Dec 14, 2013

Afghan violence

That is correct that in any society you can find cases of violence, but when it is becoming so frequent that some refuge to religion to justify it, we should really be concerned.

By nature, people tend to minimize contradictions between their behavior and their opinions (cognitive dissonance). I am confident there are little or no grounds one can base Islamic teachings for the widespread violence against women that are happening every day in any corner of the country. It was so unjustifiable for me to hear arguments of Afghan men talking on a BBC radio program on the topic, where they were making up various accounts of hadith justifying violence against women. First of all, the reliability of any hadith in that regard would be questionable having a logical analytical mind, if we of course believe in any logic in religion. Second, any religious basis, including Islam, would be questionable legitimizing such violence. It would be also hard for one to find any biological bases in Afghan male genetics leading to such tendency of committing violence against women.

I believe in though cultural bases legitimizing violence of many kinds, including extreme cases of violence like murder, torture, sexual abuse, to less violent forms, such as street harassment, organizational gender discrimination, family gender discrimination, legal gender discrimination and so forth.

As much unacceptable as violence against women is, it is illogical to think we can change it over a night. It is deeply rooted in our culture. Merely imprisoning the perpetrators would not be a solution to eliminate violence, especially whereas in the society any perpetrator can be also seen as a victim. However, the wave of repulsion against such violence, among Afghan public diaspora, would be an awakening moment in our cultural life.

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