[Our main goals and objectives] [Our main slogans] [RAWA in the media]

RAWA's Standpoints

On women's rights

As Afghanistan finds itself strangled within the grip of religious fundamentalism of all shades, human rights across the nation are being grossly violated. In fact, the present conditions are even worse than those of the Soviet occupation period. The nature and range of crimes perpetrated against Afghan women by fundamentalists has no precedence in modern history. Afghan fundamentalists and particularly Taliban treat women as degraded souls whose only function is to satiate men's lusts and reproduce! Had we women been facing civilized opponents, we might have convinced them of our rights through logic and words of reason. But as fundamentalists continue to rampage in Afghanistan, RAWA holds that our women can never achieve their rights through the 'kindness' of the fundamentalists. To attain meaningful freedom, our women must continue their hard, long struggle against fanaticism and carry it through to the end. We are of the opinion that any collaboration with the fundamentalists will only lead to further ravaging of Afghanistan by these bandits.

On the UN role

RAWA believes that the United Nations has not been able to address the problem properly. If the UN can send a large number of peace-keeping forces to places like Cambodia and Bosnia, why should it not be adopting a similar policy in Afghanistan? It is all the more important to have large peace-keeping forces in Afghanistan where most fundamentalist groups owe their power to the support of foreign countries. It is very unfortunate that UN activities are limited only to negotiating with fundamentalists, and it is very apparent that the UN is not willing to take any steps that would annoy them. We advocate that the UN view Afghanistan as the homeland of the Afghan people, and not as the property of a few armed militia. The UN should take into account the will of the people of Afghanistan and must not proceed according to the whims of the fundamentalists.

On Zahir Shah

As a matter of principle, RAWA is not a monarchist organization.  However, the majority of Afghan people whole-heartedly support the former king. That is why RAWA prefers Zahir Shah to the other self-styled jehadi and Taliban leaders.

On resolving the Afghan crisis

RAWA sees the presence and activities of armed fundamentalist bands as the root cause of the current disaster in Afghanistan. Therefore, we believe that the only way to restore stability and find a solution to the Afghan crisis is by fully disarming all the armed groups and their accomplices. This is possible only by a peace-keeping force not including troops from countries that have involved themselves in the Afghan infighting and that might support any bandit groups. The same peace-keeping force should supervise the convening of the Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) and the formation of a government based on democratic values and comprised of neutral personalities. This government should be assigned the task of holding free and fair elections within a period not exceeding one year. It is only upon the completion of this task and the establishment of a national security force free from the clutches of fundamentalists that the job of peace keeping would be over.

The government we want

Our concept of government in Afghanistan is very simple: It should be based on democratic values and it should ensure freedom of thought, religion and political expression while safeguarding women's rights. It is an obvious fact that fundamentalists of all types use the name of Islam to justify and legitimize their violent madness. Therefore, RAWA stands for a separation of religious and political processes in Afghanistan. Though the fanatical groups label secularism as a 'communistic' idea and term it a 'faith of the infidels,' RAWA firmly believes that only a government with secular orientation can thwart the nefarious designs of these reactionaries from the Dark Ages. It is only a secular government that can prevent the religion of Islam from being used as a retrogressive tool in the hands of fanatics. The people of Afghanistan have been Muslims for the past several centuries and will not allow gangs of rapists, murderers and traitors to teach them their faith with a stick once again.

The Islamic hejab (veil)

We believe that aside from their inhuman misogynistic ideas, Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan have no plans for socioeconomic reconstruction. Nor do they have a decent concept for the country. Therefore, since their seizure of power, the fundamentalists have had to employ a fig leaf of irrelevant and artificial issues such as the "Islamic veil," put forward as vital priorities. Like every other oppressive means by which they wish to achieve their aims, the fundamentalists want to use the Koran as a bogey, even though wearing the veil has not been explicitly commanded in the Koran.

We will never allow the fundamentalists to define and decree what women should or should not wear. They have no right to impose the veil upon us. As far as we are concerned, we will NOT wear the veil as far as security and social discretion allow us, for we regard rejection of the veil as a symbolic form of resistance and defiance of the fundamentalists. To wear, or not to wear, the Islamic veil is a completely personal issue and no one has the right to interfere with this decision or impose the veil upon us.

We believe wearing the veil is a cultural issue, not a religious one. The fundamentalists want to paint this issue in religious hues and by forcing women to wear the veil, unleash their misogynism through terror and oppression. Their ultimate objective is to keep women under their absolute power, in the status of chattel.

The difference between Taliban and jehadi fundamentalists