I am concerned about your ongoing campaign against the oppressed Muslims of
the world. During the month of June you published two articles against
Afghanistan that could have been published only by an editor whose knowledge
of Islam and Afghanistan is ZERO.
The first article on June 11, 2000 (by Lauren Goodsmith) was headlined in 40
point bold letters across four columns: TALIBAN'S YOKE CRUSHES WOMEN with a
subheading which stated UNDER ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS CONTROLLING
AFGHANISTAN, WOMEN ARE DENIED EVEN THE MOST BASIC OF HUMAN RIGHTS.
The article was supported by three photographs (two of them 6 inches by 8
inches) of Afghan women in body-shrouding "burqas". Two of these photos,
owing to copyright laws, gave you the lie and showed you up for the
fabricators you are. The copyright information says in small print:
"Larry C. Price/Sun file 1990." As Goodsmith's story points out "the militia
group known as the Taliban SEIZED CONTROL IN 1996."
Thus your paper is trying to convict the Taliban with photos which were taken
10 years before the publication of your story and 6 years before the Taliban
You have published the story as if it is an eyewitness account, but the
entire first page gives no source for the vituperation. Only towards
the end of the continuation of the story in the inside page does one get the
It is a group of Communist women who call themselves "Revolutionary
Association of the Women of Afghanistan" (RAWA). Two of these women
wore "burqas" and demonstrated in front of the White House in April.
Goodsmith calls this protest by two Communist women "a rally." Can a
protest by two persons be called a "rally" by any twist of the English
language? And you so much wanted to publish against Afghanistan, that two months
after the "rally" you gave it this massive coverage.
(RAWA has a web site, a sickening mess of lies and fabrications, about
the suffering of women in Afghanistan, without any references to dates,
places, persons or any other possibility of verification.)
No Afghan calls himself "revolutionary" owing to the tremendous suffering
imposed by the Soviet "revolutionaries" on Afghanistan. The Soviets, with
their communist allies, like RAWA, inflicted ONE MILLION deaths on the
people of Afghanistan, a higher death ratio than that inflicted by the Nazis
on Russia during World War II.
These "revolutionary" women are from the Khalq and Parcham factions of
Afghan Communists. They were taught to hate their people. Khalqis had to
literally WALK on the QUR'AN to be granted membership. (See "Afghanistan Under
the Red Flag" by Robert Neumann, American Foreign Policy Institute, 1979).
Under Communist rule, the Kabul regime used to put out propaganda similiar to
what RAWA gave to your Goodsmith.
These chadris and burqas are common to some urban areas of
Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. They are part of the culture.
One does not have to agree with the culture (I don't) to know that it
has nothing to do with the "TALIBAN'S YOKE." One might as well go to
Daytona Beach, take photographs of the bikini clad women in their disgusting
thousands and then claim that American women are immoral and shameless.
Not: that's just the culture!
One does not "liberate" Afghan women by taking them out of burqas,
removing their headcovers and putting them into skirts. Jan Goodwin in
her book on Afghanistan Caught in the Crossfire has an interesting photo of
Communist Afghan militia women in Kabul lifting a Muslim woman's burqa
on the pretense of finding out if one of the mujahideen was lurking there.
(Muslim women supported the armed struggle with their lives.) The Communist
occupiers wore skirts and uncovered their heads. The lesson of Afghanistan
(written with the blood of a million martyrs) is that one does not become free
by becoming westernized.
Your second article, dated June 23, 2000, "Quiet subversion by
Afghans" written by Karen Mazurkewich is even more absurd. This woman
actually went to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to write against the Taliban. She
didn't have the honesty to admit that if the Taliban had been against women,
they wouldn't have allowed her to be galivanting all over their territory
She has the temerity to publish a photo of Afghan women with
uncovered faces undergoing education while claiming that the education
is "secret" and the Taliban are against it. How dishonest can she be when
she admits in the same article that she was going around with a
"Taliban-appointed translator." Thus a Taliban man was telling all that
she "found out"!
Compare what she wrote about the Taliban soldiers with what many others
have written over the last two decades about Afghan fighters. These are
easy-going Muslim men who are great fighters but definitely not tyrants
or crazy extremists. She refers to the "heavily armed Taliban sentries"
and when they do not mistreat her and do not confiscate her film, she
claims they are turning against Taliban rule! She admits that the Taliban have
"allowed a handful of female doctors and nurses to work in segregated hospitals."
Her comments are extremely unfair because she leaves out the fact
that doctors, male or female, are in short supply in Afghanistan. Also,
Afghan women, like most Muslim women, prefer to be touched by female
doctors than by males. (I would say that is true of many good Christian and
Jewish women in America too.)
The horror stories about Taliban rule have only this much basis in
fact: When the Taliban took Kabul, they destroyed the bottles of wine
found there and imposed strict restrictions on women's movement in the
streets. Historically Kabul has been the center of Afghan Communism. From here
the waves of repression were launched at the homes, families and mosques of
the Afghan people. Kabul radio kept up a non-stop barrage of lies and
disinformation against Islam and the freedom-loving people of Afghanistan.
After the fall of Kabul to Prof. Rabbani, the Kabuli Communists
were not punished because Engr. Hikmatyar's forces were knocking at
the door. Thus the punishment for the Communists came only with the fall of
Kabul to the Taliban. They were extra-strict with those "revolutionary"
(actually godless anti-people) women. However, comparison with other occupations
of enemy cities in recent history (Berlin by the Russians, Nuremburg by
the Americans, Jerusalem by the Zionists, Algiers by the French, Delhi by
the British 1857, Khartoum under the Mahdi by the British, Tripoli by the
Italians) indicates that the Taliban have been very civilized and
well-behaved. Even the friendly presence of American troops in Saigon
turned that city into a vast brothel.
All that the enemy population's women in Kabul had to do was wear the
burqa and they were safe from all molestation.
I would suggest that Goodsmith and Mazurkewich look to the condition of
women in America and try to win safe streets for women in major
metropolises after 12 am, rather than going off into nations where they simply are
By the way, what is the religion of "Karen" and "Lauren"? When they
attack other people's religion, should they not in all honesty reveal
their own? I suspect they belong to the Tribe which controls most of
America's "liberal" media.
Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D
4624 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212
2000-07-10 Mon 20:16ct