13 March 2008

So why overthrow the Taliban?

It takes a bit for me to agree with both Peter Dunne and Idiot Savant, but the case of Afghan student Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh is compelling.

One reason I supported the invasion of Afghanistan and overthrow of the Taliban was to liberate the Afghani people from Islamist oppression. Unfortunately, instead of invading, occupying and introducing open liberal values and government, the coalition, including New Zealand, allowed a less radical form of Islamism to take over.

That is where Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh comes in. He faces the death penalty for blasphemy, for the simple act of writing an article questioning the treatment of women in the Koran. Afghanis should have free speech and should be able to debate matters of religion and morality. It is abhorrent and unconscionable for Afghanistan to murder someone for saying something that offends many.

What is worse is that New Zealand has troops there, defending the current regime. As Idiot Savant says "We wouldn't support Iran's rabid theocracy with troops; why are we supporting Afghanistan's?"

Indeed. It is time for all of the New Zealand Parliament to condemn this, for the government to raise this with the Afghani government, and demand that the sentence be commuted. Indeed apparently Condoleezza Rice and David Miliband have both raised the issue on behalf of the US and the UK.

Otherwise, all we have done is gotten rid of a set of aggressors against the West in favour of a set of aggressors against their own people.

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