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‘Moderate’ Taliban’s First Fatwa

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After capturing power in Afghanistan, a week ago, the Taliban have been trying to project itself as more moderate and progressive than how they were in 1996.

This includes a promise to be more inclusive and give women rights as prescribed in Islamic law etc.

But many have expressed reservations over how much of these will be ever practiced.

Even when they have tried to project a moderate face, the Taliban’s first ‘fatwa’ was to ban co-education.

Taliban officials in  the Herat province have banned co-education in government and private universities, describing it as the ‘root of all evils in society.

According to Khaama Press, the decision was taken after a meeting between varsity professors, owners of private institutions, and Taliban authorities.

Afghanistan has a mixed system of both co-education and separate classes with schools functioning separate classes while co-education is applied both in government and private universities and institutes around the country.

Lecturers in Herat province have reasoned that the government universities and institutes can manage separate classes but because of the limited number of female students in private institutions, the latter cannot afford to create separate classrooms.

Mullah Farid, head of higher education of Afghanistan Islamic Emirate who was representing the Taliban in the meeting in Herat has said that co-education should be ended because the system is the root of all evils in society.

Farid as an alternative suggested that female lecturers or elderly male ones who are virtuous are allowed to teach female students and for the co-education, there is neither an alternative nor any justification to be continued.

Lecturers in Herat said, since private institutions cannot afford separate classes, thousands of girls may remain deprived of higher education.

There are reportedly around 40,000 students and 2,000 lecturers in private and government universities and institutions in the province.

Last week, in the first press conference after the capture of power, Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman had promised that the outfit would honour women’s rights within the norms of Islamic law, in an effort to portray a more moderate stance.

Courtesy – indiatimes.com

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