Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Aisha's Agony!!

Aisha is an Afghan girl now living in  Los Angeles.   She is 19 & this smiling picture of her was taken here yesterday.  She is in LA for a reason ...

 
 Notice anything weird about Aisha the Afghan girl in this picture above??   If you don't that is good.  Read On .....

Before this blog was born, back in early August of this year, 'Time' Magazine told her story as their   Cover Story.      I wrote about it then in all of it's horrific detail!



The above TIME Magazine article has this week been creating shockwaves wherever it's cover is viewed. That is because of its Cover photograph. Of Aisha, an Afghan girl.
Aisha, who is 18 years old, had her ears and nose cut off last year on orders from the Taliban because she fled from her abusive in-laws. According to Time Magazine, Aisha posed for the picture and says she wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have had their burden lightened somewhat in the past few years. I agree with her motivations & her analysis .... and admire her bravery.

My friends have different opinions on what I write ~ ranging from Muslims are pure evil to Muslims are as varied as everyone else in the world & that Islam is "just another religion". I've gained friends & I've lost close friends, but I think on viewing the above picture & it's associated article that I've found something All would Agree on .... Muslims practice Mistreatment of Women. From subtle derogation to death by stoning, it is clear that Muslim women are not held in the same regard as Muslim men in the Islamic world or by Islam.

It’s hard to ignore the cover of Time magazine this week with it's feature ... the haunting picture of teenage Aisha. Aisha had her ears and nose cut off by her husband last year, under the order of a Taliban judge. Her crime? Running away from her husband’s family because she was being beaten nearly to death.
 

But that’s the Taliban some will say ~ the terrorist group following the strictest interpretation of Sharia (Islamic) law. What about more moderate Muslims?

Even moderate Muslim women are to live under the control of their husbands, fathers, or male guardians, no matter how harsh it may be. A quote from a young Iraqi woman named Rafraf Barrak who tells the tale of being locked in a closet for four months because she had dared to eat her lunch with a boy. I asked her if, during that time, did she understand how wrong it was to be treated that way, or did she view it as just punishment for her actions?

"Growing up there in Iraq, I knew it was a punishment. I knew that what I was doing was wrong because there’s rules and … traditions and you don’t break them… It wasn’t that my dad hated me ~ it was just his way of disciplining me".


I’d be willing to bet that the boy did not receive the same punishment!!

In 2008 another teenage girl was subjected to torture & a brutal death to uphold the family's honour because she talked to a boy on Facebook.

In Iran, men on a spiritual pilgrimage to Imam Reza’s shrine may buy a temporary wife in order to elevate the spiritual atmosphere. Putting aside the fact that this amounts to blatant prostitution, why is it that only men are afforded this benefit? Why can’t Muslim women travel to the brothel, sorry mosque, and rent a sex slave husband by the hour?

What about the humiliation and pain for 164 Muslim women sentenced to a public flogging for the absurd “crime” of wearing trousers in public in Sudan? Why are these 'whipping girls' for Islamic absurdities?? And then there's always Aisha's Afghanistan!!


She was sold at the age of 10 by her father to a married man, a Talib. He kept her in the stable with the animals until she was 12 (when she got her first menstrual period). At the age of 12 he married her. From the day that she arrived in his house, she was beaten regularly by this man and his family. Sometimes she was beaten so badly that she couldn’t get up for days. Six months ago before she came to us, she was beaten so badly by her husband that she thought that she was going to die. She ran away and went to the neighbour’s house. The neighbour took to her to the police.

Since Uruzgan doesn’t have a women’s prison, the police took her to Kandahar and kept her in jail because she had run away from home. She spent four months in Kandahar women’s prison. After four months, her father came and took her out of prison. He took her back to Uruzgan and gave her back to her husband. Her husband once more beat her to the brink of death, and then he cut her nose and ears off. He did this because she had brought shame to the family by running away. Then he took her to the mountains and left her there to die. She was rescued by the U.S forces. They kept her in the military clinic for 2 months until her wounds healed. Almost everyday, her father came to the American base and wanted to take her back with him. If he achieved this what do you think her future would be???

Aisha has been recovering these past months from the unimaginable trauma she has suffered. She has brought criminal charges against her father for giving her away in the illegal practice of “baad.” She would like to also bring charges against her husband, but since he is a Talib in Uruzgan, he is unreachable.

Women in Taliban-held areas of Afghanistan say they are once again being threatened, attacked and forced out of jobs and education as fears rise that their rights will be sacrificed as part of any deal with insurgents to end the war in Afghanistan.


