Abdul Satar Khawasi

Afghan women are trying to get their rights, but they encounter more and more challenges by the day.

A few weeks ago women struggled to get Parliament to pass the law on eliminating violence against women, but the efforts were rejected by religious extremists. Now many of these same ministers in Parliament are saying the media should not even broadcast news about the violence men do to Afghan women.

These ministers are saying the media shows only one side: it shows the side of the women who experienced violence, but the media doesn’t care about what happens to the husband’s or the family’s reputation in society.

They say these programs are against Islamic values and that most channels are supported by foreign countries with the intent to spread prostitution. The channels show pictures of naked women and they say immoral TV shows will spread misconduct among children and youths. They blame the media for spying and say the media is a disaster for the community. They say the media must be stopped, so now we are supposed to declare jihad against the media. 

Jihad and Islam are two phenomena that have always been a strong tool for extremist religious groups to use for taking power and influencing people. 

Instead of solving the real public challenges, they always are worrying about women’s clothing and veils and what the media is broadcasting. They pretend that women are the big problem for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is still at war and has encountered enormous challenges; there is increasing drug addiction, HIV, unemployment, and child abuse, while the majority of people are already traumatized from thirty years of war and millions of other problems.  However, these groups do nothing to solve these social problems, because the only thing they can focus on is women.

At this point I have come to agree that the ministers of Afghanistan’s parliament are no better then the Taliban. They have the same ideas about the women and media. They do not believe in democracy, but rather, they regard it as the big threat to holding onto their power.

If they think that these TV channels are against Islamic values, then it is better for them to change the channel and not watch. On the one hand, you people are the cause of most of the corruption in Afghanistan, while on the other hand you condemn it. 

According to Parliament, the media should not rise up against the violence against women because of the risk to their husbands’ reputations.  It doesn’t matter that the women are suffering or even dying from torture.  Women are burned, their noses are cut off, their nails pulled out, and they are shaved. You, Parliament, don’t care about this brutality, but you care about men’s reputations, which you say must not be damaged at any cost.  By declaring jihad against the media, women will continue to be repressed, but without the world knowing.

So tell me what is the difference between the Taliban and these people who pretend to be civil?

By Sitara

Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a legislator from central Parwan, on Saturday (June 15, 2013) said most TV programmes were misleading. “TV channels are not for the correction of people, but are tasked with misleading the Muslims of Afghanistan by non-Muslim groups,” he alleged during Saturday session of the lower house. 

The MP said there should be a jihad against TV channels promoting culture and religious beliefs of others through dramas and films.