Saturday, July 07, 2012

Afghan woman publicly executed near Kabul

I thought one of the reasons the US invaded and occupied Afghanistan was to 'liberate' oppressed Afghan women. But this still happens and in Kabul of all places (video in link):
A man who Afghan officials say is a member of the Taliban shot dead a woman accused of adultery in front of a crowd near Kabul, a video obtained by Reuters showed. In the three-minute video, a turban-clad man approaches a woman kneeling in the dirt and shoots her five times at close range with an automatic rifle, to cheers of jubilation from the 150 or so men watching in a village in Parwan province. "Allah warns us not to get close to adultery because it's the wrong way," another man says as the shooter gets closer to the woman. "It is the order of Allah that she be executed."

Of course the adulterous man was probably congratulated and awarded a medal by his peers.


   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

      "I thought one of the reasons the US invaded and
      occupied Afghanistan was to 'liberate' oppressed
      Afghan women.

And were you for some reason also under the impression that this goal had been achieved?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Of course the adulterous man was probably congratulated and awarded a medal by his peers.

You're probably right.

So, with this series of posts you are basically answering my question from awhile back about what we ( the West) could do to help neutralize the extremism in the region. And the answer is...nothing.

*sighs in frustration*

But, I'm an American, we are eternally optimistic that we can change the world!

Zeyad said...

Lynnette, I believe the answer is to abolish tribalism. These cultural practices are more deeply seated in tribal idealogy than in the Islamic religion. Islam itself was initially a rebellion against tribalism though it was later forced to coopt tribalism among the Arabs in order to use it for expansion. What we have today is a notion of Ummah as the larger tribe against everyone else (outsiders) alongside the smaller tribal groupings and clans with states acting as warring tribes and actors within the state as smaller clans. The uprisings in the Arab and Islamic world are merely replacing one ruling clan with another so in essence nothing is really changing except the faces. We need to support civil institutions and maintain the independence of the judiciary to create some semblance of rule of law to replace the law of the tribes if we are to move forward, and the tendency of first world countries to back one clan or tribe against the other when it suits their interests or economics to do so is just making things worse. I think I should republish my series of essays on tribalism here.

Bridget said...

I've wondered in the past about whether some of the more obnoxious traditions that we ascribe to Islam are cultural or religious. Indonesia is a huge Muslim country....I need to do some reading to see if they have similar traditions, and if so, whether their culture is tribal.

It's not just an Arab thing, though. Neither Iran, Pakistan, nor Afghanistan are tribal.

Pakistan is an interesting case in that they were Indians up until the Partition. Do Hindu Indians stone women for adultery, I wonder? They do commit female infanticide, while Arab Muslims do not. I wonder about Pakistani they combine the worst of both worlds and kill both baby and adult females?

Bridget said...

Excuse me. Neither Iran, Pakistan, nor Afghanistan are Arab.

Bridget said...

They evidently stone adulterers in Indonesia.

The claim is that stoning is in accordance with Sharia law and Islam. Who actually developed Sharia wasn't Mohammed himself, was it?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

In the West, especially the US, there is always going to be a tug of war between what is good for us and what is good for other countries. Because our governments are elected by the people those running for office must try to satisfy the voter's demands for jobs, better schools, improved infrastructure, etc. So we will get, for example, the relationship between us and KSA, even though it is not a natural alliance of shared beliefs. It is that pragmatism I am guessing you found in Kissinger's book. To actually go out on a limb and support a turnover of the status quo is something that took a cataclysmic event and a "cowboy" to try. For good or ill.

The support of civil institutions and the strengthening of the judiciary are good ideas. I know we had people in Iraq after the invasion try to put in place some changes that would help with that. But, sadly, I am guessing that it didn't stick. We would have had to stay there longer, which no one seemed to want.

One thing that is important to change is the role of women. With this latest incident in Afghanistan perhaps they will step up and actively try to bring about change themselves. Women's emancipation did not happen right away here in the States either. It took some courageous people to bring that about. There was a hidden "gem" in my link to that Oklahoma video, btw. I have always loved the old lady at the end with the gun. ;)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

      "I need to do some reading to see if they
[Indonesia] have similar traditions…"

I believe you will discover that Islam in Indonesia is a rather different beast than Islam in the Middle East.  (Notwithstanding a recent rise in more ‘Middle Eastern’ interpretation.)  Indonesian Islam often incorporates elements of earlier Indonesian religions, quite often fully pagan religions, and is often a mix of the two.  It would horrify a Salafi.
I think they tended to go Sufi too, instead of Sunni or Shia.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Islam itself was initially a rebellion against tribalism though it was later forced to coopt tribalism among the Arabs in order to use it for expansion.

Meaning it had to adopt some of the characteristics of tribalism to succeed?

Yes, Zeyad, it would be nice if you republished your tribal essays again. It has been a while since I read those.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

Post Script:

The Hindi used to have a tradition of burning a widow alive on her dead husband's funeral pyre.  The Brits objected when they ruled India.  When Indian representatives complained about the ban to the British beneral in charge of India, saying that it was a time-honored tradition, he said that, ‘We have a tradition too.  When men burn women alive, we hang them.’.  That seemed to pretty much settle the matter.

I don't think the burning widows alive tradition has made too much of comeback since the British relinquished control.

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

beneral should have been ‘general

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Neither Iran, Pakistan, nor Afghanistan are Arab.

No, but in the case of Iran, Islam expanded into the region, displacing Zoroastrianism, which had been the main faith. But this would have occured after Islam's expansion in the Arab lands, where it had taken on some of the tribal characteristics.


Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Zoroastrianism, btw, an interesting belief.

It is a simple faith with a simple credo: good thoughts, good words, good deeds. Its Eastern origins lend it a softness akin to Hinduism's and Buddhism's. Unlike the Semitic faiths-Islam, Judaism, Christianity-the Zoroastrian god is not all-powerful or omniscient. There is no original sin, no fear-inspiring lord, no complex rules on how believers should live. The Zoroastrian god, Ahura Mazda, is the spiritual embodiment of truth and righteousness. The Zoroastrian holy book, the Avesta, praises truth and order and concludes that man is capable of discerning the right path. In the holy book, Ahura Mazda is set against an evil god, Ahriman. The competition between the two, between truth and evil, reflects the internal struggle of man choosing between good and evil. Excerpted from "The Soul of Iran" by Afshin Molavi

Bridget said...

Oddly enough, Lynnette, the Zorastrians live on in the Parsis of India. I've met some of them. Their ancestors fled Iran centuries ago when they were driven out by the Muslims.

Another group of people I need to bring up when next the subject of right of return to Israel arises. :)

   Lee C.  ―   U.S.A.     said...

There are those who are prepared to argue that the teachings of Jesus were strongly influenced by an early age exposure to Zoroastrianism.

Bridget said...

Good news. The stoning of adulterers not likely to catch on in Indonesia.

Bridget said...

Ha. Just remember an online conversation I had years ago with Paul Edwards. At the time, he was bent on turning all Muslims into atheists so as to defuse their religious fervor. I (tongue in cheek) suggested to him that human beings have an innate need for religious faith, and that perhaps he should try to convert all the Muslims to a benign religion like Zoroastrianism rather than try to make atheists out of them. He seemed quite taken with the idea.

Ah me.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I think Zoroastrianism lives on to a certain extent in Iran as well. At least according to that book I referenced.

The idea of reconverting people from Islam to Zoroastrianism is an interesting thought, Bridget. :)

Paul Edwards? I wonder whatever happened to him? I remember he tried to lure me into some kind of alliance with him. I declined. He was a little...ummm...out there for me. :)

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