Women have reported attacks and received letters warning of violence if they continue to work or even contact radio stations to request songs.  One female teacher at a girls’ school in a southern Afghan province received a letter saying: ~  

“We warn you to leave your job as a teacher as soon as possible otherwise we will cut off the heads of your children and will set fire to your daughter.”

Another woman, Jamila, was threatened in August 2009, in a letter bearing the Taliban’s insignia when she was working for a local electoral commission. It said: ~   


“You work in the election office together with the enemies of religion and infidels. You should leave your job otherwise we will cut your head off your body.”   

Jamila ignored the letter, but days later her father was murdered. She left her job and moved house!

With the war reaching a stalemate over the past year, Afghan and foreign leaders have prepared the ground for talks with insurgents by claiming they are more moderate and pragmatic than the Taliban government overthrown in 2001. The head of the International Security Assistance Forces’ reintegration unit, Lt-General Graeme Lamb, said:  ~ 
 
“Who are these Taliban? They are local people. The vast majority are guns for hire ... not fighting for some ideological reason.”

The idea that the present day Taliban is less hostile to women than the old is contradicted by the experiences of women in Taliban-held districts. A report by Human Rights Watch ~ based on interviews with 90 women in districts largely held by insurgents in four different provinces ~ shows that women are being deprived of all rights.

No belief system that advocates brutality and subjugation toward women is just another religion. I have been castigated that it is a lack of understanding on my part, or that I'm just a young girl who is Idealistic & that Islam is not uniquely abberant. I can hear it said a thousand times that it is just outdated cultural practices in Middle Eastern countries & not 'Islam' that is to blame, but that doesn’t make it true. And I won't believe it!! 



 Yesterday, Aisha bravely faced the public wearing a prosthetic nose ~ one that gives her some idea of how she will look after having reconstructive surgery.

"When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out. In the middle of the night it felt like there was cold water in my nose. I opened my eyes and I couldn't even see because of all the blood" she told CNN reporter Atia Abawi.


Left for dead in the mountains, she crawled to her grandfather's house and they managed to get her to an American medical facility, where medics cared for her for ten weeks. They then transported Aisha to a secret shelter in Kabul and in August she was flown to the U.S. by the Grossman Burn Foundation to stay with a host family.

This month, she had a prosthetic nose fitted at the non-profit humanitarian Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in California as part of her eight-month rehabilitation.

Dr Peter H Grossman said they hoped to give Aisha a more 'permanent solution'. This could mean reconstructing her nose and ears using bone, tissue and cartilage from other parts of her body. Dr Grossman's wife Rebecca, the chair of the Grossman Burn Foundation, said Aisha was just one of the thousands of women who are treated with appalling harshness. She said ....

 
"Aisha is reminded of that enslavement every time she looks in the mirror. But there are still times she can laugh. And at that moment you see her teenage spirit escaping a body that has seen a lifetime of injustice".



The UN estimates that nearly 90 per cent of Afghanistan's women suffer from some sort of domestic abuse. However, the Taliban have released a statement rejecting this.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan rejects this fabrication by the Americans, who are publishing these lies to divert attention of the people from their clear and disgraceful defeat" said a spokesman.

And Afghanistan's Adherence to 'The Religion of Peace' & its Misogny is a beautiful thing. Shiny!!! 

6 comments:

  1. Guess "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" .... will never have the meaning it should in Aisha's memory!

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  2. I am very happy for her. It's a miracle ! When I saw her picture in time magazine I was sad. Thank you for sharing the good news.

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  3. I'm glad she will get some help... pakistan too is known for horrendous violations of women on a wide scale...

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  4. Actually Islam has that all men and women are the same but many people has their own thoughts and rules and some people are so strict and they think that women should not do anything, you can not judge all muslims and say they are evil just because some people are because some people do this you think that all muslims are the same

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  5. Actually I absolutely can judge & find Islam wanting, because I am not judging individuals or even a group of people but the WRITINGS of Islam itself. And the behaviour of the multifarious Islamic societies. So yes, I can judge Islam by its writings & its practices.

    See this Blog for examples ....
    http://princesspana.blogspot.com/2010/11/equality-under-law.html

    It examines not only the question of women in the islamic world but also the question of non Muslims & their treatment by the Islamic community. For your own education, Please read!

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  6. Islam supports women's rights and you cant judge a religion by what a group has done the groups you have mentioned have changed the writing of islam and i for one am a muslim women living in a country that has a high regard for women and we practice the real islam which supports women rights and gives us equal rights and for u to judge my religion just because you have read and seen it in the eyes of other people is prejudice you should dig into the subject more and i guarantee you will find that its not the islamic writing but the behaviors of a group of people who changed the writings of islam. and dont write something that you dont fully understand. and FYI i am from Kuwait

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