Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prayer saves life of Muslim feminist

Meet Shukria Barakzai, 42, an outspoken feminist in Afghanistan. When she was 25, during the rule of the Taliban, she was caught walking outdoors without a male escort. The "religious police" flogged her in public with a rubber whip, as a warning to others. "There was no way I was going to accept that kind of thing," she said, so she set up an underground school for girls in her home. Hundreds received their education through her secret school.

Walking away from damaged car.

She also started Afghanistan's first magazine for women, and today, beside being a mother of five, she's one of 69 woman MPs elected to the Kabul government. She's received many threats on her life, but insists, "I am not afraid, I am a strong, proud, democratic Muslim woman fighting for the lives of my children."

This week she survived an assassination attempt. A suicide bomber in a car first tried to ram her vehicle as she drove to parliament. The attacker then detonated explosives, triggering a blast that was heard across the capitol and drew hundreds of people to the scene. Three bystanders were killed, and more than a dozen were wounded, including Barakzai's driver. Seen above walking away from her damaged car, she had only minor injuries, and believes she knows why.

She told the Reuters news agency, "I survived because of my people's prayers."

A two-minute video of Shukria explaining her values is linked here. www.youtube.com/watch?v=66_PtOkMH8A

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