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Didn't read new rape law, Karzai admits

Globe and Mail Update

Afghan President says he will amend controversial legislation to conform to human-rights standards ...Read the full article

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  1. David Stanley from Canada writes: Human rights is a big problem in the Middle East.
    most especially in the UAE where the Royal Family torture people with the aid of the Police.
    that's public sanctioned Torture ,I wonder will the Harper govt take time out of organizing the NAU to declare UAE a Torturing entity
    and with draw any Ambassadors to that country.
    and could they make sure it is brought up at the UN
    In short could they grow a set of brass balls.
  2. Alex Black from New York, United States writes: Karzai's a little too thick to run a nation, in my honest opinion.

    Hopefully, Afghans will sensibly use their right to vote (something NATO gave them), and get rid of this clown in the elections later this year.
  3. Hee Hoo Sai from Canada writes: Another success, western politicians have been passing legislation that they haven't a clue about for years. Now this democratic legacy has been passed on to others, we should be so proud.
  4. Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: "Didn't read new rape law, Karzai admits"

    Yeah, right. This guy is either a bald-faced liar or a total incompetent.

    Maybe I'll try that one next time I agree to a contract and then change my mind. "Er, I signed it, but I didn't read it." Think that'll work?
  5. Steve is a warmongering neanderthal and loving it! from Canada writes:

    Response David Stanley from Canada writes: Human rights is a big problem in the Middle East.
    most especially in the UAE where the Royal Family torture people with the aid of the Police.
    that's public sanctioned Torture ,I wonder will the Harper govt take time out of organizing the NAU to declare UAE a Torturing entity
    and with draw any Ambassadors to that country.
    and could they make sure it is brought up at the UN
    In short could they grow a set of brass balls.

    ===========================================

    Yet all eyes are on the US when it comes to torture.
    WTF???
  6. Dik Coates from Canada writes:
    Steve... all eyes are on the US... it's one of the burdens of pretending to be the "Good Guy".

    Dik
  7. Dik Coates from Canada writes: I guess on a positive note... "He can read!"

    Dik
  8. Steve is a warmongering neanderthal and loving it! from Canada writes:

    Response to Dik Coates from Canada writes:
    Steve... all eyes are on the US... it's one of the burdens of pretending to be the "Good Guy".

    ========================

    Pretending to be the good guy???
    I hope they worry more about whom they are fighting rather than for the prestige of being "good".

    dik
  9. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Odds that Mr. Karzai will stay alive long enough to rescind the legislation? 1:1

    Odds that Mr. Karzai would sell his first-born, his mother, four wives and a camel to stay on as President? 1:5

    Odds that Mr. Karzai has any intention of keeping his word on the matter? 1:500

    Odds that whether he rescinds it or not, it will make any difference to the way women are treated in Afghanistan? 1:5,000,000
  10. Roop Misir from Toronto, Canada writes: Karczy, the blind.

    If this the type of puppet in charge here, what else can the world expect?

    Is this also true for similar states--blinded by ignorance if not arrogance, and determined to spread their doctrine of global annihilation?

    Zod help us all!
  11. 50 mikemike from Canada writes:

    If Karzai didn't read the legislation he signed he needs to either resign, appoint new aides, or BOTH!
  12. Guitar Player from Vancouver, Canada writes: In the unlikely event that Mr. Karzai is being candid and honest, he's either ignorant or stupid beyond description. Perhaps it's time to have a serious rethink about western confidence in his ability to lead his country competently, regardless of his political leanings.
  13. Dik Coates from Canada writes:
    Steve:

    Considering who they are fighting with a comparison of costs and munitions and measuring their success... they aren't very good at pretending to fight either... racking up a lot of civillian casualties, though...
  14. Lie Detector from Toronto, Canada writes: Let's just be grateful the Taliban chose to withdraw last week. Stopped advancing on Islamabad for a few days. The nukes are now safe. What? Stop snickering, dammit.
  15. Henry Allen from East Bank, Don River, Canada writes:
    Karzai's crayons were misplaced, thus the document held no interest for him.
  16. Misery No one from Toronto, Canada writes: The US is the last country to preach to anyone. Do they want our schooling system with the guns drugs and gangs. The white man never learns.
  17. Lie Detector from Toronto, Canada writes: Article: Mr. Karzai.. assured.. he intends to amend.. the law to bring it into line with international human-rights standards. He said he will try* to do so before the presidential election scheduled for August.

    See? Karzai's not lying. Guy says he'll try -- not how hard he'll try.

    Of course he won't manage to do it *before* elections. Karzai's Rape Law was designed to get the fundie vote, right? So how's he gon'na alienate the fundie vote just before election? And why? Just to protect women from their own husbands? Not one snowball's chance in Islamist hell. Husbands are there to protect their women.

    Article: It looks like the President wants to deal with this issue before the end of his term, said Zia Moballegh, a senior program officer in Afghanistan with the Canadian-based aid and human-rights group Rights and Democracy.

    Zia Moballegh so doesn't get Islamism. Better leave. For own safety.

    Article: But Ms. Saqib said she is skeptical the President will keep his word.

    No. He's not lying. He promised to try -- not try too hard. And Karzai might repeal -- "amend" -- his rape law *after
    elections. If things really go his way. If he gets the power to do it. Just might.

    He's not a bad guy, Karzai. One of the few and far between who get both Islamist and Western values. What, you think it's easy finding and walking the middle ground? There is no middle ground. Clashing between Islamist and Western values is due to total cultural contradiction.

    Let's just be grateful the Taliban chose to withdraw last week. Stopped advancing on Islamabad for a few days. The nukes are now safe. What? Stop snickering, dammit.
  18. Lie Detector from Toronto, Canada writes: Such a clumsy interface. Won't post when too much quoting -- even if from original article. Two separate bolding instances? Everything between comes out bold. Ok, let's try that again.

