Terrorism that’s personal

Text by Jim Verhulst, Times’ Perspective editor
Photos by Emilio Morenatti, Associated Press

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/opinion/30kristof.html

We typically think of terrorism as a political act.

But sometimes it’s very personal. It wasn’t a government or a guerrilla insurgency that threw acid on this woman’s face in Pakistan. It was a young man whom she had rejected for marriage. As the United States ponders what to do in Afghanistan — and for that matter, in Pakistan — it is wise to understand both the political and the personal, that the very ignorance and illiteracy and misogyny that create the climate for these acid attacks can and does bleed over into the political realm. Nicholas Kristof, the New York Times op-ed columnist who traveled to Pakistan last year to write about acid attacks, put it this way in an essay at the time: “I’ve been investigating such acid attacks, which are commonly used to terrorize and subjugate women and girls in a swath of Asia from Afghanistan through Cambodia (men are almost never attacked with acid). Because women usually don’t matter in this part of the world, their attackers are rarely prosecuted and acid sales are usually not controlled. It’s a kind of terrorism that becomes accepted as part of the background noise in the region. …

“Bangladesh has imposed controls on acid sales to curb such attacks, but otherwise it is fairly easy in Asia to walk into a shop and buy sulfuric or hydrochloric acid suitable for destroying a human face. Acid attacks and wife burnings are common in parts of Asia because the victims are the most voiceless in these societies: They are poor and female. The first step is simply for the world to take note, to give voice to these women.” Since 1994, a Pakistani activist who founded the Progressive Women’s Association (www.pwaisbd.org) to help such women “has documented 7,800 cases of women who were deliberately burned, scalded or subjected to acid attacks, just in the Islamabad area. In only 2 percent of those cases was anyone convicted.”

The geopolitical question is already hard enough: Should the United States commit more troops to Afghanistan and for what specific purpose? As American policymakers mull the options, here is a frame of reference that puts the tough choices in even starker relief: Are acid attacks a sign of just how little the United States can do to solve intractable problems there — therefore, we should pull out? Or having declared war on terrorism, must the United States stay out of moral duty, to try to protect women such as these — and the schoolgirls whom the Taliban in Afghanistan sprayed with acid simply for going to class — who have suffered a very personal terrorist attack? We offer a reading file of two smart essays that come to differing conclusions.

• In August, Perspective published a New York Times Magazine piece that followed up the story of Afghan sisters Shamsia and Atifa Husseini, who were attacked with acid simply for attending school. If you wish to refresh your memory, you may read the original article here.

• Two very smart, informed observers come to opposite conclusions on the proper U.S. course of action in Afghanistan. Here are excerpts from arguments that each of them has recently made:

Here are excerpts from Steve Coll’s “Think Tank” blog at NewYorker.com, in which he argues why we can’t leave — “What If We Fail In Afghanistan?” (Read it in full here.)

In an essay entitled “The War We Can’t Win” in Commonweal (also reprinted this month by Harper’s), Andrew J. Bacevich makes the case that we are overstating the importance of Afghanistan to U.S. interests. Bacevich is a professor of international relations at Boston University and the author, most recently, of The Limits of Power. A retired Army lieutenant colonel, he served from 1969 to 1992, in Vietnam and the first Persian Gulf War. He was a conservative critic of the Iraq war. Several of his essays have run before in Perspective. To read this one in full, go here.

• See the Sunday November 22, 2009 Perspective section in the St. Petersburg Times But be forewarned: Those photos are even harder to look at than this one.

To read the original story by Nicholas Kristof, please go Here.

