Friday, December 26, 2008

Terrible but unsurprising news from Pakistan

From the Dec. 26 Times of London with my comments below the star line - - -

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 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. …

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..

Attacks on girls’ schools are not confined to the Swat district. In the past two years another 100 schools have been burnt down in Waziristan and other tribal areas, leaving tens of thousands of children between the ages of 5 and 15 with no access to education.

In many areas hardliners have established Sharia, or Islamic law, setting up their own courts and introducing public executions for those who break it. This month militants killed a pro-government cleric and hung his body up in Mingora, the main town of Swat, in full view of the Pakistani military and the local administration.

The entire Times article’s here.



When liberals and leftists here in America ask if I know “Why they hate us?” I usually say, “Well, fot has something to do with how we threat woman, right?”

Paco Martin, Madrid, Spain comments on the thread:

About time ALL Muslims got their act together to condemn this. I fear I do not see this happening - Showing that really this religion needs to get its act together and support western values of health education and freedom for ALL.
I sure wish all, or at least a lot more, Muslims would start doing that.

I wish too there was a chance gay leaders and the Hollywood glitterati would squeeze a little time in between blasting President-elect Obama, Rev. Warren and Pope Benedict to condemn the treatment of women in many Muslim countries and support the elimination of the influence of Muslim fundamentalists everywhere.


Anonymous said...

Don't look for the Hollywood glitterati or other politico types to say much about the treatment of Muslim women. That is not a glamorous cause. The education of young Muslim girls doesn't have the cachet that others issues seem to possess. I think there is this deep seated desire among many women to be possessed and ordered about. Hollywood fantasy and a number of video games play into this. There are men who fantasize about women who who cater to their every whim and those women who more than are willing to indulge men in such fantasies. While denying girls an education would seem to have no connection, the fact is that if young girls are not taught that they can do or be more than vessels for male fantasies then that is all they will ever be. The resurgence of the veil and chador(burka) are not really modesty issues - they are control issues on the part of men over women. What I find disturbing is the growing tendency of governments here in the United States to indulge (in the name of freedom of religion) in such cover-up for the purposes of drivers ID, etc.
I teach in an all-girls school. What amazes me are the numbers of girls who would willingly trade their freedoms to be possessed by a man who would provide for all their material needs. Though I do not consider myself a feminazi by any stretch of the imagination, I find it important thatyoung girls understand how dress (the chador and veil) limit their world view (put one on sometime and see just how restrictive movement and vision is)and that if dress can do that, how much more can laws.

JWM said...

To cks,

There isn't much you say here with which I disagree, and with most of what you say I strongly agree but might not have said it as well.

Early in 2009 I plan to raise some of the issues you state here so well.

In one instance it will be to note that self-described feminists at Duke and in Durham were silent when the members of Duke's Woman's lacrosse team were trashed by many in media for simply asserting the three wrongly indicted frame-up victims were innocent.

The other instance will be in connection with what may happen in 2009 and going forward regarding the important, but much too limited, progress made there in very recent years in the treatment of women.


JWM said...


In the above comment "progress made there" should read: "progress made in Afghanistan."