KABUL – In any other country, the sight of a group of women holding colorful placards, marching and protesting is commonplace.
But not in Afghanistan.
In fact, a women’s protest on the streets of Kabul on Thursday was the first of its kind.
On a hot, muggy day, about 30 women of all ages mustered up the courage to speak up against the age-old indignity of sexual harassment by men.
With banners that read "This street also belongs to me" and "We won't stand insults anymore,” they marched with a confident stride from Kabul University to the Afghan Human Rights Institute.
Women in Afghanistan face intimidation and sexual assault on a daily basis. In the most extreme cases, schoolgirls have been terrorized by men throwing acid at them as they walked to school.
The United Nations Population Fund in Afghanistan (UNFPA) says that about 31 percent of Afghan women suffer physical violence and another 30 percent suffer from psychological trauma.
What the article fails to disclose is the precise reason as to why women in Afghanistan are in such dire straits to begin with. Why are women in Afghanistan abused and illiterate? Why do they constantly face intimidation, thuggery, and sexual assault? Why are the men 'red-faced with anger' when they see even a small group of women involved in a public demonstration? Why does the rally require the presence of armed guards (as seen in the article's photos) in order to proceed? Why are the lives of these women, to borrow a piece of prose, so nasty, brutish and short? If you're wondering why, this mainstream media piece is typically mum in regards to the answer. The word 'Islam' is in fact never mentioned by Mr. Rich in his article, not once.
Still, today in Afghanistan, a staggering 87 percent of Afghan women are illiterate and the average life expectancy for women is just 44 years, according to the CIA World Factbook.
And this is 2011. It has been nearly ten years since the United States began its massive intervention in that land, cursed as it is by a perniciously pious strain of Islam to backwardness, brutality, and poverty. The US-backed and funded Afghan government and constitution enshrine Sharia as the central source of legislation, a source that forever deems women as the inferior and chattel of men. That couldn't possibly have anything to do with the ongoing and savage oppression of women in Afghanistan, could it?
Despite the expenditure of many billions of dollars, and the lives of thousands of brave American soldiers, Islam still oppresses the women of Afghanistan in ways that most Americans cannot acknowledge or comprehend. The mainstream media isn't helping. Articles like this 'World Blog' piece are written by journalists who plainly fail to understand, or refuse to understand, the world they purport to cover, and in so doing, perform a vast disservice for everyone.
The continuing refusal of not just the American media, but also the US Government to acknowledge Islam's central role in oppressing the women (and homosexuals, apostates, non Muslims, etc.) of not just Afghanistan, but all Muslim countries, is flabbergasting as it is inexcusable.