Monday, September 10, 2007

Osama's omission...

Well, it seems that I have now been banned from the Radio Five Live Message Boards. No warning, no pre-mod, not (apparent/obvious) breaking of house rules. By coincidence when I was banned I was intending to answer Iron Naz and trying to educate him as to the Taleban's abuses in Afghanistan.

It began with comments on Osama Bin Laden's newest video release [Al Jazeera Link] where they report that
"The mistakes of Brezhnev are being repeated by Bush," Bin Laden said on the tape, in a reference to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan which began in 1979."
Now in reality there is probably some truth in that. One version of the full transcript can be found HERE. OBL says that Democracy has been guilty of much killing and genocide the gist being that converting to Islam would solve all our problems: "And peace be upon he who follows the Guidance." much peace...or is that 'pieces'?
"Don’t be turned away from Islam by the terrible situation of the Muslims today, for our rulers in general abandoned Islam many decades ago, but our forefathers were the leaders and pioneers of the world for many centuries, when they held firmly to Islam."
"Our leaders abandoned Islam..." do you think he means the Islamic leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan etc....or the leaders of the Taleban? (No prizes for guessing). In the BBC article they quoted the following phrase:"You permitted Bush to complete his first term, and stranger still, chose him for a second term, which gave him a clear mandate from you... to continue to murder our people in Iraq and Afghanistan", which was what lead me to state that the Taleban themselves had been guilty of hundreds of thousands of deaths, something disputed by Naz:

This is the thread [link] : my message 11 was removed (I reposted just the first couple of paragraphs in message 12), responding to Iron Naz:
Naz: "that is absolute, unsubstantiated nonsense. You need to stop getting your facts of hundreds of thousands killed by the taliban, from ridiculous right wing sources.The BBC really need to ask themselves why they are attracting people to this site who clearly hold right wing extreme views and are prepared to use baseless "facts" to try and back up their ridiculous claims."

Span Ows: Rightwing sources? [You can see the sources quoted below] Extreme views? Baseless? Your reply astounds me: OK, known deaths are fact, they weren’t however all just dragged out in the street, for instance there’s the infant survival rate now that the mothers are actually allowed care: just from women being able to get medical/pre or post natal care there have been hundreds of thousands less deaths…

Afghan infant deaths fall by 40,000 a year since ousting of Taleban

The researchers "found improvements in virtually all aspects of care in almost every province," the public health ministry and World Bank said in a joint statement on the findings

However that is the non-execution/torture type of causing death – all the links add details of such abuses and even GENOCIDE:

"The policy of the Taliban is to exterminate the Hazaras"

Maulawi Mohammed Hanif, Taliban Commander Announcing their policy to a crowd of 300 people summoned to a mosque [after killing 15,000 Hazaras people in a day]

"Hazaras are not Muslim. You can kill them. It is not a sin."

[I think it was the above quote that may have upset the moderators...]

In May 2000, Taliban forces summarily executed a group of civilian detainees near the Robatak pass, which lies along the road connecting the towns of Tashkurgan and Pul-i Khumri. Until a systematic forensic investigation is carried out, the precise number of those killed cannot be known, but Human Rights Watch has obtained confirmation of thirty-one bodies at the execution site, twenty-six of which have been identified as the bodies of Ismaili Shia Hazara civilians from Baghlan province. Their remains were found to the northeast of the Robatak pass, in an area known as Hazara Mazari, on the border between Baghlan and Samangan provinces. The area was controlled by the Taliban at the time of the executions. There are reported to be as many as three other gravesites near the pass.

All of those who have been identified were detained for four months before being killed; many of them were tortured before they were killed.

Since the emergence of the Taleban in Afghanistan in 1994, it is clear that men and boys have been the target of severe civil rights abuses, including widespread killings directed at civilian men. While Afghan women have had their rights to education and employment curtailed and in a number of cases have been killed, it is clear that it is men who have been selectively targeted for widespread detention, torture, and execution.

In recent months, dozens of prisoners have been executed or subjected to amputations by Islamic courts established in areas under the control of the Taleban, an armed political grouping, in Afghanistan. At least three men have had hands and feet amputated by doctors on charges of theft. In addition, 22 bodies have been discovered in a mass grave in Charasyab in March 1995 which are believed to have been those of prisoners killed by Taleban members….

…In one case where three men had a hand and foot amputated as a punishment, doctors were reported to have carried out the punishment and it is likely that this has happened in other cases. There is no information about a medical role in executions.

According to information obtained by Amnesty International, Islamic courts have been established in Taleban-controlled areas. These could be dealing with as many as a dozen cases every day in sessions that can be as short as a few minutes.

…dozens every day – just how many criminals were there?

For the next 24 hours they killed, raped, set fire to homes, and took young boys and girls as captives. By the time the news was broadcast in Kabul and internationally the following day, some 700 people were estimated to have been killed or to have disappeared. One year later, when parts of the district were retaken by Hezb-e-Wahdat forces, several mass graves were unearthed containing a further 58 bodies..."

