Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Executions in Afghanistan taint President Ghani



Today is a very dark day in Afghan history as five alleged rapists were hanged under the violation of robbery and committing "zina" (sex outside of marriage). This was the last executive order Hamid Karzai made before leaving office and I'm disappointed that President Ashraf Ghani allowed for the slaughter of these men who were not found guilty by reasonable doubt.

First, Afghanistan’s due process system is in shambles and mired in corruption like every other institution in the country. How do we know if these people were really put to death for their alleged crime or the victims of someone(s) who had a vendetta to eliminate these individuals? As a “pro-life” humanist, I can assure you these senseless deaths are nothing more than an act of vengeance. They neither give Afghans the security they desire or establish rule of law. On the contrary, it will do the exact opposite. And today’s executions were not a moment of women’s rights when institutionalized misogyny reigns over Afghanistan like the plague.

Second, how can Afghanistan put to death a rapist for committing a heinous crime when those who committed crimes against humanity and genocide on a massive scale occupy, today, all spheres of Afghan government. This is worst kind of hypocrisy and characteristic of a mafia state not a genuine democracy. I commend civil rights activist Omaid Sharifi for standing on the right side on this issue and speaking up in a Los Angeles Times article about the atrocity that was committed earlier today despite the fact it is an unpopular opinion. In a 2013 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, it showed that an estimated by 99% of Afghans believe Sharia Law should be enshrined in the law, the highest for any country on earth.

When I was a professor at the American University of Afghanistan, I was deeply saddened when I asked, by a show of hands, how many students favored the death penalty and nearly all were in favor of capital punishment. I even wrote an article entitled “Blood Sport Returns to Afghanistan” published by the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs that was widely criticized by Afghans at the time I shared it in response to Hamid Karzai’s order, which executed 14 people in November 2012. The reality is that life for most Afghans is a never-ending subjugation to structural and systematic violence. I'm a firm believer in justice for all believe that all violent criminals, should be tried, and under an effective legal system, be punished with a lengthy prison sentence.

As a proponent of life, I have always been against the death penalty wherever it occurs. Silly Afghans, like their counterparts in territories where the death penalty is still carried out today inaccurately believe it will curtail violence. Actually, the reason why there is so much homicide in places like Afghanistan or in the United States has more to do with a lax gun policy and the general population being armed to the teeth than it has to do with how punishment is enforced. Look, at other OECD countries where guns are outlawed and you will find homicide barely exists.

However egregious rape is, no one should be put to death for it especially in an Islamic country where people have no free will as homosexuals have no legal status and heterosexuals are not permitted to cohabitate when it is consensual. This is in and by itself a crime against humanity by blocking the right of a person to enjoy sex with the one they have lust or love for.

I haven’t scientifically proven it yet, but I have a theory that sexual repression created by gender apartheid is like a pressure cooker waiting to explode. Restricting romantic love and consensual triggers mania like gang rapes and other heinous crimes. Remember the anarchy that ensued when Dr. Najibullah's regime fell and former mujahedeen pillaged homes and raped scores of women and girls in Kabul and throughout Afghanistan? Well, none of those criminals have ever been brought to justice and, in fact, they now have a prominent status in today’s Afghanistan. This is dark side of Islam that Muslims hide but as we see, the same pillage and plunder of mass genocide and rape ensues in Iraq and Syria as Allah’s warriors, in the name of ISIS, torture and behead innocent people in the name of their religion.

In the first human rights case as President, Dr. Ashraf Ghani has miserably failed the test.


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