Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Freedon of Speech Afghan Style

CNN reports today on the Afghan journalism student who was sentenced to 20 years, commuted from death, for asking the wrong questions.

An Afghan appeals court overturned a death sentence Tuesday for a journalism student accused of blasphemy for asking questions in class about women's rights under Islam. But the judges still sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

The case against 24-year-old Parwez Kambakhsh, whose brother has angered Afghan warlords with his own writings, has come to symbolize Afghanistan's slide toward an ultraconservative view on religious and individual freedoms.

In this fascinating case, we've got it all. There's the use of the death penalty and excessive legal sanctions, there's religious fanaticism, there's political retribution because of his brother, and of course, there's sexism since the offensive questions were about women's rights. Take your pick.

On the site called Dear Kitty. Some Blog there's a post which seems to blame President Bush. The video is a nice call for international support for the young journalist, but although I agree Bush's policies regarding Afghanistan have been far from successful, blaming him seems a bit of a stretch to me.

What do you think? Is this situation more about religious fanaticism or political heavy-handedness dressed up as religion? Or is it mostly about women's rights, that even speaking about such things is severely punished? Or is it all the same thing in Afghanistan?

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Implying that Afganistan was somehow not a Fascist Anti-Woman Theocracy BEFORE 2000?

    Yeah Bush hasn't turned the nation into sunflowers and dandelions and unicorns. The battles for control over that nation are still raging-strong.

    Also its not exactly like the Afghan war was meant to bring Democracy to Afghanistan, the war was just to offset the Taliban and flush out Al-Quaeda.

    A sad tale from a sad part of the world. But sadly Kitty's post is tainted with Bush Derangement Syndrome.