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Afghan law just age-old power grab

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Afghan women can use their own heritage to challenge law restricting their rights ...Read the full article

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  1. Ruby Christal from Edmonton, Canada writes: We in the West have been far too deferential to the ugly side of Afghan culture. There are some aspects of traditional tribal cultures that absolutely conflict with a modern take on individual human rights.

    Rape of women and children is not something NATO and the West should ever accept. Nor should we tolerate mistreatment of human rights supporters, e.g. jailing journalists for supporting respectful or equal treatment of women.

    Nor should be we be tolerating mistreatment of those voices for core Islam, the words of the Prophet, not some cave-dweller with a chip on his shoulder.

    Democracy and human rights go hand in hand. If we are not establishing respect for human rights in Afghanistan, then we are not establishing democracy either.
  2. Moe Unting from Yorba Linda, CA, United States writes: Religious revelation is enlightenment and each culture and generation must reconnect and innovate that message in its own terms; in this case, it is to assert womens rights and thereby defend Islam.
  3. Kieran Green from Canada writes: I think this article offers the most insightful and brilliant idea I've ever heard for combating radical, terror-sponsoring Islamists. The Taliban and similar movements that twist Islam spread their creed by mass-producing radical Imams from the madrassas of Pakistan and elsewhere. The west should be supporting moderate Islamic schools and sponsoring moderate Imams to travel and preach in places like Afghanistan.
  4. Globefollower From Canada from Canada writes: The Qur'an treats women better than both the Torah and the Old Testament, but does not treat women as equals:

    “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in their beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme.” (Qur’an 4, verse 34)
  5. handy andy from burlington, Canada writes: AMIRA, your article is one of many we have read basically saying that Islam is not respecting it's own teachings and traditions. Thank you for speaking out, we need to hear your voice and many more like you. But despite your efforts the situation is getting worse. Why is it that Islam is so determined to become such a horrible parody of what it should be? I believe your diagnosis is right - throughout history power-hungry men(primarily) have succeeded in destroying freedom and human rights. It will eventually need enough of the sickened silent majority to rise up and do something about it.
  6. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: Globefollower From Canada from Canada writes: The Qur'an treats women better than both the Torah and the Old Testament, but does not treat women as equals: “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in their beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme.” (Qur’an 4, verse 34) How convenient - and written by men. This has nothing to do with god. god is a fabrication of men and conveniently used and invoked by men to give them power over women. Afghanistan is not the only country were women are suffering horrific abuses. Somalia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria.... 'Millions' of women are being abused and demeaned daily and it isn't always the muslim god that is used for justification. Christians and jews have their own 'male-written' justifications for keeping women subservient to men. It's always about men controlling women and at the root of that - it's about sex. Millions of girls and women suffer the horror and indignity of genital mutilation because the religious and cultural rules that support it were written by men. Men created their own overriding justification, but there is no god for women.
  7. NWO BOB from NWO, Canada writes: A few of many Quran quotes pertaining to womens rights http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/women/long.html 2:223 Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad). 4:15 As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way 4:20 And if ye wish to exchange one wife for another and ye have given unto one of them a sum of money (however great), take nothing from it. Would ye take it by the way of calumny and open wrong ? 4:98 Except the feeble among men, and the women, and the children, who are unable to devise a plan and are not shown a way. 4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
  8. Ted Arnold from Canada writes:
    END THE OCCUPATION!
    ALL FOREIGN TROOPS OUT NOW!
  9. Chris Eaton from Fredericton, writes: It always strikes me as funny when people are upset about things like this.

    Remember when the goal was to bring democracy to Afghanistan? This law is nothing more then pandering to a bloc of voters before an election. The issues will always change to be something of local interest, but the behaviour doesn't. It's democracy in action.

    Now we're all upset that they're not using that democracy the way we want them too. Maybe it would have been smarter of us to think about what people in Afghanistan might vote for before we got involved.

    Now? We're stuck. What happens if they vote in a party that supports a law like this? As soon as we try to impose our will to stop it, we're suddenly a foreign power crushing local democracy.

    Oops.
  10. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Women have the right to vote in Af-stan.

    Once politicians figure out that there are more women than men and that they vote, womens issues will be seen as politically important.

