[m2c] RAWA's View of Afghanistan Protests
sandinista at shaw.ca
Mon May 30 04:48:28 MDT 2005
ZNet | Afghanistan
RAWA's View of Afghanistan Protests
Afghan Women's Mission
May 28, 2005
Afghan Women's Mission recently asked RAWA (the
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) what
they thought of the anti-US protests in Afghanistan, the
desecration of the Koran, and the prisoner abuses. The
answer of RAWA member Selay is printed below:
/(edited for English, removed salutations)/
The recent wave of demonstrations are not something new.
Actually in the past one year many Afghan cities witnessed
such huge demonstrations mainly organized by people who
oppose the policies of Mr. Karzai and want to show their
opposition to his pro-warlord actions.
People are fed up with many critical social issues and come
out on the streets to protest. When people see that Karzai
shakes hands with the most dirty enemies of the Afghan
people, who first of all should appear in a court of
justice; when people see that millions of dollars given in
the name of the reconstruction of Afghanistan goes into the
pockets of warlords and no one asks about their brutality
(on the contrary Mr. Karzai frequently installs them in key
posts); they have no other option but to protest and in many
cases it takes a violent form.
The situation in Afghanistan is far more disastrous then
what you may imagine. The Karzai administration has done
nothing positive but just works hard to gather all the top
fundamentalist criminals around himself. Even these days he
is trying to portray some key Taliban leaders as
"moderates," and tries to share power with them. A few days
ago through Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, the government announced
amnesty for Gulbuddin and Mullah Omar if they surrender.
All these policies are contrary to the wishes of our people
who want justice and the prosecution of top fundamentalist
leaders. People are furious but are powerless. Mass protest
is the only type of weapon people have to put pressure on
Therefore in such a situation people display their anger by
such demonstrations. They find any excuse to come to the
streets. In the latest protests, the gross majority of
people dont care about the report of Newsweekit is just an
excuse for them to protest. And of course the
fundamentalists, especially the party of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
and Al Qaeda, try to make use of these protests and guide it
according to their own wishes.
It would be very wrong, however, to stamp these protests as
being pro-Al Qaeda. The US and Afghan governments certainly
try to raise propaganda that Al Qaeda is behind it. These
protests are the continuation of a larger wave which started
one year ago all over Afghanistan, and its main reason is
the treacherous policy of Mr Karzai and the
pro-fundamentalist stand of the US government. People are
very much disappointed with what is going on in Afghanistan
over the past few years. They were given many promises but
none of them were put into practice.
Regarding the desecration of the Koran: of course we are of
the opinion that such acts are disgusting because it hurts
millions of Muslims around the world. In fact we are against
any kind of disrespect and profanity to the sanctity of any
religion. However, the desecration of the Koran alone can't
move people to protest on such a large scale. Afghans are
not more Muslim than the people in other nations that they
would risk their lives for it while the Muslims in most
other countries did not commit any actions against the
Abuse and torture of prisoners is simply an inhuman act. We
are in favor of internationally known principles regarding
treatment of prisoners. Abuse and torture of prisoners in US
custody in itself shows the futility of the US government's
hue and cry about human rights. It shows that the US
government's claims about human rights are there just so it
can bomb countries to gain its own interests. Many of the
victims in the US custody in Bagram are ordinary people who
have been arrested under the name of Al Qaeda and Taliban.
The US government shakes hands with the real criminals like
Mullah Motawakal etc., but tortures our helpless people.
Such tortures are reported by the media to be in Guantanamo
and Bagram but in fact it is very common in all US bases
across Afghanistan. Whenever they arrest anyone, they remove
their clothes and torture them. They know that for Afghans
to be naked is the worst torture and a way to weaken their
If the situation in Afghanistan continues like this, we will
see larger and more violent protests by the people. Of
course the Taliban and Al Qaeda will try to make use of this
situation more then others. Unfortunately, democratic-minded
forces of Afghanistan are very weak and not being supported
by the international community and are not in a position to
lead these protest in the best possible way.
For many days there has been news that the US government
wants to legitimize its permanent presence in Afghanistan
and to make its base here for the next 60 years. This news
intensified the protests even more. Karzai gathered Loya
Jirga members and fundamentalist leaders like Sayyaf,
Rabbani etc. to discuss the issue. In the meeting Sayyaf and
Rabbani in their speeches welcomed the idea, but there were
some opposition from other members. Though all members were
given 2 minutes time to speak they did not allow Malalai
Joya to speak!
But we think these protests are a positive sign and show
that our people have the consciousness not to accept any
government that is in place to fulfill the interests of the
US government. It shows Afghans will not accept the
occupation of the US forces for long. Fortunately the gross
majority of the protesters were students and young people,
which shows our young generation has learnt much from the
past history of Afghanistan.
Visit RAWA's website at
Find out how you can work in solidarity with RAWA at
Prospero, you are the master of illusion.
Lying is your trademark.
And you have lied so much to me
(lied about the world, lied about me)
that you have ended by imposing on me
an image of myself.
underdeveloped, you brand me, inferior,
That ís the way you have forced me to see myself
I detest that image! What's more, it's a lie!
But now I know you, you old cancer,
and I know myself as well.
- Caliban, in Aime Cesaire's "The Tempest"
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