point out their flaws, especially in public, and especially when they are there to help build and shore up relations.

      I know some things just need to be said, and that she didn’t cross the line … its just that its a very easy thing to get wrong.

    4. Kulvinder — on 9th September, 2005 at 11:04 pm  

      I agree with the patriarchal bit, although it would be idiotic to ignore that india has had a female prime minister.

    5. Sunny — on 9th September, 2005 at 11:15 pm  

      So has Pakistan. Bangladesh still does.

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