The AP reports:
Gunmen on a motorbike Monday killed an Afghan women’s rights activist who ran an underground school for girls during the Taliban’s rule — the latest victim of increasingly brazen militants targeting government officials and schools.
Safia Ama Jan, a provincial director for
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs, was slain outside her home in the southern city of Kandahar as she was on her way to work, said Tawfiq ul-Ulhakim Parant, senior adviser to the women’s ministry in Kabul….
Mullah Sadullah, a regional Taliban commander, claimed responsibility for the killing in a telephone call to The Associated Press.
But this was not merely an attack on a government official, it was an attack on women for daring to try and achieve independence and dignity on their own and not live under the thumb of a barbaric legal system that oppressed them:
The school attacks appear motivated partly by Taliban opposition to education for girls — claiming it is against Islam — but also as a strategy to undermine the already feeble reach of Karzai’s U.S.-backed government. The government has tried, with mixed success, to promote women’s rights enshrined under Afghanistan’s post-Taliban constitution…
Ama Jan, who was said to be in her 60s, ran vocational schools for women. Her son, Naqibullah, said she taught girls at an underground school she ran out of their home during the Taliban’s ultraconservative rule from 1996-2001.
Naqibullah, who goes by only one name, said his mother had not received any threats on her life, as far as he knew, but that he and his father tried to get her to quit her work because of the deteriorating security situation.
“She said, ‘It’s my country, I won’t quit my job. I want to do this work for our women, for our country. I want women to be able to work just like men,'” Naqibullah recalled.
One of Ama Jan’s most successful projects was running schools for women, her secretary Abdullah Khan said. In Kandahar alone, Ama Jan had opened six schools where almost 1,000 women learned how to bake and sell their goods at market. She also taught women how to use computers.
All of this is anathema to Islamic radicalism. This is what we’re fighting against and that should always be kept in mind. That’s why I don’t buy the arguments that say if we would just stop supporting Israel, the terrorists would stop, or if we would just pull our troops out of the Middle East, the terrorists will stop. This pathology goes far deeper than merely reactions to American foreign policy. This is a deeply inhuman ideology that seeks the imposition of everything I despise – theocratic rule, the brutal suppression of women and gays, the destruction of liberty in every possible way. It is the most reactionary ideology in the world today and it is an enormous threat not only to this country and to the West but also to the hundreds of millions of decent and reasonable Muslims around the world.
Want more evidence of this? How about the Syrian director who made a movie arguing that terrorism is against Islamic values. He’s now living under a death threat from those who disagree with him. As I said before, this is not a battle of civilizations, it’s a battle for civilization. A civilized society allows disagreements to be expressed and debated; a barbaric society is one that murders those who disagree with Revealed Truth. And these people are firmly on the side of barbarism.