Women Oppressed under
By Louis Clotman
Campus News Editor
KABUL, Afghanistan - Since their September 27th
takeover of the Afghanistan capital of Kabul, the Taliban Islamic militia has imposed a
strict Islamic rule -- closing girls schools, banning women from the workplace and
requiring them to dress in full hijab (clothing themselves from head to toe). Men have
been given 45 days to grow a beard and have been ordered to pray five tim es a day.
The Taliban has ordered women to wear the
all-enveloping burqa, a shroud-like veil that leaves only a small slit to see out of.
Chiqueba, a 30-year-old employee at a weaving facility, said she was beaten by the Taliban
shortly after their arrival for being improperly dressed.
"I was traveling on a bus when some Taliban
pulled me off and beat me for not wearing a burqa," she said: "It cost me
500,000 Afghanis ($33) to buy one. I had to sell a pair of earrings to raise the
Razia, a 19-year old who was a former student
and part-time me dical receptionist until the Taliban closed her high school, said her job
provides the only income for her family.
"My father disappeared in the war and my
mother was wounded in a rocket attack and my brother and sister are too young to
work," she said.
Since its birth two years ago, the Taliban has
been a fierce reformist force devoted to Islamic issues. Their fundamentalist regime is
guided by a strict adherence to Islamic law. Amputations and executions are standard
punishment for criminals. Tele vision has been banned because the Taliban see it as a
symbol of Western decadence.
Although the Taliban has promised to reopen
girls' schools and allow women to return to work, their track record says otherwise. In
Kandahar, 200 miles south of Kabul, school is only open to girls four through eight. They
receive just enough education to enable them to read the Koran, Islam's holy book.
Very little is known about the Talibans founder
and elusive leader, Maulana Muhammad Umar who runs the capital from his base in Kandahar.
But Kabu l's 35,000 widows who are now trapped in their homes because they can't be seen
in public without their husbands, know his goal. He is determined to create his own
version of Islamic Afghanistan, at any cost.