The Sun
Baltimore, Maryland

Dear editor:
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 took over.

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 source:
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 ALONE.

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 at sea.

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
Phone: 410-638-5965

2000-07-10 Mon 20:16ct