A great deal of hot air is generated by bloggers and other commentators when it comes to the power of the web to change things. The potential exists for sure - and yet a law like this can be passed today,in 2009, when we are all supposed to be 'civilised' human beings.
It is not a just or reasonable law that allows husbands to starve their wives if they do not have sex. The law of any land should protect, guard and provide justice for all, not create situations where human rights are so obviously and dreadfully undermined. Where are the cries of international condemnation? Cloaked and hidden beneath the politics of Afghanistan no doubt, which is of small comfort to the women this law will imprison, kill and degrade. Surely, as we have the freedom and the tools to protest, we could use that freedom to oppose such oppression and in doing so, turn at least some of the hot air into something tangible and of real value?
This month, Amnesty International has been running a series of Dinners for Dignity, where participants host a dinner in their own homes, raise some modest funds, send off some postcards asking for someone's freedom and toast - in water, soup, tea, coffee or whatever is to hand - the many freedoms we all enjoy yet probably take for granted. There is still time to take part and in doing so, perhaps you could spare some time to write, campaign or make your voice heard in opposition to this dreadful law. As the paraphrased Burke quote goes:
"All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to remain silent".
I'll take that to mean all of us as Burke lived at a time when the majority of women were treated as chattels and possessions, rather than humans worthy of dignity. I would further lament that although it was attributed to Burke, philosopher and politician of the 1700s, the sentiment - whether expressed by him or not - unfortunately remains resonant to this day.