Everyone person who has illusions about the still awaited breakout of democracy and freedom in Afghanistan should read the article below. It details the life of a woman called Gulnaz who was raped by her cousin’s husband and became pregnant. Rather than prosecute the man, she was convicted of sex outside of marriage and given a choice: marry your rapist or spend twelve years in jail. She has been serving the sentence with her daughter in jail in this abomination produced by Sharia law. In the meantime, the EU has yielded to demand by the Afghan government that it bar the showing of a movie featuring her story, and other women like her.
She and her daughter sit in Kabul’s Badam Bagh jail — minutes from President Karzai who has done nothing for her and women like her. Indeed, he previously moved against women’s rights to curry favor with Islamic fundamentalists. What is truly depressing is that she is now willing to marry her alleged rapist to get her daughter out of jail.
In the meantime, her alleged rapist is in jail across town and says that she is safer in jail because if she is released, she will inevitably by killed by her own family “out of shame.” He denies raping her.
The prosecutor declined comment, noting chillingly that there are hundreds of such cases and he would have to find the facts on this one case.
Notably, a film was done featuring her case and other cases with support from the EU. Our allies in the Afghan government however have called for the film to be spiked. The Afghan ambassador to the EU insists he is only thinking of the women. The EU relented and spiked the film. An email was later leaked that said “The delegation also has to consider its relations with [Afghan] Justice institutions in connection with the other work that it is doing in the sector.”
So, the film will not be shown. Afghan officials are relieved and Gulnaz and her daughter are serving out the twelve years in jail.
[UPDATE: Late today, it was announced that Gulnaz’ sentence would be reduced to three years but that she still deserved to be jailed with her daughter three years “not for adultery but instead for failing to report a crime quickly enough.”]
20 thoughts on “Meet Gulnaz: The Face of The Plight of Women in “Free” Afghanistan”
OMG,WHERE IS “ANY” COMMENT ON THE TOPIC-GULNAZ???You people are all so insensitive.All that gibberish and none even mentions about her…..
You have a brighter ideal…lead the way…but don’t forget that that is our oil and minerals under the sand….bi-directional drilling or slant drilling could ease our burdens…
I think this is it. This is part 1: the rest are also posted, and can be found by following the links. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GgYJbaga74&feature=related
It’s too late to ban the film. I’ve seen it, on American television– HBO? It’s probably available on the Internet for those who want to see it, maybe on DVD as well.
OS pleads — “Somebody tell me why our kids are still dying in that Godforsaken country?”
Sorry, OS, but I’m afraid it’s because of me. And a lot of people just like me.
You see, we want cheap food. And the government makes sure we get it by subsidizing the hell out of it. In return we get copious amounts of food, albeit a lot of it is lacking in sustenance and possibly poisonous. We also get inhumane conditions for workers and animals, rampaging obesity and related medical conditions and illnesses, the destruction of family farms and their soil, and practices contributing to climate change and exacerbating the 99-1% schism.
And there is more than one type of subsidy — more than just the cash outlays, price supports, gov’t insurance, or tax cuts and loopholes; there is also gov’t research, training, and marketing; the lack of meaningful labor, health, and environmental regulations, the lax enforcement of existing laws and regulations, and the outlawing of practices adverse to big Agribusiness, such as the sale of raw milk.
But we have our cheap food.
We want other cheap stuff, too. And the gov’t makes sure we get our cheap stuff by subsidizing the hell out of it. Cheap stuff requires cheap resources, cheap extraction, cheap production, cheap transportation, marketing, distribution. And the government subsidizes all parts, just like with food. Of course, there are special types of US subsidies available in the foreign arena. Sometimes a government is bought off, or it’s overthrown (think Iran). Sometimes it’s war.
War today is but another tool to cheapen things for the producers and the consumers It especially includes cheapening life. How easy it is to kill these Sharia believers. Even Prof.Turley holds these types in ill-repute.
These “subsidies” have the effect of pissing off people, and we get 9-11, Al-Qiada, Taliban, Ayatollahs, the people of Central and South America and folks like Evo and Hugo, and the folks in oil rich countries. They don’t see us as better, just more powerful, more brutish — taking what we want, when we want, however we want.
But we have our cheap stuff.