 

Irum Saeed, 30, poses for a photograph at her office at the Urdu University of Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, July 24, 2008. Irum was burned on her face, back and shoulders twelve years ago when a boy whom she rejected for marriage threw acid on her in the middle of the street. She has undergone plastic surgery 25 times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Shameem Akhter, 18, poses for a photograph at her home in Jhang, Pakistan, Wednesday, July 10, 2008. Shameem was raped by three boys who then threw acid on her three years ago. Shameem has undergone plastic surgery 10 times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Najaf Sultana, 16, poses for a photograph at her home in Lahore, Pakistan on Wednesday, July 9, 2008. At the age of five Najaf was burned by her father while she was sleeping, apparently because he didn’t want to have another girl in the family. As a result of the burning Najaf became blind and after being abandoned by both her parents she now lives with relatives. She has undergone plastic surgery around 15 times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Shehnaz Usman, 36, poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Shehnaz was burned with acid by a relative due to a familial dispute five years ago. Shehnaz has undergone plastic surgery 10 times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Shahnaz Bibi, 35, poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Ten years ago Shahnaz was burned with acid by a relative due to a familial dispute. She has never undergone plastic surgery.

 

Kanwal Kayum, 26, adjusts her veil as she poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Kanwal was burned with acid one year ago by a boy whom she rejected for marriage. She has never undergone plastic surgery.

 

Munira Asef, 23, poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. Munira was burned with acid five years ago by a boy whom she rejected for marriage. She has undergone plastic surgery 7 times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Bushra Shari, 39, adjusts her veil as she poses for a photograph in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, July. 11, 2008. Bushra was burned with acid thrown by her husband five years ago because she was trying to divorce him. She has undergone plastic surgery 25 times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Memuna Khan, 21, poses for a photograph in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Dec. 19, 2008. Menuna was burned by a group of boys who threw acid on her to settle a dispute between their family and Menuna’s. She has undergone plastic surgery 21 times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Zainab Bibi, 17, adjusts her veil as she poses for a photograph in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008. Zainab was burned on her face with acid thrown by a boy whom she rejected for marriage five years ago. She has undergone plastic surgery several times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Naila Farhat, 19, poses for a photograph in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008. Naila was burned on her face with acid thrown by a boy whom she rejected for marriage five years ago. She has undergone plastic surgery several times to try to recover from her scars.

 

Saira Liaqat, 26, poses for the camera as she holds a portrait of herself before being burned, at her home in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, July 9, 2008. When she was fifteen, Saira was married to a relative who would later attack her with acid after insistently demanding her to live with him, although the families had agreed she wouldn’t join him until she finished school. Saira has undergone plastic surgery 9 times to try to recover from her scars.

I for one am sick of hearing about Islam the religion of peace, Islam is tolerant, moderate Muslims etc. etc. I am sick of Obama reaching out to these beasts. I am sick of the liberal apologists for Islam. It is a sick cult of terror death and destruction and one that embraces any other ideas of Islam will themselves be destroyed. Thank’s to RJ over at Paul revere’s Riders for posting this.

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This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad, al quaeda, Allah, Barack Obama, common sense, Hamas, hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Islamist, jihadists, Muhammad, murder, Muslims, Obama, Osama Bin Laden, Palestinians, Pelosi, President, President Obama, Reid, Taliban, terrorism, terrorist, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Terrorism that’s personal

  1. Pingback: Domestic Violence – Relationship of woman with acid | Sadiya Zaheer

  2. sadiya says:

    Hi, I am commenting once again on this post. I want to use this information and pictures in my post. This is an amazing piece of information and very beneficial for creating awareness about what has been happening in the society. There are other posts as well on my page.

  3. James F says:

    It’s not a muslim thing, it’s a pakistani thing. And Christians/Jews/Hindus/Buddists are just as big retards. Personally I’d say Islam’s the lesser of all the evils.

    These are just examples similar to your rednecks that inject meth & knock the hell out of their wives and rape their kids.

    I happily use the terms paki, coon, nigger w/e in general conversation, so don’t assume I’m some sympathizer.

