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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Afghanistan not quite the hell-hole it’s portrayed as

Posted: Fri, 09 Mar 2012 13:17

Afghanistan not quite the hell-hole it’s portrayed as

The Asia Foundation has conducted a major opinion poll to discover the true attitudes of the people of Afghanistan – and it contains a lot of surprises.

"Foreign interference" is ranked at the very bottom of problems that worry Afghans: 1. Insecurity (38%) 2. Unemployment (23%) 3. Corruption (21%) 4. Poverty (12%), 5. Poor economy (10%), 6. Lack of education (10%), 7. The Taliban (8%), 8. Suicide attacks (8%) 9. Foreign interference (7%).

Most of Afghanistan is at peace. Afghan support for equal rights regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion is at 82%, and for equal educational opportunities for women it's 85%. However, a substantial number of Afghans think women should not seek work outside the home.

See all the key findings (pdf).

In relation to the hysteria over the accidental burning of Korans by American soldiers, Manizha Naderi, executive director of Women for Afghan Women, said: "Most people are more angry at the protesters than at the U.S. troops who did it. One person actually said, 'When the Taliban are blowing up schools or mosques, aren't they burning the Quran? Mosques are filled with hundreds of copies of the Quran. How come no one is saying anything about this?'"

Tags: Statistics