I am saddened that this could happen. I'm not surprised, especially considering where it occurred.
It should never have happened.
Proof positive that the pen is mightier than the sword; what words she must have held within her, waiting just beyond the reach of her pen. What vistas she could have drawn for all of us - even if we never read her work.
There was too much longing for freedom and the words would not be kept caged.
There is no place for that within Islam.
Not if your husband witholds his approval.
SHE risked torture, imprisonment, perhaps even death to study literature and write poetry in secret under the Taliban. Last week, when she should have been celebrating the success of her first book, Nadia Anjuman, was beaten to death in Herat, apparently murdered by her husband.
The 25-year-old Afghan had garnered wide praise in literary circles for the book Gule Dudi — Dark Flower — and was at work on a second volume.
Friends say her family was furious, believing that the publication of poetry by a woman about love and beauty had brought shame on it.
“She was a great poet and intellectual but, like so many Afghan women, she had to follow orders from her husband,” said Nahid Baqi, her best friend at Herat University.
Farid Ahmad Majid Mia, 29, Anjuman’s husband, is in police custody after confessing to having slapped her during a row. But he denies murder and claims that his wife committed suicide. The couple had a six-month-old son.
Whether he 'murdered' her or not is ultimately irrelevant, I guess.
What is relevant is that under Islamic law, she was his chattel, and therefore subject to his requirements.
The death of the young writer has shocked a city which prides itself on its artistic heritage. It has also raised uncomfortable questions about how much the position of women in Afghanistan has improved since the fall of the Taliban to American-led forces four years ago.
“This is a tragic loss for Afghanistan,” said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the United Nations. “Domestic violence is a concern. This case illustrates how bad this problem is here and how it manifests itself. Women face exceptional challenges.”
Herat, in particular, has seen a number of women burn themselves to death rather than succumb to forced marriages.
And yet, Islam honours women. We know this, because we are told so in the mainstream media everyday.
Okay, so the UN thinks it's a loss. Are they going to do anything? Somehow, I doubt it. They've not really given a very good accounting of themselves over the past few years.
Many women were allowed to stand in parliamentary elections in September, the results of which were being finalised yesterday. One of the most surprising results announced earlier in the count was in Herat, where Fauzia Gailani, a female aerobics instructor, topped the polls.
The 32-year-old mother of six said she was outraged by Anjuman’s death and was compiling a list of such cases. “In Islam no one has the right to hit their wife,” she said. “We hope the government will take action and stop crimes like this.”
Uh-oh, ignorance alert! (nb I mean this in the true sense of the word, not the usual derogatory sense.)
Our favourite quote from the Qu'ran:
YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
I guess admonition didn't work.
Go with God, Nadia.