This headline should tell us all we need to know about the kind of people our brave troops are fighting in Afghanistan. Sadly this child’s fate is not an aberration. The abuse and humiliation of women and children is all too common in this culture. It is a barbarism that is difficult for us to comprehend. Were it not for pictures and videos we might not even believe it.
Who can ever forget the haunting picture of the beautiful young Aisha who the Taliban ordered her nose and ears cut off for trying to flee her abusive husband? Or the heartbreaking stories of girls who have had acid thrown in their face on their way to school? And the countless victims of sexual assault who suffer quietly lest they be blamed and stoned instead.
Here is a video of Taliban abuse of women and children (warning some images difficult to watch): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpo6tQF3uE4
Though I personally have misgivings about the scope of our involvement in Afghanistan, I continue to pray and hope that good will come of it – especially for the women and girls living under the Taliban’s cruel and misogynistic rule.
As Christians and Catholics we can take solace in knowing that by now, this innocent little child is finally safe in the arms of our Lord and his loving Mother. May the plight of the children and women of Afghanistan always remain in our prayers.