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Afghan law no reason for pullout of troops



Canadians should be ashamed of themselves.


Citizens of our country have been very vocal these last couple weeks regarding their outrage over some Afghan government legislation. The law, which has yet to be formally passed, would allow men of Afghanistan’s Shia Muslim minority to essentially rape their wives and forbid them to leave the house without a male relative’s permission. It would also deny them custody of their own children.



The law is terrible, and goes against everything Canadians supposedly stand for. And the law has many Canadians calling for our government to pull our troops out of the country and leave the Afghans to their own affairs.


After all, any country that could even consider passing such legislation doesn’t deserve our attention, right?


Public opinion in Canada seems to have turned against the Afghan people. Columnist Heather Mallick wrote this week that “this law is a good reason for Canada’s military to get out of that nation.”


Mallick went on, saying our soldiers’ sacrifice is all in vain because of one very sexist and misogynistic law.


“This is what we’re asking Canadian soldiers in the mountains of Afghanistan to say as they breathe their last: ‘I died to shut the ladies in the hut.’”


Please. This awful law is not an excuse for Canadians to get up on their First World pedestal and denounce those backward Third World foreigners.


Many Canadians, believe it or not, use religion to justify sexism and misogyny every day. Some Fundamentalist Christians will often espouse that a woman’s place is in the home, and that it is a woman’s God-given duty to care for her husband and make sure he is happy and provided for.


When this kind of worldview is expressed in a church, we don’t usually think twice about it.


Islam is often viewed as a hateful religion, and many Christians will publicly denounce its holy book, the Qur’an, for its passages that, at first glance, seem to sanction the domination of women by their male counterparts. Indeed, the Qur’an does allow female prisoners of war to be sexually assaulted by the men who capture them.



How awful. However, all one needs to do to see that this is not unusual in a religious text is to read the Bible. Here’s a nice little passage from the Old Testament, in which Moses spouts the kind of vitriol you’d expect to hear from a so-called “radical” Muslim.


“Have you saved all the women alive? Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”


Yep, those are Moses’ words. That supposedly wonderful man who brought us the Ten Commandments encouraged his followers to kill children and keep the virgin girls for later, so they could apparently be sexually assaulted. Check it out for yourself in Numbers 31:17. Moses took 32,000 virgins and 16,000 “persons” and God got 32 of them. Lest you think I’m twisting around the Bible’s words, let me assure you I’m not. God actually approved of Moses’ genocide, the Bible tells us.


This is just one example of the many horrors found in the Bible that are often overlooked during Sunday church services.


There’s a good reason we often overlook these passages. Anyone who isn’t insane recognizes that these Biblical stories are from a bygone era, and no longer apply to any healthy society that values human rights.


Yet there are places in the world that have not attained such an enlightened worldview, places where desperate people oppressed by their governments and their “holy men” actually believe this kind of garbage. The controversial Afghan law is just another example of people who’ve endured generations of brainwashing and actually believe this kind of living — where a husband can force sex on his wife — is acceptable.


What better reason is there than this for our troops to stay in Afghanistan? The world is already making the Afghan government understand that this law is not acceptable, and if they want our support, they must change the way they do business. This is a positive step forward.


If Canada is truly committed to its mission in Afghanistan, now is not the time to call for a pullout of our troops. There will be stumbling blocks during any rebuilding phase. You don’t give up building a house just because you’re having trouble getting the walls up.


And you certainly don’t give up building it just because it’s located in the so-called Third World, where certain people may not be as “enlightened” as you are when it comes to basic human rights.


Article ID# 1525318


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