February 4, 2023 11:51 am

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Demand for the reopening of schools for girls has been raised from time to time in Afghanistan.

Every religious and political leader of the Taliban has a different set of views and opinions regarding the reopening of schools for girls.

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The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai during his speech on the occasion of the International Tourism Day in Kabul said that “there are no Shariah reasons for opposing education of girls”.

Stanikzai was addressing a gathering on Tuesday(September 27, 2022) and said, “I say in clear words that education should be for both men and women. No one can deny its existence and obligation. It is an absolute duty.”

“Girls’ schools should be opened as soon as possible and discrimination in education is an act against Islam,” said Stankzai.

Stanikzai informed the Taliban leaders that the closure of schools for girls was creating a wedge between the people and government and that schools should be opened in order to consolidate national unity.

Meanwhile, the acting minister from the Ministry of Virtue and Vice, Khalid Hanafi  has also agreed to the call of opening schools for girls and said that “education is permissible for women.”

According to Tolo news, Khalid Hanafi said that “Education is permissible, but when there is a conflict between the permissible and the leader, the order of the leader is obligatory, and education for men is also permissible.”

The Taliban ministry of Prevention of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has now been renamed as Ministry of Virtue and Vice. This is the same ministry that had put severe restrictions on women in Afghanistan.

The ministry works as moral police for the Taliban whose duty is to enforce the Sharia-based laws in Afghanistan. This ministry has barred women from working outside their homes and has restricted girls above 6th grade to go to school.

The ministry makes sure every Afghan follows Sharia-based laws, like a strict dress code, women to be accompanied by a male relative while moving out of the house, public execution, floggings, etc.

Earlier on 18th September 2022, Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that their regime is trying to provide educational opportunities to all including girls.

Demand for the reopening of schools for girls has been raised from the time the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August last year. Common Afghans as well as international organizations have repeatedly called for the opening of schools for girls.

In this context, several Jirgas were also organized by leaders and demanded to open schools for girls above 6th grade. The leaders during a Jirga in the Paktia province of Afghanistan have even threatened the Taliban with dire consequences if they failed to reopen schools.

Every religious and political leader of the Taliban has a different set of views and opinions regarding the reopening of schools for girls. Though Stanikzai vows to open schools for girls, the acting minister of Virtue and Vice has said that “obeying the orders of Amir al-Muminin is obligatory and not education”.

Khalid Hanafi has used the Arabic term Mubah, meaning “permission” regarding girls’ education. This means that if the Emir or the Caliph gives permission to reopen schools, then schools can be opened, otherwise, it remains prohibited.

The discontent within the Taliban has made it tough for the regime to take an  unanimous decision on reopening schools for girls.

Shubham Joshi
Shubham Joshi
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