    Pretty soon Afghani politicians will to falling all over themselves trying to attract the 'womens vote'.
  11. MICHAEL T from Canada writes: Bring democracy to Afghanistan? Pigs may fly.
  12. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: MICHAEL T from Canada writes: Bring democracy to Afghanistan? Pigs may fly.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    They already have democracy.
    So, I guess pigs can fly.
  13. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Perhaps it is time that we had democracy here long before we had human rights or women's rights. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a relatively new part of our world. You cannot promoted democracy while at the same time telling people what to believe. What gets little attention is that there were women who were demonstrating for the law as well as against it. What our troops are doing as part of their mission is promoting representative processes. There are jihadists who promote Wahhabi Islam around the world - but they use politics and our rights and freedoms to do it rather than violence. For example, in Denmark which is a secular country, the Quran is required reading in high schools. We need to focus on retaining/protecting our own values and freedoms in our own countries. One way of doing that is to deny groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban the opportunity to impose their rule on the people of other countries. Then the people will be able to fight for their rights.
  14. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Women have the right to vote in Af-stan.

    Once politicians figure out that there are more women than men and that they vote, womens issues will be seen as politically important.

    Pretty soon Afghani politicians will to falling all over themselves trying to attract the 'womens vote'.

    I wonder how many of these women vote freely or, as many of them are illiterate, follow their husband's orders.

    Do 9 year old girls - sold off to old men by their fathers get a vote?
    Do women confined to their homes get a vote?

    When pigs fly indeed!
  15. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes:
    I wonder how many of these women vote freely or, as many of them are illiterate, follow their husband's orders.

    Do 9 year old girls - sold off to old men by their fathers get a vote?
    Do women confined to their homes get a vote?

    When pigs fly indeed!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The women in Canada in 1900 had fewer rights than Afghani women do today.
    Most Canadians think that Canadian women are doing just fine today.
    I expect the same thing will eventually happen there too.
  16. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: Catherine Medenach - I think you need to learn a little more about the Danish approach to education - including religious education. It is entirely a secular approach in Denmark and encourages critical analysis of religion. Your comment infers that Danish students at the gymnasium level are required to read the Koran - in the way of indoctrination. Not so.
  17. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Seasoned Warrior -I am aware that Denmark is a secular country - but if it was purely academic would not the Bible or Torah also be required reading? It is political correctness gone wacky. There are many examples in Europe and even here where our rights and freedoms are being used by the jihadists to limit freedom of speech and institute Sharia law. Please do not misunderstand my meaning - I am not referring to all Muslims, only those with extremist views. Many Muslims live in Western countries and the majority enjoy the freedoms they have.
  18. hangin right from Van, Canada writes: how to put this politely ,
    Dear Karzia,
    Show the world and mostly your own People that you Can be a Real Man , and change the law to reflect that.

    You want the respect ,then show it and provide it for the People as Equals as it should be and always be.
  19. Jesu Pifco from Canada writes: Just a reminder, dear readers, that the original 'mission' in Afghanistan was to root out Al-Queda and 'smoke out' OBL after the 9/11 attacks. Having failed that, the rest is 'mission creep' or 'repurposing'. Choose your euphemism.

    Nothing wrong with promoting democracy but it's obviously been a tough sell in a medieval society. Personally, I'd prefer women and children first, but you may have to achieve the former goal to achieve the latter.
  20. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: hangin right from Van - perhaps the people will show Karzai. The election this time round will be a little different in that many of the young people are taking advantage of the internet to gain access to information and connect with others. Some are using Facebook to gain support for potential candidates. While access may still be quite limited overall, it is a sign that people are taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in the democratic process in Afghanistan. It is this type of participation that will eventually impact on the rights of Afghans.

    Seasoned Warrior - further to my previous comment - there are Muslims here who are quite concerned about the potential for changes - such as the instituting of Sharia being promoted by the jihadists - that they came here to get away from in the first place.
  21. hangin right from Van, Canada writes: Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg: Lets hope the people show Karzia and that he shows the world as a result of being shown by the People.
  22. chanel turner from Canada writes: I find it so interesting that folks can quotes- and sometimes taken out of context-- when in the BIBLE it says the same thing about women- and you are 'allowed' to beat your wife with a stick the size of your thumb--hence the 'rule of thumb' expression.
    The Koran, Bible and the Torah are all mysognist in their writings--- it is up to us to decide if that is the 'rules' we wish to live under -or modify the message to work in these years!
    I prefer to take the books as reference- but not as my way of life- and the GOD they portray- is not the one I pray to--- I like mine better!
  23. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: chanel turner from Canada writes:
    I prefer to take the books as reference- but not as my way of life- and the GOD they portray- is not the one I pray to--- I like mine better!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your god doesn't exist.
  24. Investment Industry Insider from Toronto, Canada writes: As I have said on countless other boards ( some censored out I presume) Karzai and Zardari in Pakistan and involved in the wholsale sell off of Woman's rights in return for political capital.

