Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Religion Communalism

Match for the mullahs

They may be small in number, as yet, but RAWA activists are not shy of challenging the fanatics out on the streets

Behroz Khan 01 Nov 1998

(We reproduce below, a news report published by a Pakistani newspaper on a RAWA demonstration)


 Police restrain Taleban attacking RAWA procession
(The News, April 29,1998)

PESHAWAR: Police resorted  to teargas shelling and baton charge Tuesday to disperse Afghan Taleban who 
 attacked a procession of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and caused injuries to several women.

The Peshawar police, which accompanied the procession right from Shaheen Town to the Defense Colony, swung into action soon after the Taleban attacked the process-ionists and chased and beat them up. The police also arrested 13 of them.

The RAWA procession comprising some 250 women and girl students of the local Afghan schools was attacked near Tambwano Chowk on Jamrud Road by a group of over a dozen stick–wielding Taleban. At least 10 women received injuries, three of whom were rushed to hospital for first aid.

The women showed extreme courage by raising highly charged slogans against the ‘fundamentalists’ and retaliated with sticks and stones in self–defence rather than running for shelter. They were joined by some of the men, both Afghans and Pakistanis, accompanying the procession. “We wanted to convey to the ‘fundamentalists’ that women can fight for their rights,” remarked an emotional RAWA leader Nasima Bareen. The attackers were overpowered by police in no time.

Mindful of the wrath of the Taleban and other Afghan groups, the RAWA organizers had arranged bundles of sticks in advance for observing the “6th black anniversary” of what the organization termed “swarming of fundamentalist criminals into Kabul on April 28,1992.”

Despite tension and fears of recurrence of the happening, the processionists did not disperse and reached their destination chanting slogans and playing patriotic songs through a loudspeaker. “Nothing can be achieved in today’s Afghanistan without sacrifice,” commented another RAWA leader, Jamila Habib.

The situation would have taken yet another ugly turn had the 300 stick–wielding Taleban both Afghans and Pakistanis from the nearby Jamia Imdad–ul–Uloom Islamia of Masjid–I–Darwish reached the scene of incident on time. After having heard about the incident, the Taleban rushed there but by then the Afghan women had dispersed peacefully.

The angry Taleban blocked the main Peshawar–Jamrud road near Peshawar Club for sometime and searched the passenger buses for the Afghan women who took part in the procession. The Taleban procession marched to the Tambwano Chowk and disrupted traffic on the busy University Road.

The prominent feature of the RAWA procession, which traversed a distance of two kilometres, was the hanging of the effigies of five Afghan leaders atop a vehicle. They included Taleban spiritual leader Mulla Mohammad Omar, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Hezb–I–Wahdat chief Ustad Karim Khalili and Uzbek warlord Gen Abdul Rashid Dostum.

The RAWA leaders said these Afghan leaders “playing in foreign hands” were responsible for the on–going genocide in Afghanistan. The Taleban chief Mullah Omar was depicted as a “pirate.”

The Afghan women were all praise for the local police who took timely action to trace down the attacking Taleban despite the fact that no proper permission had been secured for staging the demonstration in Peshawar by RAWA.

It was the Quetta–based RAWA’s third show in the city. The main target of the speeches and sloganeering of the processionists were the Taleban, who were blamed as “stooges of Pakistan”.

The young schoolgirls were more vocal in condemning the Afghan leaders. “Marg bar (death for) Taleban, marg bar Rabbani, marg bar Hekmatyar, marg bar Masud, marg bar Khalili, marg bar Dostum, marg bar Sayyaf, marg bar Akbari” were the slogans which echoed all the way on the route of the procession. The RAWA members also condemned the alleged interference by Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan’s affairs.    

(Communalism Combat Archives: Story from November 1998.)

Match for the mullahs

They may be small in number, as yet, but RAWA activists are not shy of challenging the fanatics out on the streets

(We reproduce below, a news report published by a Pakistani newspaper on a RAWA demonstration)


 Police restrain Taleban attacking RAWA procession
(The News, April 29,1998)

PESHAWAR: Police resorted  to teargas shelling and baton charge Tuesday to disperse Afghan Taleban who 
 attacked a procession of Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and caused injuries to several women.

The Peshawar police, which accompanied the procession right from Shaheen Town to the Defense Colony, swung into action soon after the Taleban attacked the process-ionists and chased and beat them up. The police also arrested 13 of them.

The RAWA procession comprising some 250 women and girl students of the local Afghan schools was attacked near Tambwano Chowk on Jamrud Road by a group of over a dozen stick–wielding Taleban. At least 10 women received injuries, three of whom were rushed to hospital for first aid.

