Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Students of Evil?

OK. This is one of my “Hard Hat” posts. I am really mad about this. It is just so wrong.

It looks to me like the government of Pakistan is not capable of administering the part of Pakistan in the north west, that boarders Afghanistan. The Swat region. I guess the locals must feel that way.

All those Taliban (That apparently means student. Ha! Their little joke maybe?) that used to run Afghanistan are now flitting between Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Pakistani government does not seem to be able to prevent them, or really want to.

I heard on the news the Taliban have got some “moral” objection to Girls being educated. They have been blowing up schools that teach girls. They shoot and behead those who oppose them in the community.

These... creatures... are utterly misogynistic. I guess they must use the word “moral” to mean something utterly different from what I understand by the word. It is horrifying that they are so inadequate and threatened by the mere thought of an educated, intelligent, woman they do this.

I truly think I would be willing to take up arms against their like, if anyone were to try to impose it on me.

This is not something the locals seemed to want, they were sending their daughters to school. They are having this imposed on them. So surely it can't be genuine Islamic teaching, can it?

It would be interesting to get an Islamic take on this. I really can't believe anyone would condone it.

Whatever though, this is a bunch of misogynistic... A# holes! who have decided to impose what they claim is God's will on these people. Not any god a normal person would recognise. More like the opposing team if you ask me.

Jesus said: (Matthew 7)

15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

He went on:

19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It is difficult to put it better, and it is true if you are religious or not, Christian or not.

The fruit of these.. creatures, is ignorance, want, oppression, destruction, evil.

These girls are foreign and far away, but they still deserve better than this. Far away but I should be concerned because if I stay silent when it is done to them and theirs who can I expect to speak up if someone like that wants to do it to me and mine, who would be left to?

I figure this thing does not restrict itself to lines drawn on maps. Afghanistan has got to be better off without such people being in charge of it, I guess the continuing troubles it still has have got to be down to them too. I figure the allies should not leave till they are no longer able to do that sort of thing, it would be moral cowardice. Maybe Pakistan should take responsibility to do the same. Anyone who provides them with any support should be persuaded not to.

If anyone treated any ethnic group like the Taliban treat women, no one would be making any 'cultural' excuses for them. No right thinking person can condone, or excuse it. It needs to be eradicated. There is no excuse or justification.

It is just not acceptable, in any context, anywhere, ever.

Editorial comment from JMB: Shocked? This is not the usual type of post which appears on this blog. Just because I do not write about such things here does not mean that I am not in agreement with what Moggs is saying. In fact, if you knew me in real life, you would know that one of the things which incenses me more than anything else is the treatment of Muslim women.

Yes the degree of suppression of their basic human rights varies greatly. This I know full well, both from my reading and from the many Muslim friends I have. But the fact that a basic fundamental right such as education is denied to anyone on the basis of their gender is anathema to me. Knowledge is power, and as such must be denied to women in Afghanistan, to keep them in their rightful "place", according to the Taliban.

For some reason I seem compelled to read many books which highlight the reality of Muslim women, one of which was the Bookseller of Kabul, which I reviewed in the link. This book had me ranting for months and made me quite depressed. Will this treatment ever change, will the rights of all Muslim women ever evolve into basic human rights?

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer, says over and over again in her book, Iran Awakening, that so many of these rights are denied women, not based on the Koran or even Sharia Law, but merely on the interpretation of certain individuals, unfortunately often those in power. But that gives me a slight glimmer of hope. Things can be changed. But how long will it take? Sadly not likely in my lifetime.


Crushed said...

Strong stuff certainly...

It's difficult to know how to comment on it.

I think the best way to comment, is to compare two contrasting examples of traditional Islam I saw in the street- the Hagley Road to be precise.

One was a Muslim man in full garb with his wife in full garb walking the full six feet behind.

The other was a Muslim couple walking hand in hand, laughing and joking with much overt sexual chemistry betwen them. What betrayed their Islamic status? Not him, he was dressed in trainers, a t-shirt, shades. But she had the full hejab, veil and all. Clearly she was a traditional Muslim girl, yet...
And it was heartwarming, it was.

I don't think Islam teaches disrespect to women, I certainly can't find it in my copy of the Koran.

Hardline Christians aren't always very respecting of female equality either.

Sue said...

Ordinary Muslims of course don't think this way. They want their sisters, wives and daughters to be educated.

This is a purely Taliban thing. The women of Afghanistan have suffered greatly at the hands of their menfolk with this sick part of their faith.

They are forced to wear the full veil and they are not allowed to be educated.

It's certain death for many of them. If a woman falls ill for example, she cannot be treated by a man (only her husband can see what's under the veil) but, there are no women Doctors!?!?!?

It's one of the reasons I don't agree with the full veil being worn in the UK. Who is to say that these girls aren't being forced into wearing them?

CherryPie said...

I can recommend the book A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Dr.John said...