    The Saudis did the same when the house of Saud struck the agreement with followers of Muhammad ibn Wahab (Wahabi movement) - in retun of guaranteed imperial powers in all matters except religion. Social stabilty in place ofr hman freedom and years of defilement of true Islamic values.

    Karzai and Zardari must go, moderates with real backbone need to stand up - altough most have been emigrating out of Afghanistan and Pkaistan to save their skins.

    What a mess!!!

  25. Udom Thongpai from Victoria, Canada writes: Quoting from the Koran or the Bible or the Torah is meaningless. These three are confused enough to allow any interpretation... and we are up to our ears in examples. The leaders in Bountiful could no doubt argue all day that God approves of bigamy. People who go looking for the face of God invariably find Him in the mirror. (Gosh! He's just like me!)

    There isn't one Islam the same way there isn't one Christianity.
  26. The Susus from Canada writes: My two cents, and I pull not punches here...likely this was pushed by the uglier of the men in government.

    Goodness, I do wish we could get inside the mind of these religious wing nuts (of any colour/faction/belief) and see that moment when - the light doesn't appear, when no staircase opens up to greet them, and a complete absence of dead relatives waiting with open arms.

    I would relish to watch as they realize...that which greets you at death...is simply...brain death!
  27. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Is it democracy when about 90% of the population is illiterate and about 80% vote the way they are told to by their local leaders?

    Well, let's say it is democracy. Then what?

    If the country (as it seems to want to) votes for governance under the rules of Sharia (i.e., religion determines law), what can 'we' do if the resulting laws offend our Canadian sensibilities? Forcing a change of government won't do any good, since any government that looks like a foreign puppet, as the Karzai government does, will again be widely despised and essentially powerless outside Kabul.

    What Afghans need is relative security and education for their children. We are in a quandary, since our current military mission guarantees insecurity due to fighting, and ongoing restrictions on women in the form of a backlash against foreign influence. On the other hand, if we leave, either the ultra-conservative insurgency will dominate, or the country will resume the civil war we interrupted in 2001, but which has continued at a low intensity behind the scenes ever since.

    Before 2001, Afghans were turning against the Taliban and largely ignoring their strictures outside the cities (local Taliban tended to turn a blind eye). If Afghans had been allowed to continue to work things out for themselves, the Taliban would have been forced either to moderate their ignorant ways or be thrown out of government, like every other meddlesome central government before them. We should not underestimate Afghans' ability to sort things out for themselves.
  28. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: As far as the plight of millions of women in Afghanistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Chad, etc. etc., 'in my opinion', the first thing women need to do is kill men's god. When men don't have that to fall back on as an excuse or a justification, maybe we will see some progress. There is no god, other than a fabrication of men - that allows for abuse of women - genital mutilation, enslavement, confining women in their homes, selling them for marriage, withholding food if they won't put out, physical abuse, stoning....
    There certainly is no god for women.
  29. Jeff   from Kitchener, Canada writes: It's funny... The writer lists a few quotes that basically say 'Be good to women'... But then COMPLETELY ignores and glosses over all the places in which it permits beating women, confining them to the house, depriving them of inheritance, putting them off for new (younger) wives, etc. Those, of course, need 'context' and aren't to be listened to.

    Right. Sounds pretty selective to me. Don't defend the indefensible.
  30. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Jeff  from Kitchener, Canada writes: It's funny... The writer lists a few quotes that basically say 'Be good to women'... But then COMPLETELY ignores and glosses over all the places in which it permits beating women, confining them to the house, depriving them of inheritance, putting them off for new (younger) wives, etc. Those, of course, need 'context' and aren't to be listened to.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Show me, those parts.
  31. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Nick Wright, er, writes: 'If we leave, either the ultra-conservative insurgency will dominate, or the country will resume the civil war we interrupted in 2001, but which has continued at a low intensity behind the scenes ever since.'

    And then goes on to state: 'We should not underestimate Afghans' ability to sort things out for themselves.'