The women showed extreme courage by raising highly charged slogans against the ‘fundamentalists’ and retaliated with sticks and stones in self–defence rather than running for shelter. They were joined by some of the men, both Afghans and Pakistanis, accompanying the procession. “We wanted to convey to the ‘fundamentalists’ that women can fight for their rights,” remarked an emotional RAWA leader Nasima Bareen. The attackers were overpowered by police in no time.

Mindful of the wrath of the Taleban and other Afghan groups, the RAWA organizers had arranged bundles of sticks in advance for observing the “6th black anniversary” of what the organization termed “swarming of fundamentalist criminals into Kabul on April 28,1992.”

Despite tension and fears of recurrence of the happening, the processionists did not disperse and reached their destination chanting slogans and playing patriotic songs through a loudspeaker. “Nothing can be achieved in today’s Afghanistan without sacrifice,” commented another RAWA leader, Jamila Habib.

The situation would have taken yet another ugly turn had the 300 stick–wielding Taleban both Afghans and Pakistanis from the nearby Jamia Imdad–ul–Uloom Islamia of Masjid–I–Darwish reached the scene of incident on time. After having heard about the incident, the Taleban rushed there but by then the Afghan women had dispersed peacefully.

The angry Taleban blocked the main Peshawar–Jamrud road near Peshawar Club for sometime and searched the passenger buses for the Afghan women who took part in the procession. The Taleban procession marched to the Tambwano Chowk and disrupted traffic on the busy University Road.

The prominent feature of the RAWA procession, which traversed a distance of two kilometres, was the hanging of the effigies of five Afghan leaders atop a vehicle. They included Taleban spiritual leader Mulla Mohammad Omar, former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Hezb–I–Wahdat chief Ustad Karim Khalili and Uzbek warlord Gen Abdul Rashid Dostum.

The RAWA leaders said these Afghan leaders “playing in foreign hands” were responsible for the on–going genocide in Afghanistan. The Taleban chief Mullah Omar was depicted as a “pirate.”

The Afghan women were all praise for the local police who took timely action to trace down the attacking Taleban despite the fact that no proper permission had been secured for staging the demonstration in Peshawar by RAWA.

It was the Quetta–based RAWA’s third show in the city. The main target of the speeches and sloganeering of the processionists were the Taleban, who were blamed as “stooges of Pakistan”.

The young schoolgirls were more vocal in condemning the Afghan leaders. “Marg bar (death for) Taleban, marg bar Rabbani, marg bar Hekmatyar, marg bar Masud, marg bar Khalili, marg bar Dostum, marg bar Sayyaf, marg bar Akbari” were the slogans which echoed all the way on the route of the procession. The RAWA members also condemned the alleged interference by Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Saudi Arabia in Afghanistan’s affairs.    

(Communalism Combat Archives: Story from November 1998.)

Related Articles

Secularism

Gujarat 1992: Hindus who saved a dargah in Surat

‘Ram & Rahim are same’: For over two years, Muslims and local families have started coming to the dargah that has been protected by Hindu families for over 30 years; Hindus also arrange free tea, water, and food for Muslims visiting the dargah

Secularism

Gujarat 1992: Hindus who saved a dargah in Surat

‘Ram & Rahim are same’: For over two years, Muslims and local families have started coming to the dargah that has been protected by Hindu families for over 30 years; Hindus also arrange free tea, water, and food for Muslims visiting the dargah


Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Videos

Communalism

Bastar violence: Anti-Christian Campaign causes breach in Adivasi unity

Hundreds of Adivasi church-goers across villages in Narayanpur and Bastar, Chhattisgarh have been experiencing boycott, intimidation and violence since December last year, forcing them to leave their homes and live in refugee camps. Reportedly, Adivasi districts across Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh is seeing a rise Hindutva mobilisation against Christians .

Communalism

Bastar violence: Anti-Christian Campaign causes breach in Adivasi unity

Hundreds of Adivasi church-goers across villages in Narayanpur and Bastar, Chhattisgarh have been experiencing boycott, intimidation and violence since December last year, forcing them to leave their homes and live in refugee camps. Reportedly, Adivasi districts across Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh is seeing a rise Hindutva mobilisation against Christians .

IN FACT

Analysis

Stop Hate

Hate and Harmony in 2021

A recap of all that transpired across India in terms of hate speech and even outright hate crimes, as well as the persecution of those who dared to speak up against hate. This disturbing harvest of hate should now push us to do more to forge harmony.
Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives