Taliban to change policy on girls’ schools?


by Rumbold
14th January, 2011 at 9:40 am    

This sounds a bit unlikely, but would be good if it was true:

The Taliban are ready to drop their ban on schooling girls in Afghanistan, the country’s education minister has said. Farooq Wardak told the UK’s Times Educational Supplement a “cultural change” meant the Taliban were “no more opposing girls’ education”. The Taliban – who have been fighting the Kabul government – have made no public comment on the issue.

Given the Taliban’s repeated and vicious attacks on girls’ schools (LINK- contains a graphic image), this could be nothing more than political posturing (if it is even the Taliban who have said this), and some regional analysts have expressed doubts about the Taliban leadership’s ability to control their more radical followers. A example of their current attitude below:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — No students showed up at Mirwais Mena girls’ school in the Taliban’s spiritual birthplace the morning after it happened. A day earlier, men on motorcycles attacked 15 girls and teachers with acid.

The men squirted the acid from water bottles onto three groups of students and teachers walking to school Wednesday, principal Mehmood Qaderi said. Some of the girls have burns only on their school uniforms but others will have scars on their faces. One teenager still cannot open her eyes after being hit in the face with acid.


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Filed in: 'Honour'-based violence,Sex equality,Terrorism






40 Comments below   |  

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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Taliban to change policy on girls' schools? http://bit.ly/fMfcfn


  2. SSAT

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Taliban to change policy on girls' schools? http://bit.ly/fMfcfn


  3. smileandsubvert

    Taliban to change policy on girls’ schools? http://pulsene.ws/JDbf


  4. Hannah M

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Taliban to change policy on girls' schools? http://bit.ly/fMfcfn


  5. Clara Boxall

    Taliban to change policy on girls' schools? http://bit.ly/fMfcfn #doubt #vaw via @sunny_hundal


  6. Hank Langston

    Pickled Politics » Taliban to change policy on girls' schools? http://bit.ly/eHh9RN




  1. Boyo — on 14th January, 2011 at 9:56 am  

    That’s alright then.

    I wonder how many headlines there were like this about Germany and the Jews in the 1930s…

  2. Don — on 14th January, 2011 at 10:04 am  

    Could this be softening us up for a deal? Pretending to believe that the Taliban is softening its stance on women’s rights and so making it easier to push them under the bus when the time comes?

  3. Naadir Jeewa — on 14th January, 2011 at 10:23 am  

    Worth reading the Guardian version of the story which has some commentary from analysts, including KCL’s Alex Strick van Linschoten, who I consider the foremost expert out in the field on the post 9/11 Taliban:

    Alex Strick van Linschoten, a leading analyst of the Taliban, said an announcement was unlikely in the near future.

    “They are unlikely to announce things like this since it will all come up in any potential negotiations and this is one ‘concession’ they could make to the foreigners,” he said.

  4. Rumbold — on 14th January, 2011 at 10:23 am  

    Boyo:

    That’s alright then.

    I was saying it was unlikely given their past record. I think Don is probably (and sadly) right.

  5. Kismet Hardy — on 14th January, 2011 at 12:10 pm  

    GOD BLESS AMERICA! Thank you thank you so much America for this to happen. Let us pray women will now be allowed to walk the streets of Iraq without being beaten. THANK YOU AMERICA. Please war with Saudi now so the women can drive. And Iran. War with them. Did you know there is NO good gear in the streets of Brighton at the moment? THANK YOU AMERICA. THANK YOU

  6. joe90 — on 14th January, 2011 at 12:21 pm  

    For over 10 years america and nato have been bombing living daylights out of afghanistan, NATO doesn’t respect human life let alone afghan women’s rights.

    for balance, vicious attacks nato have inflicted on afghan civilians.
    http://www.rawa.org/s-photos.htm

    accounting taliban is fine, but who is accounting Nato why are they there? are they there to bring peace? or they have eyes on central asia and encircling russia/china.

  7. Awakening Tempest — on 14th January, 2011 at 1:52 pm  

    The mind set of the Taliban must be changing. For Taliban to stop women from learning goes directly against Islamic teachings – from my studies of Islam women are encouraged to educate to a minimum standard and encouraged to enter the Mosque. The Taliban in Afghanistan stopped women from doing both.

