Journal of South Asia Women Studies

No War in Afghanistan!

Editorial Note by Enrica Garzilli

Dear Members,

On September 14, 2001 the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA at has condemned the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in a statement that we are reproducing below. The statement also expresses RAWA's concern over President Bush's response to terrorism. After the RAWA statement, you will find the letter written by the Dalai Lama to President George Bush on September 12, 2001 and a petition for a peaceful response of the USA to the attacks.

I join both these voices. Even in their difference, both say that people of Afghanistan don't deserve a new war. They have already suffered enough. Poor people, women and children will be the first and easy victims of the civil war that will happen if Bush decides to attack the country.

If you want, you can sign a petition started at the University of Chicago which appeals to world leaders to be level-headed and, wherever possible, peaceful in their response to the recent attack against the United States. You can find it at:

Today October 5, 2001 we have had 688463 signers since midnight EST, Thursday September 13, 2001.

I want just to add that what I express here might not represent the ideas and opinions of the Editors of this journal.

The people of Afghanistan have nothing to do with Osama and his accomplices

On September 11, 2001 the world was stunned with the horrific terrorist attacks on the United States. RAWA stands with the rest of the world in expressing our sorrow and condemnation for this barbaric act of violence and terror. RAWA had already warned that the United States should not support the most treacherous, most criminal, most anti-democracy and anti-women Islamic fundamentalist parties because after both the Jehadi and the Taliban have committed every possible type of heinous crimes against our people, they would feel no shame in committing such crimes against the American people whom they consider "infidel". In order to gain and maintain their power, these barbaric criminals are ready to turn easily to any criminal force.

But unfortunately we must say that it was the government of the United States who supported Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools from which the germs of Taliban emerged. In the similar way, as is clear to all, Osama Bin Laden has been the blue-eyed boy of CIA. But what is more painful is that American politicians have not drawn a lesson from their pro-fundamentalist policies in our country and are still supporting this or that fundamentalist band or leader. In our opinion any kind of support to the fundamentalist Taliban and Jehadies is actually trampling democratic, women's rights and human rights values.

If it is established that the suspects of the terrorist attacks are outside the US, our constant claim that fundamentalist terrorists would devour their creators, is proved once more.

The US government should consider the root cause of this terrible event, which has not been the first and will not be the last one too. The US should stop supporting Afghan terrorists and their supporters once and for all.

Now that the Taliban and Osama are the prime suspects by the US officials after the criminal attacks, will the US subject Afghanistan to a military attack similar to the one in 1998 and kill thousands of innocent Afghans for the crimes committed by the Taliban and Osama? Does the US think that through such attacks, with thousands of deprived, poor and innocent people of Afghanistan as its victims, will be able to wipe out the root-cause of terrorism, or will it spread terrorism even to a larger scale?

From our point of view a vast and indiscriminate military attacks on a country that has been facing permanent disasters for more than two decades will not be a matter of pride. We don't think such an attack would be the expression of the will of the American people.

The US government and people should know that there is a vast difference between the poor and devastated people of Afghanistan and the terrorist Jehadi and Taliban criminals.

While we once again announce our solidarity and deep sorrow with the people of the US, we also believe that attacking Afghanistan and killing its most ruined and destitute people will not in any way decrease the grief of the American people. We sincerely hope that the great American people could DIFFERENTIATE between the people of Afghanistan and a handful of fundamentalist terrorists. Our hearts go out to the people of the US.

From: John Cort

12 September, 2001

Your Excellency,

I am deeply shocked by the terrorist attacks that took place involving four apparently hijacked aircrafts and the immense devastation these caused. It is a terrible tragedy that so many innocent lives have been lost and it seems unbelievable that anyone would choose to target the world trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. We are deeply saddened. On behalf of the Tibetan people I would like to convey our deepest condolence and solidarity with the American people during this painful time. Our prayers go out to the many who have lost their lives, those who have been injured and the many more who have been traumatized by this senseless act of violence. I am attending a special prayer for the United States and it's people at our main temple today.

I am confident that the United States as a great and powerful nation will be able to overcome this present tragedy. The American people have shown their resilience, courage and determination when faced with such difficult and sad situation.

It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to think seriously whether a violent action is the right thing to do and in the greater interest of the nation and people in the long run. I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence. But how do we deal with hatred and anger, which are often the root causes of such senseless violence? This is a very difficult question, especially when it concerns a nation and we have certain fixed conceptions of how to deal with such attacks. I am sure that you will make the right decision.

With my prayers and good wishes

The Dalai Lama

On October 1st, 2001 this journal has celebrated its 7th year of life. We celebrate its birthday by publishing two papers, Global Economy and Women Managers in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Korea written by Dr. Sunita Singh-Sengupta, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (Behavioural Sciences Group); and Uncaging the Birds: the Movement to Allow Bengali Women into the Medical Profession: 1870-1880s written by Dr. Chandrika Paul, Assistant Professor at Shippensburg University.

Happy reading!