Monday, August 17, 2009
Is This the Cost of 127 Canadian Lives?
It is suspected that Afghan president Hamid Karzai has used a constitutional loophole to enact a controversial law that allows Muslim men to withhold food from their wives if the man's sexual desires are not met, said women's rights activists Monday.
The law, which applies to the Shia Muslim minority, contains a section saying that a man can withhold financial support for his wife if she refuses to "submit to her husband's reasonable sexual enjoyment," according to a translation by Human Rights Watch.
According to Afghan lawmakers, Karzai used a parliamentary recess to approve the law by presidential decree. With only days left to the Afghan election this latest move is an attempt to appease the Shia minority, who constitute approximately 20% of the electorate.
While Karzai was the Western-picked favourite for presidential candidate in the 2004 elections, it is evident that he is cares little for the progression of Western ideals in the country. There have been 127 Canadians lost fighting for progress and democracy in a country that has just demonstrated how futile a fight we are fighting. Did no one realize that by establishing democracy in an religious state, we were only giving Afghanistan the tools to fuse religion with a Western-appointed government?
We can talk all we want about how we are there to bring democracy. We can spend billions of dollars setting up a parliamentary system to represent the concerns and demands of the Afghan people. But when the system is actually put into action, we see that it is following all the rules of democratic proceedings, and that the people's will is being put into law. The only problem is what the Afghan people demand from their government is not what we think they should demand
We are now in a catch-22; the new law stands against all the values, efforts, and sacrifices of our troops, but we cannot interfere in the vile (yet still legal) proceedings of Afghan democracy because we ourselves have forced the system into being. It is entirely legal, despite its repulsiveness, and that is the hypocrisy of our war in Afghanistan.