    No one has offered wiser and more humane commentary on Afghanistan than Nick, and his comments on the recent situation involving Afghan family law are without peer. However, I'd like to respectfully point out the contradictions in Nick's views as stated above, and reaffirm his last point.

    Number One, it is impossible to predict with certainty how humans will order their affairs in the future. This applies to individuals, of course, and as the group of individuals grows the future becomes even less certain. When one considers a human system that's the size of a country, there are countless variables at play. Any one of these variables might send events in a different direction.

    We cannot predict how Afghans will sort out their nation. We can speak to possibilities or, perhaps, likelihoods. But we don't know who will be Prime Minister of Canada a year from now, let alone what Afghanistan will look like in ten years.

    Nick's final statement: 'We should not underestimate Afghans' ability to sort things out for themselves...' is true. Afghans DO know how to sort out their own affairs. That's not to say they'll do it the way we would. That's not to say that there won't be conflict while they do it. But all peoples on the planet have the right to SELF-DETERMINE their nation's future. Foreign nations installing a democracy in Afghanistan is no more valid than a foreign nation installing a communist government: perhaps even less so.

  32. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: 'Don't defend the indefensible.'

    Black and white. Defensible and indefensible. Good and evil. Day and night.

    When humans no longer think in polarized ways, we'll all be a lot better off.
  33. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: This law is simply Karzai cynically selling out both his women and his western backers in order to curry favour with the conservative elements rapidly overtaking the country. He is a politician after all and his finger in the wind (and the sound of gunfire getting closer to Kabul) has prompted him to change his spots.
  34. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: 'But all peoples on the planet have the right to SELF-DETERMINE their nation's future.'

    The question is - does 'All peoples' include women?

    Historically in almost all countries on the planet - it is primarily men that determine the nation's current situation as well as it's future.
  35. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Richard: I didn't understand what you mean by 'contradictions.' Just to clarify:

    If the Taliban dominate after we leave, they will still have to adjust their strictures to what Afghans will go along with, otherwise they will be ignored or deposed from power. In other words, things will pick up largely where they left off when we came along and interrupted them 'sorting things out' for themselves. Afghans have never tolerated central government that tries to meddle in tribal affairs--in any region. Successful central governments always negotiate terms with the regions to survive.

    However, there will surely be fighting until one side dominates or they negotiate a settlement (I think it will be the latter, since the Taliban will no longer have the heavy military, logistical and financial support from Pakistan that made them unstoppable in 1994-2001).

    After a settlement, they will sort out how they want to govern themselves as a nation. Socially, legally and governmentally, it probably won't look much like what we would prefer, which is beside the point to Afghans. If we are honest, what we care most about is whether the country resumes its role as a base for international terrorists (which the Taliban are not). The resulting Afghan government--no matter what its stripe--will want international legitimacy as soon as possible--for a hundred reasons. The international community can drive a very strict bargain with regard to al Qaeda ever showing its face there again--backed up by promised visits by Predators and cruise missiles with government members' addresses and photographs, should al Qaeda return.
  36. Udom Thongpai from Victoria, Canada writes: The BBC is reporting that the Afghans have created their first national park, Band-e-Amir, near Bamyan. It has beautiful blue lakes and several rare kinds of wildlife. It is hoped they will be able to attract tourists.

    Apparently the locals fish in the lakes using hand grenades.

    'Afghans get first national park', BBC, http://tinyurl.com/cjb67c
  37. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Is there a catch limit, Udom?
  38. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Nick, the contradictions that I see in your comments cited above are twofold.

    First would be your 'either-or' statement about what will unfold in Afghanistan, should US-NATO forces withdraw. In your view either the ultra-conservative insurgency will dominate, or the country will plunge again into civil war.

    I point out in response that it is impossible to make definitive predictions of this sort about human affairs, even about simple events involving few people. When one increases the scale under consideration to an entire nation, predicting outcomes is more uncertain still.

    The second contradiction I saw- but may which be no contradiction at all given your further comments- was your advice not to underestimate the ability of Afghans to sort out their own affairs. (To which I wholeheartedly agree.) Your stated faith in the ability of Afghans to work things out seemed in contradiction to your belief that the country would either fall to an ultra-conservative insurgency or fall into civil war.