    Article: Mr. Karzai.. assured.. he intends to amend.. the law to bring it into line with international human-rights standards. He said he will try to do so before the presidential election scheduled for August.

    See? Karzai's not lying. Guy says he'll try -- not how hard he'll try.

    Of course he won't manage to do it before elections. Karzai's Rape Law was designed to get the fundie vote, right? So how's he gon'na alienate the fundie vote just before election? And why? Just to protect women from their own husbands? Not one snowball's chance in Islamist hell. Husbands are there to protect their women.

    Article: It looks like the President wants to deal with this issue before the end of his term, said Zia Moballegh, a senior program officer in Afghanistan with the Canadian-based aid and human-rights group Rights and Democracy.

    Zia Moballegh so doesn't get Islamism. Better leave. For own safety.

    Article: But Ms. Saqib said she is skeptical the President will keep his word.

    No. He's not lying. He promised to try -- not try too hard. And Karzai might repeal -- "amend" -- his rape law after elections. If things really go his way. If he gets the power to do it. Just might.

    He's not a bad guy, Karzai. One of the few and far between who get both Islamist and Western values. What, you think it's easy finding and walking the middle ground? There is no middle ground. Clashing between Islamist and Western values is due to total cultural contradiction.

    Let's just be grateful the Taliban chose to withdraw last week. Stopped advancing on Islamabad for a few days. The nukes are now safe. What? Stop snickering, dammit.
  19. Guy Olivier from Columbus, Ohio, United States writes: ... likely excuse.
  20. Neo Cynic from Bahamas writes:

    Antigone and Afghanistan

    As Sophocles has foretold, where the law of the family conflicts with the law of the state, there can be no contest. And thus our mission in Afghanistan is as doomed as were the edicts of Creon. You cannot expect people to exceed their psychological limits with truly alien ideas of "equality", of sexual equivalence, especially at the point of a gun or tip of a missile.

    Antigone, the first feminist, then was compelled as equally as are the Afghans today to reject our grotesque imposition of our worldview in assertion of their basic human identity.

    The insuperable contradiction of our situation in Afghanistan is that we presume to rely upon the mullahs, the village elders, the traditional leadership of the country to bring to the people and impose upon them our ethnocentric ideas about the equality of the sexes, the innate desire for human "happiness", the individual drive for "freedom." Yet the very ideas that made the mullahs, the elders, possible foreclose the possibility of our ideals. In a sense, Afghans plead what Antgione did before Creon: conscience before law, a devotion to things higher than human law. And in reply, as Creon then invoked tyranny, we Canadians today invoke the NATO airstrike.

    What else could we expect in reply from someone whose village has been bombed, family murdered, children massacred in a NATO airstrike, all in the purported name of "women's rights", to rise up and murder every last feminist in the country?
  21. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: This is nothing to do with the west imposing its values on Afghanistan. The issue is simple. Men created relilgions for themselves for the purpose of controlling and dominating women because they perceived them as evil. Early clerics were disgusted by women's sexual power over them and their inability to control their own desires. They painted the women as harlots, whores, evil, and so on and brainwashed every generation of man into believing that. So, for more than 2000 years women have suffered horrific abuse at the hands of men under the false label of protection. Its time to expose religion for the total fraud that it is. Get rid of religions - all of them - and only then can we stop the abuse of women and start working on equality. Women - smarten up - stop falling for this ploy. When you believe in their religions - you believe in their superiority and their domination over your bodies. There is no god. It's all about sex and that's all its ever been about.
  22. Pierre Santa Ana from Costa Rica writes: Karine Blais was killed last week for this? Why are our forces in Afghanistan again? Where is Christie Blatchford when we need her? She again has to tell us, people from Central Canada, why we should support this mission in Karzai's country.
  23. Neo Cynic from Bahamas writes:

    Seasoned Warrior:

    You are obviously unaware of the Christian hope for the Second Coming.
  24. Seasoned Warrior from Been down so long it looks like up to me, Canada writes: Neo Cynic - you are talking gibberish. christians can hope for any number of comings of any nonsense that they want - its all bs. While you are sitting on your thumbs waiting for nothing, women all over the world are being abused.
  25. rahim ladha from Canada writes: Load of bull, Is mr Karzai saying his aides are not reliable to not have pointed out something so appaling to him before he stamped it...or is he not trying to save face with the west....anyways he has proven to be no better then the fanatic clerics
  26. Wild Bill from Canada writes: Obviously not consulted by his aides either on what he's doing or signing. Basically, what does he do?? Maybe he just doesn't want to admit he's illiterate and can't read. Lucky him. He can now attend one of the schools set up for women. How many others leaders are in the same boat??
  27. Bill Foonman from Jacksonville, United States writes: Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: "This guy is either a bald-faced liar or a total incompetent."

    Those "attributes" would eminently qualify him to be a politician wouldn't you think?
  28. Funny Thing from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Shows the importance of international free press, and constant, vigilant use of it.
  29. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    He sounds like the US Congreesmen that don't read Laws either-such as was the case with the Bush (Un) Patriot Act and the Obama spending madness 'budget."

    Karzai? Perhaps this sums it up quite well:

    On August 20, 1998, after an attempt by the United States to kill Osama bin Laden with a cruise missile, Karzai said,

    “ ...there were many wonderful people in the Taliban."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/10/AR2008021001972.html

    Or this 2007 Chic. Tribune story:

    "Iran and Afghanistan have never been as friendly as they are today," Karzai said. "In the past five years, Iran has been contributing to Afghanistan's reconstruction, and in the past five years, Afghanistan has been Iran's very close friend."

