Yesterday, July 20, six male Afghan soldiers were beheaded by Taliban raiders in a northern Afghan province.
Two days earlier, a notorious Taliban leader called for the slaughter of Afghan women who are training to join their country’s to-date all-male military.
Nearly 30 members of Afghanistan’s courageous female population have begun training to fight against such terrorism. Two American female soldiers are assisting with the training.
Over the past weekend, the Taliban’s Mullah Omar ordered his guerrilla troops to kill any women and other Afghan civilians who are discovered trying to join or help Afghanistan’s legal military or the allied forces in any way, according to U.S. intelligence officials as reported at Politics Daily and McClatchy News.
The reports site Omar as the same Taliban leader who, once high up in power in Afghanistan, took women’s rights away and burned girls’ schools.
Clinton promises Afghan women will be taken into consideration:
In the wake of these incidents, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised yesterday that the safety and rights of Afghan women will not be overlooked in the process of trying to make peace deals with the Taliban. She was speaking to a gathering of foreign ministers in Kabul.
By contrast, Clinton has so far remained silent on the issue of Iran being seated on the UN’s Women’s Rights Commission.
An eclectic group of prominent women – religious to secular, conservative to liberal, American to immigrants – wrote and signed an Open Letter to Clinton on May 5, pleading with her to speak out against the appointment of Iran, a nation with horrendous women’s rights, to this UN Commission.
The letter calls Clinton to task for skirting the issue of how some factions of the Islamic faith see and treat women. It reminds Clinton that she spoke out against the denial of women’s rights in China during the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women’s Rights, and still goes around the world speaking on women’s rights, but seems to leave out this extreme aspect of a Muslim woman’s world.
The letter has largely been ignored by “mainstream” media outlets, but can be seen far and wide at very different organizations’ websites and blogsites. For example, from one called realcourage.org, which appears to swing left, to the FrumForum, a Republican conservative site. The list of signers, from congresswomen to those already working for religious freedom of all kinds, can be seen at the FrumForum site (click link in this paragraph).
Both Iran and Afghanistan have displayed heinous disregard for women’s rights, such as: Denying women and girls the chance to get an education or work, to choose their own husband or religion, or even leave the house lacking an appropriate male companion without facing harsh punishment (readers can see my previous Associated Content article, Iranian Christian Women in Prison, for one such occurrence).
Sources (no direct quotes):
“Taliban’s Mullah Omar orders attacks on women, U.S. says,” Dion Nissenbaum, Saeed Shah, McClatchy Newspapers, 7/17/10.
“Americans: Empower Women. Taliban: Kill Women.” David Wood, Chief Military Correspondent, Afghanistan Journal at Politics Daily, 7/19/10.
“Hillary Clinton vows to defend rights of Afghan women,” Jon Boone, Guardian, 7/20/10.
“Prominent Women Leaders Press Hillary Clinton To Denounce Election Of Islamic Republic Of Iran To U.N. Women’s Rights Commission,” FrumForum, 5/5/10.
“Women Leaders Press U.S. Secretary of State on Iran Women’s Rights Commission,” R.E.A.L. Organization (Responsible for Equality and Liberty), 5/710.