First Iranian Woman in House of Lords

Monday, October 29, 2007

The first Iranian woman takes up a seat on the House of Lords crossbenches as a non-party political peer in recognition of her work.

Professor Haleh Afshar, who is an advisor to the British government on public policy relating to Muslim women and Islamic law and is the founder and chair of the Muslim Women's Network, was chosen as a 'People's Peer', an appointment for people who will bring distinction and expertise to the House of Lords.

Born in Iran, Afshar has received her PhD from Cambridge University and currently teaches politics and women's studies at the University of York. She is also visiting professor of Islamic law at the International Faculty of Comparative Law, University of Strasbourg.

Professor Afshar is one of the most prolific Muslims in Britain today. She has served on the British Council and the United Nations Association of which she is Honorary President of International Services. She has also been an active defender of the Muslim rights in the UK after the Sep. 11 attacks and a constant critic of the US policies.

In addition to her academic studies, she has written widely as a journalist on Muslim women and the 'War on Terror'.

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