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|Afghan Women Reach Out Via Web|
|08/15/01 at 23:57:02|
sad... when will this end? of course the media is anti-islam.. but this is just sad... comments please :)
[color=blue]Afghan Women Reach Out
Web Gives Way to Communicate Internationally
By Dianne Lynch
Aug. 15 — Imagine it: You can't work. You can't go to school. You can't leave home without a male guardian, and even then, you must be shrouded in a veil from head to toe.
You can't laugh or talk aloud in public, and even your shoes must make no sound. Wearing cosmetics or showing your ankles is punishable by whipping; women have had their fingers amputated for wearing nail polish.
You paint the windows of your house black so you cannot be seen from the outside. You are forbidden from walking on your balcony or in your backyard. It has been years since the sun shone on your face. And all public references to you have disappeared.
You are a woman in Afghanistan today, living under the regime of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban.
And if you are one of the nearly 2,000 women who belong to The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, or RAWA, you are using the Internet to fight back.
Restrictions on Women
Founded in 1977 by Afghan feminist poet Meena Keshwar Kamal, RAWA was a small but thriving human rights organization, dedicated to involving Afghan women in the fight for democracy. Throughout the Soviet invasion of 1979 and the ensuing civil war that killed millions and sent thousands more fleeing to Pakistan, RAWA worked underground to provide education and health care to Afghan women and children.
And then, in 1992, the militia group known as the Taliban — which translates as "students of religion" — seized control of the country. Their brand of stark fundamentalism includes bans on music, movies, television, picnics, toys, cameras, cigarettes, alcohol, magazines, newspapers, and most books.
For women, the restrictions are tighter still. It's illegal to wear jewelry, colorful clothes, heeled shoes, and even white socks. Marriages are arranged, women are chattel, and rape victims can be stoned for adultery. Before the Taliban, 40 percent of doctors were women. Today, women cannot be treated by male doctors, and there are no female physicians left.
From Secret to Covert
If RAWA was secretive about its early efforts, its operations are now completely covert. And with good reason: membership is punishable by death.
"RAWA has 23 years of experience in our struggle under unfavorable, hard and bloody conditions, so we know very well how to operate underground," explains a RAWA spokeswoman who goes by the Mehmooda. "In our protests and other public meetings, our active members that have more important roles try not to show up, or if they have to be there, they try to show up in disguise."
Even so, she says, the Taliban have identified some members of the group. "We have to confess, though even after all of the precautions we take, some of our members have been recognized by the enemy. They now lead completely secret lives and are in hiding."
Despite the penalty, RAWA continues its work. It has established schools and orphanages in Pakistani refugee camps, and home-based schools in Afghanistan. Its mobile health teams treat women and girls who cannot receive care from Afghan physicians. It helps Afghan widows find ways to feed their children.
Using the Web to Reach Out
And, since 1997, it has used the Web to share its story with a global audience
It's a grim tale. The site's photo gallery is a montage of horror: a grinning man holding up the amputated hands of a thief; men hanged Aug. 8 in downtown Kabul; the public execution of an Afghan woman; maimed and murdered children.
But the Web site not only shocks and appalls. It informs, and it solicits aid. Because journalists are not allowed in Afghanistan, the RAWA site often provides the only unauthorized information on conditions there. And it serves as a platform from which RAWA can plead for help.
After a RAWA spokeswoman described on the Oprah television show how its members hide cameras under their veils to capture images of public executions and whippings, viewers sent in thousands of cameras. Today, the RAWA site is requesting smaller cameras — small enough to be easily concealed — as well as donations to finance its programs.
Mehmooda says supporters are also encouraged to invite RAWA representatives to speak at their events; to stage protests in solidarity with Afghan women; to donate medicine, stationery, footwear, medical equipment, and computers; and to write letters to the U.S. government urging it to support democracy and free elections in Afghanistan.
"If you are freedom-loving and anti-fundamentalist, you are with RAWA," the site proclaims.
And now, we have the opportunity to prove it — thanks to the Web, and to the courage of the women who are using it to bring about change.
Donations can be sent to:
|Re: Afghan Women Reach Out Via Web|
|08/15/01 at 22:29:47|
I have gone ahead and removed the address of this organization, as this site doesn't seem to be appropriate and maybe one of those christian missionary relief or similiar sites, because it has some very unislamic concepts on its site.
I just spent a few minutes glancing at that site and there are definitely some problems with the views of the site that are against Islam. Here were just a few things that I saw that are problematic.
*One of the articles/links says that the Koran does not require women to wear hijab.
*One of the articles/links points out the attrocities in Afghanistan such as the chopping off of hands for theft and then shows pictures.
*Another one explains of men and women (unmarried ones) being lashed for having sex outside of marriage.
*Another one tells of people being put to death for committing very serious crimes.
*Then there was the story I read of a woman that was burned to death by her husband. The husband fled the country after doing this. The article then said that its SUSPECTED he is under Taliban protection. (The article also said, look at the evil that happens under the Taliban.
After reading the above, I realized that there are some serious problems with that site.
The denial of the above issues I mentioned is to deny what is required of us under shariah. We need to becareful where we are taking our information from. There are many eyewitness acounts I have read and heard of from Afghanis themselves that are pleased with what the Taliban have done.
We should not propagate such sites that attack Islam and the Muslims.
Yes, the people of Afghanistan need our help, but not through some organization like this. Contact some Muslim organization like Islamic-Relief to help the people of Afghanistan.
|Re: Afghan Women Reach Out Via Web|
|08/16/01 at 17:30:59|
you're right bhaloo.. jazakallahu khair for removing the link to that site.. i actually was not able to see that site because they've had problems due to heavy traffic... but i take you're word on it.. though i didnt know about the things on that site, i apologize for posting that one :)
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