8th March, Mrs. F. Ahadi
Sent by representative of FAROE member Organization in Norway, Mrs. F. Ahadi
Knowledge without action is wasted, action without knowledge is stupidity
Imam Ghazali (1058-1111)
Although this quote was written down in the 12th century, it is just as relevant today.
In relation to 8th March 2023, I would like to bring into focus Ghazali’s wise words, as it is important to find a balance between action and knowledge. So I want to look at this in connection to the oppression of women in the long war in Afghanistan.
“With every regime change, women should be careful” – this was a warning I got early on, that is to say, in the peaceful youth that I call the golden age of my life. The warning came from my knowledgeable grandmother, and is a fundamental basic I took with me forward in life.
My long experience with war and occupation in Afghanistan tells of how women were abused in war propaganda. Even though Afghanistan had three bloody wars against the British, the latter never managed to colonise Afghanistan. The English colonial administration however managed to remove the laws and regulations that were written after independence in 1919. The Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan and came to “save” women from feudalism. USA and the West occupied to “liberate” women and fight terrorism. Now that the Taliban are in power, they have the same rhetoric – that they want to “protect” women, and this is once again a cover for ignoring women in the name of Islam.
For me, the Taliban’s seizure of power is no surprise. It is clear as day that the Americans worked to legitimise the Taliban by opening an official base for them in Qatar. This was a significant economic project that led to Qatar becoming part of economic integration through Western institutions. The Olympic Games are a well-known example of this. Through these big US-supported projects, my people were sacrificed and Afghan women suffocated, to this day.
The US’s peace talks with the Taliban were an act without knowledge and therefore wasted: One of the conditions for peace negotiations is that the parties must enter into a ceasefire. But while the peace talks were ongoing in Qatar, the Taliban killed a lot of people by suicide bombs. The ignorant actions of the Americans were stupid and unforgivable as they weakened the state that they themselves helped to rebuild during their 20-year military rule in Afghanistan. This happened at the expense of the Afghan people, promoted suffering, and collective grief.
That may be interpreted as the US´s need to cultivate chaos in Afghanistan. All this misery happened while the international community spectated without a critical eye on what was going on. We need research in order to document how those ignorant structural actions affected the fate of millions of people, which later became the tragedy of the Afghan people.
In an interview with Voice Of America, I was asked if I had a message for the Taliban. I replied that they must read their own history and find knowledge as our Islamic scholar Imam Ghazali said.
I now appeal to Taliban soldiers who could be my sons, in the 40 years that you have spent in the Pakistani religious school, you have not learned and gained knowledge. The only thing the religious schools taught you is about life after death, is that you will go to paradise to enjoy women there! We must focus on life that is here and now, and not death! You must put down the murderous tools that foreign powers have placed on your shoulders.
In our great and highly civilized empire which today is called Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India…, there is fortunately written material that shows proud women who ruled in Islamic states. We had a social order where those with the most knowledge and wisdom could climb to the highest ranks in society. An example of this is the poet Ghosha/Koasha who created a lot of famous poems.
Today we live in a globalized world where change happens at lightning speed, and where knowledge does not move at a pace parallel to that of society. It is then important to think again about Ghazali’s quote that our actions must be based on knowledge. Globalization has two opposite effects, it can either unite us or divide us. If one focuses on division, particular identity and one´s ethnic group, it can cultivate hatred and fear of others. This is now happening in Afghanistan and other war-torn places in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Dear international community, do not be spectators! Let us together rebuild Afghanistan as a paradise with men and women, colorful ethnic groups, beautiful and precious nature, landscapes with plants, and everything that meets human needs. That is the way we must go.
Women have a latent power and are an important human resource. For women to act correctly, we must have knowledge as a weapon to bring about change. We as women have a global duty regardless of religion, ethnic background or nationality in today’s turbulent world. Earth is our common home and is in urgent need of non-violent principles as Gandhi freed India from colonialism.
We need to unite instead of divide, to stop warfare, destruction, and oppression of women. Women around the world have the opportunity to be peacemakers, campaigners and diplomats in their everyday lives.
Action based on knowledge makes it possible to create a new world order in which the UN administration has stronger executive power. We can install a global conscience.
Happy International Women´s Day! Regards, Farida Ahmadi – Founder of Global Happiness.