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Women: the focus of the Taliban’s hatred

“I shudder each time when I hear of the Taliban’s heinous activities. Malala Yousufzai’s story reminds me of the thousand crimes this extremist and ferocious group has perpetrated. None of these have any justification.” Marina Zaffari on the Taliban and the women of Afghanistan.

Malala was one of the brave girls writing about her memories, her account of living in the Taliban-controlled Swat region in Pakistan. Her writing focused mostly on girls’ rights and education.

Malala was once again the victim of extremist forces, just like several women before her. The 14-year-old was shot just as she was leaving school for her home. A bearded man walked up to the school car and asked for her. He was probably confused with the answer he got, so he shot Malala and one other girl. Malala was airlifted with from a military helicopter to military hospital in Peshawar.

Malala’s concerns are not just hers alone, but she was one of the few who raised her voice for girls’ rights. Now, she and her family are suffering the repercussions, but it is definitely a pain all those in Swat would have to bear, because they have been suffering the Taliban’s regime for five years.

From the very first day that the Taliban took over in Afghanistan in 2001, girls’ schools were shut down. Women were not allowed to go outside their homes without the company of a male family member. Young girls and women in general were forced to wear veils or the burqa. At the time, daily life was full of fear and panic, but girls were secretly studying at home.

In the initial years after they came into power, they closed around 500 schools. Many schools in the Ghazi province have still not resumed. There were also cases where several students in the country’s north were poisoned. The Taliban even splashed acid on girls to stop them from going to school.

Each member of the Taliban had the right to punish people. In most cases, they would hit women if they found them walking alone on the streets or if they were seen carrying a book. The Taliban still control several areas in Afghanistan.

Zarmena, Parven Bibi Sanam and a lot of other women have been executed, stoned and killed by the Taliban in front of more than 100 people for crimes such as sexual intercourse and running away from home. These punishments are mostly for girls and not for boys.

I don’t know who gave the Taliban the responsibility to judge other people’s mistakes. The Taliban themselves are famous for “Buggery” or “Bachabazi.” This is an old tradition where small boys are made to dance and entertain older men. If adultery is illegal in Islam, then why does the Taliban indulge in Bachabazi?

I am proud that Malala was courageous and dared to raise a voice and present her knowledge, talent and education. Once more, the Taliban have proven that they are weak, even in front of a 14-year-old girl.

Malala’s efforts will be a symbol of struggle for all women and will surely motivate them to put an end to their silence and fight for their rights.

Author: Marina Zaffari

Editor: Manasi Gopalakrishnan


15.10.2012 | 13:19