The Burqa Babes are surprisingly, refreshingly brash. They are not ashamed of what they have done. They are also funny; they see the comic dimension in their essentially Kafkaesque situations. They are clowns, ironic, as self-deprecating as they are aggressive. They make us laugh. They are ethnically and racially gorgeous in their diversity. They are from every tribe, every region, and they bear the genetic legacy of every conquering army. The women are hard on each other. Just as I’ve discussed in my book Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, women internalize the same sexist beliefs that men do and are highly judgmental of other women, often without compassion.
Iranian filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian (kudos to you dear lady!) miraculously managed to get a camera and a crew inside the prison and inside some of the legal hearings. What crimes have the women committed? Apparently half the prison population have dared to fall in love, or are suspected of having done so, or they have dared to have sex before marriage, have run away from home, or rejected an arranged marriage. These are crimes in Afghanistan. (The other half of the prison population are thieves, smugglers, or murderers). Continue reading →
Madrassah pupils in Mauritania. Image via Wikipedia
Afghan parents who have sent their sons to schools in Pakistan say they\’re becoming increasing alarmed about the type of education their children are receiving.
Rather than serve as centers of learning, many fear that these schools and madrassas are designed primarily to turn out a never-ending supply of suicide bombers.
One father in Kapisa province, who asked that his name not be used because he was concerned about security, described the dramatic change his 18-year-old son had undergone after one year at a school in Pakistan. Continue reading →
Back to the future… in this case a very realistic film:
The resurgence of Maulvi Faqir Mohammed — also one of the Pakistani Taliban’s top commanders — illustrates the resilience of militants fighting to topple the U.S.-allied Pakistani government and the growing problem of sanctuaries in eastern Afghanistan that allow fighters to elude the army’s grasp.
“We will return and enforce the golden system of Islam,” Mohammed said in a recent radio broadcast from his new base in Afghanistan. “All of those who have turned their backs on us — like we are gone for good — should seek forgiveness from Allah.”
Militants and their supporters in Pakistan have long used illegal FM radio stations to spread their message and incite violence against the government. The tactic is hard to counter because the equipment needed is cheap and easily transportable.
A video released in recent weeks, and made available to WORLD this week by two separate Afghan sources, shows four Afghan militants beheading a man believed to be a Christian in Herat Province.The militants, who claim to be Taliban, captured the victim, a man in his 40s named Abdul Latif (according to Obaid Christ, who provided translation of the video), earlier this year from his village outside Enjeel, a town south of Herat.
In the two-minute video, the men, wearing explosive belts (or suicide vests) and kaffiya head scarves to cover their faces, recite verses from the Quran while forcing Latif to the ground and pinning him with their feet. “You who are joined with pagans . . . your sentence [is] to be beheaded,” read one of the militants in Farsi from what looked like a paper decree. “Whoever changes his religion should be executed.” The passages refer to Sura 8:12 (“I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks . . .”) and the hadiths, or sayings of Mohammed.
As Latif fought his captors from the ground, one of the militants thrust a medium-sized blade into the side of his neck. With blood flowing onto the ground the militants shouted “Allahu Akhbar” or “God is great” over and over until Latif was fully beheaded and his head was placed on top of his chest.
Widespread violence, lack of health care and poverty make Afghanistan the worse country in the world for women, this according to a study by the Thomson-Reuters Foundation. However, AsiaNews sources do not share such a negative view.
The study, based on interviews with 213 experts from around the world, indicates that Afghanistan tops a list of five worst nations, ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India and Somalia. The inclusion of India has raised eyebrows given its great economic development; however, widespread female foeticide and the nation’s sex trade explain its low ranking.
The survey was compiled to mark the launch of a website, TrustLawWoman, aimed at providing free legal advice to women’s groups.
High maternal mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a “near total lack of economic rights” render Afghanistan such a threat to its female inhabitants. “Continuing conflict, NATO air strikes and cultural practices combine to make Afghanistan a very dangerous place for women,” Antonella Notari, head of Women Change Makers, said.
President Hamid Karzaisaid Saturday that Afghanistan and the United States are engaged in peace talks with the Taliban, even as suicide bombers stormed a police station near the presidential palace, killing at least two police officers.
The brazen attack in the heart of Kabul’s government district provided a sharp counterpoint to Karzai’s announcement that the U.S. and Afghan government are in talks with the Taliban, the first official confirmation of such discussions. The violence also underscored the difficulty facing any possible negotiated settlement to the decade-long war.
Men dressed in Afghan army uniforms stormed the police station near the presidential palace and opened fire on officers as they tried to enter the building, said Mohammed Honayon, an eyewitness.
What I really don’t understand is why this war was even began to get this result. The people is going to be abandoned in the hands of warlords or Taliban, allowing brutality and suffering to continue. What has really changed? Not even women’s situation and treatment:
Afghanistan was rated the worst because of high mortality rates, limited access to doctors and a “near total lack of economic rights” in addition to the continuing war there, NATO airstrikes and dangerous cultural practices.
PS: Other countries in the survey are Congo (1000 rapes a day), Pakistan (child marriages and honot killings) or India (human trafficking skyrocketing to 90% in the world).
The separate resolutions would symbolically delink al-Qaida and the Taliban and recognize their different agendas. While Al-Qaida is focused on worldwide jihad against the West and establishment of a religious state in the Muslim world, Taliban militants have focused on their own country and have shown little interest in attacking targets abroad.
Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig, who chairs the Security Council committee that currently monitors sanctions against the two groups, told reporters in Kabul earlier this month that separating the sanctions regimes would futher highlight “the significance of the political efforts that are ongoing in Afghanistan.”
Of course, none of us knew this. We have been waiting for the UN to reveal such a huge discovery… 🙄