This weird group inside Islam is willing to take the world to war in order to keep woman in what they think their place is.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I am not an expert on Islam but I am aware of a movement within the religion that holds to the idea that any knowledge worth knowing has already been given by God in the Koran and the teachings of the muftis. No other knowledge is useful or desired. Clearly this way of thinking is contrary to the pursuit of knowledge practiced in most of the world.

As to the oppression of women, it is a common thing across the world and in different cultures. It will take a long time to eradicate this but we must try.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...


Thanks for the note of editorial solidarity. The business really made me mad. I had to keep pulling myself back from being too... strident.

Crushed, I can see you are maybe trying to be balanced on this one. But I do think you are seeing it from the wrong/a very different perspective from your comments.

I see this as close to being “if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem”.

I am well aware there are misogynistic men all over the planet, in all societies. I am aware they can use religion as a way to get their way, maybe even start their own cults.

Are you excusing the Taliban's behaviour by pointing out “Hard-line Christians aren't always very respecting of female equality either.“? Because it sort of sounds that way, like you are saying, “Well you can't criticise someone who is Moslem who has that attitude because some Christians do too”. Are you listening to yourself?

Maybe it is seeing it from a male perspective distances you, someday having a daughter could maybe change your perspective?

To be honest I don't recall hearing of any hard line Christians blowing up schools, or decapitating people, maybe you can provide a link. They do do some nutty things I grant you, like killing medics.

I don't know if Islam generally teaches disrespect of women or not. Or if it could be something to do with the cultures that have been absorbed by it? Women from those societies do seem prone to oppression.

What part of “It is just not acceptable, in any context, anywhere, ever.” Is difficult to understand.

I don't mean to be mean to you but, really. Fence sitting not allowed.

Sue, I think you are largely right. The fact is that these girls were going to school, being educated, Their parents clearly supported it. The Taliban and their fellow travellers have to suppress that by vicious force.

I had not followed through on thought of the medical side of it, you are absolutely right.

I know there are women who are/have been convinced wearing the veil is a good thing. In the UK there are silly girls who see it as asserting counter western culture. Easy to see it that way if you don't think about it and don't have to, because society will protect you.

On balance I think the veil is a symbol, and more important, a tool of oppression.

Dr John, Lone Grey Squiggle ^_^, I am not an expert, but it does come across as a powerful current within Islam, rather than Islam it's self.

I wonder if it could be in some part an anti “western” reaction, a throwing the baby of equality and decency out with the bathwater of “western society” simply because they are seen as western values, part of an extreme reaction.

Cherry Pie, I have heard of that but not read it. Is it set in Afghanistan?

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Duh! OK Cherry Pie, I followed your helpful link, no need to answer ^_^

jmb said...

Moggs now you know that A thousand Splendid Suns was written by the author of the Kite Runner. Luckily in that book there were almost no women and it is a excellent one. I have not yet read ATSS although I own it.

I do not recommend the Bookseller of Kabul since it would make you even more incensed although you might read my review for the gist of it. Shirin Ebadi's book is strongly recommended by me, as my friends would tell you that I tried to get them all to read it. This woman is truly heroic in my mind but she too no longer lives in Iran, as she left because she had several (3?) daughters.

Just as an aside, women who wear the burka often suffer from Vitamin D deficiency since they get no sun on their skin. Isn't that something else?

Liz said...

As usual it's man's interpretation that is at fault, not the word of God.

Carver said...

This is very upsetting. In terms of hope I was very inspired by Greg Mortenson's work, and book about it. The book is titled "Three Cups of Tea". He was an american climber who repaid the hospitality he got at a low point in his life by going back and building a school for girls in a remote part of Pakistan. He has since become the head of an organization that has built many schools for girls in Pakistan. If either of you haven't read the book I highly recommend it. is a link to a site about the book and his work. I love the subtitle "One man's mission to promote peace . . . one school at a time".

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

A hard-hitting post indeed, but it needs to be said. These men are basically frightened of their women being educated. The women lead terrible lives and are killed for nothing. Have you read Christina Lamb's "Sewing Circles of Herat"?

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB, Carver, Welshcakes, All these undoubtedly good books you are recommending that I figure almost certainly must violate my self imposed general book reading rules. Maybe I'll have to think about breaking them.

Carver, It is upsetting to think of Greg Mortensons good work being destroyed. Sadly it is always so much easier to destroy than to create. Any low life scumbag can destroy. It takes something more to create.

Liz, Amen to that. Though I figure that even the word of God seems to come through the filter of fallible men who wrote it down. Maybe interpreted it. Then copied it lots of times and translated it into other languages and hand copied those lots of times.

welshcakes, Thanks.

jmb said...

More good book recommendations.

Carver I have Three cups of Tea. My daughter gave it to me at Christmas since she really liked it. On the TBR pile as yet.

Welshcakes I have not heard of the book you recommend, which is strange since I seem drawn to books on this topic. Will look out for it.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting on this hot issue.