    Karzai: "if I am called a puppet because we are grateful to America, then let that be my nickname..."
    .
  30. North Star from Canada writes: Karzai admits his signature is worth nothing and that his word in Afghanistan is merely founded upon political convenience, not principle.
  31. George Nikitin from Hamilton, Canada writes: After our intervention is Afghanistan finally collapses, I would bet Karzai isn't there to stay. I wager he'll be on the first plane back to California.
  32. Mary Ann Varkaris from London, Canada writes: Karzai is full of B. Isn't it obvious that women's sexual rights must be a legal priority to set the precedent for de facto change? This makes me sick.
  33. Andrea Dufferin from Canada writes: WHAT?!!??! He signed a law without reading it?!??!? What kind of government are we propping up here at huge cost to both our economy and human life?
  34. Mike Quinlan from Gatineau, Canada writes: What is up with Afghanistan men? Are they really so insecure? You would think it would be an embarrassment to be so petty, let alone think up such a legal bill. How is it supposed to work? A refusal to provide sexual services has the wife brought up on charges? Or is it that the husband is given the right to beat his wife with impunity should he declare himself unsatisfied sexually?

    And what is with this provision that the husband can order is wife to put on make up prior to his legally mandated coupling session? What is the purpose exactly. One might almost speculate that at the appointed F hour the real Shiite man wants a bit of that western harlot look. Kind of reminds one of the wealthy Arabs who live one way during the week but in quite a different way when it comes to booze and prostitution while away from home in some jet set play ground.
  35. Political Solutions from Kitchener, Canada writes: Does anyone else feel that our politicians (both ours here at home and those we install in foreign countries) sign too many policies without reading them? I think they just sign whatever is put in front of them - they're not there to protect our Rights or interests; they're only there to further their sponsors/handlers interests.
    I think its time we gave our political system a shake-up.
  36. Billy Bee from Canada writes: Don't forget we're going to spend a $billion this year to prop up the Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan. That is the official name, just like Iran is an Islamic Republic.

    We're wasting our money, time and lives in this backwater. If the govn't doesn't want to at least attempt to protect human rights its time Canada leaves and limit our contribution to training and basic aid. Enough Canadians have died propping up a corrupt govn't that is trying to placate Taliban supporters by giving more rights to cattle than to women.
  37. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: Bill Foonman from Jacksonville, United States writes: Anthony B from Maritimes, Canada writes: "This guy is either a bald-faced liar or a total incompetent."

    Those "attributes" would eminently qualify him to be a politician wouldn't you think?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    With those "attributes" he's as good as George Bush.
  38. Ruby Christal from Edmonton, Canada writes: Amend???

    The Constitution of Afghanistan needs serious amendment.

    So long as human rights are subordinated to an ill-defined concept like "Islamic Law", there are no human rights protections.

    Amend the Constitution, or no deal! NATO had no business allowing such an undemocratic constitution to be installed.
  39. F H from Ottawa, Canada writes: I read EVERYTHING I sign as my signature signifies that I have done so AND agree to the terms of whatever it is I sign. If I do not read something and sign it anyway, legally, I'm still obliged to honour what I've signed.

    Surely the head of a country should know this basic fact?

    Still, it's a good sign that these brave women haven't already been slaughtered as they most definitely would have been had the eyes of the West not been on Afghanistan.

    I'm glad we'll be there for a while longer to protect grass-roots movements such as these and change can only come from inside.
  40. a l from Canada writes: Oh yeah, this guy has promise.
  41. hangin right from Van, Canada writes: ummm a real leader would have read the law that he was signing before hand.

    Yo, Karzia, "try" is not good enough, just "do it".
  42. Guitar Player from Vancouver, Canada writes: Misery No one from Toronto, Canada writes: "The US is the last country to preach to anyone. Do they want our schooling system with the guns drugs and gangs. The white man never learns."

    I assume you mean by this that because the US shouldn't, according to you, preach to anyone about anything, Mr. Karzai has no responsibility to his own people to at least read the provisions of a draconian statute that he's signing into law? By all means, let's assume that because "the white man never learns", anything and everything done by "non-white" men must be fair, responsible and appropriate. Yes, certainly, that makes sense... on some planet other than Earth. I appreciate your attempt to distract readers from the specific issue based on your own reverse stereotypes about Americans and white men -- but fortunately for most of us, your attempt has failed. Your comment suggests that you may have become the mirror image of the very thing you apparently dislike. (Note: for the record, I'm not American, and certainly not an apologist for them. I'm just a reader who resents the attempt to counter one alleged stereotypical viewpoint with another).
  43. Another Option canada from Canada writes: Does any one remember the Govenor played by Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles... Signing bills at his Desk.. mayby that is what it is like in Karzai office.. ?
  44. david graham from halifax, Canada writes: Karzai doesn't do a lot of things.....we, and NATO have hitched our wagon to a star....
  45. jomo wanjala from Toronto, Canada writes: Canada needs to stop imposing white European cultural values on Asian and African countries. Male and Female roles in the family are not uniform throughout the world. Witness the medias intrusion on Chris Brown and his personal relationship with Rihanna.
  46. Another vicious kick right in the face from Harper to the Canadian Forces, writes: Imagine George Bush's hand-picked marrionette being an incompetent fool. Who'd have thought it?
  47. jomo wanjala from Toronto, Canada writes: Israel practices ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the USA tortures prisoners in Cuba (including Canadian Omar Khadr) we do nothing. Yet we have to intrude on domestic affairs of another nation - Afghanistan? If Canada wants to be truly multicultural, we need to allow more immigrants&refugees from Afghanistan. Once Canada becomes more multicultural, there will be a better awareness of Asian and African 'cultures', and not the ethnocentric, Euro foccused value system which leads to sill intollerance of other cultures such as Afghani.
  48. Lowen Wrainger from Canada writes: No wonder they don't want the women in Afgunistan to be able to read. The men can't read either! And to borrow a British expression for what these guys are UP to ... PoppyCock!
  49. Naomi Y from Canada writes: Using Ignorant as an justification, Karzai is truly acting like a politician.
  50. Investment Industry Insider from Toronto, Canada writes: jomo -- what the hell does Chris brown have to do with Afghan laws on women's rights, besides he is a criminal and an idiot for attacking a woman, when he clearly had the choice od walking away to greener pastures if he wished.

