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Monday, 27 August 2012 10:45

The New GOP: Taliban in Ties

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First let’s start with a definition: Afghanistan for years was ruled by a brutal bunch of thugs, who called themselves Muslim and conveniently justified their actions as Islamic. They rape, steal, murder in the name of religion and I as a Muslim have a major problem with that!

Characteristics that defines Taliban:

  1. Extreme hatred of women: Stoning, acid thrown at girls and young women who dare to attend school; whipping of bare ankles; deprivation of any right including the right to self-determination, from a right to speak up, to work and even the right of whom to marry.
  2. Terrorism and militancy is how they have ruled their citizens. Threats and intense fear is how they kept their power.
  3. Dogma: A belief system that is authoritative, void of reason or truth which in turn creates an environment where freedom of thought is maligned, scorned and punished.
  4. Tribal: An allegiance to one’s own tribe at the expense of everyone else.

There is a distinction between the people of Afghanistan and the Taliban who ruled them. The Taliban wasn’t voted into power by the people of Afghanistan but rather, gained power by force. In turn the people of Afghanistan have suffered greatly at the hands of the Taliban.

Now a movement has grown in America. And it looks glaringly familiar. But it does not define itself as Muslim. It does not live in Afghanistan. It does not speak Arabic or Farsi. Its followers do not wear turbans or burkas but the message is similar in many ways to the Taliban - same flavor, fewer calories, still junk.

It is the movement of the Taliban-lite. They wear suits, ties and even skirts. The Taliban-lite smiles while passing legislation against the interests of American citizens.

Looking at some of the latest headlines in the U.S. in recent memory it is easy to conclude that there are plenty of Taliban-lites in America, voted in by American citizens themselves.

The obvious characteristic that bonds the Taliban and the Taliban-lites is their hatred of women. Unlike in Afghanistan where a woman is publicly executed for some false accusation, in America the execution is a sophisticated slow choke. It flows throughout the American society like a harmless wave gently splashing against the shores, but with every ebbing wave it sucks out life. Wave after wave, American women’s rights is subtly taken away.

Let’s visit some of the latest issues facing American women.

Got pregnant as a result of the rape? Tough luck, say the Taliban-lite, no abortion should be available for you, since it likely was a “forcible rape.” (See H.R. 3: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act).

You want laws to combat violence against women? Sorry, say Taliban-lite, we can’t pass laws against that, especially if you are Native American, lesbian, gay, transgender, or an illegal immigrant! Yes, they are deemed unworthy and this language had to be removed for the bill against them to pass the House. (See H.R. 4970: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012).

Women don’t get equal pay? Too bad, say Taliban-lite, a woman can never be equal to a man! (See S. 181 (111th): Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act)

Defund Planned Parenthood! God forbid, say the Taliban-lite that we help the poor and those uninsured.

Why? Because the Taliban-lite does not care about those in our society who exist outside of the rich bands of elite.

So folks, there really isn’t that much sunlight between one religious right winger and another. They come camouflaged in religion and/or politics but they share the same characteristics of tyranny and oppression. Take away the turbans, the suites, the double speak, they all lead us down the same path - bankrupting dignity, respect; freedom of conscience, the right to self-determination, and they make a mockery of the meaning of justice and equality, two words that are imbedded in the Quran and the American Constitution.

In a few weeks I will be speaking at Honoring Women’s Rights Conference in Salinas, California, in support of women’s issues and against the policies of the Taliban-lites in America. I’d like to know if you’re speaking up and if so, please share them here.

Honoring Women’s Rights:

By Aslan Media Columnist, Ani Zonneveld
*Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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0 # Laure 2012-10-09 10:54
Republicans don't hate women. They find abortion to be morally repugnant. They donate hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to provide for the needs of women during and after their crisis pregnancies, in both education, counseling and hard goods, as well as providing free STD testing and consultation with licensed health care professionals, overseen by a physician. If I valued the time I donate, it would be in excess of $7000 per year, and I am one of thousands of volunteers.

There is no reason why pro-choice advocates cannot do the same to support women who choose abortion. And Planned Parenthood is making great money as an abortion mill, and are not in need of federal help.

In matters of conscience, the government should not get involved. Taking my tax dollars to murder babies and set a certain amount of women on the path to PTSD isn't ok with me. And yes, many women DO end up traumatized and damaged by their abortions.
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0 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-10-22 00:09
Thanks for writing Laure. Fact is no federal money goes toward paying for an abortion. Pro-choice folks volunteer too.

I think its commendable of you to volunteer but what I have a problem is that the very people who claim to be 'defending the constitution' are the very same people who are legislating their religious values. How is that different from Sharia Law? The Republicans are pushing America toward a theocracy state of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Is that what you want?

It is no one's business but the woman's what she does with her body.
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0 # Laure 2012-10-22 12:58
Re funding, see the funding section of:

We can quibble about allocated funds, and all, but

I'd like to agree with you about a woman's right to her own body - but when women (and men) use their bodies in ways that burden their neighbors via tax burdens, their choices literally impact whether or not we have money for roads, schools, better libraries, money to build things that help the local economy, better local transportation, and other forms of health care.

From a strictly economic point of view, we cannot say that what we do with our bodies is only our own business as individual women or men.

Sharia law, in which women are maimed or slain for acts they clearly did not commit without a man present - clearly unacceptable.
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0 # Laure 2012-10-22 13:08
Then there's the matter of the innocent lives being taken in the midst of all this, and the damage done to women as a result of easily available abortion, which is just as bad (in its own way) as the suffering of women who died or were permanently harmed physically and emotionally by botched, illegal abortions, or other difficult situations related to an unwanted pregnancy.
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0 # Laure 2012-10-22 13:09
The focus and the dollars should be AWAY from one's individual "rights" to get their sexual desires satisfied and TOWARD responsible use of sexuality. Until we get away from the selfish attitudes that landed us in this jam, we have to cope with the outcomes of those selfish attitudes. The Republicans are trying to deal with the former by discouraging the idea that the government will pay for irresponsible behavior and by forbidding the option of abortion altogether. The liberals just want the "rich" to keep paying because, after all, who really wants to govern one's sexual behavior or get shut out of free health services to deal with the consequences?
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0 # Laure 2012-10-22 13:17
And my loved ones who are liberal Democrats, really want to make sure that all our nations' financial decisions reflect the generosity that they would express if they were financially able to so.
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0 # Laure 2012-10-22 13:26
Your article hit a hot button in me, as you lumped large segments of caring people into a box labeled "Taliban." My opinion is that the article is more inflammatory than helpful to a peaceful solution to the conflicts we face.

You have freedom of speech, and I'm glad of it. At the end of the day, will you be proud of your contribution, or not? Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts...
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0 # Ani Zonneveld 2012-10-24 13:50
Laure, if Republicans are NOT selfish as you claim then why do they not care about the poor, and discriminate against LGBTs, against everything that does not reflect their version of Christianity? That is not Chris-like. Republicans talk about small government but they have no problem legislating what a woman does with her body, and who marries who. It is downright hypocritical. The only true Republicans are the Libertarians. They don't flip flop on who, what and how they apply their principles. At least their honest.
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