Afghanistan’s top religious council: Women should not mix with men in school, work, or daily life, or travel without a male relative
Another strikingly uniform and consistent “misunderstanding” of women’s rights under Sharia. If they were truly misunderstandings, you’d think we would see a little variety and creativity.
Your tax dollars at work, if you are in a NATO country. America and her allies should have been on the case of the government it propped up in Kabul much earlier to ensure such things would never happen, but they appear to have simply assumed they would not. It would have been politically incorrect to suppose otherwise. “Afghan concern over ‘guidelines for women’,” from BBC News, March 6 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
Afghanistan’s top religious council has said women should not mix with men in school, work or other aspects of daily life. The Ulema Council has also said that women should not travel without a male relative. The BBC’s Orla Guerin has been hearing reaction to the ruling from people in Kabul.
The comments by senior clerics – which have been welcomed by President Hamid Karzai – were included in a statement outlining the rights and duties of women under Islam.
Human Rights Watch says it is worrying that the Ulema Council has issued this statement, and that President Karzai has backed it.
The council says its comments are a request and a reminder, not an instruction. But critics say the statement is an echo of the Taliban.
Leading woman MP Fawzia Koofi – who survived a Taliban ambush two years ago – has no doubt what the statement means.
“I think it’s the beginning of taking women back to the dark period of the Taliban,” she told the BBC.
“It’s dangerous. It’s an alarm for women in Afghanistan”.
‘We want to be free’
Campaigners believe the timing of the statement is no co-incidence. They say it is part of the president’s outreach to the Taliban.
In the push to do a peace deal with the insurgents, they fear the Afghan leader may be willing to sacrifice women’s rights.
“It does look like President Karzai is trying to placate the Taliban as part of the negotiations,” said Heather Barr, of Human Rights Watch.
“It looks like they are trying to show the Taliban there is no huge cultural gap between them.”
Women could be the big losers in any deal with the insurgents, according to Fawzia Koofi. She warns that the progress made in recent years – at huge cost to the international community – could soon be rolled back.
“We have struggled for 10 years,” she said. “We have gained so much. This is the beginning of compromising some of those gains that cost us and the international community blood and treasure.”….