    Women's rights are enshrined in Islamic laws, its just that the current vein of islamic fundamentalist choose to ignore them in order to empower themselves.
  51. F H from Ottawa, Canada writes: Jomo, it was Afghani women and men protesting this law, not 'white men'. Also, it's written in the Koran that the men closest to Islam are those that treat women kindly. Not beat, rape and imprison them in their own homes. Thus anyone who actually reads the Koran instead of just trusting their clerics interpretation of it would know that this 'marital law' is anything BUT truly Islamic.

    As for the Chris Brown thing, the media had every right to write about a North American man beating a North American woman as it's ILLEGAL to beat women (or anyone, in fact) here.
  52. sean paul from Canada writes: my sympathies to karzai. the dog ate my proposal. my little baby pablumed the budget. and i didn't bother with all that type on the mortgage but signed it anyway.
    this, while i have a poodle on my head and wear a cape left over from some desert movie in central casting.
    why don't you believe me?
    my bro' is doing very well in the financial end of things.
    know what i'm sayin'?
    be cool. keep the money comin'.
    be free, man.
  53. diane marie from calgary, alberta from Canada writes: Mike Quinlan:-- It's more fun when it's illicit, apparently. Indeed, to add to Seasoned Warrior's comments, that might just be the point of religion: to add to the thrill. Bondage, etc.
  54. Rollie Beethoven from Canada writes: Normally I have no comment on issues occuring within this god for saken excuse for a country and their weakkneed, corrupted government officials. However this one really takes the japatty. It seems to me the only civilized individuals over there are members of the NATO armed forces.
  55. James Corbett from Hamilton, Canada writes: Karzai is attempting to bring stable government by finding a compromise between powerful external and internal forces that bitterly oppose each other.

    Of course he read the bill but signed it to show compromise to internal extremists.

    He has now retracted his support to placate the external forces.

    Claiming he didn't read is just a simple face saving mechanism.

    I'm sure he anticipated all of this and hopes that, while the conservative Muslims did not get want they wanted, he has shown enough spirit of compromise that they will not immediately join the Taliban.
  56. Prairie Boy from Canada writes: Did he learn that from the Democrats? Just sign, gotta sign the world will end if you don't.
  57. sean paul from Canada writes: jomo wanjala is actually freddie krepec and he loves to stir up a little controversy on the threads. look at that post! he's got something in there for everybody to get that edge on!
    forget this little cockroach!
  58. Mike Quinlan from Gatineau, Canada writes: Jomo what exactly are you advocating? Are you arguing that the worst abuses of human rights in one society justify equally abhorent practices in another? What do you envision we will learn more of as we become more multicultural? How is that in this instance, the Afghani focussed value system leads to intolerance of other cultures ideas of respect for basic human rights?
  59. Steve M from Canada writes: So the real question is;

    What does it say about Afghan men that they need a law to force their wives to have sex?
  60. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: It is amazing how so many people feel they have the right to dictate the beliefs of people in other countries. Despite decades of democracy we are unable to prevent marital rape, wife beating or child prostitution here. Simply codifying it in civil law doesn't put an end to the behavior. There are people who will treat others fairly regardless of the law - and others who won't even if the law is changed.

    What makes the whole thing so ironic is that rape laws were never about protecting women in the first place. They were about protecting the property of men - in part by ensuring that only their legitimate offspring would have a claim on their estates. The law stating that women here where 'chattels' owned by their fathers or their husbands was only removed a couple of decades ago.

    BTW that is not the primary reason for out troops being in Afghanistan - to compel them to live by our rules. It is to keep them from reverting to being a failed state and a haven for terrorists.
  61. Lie Detector from Toronto, Canada writes: jomo wanjala: "Israel practices ethnic cleansing of Palestinians..."

    Nah. You got it backwards, jomes. Everything Israel does is in self-defense. Seriously. Like, did you know there's an Islamist Palestinian society chartered on genociding Israel? There really is. Not kidding you.

    "USA tortures prisoners in Cuba..."

    Yeah -- and they're really ashamed of it. Even debating whether to criminally charge the leaders responsible for it. Meanwhile? Throughout Islam? Any Islamists feeling bad when beheading infidels? When beating disobedient women? When tearing internal organs from the bodies of still-living enemy soldiers? Nah -- not so much.

    Whether vowing and repeatedly attempting genocide of Israel, actively genociding in Darfur, terrorizing non-Islamic cultures everywhere, murdering 'infidels' at whim or righteously enslaving women? Islamic rule is purest abomination.

    And why is Islamic rule such pure abomination? Obviously. Because only Islamist societies remain sufficiently fundamentalist to proudly declare their genocidal ambitions, terrorize all other cultures and righteously enslave women.
  62. Ben Franklin from Ottawa, Canada writes: The end of the world must be coming!
    I agreed with everything
    Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada
    just wrote.
  63. on the contrary you need to think my way from Canada writes: IDIOT...and yet our Mp's that travel to FAfghanistan will embrace this monkey...sorry...puppet
  64. Lie Detector from Toronto, Canada writes: A couple posters above desperately want us believing Karzai's Rape Law is no big deal. That Canadians shouldn't be outraged. That Canadians don't even have the right to be outraged.