    This is welcomed news but much like other good news the media will give their attention to this for maximum 1 day before returning to sell bad news.

  8. Rumbold — on 14th January, 2011 at 2:00 pm  

    Good piece Naadir. Thanks for that.

  9. asim — on 14th January, 2011 at 2:24 pm  

    Any news on the French lifting the ban on Muslim girls wearing hijabs to school?

  10. Boyo — on 14th January, 2011 at 2:33 pm  

    Yeah, Asim, that’s just the same as throwing acid at children who want to learn isn’t it.

  11. Suburban Mafia — on 14th January, 2011 at 4:41 pm  

    Hi Asim,
    I spoke to Mr.Sarkozy about this earlier today, and whilst he welcomes this apparent rethinking by the Taliban, (if genuine) he would not lift the hijabs in school ban until Afghan girls were given school uniforms similar to the Britney Spears outfits in the ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ video.
    Regards,
    SM

  12. Shamit — on 14th January, 2011 at 4:44 pm  

    “NATO doesn’t respect human life let alone afghan women’s rights.”

    While there have been many incidents where some Nato troops have acted improperly they have been brought to book and rightly so.

    And Nato has been instrumental in bringing about improvements in infrastructure, health care, education including the rights and opportunities for women to be educated and be professionals.

    Thousands of miles of roads. hospitals and schools have been built along with power stations and water stations to pump water – and yet this foolish idiot calling himself Joe90 wants to believe what Anjem tells him.

    He is joined by one of the other loonies in the deluded camp who compares NATO with Taliban.

    But to Joe and his cronies, ideal representation of civil society was best exemplified when millions of illiterate and literate fanatics walked in Pakistani cities calling for death to anyone who wants to change the abusive blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

    Lawyers in black courts defending the rule of law gralanding an assasin who killed someone he vowed to protect – that’s civil society and rule of law for Joe90 0r Anjem take your pick.

    So when these kind of people lecture anyone on human rights – you have to ask – Are you fucking having a laugh?

  13. Boyo — on 14th January, 2011 at 5:51 pm  

    “Are you fucking having a laugh?”

    I think they are… after many years (!) of “debating” this on-line, and having learned a huge amount about Islam etc since 9/11, I nonetheless find myself returning full circle to the sense of appalled disbelief I experienced when Islamism first burst in to my consciousness.

    There’s an interesting article by Douglas Murray (I know – hiss) in Standpoint who explores the 9/11 mosque issue in the US and how the debate is following the European model, ie on Islam’s terms – if you do not want violent Islam, you must accomodate peaceful Islam, regardless of values or mores alien to Western culture. Because if you don’t, well they’ll turn violent, right?

    Forgedaboutit.

  14. notafeminist — on 14th January, 2011 at 6:02 pm  

    Your resident notafeminist who is so into Moazzam Begg’s school building activities in Afghanistan must be truly chuffed. Where’s the earwigga anywhere?

    Like the person who said above that the great religion of peace allows women to be educated to a ‘minimum standard’. Nice and gracious and truly progressive that.

  15. BenSix — on 14th January, 2011 at 6:53 pm  

    While there have been many incidents where some Nato troops have acted improperly they have been brought to book and rightly so.

    It’s somewhat irrelevant to discussions of the Taliban – who it should go without saying are bastards – but, er – no they haven’t.

  16. BenSix — on 14th January, 2011 at 6:56 pm  

    I’ve no idea what Boyo’s point is, by the way. “The Taliban are bastards”? (Who’s disagreeing?) “Islam is nasty”? (Just come out and say it.) “Mwah hah hah, puny liberals”? (Whatever turns one on.)

  17. Boyo — on 15th January, 2011 at 7:48 am  

    Oh, I think it’s this clutching at straws thing – how Western progressives keep looking for positive signs when the overwhelming evidence is negative.

    But also, re your “Islam is nasty” point, I do think I have arrived at the conclusion that Islamic culture is fundamentally at odds with other cultures – be it Western, Buddhist, Confusion, etc.

