Are you the one who read “Ban on full-face veils instituted in Afghanistan” article? Did you take it seriously or not? Here’s the secret: if you took it seriously, you've been pranked! It was, after all, April Fools' Day - all jokes allowed; good or bad.
There won’t be a ban on full-face veils on Mondays under the penalty of 20-year imprisonment or stoning in Afghanistan. At least not for now - Allvoices and the author of the article are not taking any responsibility for any actions from any politicians getting any ideas from it.
Allvoices did NOT call Human Rights Watch’s executive director Kenneth Roth, who was mentioned in the report, to explain him the prank. We did NOT learn that Roth had no clue about it since he’s been too busy over the last few days to read any online news. “We’re having tense negotiations with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai right now on how to improve women’s social rights in the country,” Roth did NOT tell us. “We were unable to agree on any legal proposal brought forward and are looking rather desperately for some new moderate ideas - something that would signify the liberation of women and could be gradually implemented in Afghanistan.”
Oh boy… Again, Allvoices and the author of the article are not taking any responsibility have the ideas presented in it ended up being recommended by desperate activists or politicians. And if those activist or politicians are thinking along the lines of the article in question, we plainly and simply beg you to make the punishment for not obeying the ban less harsh than 20 years in prison or stoning.
Allvoices did NOT call Afghan President Karzai. It would be just crazy.
Allvoices did NOT talk to Afghan women and did NOT learn that they were extremely relieved the news turned out to be a joke, and a poor one at that.
“I can’t remember how my face even looks like anymore! Sure, I’d love to discard my niqab, even if it’d be just for one day a week. But believe me, my husband wouldn’t make it an enjoyable experience, if you know what I mean,” one woman from Baghlan, who asked for anonymity (but we don’t know her name, naturally didn’t see her face - we couldn’t betray her even if we were brutally forced to) did NOT tell us.
“It’d be nice to decide for yourself what to wear or not rather than being shoved by politicians, religious leaders or family,” an older woman in Kabul (though, of course, we can’t be sure she was indeed “older”; we can only say that her niqab was like a beautiful black mirror reflecting the sun and totally blinding us) did NOT say. “It’d be nice to have my own voice…and face…but I don’t know how to get it. Maybe you can come up with some ideas…But no foolish pranks on April 1! What is it anyway, April Fool’s Day? Sounds foolish…” the woman did NOT jokingly add.
So, here we are. April Fools' Day is over and it’s time to come back to not-so-playful and de-facto-quite-foolish reality. Good luck and all the best to all Muslim women – veiled or unveiled, humorous or stern, happy and respected or…no, we wish them all to be exactly that.
See you all April 1, 2013!