    But I am very disappointed. Really am. See, I've got this list. And every time these past weeks some leftie misogynist, terror and genocide cheerleading Islamist sympathizer commented how Karzai's Rape Law was no big deal? I'd add hir reasons for saying so to the list.

    There was a lot of creativity. Whenever one reason got knocked out? Another reason for falsely claiming Karzai's Rape Law was OK would spring up.

    But now I'm disappointed. Now there's only repetition. All reasons provided in this thread are already on the list. Please -- can we have more creative new reasons? It is a great list -- but it could be even better. Look:

    Karzai's Rape Law is Shia -- and Sunni Sharia (i.e. Saudi) is more consistent with Canadian notions on liberty than Shia Sharia.
    It's women's own fault -- demanding their men discipline disobedient women by any means necessary.
    Islamic codes liberate women from the male gaze.
    White men must never rescue brown women from brown men.
    The Afghan government tortures and murders men too.
    It's NATO's own fault for not doing more to help Afghan women.
    NATO's own interference causes rape and slaughter of Afghan women.
    It's just a pack of Canadian media lies to vilify Islam.
    Canadians are total hypocrites getting so outraged now -- after knowing all along what Islam is like.
    Right here in Canada women continue as property.
    Alternatively, because women in Canada only recently ceased being property of men.
    Cultures are never better or worse -- just different.
  65. Auroran Bear from Montreal, Canada writes: Karzai is a true Western Politician....he doesn't read legislation.

    Hooray for democracy.
  66. Political Solutions from Kitchener, Canada writes: "Karzai's Rape Law is Shia -- and Sunni Sharia (i.e. Saudi) is more consistent with Canadian notions on liberty than Shia Sharia."

    Sunni's may indeed share more in common on 'Freedom' issues with the West, but Saudi Arabia does not. It practices the most fanatical, fundamentalist form of Islam out there in my opinion.
    Please don't equate us with Saudi Arabia, its ignorant and offensive on several levels.
  67. Political Solutions from Canada writes: Just to clarify - that wasn't a shot as Lie Dectector, whose been decrying this myth as well.
  68. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Ben Franklin - that is definitely unusual lol!

    Political Solutions - Salafi Wahhabism as is followed in Saudi Arabia is more restrictive than Shia law mostly in the way it is interpreted and enforced. Even in theocratic Iran, women have had more freedom at times. However, international events have often led to crackdowns on people's freedoms in both countries. The fact of the matter is that the Talibanized version of Islam and Sharia is the most regressive version of Islam that has ever been imposed on Muslims.

    Lie Detector - people have the right to 'feel' outraged and to state their views. However they do not have the right to impose their values on others on the basis of their feelings. The Taliban 'feels' self-righteous and 'purer' than other Muslims - but that does not give them the right to impose their values on others by force. We cannot deny them that right and then claim it for ourselves without being hypocritical. Afghans must work those issues out themselves.
  69. jomo wanjala from Toronto, Canada writes: ""Investment Industry Insider from Toronto, Canada writes: jomo -- what the hell does Chris brown have to do with Afghan laws on women's rights, besides he is a criminal and an idiot for attacking a woman, when he clearly had the choice od walking away to greener pastures if he wished.""

    My point was simple, law is based on a society's cultural values of morality, laws in North America and White Western Europe are based on white western culture. Canada, has no right enforcing these laws (value system) on another culture, in affecty whitening them up. America should respect African Amercian culture, the same way Canadian Indians are allowed to be tried by 'sentencing circles' so too should Afro Canadians and Afro Americans be able to be judged by 'tribal councils' composed of African Canadian community leaders and elders.
  70. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Ruby Christal writes: "The Constitution of Afghanistan needs serious amendment... Amend the Constitution, or no deal! NATO had no business allowing such an undemocratic constitution to be installed."

    The Constitution of Afghanistan was written with the assistance of Western diplomats and legal experts. The G&M interviewed one of them some time ago, but I've lost his name. He's an expert in constitutional law from Washington, D.C.

    The Constitution of Pakistan was likewise written with the assistance of Western diplomats and legal experts, mostly from Britain. That constitution also enshrines Islamic Law, and requires that all civil Pakistani laws be in conformity with it.

    RC also writes: "So long as human rights are subordinated to an ill-defined concept like 'Islamic Law', there are no human rights protections."

    This sweeping statement is not correct. Islamic law contains many human rights protections. More to the point, there are no human rights available to anyone without the rule of law. Trust me, you would have no difficulty choosing whether to live under Islamic law or no law at all.

    And that, in a nutshell, is the choice facing the people of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The governments of both are deeply corrupt: in other words, the laws enforced by the governments are arbitrarily applied. That situation is intolerable for most people.

    Faced with governments which regularly offend the principles of fundamental justice, some people in Afghanistan and Pakistan believe it's an improvement in their lives to live under a strict but uncorrupt government that willingly submits itself to the rule of Islamic law.

    Almost any laws, no matter how strict, are better than arbitrary laws or no law at all. That is the hope that the Taliban offer to the people of the region.
  71. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: James Corbett wrote (perceptively): "Karzai is attempting to bring stable government by finding a compromise between powerful external and internal forces that bitterly oppose each other. Of course he read the bill but signed it to show compromise to internal extremists. He has now retracted his support to placate the external forces. Claiming he didn't read is just a simple face saving mechanism."

