Nov 29, 2006

"We Are Just Watching Things Get Worse"

This excerpt from an article in The Guardian (11/28/06,,1958707,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=12) suggests once again the terrible truth about how Islam has been comandeered. The journalist is talking to a 28-year-old woman member of the Afghan parliament.....

Joya talks like this to me, furiously, for more than an hour, almost weeping as she catalogues the crimes against women that still keep them in a state of fear: from Safia Ama Jan, the leading women's rights campaigner assassinated in Kandahar earlier this year, to Nadia Anjuman, a poet murdered in Herat last year; from Amina, a married woman who was stoned to death in Badakhshan in 2005, to Sanobar, an 11-year-old girl who was raped and exchanged for a dog in a reported dispute among warlords in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan last month.

She is desperate for people to take account of the silent women whose voices we never hear. "Afghan women are killing themselves now," she says, "there is no liberation for them." This is not just rhetoric: the Afghan Human Rights Commission recently began to document the numbers of Afghan women who are burning themselves to death because they cannot escape abuse in their families.....

It is at once an argument for the West to involve itself further and to abandon the whole mess. What's particularly disheartening is that this is not the unique case of Afghanistan. Not merely the curse of the Taliban or a few bad apple imams in Teheran. Although women are, for the most part, infinitely better treated in Morocco, even there the situation is precarious and under the surface males regard women in much the same way. Even sophisticated, western educated males. I often heard them in my classroom. One told me once that women were 'property' and should have no rights. "It's like asking sheep what they would like to eat. Why would you do such a thing? It would be cruel."

It is not the religion, of course, but the way it's been carried through the centuries — in the minds of men, for the benefit of men. Or that is the politically correct view. Certainly, there is no defending the Pope's comments a few months ago about the violent nature of Islam. Whether true or not, his view only heats the burner. But these stories do wring out the heart. And perhaps you think, well yes this is their karma and let them to it and when they're finished we'll see them again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You didn't tell me if you got my answer. I have a comment for you. When you say that it's their karma ( for opressed women)you sound like a religious person that tells the poor that if he/she suffers that's only because of his/her faith. Or you want to say that the only solution/choice for these women is to be "saved" by westerners?
And yet, it's the religion. A religion exists only through practice. Islam today is defined by what some people' are doing. You would laugh at that, but I think women are oppressed everywhere in the world. The difference is that Arab/muslim women know that they're in chains and western women don't which is absurd. I'll not talk about men because I realise day after day that they're fragile creatures. The ones in the Atlas mountains understood it, they've left earth for women.