Oppressed by Taliban: One step forward, 20 years back

Callie Bollinger

The unalienable rights, Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are said to be the rights nobody can take away, and considered the base level of  humanity. 

Regrettably, the Afghan citizens don’t have this luxury. With the Taliban threatening and pointing weapons at their community. It’s difficult to imagine them ever feeling safe and happy again. 

The Taliban attacked from inside the capital and demolished Afghanistan’s government. The Taliban is known for seeking death, destruction, and power and the Afghan citizens are so eager to get away that they are hanging onto the landing gear of planes in an effort to escape. Mothers are also passing their children over walls and gates to American soldiers, hoping to give their children a chance to escape the threat of the Taliban. It upsets me tremendously what these people are going through, that I’m at a loss for words.

 The Taliban is hungry and restless for power as they have been held at bay for the past 20 years by the U.S. military. The Taliban claims not to be as extreme as they have been in the past but there is no trust and very little hope that they will keep their promises. Based on the assault the Taliban committed quite recently, I wouldn’t trust anything that comes from them.

 In 2012, Malala Yousafzai was on her way to school when she was shot by a member of the Taliban for simply trying to educate herself. Because of her experience she became an activist for women’s education rights. Nine years later she is still recovering but continues to work against her oppressors and was even awarded a Nobel Prize.

What Malala is doing for the women in her country is amazing. Staying strong despite what she’s been through. No one should be denied the right to have an education. 

I believe that the Taliban are afraid of women who have an education, or seek it out. They are afraid of retaliation, afraid of what women can do with knowledge, afraid that women can make them fall and lose the control they treasure so much. 

The Taliban has a history of treating women with little to no respect as they have set  women on fire, for not cooking well enough, or not wearing what they deem appropriate clothing, or even simply beating them because they are women. 

During the U.S. occupation women wore more modern clothing, but are now required to wear a full Buqra. The persecution of these innocent civilians must be stopped.They subjugate these civilians because they want to feel in control, in older times, simply to feel like they have power over their lives.

The Taliban has said they are allowing women to be educated, but must remain separate from men. Men are superior in their eyes,while women are there to serve them.

 In truth, the Taliban doesn’t deserve anything. Actually they deserve one thing, a tiny cramped cell for the rest of their lives. 

Including all the social injustice happening at present, the Taliban is also limiting contact within Afghanistan itself. Restricting contact through social media limits information Afghan citizens have access to. The Taliban also has spies everywhere, and has even told people at the mosques to report if citizens are skipping prayer or engaging in forbidden activities. 

The Taliban must be stopped to protect innocent citizens. The decision to pull out of Afghanistan was not a move in the right direction as it caused more chaos. U.S. troops also left weapons and vehicles, now posing a threat to the U.S. more than ever.

We need to stand our ground more than ever and protect those who have already lost so much, and honor the American soldiers who have lost their lives to protect these people, and Americans from this threat.