What’s in Store for the Women of Afghanistan

With Afghanistan to all intents and purposes now restored to the Taliban’s control,  the most devastating and tragic impact will be felt by women and girls. As Greg Sheridan has written in The Australian:

We are about to witness one of the worst tragedies for women and girls in modern history. From now on, once more, young girls, pre-teens, will be married off too much older men, often enough with multiple wives. Young girls won’t be allowed to go to school, they won’t be allowed to learn to read and write, let alone sing, they won’t be allowed to practice most careers, they won’t be allowed to go the bazaar without the permission, and generally the presence, of their controlling male relative.

Senator Amanda Stoker from Queensland also commented on Facebook, “Afghanistan’s women and children, who are—as shown by the photo (above) of pictures of women being painted out of the public eye—likely to face great suffering in the time ahead.”

The ABC is also reporting:        

For Afghan women, their increasing power is terrifying.

In early July, Taliban leaders, who took control of the provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar, issued an order to local religious leaders to provide them with a list of girls over the age of 15 and widows under the age of 45 for “marriage” with Taliban fighters.

If so-called progressives are  true to form, they will gloss over these actions as not representing “true Islam” but of militant extremists. This is anything but the case. What follows is a ten-point summary of what the religion of Islam actually teaches.[1]

The referencing to these primary sources is as follows:

♦ 2, 218 is a reference to Bukhari’s Interpretation of the Qur’an, chapter 2, verse 218.

♦ B2, 3, 5 is a reference to Sahih Bukhari, volume 1, book 3, number 4.

♦ M014, 2345 is a reference to Sahih Muslim, book 14, number 2345


  1. Mohammed taught that women should not alter their natural appearances.

B7, 72, 815 Allah’s curse is on women that either give or receive tattoos; those that pluck their facial hair and those that do anything to alter their natural appearance.

B7, 62, 133 A woman from the Helpers had a daughter whose hair began to fall out soon after she became wed. The woman asked Mohammed his advice saying, “My daughter’s husband suggests that she wear a wig.” Mohammed said, “Don’t let her do that. Allah curse women who wear artificial hair.”

33, 59 O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies … That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed.


  1. Women can be physically disciplined by men

4, 34 Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them, forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them.

4, 11 Allah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance): to the male, a portion equal to that of two females.

  1. Women are intellectually deficient

B3, 31, 172 Mohammed: “Is it not a fact that women do not pray or fast during menstruation? That is the deficiency in her religion?”

B3, 48, 826 Mohammed asked, “Is not the value of a woman’s eye-witness testimony half that of a man’s?” A woman said, “yes.” He said, “That is because a woman’s mind is deficient.”

B1, 6, 301 While on his way to pray, Mohammed passed a group of women and he said, “Ladies, give to charities and donate money to the unfortunate, because I have witnessed that most of the people in Hell are women.

They asked, “Why is that?

He answered, “You swear too much, and you show no gratitude to your husbands. I have never come across anyone more lacking in intelligence, or ignorant of their religion than women. A careful and intelligent man could be misled by many of you.”

They responded, “What exactly are we lacking in intelligence or faith?”

Mohammed said, “Is it not true that the testimony of one man is the equal to the testimony of two women?”

After they affirmed that this was true, Mohammed said, “That illustrates that women are lacking in intelligence. Is it not also true that women may not pray nor fast during their menstrual cycle?” They said that this was also true.

Mohammed then said, “That illustrates that women are (deficient) lacking in their religion.”


  1. Women are a threat / problem to men spiritually

M036, 6603 Mohammed: “After I am gone, the biggest threat to stability that will remain is the harm done to men by women.”

B7, 62, 33 Mohammed: “After I die, the biggest problem that I leave to man is woman.”

M004, 1032 Mohammed said, “If any of you stand for prayer with an object as big as a saddle’s rear in front of you, or if an ass, a woman, or a black dog passes in front of you, your prayer will be blocked.”

B1, 9, 490 I [Aisha, Mohammed’s favourite wife] was told of several things that can negate a prayer. I was told, “Prayer is nullified by a dog, an ass, or a woman that passes before people in prayer.” I said, “You have turned women into dogs.”


  1. Women are inherently crooked, and not as “free” as men

B7, 62, 113 Mohammed: “A woman is like a rib; if you try to straighten her out, she will break. To get any benefit from her, you must leave her crooked.”

2, 226 Women shall with justice have rights similar to those exercised against them, although men have a status above women.

