Against Taliban Atrocities
According to Terry Glavin, a stalwart activist in the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee, a rally will take place on Sunday, February 15 at the Ontario Legislature, Queen’s Park, 1-3 p.m.:
"From public beheadings of teachers to the torching of girls’ schools, the Taliban’s grotesque human rights violations betray an ideology of fascism and the most brutal kind of misogyny. As the mounting Pashtun outrage about events in Northwest Pakistan makes painfully clear, Canadians must urgently confront the commonplace and bigoted misconception in this country that the Taliban are somehow a legitimate expression of Pashtun or Afghan culture or politics. "
There is very little media attention given to these atrocities which are real, unprovoked, deliberate, unregretted. On my previous blog post, which was supposed to introduce some levity, Terry left an angry comment:
"All that mob incitement and placard waving from one end of the world to the other just lately, but nary a peep about hundreds of thousands of Muslims driven from their lands, hundreds beheaded, schools destroyed by the score, here:
I can understand why he is so concerned about the millions of Pashtun whose horrific fate in the far-flung regions of Afghanistan seems to evoke so little interest, let alone sympathy.
It is a problem, to agitate a people such as average Canadians who are only comfortable in acting enraged when it is Israel, engaged in lawful self-defense, alleged to commit its "atrocities". It is mighty difficult to engage people's attention when it's the Taliban in Afghanistan committing very real atrocities and on a scale of brutality and order unimaginable to ordinary folks. The reasons for this are obvious: protesting against the Taliban goes against a certain Canadian impulse, recently nurtured to monstrous proportions in my opinion, to object to any cause which may be seen as helpful to American interests. Another reason is the inexorable desire to bring Canadian troops home. As long as the public remains blissfully unaware of the brutality and hopeless irrationality and implacability of the Taliban, they can pretend that the problem can be solved diplomatically. Knowing about mass beheadings, hundreds of schools destroyed and girls being systematically doused with acid is an inconvenient truth which highlights the futility of this professed belief in "diplomacy.
I cannot be at the rally, as I live in Montreal, but I will be there in spirit. I think it is wrong to behead people, destroy schools for religious reasons, and disfigure little girls only because they want to learn how to read and write and add and subtract and do what other little girls all over the world do.
I have just come across this comment on TNR's The Spine blog which seems pertinent to this post:
"Civilization is not self-supporting. It is artificial. If you are not prepared to concern yourself with the upholding of civilization -- you are done." (Ortega y Gasset)
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Against Taliban Atrocities