By Farman Nawaz Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-24 19:13:06
Last year the Afghan women’s cycling team dared to break the tribal traditions to take part in Olympics but soon received threats.
This year an Afghan artist and activist walked on Kabul streets with iron clothes to protest street harassment against women. She is hiding after receiving death threats.
The recent news of killing of an Afghan woman by an angry mob in Kabul is the most shocking yet. However, many Afghan women broke with tribal tradition and carried the funeral cortege of the murdered woman to the graveyard themselves, a brave gesture of defiance.
Choosing rulers through the ballot box is a positive sign for the country, but the survival, and even growth, of extremist mentality even after suffering from the barbarism of extremist groups reflects a critical failure by Afghan political parties.
Many believed that Afghans would have got tired of religious extremism and fundamentalism, but such events show that Afghans are not able to escape the nightmare mentality of extremism and fundamentalism.
The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group is expanding to Afghanistan, and unfortunately some Afghans are paving way for the expansion of the IS mindset. Afghans are licking their old wounds and if the IS got a strong footing in Afghanistan, then this time even foreign military support might not be helpful.
The Afghan government is surrounded by multiple problems and that is the reason that fundamentalist approach crept into the Afghan society. It is evident from the fact that today young Afghans wear jeans, but some of them killed a woman in public, behaving like uneducated and savage Taliban fanatics. The pictures of the murdered woman show the inner extreme fundamentalism of modern Afghan society.
Afghans may be proud that this fundamentalist mentality was the main driving force which defeated the Russians, but today at a time when Afghanistan needs foreign investment to start from scratch, such development will surely discourage the foreign investors from looking for a future in Afghanistan.
Insecurity is blocking investment from Afghanistan. As this new development will add fuel to extremist mindset, there are risks that the religious fundamentalists will destroy the decade’s long efforts of foreign funding after the US withdrawal.
The foreign funding in Afghanistan can become a lever for the whole region, but it is only possible if Afghans can create a softer image for their country.
Today Afghans are not confronted by any foreign attackers. This extremist mentality will only lead to the destruction of Afghans themselves.
It is time to lay a new foundation for the Afghan society. Afghanistan is the link between South Asia and Central Asia, China and Middle East, and can become a gateway toward European countries, but a fundamentalist approach would destroy the possibilities of reconstruction.
The author is a Pakistani columnist and runs an Urdu Weekly newspaper in Pakistan. firstname.lastname@example.org