Tens of thousands of women effectively remained prisoners in their homes under Taleban edicts. Several thousand civilians, including possible prisoners of conscience, were taken prisoner. Almost all the detainees were reportedly tortured or ill-treated. Thousands of people were deliberately and systematically killed; thousands of others remained missing.

Inside Afghanistan: Behind the veil, BBC News, 27 June, 2001

An undercover documentary film about the Taleban movement in Afghanistan has shown shocking footage of mass executions, and an insight into the oppression suffered by Afghan women.

Mass Killing during the Military Operation of Taliban:…During their search they arrested and killed any male members of Hazara above thirteen. Arrested people were taken to desert and then assassinated.

Other points of note:

The ban on women working has thrown tens of thousands of families into destitution, because many women (app 40,000 widows in Kabul only) in Afghanistan are war widows and the sole source of support for their families.

In 2002, for the first time in decades, no executions were carried out and just one death sentence was issued. In 2003, for the second year running, there were no executions. Afghanistan carried out its first execution since the fall of the Taliban on April 20, 2004, shooting dead Abdullah Shah, a former military commander convicted of more than 20 murders.

According to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), 60 to 80 per cent of marriages in Afghanistan are forced, some of them involving girls as young as six years old.

Subjected to sexual and psychological abuse along with violence in their marital home, many girls run away. And when they come in contact with Afghanistan's criminal justice system, instead of receiving any protection, they are seen as offenders and convicted.

Not only are women penalised disproportionately for crimes, but they are punished on evidentiary standards that discriminate against them. Moreover, some of the customary laws also allow for them to be used as barter for settling other disputes, debts and feuds.

"In the restorative practice of the justice in Afghanistan, women who are regarded as the property of men, are often used as valuable commodities in the settlement of crimes and disputes" UNODC said.

"Rape may be treated as adultery and punished accordingly if a settlement cannot be reached between the two families concerned."

But, as the UNODC report says, being in prison for moral crimes is only part of the problem.

Other women are dealt with outside the formal justice system, a threat that still awaits the prisoners when they step out of jail.

Shukria Noori, the national project co-ordinator for social reintegration of prisoners, says that women may be "threatened, violated and even killed".

P.S. I was banned on Friday 7th, before posting this - under my new name :-)



Paul said...

Thanks for that Span.

I watched Behind the Veil and couldn't help thinking how brave the women were who talked on camera, quite a contrast between Afghanistan and Iran, if you saw the documentary on Tehran last year.

It's interesting that the Taliban are referred to in the west as being "tribal warlords" - they really are, this is stuff from the crusades, the removal of limbs for crimes.

The sad thing is that we in the west know that this is happening and yet there seems little will at the top to really do something. If your neighbour was raping his wife you wouldn't stand by and do nothing so why do we allow this to go on.

I think that the quotation that includes the line about "man's inhumanity to his fellow men knowing no bounds (sic)" seems so true in relation to the Taliban.

P.S - I can't believe how many people are in pre-mod or banned these days.

Span Ows said...

Thanks for that are so right about inaction of 'the neighbours'. The last link in my post (the 2nd Al Jazeera one) re the mistreatment of women is about waht's happening the lesser application of Islamic law...unforgivable and I'm afraid it makes my discussions with even the mildest of Muslims somewhat strained because it is from their midst from where change must come.

Robert Burns, From Man was made to Mourn: A Dirge, 1785:

'Many and sharp the num'rous ills
Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves
Regret, remorse, and shame!
And Man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn, -
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

Gavin Corder said...

Did you have a sneaky spare log-in then?

Span Ows said...

Yes but yesterday I had to cahnge it as it was against the house wasn't against the house rules two years ago when I was in premod! Anyway, it will be revealed on the World Board today - it's hardly a disguise!...I'm reposting a thread by Span Ows re 9/11, however it will probably be deleted (no link) olde worlde rules :-)

The Great Gildersleeve said...

Ahh, yes how long will a post remain before being taken down...not helped by the fact you have to tie everything into a news story that is happening at the time...but that rule is broken and depending on who is watching the board it may stay or be pulled.

And if you haven't posted for some time the rule you fell foul of could easily be missed.

Span Ows said...

Hi Gildy, I'm now reinststed - they said it was a mistake but I think it was a spiteful mod/host didn't like a few psots and so activated action against 'my account' - as you say it can vary so much on who's watching.

It's a relief actually, I didn't like posting as 'someone' else'!!!

Span Ows said...

P.S. reposting an old link - I forgot they don't go to the top any more ! Doh!

Gavin Corder said...

I'm in pre-mod :-(

Span Ows said...

They've gone nuts, haven't they? I wasn't even modded - just a straight ban....but now back...

Clearly they're clamping down.

missbonnielass said...

I like the quote from Burns. A man who understood what freedom is.

Span Ows said...

Indeed missbonnielas...322 years ago and we still haven't learnt!

...I'll be honest...we never will, me, him, her...we'll learn, but as a race, as humans...we have no hope, we are sowing (and always have been) the seeds of our own downfall.