In the past few years the Afghanistan Taliban have closed down hundreds of schools, burned down over 140 more and have killed over 40 teachers and students. The reason being that the schools had the the nerve to educate girls. This atrocious behavior is not enough though. Now the Taliban in Swat Pakistan has threatened to blow up all girls' schools and attack the students if they are not closed by January 15Th. The Taliban says that the schools go against Islam.
Hat tip to The Munz
Taliban says if girls' schools don't close, it will bomb them, attack students
By Zahid Hussain in Islamabad
The AustralianDecember 27, 2008
THE Taliban has ordered the closure of all girls' schools in the war-ravaged Swat district of Pakistan 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 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 Taliban have destroyed more than 125 girls' schools in the area in the past year, The Weekend Australian reports.
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, which fashions itself on the conservative Taliban movement in Afghanistan.
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 three to nine; 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 the inability of the authorities to provide protection against attacks had emboldened the Islamists, who burned schools "whenever they want".
Attacks on girls' schools are not confined to the Swat district. In the past two years a further 100 schools have been burnt down in Waziristan and other tribal areas, leaving tens of thousands of children between the ages of five and 15 without education.
In many areas, hardliners have established sharia, or Islamic law, and introduced public executions for those who break it.
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