I love when how they dare speak of Islam's empowerment of women. Vile. And I increasingly see more and more women in those oppressive singular prisons, the burkas.
Zahid Hussain in Islamabad
The Taleban have ordered the closure of all girls’ schools in the war-ravaged Swat district and warned parents and teachers of dire consequences if the ban is flouted.
In an announcement made in mosques and broadcast on radio, the
militant [pious Muslim - Atlas] ]group set a deadline of January 15 for its order to be obeyed or it would blow up school buildings and attack schoolgirls. It also told women not to set foot outside their homes without being fully covered.
“Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society,” Shah Dauran, leader of a group that has established control over a large part of Swat district in the North West Frontier Province, declared this week.
Teachers said that they had little choice but to comply. The Taleban have destroyed more than 125 girls’ schools in the area in the past year. Swat, once a relatively liberal area and a popular tourist destination, has in the past few years become a heartland for Pakistan’s Islamic
militancy[religiosity - Atlas], which fashions itself on the conservative Taleban movement in Afghanistan.
Note use of the word conservative - a slam at conservatives. You will see that bogus word used more and more. What they mean is religious Muslims.
Islamic militants led by the radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah have been fighting government forces since Pakistan launched a massive operation in the district late last year. More than 200 government soldiers have been killed but the militants are still well entrenched in the area.
Mullah Fazlullah – also known as Mullah Radio for his sermons broadcast through his illegal FM radio stations – has long been exhorting people to stop sending their daughters to schools, which “inculcate Western values”. Hundreds of girls and women teachers have quit schools as a result.
The militants have also prohibited immunisation for children against polio – claiming that the UN-sponsored vaccination drive is aimed at causing sexual impotence – causing a sharp rise in cases of the disease.
Since the start of the government offensive, girls’ schools have been targeted increasingly by Islamic fundamentalists. The district has 842 boys’ and 490 girls’ state schools for 300,000 children aged 3 to 9; only 163,645 boys and 67,606 girls are actually enrolled at state and private establishments, according to official figures.
According to the local authorities, 50 per cent of girls have stopped attending school because of the militants’ threats. Hazir Gul, a teacher, said that the inability of the authorities to provide protection against attacks had emboldened the Islamists. “Militants can burn the remaining schools whenever they want,” he said. In some areas state school buildings have been turned into madrassas, or religious seminaries.
Previously at Atlas: Iran Backed Taliban in 2001