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Archive for April, 2009

Taliban stance…

Since then there have been persistent reports that the Taleban is worried that its credibility is being damaged, not just by the anarchy and violence the war has unleashed but also by charges of criminal behaviour. “There is a very big increase in the number of criminals in the Taleban in Helmand,” Mullah Mansoor said. “When someone grows poppy and the Government tries to stop him he says ‘I am a Taleb, you can’t touch me’. When he is a robber he says ‘I am a Taleb, you can’t touch me’; when he kills someone he says ‘I am a Taleb, you can’t touch me’.” It is a charge that undermines the Taleban’s strongest suit: its reputation for bringing security and impartial, if brutal, justice. (Mullah Mansoor cited in The Times newspaper)

Basically criminals are claiming to be a member of the Taliban faction to scare off authorities who will charge them! I’m not surprised! I really am not!

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The new law regulates marriage, divorce, and inheritance for the country’s Shia population. It includes provisions that require a woman to ask permission to leave the house except on urgent business, a duty to “make herself up” or “dress up” for her husband when demanded, and a duty not to refuse sex when her husband wants it. (Human Rights Commission)

Okay my title may be a little misleading by saying that the new law is imposed on Afghan women in general but it’s not. Yesterday, there was a big demonstration outside Kateb University in Karte Seh opposite Lycee Habibia. Both parties were present, those for the new law and those against the new law. Initially, Karzai had signed it and then after worldwide outrage and a personal phone call from Gordon Brown, Karzai claimed that the law is ‘under review’. Hmmm…

Anyways, all female MPs (except for one!) voted for this law to be passed. One thing I have learned about the Shi’ites (I hate distinguishing between Sunni and Shi’ites) is that they are very united. The Shi’ite cleric, Ayatollah Mohseni asked Karzai to pass this law, he also told Karzai that it will win him the Shi’ite votes. And so Karzai considered it, and the Shi’ites support this. Even the Shi’ite women want this law to be passed!

I do think the media has blown it out of proportion – for example, women cannot leave the hosue without the permission of her husband. I’m a Muslim woman, I am a WESTERN- Afghan Muslim woman and I let my husband know where I go at times and so does he. We tell each other where we are. If I don’t want him to go somewhere, I tell him and he doesn’t. Same applies to me. BUT… this does not mean that I ask ‘permission’ or that he asks ‘permission’. It’s a mutual understanding between a married couple! However, I don’t agree that the law should be passed for women only. No fair! But if that’s what the Shi’ite women want, then so be it. Different things work for different people – the ‘western way’ where the women leaves teh house whenever she pleases may not always be the ‘right way’. What is the ‘right way’? It’s definition varies from people to people and group to group. These women know what they’re in for and they’ve accepted it! We in our comfortable lives in the west are clueless (to some extent) about the Afghan way of life- these women understand their life and maybe figure this is what they want. Controversial stuff, I still haven’t developed a stance.

On another note, I’m not very happy with this law. It distinguishes the Sunni and the Shi’ite sects. The last thing we need is sectarian division! Afghanistan has had more than it’s fair share of violence.

 

More to come…

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So I bet you’ve watched three bearded, turbaned men beating the crap out of a young girl in public, on the news. And you think it’s Islam, right? WRONG!!!!!

On Friday, the Pakistani government reached a truce in the lawless region of Swat in Pakistan (bordering Afghanistan – that’s where all the Taliban are and the US should be focusing!) So they befriended the Taliban (surprise, surprise)

The government has reached a truce with SHARIAH LAW… why does it have to be the ignorant Taliban (half of whom are illiterate) to be put in power? Why not get a bunch of educated Muslim scholars who really know what they’re talking about? Most of the Taliban can’t even write their own name! It’s all dirty politics, Pakistan not wanting Afghanistan to be at peace because they fear that Afghanistan will then claim back their rightful land which Pakistan has taken. All the way to the Durand Line.

So, a bunch of excited, uneducated crooks are put in power to screw up as much as it can.

In regards to this girl being beaten, I don’t think there’s any justification. They’ve seen her walk in the markets with some guy! The Prophet’s wife would be seen in public talking to men, there is no Shariah law prohibiting that and neither does it provide a set of punishment for it. CONDEMNED!!!

Villagers have said that the girl refused the marriage proposal from one of the leading  Taliban elders in the village and this is a form of vengeance for the rejection of his proposal (trust me, they alllll find out what happens in the village!!!) 

So, what’s in it for the rejected Taliban dude? Basically, he has defamed this girl, tarnished her reputation, accusing her of sleeping with someone outside marriage (taboo!!!) and so no one wants to marry this girl now because she has a bad name. He has shown his ‘power’ and other marriage proposals he sends out will not be refused because the girls family will fear bad name.

She was clearly talking about the proposal when she screams while being beaten:  “I am repenting, my father is repenting what I have done, my grandmother is repenting what I have done…”

So this girl that’s been beaten now has a bad name, no one wants to marry her. She’ll most likely be married to the monster who proposed to her initially or she will remain a celibate for the rest of her life.

Let’s say she HAD committed adultery/fornication. The death penalty for adultery and the lashes for fornication cannot be carried out unless there are FOUR witnesses who have personally SEEN it happen. And not only sharing a bed, but the actual sexual intercourse. When the couple have been accused, the witnesses will then give a statement in court  under oath. It’s highly unlikely that four people are present in such an intimate occasion.

This is not Islam! It’s a manipulation of the religion to satisfy their own needs. If the Taliban were so concerned about being good followers of the religion, they’d bathe (as Islam percieves cleanliness half of faith!) they’d educate themselves – not only memorise the Quran by heart and not have a clue of it’s essence, but to really educate oneself.

Unfortunately, this black image of Islam is for a long time to stay. Thanks to the Taliban and the media!

Taliban beat young girl (video).

Read BBC’s version here – somewhat different to my post.

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Learning Pashto

Frustrating! The syntax is completely muddled up – they don’t say ‘I am going to the shop’ they say ‘shop, I go’. Frustrating or what? I’m still trying though.

Been so busy lately, with guests! I’ve only returned for a couple of weeks now but it feels like months! Hmmmm…..

Kabul is still cold and rainy! I’m still whining and complaining. About the weather, about the cultural screw ups, about the mud on my clothes, about almost everything! Nothing I don’t complain about! Sheeeeeesh, my poor husband! If there’s one thing that will make us leave Afghanistan, it will be to stop my whining and complaining – not the fact that we fear for our lives and safety.

( ” , )

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This lady I know…

There’s this lady I know, she’s been through so much.

She’s been to hell many times and back, yet her flame of courage has not died down.

Glowing bright and strong in the blackest of nights, she lives on. 

She has strengths that amaze men.

She smiles when she wants to scream. 

She sings when she wants to cry. 

She goes without so her family can have.

She loves unconditionally.

If there is one flaw in this woman, it’s that she doesn’t know her worth.

This lady I know has shown me the power of woman.

This lady I know is my mother.

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