The US Senate on July 29 passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein condemning the treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan.
The resolution states that Congress "deplores the human rights violations," "condemns the targeted discrimination against women and girls and expressed deep concern regarding the prohibitions on employment and education" in Afghanistan, and "strongly condemns the use of rape or other forms of systematic gender discrimination by any party, faction, of power in Afghanistan as an instrument of war." It also provides that Congress calls on the Taliban to respect women's and girl's rights to education, work, and active participation in all social, political, and economic activities, as well as to protect their personal safety. The resolution also calls for the support of the international community in condemning oppressive behavior in Afghanistan and to support Afghan people both within the country's borders and without.
The Taliban has recently undertaken a raiding spree, smashing the television sets, VCRs, and video equipment of shopholders in Kabul. Deputy vice and virtue minister Mawlawi Qalamuddin said that the armed vice squads would not enter private homes unless they receive reports from neighbors' suspecting un-Islamic activity. The latest edict imposed by the Taliban is that parents have been ordered to give their children Islamic names. The Ministry for Fostering Virtue and Suppressing Vice announced over the radio Tuesday that "vice" names "like Rita, Arita, Parkash, Geeta, and Victor" are not befitting of Muslims.
Media Resources: Agence France Press - July 28 & 29, 1998