By Malik Atif Mahmood Majoka
I am to write with very heavy heart over the killing of a girl in Afghanistan merely on refusal of marriage proposal. The place of incident is north east of Afghanistan which has been under the tight control of Taliban regime and now apparently under the rule of so called Karzai government. Current Afghan government reminds me of Bahadur Shah Zafar the last Mughal emperor of India, whose rule was only confined to some localities of Delhi.
The plight of women in Afghanistan is a clear indicator that more than ten years of western presence in the country has not done much to the mindset of a culture which has been dominated by men for millenniums.
Now when the government of Afghanistan is negotiating peace with Taliban in the backdrop of American pull out of Afghanistan by 2014, it seems to me it’s all too little and too late. Transition of Afghan society from conservative to moderate would only take place if education system of the country is reformed. The extremist narrative based on the thoughts of Middle Eastern thinkers like Syed Qutub and others should be replaced or contested by the inclusive, tolerant narrative of Rumi or Rehman Baba. The debate combined with female education and economic independence of women would certainly improve the social conditions of women. This would be long and hard fought social battle between ultra conservatives and left forces of moderation based on Sufi version of Islam. Countries like Australia have also a part to play in spending money on those sections of Afghan society which enjoy influence and believe in respect of human rights. I am an optimist and wish it works.
Malik Atif Mahmood Majoka, 1/15 Rodd St, Dandenong, Melbourne, Australia
Killing of a girl to chose a believing spouse - or even an infidel or atheist spouse stands is sad, criminal, sadistic, brutal let alone its blatant contradiction with the Qur'anic message/ human rights. But as noted in a counter-discourse, recently posted refuting a fatwa posted in Taliban web-site, Nawa-e-Afghan Jihad, "A deadly spiritual potion is thus being brewed under the cloak of (Taliban) fatwa which contradicts the Qur'an on many counts, is self contradictory, bizarre and untenable on others, suicidal for Islam and the broader Muslim community and a grave threat to human civilization."