A War against Women May 10, 2009Posted by melindalucampbell in Current Events, Uncategorized.
Tags: Taliban, Women's Rights
As I read the news of recent rise in the strength and authority of Taliban forces in Pakistan, realizing what their coming into power means for any community that has fallen under their power, I shudder with a level of anger and feel a dismay far stronger than what I usually experience when learning about any display of man’s inhumanity and violent, aggressive nature. Not only does a takeover by the Taliban in a town, a city, or even an entire state (which has not happened yet but is their clear goal) mean the enforcement of a strict adherence to an extremist interpretation of Islamic law that recommends severe and brutal punishments for actions such as drinking, adultery, theft, and even criticism of Islamic law itself, but it also dictates the complete subjugation of the female half of the population. Under the rule of the Taliban, women are treated as a fearsome, evil, and chaotic force whose power must be repressed in all dimensions at all times. Not only would women have to forego any sort of formal or higher education, their basic rights as human beings would be usurped, and wanton brutality against women would not only be more widespread, it would be sanctioned by “holy” law. This is not news to anyone; the Taliban’s radical use of violent force and warped notion of justice has become familiar to us since the U.S. fought them in the war in Afghanistan. And their cruel tyranny over women is also widely advertised. The question I raise here is why isn’t the fight against the Taliban (or any forces or factions in concert with their aims) seen not just as a battle between political factions, religious groups, or rebels and state soldiers, but rather as a universal struggle against a wholesale attempt to take away the rights and freedoms of women and girls, period. It is not just believers in Democracy, or political self-determination, or Jews, or Christians, or Westerners, or Americans who are the opponents of the Taliban. We should see the Taliban and their supporters as the destroyers of women’s rights and freedoms; hence we should see them as the enemy of humanity. Why isn’t the world acting in concert against them?