Afghan feminists should be on the first plane out

With the last American soldier now slated to leave Afghanistan by the end of August, the Taliban are already reinstituting their Sharia rules about women never being able to leave their homes naked-faced or without a male minder. 

According to Foreign Policy, "a newly declassified U.S. intelligence assessment paints a grim picture for the future of women's rights in Afghanistan."  Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said Senate assistance for Afghanistan will not be forthcoming "if the Taliban (takes a) governing role that ends civil society advances and rolls back women's rights."  U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken went further when he told CNN that "Afghanistan will become a pariah state" if it does "not respect the gains" made for Afghan girls and women.

Please allow me to say that the Taliban will not care.  They view infidel nations as the real pariah states.  They wish to live under seventh-century Sharia law as they define it.

As I've written before, the moment the last Western military boot leaves Afghan soil, the Taliban will torch every single shelter for battered women, burn down every schoolhouse for girls, shoot on sight every female broadcaster, politician, police officer, teacher, and physician.  Women and girls will again be banished from public view, whether hidden under burqas or kept indoors.

Meanwhile, to our credit, America and the West are on a desperate humanitarian mission to rescue a handful of souls.  However, we must realize that in doing so, we may be importing Islamic gender apartheid into our midst.

Do we really want to do that?

The mainly male interpreters who have helped American troops may be somewhat educated in terms of language skills, but really, have they given up — and will they give up — the practice of forced face-veiling, child marriage, cousin marriage, polygamy, child labor, woman-battering, gender segregation, and honor killing?  If they engaged in these behaviors back home, won't they do so even more when surrounded by an infidel culture?

Some Afghan refugees in the West have honor murdered their daughters and sisters for refusing to veil properly, and for developing friendships or romantic alliances with infidels.

I am not suggesting that such men are also likely to become terrorists or that Afghan boys will necessarily become radicalized in American mosques or via the internet.  But it's a thought, yes?

While we can no longer afford to expend blood and treasure in Afghanistan, how much money can America afford in order to feed, shelter, educate, and provide health care for a demographic that may not want to assimilate?

Do we have an alternative?  Actually, we do.

If we are going to rescue Afghans from the barbaric Taliban, why not focus on the women who staffed the shelters for battered women in Kabul and Herat; the female physicians, teachers of girls, naked-faced television journalists, police officers, parliamentarians — or in short, those Afghans who have already rebelled against Islamist misogyny and who are most likely to embrace Western ways?  They are the very Afghans most likely to be shot down dead by the Taliban for their "Western" ways.

Let's save them.

Phyllis Chesler is an emerita professor of psychology at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the author of 20 books, including Women and MadnessAn American Bride in Kabul, and A Politically Incorrect Feminist.

Image: Nitin Madhav, USAID.

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