    I acknowledge the possibility- only- of both those outcomes. But I recognize the possibility of numerous other outcomes as well, including ones which are not at the extremes.
  39. fulvus rufus from calgary the pretend city, Canada writes: Males are not a 'species' (4th paragraph). They are members of one sex of a two sex, and occasionally hermaphroditic, species. They are not a gender, either: that word is misused so often it makes me want to spit. A gender is either a cultural role, including ideal characteristics and behaviour, that a society assigns to members of a particular sex, e.g., masculine, feminine; or, it can be used, as so often these days, by a person to define themselves in terms of their sexual and/or personal identity regardless of what biological sexual characteristics they were born with. How can you let a writer get away with referring to the male species, or was it supposed to be the male OF the species. No editor? (Yeah, yeah, I know, men are from mars, women are from venus........). Anyway, I think I'll go suck on another lemon.
    Have a nice day. Dr. Grumblebum.
  40. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Richard: I see what you meant. All the possibilities I described in my second post are part of Afghans 'sorting things out'; there is no contradiction.

    There will no doubt be fighting when/if we leave; it's just a matter of whether the Taliban will win the fight (and dominate) or whether the factions negotiate an agreement. It is all part of the process. They commonly have a period of fighting and bloodshed before sitting down to talk. This is how they have sorted things out among themselves for millennia.
  41. fulvus rufus from oil$ville, AB, Canada writes: Good informative article. Pardon me my earlier nitpicking, please.

    I wonder how many Muslims attribute certain practices to Islam on the basis that it's in the Koran, which maybe they have never read, at least not fully. (Similarly, non-Muslims often do the same, and it turns out, well they heard it from a friend who read it somewhere written by someone whose friend was talking to someone else, etc.....).

    There is a woman in Mali who is trying to put an end to the unspeakable practice of female genital mutilation. She discusses its disastrous effects such as stillbirths, death of the mother, etc. She asks the elders why they do it and they say it's in the Koran. Fortunately, she travels with a sympathetic imam who then steps forward with the Koran and asks, 'Please, show me where,' which leads to shrugs all around. And then he assures them there is nothing of the sort in the Koran.

    I will search my bookmarks for the source of this and post if found.
  42. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: fulvus rufus - the practice of female genital mutilation has been practiced in some societies, particularly in Africa, but also in some areas of the middle east, for over 2000 years. It is generally considered a 'cultural' practice more than a religious one, but the purpose is still to restrain women, to reduce their sexual desire and, some believe to increase sexual satisfaction for men. It is estimated that some 135 million women have had their genitals butchered and another 2 million girls will experience this horrible abuse every year.

