Obama rejects Women's Rights Campaign in Afghanistan
PRAGUE -- President Obama expressed opposition to a new Afghan law sanctioning the oppression of women in society Saturday, but suggested the U.S. would continue its mission in that country regardless.
The law, signed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai last week, codifies sharia, or Islamic law, creating restrictions on when women can leave their homes – saying they can only do so “for a legitimate purpose.” It would forbid wives from either being educated or employed without the express permission of their husbands.
The provision receiving the most attention requires wives to meet the sexual needs of their husbands. “Unless the wife is ill, the wife is bound to give a positive response to the sexual desires of her husband,” the law states, which critics say would legalize marital rape.
“I think this law is abhorrent,” President Obama said at a news conference in Strasbourg, France, at the conclusion of a NATO Summit. “Certainly the views of the administration have been, and will be, communicated to the Karzai government.
And we think that it is very important for us to be sensitive to local culture, but we also think that there are certain basic principles that all nations should uphold, and respect for women and respect for their freedom and integrity is an important principle.”
That said, Mr. Obama suggested that whatever the law stands or not will not affect his new strategy for Afghanistan, with its narrower mission.
While President Bush spoke as recently as last December about creating a “flourishing democracy” in Afghanistan, his successor has stated no such goals, and in fact did not use the word “democracy” when discussing that country in his major policy address last week.
“I want everybody to understand that our focus is to defeat al Qaeda and ensure that they do not have safe havens from which they can launch attacks against the Alliance,” President Obama said.
Mr. Obama’s comments stand in contrast with those of NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who told the BBC on Friday that NATO troops “are there to defend universal values and when I see, at the moment, a law threatening to come into effect which fundamentally violates women’s rights and human rights, that worries me.”
Added the Secretary General, “how can I defend -- or how can the British government defend, the Canadian government, the Dutch government -- that our boys and girls are dying there in the defense of universal values and you see a law, almost come into effect not yet there is still a possibility not to sign, which fundamentally violates women’s rights and general human rights?”.........................read it all here
News from the Theocratic War On Women:
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This is how the theocrats handle bad publicity: it never happened
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Pakistan supreme court turns down Attorney General's request for in-camera trial -- "of those involved in flogging a girl in Swat"
NWFP: Pakistani Teen Purportedly Shown in Flogging Video Now Says It Never Happened
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