Women Political Participation

Human Desire to Maintain Sacred Ignorance

Perhaps this is something common that has existed since the beginning of human creation and has always tied the hands of human beings to bring changes, innovation or even reform. It is nothing but dependency on ancient and idle habits!

This is more common in traditional societies and easily closes the windows of reform and change to human beings and prevents human to even think about the reality of phenomena. That is because deep thinking causes question to the credibility of traditions.

Perhaps one of the problems in today’s traditional societies is the excessive sanctity given to traditions which is sometimes seen with the highest values.

Sheila Yousefzadah on her Facebook page posted a picture of a painting that belongs to the Renaissance and expressed the slimness that is beautifully and delicately included in the picture. Regarding the image, she wrote: “In this unique and thoughtful painting, a man with a black head is depicted who seriously and diligently intends to save an old man from drowning and annihilation while his wife and child are in danger of dying next to him as well.” This painting refers to the pre-Renaissance period in Europe, where the old man is a symbol of the ancient heritage, false beliefs and traditions mixed with ignorance and prejudice. The child was a symbol of the future and the wife was a symbol of life, love and motherland, which were the closest options to the man but he instead was determined to save the old man who had no future. This shows the human desire in keeping false beliefs.


The human head is shown in black in this painting as a sign of ignorance and this painting as a whole represents sacred ignorance and people who keep it, destroy the bright and beautiful future. Basically, traditional societies, regardless of their geography, are the most evidence of such examples. Ms. Yousefzadah’s writing about this painting is closely related to the image that recently went viral on social media.

The picture shows a 70-year-old man wed with a young girl, who may be around 12 years old. Facebook users have had different interpretations of this photo; some even thought that that a grandfather may have taken a random photo with his granddaughter. Even if this photo is not related to the marriage of these two people there are still many examples of such events seen and heard in our society.

Batol Seyed Heidari, a psychologist, posted this photo on her Facebook page and wrote: “the Mullah that has wrapped up the Nikah for this couple has done haram and should be blamed, In any event in which they take the responsibility of Nikah, they should pay attention to the age of a couple first. They should not listen to what their families say. They must first speak to the girl and evaluate her age and satisfaction.

The Ministry of Women’s affairs and the Human Rights Commission should immediately take legal action against the marriages of girls and children with old men, and the religious scholars should order the termination of such marriages; although such marriages are already invalid.

This is not the first time we have witnessed such an event in the country and this problem does not only exist in the traditional society of Afghanistan.

Despite years of battle to end violence against women and children and to prevent forced child marriages, the occurrence of such events still shows the weakness of the battles and the failure of legal efforts to end such violence.

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