The Taliban and women...

I received this “petition” via e-mail, and was wondering at the accuracy. The Taliban may be Muslim extremists, but are they actually treating women any worse than other Muslim counties? Here is the body of the e-mail. I removed the actual e-mail address.

Can this e-mail be debunked, or is it accurate? If it is accurate, is it a far more severe treatment of women than other Muslim countries practice? For example, I find it very hard to believe that any woman intelligent and resourceful enough to have a Ph.D. would have not found a way to leave the county. Not to mention the fact that Oprah having had a “heartbreaking” show about the subject makes me a bit cynical as well. How much of this is real, and how much is based on Oprah-ganda?

Snopes has it as true. However, one wonders how much good can be done by passing around this email. After all, Afghanastan is a rouge nation and I highly doubt that anything any other country says to them will matter at all.
Zev Steinhardt

Let’s try that link again.

Zev Steinhardt

What I’m curious about is the line;

If you decide not to forward this, please send it back to . This is an actual petition, and “signatures” will be lost if you drop the line.

That makes it sound like one of the “chain letter curses” to me. Any clue if this is true or not?

Well, sadly, I think the jist of the post is correct.

I’ve asked one of my female Muslim friends about it, and this is certainly not how ALL Muslim women are treated. She is from Malaysia and has expressed that she is uncomfortable around more fundamentalist Muslims (particularly men).

When home (in Malaysia) she doesn’t have to cover her face/hair, etc. She is just required to dress “conservatively”. However, so are her male counterparts.

So don’t paint the entire religion with the same brush.

Regarding the post, I don’t think signing an e-mail petition will do too much good at all.

The facts are pretty much true. E-mail petitions are usually false and when they aren’t false, pretty useless.

But, if you want to check the facts, and do something about it, I’ll recommend the Feminist Majority Foundation []

It is a far more extreme treatment of women than most Muslim countries, and most Muslims consider it not in keeping with the Koran.

Yes. Quite a bit worse. It’s a continuum of course, with some Muslim cultures being significantly more or less patriarchal than others, but the Taliban are far and away the worst offenders. To start with they are members of the Wahabi sect of the Sunni branch of Islam, transmitted via Saudi Arabia, already an extremely conservative body ( Saudi Arabia ranks fairly high on the repression-o-meter as well ). To that they’ve added a plethora of reactionary ideals that frankly seem to spring far less ( or not at all ) from the teachings of Islam and far more from the conservative tribal hill culture of backcountry Afghanistan. Iran to the West ( actually all their neighbors ) are oases of enlightenment compared to Taliban controlled Afghanistan.

Islam is no different from any other Judeo-Christian religion in that it is open to enough interpretation that people can call themselves Muslims ( or Christians, or Jews ) while still having considerably different standards as to what is the proper role of the sexes.

  • Tamerlane

Without the slightest doubt. Significantly and unambiguously worse.

It appears largely accurate.

By far and away as others have noted.


For example, I find it very hard to believe that any woman intelligent and resourceful enough to have a Ph.D. would have not found a way to leave the county.

Then you are naive. Fleeing a country without papers to another country, finding safe haven, perhaps abandoning family is not a trivial matter. In fact, in the case of Afghanistan, it can be bloody dangerous to curl your comfortable toesies.

So you have issues with Oprah large enough to disregard fairly easily documented (an internet search with reliable sites being easy enough) abuses by the Taliban?

On the other hand, the Taliban could give a fuck about such petitions.

Actually I’m pretty sure that cosmetics are on the Taliban’s list of no-no’s.

It really doesn’t matter; I believe that the Taliban banned computers as well as TV. As was said before, the petition is pretty useless.

Yes they are. There are many Islamic countries where women are treated much better. Pakistan has had a female prime minister. It is true that even countries such as Pakistan do have expectations for how women will dress and behave that we would consider sexist, but there are also rules for men’s behavior that are different from ours.

Check out this website it explains everything

The above link should go to the webpage of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.

Incidentally, I was just thrilled to read the RAWA statement on the black day of April 28: 28th April is gloomier than 27th of April.

Gee, today was also Saddam Hussein’s birthday.

I shudder to think what my horoscope must look like. It’s a wonder my mother didn’t drown me at birth.