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‘TALIB’ IN CONGRUOUS WITH KNOWLEDGE SEEKERS

Attacks on schools, students, and educators under the umbrella of religion are an end – to the future.

The outcry against worldly oppression has always been a damning one, but the only echoes that circumnavigate the globe are when victims are denied the right to literacy. While it is clear the manifestations of such oppressors are always pro-peace, one must wonder how a pen can ever be mightier than the sword that seems to cut through it?

It is evident that multiple races have suffered around the globe - The Afghans have suffered a long-lasting war on literacy for the past three decades and just recently the decision to ban girls from secondary schooling and boys from higher education has further nailed the coffin of education.

The irony lies in how such practitioners are growing focus in the name of ‘Islam’ and hindering academics when Muslim declarations were deep-rooted with science and technology 1400 years ago.

There was a ray of hope when the American forces exited the region. However, that joy was short-lived since the new regime in Kabul surprised the politically elected government with a chaotic reversal by the Taliban, in a struggle to prove legitimacy.

Education has been at the center of power struggles in Afghanistan since the 1900s. There has been an unfortunately long history of manipulators in both primary and secondary education systems who, for their own benefit, have been trying to balance local desires of maintaining religious and cultural identities with a global need for modernization at the cost of continuity for the students.

The non-western world predominantly adopted schools throughout colonization however, the misalignment of traditional education systems and globally recognized modern literacy systems have become a source of conflict for poor Afghans, depriving them of basic rights.

Conflict affects education through the death or displacement of teachers and students. For example, during Rwandan genocide. By damaging schools, libraries, and educational infrastructure, educational facilities being explicit targets. For example, 670 attacks took place on schools in 2008.

The damage and devastation can find no words, as completing schooling has become a distant dream for students on all levels of the fragile state of Afghanistan today. I being a girl and being pro-education and peace can only hope, pray and raise my voice against these excruciating generational deprivations and pray the right stakeholders which seem hardest – to – reach mobilize and give voice to the voiceless and provide emergency education in regions like Afghanistan where fear and violence persist.




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I agree, I think that they are using the age old divide and rule policy. If you analyse the history of conflict in our region sectarian violence has been used to sway the public and sow the seeds of discord for the benefit of the ruling parties. Religion has been misused and misinterpreted to the benefit of key-players in the region. Denying Afghan girls the right to education is another straw drawn from the same sack of religious misinterpretation that is aimed at denying rights to women.

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I personally feel that since Afghanistan uses extreme religious justifications for such acts, it is imperative that instances from the Holy Quran and Hadith booms must be narrated for them to actually realise that education is a basic human right. Personalities like Hazrat Ayesha (RA) who were the most learned individuals post Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) era were qualified to understand and Fiqh and give solutions to problems that existed after the Prophet’s demise. Even Hazrat Fatima (RA) and many other leading woman actively participated in battled thus women were present during the struggle and no society can develop successfully without the active involvement of females.

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I agree Shaheer, educating the nation is one of the greatest tools of preventing injustice, as you said about religion, I think it applies to other areas of life as well. We have to educate our youth in history, politics and relevant sciences. A nation that is aware of their rights will be able to stand up for their rights, I believe it’s important to invest in institutions which would ensure that no power would be able to monopolise religion or have power to make the nation subservient to their whims.

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You’ve highlighted a very significant issue especially given how the the Taliban reversed there decision to let girls be allowed secondary education, justifying it because of disagreements in the group of whether the decision was the right one or not. The drives that the Taliban have is unfortunate given they use religion as the reason to hold back girls from a higher education, this issue becomes concerning given that the Taliban offer women positions like teachers, doctors and nurses girls lacking even secondary education places them realms behind being able to attain positions like these. Given Afghanistan’s fragility there should be international pushes towards giving girls there right to education

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As far as the western world is concerned I think they need to take responsibility for Afghans instead of abandoning them. I think that they need to be represented on an international stage and adequate aid and mission need to be sent to ensure that the progress made in education is not stymied.

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This is a very pertinent issue that you have addressed. I believe that when the context surrounding education is framed around religious lessons, in a manner so as to speak, you are also implicitly encouraging young people to engage in violence and defend their faith. The ideas of the new regime in Kabul and that of the Taliban in the past have in my opinion in a manner solidified the links between violence and religious obligation. Which brings me to my question essentially: do you think that their ideas and beliefs are not just depriving the Afghan of their basic human right, but that they are also actively hegemonically brewing conflict? Having trapped the region in a vicious endless cycle…

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I agree, I think that they are using the age old divide and rule policy. If you analyse the history of conflict in our region sectarian violence has been used to sway the public and sow the seeds of discord for the benefit of the ruling parties. Religion has been misused and misinterpreted to the benefit of key-players in the region. Denying Afghan girls the right to education is another straw drawn from the same sack of religious misinterpretation that is aimed at denying rights to women.

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