Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lessons in political pressure, international duties and other musings Part I

The law that everyone has been blogging about, the Afghan law allowing for rape within marriage in Shia Afghan communities is under review. The law is being examined by the Afghan Minister for Justice, Lawrence Cannon's counterpart has informed him. This follows up international pressure from all nations involved in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, calling for a consideration of women's rights and the infringement on them that this law poses.

This, once again, is a case of the international community working for good. As at the G20 summit meetings, the world stood up for its values and demanded that they be satisfied. However, the lesson we can draw from this disconcerting episode is that, for the time being at least, the nation of Afghanistan needs monitoring from the outside. Left to its own ways, this nation could easily fall into the Taliban's hands, or into those of an Ahmed Karzai seeking ever more desperately to maintain his seize on power. In fact, many nations if secluded from the other members of the international community, can walk astray, and it is part of our duty, as members of a collective humanity, to ensure that we do all in our power to ensure that they stand true to the principles of democracy and equality. It is one of our most fundamental duties, and when we adhere to it, as in this case with Afghanistan, it is more likely that our common goals are achieved.

(too tired to continue, will post part II tomorrow)
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  1. We in the west tend to have a paternalistic view of the world, and a very short memory.

    It wasn't even 100 years ago that we denied women the right to vote in this country, and the rights of women within marriage were few and far between...they were basically chattel. Other faith groups were treated abysmally, just ask native Canadians. Of course our attitude was justified, after all...aboriginal Canadians weren't praying to our they were Godless.

    With prosperity came less dogmatic views on matters of faith, and things like women's rights and tolerance for alternative faiths took hold and progressed.

    How would we have reacted back say in the late 1900s or early 1800s if an outside power came and robbed us of our soverignty and resources then told us we had to follow their moralistic precepts?

    I don't agree with fundamentalist Islamic dogma, any more than I agree with Jesus' words about slaves honouring and obeying their masters. But we're approaching this in such a way that it is only going to make things worse and not better.

    If we want to improve human rights in places like Afghanistan we shouldn't be invading these countries to exploit their resources and further impoverish them...we should be engaging them and helping them to prosper.

  2. Completely agree. That is the great problem. We don't want to lord over the Afghans, while at the same time we need to stand up for women's rights and such. It is truly a fine balance that we need to strike, knowing just how much the international community needs to be involved. This is an example that if the international community co-operates, it can pressure to bring about the change that nations claim to aspire to, such as the Afghans and women's rights, and hopefully contribute to its actually being carried out.

  3. The most simple and time proven method for improving human rights is to increase the standard of living...but that would mean our's in the west would have to decline.


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