    Of course, most Muslims, like most people everywhere, are not “nasty”.
    There are many examples of positive aspects of Islamic spiritual and artistic practice. However, there is a tendency for us to ignore the elephant in the room – the discontent in almost all Muslim-majority countries, the oppressive attitudes and violence, etc. The seeming unwillingness to examine or reform Islam, and so on. We don’t acknowledge it, because we are uncomfortable with the implications of doing so. Another article in Standpoint, illustrates the dangers of this complacency: http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/the-mole-janfeb-11-a-stranger-in-my-own-land-anonymous-inner-city-birmingham-muslim-gangs

    As a Socialist, it’s true I’ve always had a grudging admiration for the USSR, and I can’t but help admire the motivations of many ordinary communists who committed their lives to build a better world. Yet I also cannot deny that communism inexorably led the Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot and a century of misery. Communism may have good intentions, but it ends in the basement of the Lubyanka.

    The “progressive” Left needs to shake itself from its love affair with Islamism and see it as it is. Yes America and the West do bad things, but why ally oneself to something worse? It also needs to acknowledge its racism – allying itself to an ideology that demonstrably reduces the life chances of the poorest sections of our community, as well as those around the world, simply because many of them have a different skin colour. They need to stop playing the Islamist’s game – placing the blame for this disadvantage on race, when this is so obviously wrong. Look at the Indians, or Chinese.

    This does not mean that one cannot condemn Israel, or defend people from ethnic minorities. But is it “progressive” to support belief systems that are ultimately regressive?

  18. damon — on 15th January, 2011 at 2:39 pm  

    Boyo, that Standpoint article about Birmingham HAS to be a hysterical overreaction. It has to be, as if it was anywhere near the truth, then things would be absolutely terrible. And would make a mockery of statements like this on Liberal Conspiracy.

    It’s not liberals deluded about Islam – it’s conservatives

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/01/12/its-not-liberals-deluded-about-islam-its-conservatives/

    My guess is that it’s another Douglas Murray style alarmist piece.
    But I can’t claim to know Birmingham well at all.

    As for the Taliban …. if you can’t beat them, you have to deal with them. The West tried and the West failed to seriously make much difference. People there want to live in a feudal way it seems. Or enough of them do anyway.

  19. joe90 — on 15th January, 2011 at 5:17 pm  

    post #12

    tony blair’s boifan did not answer why NATO are in afghanistan? Like a typical neo con salesman selling to a skeptical public, pushing issue of girls education or democracy (though the barrell of a gun), what a con as if this the real reasons nato so heavily investing in the region.

    You say nato builds roads and transport links? reminds me of the british raj when they built railway infrastructure before they raped the indian subcontinent of its resources. The very same railways came in handy when transporting the goods to the ports didn’t they old chap.

    People are not blind to the obvious chess match going on with only superpower in the world the US v russia/china dominating the central asia/asia region.

    As you know from reading your neo con monthly the region also happens to sit on mineral resources which geologists report in numbers $trillions not billions in value, what a conincidnece eh.

    So 10 years + the resistance has been so stubborn NATO has ordered pakistan armed forces into the fight even that is not enough. Nato has now been humiliated and forced to seek a negotiation with the very people it was labeling as violent, fanatic, terrorist in order for US to execute its project unopposed and not at risk from sabotage. Ironic we read the same insults on this website against anyone that dares to question america and nato’s motives.

  20. Joe Six-Pack — on 15th January, 2011 at 9:40 pm  

    We question ourselves plenty. It is all around us. Questioning ourselves is a cultural norm for us as a society. This applies generally to the entire ‘WEST’.

    One major problem is that the ideology of the Tailiban does not question itself. Or at the very least, severly restricts questioning. This problem is common within that region of the world. This problem is on the cultural level as well. This helps explain the sensitivity to perceived ‘insult’. That is, criticism.

  21. Boyo — on 15th January, 2011 at 10:04 pm  

    “It has to be, as if it was anywhere near the truth, then things would be absolutely terrible.”

    And your point is…?

    Certainly it may exaggerate, but it doesn’t read that way. I think most people here know it is close enough to the truth, as much as they may deny it.

  22. Boyo — on 15th January, 2011 at 10:07 pm  

    Heh, lovely. The article you link to aptly demonstrates a variation of the the “wacist” strategy to stifle debate: “By portraying Muslims in general as the problem, writers like Ed West contribute to the exact problem they affect to warn against.”

