Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Afghani Women’s Rights Activist Murdered

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.

Comments

  1. #1 kehrsam
    September 27, 2006

    It’s Darwin’s fault.

  2. #2 Countlurkula
    September 27, 2006

    It’s difficult to respond to the last two paragraphs. You seem to be conflating the military war with a cultural struggle being waged by activists and artists and women. Are they really the same thing? (Indeed, do they have anything at all to do with each other?) And although I doubt that many people would say that simply withdrawing our military presence from the Middle East would solve all its problems, we’ve just heard tell of a government intelligence report stating that the Iraq war has made us “less safe” not more…

  3. #3 Susan Brassfield Cogan
    September 27, 2006

    I have been assured by several Muslims over the years that the Koran stresses that women should be educated. In fact I was told that the Koran tells you that if you have a son and a daughter and can only afford to education one of them you educate the girl because she will be caring for your grandchildren.

    So I wonder who is lying.

  4. #4 Prup aka Jim Benton
    September 27, 2006

    Susan:
    The odds are nobody is ‘lying.’ The Qur’an is one of the more complex books. It is exceptionally self-contradictory in itself, and the ‘doctrine of abrogation’ which many Muslims accept, holds that when it says one thing at one place and another at another, take the later statement, that god can ‘change his mind.’ Furthermore, the Qur’an properly is the Arabic version — other language versions are not referred to as translations but as the ‘meaning of the Qur’an’ or the ‘message of the Qur’an.’ And many, maybe most Muslims, particularly in a place like Afghanistan, cannot speak or understand Arabic — though they may be able to recite the text perfectly, they don’t know the meaning — and rather than using a translation, they are dependent on what a particular Imam — who ALSO may not know Arabic, says it say. Finally, Arabic is an immensly ambiguous language. In my alternate blog “100 Camels Times X” (both blogs currently in ‘reverse hibernation’ — meaning I may reawaken them in November) I am going through the Qur’an, sura by sura — starting at the rear — and am using five different translations since I no more speak Arabic than i do any foreign language — a regreattable but unchangeable weakness. These five translations (Shakir, Yussuf Ali, Palmer, Pickthal and Asad) are all by intelligent. honest, and — except for Palmer, a scholar rather than a Muslim — devout men, and they contradict each other constantly.

    Given all of this, people who blithely say that “Islam holds” are not necessarily lying, but they may merely be looking at a ‘different part of the elephant’ even if they are sighted.

    Count:
    You are the one who is conflating two different things, a problem and a proposed solution. What Ed is saying — and which i agree with — is that there are inherent and dangerous problems in at least part of Islam — whenther these are inherent in the whole structure of Islam is the reason why i started my Qur’anic exploration, to see if there is enough ‘worth saving’ in a proposed Islamic reformation.
    The fact that the way GWB and the neo-cons are addressing this problem is wrong, dangerous to the other countries, and to our own Constitution, and immensely counter-productive is irrelevant to the problem that, we would maintain, exists.
    A simple comparison. Homeopathy is pure quackery. It doesn’t work, it hurts the patient at the least by costing him money he or she may not be able to afford, and in the case of a real problem it makes it worse by keeping the patient from getting treatment that would work. But the disease a homeopathist claims to be treating may be real even if the solution isn’t.

    The problems in Islam are real. GWB is using homeopathy.

  5. #5 Ed Brayton
    September 27, 2006

    countlurkula wrote:

    It’s difficult to respond to the last two paragraphs. You seem to be conflating the military war with a cultural struggle being waged by activists and artists and women. Are they really the same thing? (Indeed, do they have anything at all to do with each other?) And although I doubt that many people would say that simply withdrawing our military presence from the Middle East would solve all its problems, we’ve just heard tell of a government intelligence report stating that the Iraq war has made us “less safe” not more…

    When I say the battle or war against Islamic radicalism, I’m not just talking about the military war (and I’m not talking about the war in Iraq at all). Some of our strategy will inevitably involve the military, but it also involves diplomatic efforts, law enforcement, education, and reaching out to moderate Muslims to strengthen their hand and help protect them against the radicals as well.

  6. #6 Countlurkula
    September 27, 2006

    Okay, that’s clearer, particularly the meaning of “that’s what we’re fighting against.”

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