Taliban minister doubles down on banning women from universities for violating ‘Islam and Afghan honor’
A senior Taliban government official has defended his decision to ban women in afghanistan from attending universities, alleging that they routinely violated dress codes and were studying subjects that went against Islam.
Nida Mohammad Nadim, Foreign Minister of the Taliban-led government higher education, he said the ban was necessary to prevent gender mixing at universities. She also said that the women were violating social and religious principles within Islam while studying “agriculture and engineering.”
“We told the girls to wear a proper hijab, but they didn’t and wore dresses as if they were going to a wedding ceremony,” she said. “The girls were studying agriculture and engineering, but this was not in keeping with Afghan culture. Girls should learn, but not in areas that go against Islam and Afghan honor.”
The ban included all women nationwide to stop attending public and private universities. It was issued effective immediately and until further notice.
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It was quickly met with demonstrations and protests, as well as backlash from some national sports icons, regional countries, and the US government.
Fellow Middle Eastern countries of Saudi Arabia and Qatar urged the Taliban-controlled governing body to reverse the ban.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry expressed its “surprise” and “regret” over the ban.
Secretary of State of the United States of America anthony blink he also criticized the decision, saying that the Taliban were not moving towards much-needed international relations if they “continued on this path”.
“What they have done is try to sentence Afghan women and girls to a dark future with no opportunity,” he told reporters in Washington on Thursday. “And the bottom line is that no country can succeed, let alone prosper, if it denies half its population the chance to contribute. And to be clear, we’re engaged with other countries right now.” There will be a cost.”
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The ban comes months later the taliban he assured Fox News that “every citizen” had the right to be educated under his rule.
“They were lying,” Fox News foreign correspondent Trey Yingst said Thursday during a segment on “America’s Newsroom.”
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The Taliban-led government said it would lift the ban after officials fixed or resolved concerns about the clothing and issue.
The government made similar promises after banning girls from high and middle schools. Officials said classes would resume for the girls once “technical issues” related to uniforms and transportation were ironed out, but the girls have yet to return to classrooms.
Designated by the US Director of National Intelligence as a terrorist group, the Taliban have remained Afghanistan’s ruling authority since 2021, following of President Joe Biden withdrawal of US forces from the country in August of that year.
The last US service member in Afghanistan, Army General Christopher Donahue, did so on August 30, 2021. The Taliban took over the country 13 days later.
The terror group initially promised a more moderate government that would respect the rights of women and minorities, but in its first year in power it has largely done the opposite.
In addition to educational bans, the Taliban-led government has barred women from most labor camps and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing in public.
Women are also prohibited from entering parks and gyms.
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While the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was initiated by the Trump administration, former Secretary of State mike pompeo He said that President Biden changed the conditions under which the United States would agree to leave.
“The Trump administration negotiated a conditional withdrawal that would keep our soldiers and civilians safe, as well as our Afghan partners and allies,” Pompeo wrote in and opinion piece in August 2022, one year after the US withdrawal.
“Unfortunately, the Biden administration broke our conditional-based withdrawal plan and decided to leave unconditionally, confident that the Taliban would not take advantage of the vacuum. This turned into a chaotic race to exit, to the surprise of no one except President Biden. His administration stayed the course, compounding its mistakes with more baffling mistakes and weaknesses,” Pompeo added at the time.
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He added: “Now, after a year, the brutal rule of the Taliban is yielding predictable results. The country faces a debt crisis and famine. They have pushed back educational opportunities for girls and forced women to lead veils. All kinds of basic human rights are being restricted.”
Taliban officials have not provided details on when they would lift their education bans.
Trey Yingst of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.