Thursday, December 8, 2011

Book Review: My Forbidden Face

A Book You Can Buy From Me

Book Title: My Forbidden Face
Author: "Latifa" with Shekeba Hachemi and Linda Coverdale
Date: 2001
Publisher: Hyperion
ISBN: 0-7868-6901-1
Length: 210 pages
Quote: "[W]omen who are simply ill...have nowhere to go, since only men can be doctors--who can treat only men!"
"Latifa" is a pseudonym. We can't check even her name, much less the facts in her report of Taliban insanity. There is no web site or blog page for this book, so we can't follow up with her, either, which is disappointing. However, it was published, and has received much publicity and many reviews, as part of a war propaganda campaign.
As a civilian who has access only to propaganda information I abstain from holding political opinions on current wars. I don't like war, nor do I see many ethically tolerable options for civilians except to support efforts to win any wars we get into as quickly and cleanly as possible. I have no basis for an opinion about what our President should do today. I have opinions only about domestic political issues.
By now Latifa's story should be familiar. She charges that the Taliban are not seekers of Islamic spiritual truth, as their name suggests, but participants in a genocidal campaign to destroy most of the ethnic groups that are indigenous in Afghanistan. Nobody who's gone over there seems to be disputing these charges.
Most reports about the Taliban tend to support Latifa's charges. Are these reports one-sided? Of course they are one-sided. Since the Taliban loathe the United States, they've cut off any chance any American, however broadminded, might have given them to air their point of view in this country. Everything we're going to know about the Taliban is destined to come from those who hate them, which they have undeniably given many people reason to do.
Here, for what it's worth, is Latifa's story of a tribal war masquerading as a religious war, and how she survived and escaped, and how her family did. It's quite an adventure, and can be read simply as a story.

Click here to buy it from me at the standard price ($5 for the book, $5 shipping if you buy online; $5 for the book if I order a clean copy for a local reader and deliver it in real life; 50 cents for my copy.)