    Best not discussed then, eh? ;-)

  23. Shamit — on 15th January, 2011 at 11:10 pm  

    We went into afghanistan because it had become the graduate school of terrorism for the world – with Al Qaeda openly running camps aided by the fucked up idiots in Pakistan – the only two governments who recognised Taliban were pakistan and saudi arabia.

    9/11 and the refusal of mullah omar to hand over osama bin laden was the reason we are there you fuckhead – terrorist lover. Is that the line Anjem chaudhary gave you today?

  24. douglas clark — on 16th January, 2011 at 8:21 am  

    I agree with Shamit @ 23.

    There is no excuse for blindness. Which Boyo is very guilty of. According to him Afghanistan was an innocent party, and the predictably backward state of Afghanistan, circa 9/11 was a completely innocent party?

    I think not.

  25. Boyo — on 16th January, 2011 at 8:33 am  

    @23 and 24, that’s all very well, but we are not really Joe90′s constituency, and as the article I linked to (and repeated polls) illustrated well, his lies have long since found a ready and willing audience.

    The far more important question is, how to fix this?

    I would argue only by an almost forced de-segregation, like bussing in the US in the Sixties, with the imposition of a strictly secular state (including all schools) and a society in general with greater opportunities, ie an end to private schooling too.

    Only by a root and branch reform of our society and the moral courage of our politicians to do it (they do have it, albeit they are currently using it to advance their class interests) can this be achieved.

    I wouldn’t wait up.

  26. Boyo — on 16th January, 2011 at 8:38 am  

    I would add, it’s interesting isn’t it that you never get any real solutions to the issues around integration, assimilation and terrorism from the “progressive” left (except that the fault lies with everyone else/ not enough multiculturalism), because of course they refuse to acknowledge there is a problem (and the kind of solutions I mention above, would be an anathema to them, despite being absolutely orthodox Left).

  27. Boyo — on 16th January, 2011 at 8:41 am  

    @24, conflating me with Joe90 Douglas? ;-)

  28. douglas clark — on 16th January, 2011 at 8:51 am  

    Boyo,

    @24, conflating me with Joe90 Douglas? ;-)

    Well, yes. You both took a ridiculous idea of what I am. You both have ideas about who I may be. It is verging on ridiculous to be defined in that sort of way.

    Just so’s you know, I am not in favour of anyone, just ’cause of their race. I am not much in favour of someone because of their colour. And I am certainly not in favour of someone because of their religion.

    I like folk mainly because they reject all that shit.

    You talked shite at 22. You represent your point of view, no more, no less, and claiming a huge constituency is just wrong boyo. You no more represent muslims than I do. You are, frankly a desperate little community leader, when you are clearly not, so piss off.

    Could I suggest to you that you talk utter pish at 25 too?

    You have no idea what ‘most’ muslims think, and it is an affront to ‘most muslims’ that you think you do.

    Frankly you are being a bit of a tit.

    It is you claiming to speak for most, when you clearly don’t.

    I can’t be bothered with your version of muslim fundamentalism either, so piss off boyo.

  29. joe90 — on 16th January, 2011 at 9:52 am  

    post #23

    hilarious when your spitting feathers you neo con violent extremist makes me laugh. So nato went all the way to jolly afghnistan because of some training camps?

    So according to your neo con psycho views nato have no interest in geo political gamesmanship against russia and china, they have no interest in central asia and its riches or even the routes to the caspian and middle east, Lol sure whatever dude watch for the bullshit its flying all around you.

  30. Boyo — on 16th January, 2011 at 2:43 pm  

    I don’t think i’ve referred to you in this thread other than @27 Douglas.

  31. Refresh — on 16th January, 2011 at 3:36 pm  

    ‘I don’t think i’ve referred to you in this thread other than @27 Douglas.’

    Maybe not. But you cannot deny he is astute.

  32. Naadir Jeewa — on 16th January, 2011 at 10:00 pm  
  33. Don — on 16th January, 2011 at 10:04 pm  

    Thanks Naadir,

    Those reports sound plausible to me.

  34. KJB — on 16th January, 2011 at 11:08 pm  

    I’m curious about the nature of the ‘Islamic education’ they think girls should have; I would imagine it basically involves 1950s-style home economics and selective religious indoctrination. Which isn’t much of a step forward.

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