    Karzai is dealing with Afghan reality, which no one on this forum has to do (thank goodness). I disagree with the notion that his apparent willingness to compromise on this law will help him with anyone except the tiny handful of women protesters. If he backs down in the face of pressure from foreigners, he will lose whatever face he has left among the majority of Afghans, and will likely lose the coming election. Those who think that would be a good thing might want to consider the alternatives to Karzai--ones that Afghans will be likely to vote for, not the Western favourites (a huge stigma). Things could get a lot worse and a lot more traditionally "Afghan" if there is a backlash over foreigners dictating social relations.
  72. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: jomo wanjala - sentencing circles are a little different as they operate in conjunction with civil law, not as a replacement, and the Aboriginal people have established communities to support this approach.

    'Afro Canadians' are quite diverse in their origins and beliefs and to my knowledge have never requested a separate legal process. Most live as any other Canadian and not in 'tribal' groups.

    Many Muslims are not African or Arab. You are confusing ethnicity with religion. And the majority of Canadian Muslims do not want to see Sharia law enacted in Canada.
  73. Another vicious kick right in the face from UN agencies to the world, writes: Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: ... Karzai is dealing with Afghan reality, which no one on this forum has to do (thank goodness).

    =====================

    Would that that were true. But we'd need to get our military out of there and send no more tax money for that to be the case.
  74. jomo wanjala from The Finch, Canada writes: Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: ".. the majority of Canadian Muslims do not want to see Sharia law enacted in Canada" according to who? Why did Dalton McGuinty work so hard to cancel it in the province of Ontario, if Muslims hadn' t requested it? Racism!
  75. jomo wanjala from The Finch, Canada writes: All those who don't support the Afghani's right to self rule within their own cultural set of norms, is guilty of cultural genocide, and racism. The same goes for those who don't support Chris Brown, Canada ain't Sweden, if you don't like it, you're free to move back to Germany.
  76. Ron MacGillivray from Flatbush, ab, Canada writes: Maybe karzai is too tied up worrying about the next inevitable NATO strike to hit some unsuspecting village to read every piece of legislation on his desk.

    I suspect with new elections on the horizon that karzai will be blamed for everything that's gone wrong in the past 8 years when the truth is the real power in A'stan resides in the U.S. embassy and their Atilla the Hun lookalikes in the Northern Alliance.
  77. Ob Server from Canada writes: Any and all laws, anywhere in the world that discriminate in any way or disregard personal equality are and should be considered unlawful.

    Sharia law, banned in Ontario is such a set of laws.

    You want Sharia law...move.
  78. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Another vicious kick wrote: (Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes:) "... Karzai is dealing with Afghan reality, which no one on this forum has to do (thank goodness)." Would that that were true. But we'd need to get our military out of there and send no more tax money for that to be the case."

    Canadian troops, aid workers, and visiting politicians and diplomats (those who have dared to go outside the city) have seen first-hand for seven years the reality of social norms in Afghanistan and have kept their mouths shut. If they had spoken about what they saw every day, the Canadian public would have called for an end to the mission a long time ago.

    The law under discussion here is a mere legalization of long-standing practice--among Hazaras. The rules in the Pashtun areas, where Canadians have been since a six-month stint in 2002 and on an ongoing basis since 2005-06, are as or more severe (in Western liberal terms) than the Hazara law.

    My point is that those Canadians who HAVE been dealing with the Afghan reality have been much more circumspect--both to prevent an uproar back home and to avoid provoking Afghans into a general uprising.

    Now that the cat is out of the bag among Canadian voters, it would be a huge mistake if our government reacts to the predictable outrage by tasking our troops and aid workers with forcing change in Afghan marital traditions.
  79. F H from Ottawa, Canada writes: "Despite decades of democracy we are unable to prevent marital rape, wife beating or child prostitution here. Simply codifying it in civil law doesn't put an end to the behavior."

    Of course it doesn't. What it DOES do is put in place a system for punishing those who have done such things and makes a clear statement that such things are never acceptable.
  80. F H from Ottawa, Canada writes: "Canada, has no right enforcing these laws (value system) on another culture, in affecty whitening them up"

    A lot of my black and brown friends would be a tad shocked to find out that beating women was part of their 'culture'.

    The beauty of North America is that the laws are there to protect ALL their citizens regardless of race, religion, sex, sexuality and skin colour.
  81. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Nick Wright says, "Canadian troops, aid workers, and visiting politicians and diplomats (those who have dared to go outside the city) have seen first-hand for seven years the reality of social norms in Afghanistan and have kept their mouths shut. If they had spoken about what they saw every day, the Canadian public would have called for an end to the mission a long time ago."

    Nick's perceptive comments on this issue are first-class. And of course he is correct. Afghanistan's social norms are not hidden from those who travel the country. One prevalent practice is "bacha bazi": adult men using male children as sexual surrogates for women. During their time in power the Taliban ended this practice, declaring contrary to Islam. When the Taliban were ousted it started again. Now, Canadian soldiers, diplomats and visiting politicians must make a point of ignoring the practice.

    When you think about Afghan women being legally constrained to have sex with their husbands, spare a thought for the male children of Afghanistan. Their lot is that much worse.

    Spare a thought too for how your government has attempted to manipulate and influence your views on the war in Afghanistan. You haven't been told what's really going on for the reasons Nick describes: you would withdraw your support if you knew.
  82. Marian Olson from Canada writes: Mr. Karzai has had ample opportunity - quite a few years in fact - to demonstrate that he is more than just another corrupt official in a backward country seeking to enrich himself and his family and retain power by pandering to Islamic extremists. There are alternatives, but unfortunately there will be an election soon in this pseudo-democracy and corrupt, manipulative officials such as Karzai have a significant advantage. Some political hard-talk is necessary here, plus the political will to back it up. "The dog ate my homework" excuses are just insulting.
  83. Guitar Player from Vancouver, Canada writes: jomo wanjala from Toronto, Canada writes: ""Investment Industry Insider from Toronto, Canada writes: jomo -- what the hell does Chris brown have to do with Afghan laws on women's rights, besides he is a criminal and an idiot for attacking a woman, when he clearly had the choice od walking away to greener pastures if he wished.""

