Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles


Among the lawyers and opposition figures rounded up, jailed or placed under house arrest is Asma Jahangir (sometimes spelled Jehangir), Pakistan's best-known feminist and human rights activist. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement calling for the release of Jahangir, currently the UN's special rapporteur for religious freedom , along with the other political detainees. In 1980, Jahangir, with her sister, Hina Jalini , opened Pakistan's first women-owned law firm, which became the center of opposition to the infamous Hudood Ordinance pronounced by the last U.S.-backed Pakistani dictator, Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq , the man who hanged Benazir Bhutto 's father. The Hudood Ordinance was trumpeted as a form of Islamization, but was, in essence, a declared war on women. Jahangir gained national fame defending a young, blind woman who was jailed after having been raped, charged with the crime of zina (extramarital sex). This was a common occurrence in Pakistan at the time, as...


In his essay on today's New York Times op-ed page, scholar François Furstenberg makes a comparison between the "with-us-or-for-them" rhetoric of the Bush administration and the avec-nous-ou-contre-la-révolution parlance of the pro-war faction that emerged from among the winners of the French Revolution. (As we say in Jersey, pardon my French.) The piece caught my eye because j'adore anything about the Enlightenment, even if it is a bit passé these days, what with chaos theory and waterboarding and people talking about inertia as if it's a bad thing. Among the so-last-era relics of the Enlightenment, the U.S. Constitution did warrant a mention or two in last night's Democratic debate. Alas, they came only from the mouth of Dennis Kucinich , the Clown Prince of Peace. (Note to DK: Keep your UFO sightings to yourself. I'm sure Thomas Jefferson saw a thing or two in the sky in his day, but not even in his own, secret self-made version of the Bible did he mention it...


She's tougher than Rudy , more experienced than Obama , done more for poor folks than Edwards , and smarter than everybody. That's the subtext of her responses on Social Security and her vote for the Iran resolution. Biden and Dodd are making sense in taking her on about her Iran vote, but her tone and body language trump their pleas. My colleague, Dana, is right about Obama; the offensive stance does not become him. And though it may be sexist of me to notice, Hillary 's somber suit -- a black pantsuit with brown accessories (including a pocket square) -- look like fightin' clothes to me. --Adele M. Stan


In David D. Kirkpatrick 's thoughtful piece in the most recent New York Times Magazine , he separates the threads of a tangled skein to give a glimpse of what's going on among the bewildered who populate the religious right. Younger evangelicals, he explains, care at least as much about the environment and the poor as they do about ending abortion and stopping gay marriage. Well, actually, they seem to be less concerned about the threat of liberated women and gay people than they are about the planet and its less fortunate denizens. Kirkpatrick's piece offers some fascinating and incisive glimpses of the personalities involved in this apparent sea change. His interview of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee , a favorite of religious right rank-and-file but not of movement leaders, is particularly pointed. Huckabee implies it's his anti-poverty agenda that unnerves the movement's top men: “Some of [the movement’s leaders] have spent too long in Washington. . . . I think they...


Get used to that phrase. If any one theme emerged from yesterday's speech Adm. Mike Mullen , the new chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, it was one of protracted engagements around the globe, what Mullen called "a generational conflict," one that would endure throughout the careers of the youngest of today's career military personnel. In an address sponsored by the Center for a New American Security , Mullen used the term "the Long War" much as military and foreign-policy types of an earlier time used the phrase "the Cold War." The Long War has a poetic ring to it, something sad and vaguely musical -- more elegant that Rummy 's "long slog" and more poignant than the Global War on Terror, known to military folk as GWOT. The one hint of optimism I gleaned from Mullen's remarks was his contention that the jihadists will be defeated only when their ideas no longer serve adequately as motivators to their recruits -- in other words, until conditions on the ground make a violent ideology...