The Taliban's Bravest Opponents (via Salon)
October 2, 2001 7:44 AM   Subscribe

The Taliban's Bravest Opponents (via Salon) article/interview about the women's underground movement in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
posted by Irontom (23 comments total)
Particularly horrible photos can be found here: RAWA photo gallery
posted by Irontom at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2001

God bless these brave women. I've said it before, we should invade Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds alone.
posted by revbrian at 8:06 AM on October 2, 2001

if we were to invade on those grounds, we should have never left iraq alone, either. i can't see how any woman would chose to live in these countries, OR chose a religious practice which degrades them, christianity included.
posted by mich9139 at 8:31 AM on October 2, 2001

I saw some hidden camera footage that RAWA had taken on CNN's Behind the Veil which really gave me a better idea of the conditions that some Afghani people live in. I've been reading about the Taliban for over a year now but I don't think I had a real understanding of what the effects of their rule had on human beings until I saw the footage. RAWA risked death to get those images so that the world could see what they are facing. They really are an incredibly brave group and I hope we can help them in a way that results in a humane, safe, and satisfying life for people in that region.
posted by buddha9090 at 8:36 AM on October 2, 2001

mich, you are kidding aren't you?

I'm not sure anyone, women or men, is lining up to live in Afghanistan. And there ain't a whole hell of a lot of religious "choice" going on there either.
posted by Kafkaesque at 8:46 AM on October 2, 2001

Kafkaesque, kidding about what? since there have been threats of u.s. retaliation, afghanis have been fleeing the country in record numbers. i was just wondering why they haven't been fleeing in record numbers since the taliban took over. a bomb is a quick death. social persecution is (sometimes) a slow and lingering one. i am aware, however, that simply leaving a country isn't always the easiest proposition.
posted by mich9139 at 8:52 AM on October 2, 2001

mich9139, it seems that you're assuming everyone has the means (legally, financially, etc) to move to a society of their choosing. For the vast majority of the world, this simply is NOT POSSIBLE. There are already more than 3.5 million Afghan refugees who have fled their war-torn country in the past twenty years and many more who are trying to leave now are being stopped at the Pakistan border. Please understand that not everyone has the privilege of having the freedom to move freely about the world. Please also understand that when you are born into a society , the religion and social mores of the country (especially when they are enforced by the law) are often inherited by default (the alternative in places like Afghanistan being punishable by law). You may be from a western nation where you take your freedom of religion and your freedom to move about for granted, but please do not assign blame to those who were not brought up with the benefits you enjoy.
posted by buddha9090 at 8:53 AM on October 2, 2001

Sorry, that last post was being written while Kafkaesque and mich9139's posts were pushed up.

I am aware, however, that simply leaving a country isn't always the easiest proposition

So then what does your first point stand in light of that understanding? I'm not sure I am clear on where you are coming from on this.
posted by buddha9090 at 8:56 AM on October 2, 2001

Does anyone know where the original article that they rewrote to produce this is. I hate Salon, I would prefer to read the real reporters words.
posted by Wet Friday at 9:51 AM on October 2, 2001

What is it with hating Salon and Microsoft? It's like a reflexive instinct with people.
posted by Irontom at 9:55 AM on October 2, 2001

I hate them because they generally just rewrite other peoples work whilst pretending that it is first hand original reporting. If they weren't quite so up themselves it wouldn't matter, I just dislike frauds.
posted by Wet Friday at 10:12 AM on October 2, 2001

The thing that struck me most in this article is near the end, when the woman they interviewed says that the Afgan Northern Alliance is just another Taliban, and the people don't want the U.S. to support the Northern Alliance as a means to get rid of the Taliban. I wonder if anyone in Washington D.C. is listening to that kind of talk, or are they just doing what's politically expedient for the moment, which will come back and haunt us yet again down the road.
posted by dnash at 10:17 AM on October 2, 2001

buddha9090, what isn't clear? i think that any woman able to do so should leave the country due to the governing body's stance on women's rights. mass exodus seems to be happening only at times of conflict or anticipated conflict. other than that, many seem united by a supposed attack on islamic values. i am also figuring that you took for granted that my comment about staying with a certain religion was directed at religions practicing only in afghanistan, when i never made any reference to this.