    "My point was simple, law is based on a society's cultural values of morality, laws in North America and White Western Europe are based on white western culture. Canada, has no right enforcing these laws (value system) on another culture, in affecty whitening them up. America should respect African Amercian culture, the same way Canadian Indians are allowed to be tried by 'sentencing circles' so too should Afro Canadians and Afro Americans be able to be judged by 'tribal councils' composed of African Canadian community leaders and elders."

    So, let me see if I understand this, together with your earlier posts. Canadians must absolutely respect Afghan or other non-Canadian values and not impose our standards on people over there (fair enough) -- but (if I read your earlier posts correctly), we should also encourage more immigration from Afghanistan so that Canada will be more multicultural, and when Afghans arrive here, we have no right to expect that they similarly respect Canadian values and practices because you don't like those values? Is that right? Bulletin: you can't have it both ways. We are entitled to expect the same level of respect for Canadian values and customs that you say the Afghans are entitled to expect. Since you claim to be in Canada, you seem to exemplify the worst of what we can expect in terms of attitude. For you, the definition of multiculturalism appears to be: "Canadians must respect our ways absolutely, and everywhere; and when we live in Canada, we must be allowed to do what we please, when we please, as we please." Sorry -- ain't gonna happen.
  84. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Guitar Player - right freedom of religion here - but not in Afghanistan. We get to dictate there while we give in to every interest group that comes to our country. They have to accept our rules there - but not here where everything must be altered to accommodate their beliefs.

    It would appear that many people do not see the contradictions. What is next - will we compel them legalize same sex marriage as well? One thing our troops understand is that while they may promote democratic processes, they do not have the right to coerce the people of Afghanistan to change their values to fit our beliefs. Trying to do so is what will turn people against us. Promoting a democratic political process is one thing - dictating values and beliefs is another. Even the UN Human Rights Council passed a motion that disallows the discussion of Sharia law in terms of human rights in Muslim countries. Why do Canadians insist on being so self-righteous despite our own failures as a society?
  85. F H from Ottawa, Canada writes: As there's nothing wrong with same-sex marriage and gay people are equal to hetrosexual people and deserve the same rights then sure, same-sex marriage should be allowed.

    It's a basic human rights issue that the rest of the world is starting to understand. No one will force any hetrosexual to marry another hetrosexual of the same sex, so nothing is being forced on anyone.
  86. J S from Canada writes: Incompetence at it's finest!! Uh, I didn't read the new law I was passing... duh, what'd it say? I don't care how busy this man is, it does not take that long to read through and examine carefully the legislation that is being put into law. After all, that's his job!
  87. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: It is highly debatable whether any human rights are universal, rather than being determined by local realities and values.

    Here are some quotes from "Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace" by long-time Afghanistan aid workers Christine Johnson and Jolyon Leslie (2004):

    "The claim of the human rights movement is that its values are universal. Yet this is a concept of human rights that stems from a peculiarly western, individualist view of the world. A person is seen as an individual agent and his or her rights are conceived in those terms.

    "In Afghanistan, as in many non-western countries, a person is embedded in his or her social environment, and rights can be constructed only on this basis....Any action by an individual to claim his or her rights has to be judged in relation to its effect on (the wider relationships of family, extended kin, and tribe). Decisions are structured less by what you want...than by what your familiy needs or expects of you....

    "Duty is followed without question. ... Any strategy to increase the rights of individual Afghans needs to acknowledge this, to recognize that moral universes can be structured in different ways that are equally legitimate, though not always compatible."

    It goes on to talk about Afghans' shock upon first visiting North America and seeing homeless people forced to sleep on the streets and how we institutionalize our old people. To them these are deeply immoral things, and make us hypocrites to them when we preach about human rights. Even when Kabul was rubble, no one slept in the streets, and old people don't die alone.
  88. Lie Detector from Toronto, Canada writes: Last item on my list? Final reason why Canadians shouldn't be outraged by Karzai's Rape Law? Because cultures are never better or worse -- just different. Afghans are just as outraged by Canadian ways as we are by how Islamists enslave women.

    For instance, Afghans get shocked and outraged "seeing homeless people forced to sleep on the streets".

    What nonsense. There's a difference between being homeless because I can't make rent -- and being homeless because someone burns down my house. Just like there's a difference between falling on hard times but remaining free to pursue better times in my life -- and being enslaved.

    And the difference is clear and obvious too all -- except, obviously, to those justifying enslaving women.

    Cultural relativism. What a joke. If cultures aren't better or worse -- why are Islamist societies terrorizing non-Islamic cultures everywhere? Murdering 'infidels' at whim? Righteously enslaving women? Vowing and repeatedly attempting to genocide Israel? Actively genociding in Darfur?

    Because Islamist culture really is unique in this day and age. Because only Islamist societies remain sufficiently fundamentalist to proudly declare their genocidal ambitions, terrorize all other cultures and righteously enslave women.
  89. Nick Wright from Halifax, Canada writes: Lie Detector: Afghans are shocked by some of our ways, not outraged. And they have no desire to try to change us. That is the difference.
  90. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: That is the bottom line issue - Canadians see our culture - values/beliefs as 'better' than those of the people of Afghanistan. Ours has a different religious basis - and yes, despite the atheism many profess today, our culture has a Judeo-Christian religious basis. Many Muslims see their values/beliefs as 'better' than ours. And many fundamentalist Christians see their values as 'better' than the Muslims or many average people - and definitely better than atheists. And a minority of Muslims see there beliefs as 'better' than ours and any other Muslims who do not adhere to their views and are willing to kill not only infidels, but anyone who does not follow their version of Islam - including other Muslims. The issue of same sex marriage has split the Anglican church internationally. People on both sides of the issue consider their view as the 'right' one.

