Afghanistan - One Step Back
Great strides have been made in Afghanistan. The harsh punishments under the Taliban are gone. The people have voted in elections to decide their elected officials and their constitution. Newspapers, TV stations, and magazines are prevalent. So why say one step back?
Because an editor of a women's rights magazine has been arrested. The charges? Blasphemy for questioning the harsh treatments for adultery and theft.
The editor of a women's rights magazine in Afghanistan has been arrested after publishing articles deemed blasphemous.
Charges were filed against Ali Mohaqiq Nasab after a complaint by a religious advisor to President Hamid Karzai.
Mr Nasab's magazine had questioned the harsh punishments for adultery and theft demanded by the most conservative interpretation of Islamic law. BBC News
The key phrase is the magazine had questioned the harsh punishments for adultery and theft demanded by the most conservative interpretation of Islamic law
The most conservative punishment under Islamic law for adultery is to stone the adulterer. In most cases it is only the woman who is killed. For every thing is stacked against her.
In the adultery case, authorities said Mohammed Aslam, a resident of a remote village in Badakhshan province killed his daughter Amina after she was caught in the house of a man other than her husband.
Officials say 13 people have been arrested in the case, including at least one mullah who allegedly sanctioned the killing of the 22-year-old woman.
A group of 26 Afghan women's organizations staged a protest in a Kabul park Thursday to protest the killings and urge President Hamid Karzai to make sure authorities end "outdated customs and beliefs'' behind decades of violence against women.ABC News
In May 2005 President Hamid Karzai was asked to end the outdated customs and beliefs behind the violence against women and 13 people were arrested in this case. Five months later, an editor is arrested for questioning those beliefs. And therein lays the problem, Islam proclaims to be the religion that is most protective of women's rights but it's belief system is violent toward women and does not give women the full rights that men enjoy.
Until those outdated customs and beliefs are changed, I fear the violence against women in Afghanistan will continue. Every time a moderate voice calls for change, he is struck down for being blasphemous or an apostate. Having democracy will not change those customs and beliefs for they are rooted in the Islamic religion which has yet to be reformed.
Those 26 Afghanistan women's groups need to protest the arrest of Mr. Nasab and women's rights groups in the West should join them. That is a the bright spot, the women's rights groups in Afghanistan. These are courageous women who are not only trying to throw of the residue of the shackles left by the Taliban but are trying to ensure their rights under an Islamic society.