i was amazed that women would choose to live in these countries. i understand that while many don't choose to live there, many do live there by choice. i definately don't understand your point, but i'm pretty sure that you misread mine.
posted by mich9139 at 10:49 AM on October 2, 2001

[i can't see how any woman would chose to live in these countries]

What the hell do you expect them to do? Cash in their 401k's and charter a jet?
posted by revbrian at 11:28 AM on October 2, 2001

sorry if i come off as a little annoyed, but you people really pick strange battles. not only are you fighting with me, but it appears that you're fighting with the english language. please try harder to find solid ground before making your next point.

Function: verb

1 a : to select freely and after consideration b : to decide on especially by vote : ELECT
2 a : to have a preference for b : DECIDE
intransitive senses
1 : to make a selection

posted by mich9139 at 11:38 AM on October 2, 2001


Sorry, but you're just wrong on this one. "Choosing" to be a woman in Afghanistan? Please. That's like asking why famine-stricken Africans "choose" to continue living in the Sub-Saharan area. Not everyone has the kind of mobility, privelege, and wealth that those of us with the luxury to post here enjoy.

Your ignorance is cloying, and its particulary frustrating that you're deflecting attention from a very interesting article.
posted by preguicoso at 11:57 AM on October 2, 2001

OK OK already.

I don't think mich really thinks women in Afghanistan are choosing to live under this regime and be its victims. Let's not get all bitchy about it. Maybe mich's first post was unfortunately worded?
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:04 PM on October 2, 2001

you guys have got to be crazy. i am amazed that you continue to argue with me, taking away from the point of the article. i am surprised that more women are not part of rawa, but instead choose to support a religion and society which treats them this way. and preguicoso, of course i never said anything about choosing to be a woman in afghanistan. that is absurd. how does one choose to be a woman anywhere?

i appreciate the fact that revbrian, Kafkaesque, and buddha9090 re-read what i wrote, and understood that we're on the same page here. preguicoso, this is your first post on this thread, and you have shown zero interest in the article. your poorly thought out snide remark is deflecting attention from a very interesting article.
posted by mich9139 at 12:11 PM on October 2, 2001

thank you Kafkaesque! i though i would get hell over the christianity comment, NOT on someone's belief of the word choose.

i support rawa. i am trying to increase awareness through my local chapter of NOW. they are amazingly brave. yet, many women in that country still support islamic sects which persecute them based on their sex.

i direct everyone here. if possible, help them out a bit.
posted by mich9139 at 12:17 PM on October 2, 2001

Wow, Salon has really screwed the pooch with this article.

First of all its BENEATH The Veil, which has a significantly different meaning than behind.

Second, she did not interview three teenageers whose mother had been killed. If memory serves, they were 9, 11 and 15.

That part was heartbreaking, and Salon's fuckups do not diminish that, but it does reflect VERY poorly on Salon. This is their marquee article, and I'm not even off the first page before encountering these huge flubs.
posted by NortonDC at 1:26 PM on October 2, 2001

NortonDC: Buddha9090's post above says Salon called it "Behind The Veil," but when I go to the article the writer rightly calls it "Beneath the Veil." Did Salon have it wrong at one point?
posted by allaboutgeorge at 6:08 PM on October 2, 2001

a religious practice which degrades [woman, [C]hristianity included.

Are you suggesting there's something in modern Christianity why approaches what's in Islam? I'm unaware of such.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:18 PM on October 2, 2001

allaboutgeorge--I'm looking at it from my cache right now. They called it BEHIND The Veil three times on the first page alone.

The new version still says three teenaged girls, so it's still misrepresents the documentary.

Paris, you need to read up on fundamentalist Mormon groups. They aren't on par with the worst of the fringe Islamic oppression of women, but they're giving it a try.
posted by NortonDC at 9:05 PM on October 2, 2001

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