Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Afghanistan to Review Marital Rape Law

After the world cried out, after countless newspapers, blogs and politicians took to their chosen method of communication and spoke out against this atrocious little law; the Afghan justice minister, Sarwesh Danesh, said that Hamid Karzai had ordered a review of the law which would take two to three months.In the meantime women's rights will remain unchanged.

Canadian diplomat in Kabul, Ben Roswell, said: "We don't know what the outcome of the review is going to be. We do know that the government of Afghanistan is very serious about revisiting the law and anxious to use this review process in order to address concerns." I think the word "concern" is an understatement, we're talking downright objections here.

Afghan female MP Sabrina Saqeb said that she is concerned that Karzai is just trying to buy time because there is an election in August.

I've spoken about this crazy law at length in previous posts, but the one thing I did not address... While the government of Afghanistan was wrong to pass a law like this one, what about the people who would vote for someone BECAUSE of this law. Everyone, from newspapers to Afghan MPs have said that this law served only to garner votes from fundamentalists who would otherwise not vote for Karzai. What does that say about the people of Afghanistan?

Granted a majority of Afghan voters would probably not vote in favor of this law, but what about the minority of people who would? Every country has its radicals, from survivalists in the US to the IRA in Ireland to (a lesser extent) The Bloc Québécois and the PQ here at home. Governments have been known to pass laws to appeal to these radical minorities, take for example Stephen Harper's move to declare Québec a nation, the only purpose of this was to quiet down the separatist rumblings from PQ extremists and to garner support for his party in upcoming elections.

The main difference between this and the Afghan law is that declaring Québec a nation did not legalize the virtual imprisonment and rape of women. That's a huge difference. Québec being declared a nation did not take away the fundamental human rights of anyone. Québec being declared a nation (while it pissed me off) didn't shock the entire world and human rights groups across the globe.

Afghanistan is now a global center of attention. We wanted to bring democracy there and we did. Now let's see if this review process actually works. Let's see what Karzai values more: human rights and the protection of his people OR the power of his office.

Source for quotes the Globe and Mail

Muchacho Enfermo

Add to Technorati Favorites

No comments: