This conversation is of interest as the Soviet leader suggests that women in Afghanistan had the right to wear the chador and that efforts should be made to win over the progressive mullahs to build up national education in the country. The Afghan ambassador contrasted the contrary views of Stalin and King Amanullah who had banned the chador; ‘Generalissimo Stalin – is a progressive man, but spoke in favour of a woman to wear her chador, and Amanullah Khan, who returned from Europe demanded that women took off their chadors’. Stalin dismissed the efforts of Amanullah to ban the chador in the following words: ‘if it is so, Amanullah Khan is simply a fool. He approached the matter light-mindedly’. The question of the right to wear the chador is particularly instructive as today in the some of the states of Europe such as France and Belgium the right to wear the burqa and niqab in public has been expressly forbidden in the name of ‘secularism,’ laicite, and the ‘dignity of women’. In reality these rightist- sponsored legislations represent Islamophobic politics against the immigrant communities.
Vijay SinghClick here to return to the April 2014 index.