'This Week' Transcript: Sen. John McCain


Because what happens -- what can happen is that suddenly it's presented that the women's rights are an issue of foreign influence. And once that happens, you know, this nationalistic Islamic fervor starts to take place and the whole issue gets submerged. So it's really, really important fur us to help them in every way we can with the soft power aspect. AMANPOUR: And Nawal, you have been doing this for decades. You have seen in your region how -- just even in Egypt, let's talk about the Muslim Brotherhood. Do you think the Muslim Brotherhood it is an enemy of women in Egypt? And an enemy of real democracy?

EL SAADAWI: We have to look at this problem of religious fundamentalism it's a universal problem.

AMANPOUR: But particularly in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, do you think that they will allow...


AMANPOUR: Women to have full participation?

EL SAADAWI: I'm not afraid. They ask me, are you afraid of Muslim brothers? No. I am afraid of local dictators, you know, the one that will come after Mubarak and global dictators -- disunity.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you to follow that.

EL SAADAWI: I didn't finish my comment. Because we are always concentrating on local dictators who oppress women. We are oppressed by both -- external powers. I am afraid of external powers, that's the point -- it's related to my immigration (ph).

AMANPOUR: Right, but that's kind of what I was talking about. The external idea of oppression and also extremism, fundamentalism and indeed terrorism.

SALBI: Well, it's interesting because religious groups in the Middle East have figured out that using women and utilizing women to promote their issues is a good thing. In Iraq, for example, since 2003 it was religious groups, not secular groups, that incorporated women in their elections and in their parties.

In a way we need to learn, the secular groups need to learn from the religious groups, by really giving the platform for women and promoting women in leadership. We should not take the women's rights for granted issue, because the other side is using it to advance their own cause.

The issue is about family laws at the end of the day. The issue is about mobility and access to resources for women. And usually, that law is traded off. We get free trade, you get family law with religious groups. This time, this is a secular revolution, this is not a religious one. It is actually telling dictators as well as fundamentalists the same thing, we are not going to tolerate this anymore.

So this is the -- it's a really critical point in here of do not bargain women away. Do not bargain them in Afghanistan, do not bargain them in Egypt. And that is really the point.

AMANPOUR: And briefly, you are part of the million signatures campaign. You started that. Where does the situation for women and indeed the whole sort of protest movement, does that have any legs in Iran?

EL SAADAWI: You mean, inside the protesters and in the region? Well, I think...

AMANPOUR: Everybody wants to see this uprising come to Iran. Do you think there is any chance?

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