    It is a disgusting and abhorrent practice, fraught with peril for the girl and medically dangerous. Medical practicioners consider it, along with male genital mutilation aka circumcision - as unnecessary. It is interesting, however, that male circumcision is considered a 'religious' practice. If man is created in the image of his god, why would religious men seek to alter that image?
  43. chanel turner from Canada writes: FGM is actually practiced by Christains as well in the middle east and Africa- it is is cultural and not religious at all.
  44. chanel turner from Canada writes: Hey Ben! Who are you to tell me my God does not exist! He exists for me just as clear as others' Gods exist for them.
  45. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Should Islam evolve to the point that it exists on faith rather than force, it might become relavent in the west. Oppression will always generate resistance.
  46. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: chanel turner from Canada writes: Hey Ben! Who are you to tell me my God does not exist! He exists for me just as clear as others' Gods exist for them.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Show me.
    Otherwise, you're deluded.
  47. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: If you gotta see what other people believe, you wouldn't know what your looking at.
  48. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: If you gotta see what other people believe, you wouldn't know what your looking at.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Show me or it's just talk.
  49. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: NotGonnaTakeIt Anymore from Canada writes:
    Basically Islam is based on lies.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tell me one that isn't.
  50. Vote for your country from Canada writes: Oh stop it for pete's sake. All religious traditions coming out of the middle east have permitted women to be beaten, sold, maimed, enslaved, etc. Every single bloody one of them. So to pick on one only is to deny the historical truths of the others. For if Christianity had not been built upon this shameful inequality, a women's rights movement would not have been needed to begin with. Yet is was needed. Men wrote the rules upon which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam stand. And men enforce/enforced them. All for the sake of dominance and power. To even remotely suggest otherwise is silly. What I find funny however is that one of the earliest references in the Old Testament is the Song of Deborah, back when women had authority. And that Mary Magdelene was known as the 'Apostle of Apostles'. Not Peter, Mary. Funny how far we have come, considering the depths we were forcibly put in.
  51. chanel turner from Canada writes: Notgonna- actually you are wrong- Islam the way Mohammend wrote it- freed women- they were allowed to vote, own property, recieve an inheritance, only had to 'put-up' with the possibility of having 3 other wives,-- much better then the jewish or christian women had it!
    It was the HADITHS that were written 300 years after Mohammed died that changed the religion and 'took ' away the rights that were given to women......
  52. chanel turner from Canada writes: Ben, I cannot 'show you' my god anymore than anyone else can 'show you their god! '
    Silly boy- you get the point -I am sure you are not that stupid-- we all believe in what we believe in- simple!
  53. Ralph Ashton from Canada writes: Funny how Islam and muslims seem to be an easy target for some of those in the 'enlightened' West. As regards Afghanistan, lets be very clear. George Bush sent his troops into Afghanistan to exact revenge for the 9/11 attacks. All this talk about building democracy and women's rights is an after the fact attempted justification for the continuing occupation of Afghanistan. And, Canada is complicit in this unwarranted occupation, blindly toeing the US line. Imagine we have turned the Taliban, of all people into a legitimate resistance! Those who know the history of Afghanistan will know that this unfortunate land was 'the goat sandwiched between the Russian Bear and the British Lion'. It was all part of the Great Game played out between the imperial powers of the last 19 and early 20th centuries. So Afghans rightfully view with great suspicion those from the (white) West who invade and occupy their land promising (great) things. Look at the occupation forces - European and North American (NATO). This is really all about cultural arrogance of the West in telling an independent nation what their laws should or shouldn't be. Its been almost 8 years with no end in sight. How long will Canada continue to send its sons and daughters to be part of an army of occupation?
  54. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: chanel turner from Canada writes: Ben, I cannot 'show you' my god anymore than anyone else can 'show you their god! '
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The reason you can't show me your god is he/she/it doesn't exist.

    And your pot smoking incense burning friend's god doesn't either.
  55. Jim Q from Halifax, Canada writes: Chanel Turner,

    Like with Islam and so many other religions, the worst treatment of women in Christianity came when the Church went establishment, and grafted itself onto the Patriarchy.

    Womens' equality never gained the hold it has here today on a mass scale unitl...well, here today.

    The equality of all souls in Christ has always been a sticky issues for oppressors.

    St. Paul wrote 'In Christ there is no slave or free, male or female, ...' Indeed, some of the earliest churches even had female bishops. (Frescos depicting them were covered over by the later established church.)

    The New Testament is, as it happens, rather liberating for women. Most patriarchal oppression in the church is based on circumstantial scriptural evidence, with NO Red Letter Support. (Only backing is that the twelve 'main' disciples were men, and Paul said, 'Wives obey your husband' (the 'husbands be dutiful to your wives, even as Christ died for his church' shpeel that fotllows usually glossed.))
  56. Jim Q from Halifax, Canada writes: Nick Wright,

    I don't know whick Afghanistan you're talking about. The one the article's about wasn't 'working things out' so much as 'tearing itself apart in interminable warfare with seperatist armies to the north, warlords elsewhere and an ever tightening surveillance and predatory state.'

    The Taliban was, technically, toppled by the Leauge of the North, the remenants of the non-pashtun resistance which still held the North of the country.

    Afghanistan is not a homogeneous nation. If and when we leave, the fighting may well resume. The non-pashtun population is not likely to have suddenly taken a shine to the Taliban since we showed up. Likely, fighting will begin again. And then, we'll be in the tricky situation of supporting either

    A) the breakup of Afghanistan or

    B) the Brutal oppression of a people who long for a government not directed by hefty doses of crazy and yearn for a modicum of freedom from Taliban 2.0.