  4. JC says:

    Sadiya,

    I will pray for you that your heart can come to know the ONLY TRUE GOD of the Bible. You seem like a reasonable person and most definately a compassionate one. How can one look at those pictures and still think that women are “free” under islam? How can anyone, especially a woman, stand before the world and state that islam respects women? islam respects no one…and it holds a special kind of hatred for women in particular. It saddens and sickens me that islam can and does allow the mistreatment of women. isalm encourages the abuse of women plainly and simply a fact. The ONLY TRUE GOD of the Bible would/does not have it so. I pray everyday for the women who have victimized and brain washed by islam. One day they shall rise from the ashes of the cult of islam and when they do they will find that the ONLY TRUE GOD of the Bible will be holding them in HIS hands…for surely that is where HE would have them if they could/would only condemn that which enslaves them.

  5. erik says:

    Great article, until the last paragraph. Why would you end an excellent, thought provoking article, with a horrendously stereotypical statement.

    This sounds like a cultural thing, not religious. By your logic, America is downright evil and not acting Christian-like. Preemptive wars, torture, and secret prisons, don’t sound to Christian-like to me. So before you go, defacing a whole Religion, maybe you should take a look at yourself and where you come from.

    • boudicabpi says:

      “sounds like a cultural thing, not religious.”

      Since I don’t consider Islam a religion I could agree that it is cultural thing. I am consistent in saying IMO Islam is nothing more than an evil, intimidating, destructive and deadly cult.

    • JC says:

      erik,

      islam is NOT, I repeat NOT, a religion. It is a cult. muslilms do not even worship the ONLY TRUE GOD of the Bible or the Torah. They worship a moon god deity…satan demonically possessed the narcissistic muHAMmad and that is how the quran was came to be.

      As for yoiur logic that America is downright evil and not acting Christain like…according to the “dear leader”…we are not a Christian nation. So your point does not hold water.

  6. sadiya zaheer says:

    look at the last picture…i really had tears in my eyes when i saw her picture…she was just 15….!
    i though i m in trouble, but i think lots of people are having troubles which i cant even think about…
    its the female thing which comes to mind when ever their is some issues, they abuse mothers, sisters, daughters.
    then they feel female is a curse
    then they feel scared for their own females
    female can do anything in asian countries and those who allow them to do, they are called by bad names……
    being an asian i feel bad…..

  7. sadiya zaheer says:

    I really want to write something here…
    all of these stories are from the Muslim society. Mostly they are Muslim men doing this to some girl or a women. The fact is that i believe instead of being very nice and forgiving Muslim men are always blunt.
    there are many points which they can resist:
    1)they feel insult if any women or girl rejects them
    2)they can never think to be rejected or to be inferior from a women
    3)they think women is just a thing to be used and then should be thrown afterwards
    4)they can never see their wives earning more than them
    5)they think they are men so they can do what ever they want, they can hit women, they can abuse them, they can ruin their lives, they can do what ever they want and woman should never answer them….
    all of these points are just the ego problem
    basically they have that inferiority complex, and Asian countries specially Muslim countries they are male oriented..but the reality is different if it comes to religion Islam
    there is a big big gap between the teachings of Islam and the practice what Muslims are doing. this is the only reason why European countries are developed and Muslim countries are having curse on them. because they are not according to their religion. They are not what they should be. they call themselves Muslim, but they don’t act like one. in Islam it is forbidden to slap a women on her face, in fact it is not allowed to hit a woman. how can they even think to throw acid on their faces…!
    I am a Muslim too…I Thank Allah that I m a Muslim, but because of all these stories people blame all of us…..especially Pakistanis…
    I am proud to be a Muslim but i’ll never be proud to tell that i am a Pakistani too….
    that the fact!!!!ALLAH bless us all, and guide us to the right path (AMEN)

    • boudicabpi says:

      Hi Sadiya,
      Thank you for your comment. The more that comment with your views, the more that speak out the better for us all. We must come together and stand up. This must be stopped. My views are quite clear. Your views are important and are what we must come together on. Until others step up within the Muslim community that won’t happen. You have a forum here if you wish. Send an email and I will put up as a post. I would like to put this up as a post.
      Bob A.

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