Those of Afghan women. Phila on Bouphonia blogs about a recent move by Hamid Karzai to bring back the "Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the body which the Taliban used to enforce its extreme religious doctrine":
Western diplomats have reacted with unease to the proposal. However, several told The Independent that they believed the move was partly designed to defuse Taliban propaganda which accuses the Karzai government of being un-Islamic.
"This is an Islamic republic and sharia is a part of the constitution," one diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "If it is constitutional and within the framework of the International Convention on Human Rights [to which Afghanistan is a signatory] then it could represent a public information victory for the government."
With the Taliban making considerable gains in the south the Karzai government has been keen to establish a more conservative Islamic profile and to appear more critical of Western military operations.
Make no mistake about the purpose of this move. It's aimed directly at the ever-so-slightly increased freedoms of some women in Afghanistan. The role of women is always something that's up for sale to the highest bidder, it seems. In the U.S. the fundamentalists have been given all the positions in this administration which relate to women's issues. Which is a kinder and gentler form of the same phenomenom.
Now when are we going to hear Laura Bush give another feminist speech to celebrate this additional step in the liberation of that country's women by the U.S. occupation?