I still can not describe the joy I felt the day Afghan women – in front of a camera – threw away their burqas, the Afghan version of the Islamic symbol of women’s slavery.
That day, that moment, I could see in their beautiful smiles the satisfaction of feeling like free human beings again. Scores of women – beautiful or not, young or old – demonstrated the fundamental need of a human being for freedom, dignity and self determination which had been torn from them by the barbaric regime of Taliban or, as they rightly called themselves, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Beautiful or not, they were all so beautiful that day: beautiful free human beings.
More than 8 years has passed since that precious historical moment in “Operation Enduring Freedom” (Freedom of whom? one might ask. War mongers have a sick sense of humour)!
If the events since that day for me and all of those who share my beliefs have been nothing but bitter disappointment, bitterness does not come close enough to doing justice to describing how the reality has been for women of Afghanistan. Women, who were the primary victims of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, women who were stoned in public, executed in stadium grounds, lashed, raped and enslaved, and ripped off from what ever humane!
Today Afghanistan is a country torn into pieces among warlords, merchants of opium, Islamic fundamentalists; preachers of Shariá law, patriarchal oppressors, thieves, bandits, murderers, rapists and black market entrepreneurs; all these parasites together are called the government of Afghanistan, a government borne out of a ridiculous parody called a “democratic” process!
The irony is that the Taliban did not succeed in getting international approval or recognition and has remained the black goat of the international community.* The “democratically-elected Afghan government” commits the same crimes or even worse, and permits these crimes while enjoying the international community’s generous blessing, “understanding” and economical and political support!
It was in the news that a crowd of Afghan women in an “unprecedented” move have demonstrated in Kabul. These women have marched through the streets of the city towards the UN headquarters demanding an end to atrocities committed against Afghan people, against women and children. They demanded an end to gender apartheid against women, an end to corruption, to the killings of the most honourable children of these people, an end to the reign of terror against the women and children! They demanded security, welfare and justice. They demanded apprehension of murderers and assassins. They demanded an end to the Taliban-friendly policy of the corrupt government.
The international mass media called this bold move an unprecedented one!
Bold, because any woman who has dared to challenge the oppressor’s culture and “norms” in last 8 years, by going to work, going to school, deciding to live rather than to simply exist, has run the high risk of being beaten up, burnt by throwing acid, run over, raped, forced to commit suicide or “simply” gunned down like helpless prey in the open streets of this lawless jungle.
Unprecedented, because it is in the nature of oppressor regimes to believe that by extreme violence, they can suppress the fundamental needs of human beings for freedom, dignity and respect. They are so wrong! Look at neighbouring Iran!
Women in Afghanistan, in one “bold, unprecedented” act of defiance, have shown like their sisters in Iran that the time of Islamic gender apartheid is over. Only one act was enough to enunciate what is destined to come!
Those who do not know better might find to their amazement how only one single act of defiance can tip the balance of power between right and wrong! But don’t they comprehend that the naked brutality, the savage violence which goes hand in hand with Afghanistan’s Islamic social system, is only necessitated by the fragility that characterizes this medieval system of governing the society?
This protest was a glorious manifestation of what is coming. Political Islam, Sharía law, Islamic slavery of women, gender apartheid, and the oppression of Afghan people has reached its end. Women, the primary victims of this barbaric system, are on forward march. As in the neighbouring Islamic regime of Iran, the savages running the Afghan government will sooner rather than later understand what hit them. Women, the primary victims of this oppressive system, are the primary natural force of democracy and the radical social revolution in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and wherever political Islam and Islamic fundamentalism has dared to show its ugly face.
Afghan women are on forward march for freedom, and by their own freedom they will free the whole Afghan society.
Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq… and the rest will follow!
~ Siavash Sayid
*Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were the only two counties which ever recognized Taliban regime.