Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lauryn Oates: Blacklisted by the Taliban at age 14

For Oates, it was just the start of a career as a self-described "shit disturber." She contacted Amnesty International, which led her to a fledgling group called Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. They asked her to open a Vancouver chapter, not realizing that Oates was only 16.

That's from a profile of Lauryn Oates in today's 24 Hours, a Vancouver daily newspaper.

In the past ten years, Oates and the brave crew from W4WA have done more for the women of Afghanistan, and more for the people of Afghanistan, and more for the cause of peace and progress in Afghanistan, than the entire "activist" community in Canada, combined. And yes, I'm afraid I am referring to the so-called "anti-war" movement.

For glimpse of the way feminists like Oates - in this case, Sally Armstrong - are often received by "anti-war" activists, have a look at this.

There's much optimistic talk these days about the possibility for a negotiated solution with the Taliban. Lauryn's essay last year in the Globe and Mail remains, in my view, the most salient analysis on the question.

I was honoured to have joined Lauryn in a public debate on the Afghanistan question in Vancouver earlier this year. More here.


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