Pro Mine: Commendations and Clarifications

Doyle Saylor djsaylor at
Sat Aug 12 21:13:31 MDT 2000

Greetings Comrades,
    Julio Pino writes about the Taliban policies in response to Mine's
comments about the Taliban.  Here are excerpts of remarks that Julio makes
which I will reply to,

2.The article I posted on the Taliban was taken from an Islamic Media
internet site. It is not "quite favorable" to the Afghan regime, though you
may disagree. The writer, a woman,  tries to explain in historical (if not
materialist)terms why the Taliban have imposed such a harsh brand of Islam,
eg, the lack of female doctors and nurses in the Muslim world, even in the
most secular states, makes the very concept of women practicing medicine
unthinkable to the Taliban. The exploitation of their country by foreign
powers, including erstwhile "friends" like the Pakistanis, explains, in
part, their xenophobia. This is not an apologia but a call for Muslims (and
non-muslims)to engage the Taliban in dialogue.

I cannot see how one can interpret the Taliban in a positive light with
regard to women.  What Marxist values are there in removing women from
workplaces, making their public travel determined by the company of a male
relative, wearing absurd clothing to hide them from men's eyes, and publicly
whipping them for not wearing this costume of oppression, etc, when under
the previous regime they had a right to work, to travel more freely etc.

3. I'm not inconsiderate of the plight of women in either Afghanistan or
Chechnya.Through MADRE, the group headed by Susan Sarandon, I have
contributed what modest sum I can to aid women in the Former Yugoslavia,
Afghanistan, etc. I will not, however, join in any crusade, no matter how
well intentioned, to somehow sanction the Taliban or the Mujahadeen.This
can only aid Washington's "human rights interventionism".Moreover, I
believe Muslims should settle gender issues themselves, without outside
interference.The biggest violator of female rights in the world are not the
Taliban but the US government, which at this moment is starving my aunts
(and uncles and cousins and nieces)in Cuba.US feminists(not you) who cheer
Madeline Albright make me wanna scream.

I do not believe that U. S. aggression or imperialists crimes justifies
ignoring the Taliban.  The call to let the Taliban settle their own domestic
issues abandons serious consideration of the social programs and aims of the
Taliban.   It is not a Marxist point of view to assert such nationalist
prerogatives over criticism we might hold of the social policies of any

Fidel, for instance, has always been very careful to never utter a word of
criticism of the Iranian regime's internal politics but instead praise the
1979 Revolution, while pointing out that each revolution must solve its own
problems its own way.

To me the Taliban does not look like a revolutionary movement.   Revolution
liberates people.   Fidel may feel that independence from U.S. influence
recommends Iran, or at least that such independence is a problem for the
U.S. where Cuba cannot exert more influence anyway.  The Taliban is not the
same sort of issue for Marxists.  They carried out a civil war against the
Soviet sponsored regime.  That regime gave women rights that are being taken
away to serve male interests.  The Taliban benefited from U.S. CIA arms and
training.  They were a tool of U.S. aims to immobilize and tear apart the
Soviet Union.  That has no sense in my book of liberation struggle.
Doyle Saylor

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