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Davis

Davis, California

Friday, December 3, 2021

That’s what she said

Right now there is a proposed law in Afghan parliament that states, according to Shia law, that women would not be allowed to refuse sex with their husbands. God damn it. Its one step forward, two steps back.

Afghanistan has been through a diverse and tumultuous history. However, it was not always so conservative. I refuse to allow Afghanistan to succumb to the propaganda claiming it is a backward nation without some clarifications.

In 1919 Amanullah Khan became king and is considered one of the most proactive, and liberal, Afghan leaders of modern Afghanistan. Amanullah implemented social reform, he emphasized education and announced that women were not allowed to be covered up and were expected to go to school.

In the 1950s, Prime Minister Daud Khan, after combating another conservative kings law, also allowed women to go to school and said that he wanted women to have a more public presence. He was also openly against veiling women, but allowed the Afghan people to slowly adjust to social change by allowing, but not enforcing, removal of head scarves. Women were allowed and encouraged to go to both work and school. When I think of 1950s America, I think of Susie Homemaker. At one point in history Afghanistan was more women-friendly than the U.S.

So what went so wrong? What happened to that progressive nation and from where did this women-, love- and kite-hating people emerge?

After the Cold War, England built madressas, religious schools, in Pakistan that were also funded by America. These schools were supplied with weapons and were designed to teach its talibans, or students, to fight the Soviet Union.

After the Communist party of Afghanistan killed Daud Khan, who was president at the time, the taliban (remember: Students) along with the mujahedin, guerilla fighters, fought off the Soviets. Then, after a bloody civil war the group known today as the Taliban gained control of the capital.

As my father says (translated from Farsi): “Today in Afghanistan, the ones who are fighting, the war lords, are the same people who were funded and taught by the Americans and British in the 1980s. And why doesnt America analyze Saudi Arabias laws, where women are not even allowed to drive cars? Because theyre friends.

The U.S. and England were very involved in Afghanistan when it was strategic for fighting the communists and bringing the Soviet Union down, which directly correlated with the U.S. rise as a world hegemony. After their goals were accomplished, Afghanistan was left under the reign of the Islamic extremists. If not for 9/11 we would have never looked back. But now that the United States has entered the country again, the public is expected to believe that we are once more saving another poor Islamic country from itself. In actuality, the United States and Britain are going back to clean up a mess that they created over 30 years ago.

Islamic extremism was used to fight the Soviets and nobody said a word. Today, America has incredibly close ties to Saudi Arabia, arguably the most extreme of religious fundamentalists in the Middle East. Just like how the early talibans were used to fight the Soviets and gain power for the United States, Saudi Arabia has the oil we need, and regardless of their political and social beliefs, we continue to do business with them. So lets drop the bullshit about wanting to save people.

Afghanistan has a history of war, but only because its people refuse to settle for what is not right. A law like the “rape law is a byproduct of Cold War games that the Allies played among themselves. Still, and I think the Afghan ambassador to Canada, Omar Samad, puts it best: We are going to fall down, we are going to make mistakes, and we’re going to move forward as a result. Represent.

 

A year ago SARA KOHGADAI would have feared for her life after writing such a column. I hope Barack appreciates this trust and would e-mail me at sbkohgadai@ucdavis.edu. 

 

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