B2, 20, 192 Mohammed: “A woman should not travel for more than three days unless accompanied by her husband, or a man whom she cannot marry, like her father, brother, or grandfather.”

B2, 20, 194 Mohammed: “A woman who believes in Allah and the Day of Reckoning may not travel for more than one day unaccompanied by a close male relative.”


  1. A husband’s sexual desire must always be met

B7, 62, 81 Mohammed said, “the marriage vow most rightly expected to be obeyed is the husband’s right to enjoy the wife’s vagina.”

B7, 62, 121 Mohammed: “If a woman refuse her husband’s request for sex, the angels will curse her through the night.”

M008, 3367 Mohammed: “If a man wishes to bed his wife and she refuses, Allah will be displeased with her until her husband is pleased with her.”


  1. Judicial punishment is sometimes different for men and women

B3, 49, 860 A nomad and another man came before Mohammed, seeking his solution to a dispute.

The nomad said to Mohammed, use Islamic law to settle our dispute.” The other man said, “Yes, we will abide by Allah’s law as you dictate.”

The nomad began, “My son worked for this man and he fornicated with the man’s wife. Some people said that he must be stoned to death; to save him from that punishment, I paid a penalty of one hundred sheep and one slave girl. Then I asked some Islamic scholars who said, “Your son must be given one-hundred lashes and be exiled one year.”

Mohammed said, “I will settle this dispute using Allah’s law. Your son must be exiled for one year, and he must be lashed one hundred times. The slave-girl and the one hundred sheep will be returned to you.” Mohammed then turned to the companion and said, “Unais, seize this man’s wife. She must be stoned to death.” Consequently, Unais went and stoned the woman to death.


  1. Men can take child brides and have multiple wives

B5,58,234;B5,58,236;B7,62,64;B7,62,65;B7,62,88;B7,62,90 Mohammed became engaged to Aisha when she was six years old. She then went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith, where she got ill and lost her hair. After her hair grew back by the age of nine, her mother handed her to the care of some women, who prepared her for her marriage to Mohammed. He consummated his marriage with her when she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine more years until his death.

4, 3 And if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with the orphan-girls then marry (other) women of your choice, two, or three, or four.


  1. Women captured through Jihad could be taken as “temporary wives”

B7, 62, 130 Abdullah said, “While on jihad with Mohammed, many of us did not have wives accompanying us. We asked whether we should get castrated?” Mohammed ordered us not to do that, and he gave us permission to take temporary wives before reciting this verse.

5.87 O, you who believe, do not forbid the good things that Allah allows you, but do not commit excess for Allah does not love those who commit excess.

It is permissible to have sexual intercourse with a captive woman after she is purified (of menses or delivery). In case she has a husband, her marriage is abrogated after she becomes captive. [Hadith of Muslim, chapter 29, book 8]


  1. Most of those in Hell will be women

B1, 2, 28 Mohammed said, “I have seen the fires of Hell and most of its residents are ungrateful women.” He was asked, “Are they kafirs [unbelievers], or did they show ingratitude to Allah? He answered, “They were not grateful to their husbands and not grateful for the kindness shown to them.”


AS CAN be seen, the religion of Islam is extremely oppressive to women. The withdrawal of the West from Afghanistan should make us all stop and consider: 20 years and trillions of dollars to train and equip a couple of hundred thousand Afghan soldiers … and what did it achieve? The Taliban walked straight back in and will take up where they left off. What this demonstrates is that religious ideology cannot be crushed by a military force. It needs to be replaced with something else.

This is what I believe the West has the most to offer. For the civilisation that it has inherited is of an explicitly Christian kind. Our laws, customs and culture have all been shaped by the Judeo-Christian worldview. And yet we are doing our best to destroy the very thing which has given us such freedom.

Tragically, as Vrinda Narain—an Associate Professor at Canada’s McGill University law school — argues, it seems almost certain that the Taliban will reduce the women and girls of Afghanistan to sexual enslavement. How the leaders of the West respond now is anyone’s guess. In an ominous sign of what’s not to come, US President Joe Biden has no public events on his calendar for tomorrow.

Mark Powell is a Presbyterian pastor


[1] The religion of Islam is founded upon three distinct, but interconnected, sources: The Qur’an (the original Arabic words of revelation that Mohammed received from Allah), the Sira (the biography of Mohammed) and the Hadith (the traditions of Mohammed). A Muslim would also argue that their Scriptures can only be properly understood when read in the original Arabic. For further resources on the topic see the works of Samuel Green and Dr Bill Warner.