And every person like me — a willing participant in our non-sustainable, consumer driven economy — is complicit, making most Americans (like me) the most complicit of all. How much do you consume? What size is your carbon footprint? How big is your garbage pile? How much do you want? How much will you pay?
We are in Afghanistan and other places doing things that we would never permit be done to ourselves because we want a lot of really cheap stuff.
And we don’t really care what it costs someone else.
Happy Thankstaking. See you on black Friday.
OS says — “It is the genius of the M-I complex to make sure those facilities are in the districts of the most powerful congresscritters.”
Maybe. those congresscritters are so powerful simply because of the facilities being in their district. A major defense contractor facility is an economic choke point. Kill the F22 project, such and such number of folks will be laid off, and such and such number of vendors won’t receive orders who in turn will lay off employees. The large number of unemployed won’t be consuming as much, the vendors won’t be borrowing as much. Business will decline, and tax revenue will fall while demand for services rise. And every subcontractor, all located a various points throughout the country, will cry the same story.
Forget any security or defense argument. A great deal of the Pentagon’s budget is a full-employment program for select industries — just so they will be there when we really need them (and see my next post on why we will always really need them). Whoever represents such a district is ipso facto a powerful critter. The unemployed -oh, the horrors; just think of the unemployed!!! (Funny, generally unemployment usually isn’t such a big deal for defense hawks).
Everyone is nuts who think the big ticket items in the Pentagon’s budget are on the chopping table – better to go after VA facilities and benefits.
Yeah, the story is an example of horrid conditions in Afghanistan, but how does it implicate the national security interests of the US? Do the people deserve better? Undoubtedly. Do their needs obligate a US military presence? Or is it better for the US not to be there?
Countries whose governments treat their women in this fashion will always be “also-ran” on the world stage.
Gene, those politicians who have military bases and/or defense contractors in their districts are part of the military-industrial complex. It is the genius of the M-I complex to make sure those facilities are in the districts of the most powerful congresscritters.
No, but plenty of people here and abroad think it is one of our objectives there.
It has been reported that, in the summer of ’01, a representative of the US told the Taliban the could “have a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs” depending on their decision on a pipeline across the country.
I think you are correct about the military industrial complex. However, that group includes many politicians who are supported by those defense corporations.
Gene, yep, it was just a rhetorical question. And we must remember the military-industrial complex has to have a reason to keep up the demands for more funding, even though the defense budget is eating up a good portion of the Federal budget. They have a deep seated need to keep the Pentagon on a wartime footing, as though we were still fighting WW-II.
Strategic minerals and greed. It’s not a good reason, but it’s probably the true reason.
Somebody tell me why our kids are still dying in that Godforsaken country? We killed OBL and most of his henchmen, they want us out, we want to get out, but still we are staying. The culture is charging headlong into the tenth century, ready or not. Many countries have tried to change them and have failed.
Dear Frankly, you say
“I have no idea when Americans will figure out that we can’t save people from themselves.”
Is this your understanding of what the US objective is in Afghanistan?
What rafflaw said. Also, the EU should be ashamed. What happened to freedom of expression? How can EU “spike” the film and what does that mean exactly? Since when can a governmental institution dictate whether a film will be released? This censorship is expected from the Chinese government… but the EU?
I said it before and I will say it again, the more educated I get, the more cynical I become.
We should leave but it is not all Afghans who want this type of law. Women have formed groups to support other women. Their lives are in such danger that they constantly move from place to place to avoid being killed.
There are men also who fight for the education of girls and women. The US is not there to support those Afghanis any more than the EU. Both the EU and the US govt. are despicable.
The Afghan people have the right to the type of government and laws that they want. We have the right and I believe the duty, to leave and let them have their Sharia haven.
Servers her right what with those eyes peeking out of her veil, she was asking for it!
I have no idea when Americans will figure out that we can’t save people from themselves. There is a sick strain of misogyny that has been loose in the world for millennia. It exists in the US and is put forward primarily by religious nut jobs but is at least marginally tamed by saner heads being in the majority. But in other parts of the world, parts where ignorance and superstition have the upper hand this sickness thrives. Dropping bombs on them and swapping governments will not change that & we should not be surprised when we end up complicit in their furtherance.
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