I had prepared it well, my first column. Too good perhaps. Too soon, surely. It was an impossible chronicle, since she was not talking about Afghanistan and not talking about what is happening in this country today is like looking away, and even turning your back. Each of us follows the tragedy that is playing out there, each woman is concerned by what is happening to Afghan women today, who represent us, here, now, everywhere, and who warn us that it is possible. It is possible to lead a more or less normal life one day (a life courageous every day, every day conquered) and to be threatened with death the next day.
Nothing is ever acquired. No progress, no progress, no freedom. This is why every feminicide in Afghanistan has an echo in Europe and in the world. Just as any man who beats, threatens, rapes, kills his partner here in France is the spiritual brother of a Taliban.
In this misguided Islam that the Taliban call “authentic”, it is about women as territory. Women, girls, little girls, baby girls, become a species, a species to be possessed, to be subdued, to be enslaved, in a process of alienation which is part of a well-organized strategy, supported and encouraged by regimes and countries. accomplices, who find their advantages there. As in many wars, the domination of the enemy is done by the domination of the body of his mother, his sister, his wife, his daughter. I reach you through what you hold most sacred. I destroy what constitutes you, what contains you and represents you. I kill you at the origin of yourself and I erase your future. Rape as a weapon of war is a universal recurrence, the victory of the warrior is inscribed by the invasion of the feminine place, the domination, the mistreatment, the shame, and the erasure of this place.
Yet an imprisoned woman carries hope and resistance within her. A woman hidden under the burqa is visible, by the very violence of the desired invisibility, which acknowledges the presence, the breath, the life. The erased face is inscribed in the heart and on the retina, it is a screaming void.
But behind what is seen, or rather what is not seen, there is the walling and the condemnation of otherness. What is the exchange between a child and a faceless mother? When the expression disappears, how do you express your feelings, to what can mimicry connect? A mother whose smile is erased is a child whose smile does not appear. A faceless mother is a two-way mirror, a forbidden transmission, the end of an inheritance. The Taliban’s desire for women to forget who she is, what constitutes her, what she has acquired, what she dreams of, is represented by this disappeared face. Woman should no longer be anything but a belly in which to anchor barbarism. The Taliban are now going door-to-door to list little girls over the age of ten with the aim of forcibly marrying them, taking them to Pakistan to re-educate them, converting them to “authentic” Islam and then offer them as wives to the Taliban, in order to convince the men to join their ranks, fight alongside them and breed future soldiers.
A faceless woman is a black hole in our universe. If it doesn’t suck us in, it must at least haunt us. We will no longer have the right to peace as long as the barbarism organized against Afghan women is not our common fight. Offuscation and emotion, not followed by concrete acts, are only superfluous states of mind. Without immediate action, our revolt is a defeat.
Our political leaders, the European Union, must come together and act, organize the exile of those who want to flee the country, and welcome them, with dignity, and not as we see in Paris, where exiles sleep in the streets, under tents or on the ground; camps regularly dismantled by the police, a way of erasing the problem, if not solving it.
Integration cannot be achieved through stalking and despair. International jurisprudence prohibits slavery. It is up to us to ensure that it is applied without detour or alibi and that our countries protect those who find asylum there. Each of us bears this responsibility because each of us carries all of humanity within himself. Let’s not let silence be our voice. Let us prove that in this time of dread, chaos and terror, solidarity, too, is possible.