Toppling statues as an act of historical redemption - The removal of offensive statues may seem to be a distraction, but it is a redemptive challenge against injustices transmitted from the past.
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Ik zal je blijven pesten zolang ik kan
Je zult het weten lieve man
[Refrein:] Liefde dat is heel wat anders
heus mijn hartedief
toen ik jou pas leerde kennen
was je nog zo lief
When you ask the internet search engine for the “father of the bomb” you get the incredible result of around six million hits. One of the first results you may get reads: “Trinity and the birth of the bomb”, which indeed goes on about the “father of the bomb”. There is a good chance you will accuse the writer of the text you now see of blasphemy when you are kindly reminded of the combination of the words trinity, birth and father. Words used in connection with a device that killed about a hundred thousand people in one instant, and another hundred thousand in the slow aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima.
When such a combination yields about six million hits this must mean “we” have accomodated to these weapons. Generally they are called weapons of mass destruction these days, which refers to damage done to buildings and other lifeless things. You do not hear the phrase weapons of mass killing. And apparently “we” accept the idea of these weapons “having been born”, they have “a father” and they have to be modernized once in a while. Then we hear about the next “generation of nuclear bombs” (about one hundred thousand hits in the search engine). Born, father, generation – all words referring to life, the ending of which is the specific aim of these weapons. If you think it unfair that the “mother of the bomb” is not mentioned you are right: she “only” gets three million hits in the search engine.
Since it refers to an insect it probably will be even harder to see the full obscenity of a killing device, the unmanned aerial vehicle, named drone. The main task of drones, male bees, is indeed: fathering. We are up to see a new generation of drones, which will be more stealthy than the present day unmanned killing device.
Let us be aware that bombs and unmanned bombing devices are directed against fathers and mothers, against those who are born and against generations. And let us remember that the most obscene about these things is still not the words used about them. It is the fact that they exist at all, that they are used or that using them is even being considered.
Veel mannen in de anarchistische beweging waren en zijn geslachtsblind. Dat wil zegen, zij beseffen niet dat hun manier van naar de wereld kijken gekleurd wordt door hun eigen geslacht en dat zij zich niet bewust zijn van of geïnteresseerd zijn in andere perspectieven. Hoewel wij allen de wereld natuurlijk begrijpen vanuit het standpunt van onze eigen ervaringen moeten we ook kunnen beseffen dat onze ervaringen niet universeel zijn.
Maar met vrouwen buiten beeld zal dit waarschijnlijk niet gebeuren. Als een organisatie of beweging een jongensclub lijkt te worden dan (zelfs al is het niet de bedoeling) zal zij er zich naar gaan gedragen.
Laten we zacht tegen elkaar zijn, want het leven is een onduldbare pijn.
They thrived long before the arrival of Islam in the seventh century and for a long time dominated the country’s economy, but Sikh and Hindu Afghans now find themselves struggling for survival.
“We have no shelter, no land and no authority,” says Awtar Singh, a senator and the only non-Muslim voice in Afghanistan’s Parliament.
“No one in the government listens to us, but we have to be patient, because we have no other options,” says Singh, 47.
In a brief idyll in 1992, after the fall of the Moscow backed-government but before civil war erupted, there were around 200,000 Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan compared with around just a few thousand today.
When warring factions fought over Kabul, razing entire neighbourhoods in deadly rocket barrages, the two communities became targets partly because of their religion, but also because they didn’t have a militia of their own for protection.
Armed men stormed a temple in Kabul and tore a religious book to avenge the destruction of a mosque by fanatic Hindus in India. After complaining of extortion, intimidation, kidnappings, theft and even rape, those with the means fled to India where they live as aliens and require visas, like other foreigners.
Ironically the rise to power of the hardline Islamist Taliban marked an improvement in the lives of those who remained — and some emigres even started to return.
“The Taliban did not suppress us — they respected our religion and if we had any problem they would resolve it immediately, let alone delay it until the next day,” says Singh.
Some Afghan Hindus were baffled by Western outrage at one Taliban decree — ordering them to wear a yellow tag to identify their religion — saying in practical terms it spared their clean-shaven faces from the wrath of the Taliban religious police, who insisted Muslim Afghan men must grow beards.
The Sikhs escaped scrutiny because they also grow their beards long.
Since the Taliban’s fall, Afghanistan’s new constitution promises religious minorities greater freedoms than before, but it is harder to ensure in practical terms.
Hindus and Sikhs had scores of properties stolen during the civil war and its aftermath and thousands of claims lie gathering dust in the arcane bureaucracy that makes up the government.
“I have my family still in India because I have lost my house and other properties,” says Awtam Singh, who was an important trader in the old days but is now reduced to selling herbal medicines in a tiny Kabul shop.
“We feel ignored by this government,” he laments.
While tens of thousands of Muslim Afghans have the same problems, they at least have politicians or leaders fighting their corner.
Some of the returning Hindus and Sikhs have brought their families and live mostly in secure areas such as Kabul and eastern city of Jalalabad, where they have temples and segregated schools.
Even after death, problems continue. Part of the land that Sikhs and Hindus use for the funeral pyres for their dead has been taken over by urban sprawl in Kabul.
“I can not see things getting better for us,” said Awtam.
“The Indians say you belong to Afghanistan, and here we are seen as Indians. No government cares for us, he said.