The Swamps of Barbarism
Dr. KHURSHID ANWARWhen religious extremism reaches its epitome, it preys upon women. They are sometimes suppressed and at other times used as a tool. The teachings that cannot be found in any Vedas, come up every day in concocted Smritis and ongoing religious teachings. For example, the restrictions imposed on the women during their menstrual cycle can be found in Hinduism as well as Islam. But instead of paying heed to such things we turn our gaze towards how religious extremism turns into fanaticism. Wahabism has been doing the same. The sequence of events in our country is a clear evidence of such acts.
On 8th April, 1994, the UNO presented a report on human rights which contained a long list of the restrictions imposed by the Afghani Talibans on women. Several of those points are being presented here. Women are prohibited from visiting male doctors. They should be clad in hijab from head to toe. Working outside home for women was prohibited. Prohibition on buying goods from a male shopkeeper. Flogging, if ankles are visible. Public flogging, man handling and name calling if they do not adhere to the Taliban dress code. Stoning to death if she establishes relations with anyone other than her husband. Restriction on laughing aloud. Restriction on the presence of women on radio, television or any public sphere. Restriction on gathering of women on occasions like Id and other festivals. Painting the glass windows so that the females are not able to peep outside. It’s not possible to mention the long list here. But it’s quite clear that their motive was to turn females into nothing more than walking dead.
Two facts must be mentioned here. The first is that most of the Sharia laws were implemented in Afghanistan under the Rabbani-Masood government which is hailed as the pioneer of women emancipation. The second point is that all the Wahabi laws and school curriculum were the basis of all the Talibani laws enforced for women.
In 1978 Masood started a war against the Soviet Union. After the disintegration of Soviet Union, when Saudi Arabia supported Sayyaf and Iiehad-e-Islami for the propagation of Wahabi ideology during the war against Gulbuddin Hikamtayar, Masood welcomed the step. Henceforth, followed the propagation of anti women Wahabi ideologies. These events and the authorization of Masood on the papers presented in Soviet Union were a clear indication of the Wahabi-Taliban atrocities against women. The Masood government had a major involvement this report presented on 8th of April 1994. There were also atrocities on women which never came to light. From 1979 to the next five years, higher education among women had reached ninety percent. After the regulatory laws were implemented in 192-93 the percentage fell down to thirty percent. It is noteworthy that these also included the women who received education in the five years following 1979.
Herat alone accounted for ninety women committing suicides due to the atrocities of their husbands (UNO report). The comparison of Masood to Che-Guevara was not less than a cruel joke. These very Taliban forces use these women for their own motives. Taliban Qari Zia Rehman, who runs training camps to prepare women suicide squad in Kunar and Nooristan (Afghanistan) and Bajaur and Mohammad (Pakistan) have used many women for suicide attacks. Two women who had fled these camps informed the Pakistan government about this. But as usual the Pakistan government sat over the issue. This was immediately followed by women suicide attack in Kunar on 21 June, 2010. Qari Zia Khan took the responsibility of the blast and expressed his content. 24 June, 2010 saw another women suicide attack in Bajaur which left forty civilians dead. In 2010 alone there were forty nine bomb attacks in Khyber region of Pakhtunkhwa which does not include the women suicide attack on World Food Program in Bajaur (Pakistan).
The year 2011 saw the beginning of “burqa bomb attacks”. The ATliban named it “Mujahida sisters”. These kind of attack often saw even males clad in hijab bombing places, although the responsibility of suicide attacks mainly rested with females. 4 June, 2011 saw another suicide attack in Kunnar (Afghanistan). Taliban took the responsibility of the attack and named “Mujahida sisters” as the executors. Dera Ismail Khan saw another attack in the same year. The series of women suicide attack did not cease. The people using these women were the same who restricted women form laughing out loud as per Islam. The people who advocated that women should not be present on radio, television or public places, they should not be allowed to ride a cycle, motorcycle or drive a car and the window panes of their rooms should be painted so as to stop them from peeping out.
Where were these laws when these very women were being used for suicide attacks? Such dual standards for women of these Taliban and their patrons the Wahabis was a display of their treacherous and dualistic nature. On the one hand these women are restricted to a life of pity and empathy and on the other hand these very women are transformed to “Mujahida”. These women are nothing more than pawns in the hands of these Wahabis and terrorists who declare themselves to be the flag bearers of Islam. Did their Quran dawn down in the 18th century after the formation of Al-Wahab? The Quran that came down in time of Mohammad does not seem to speak of any such thing. This is a form of political Islam which has no relation to the Quran or the Hadith.
Let’s have a look at the other side of barbarism. Will any “Aalim” come forth to explain where in Quran or any of the Hadith is it taught to strap an innocent child with bomb and kill people along with himselves? But their form of Islam surprisingly teaches this. Misguiding poor children and their family member in name of “heaven” and preparing them for suicidal attacks for some money is such a sickening act of Al-Qaeda and Taliban that it puts down the head of humanity with shame. In its report of 4 November, 2008, the UN not just attested such acts but also denounced the Taliban and Al-Qaeda for training kids of 10-13 years for suicide attacks.
According to the report of the Combined Secret Agency of Guatanamo, these kids are chosen by Taliban as they believe that they do not have a matured mind to reason out things. And hence they are easily convinced to be ‘martyred’. These kids are mind washed and are made completely inhumane. The Afghanistan government has accepted that these kids are shown video of Muslims, kids and women being tormented so that they are filled with rage and a feeling of revenge.
The Afghanistan government openly accepted that these kids are bought for somewhere seven thousand to fourteen thousand dollars and their parents are convinced that they won’t just receive money rather their child would be martyred for Islam and hence will go straight to heaven.
The brazenness of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda can be imagined form the fact that when the kids in the region of Kunar and Nooristan are completely ready for a suicide attack, they are taken around in the village on a horseback dressed up like a groom. And the villagers, some out of sheer fear of the Taliban and some out of their support, come to congratulate their parents. The Pakistan government has given an estimate of the number of these kids to be somewhere around five thousand to seven thousand.
According to the Interior Ministry of Pakistan, there have been around 2488 terrorist attacks in the past two years resulting in the death of around four thousand people. Maximum suicide attacks amongst these were carried out by adolescent kids. Taliban is running three training camps in Wazirstan on Pakistan Afghanistan border where thousands of young children are being trained. Such barbaric thought process has never ever occurred in the history of terrorism. The illiteracy and unimaginable poverty in these regions are being used to make their ulterior motives work.
This face of Wahabi terrorism surely does not represent that of Islam. Their Islam doesn’t teach them to feed the poor, eradicate poverty and educate people. Their Islam teaches them to milk such miserable condition and cause widespread bloodshed. This is the new form of Islam. The Wahabi Islam. The roots of which do not sprout out of religion but from politics. And when such deadly combination comes to the forth, humanity is nothing good than dead. Wahabism and its terrorist cells are laying the foundation of a ‘political Islam’. The birth of a new form of fascism is not far away if this is not stopped here and now.