The UN meeting on Afghanistan in Doha coincides with protests by Afghan women against Taliban rule. Parwana Ibrahim Khail, a known journalist and women’s rights activist, shared her experiences of imprisonment and torture under the Taliban, including a stoning sentence for alleged apostasy. Despite international outcry and support for these women, the Taliban continue to enforce repressive measures, including the educational ban on girls and closure of women-oriented businesses, violating human rights. The latest WPS index ranked Afghan women’s condition as the worst globally. Activists criticize the UN for not inviting Taliban opposition to the meeting, viewing it as legitimizing the regime and complicit in gender apartheid. They demand that international communities hold the Taliban accountable for human rights violations rather than negotiate, expecting actions beyond mere statements.
Valentine Moghadam’s article, “Socialism or Anti-Imperialism? The Left and Revolution in Iran,” analyzes the ideological complexity of the Iranian Left during the revolutionary period. It explores the Left’s commitment to anti-imperialism and its critique of dependent capitalism, while also addressing its failures and challenges. The article delves into the impact of historical events, such as the Shah-CIA coup and the rise of Islamic governance, on shaping the Iranian Left’s strategies and outcomes. The article also highlights the Left’s underestimation of the power of Islamic clergy and its neglect of democracy, providing valuable insights into the struggles of aligning ideological principles with pragmatic political strategies during societal upheaval.