Taliban should realize they also have mother-in-law, Muslim activists say

Expressing their “solidarity” with besieged Afghans, especially women, as the militant Taliban took control of their country, angry Indian feminists questioned how long women have to bear the brunt of political upheaval all over the world. world.

As stories of the horrors allegedly inflicted on Afghan women in distress spread, Indian feminists expressed serious concerns for their safety, security, dignity and human rights, and stressed that the Taliban should surrender. consider that they also have “Maa-Behen” (mothers-sisters) and must also respect all women in their country.

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“There are fears of imminent threats of violent refoulement from regressive forces, especially for women and human rights defenders … But the US and Afghan governments have left the Afghan people in chaos, violence and violence. uncertainties, ”said Noorjehan S. Niaz and Zakia Soman, co-founders, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA).

Wisdom Foundation chief executive Professor Zeenat Shaukat Ali called the Taliban takeover “horrific and frightening” for Afghan women because patriarchal, misogynistic and barbaric mindsets “still make women easy targets. »And push them back to the Middle Ages, in the name of Islam and chariat.

“Afghan women were making good progress in all areas… They even had substantial representation in the National Assembly (Parliament). The same Islam that guarantees gender justice, equality and the law, pushed them forward. But the Taliban, as well documented, stole these achievements from them, ”Prof Zeenat said.

While Islam grants “high status” to women, it fears that the Taliban will do “exactly the opposite”, as we have already witnessed brutality against Afghan women and children seeking an education, he said. she declared.

Hasina Khan of the Bebaak (Voice of the Fearless) collective calls the Taliban control of Afghanistan “a threat to individual and artistic expression,” and a major drawback to the progressive feminist movement there.

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Warning that “the lives of many Afghan women are directly threatened by fanatics of religion,” Soman highlighted past attacks on girls’ schools, teachers, forced marriages, sexual violence, public flogging and others. atrocities against women in the name of respect Islam.

Activists remember the most high-profile incident – the deadly attack by a Pakistani Taliban group on teenage crossover Malala Yousafzai, then 15, in October 2012 – which sparked universal outrage.

Today, a global celebrity, Malala, 24, not only survived the Taliban bullets, but was also awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and ended his long but determined quest for education by graduating. from the University of Oxford in 2020.

Professor Zeenat and Soman want Taliban leadership to publicly announce “a guarantee of safety, security and well-being for all Afghan women, women and rights activists” who have gone underground after threats of death.

Apparently, taking advantage of the change of scenario after the ‘shock and awe’ takeover, the Taliban extended a conditional olive branch to Afghan women, asking them to join the government, etc., but it remains to be seen how many there are. of takers …

Emphasizing how all South Asian women are subjected to injustice and inequality in their respective societies, Niaz regretted that they all bear the burden of patriarchal systems, but “are concerned about the impending fate of the sisters. Afghans, ”given the questionable track record. of the Taliban.

Professor Zeenat reminded the Taliban of the Prophet Muhammad who said: “It is the religious duty of every man and woman to seek knowledge”, and said that the very first revelation of the Holy Quran is to acquire “ilm” (knowledge), followed by 805 verses dealing with ‘ilm’ and its derivatives.

Soman and Khan fear that the new Taliban regime will impose religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan, which could be “selectively” used by the West and other countries “to target Muslims and promote Islamophobia”, in addition to risks of increased terrorist activity.

Hailing India for its help in granting priority visas to Afghans, Niaz and Soman insisted that as the world’s largest democracy, “we have a moral obligation to stay tuned and to shelter persecuted people from neighboring countries during such serious humanitarian crises ”.

Prof Zeenat urged the global community, UN, UN Women, human and women’s rights commissions and other influential global bodies to prioritize the cause of besieged Afghan women – “before let it be too late … “.

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