15 thoughts on “What’s in Store for the Women of Afghanistan

  • pgang says:

    Given that Afghanistan is a Muslim country, will there be much of a change? Presumably the Taliban will enforce a stricter form of Islam, but it seems doubtful that women ever had much in the way of rights until the west brought in its faux-liberalism.
    Secular attempts to liberalise Muslim countries will always fail, we know that. Liberalism isn’t the answer. To change these countries requires the message of Christ to be brought to them. How much effort went into that over the last twenty years? Exactly none, so here we are back at the beginning.
    Bush’s great knee-jerk reaction to the Twin Towers attack was always going to be an abject failure, but did anybody envision the full scale of what was to unfold? A terrible president started it, and an even worse president drove in the final nail to ensure it ended in the worst way possible.

  • STD says:

    Don’t drop bombs on ancient cultures- drop Ronald Mc Donald in ,( Mac Donald’s)instead ,SERIOUSLY.
    In other words don’t obliterate the culture with hate, because you will only meet resistance- if you want change, change the culture – feed people , give them something different to try (Feed my sheep) , change involves the laws and principles of evolution, this takes time- evolve the culture.
    2) let these people have their form of Islam ,but start the road to the enlightenment by educating all men and boys capable of taking up Arms, first. Enlighten (unburden) the minds of men, make them literate in a very real sense(educated). It’s very hard to mislead an enlightened mind that understands the real nature of truth. This nature is able to recognise the contributions of the past as the culture moves into the now (Love). Love is the only way to create heart that leads to understanding.Sure the women and girls will remain in a submissive role for the foreseeable, but eventually ,as happened in the West freedom will evolve, it just takes time.
    The West needs to understand that you need to change the hearts and minds of men in this ancient patriarchal culture before women will be afforded with freedoms goods.
    Take a leaf out of Jesus of Nazareth’s book- play the long game- be kind ( be patient) and you will never taste ( share in )’ defeat’.
    In order to influence the future the West needs to stay engaged .

  • Daffy says:

    Either the US has the geo-political sense of two thick planks, or they just love fighting the Battle of the Bulge over and over again, despite the nature of the enemy.
    OTOH, perhaps they should have sent Christian missionaries to Afghanistan instead of helicopter gun ships.

  • Alistair says:

    The two take home messages here are :
    a/ the fragility of so-called “moderate Islam” in the face of militant Islam.
    b/ that “moderate Islam”, in essence, depends on the weak and vacillating west to protect it.
    I’m guessing that every Muslim community around the globe is learning those messages – Militant Islam will be greatly heartened by Western failure, and “moderate Islam” will be re-thinking which side will provide the best long-term protection

  • brandee says:

    What a thorough insight into this dark aspect of Mohammedanism by Mark Powell. If only all other Christian church pastors, priests, and vicars were as well informed!
    Before the original Jihad on the country of Afghanistan it was a Buddhist/Hindu country [Bamayan Buddhas]. So of course was Indonesia [Borobodur Temple], Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh.

    Rarely is a Caliphate unraveled and it takes a military autocrat such as Kemal Attaturk who achieved at least a temporary roll back of the Ottoman Caliphate.

    One can’t help but notice that the new Taliban flag is not the former black, green, and red with mosque and wheat field but is the Arabic script Shahadah on a white field. It is therefore somewhat similar to the Saudi Arabian flag with its green field and the ISIS flag of white Shahadah on black field.

    The unfortunate Afghanistan has now entrenched a barbaric political ideology with religious fervor.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    Bush was bound to respond forcefully to the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, the mission crept as missions always do. The real culprit in this tragedy is Pakistan.

  • Andrew Campbell says:

    Freedom and democracy requires a critical mass of people willing to risk all and die for it. There are many examples throughout history. The Reformation. Oliver Cromwell. The American War of Independence. There was not that critical mass in Vietnam that could see the evil of communism. And there isn’t that critical mass of people who reject a fundamentalist Islam in Afghanistan. Somehow the USA doesn’t get that, imagining that freedom and democracy can be enforced. It can’t. Tragically, the majority of people in Afghanistan have voted, like it or not, with their guns.

  • brandee says:

    Well said Andrew Campbell in listing some very assertive movements. One could also include the Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula. Here for 711 years Christian states struggled valiantly before expelling the Mussulman Moors.
    Also the Christian Philippine city of Manilla was first Hindu before being taken over by the Sultan of Brunei. Only Mindanao retains the Sultan’s ideological persuasion as Manilla and the northern part of the Philippine archipelago has strongly adopted the Catholic Christianity of Philip 2 of Spain.

