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Veiled Courage

Inside the Afghan Women's Resistance

by Cheryl Benard

Veiled Courage by Cheryl Benard
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  • Published:
    Apr 2002, 304 pages

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Kris Lindbeck

The stories in this book go right to your heart. The women whose stories the author tells are heroines who have risked their lives to bring education and health care to women under Taliban rule, and are gearing up for a new struggle against another violent and still fundamentalist government (as well as running schools and a hospital for refugees in Pakistan). Many of these women are also survivors of violence and oppression, sometimes from governments and sometimes from their own families, and yet they remain hopeful in their work. Despite the horror of some of the stories told, the book is basically upbeat rather than depressing.

There is some interesting comparison of RAWA’s program of humanistic education for girls and boys with the fundamentalist madrassas (Islamic schools) which distort Islam and train poverty- stricken boys in violence. You will also find a stinging critique of Western reporting which romanticizes and/or trivializes the quaint conservatism of Afghans. Instead, it tells of many ordinary women, and many men, even uneducated ones, who have a rational hunger for peace and _at least_ close to equal rights for women.

The "Five" I gave this book is for content. For style, perhaps a "four" -- it is highly, really compulsively readable, but a bit loosely organized and unpolished in spots.
Islam Abor

Hunting book
This book has been written attacking Islam as always. Showing Islam as an aggressive, racial, extreme religion is such a cheap way for this author to ensure her book is sold. Yes, I am Muslim and I know exactly what I am talking about. After reading this book, you feel that Islam is the one who is responsible about Afghan crisis and not USA and Zalmay Khalilzad (husband of the author). I think this writer should work hard to figure out the percent of rapes in the United States and write a book about that issue.
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