    The concept of 'universal human rights' is a secular notion that many of deep (religious) convictions do not accept.
  91. MR. oz from Canada writes: Let us get out of that dung heap of a country!
  92. Catherine Medernach from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Lie Detector - generalizing the actions of a minority of Muslims to encompass all Muslims is highly counter-productive. Groups like the Taliban pose a threat to anyone who does not conform to their rules - and mostly that is other Muslims. The agenda of Al-Qaeda and the International Jihadist Network is to overturn the governments of all Muslim countries and replace them with theocratic rule a la Taliban. They pose as much a threat to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, India, Iran etc. as they do to any non-Muslim country. This is not about culture - they destroy culture - but power and control using religion as their justification.
  93. Lie Detector from Toronto, Canada writes: Catherine Medernach: "This is not about culture - they destroy culture - but power and control using religion as their justification."

    That's just semantics. Regardless whether you regard religion as a cultural artifact or not -- Islamists are certain they've got god's truth revealed to them. And that's why Islamist intolerance is such as it is.

    That's why Islamist keep vowing and attempting genocide of Israel. Keep actively genociding in Darfur, terrorizing non-Islamic cultures everywhere, murdering 'infidels' at whim and righteously enslaving women. Fundamentalist intolerance means Islamic rule is purest abomination.

    Fundamentalist intolerance. And only Islamist societies remain sufficiently fundamentalist to proudly declare their genocidal ambitions, terrorize all other cultures and righteously enslave women.
  94. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Please take a look at this repost of Nick Wright's comments at 3:12pm.

    ----

    It is highly debatable whether any human rights are universal, rather than being determined by local realities and values.

    Here are some quotes from "Afghanistan: The Mirage of Peace" by long-time Afghanistan aid workers Christine Johnson and Jolyon Leslie (2004):

    "The claim of the human rights movement is that its values are universal. Yet this is a concept of human rights that stems from a peculiarly western, individualist view of the world. A person is seen as an individual agent and his or her rights are conceived in those terms.

    "In Afghanistan, as in many non-western countries, a person is embedded in his or her social environment, and rights can be constructed only on this basis....Any action by an individual to claim his or her rights has to be judged in relation to its effect on (the wider relationships of family, extended kin, and tribe). Decisions are structured less by what you want...than by what your familiy needs or expects of you....

    "Duty is followed without question. ... Any strategy to increase the rights of individual Afghans needs to acknowledge this, to recognize that moral universes can be structured in different ways that are equally legitimate, though not always compatible."
  95. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    I'd like to expand a bit on the excellent comments posted by Nick above.

    Most Canadians truly have no appreciation for how extensive the support system is that we receive from our government. This is understandable. Most of us don't know it any other way.

    But people in undeveloped countries have NO government safety net. In fact, they're lucky if their government just leaves them alone and isn't outright preying on them. For people in living conditions like that- there's hundreds of millions of them- the only safety net they have is their family and their tribe. Without those, survival wouldn't just be difficult- because it's difficult even with that help- it would be impossible.

    The sophisticated concepts of human rights mean nothing if you're not alive to enjoy them. Tribal societies, their laws and their culture mean survival for the individual. There is no government backup. There is no 911. There is no child welfare system. You owe your very existence to your family and your tribe.

    Canadians who think that Afghans will drop their allegiance to their tribal societies and embrace foreign human rights concepts are mistaken. Even if Afghans thought that our 'outlandish' ideas of human rights were acceptable, they will not abandon the only safety net they have by embracing them. It would be suicide.
  96. Al B from Canada writes: It's not like legislated laws have much hold in Afghanistan, a country with no real government. I'm sure customary law is paramount there. If women were already mistreated this law wouldn't make it any worse.
  97. Karen Cheyne from BC, Canada writes: Steve M from Canada writes: So the real question is;

    What does it say about Afghan men that they need a law to force their wives to have sex?
    Posted 27/04/09 at 9:54 AM EDT | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment

    At last, the REAL question has been asked. I guess all those pre-arranged, costly dowry-driven , mother-in-law pleasing marriages did not make for loving relationships between husband and wife. Sadly, a young couple who were truly in love and tried to elope were publicly shot to death not too long ago. Methinks human greed dictates which passages of the Quaran are to be followed , not true religious fervor.
  98. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Concerned about what goes on in the bedrooms of Afghan homes, are you?

    As of 2006, there were some 6.1 million married couples in Canada.

    At the same time, 30% of women currently or previously married have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence at the hands of a marital partner.

    (Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, Statistics Canada, 1999)

    That suggests that perhaps two million Canadian women, have experienced sexual or physical violence from their male partners during marriage.

    I'm not sure that Canadians should be pointing the finger at anyone.
  99. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    And, if I may add, I'm not sure we should be making war on anyone because they have less-than-stellar gender equality.
  100. EX Forces Ampuroid from Canada writes: Ontario Averages 100 workplace deaths a year. Hold the Presses! Richard's logic-Stop working right now!
  101. Spud Lite from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada writes: The Western world has been monkeying around in the Near, Middle and Far east for 300 years, usually with disastrous results. But at least we got their oil.

    Why can't we just let them return to their regional and tribal warfare, and concentrate on the countries that actually want to do business with us?

    Oh, I guess 9/11 pretty well answers that question. Once we attract their attention, they can reach out and touch us.

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