  • mpowell says:

    @Brandee that is a really insightful comment you make above about the new Taliban flag and I can’t believe no one is talking about it. Surely that is symbolic of the nature of what their rule is going to be like. Great point!

  • STD says:

    The West is and has been stupefied- the lesson- Islamic culture and Muslim’s specifically seek to subjugate- it’s a man made political force, akin to communism.
    However they are capable of delivering the truth albeit unwittingly.
    The beheading of infidels and non believers is also akin to living life in dhimmitude, that is under Islam be it living or dying – life as you knew and know it ,is now, not worth living.

  • STD says:

    Alistair ,it is smoke and mirrors , there is no such thing as moderate Islam, once Islam gets the numbers, such as in Muhammad’s Medina their forces coalesce.
    Islam is ultimately a violent con job……. Think of this type of human nature as you contemplate in accord with ‘second’ hand used car sales and men- who in their right mind would believe what someone says ……… men are evil tainted by good not the other way around – the cartoon comes to mind, ITS THE ‘WOOLEF’!
    When it comes to Islam ,be on your guard .

  • Ian MacKenzie says:

    An interesting perspective on contrasting religious attitudes to women was presented by Christopher Allen in his Visual Arts column in the Weekend Australian last weekend. Writing about portrayals of the Virgin Mary he notes:
    “…it is this role, indeed, which separates the Christian tradition so dramatically from the Jewish one which precedes it and the Islamic one that followed. Judaism has no place for a female manifestation of the divine, and Islam has followed it in that respect; but such radical masculinism is an oddity among world religions, almost all of which imagine the divine with both a male and female face.”
    “The first Christians were Jews, but the people they converted were Greeks, Hellenised easterners and then Romans, none of whom could imagine the divine as exclusively male. It is no coincidence that Mary plays small part in Mathew’s Gospel, written by a Jewish convert, while Luke’s account, written in Greek, is the only one to include the story of the Annunciation.”
    The differing attitudes to women in Christianity and Islam were imbedded deeply in their teachings from the start. Christ’s mother is revered, and Christ had many friends who were women. The contrast between this and the misogyny evident in the passages from the Koran cited by Mark Powell above couldn’t be starker.

  • Rebekah Meredith says:

    You make some interesting points, Ian, although there is very little comparison between Moslem teachings about women and the respect shown for women in the Old Testament.
    However, there is nothing “Christian” about the teaching that deifies Mary. Catholic doctrine–though no doubt some Catholics do not hold to it–teaches us to pray to Mary; she will intercede for us to God. This elevates her to the level of Christ and directly contradicts the Bible. “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (I Timothy 2:5) Mary, though a very godly woman, was just a human. A sinner like the rest of us, she acknowledged her need of a Saviour in Luke 1:47.

  • nelson-jones says:

    Western Nations are led by politicians who have no real knowledge or understanding of the principles of Mohammed and all the people on the globe who follow his teachings and thereby allow their countries to be filled up with immigrants who follow Mohammed. This has led to issues that are being ignored by the leaders of our western countries e.g. child brides, FGM and are against our laws just listen to Hirsi Ali (now living in USA). Mohammed had 900 jewish men beheaded and then He and his men took their women and children for slaves. How is this different 13050 years later you have these Taliban men in the same attire from all those years ago. WAKE UP Islam is not the religion of peace. The Islamics immigrate into our nations and want them to become Islamic in every way. What brains do these men of Afghanistan have by climbing on top of planes or standing on top of cars and most still wearing the garb from the time of Mohammed? There were no women at that tarmac when the first plane took off. Just chaos. Over 2000 years Jesus has been discussed written about movies made but none of this can happen with Mohammed-WHY? Western nations and democracy with freedoms was developed under Judeo-Christian principles. ISLAM grew through fear, hate and the sword and masses of illiterate people why do you think that the Taliban do not want education esp for women.. Mohammed wanted all Jews and Christians slaughtered, reason so many Christian communities were wiped out across the middle east and the Western media kept silent. THE WEST NEEDS TO STOP AND START TO GET SMART IN THIS THE 21ST CENTURY.

  • STD says:

    @nelson-jones, thankyou , thankyou and then some.
    My cup overruns , good , honest , blunt Australian, thankyou.

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