The Free Associator

The Philadelphia Syndicate is a collection of writers, businesses, artists, musicians, and activists based in Philadelphia, with connections to associates around the world via the internet. This publication is produced by members of the Syndicate's private online discussion forum for the purpose of giving exposure to the organization's thinkers to the public.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

An Ideology of Death

 

Someone is targeting women. Ostensibly, they are Muslim extremists. And I really have no reason to believe, nor evidence to support, anything to the contrary. It is truly revolting.

You will no doubt recall the fate of Margaret Hassan, of CARE International, long time resident of Baghdad, at the hands of, well... someone.

This week there is another kidnapping of a CARE worker, this time in Afghanistan. This story seems to be getting considerably less press.

But consider a few other recent horrific events in Afghanistan:

Three Afghan women raped and murdered

KABUL: Authorities found the bodies of three Afghan women, one of whom worked for an aid group, who were raped, strangled and dumped with a warning for women not to work for such groups, an official said on Monday.

A group calling itself “Afghan Youths Convention” claimed responsibility for the killing, according to a telephone caller.

This is not easy reading. But contemplating the situation of women in Afghanistan, after the "liberation" at the hands of men and women from MY country, is not a simple task.

Obviously, it would appear, this is the work of the Taliban, the enemy from the very beginning. But my cynicism runs deep now, and I see "coincidences" everywhere.

And there is more.

In an apparently separate incident from the 3 above, a 24-year old woman working for a "controversial Afghan television music show" was found dead, shot in the head. The suspects being sought are her brothers.

This kind of news makes jingoism here inevitable. A bellicose nationalism would almost be preferable. FOX news is no doubt having a field day.

The world should mourn the loss of these women, but is their sacrifice registering? And if so, what does it mean? Was it their idealism that killed them?

The United States of America is at war. It is at war with the world, and soon, if not already, itself. Perhaps the stories of these women show the turmoil of modern day Islam, as it grapples with Occupation in the form of Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps it shows it's fundamental lack of Mercy and Compassion. It surely shows individual, irrational acts of cruelty difficult for most Westerners to understand. I have no answers.

The ideology that led to the murders and kidnappings of Margaret Hassan, Clementina Cantoni, Shaima Rezayee, and the three unnamed women near Kabul is disgusting, whatever its source or excuse. I don't know what else to say.

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