Tag archives: Afghanistan

Taliban Takeover Brings New Hardships for Afghan Women

by Arielle Del Turco

August 26, 2021

The Taliban is trying to convince the rest of the world that they will respect human rights, including women’s. But the women of Afghanistan aren’t buying this for a second, and neither should the rest of the world.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid recently warned women to stay inside their homes, saying, “We are worried our forces who are new and have not been yet trained very well may mistreat women.” Some Afghan women fear that the supposedly temporary measure of keeping women indoors will remain in place.

This comes after Mujahid promised last week that women “will be given all their rights within Sharia “the Islamic laws.” However, it’s wrong to put qualifiers on human rights. If Afghan women’s equality is based on the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia law, then they are not truly equal at all. The women who remember life under the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan from 1996-2001 know this better than anyone.

Previously under Taliban rule, women could not work outside the home in most instances, leave the house without a male guardian, or receive a proper education. This is a reality that Afghan women don’t want to revert to.

After the Taliban was defeated in 2001, Afghan women began a long struggle for basic freedoms and opportunities. Trailblazing women entered and succeeded in many sectors of Afghan society. They went to college, started businesses, and thrived when given the opportunity.

But the effects of Taliban rule were long-lasting, and the journey for women’s rights in Afghanistan over the past 20 years was difficult and still a work in progress in the male-dominated culture. Now, women fear a return to the way they were forced to live in the 1990s.

Many young women, especially those living in urban areas and who were too young to remember the previous Taliban rule, grew up with the expectation of receiving an education and having the opportunity for a career. When Afghanistan quickly fell to the Taliban, these women’s dreams were crushed.

Some who used to work outside the home now fear they will be punished for it. Author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon reported that a young woman who visited a makeshift camp in Kabul filled with families who fled Taliban fighters in northern Afghanistan stated that, “Girls who had duty out of house [are] in greater risk, because [the Taliban] recognized them and then they punish, they ask you are Muslim why are you working out of you[r] home.”

Niloofar Rahmani, the first female Afghan air force pilot, worries that the Taliban might harm women who served in the Afghan Air Force as retribution. She has been a Taliban target herself. “They wanted to kill me just for what I have done, so I know what [Afghan women] are going through.”

Afghan women might lose the opportunity to have a career and even have a basic education.

Clarissa Ward, CNN’s chief international correspondent, spoke with a room full of Afghan women on August 10, 2021. She said, “The Taliban talks about how it’s changed now and girls can go to school, but I asked if any of these girls will be going to school, and I was told ‘Absolutely not. Girls don’t go to school.’” When pressed about why they would not be going to school, the women replied that the “Taliban says it’s bad.”

Worst of all, some Afghans who fled into Kabul from Taliban-held areas prior to the group’s takeover of the city claimed that Taliban fighters were demanding that communities surrender their unmarried women to become wives for fighters, essentially treating these women as sex slaves. This is a terrifying possibility for any family.

It remains to be seen what life will look like exactly for Afghan women and girls under the Taliban in the coming months. Yet, many are scared and facing an unimaginable future. Careers will be destroyed, young women’s safety is at risk, and hope for young girls’ futures is diminishing. 

U.S. leaders and intelligence officials knew how bad the Taliban would be, especially for women. When President Biden withdrew from Afghanistan, knowing what the consequences would be, was he also giving up on women’s rights in Afghanistan? Afghan women have just been sent back in time 20 years, and they have a long road ahead of them to reclaim their basic freedoms once again.

Every single woman in Afghanistan is created in the image of God, possesses inherent human dignity, and deserves to be treated with respect and honor. Pray that they will be.

Krugman Plays the Blame Game

by Krystle Gabele

September 12, 2011

It was a somber Sunday, as we looked back to the events that shattered our sense of security ten years ago yesterday. In DC and across our nation, people gathered to remember the attacks of 9/11 and the lives lost. For some, it was a relaxing Sunday and for others a chance to give back to our communities. We are just as unified, as we were when we learned of these attacks.

However, when I was reading the New York Times this morning, I happened to come across Paul Krugmans op-ed piece slamming the commemorations of 9/11 and slamming then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani and President George W. Bush for cashing in on the tragedy. Krugman further accused them of using 9/11, as a cause to fight in Afghanistan and referring to it as an occasion for shame.

9/11 is not an occasion for shame as Krugman states, rather it is a time to reflect and remember the events that unfolded ten years ago. Families lost loved ones, our country became more unified and grieved together. Our leaders did what they believed was right in terms of defending our nation from further attacks.

While Krugman has the right to publish whatever he wishes, he should really be ashamed of saying that 9/11 created opportunity for war.

Obama the Unready

by Robert Morrison

November 20, 2009

President Obama is said to be taking his time, carefully weighing all alternatives, calibrating our response to the situation in Afghanistan with precision and judgment. The point of all these statements is to reinforce the Obama administrations theme that George W. Bush rushed off pell-mell and did not assess the situation properly before committing U.S. troops.

Not since the famed King Ethelred the Unready have we seen such a long, drawn-out, and public process of decision-making. Despite his name, however, this ancient English king was not called the unready because he was unprepared. The word comes from Middle English and means he was ill-advised.

That appellation certainly fits today. We have seen a succession of unconfirmed, unconfirmable czars comes and go. The latest departure has been Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director. She cited Mao Zedong as her favorite political philosopher. If any adviser in any conservative administration had listed some notorious mass murderer as a political model, the roof of the press room would have fallen in.

Now, part of President Obamas delay must be attributed to the kind of advisers he has chosen and the kind of advice they are giving him. One of these, Bruce Riedel, recently spoke at Tel Aviv University. Riedel is a senior fellow at the liberal Brookings Institute and a former CIA official.

Riedel is telling the President that we are fighting a losing battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan and that with our forces bogged down there, we are incapable of responding militarily to the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon. Israelis need to understand that there’s going to be a huge drain on resources, attention and capital [in Afghanistan], and that will have implications, Reidel said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post.

Well. One has to wonder if Bruce Riedel has ever read U.S. history. In World War II, there were many who thought—for less than 24 hours—that we had too much on our hands fighting Japan to enter into a war with Nazi Germany. President Roosevelt responded with speed not just to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but also to Hitlers subsequent declaration of war on the U.S.

To meet those combined threats, the United States had to resort to a draft. We eventually put in uniform one in every 11 Americans. (Today, that figure is less than one in two hundred.) Americas industrial capacity made us the Arsenal of Democracy. During the war, Britain tripled her output, excelling both Germany and Russia, who merely doubled theirs. Japan, incredibly, saw a four-fold increase in production. And America? The United States increased its war production twenty-five times.

Does Bruce Riedel, or any of President Obamas timorous advisers, have any idea of the capacity for greatness that this country possesses? My diplomatic history prof, Norman A. Graebner, used to tell standing room only lecture halls that the United States was like the great boxer, Joe Louis.

We had power to spare.

If this nations life is threatened by murderous mullahs in Tehran, or by Al Qaeda harboring Taliban in Afghanistan, we can do what we have to do. Who else will protect us? The UN?