Cricket & women's rights in Afghanistan

Sometimes, you wonder that those who layout The Guardian don't see the irony.

On the front page they lead with the horrifying news that Afghanistan is hurtling back into the dark ages (or at the very least, lets face it, the previous century) and bringing in laws to make marital rape legal and requiring women to ask the permission of their husbands before they do a job, get an education or go to the doctor!

Apparently this is Kharzai attempt to win votes from conservative Muslims.

Well, perhaps they should have just said conservative Afghans because none of that behaviour is less specifically religious but more cultural. However, whether is is backwards cultural or religious practices it further serves to undermine the idea that Karzai is the man to lead Afghani's, all Afghanis.

It seems international diplomacy is horrified but apart from strong words doesn't seem to feel there is much they can do.

Oh dear.

However, over in the Sports section, I spy (and admittedly it's a major miracle that I spent that long on the section) in the top banner a sign post to an article on the success of the Afghan cricket team.

The Afghan cricket team has been on a very steep trajactory and have some very talented players. In fact, they struggle to find anywhere to play in Afghanistan and are often helped out by the cricket boards of Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka.

Apparently, it's become really popular because they've started to win and the whole nation has taken to it.

Afghanistan are now set to do well in the world cup.

But I say, boycott them. Would we let Burma play cricket in the cricket world cup? No! So why are we writing jolly little articles about the loveliness of that nice (male) Afghani cricket team when their president is looking to remove human rights from half the country.

I say, hit them where it hurts and don't let them enjoy sports success if they're going to do this.

Am I the only one that doesn't wonder of the irony of these two pieces in the same paper today?


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