An Afghan disgrace

116 brave members of the Canadian Forces have given their lives in Afghanistan. This is a much greater insult to their memory than the crude insults of a fourth-rate TV host:

Afghan government Tuesday to express concern about controversial new legislation that would reportedly allow men to rape their wives.
The Canadian government reacted with outrage following reports that the Karzai administration has approved a wide-ranging family law for the country’s Shia minority.
Various reports say the legislation would make it illegal for Shia women to refuse their husbands sex, leave the house without their permission, or have custody of children.
Canadian officials contacted the office of President Hamid Karzai, and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon spoke to two Afghan cabinet ministers Tuesday seeking clarification.
Karzai’s office has so far refused to comment on the legislation, which has been criticized by some Afghan parliamentarians and a UN women’s agency but has not yet been published.
The Afghan constitution guarantees equal rights for women, but also allows the Shia to have separate family law based on religious tradition.
Some international monitors have avoided discussing the issue, for fear of feeding the impression that exists among Afghans that their government takes its marching orders from the West.
But female parliamentarians in Afghanistan have condemned the legislation, as has the United Nations Development Fund for Women. They were joined Tuesday by the NDP, which has opposed the Afghan military mission.

Contact the Afghan embassy in Ottawa here.
Damian P.

7 thoughts on “An Afghan disgrace

  1. Kate says:

    We have short memories, eh? It wasn’t all that long ago that it was legally impossible to rape your wife in Canada.

  2. Mike James says:

    Who, but a stinking hooting savage, would consider such a law to be necessary? And what sort of culture grows the sort of creature which deliberately sets such a proposal before a parliament for a vote?

  3. gapper says:

    And this, friends and countrymen, is why we shouldn’t be expending blood and treasure to “help” these Stone Age savages. Forget any other argument; what we’re doing in Afstan will NEVER result in a civil society as we know it, or even anything remotely approaching that.

  4. bert says:

    And the silence from the feminists continues.Their mouth,s do a lot of ranting and say a lot of big feminist words,but their actions are non existent as is the usual case with these blowhards.You would think that they were all Liberal.I guess it,s time to escalate our war against this kind of government thinking in Afghanistan or just pull the troops out and admit that other countries have different meanings for life and we cannot change them to our way of thinking.

  5. John B says:

    But I thought all cultures are equal and who are we in the west to export our moral values (channeling standard left wing university-speak).

  6. Blair says:

    As Damian says – this is a disgrace. It truly begs the question of why we are there at all. The difference between this brand of savagery and that of the Taliban is becoming less clear by the day. If this is the “improvement” brought about by the sacrifice of 116 brave Canadians, then it is – to say the least – not worth it.

  7. Mark Collins says:

    A comment by Terry Glavin at “Unambiguously Ambidextrous”:
    ‘Good post, Raphael.
    A few quick observations.
    First, it has been my experience that any story out of Afghanistan that first appeared in the Guardian will prove t be, when it’s read a few weeks later, mostly bullshit.
    Second, any story out of Afghanistan that relies (as you’ll note Guardian stories so often do) on unnamed “western diplomats” usually prove to be bullshit stories.
    Third: “It is going to be tricky to change because it gets us into territory of being accused of not respecting Afghan culture.” This betrays this diplomat as a fool, if indeed he or she even said this, if indeed he or she is even a diplomat. Anyone who thinks that the kind of law that this one is rumoured to be is in any way a reflection of “Afghan culture” is a fool, almost certainly a typical bigot (of the sort so ubiquitous in the “anti-war” crowd), but is most certainly completely unaware of Afghan culture in these matters, and even more blissfully unaware of contemporary Afghan sensibilities, and the contents of the Afghan constitution.
    Fourth: Can we just stop a moment here and all give a great round of applause for the combined efforts of that vast herd of English-language journalists in Kabul for having so far failed to do anything in this story beyond reporting a month-old rumour?
    Fifth, if this law is anything like what it is rumoured to be, it would not stand the first test of the Afghan constitution, which actually does guarantee women’s rights no matter how hollow we are supposed to believe that guarantee is and always will be.
    Sixth, this story is circulating in the Afghan street, not just at European diplomatic conclaves, and I am reliably advised that as of this morning the people are furious, and it’s all anyone is talking about. If the story we have been reading is true, then Karzai has signed his own political death warrant.
    Seventh, to whatever extent we in “the west” challenge Karzai on this, within the law and within the ambit of our prerogatives as the Afghan government’s primary funders, we will further secure the affections of the Afghan people. If we simply charge in there and start throwing Karzai and his officials up against walls and boxing their ears, we will quite rightly earn the contempt of the Afghan people.
    Slow and steady wins the race. The good guys are winning.
    Slow and steady.’

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