Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 19th, 2018

Our Mobocracy

|

Our Mobocracy

It's now more than a year, but the parliamentary elections crises still produce a new chapter each time the older drama reach its drop-scene. The latest victim of this manipulation is female MP Simin Barakzai. She was among the nine MP's replaced by the IEC decision after Karzai's decree. Ms Barakzai went on hunger strike after her plea, asking President Karzai to order review of her case, was ignored. She set up a tent camp near the parliament building. After ten days without food, Health Ministry officials declared her health was in severe condition and she could suffer kidney failure.

On the 12th day of her strike, on October 14, Afghan Police in the dark of night dragged her out of the tent, beating her supporters, and took Ms Barakzai to Daud Khan Hospital. Some others who had joined her in the strike were arrested and kept in police station for a night.

The Karzai Administration has had two tactics throughout this crises, bribe and use of force. When they saw people flocking in the tent of Ms Barakzai and other MP's joining her hunger strike, the geniuses in the Palace came with a new tactic in this process. The Ulema Council of Karzai issued a statement condemning hunger strike as Haram. They said, "It's forbidden in Islam to reject drinking and eating. If anyone dies because of hunger strike, they will go to hell. Hunger strike is un-Islamic."

The Ulema Council should be ashamed. They are selling out the little respect left for clerics in the hearts of Afghans. They have never been so quick and active in condemning suicide bombings and slaughter of civilians by Taliban, but a Fitwa against hunger-strike of a female is all a bunch of cowards can do.

They are afraid of Taliban intimidation, and none dare to come on TV talk shows and denounce Taliban violence. Isn't suicide attack Haram in Islam? How about using children for suicide bombing, and killing innocent civilians? How Islamic is that? The Ulema Council needs to look into their conscience, if there is.

Independent religious scholars should come out to denounce this trend set by Karzai's Fatwa Factory using the name of Ulema. This Council has become all, but a blackmailing tool of President Karzai being used for certain situations.

Bribing MP's to form the Coalition of Reformists, or escorting the new ones into the parliament building with help of security forces has been common throughout, but dragging the Ulema Council to issue Fatwas about democratic rights is a hit at the core of our crippled democracy and Government's political cowardice at its lowest.

And that too against a poor female MP, whose last option was hunger strike, not for a seat in the parliament, which is not worth, but against the manipulation of this system at the hands of those who are in power for the sake of ruling, without any vision and agenda for this country. They could not dare change a big-shot or any warlord; else we would see how they would threaten to take up arms.

As expected, Daud Sultanzoy did not make it late with cheap comments about Ms Barakzai's strike. He said she is doing it all for publicity. There you go. Someone refuses to eat, announces her will and is ready to embrace death for a cause.

For Sultanzoy, it's all about publicity. His agenda is to get back to the parliament, despite the fact that several reviews by the IEC and ECC could not find any vote rigging in his constituency. He is better off flying an aircraft, not the shameless self-promotion declaring himself as the pioneer intellectual of the nation in TV talk show.

We have yet not forgotten the farce in this process of manipulation, when he declared Special Tribunal's verdict as a Sharia law. Probably Sultanzoy shares the views of Karzai's Fatwa Factory a.k.a Ulema Council on hunger strike being Haram.

I am not arguing whether Ms Barakzai's disqualification is right or wrong. But she deserves our support because she is setting an example by raising voice against a system that is being run through manipulations and force.

The mess started from the day first. President Karzai should have accepted the first 'final' decision of Independent Election Commission after the reviews from Election Complaints Commission. We would not have to see the deadlock for one year, and crises between the parliament, government and judiciary, setting an example of a system founded with manipulations.

Ms Barakzai's activism exposes the core problem with our society. We don't hear about her on media after the tent was removed. Today she is on 17th day of her hunger strike going without food at Daud Khan Hospital.

She has not stopped the hunger strike, despite forceful attempts of Government officials to feed her. However, the government should not have feared her. Even if Ms Barakzai dies—God forbidden—it will not make any difference to the dead collective conscience and reaction of our society.

The much gloried Afghan nang and ghairat might tremble, and set a new example of non-violent resistance in the political history of this country marked with bloodbath. It might fasten the flow of blood in veins of those who still hold their hopes for the future of this country.

Watching the video of Ms Barakzai's tent being removed amid screaming of children, it reminds me of the statement by Rafi Firdous Adviser of Government Media Center who had compared the standoff between President Karzai and the parliament on elections with the tussle between the US Congress and White House.

He had said, "It shows the 'beauty' of our 'democracy'." Some folks have already compared Ms Barakzai's hunger strike with the recent anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare in India. It's all ridiculous. Ours is not a democracy, it is mobocracy, where rulers have no respect for rule of law and rights.

Abbas Daiyar is a staff writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at Abbas.daiyar@gmail.com

Go Top