Despite fatwas against it, Taliban sent their girls to school: UN official

Published: December 10, 2012

Taliban had outlawed education for girls during their five year regime. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

NEW DELHI: A UN official on Monday claimed that some Taliban leaders, who have issued fatwas against girls’ education during their rule in Afghanistan, have themselves sent their female children to schools, the Times of India reported.

According to the report, the Unicef representative in Afghanistan from 1998 to 2001 Louis-Georges Arsenault claimed that the Taliban had issued fatwa against girls’ education during their regime (1996 to 2001) as the group feared that “movement” of women and girls on the streets would “distract the focus” of their fighters from their “task “.

Arsenault, who took over as Unicef India representative a couple of months ago, made these remarks while addressing the National Consultation on Education in Areas Affected by Civil Strife in Delhi.

The then Unicef representative in Afghanistan said that top Taliban officials had “openly” told UN officials who were talking to them at that point of time that the fatwa was issued because they needed their troops to focus the task ahead and not be distracted by the movement of women and girls. Despite the diktat, some NGOs, community leaders and teachers were secretly providing some kind of education to the children in some parts of the country.

The Unicef too, Arsenault said, went about quietly, and without attracting media attention, in working on school education in collaboration with these segments of population and taking expertise from Government officials and academicians.

“Some of the Taliban fighters were sending their girls in schools anyway,” said Arsenault, who is credited with managing one of Unicef’s largest humanitarian operations, including the coordination of relief and rehabilitation services to over 250,000 women, children and men displaced by Afghan conflict.

According to the Unicef, Arsenault, despite Taliban’s edicts against girls’ education, initiated several projects to arrange private schooling for them.

Reader Comments (12)

  • Dec 10, 2012 - 9:33PM

    Fatwa’s for the rest… sharaab kabab for the Mullahs of the TTP and their allies.

    These Mullahs have turned religion into their cash cow… as a tool to earn and gain influence with masses that are like brainless robots.

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  • Thor
    Dec 10, 2012 - 9:36PM

    These must be Pakistani, do everything but don’t let other do anything.

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  • De
    Dec 10, 2012 - 9:40PM

    Taliban didn’t put a complete blanket ban on education for girls. That’s a misconception and propaganda by local political forces in Afghanistan who were against the Taliban, not western ones.

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  • Falcon
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:07PM

    Now that is interesting…does it reflect hypocrisy, confusion, or discord in their ideological ranks?

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  • Misery Ghalib
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:40PM

    old story – mullahs cry ‘death to amrica’ but happily send children to study and settle in america.

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  • jawid
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:45PM

    As long as some guidelines are observed, there is no problem whatsoever ISLAMICALLY to send your female children to schools, infact its encouraged…
    Its naivities like these by the right wing groups that they dont find mass support in public despite their slogan of ISLAM

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  • Khan
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:57PM

    Diplomacy at its best !

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  • naveed noor
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:03PM

    it is very necessary or corrective step from talibaan….taliban must be responsible for proceeding educational efforts…Recommend

  • jibran
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:29PM

    Same thing will be the polio vaccination. While thousands of children are at the mercy of the virus, the mullahs will be ensuring that their children are getting ample vaccination… Remember how the terrorist-n-chief met his fate.Recommend

  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:28AM

    @De:Taliban didn’t put a complete blanket ban on education for girls. So it is like being little bit pregnant. Either one is pregnant or not there is no such thing as in between.

    Bunch of hypocrite. Not a peep when Taliban blows up girls school in various parts of Pakistan. As long as it does not affect them, evrything alright.

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  • Dec 11, 2012 - 1:29PM

    The very concept of the Islamic wear is to shield women from gazing eyes of the man. Now, the Taliban have extended that same principle to schools.

    Most Taliban are hypocrites, who don’t practice what they preach.

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  • Dec 14, 2012 - 4:23PM

    They may have made a progress in flushing out Taliban from the area but drones are not the ultimate solution to curb the activities of the Taliban. Drones collateral damage is high which can result in more talibanization and radicalization and it has affected the Pak U.S relation to a great extent. Also, Govt is trying its best to restore order and calm in the dangerous territories.

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