Critical Commentary

Posted on October 23, 2012 by


One big story that has been in the news recently is the shooting of a 14-year-old girl in Islamabad, Pakistan. You may have come across it in the news. The Taliban take credit for this shooting, blaming it on Malala’s activist blogging. Malala Yousufzai’s courageous blogging against the Taliban and for the education of girls in her country set her apart from other 14-year-old Pakistani girls. Luckily Malala was not killed but she is in critical condition and currently located at a hospital in London. Here is the link to the article. Could you imagine living in an area where young girls are punished or killed for attending school?

For this young girl education is something worth dying for… but why is it that in this area of the world an education is something that a young girl could actually die for? I think that this issue is both a political and religious one. These extremist beliefs and laws set in place by the Taliban have drastically affected the area. Nancy Dupree states in her article titled “Afghan Women under the Taliban” the stated aim of the Taliban is to create “secure environments where the chasteness and dignity of women may once again be sacrosanct.” They do this by punishing and torturing women for doing things as little as applying nail varnish on their nails. The Taliban claimed to recognize their Islamic duty to offer education to both boys and girls, yet a decree was passed that banned girls above the age of 8 from receiving instruction.

So where did all of this start? Throughout history often times women have never been viewed on the same level as men. Negative views towards women can be seen in various religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, or Muslim beliefs for example. These views of women go way back but the Taliban have taken it to a very extreme level. These laws created by the Taliban are absolutely ridiculous and terrible, but not surprising when you consider that the laws were made by a community of men. The Taliban go to such drastic levels of punishment over things that as an American just seem ridiculous and don’t make any sense. Of course this is from my perspective. I can imagine that from a Taliban member’s perspective everything that they are doing and the laws that they live by is truly the right way to live.

It is really hard to understand why an organization of men would be so against the education of women of their own country. In the end I believe that an area of strict religious practices and corruption influences these Taliban beliefs. Hearing about these laws and poor treatment of women to me just seems like a bunch of sexist men who want power and control over people. Before the Taliban takeover women played a huge role in Afghan’s education system. The Taliban has had a huge negative impact on the countries development and taken a war torn country from bad to worse. Malala is one of many people from this area that are fighting for change.



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