January 22, 2006

"It was shameful and embarrassing... Her character is no better than that of an animal."

Women in Afghanistan. The outrageous things they do. Like drive.
I watched as Roya walked towards the test car. A long line of men had gathered by the side of the road. As she walked slowly along the line, her head bowed down, she heard the whispers of invective and abuse.

She refused to tell me exactly what they had said, but I later found out she had been called a "prostitute", a "bitch" and an "un-Islamic whore." She failed the test. "We have freedom now," she said. "But we are not free to enjoy it."

14 comments:

Dave said...

Remember, Islamn is a religion of peace!

They don't treat their women badly. They're peaceful.

Jack said...

And this is different how than some sects of Christendom believe?

quietnorth said...

Not a pretty picture, dave-but it would be interesting to travel back in time 150 years ago to see how some pre-modern Christian cultures treated women. So, is it the type of religion or the degree to which we secularize and move away from religious tradition that determines how society treats women?

Palladian said...

What Christian sects don't allow women to drive?

Amish? Well, yes, though no one in that sect is allowed to drive a car. I lived in the middle of Amish country, and spent a lot of time at my friend's house which was next to some Amish farms. I don't think I ever heard anyone call anyone else a whore. But I understand that it's a standard technique to defuse criticism of a culture or religion by saying "Oh yeah, well Christians do/did similar/worse things", so have at it.

The problems in the Muslim world will take quite a long time to change, as many of their worst traits are deeply embedded in both their religion and their culture. If the technological acceleration of the more advanced societies is not halted by some horrible catastrophe, it will eventually force the Muslim world to either adapt and modernize or choke in the medieval dust. It's already happening but unlike in the West where the changes are now so firmly entrenched as to be internally unstoppable, the modernization of the Muslim world is still quite vulnerable to fatal attacks from the medievalists. Let's hope these brave women steel themselves to the abuse, as women and blacks had to do once in America, and help drag their culture into the future.

OhioAnne said...

Not a pretty picture, dave-but it would be interesting to travel back in time 150 years ago to see how some pre-modern Christian cultures treated women. So, is it the type of religion or the degree to which we secularize and move away from religious tradition that determines how society treats women?

Actually, what determines how society treats women depends on what the society will put up with in its treatment of women.

Do some Muslims treat women badly?
Do some Christians treat women badly?
Do some atheists treat women badly?

Yes, to all of the above.

Bad behavior can be found anywhere - it's the people who start to stand against that bad behavior that count.

Jake said...

3 years ago this woman would have been beaten to death. This is real progress and I am happy we could bring this about.

DEC said...

Jack: "And this is different how than some sects of Christendom believe?"

Here we go again. The same old the-other-side-does-it-too argument. This time a person has to stretch unbelievably far to make this worn-out point.

knoxgirl said...

Christian, Muslim, Atheist, I don't really care.... just grateful I was born here and not there.

MadisonMan said...

Christian, Muslim, Atheist, I don't really care.... just grateful I was born here and not there.

Amen.

I sometimes ask myself -- would I have the courage to stand up like some of those Afghan women? I don't know if I have the answer.

mrsizer said...

And this is different how than some sects of Christendom believe?

And that...

a) Makes it right how?
b) Is relevant in what manner?

dearieme said...

Jack, name them, these Christian sects.

DeadCenter said...

I was in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia last year and saw a lot of Muslim women driving - both cars and two wheelers. Most women there wore head scarves - but I noticed a large percentage were part of the workforce.
I can't remember exactly, but even though Malaysia is predominantly Muslim, I think the goverment there considers itself secular.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael McNeil said...

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All you folks are aware that a woman (Habiba Sorabi) is actually governor of a province in Afghanistan (Bamiyan), right?

Check out this piece from last year for much more on the really very considerable progress of women in Afghanistan since overthrow of the Taliban.  The days when a woman had to be accompanied by a male guardian before she could venture out of her home — and she and her children were basically condemned to starve if she had none — are over.