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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/16/09

Afghan Women Protest Marital Rape Law; Men Spit and Stone Them

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Last month, the new Afghanistan parliament passed the "Shia Family Law" which legitimates marital rape and child marriage for Shia Muslims who make up ~15% of the population.  At least 300 women protested the law, with their faces exposed.  Nearly 1,000 Afghan men and their slaves turned maniacal and stoned the protesters. Police struggled to keep the two groups apart, reports the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).

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Supporters of the law redefine 'rape' to fit their narrow patriarchal views.  Forced sexual relations, to them, is about loyalty to the husband.  One counter-protester reportedly described rape as marital infidelity – by the wife!

"Rape is what you see in the West where men don't feel responsibility for their wives and leave them to go with several men."

Well, honey, that is not the definition of rape.  That's called cheating.  Afghan protesters object to insane Taliban views that promote stoning women to death for perceived affronts to their masculine godview:

2005 Stoning

Last week widespread objection erupted to the stoning of a 16-year-old for leaving her house with a male non-family member, while the man was left unmolested and unpunished.  The Taliban's femicidal misogyny is infamous, world wide.  RAWA and others hope to neutralize the psychopathic influence of Taliban thought in the Middle East. 

Afghanistan is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, except when it conflicts with their religion.  How convenient.

Treating Shia women separately than all other citizens sets them up for violence, as the counter-protesters proved.  RAWA tracks this violence, posting photos, reports and, recently, its statement on the 7th Anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan:

Neither the US nor Jehadies and Taliban,
Long Live the Struggle of Independent and Democratic Forces of Afghanistan!

RAWA reports:

"The government of President Hamid Karzai has said the Shiite family law is being reviewed by the Justice Department and will not be implemented in its current form. Governments and rights groups around the world have condemned the legislation, and President Barack Obama has labeled it 'abhorrent.'

"Though the law would apply only to the country's Shiites - 10 to 20 percent of Afghanistan's 30 million people - it has sparked an uproar by activists who say it marks a return to Taliban-style oppression. The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, required women to wear all-covering burqas and banned them from leaving home without a male relative.

"Shiite backers of the law say that foreigners are meddling in private Afghan affairs, and Wednesday's demonstrations brought some of the emotions surrounding the debate over the law to the surface.

"'You are a dog! You are not a Shiite woman!' one man shouted to a young woman in a headscarf holding aloft a banner that said 'We don't want Taliban law.' The woman did not shout back at the man, but told him: 'This is my land and my people.'

"Women protesting the law said many of their supporters had been blocked by men who refused to let them join the protest. Those who did make it shouted repeatedly that they were defending human rights by defending women's rights and that the law does not reflect the views of the Shiite community.

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Rady Ananda Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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