Friday, August 12

Worse than we think

In Afghanistan the national sport is the buzkashi. Two teams of horse riders meet, who dispute the body of a kid whose legs and head have been cut off, then the body has been sewn up. The match consists of a series of plays during which the riders, who wear turbans and black beards, have to seize the body of the kid and carry it from one end to the other. The riders are provided with a stick with which they beat those of the rival team to get the kid. The match ends with the horsemen bloodied and beaten to death.

A country in which the national sport is of this kind, says it all. But the best thing is not that, the best thing is that this sport is frowned upon by the country’s new leaders, the Taliban with long and thick beards. So it has a very bad future. The Taliban believe that the buzkashi It goes against the Koranic law and the teachings of the prophet, so its days are numbered even though its roots can be found in the Mongol games of Genghis Khan.

In reality, the Taliban, inspired by that energy that destroys everything that is hatred based on religion, one of the most powerful weapons in history, has a lot of medieval it is so strange that they abhor medieval buzkashi, when they are especially adept at that other medieval sport which is the martyrdom of women.

It is therefore especially surprising this Taliban modesty with the buzkashi, when they mercilessly attack half the population made up of women. The same people who see the Afghan national sport as impious do not see impiety in crushing Afghan women in their daily lives. The arrival of the Taliban to power, thanks to the uselessness of the international intervention force, commanded by the United States, which has been unable to build something decent in that country in the last 20 years, allows us to glimpse the most dire omens for women in that country.

The Taliban, mostly ethnic Pashtun and Sunni religious line, are governed by sharia, that political way of bringing the religious order to dominate each and every one of the social facets. Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban supreme leader, under a canopy, in Kabul. Religious fundamentalism has won the battle. In Afghanistan there is a particularly significant loser: women.

Sharia, Islamic law applied to the letter, was already used 20 years ago by these medieval leaders. The brutally subjugated woman was eliminated from public life and used as a commodity for exchange and family arrangements. Incomprehensible from a modern, solidary and western point of view. But it is that this sport of subduing the feminine element is not something specific to the Taliban Pashtuns, of a poor and ill-fated country like Afghanistan. It is part of a culture, part of a way of understanding life and human relationships. We see it in supposedly modern countries, eternal allies of the West, very rich, like Saudi Arabia.

From our western reality, it is difficult to understand a reality like that of the countries where sharia is in force. The evolution experienced in the West is not comparable to that experienced in those countries. That is why we do not understand it, we cannot understand that the woman depends for everything on the man, that she cannot go out into a public space if she is not accompanied by a male relative, that she has to cover her body with a coarse cloth, that she cannot access to education, that she be stoned to death as an adulteress.

Is hard to understand. This same year Saudi Arabia has allowed women to drive a car, until now they could not. They tell us that it is a great step for Humanity, almost like Armstrong’s first step on the Moon. Saudi Arabia is the great western aircraft carrier in the Middle East. The territory that ensures a geopolitical control appropriate to the economic needs of the Western world. But there, the woman is a second-rate citizen.

It is also the world’s largest oil producer and the largest exporter. The power of Saudi Arabia does not only lie in its reserves and production, it is also the only country in the world that has a production capacity in reserve that it can activate at will. And what does that mean? Well, if Saudi Arabia decides to stop its oil distribution, the world stops. And in such a country, sharia is seen with different eyes by the United States, the European Union and all countries dependent on oil in order to function.

Added to this is a small but interesting detail. The leaders of the countries where these medieval systems are governed received Western education, mainly British, and made contact with high-level friends. For example, the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the richest men in the world thanks to gas and oil, who was trained in the exclusive British military academy of Sandhurts, has established the penalty of stoning to death in his country in case of adultery and homosexuality. The constitution of his small country, of 400,000 inhabitants, establishes that the sultan can never make mistakes as a private person or in his official performance.

This is the big problem. Women are subjugated for similar religious and cultural reasons, but some, the Taliban, are poor and uncouth, and therefore easily criticized, while others are rich and respectable for their money, and criticism does not exist, unless they overdo it. the chainsaw, as with Jamal Khashoggi.

The French weekly Charlie Hebdo, which suffered a very serious attack by Islamic terrorism, has published a cover this week that focuses on this willful Western blindness. On the cover there are three women covered with a blue burqa, and on the back they wear the number of the footballer Messi with the number 30 with which he has played for a few days at PSG in Paris. PSG, Paris Saint Germain, is a football club owned by Qatar Sports Investments, whose owner is the Emir of Qatar, the country where many Taliban leaders were refugees until they appeared triumphant in Afghanistan. The Qatari sovereign fund manages about 300,000 million euros in assets. You can buy a lot with that money.

The headline of the satirical weekly reads: “Taliban: Worse Than We Think.” Well yes, it is worse.