    Nope. things would get a lot more messy, and quick.
  57. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Jim Q: When the U.S. intervened in 2001, the Northern Alliance was reduced to about 10% of the country (the Panjshir Valley), and factional fighting was pretty much finished everywhere else. In the 90% of the country they had conquered, the Taliban was disarming the various militias and doing everything it could to win international recognition as the de-facto legitimate government. It is a little-known fact that most of their conquest was through negotiation with local leaders to avoid costly fighting. Only a few of the Northern Alliance Islamic fundamentalist warlords put up a serious fight--Ahmed Shah Massoud in the Panjshir being one of them.
  58. chanel turner from Canada writes: ah poor ben- let me live in my delusion- and you just go on and be miserable-- (he really is not 'getting it- guess he is that dumb)
  59. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: chanel turner from Canada writes: ah poor ben- let me live in my delusion- and you just go on and be miserable-- (he really is not 'getting it- guess he is that dumb)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So, I guess you won't be showing me your delusion.
  60. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Nick Wright wrote: "It is a little-known fact that most of [the Taliban's] conquest was through negotiation with local leaders to avoid costly fighting. Only a few of the Northern Alliance Islamic fundamentalist warlords put up a serious fight--Ahmed Shah Massoud in the Panjshir being one of them."

    Nick has sure been doing his research.

    Contrary to what many imagine, the Taliban did not sweep through Afghanistan behind an army. The large majority of the country acceded to the Taliban's efforts to put an end to the civil war.

    The hold-outs were all in the north, the Tajik and Uzbek warlords like General Dostum ("The Butcher of the North") and Ahmed Shah Massoud- also known as "The Lion of the Panshir." The Taliban made war on those groups, eventually driving them back into a small corner of Afghanistan.

    The story behind Ahmed Shah Massoud is illustrative of Afghanistan's complexities. Ahmed Shah Massoud was a northern warlord, and one of the main individuals responsible for the carnage in Kabul during the civil war, prior to the Taliban. His forces bombarded civilian areas in Kabul- particularly the districts where the Hazara Shi-ites lived. Then his soldiers raped and pillaged those districts, and I mean that most literally. When the Taliban came on the scene Massoud preferred to fight rather than join them, eventually retreating to his northern redoubt.

    Yet despite the horrific crimes of which he and his men were accused, Massoud gained a kind of legendary status in the eyes of some Westerners- solely because he fought against the Taliban. al Qaeda assassinated him shortly before 9/11. This further 'rehabilitated' his status in some eyes. The "Lion of the Panshir" honorific is catchy too, isn't it?

    The truth about Afghanistan is rarely simple.

  61. chanel turner from Canada writes: Ben, I am so proud of you- you finally got it-- you cannot 'see ' anyone's belief system with your eyes!
    In addition to the fact it will not change a person's belief system because someone else does not believe in it!
    Good boy- I was starting to worry I would have to draw a picture for you with figurative crayolas!
  62. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: chanel turner from Canada writes: Ben, I am so proud of you- you finally got it-- you cannot 'see ' anyone's belief system with your eyes!
    In addition to the fact it will not change a person's belief system because someone else does not believe in it!
    Good boy- I was starting to worry I would have to draw a picture for you with figurative crayolas!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your god isn't worth a glass of p!ss.
  63. chanel turner from Canada writes: Ben! I thought you 'got it"!!!!
    Okay here -the crayolas are out- everyone's beliefs and 'gods' are only thier own 'delusions'-------- nothing can be proven and people believe in what they need to believe in for themselves..............
    my house has a menorah- a large 'painting' from Saudi ( 50 ways to say god- (allah) in arabic, a large buddha and various Hindu goddesses---
    man I truly thought you were smarter than this-----
    enjoy your glass of #iss----obviously you belief in nothing- and that is great! Good for you -you believe in something - "Nothing" Good stand by your principles and do not let anyone shake your faith ( not meant sacrasticlly either)
    I believe everyone has the right to believe in what-ever they want to believe in- that is my belief---
    Enjoy your glass of *iss- t hat you believe in--
  64. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: chanel turner from Canada writes:
    I believe everyone has the right to believe in what-ever they want to believe in- that is my belief
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Translation:
    Every jerk has the right to be deluded any way he wants.
  65. chanel turner from Canada writes: See Ben you do get it! Gold Star- Congratulations
  66. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Due to the G&M's recent policy of delimiting comment on Afghanistan, I must pay my respects here to those Canadian soldiers who have died in non-combat related incidents in Afghanistan.

    To the families and loved ones of Major Raymond Ruckpaul, Bombardier Jérémie Ouellet and Major Michelle Mendes I express my sincere condolences.
  67. dan kucheran from FAUQUIER, Canada writes: just wondering if Karzai did not have this law pass (Ok, reinforced) just to piss$ of the west so much that they would leave ? A lot of people's first reaction was to pull out our troops: now I really see that we have a mission there !

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