An Iranian journalist and global women’s rights activist has a message from the increasingly oppressed women of Afghanistan to the people of the United States and the Biden administration: Do not forget about us.
Masih Alinejad told “The Story” Monday that conditions for Afghans continue to deteriorate under the radical Islamic Taliban government, which has banned observance of any other religion but Islam and most recently ordered the beheading of all store mannequins in relation to Islamic laws against idol worship.
“We, the people of Afghanistan and Iran, we share the pain. We experienced this,” Alinejad said.
“In reality in Afghanistan and Iran under Sharia law, if you don’t want to be a Muslim anymore, if you criticize the prophet (Mohammed), if you criticize the Islamic law and for the crime of apostasy and blasphemy, you will be beheaded.”
“That actually breaks my heart, that people don’t realize this is happening in 21st century,” she added. “All of the women of Afghanistan who had the chance to have a part in parliament and media are being pushed back behind a curtain again. But women in Afghanistan are brave enough and are taking to the streets … They are calling [on] the rest of the world to hear their voices as well.”
Alinejad said she is still in contact with women in Afghanistan who are both terrified in daily life and exasperated at the sudden lack of American and international support:
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“To be honest, it’s very heartbreaking. I call it like this is – a betrayal, not only from the Biden administration,” she said. “It is a betrayal for all of those politicians around the world that are witnessing how people are being beheaded in Afghanistan [and] getting shot in Iran.
“How people are suffering from not having basic freedom — but at the same time, like, the whole world is abandoning them. I’m in touch with a lot of women in Afghanistan. They’re really angry with the American government. They cannot believe that overnight all of their rights have been taken away, and now nobody is not talking about the women, all of those young girls being banned from going to school. Can you believe that?”
Alinejad said that Afghans and Iranians are only asking for simple respect for their human rights, and yet are being ignored and “abandoned” by the international community.