Sunday, September 16, 2012

The American Taliban

Is there an American Taliban?

Use the word “taliban”, and you generate images of headdress wearing muslim men with AK-47s attacking US soldiers, stoning women over minor offenses and beheading their enemies, including American journalists.  In short, muslim extremists, espousing a far right version of Islam very different from that followed by most muslims living in a more modern society.  Brutality, violence and intolerance are the watchwords.

They follow a version of Islam which insists women are basically, property.  They do not exist without the assistance of a man, even if that man is a child.  It prescribes the penalty of death by stoning for adultery - and defines rape as adultery!  Abortion is forbidden, even if the mother’s life is in danger.  In extreme areas, women cannot leave their homes without the accompaniment of a man - even if that “man” is a child!  They cannot drive, they cannot own property, they cannot vote, assuming that anybody in their country can anyway.

A woman cannot divorce, but a man can simply by saying the words “I divorce you” three times and throwing his ex out of his house.  He can walk around wearing only a breechcloth - women are forced to wear burkas, covered head to toe.  If a woman is found to be violating any of the above prescriptions, she can be beaten before being hauled before her husband or father, who would then be expected to have her stoned to death.

Apostasy is punishable by death.  Theft is punishable by amputation of a hand.  Insulting the Prophet Muhammed is punishable by death.  Insulting Islam is also.  Deliberately damaging a Koran is, too, under the rubric of “insulting” Islam.

These are all, to Americans, horribly barbaric punishments, harking back to ancient times, even before the alleged birth of christ.  To know that today, in the 21st century, people are subjected to these things is simply unthinkable, but they do happen.  There are videos online to prove it.

To suggest to a right wing believer that there is an American Taliban is to elicit objections, loudly made against such accusations, with the case being advanced that Americans do not kill people over religion.

Yeah, right.  I’ll prove that wrong.

In virtually thirty three States, Republican legislatures have advanced - and passed - laws that, in various ways, make abortion (if not illegal) extremely hard to get, if not downright impossible.  Many of these do this indirectly, since a direct law making it illegal is itself illegal according to Roe vs. Wade, and thus, these laws do not make any exceptions for the health of the mother or even in cases where her life itself may be in danger.  The long term result of these laws is inevitably death for any number of unfortunate women.

Republicans have made it a priority to reduce if not completely stop funding for Planned Parenthood, even for their gynecological health services almost guaranteeing that there will be poor women who will die due to a lack of proper health care.

Republicans have tried repeatedly to decimate government programs assisting women and children in funding not only health care, but food, clothing and shelter.  For some years now, medical science has shown that a lack of proper nutrition in various stages of life, including prenatal, during the formative years under five, during the teen years and during pregnancy are detrimental to a person’s health, development and future health in adulthood, up to and including shortening one’s life span.  Numerous ailments are linked to poor nutrition, and it is long established science that poor nutrition is instrumental in one having a compromised immune system, further reducing one’s chances of surviving illness.

All of these legislative initiatives are born out of the right wing, where religious extremism is alive and well.

I assert to you that there IS an American Taliban, and they are busy putting women in their place - back in or before the 19th century, if not ancient times, and their methods result in the long term torture and death of not just a few women at a time, but literally ALL of them, slowly, methodically and deliberately.

Which would you rather - a short, sharp attack or a long torturous road of insult, humiliation and oppression?  I assert here that the Islamic Taliban is much more merciful.  At least they kill one at a time, and relatively quickly.

The American Taliban likes it slow, torturous and painful.

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