Egypt’s Al-Azhar imam: Taliban’s ban on women’s university studies contradicts Sharia

The Grand Imam said that he “deeply” regrets the decision issued by the authorities in Afghanistan, preventing Afghan women’s access to university education.

Kabul: Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayeb called for the Taliban to reconsider their decision to ban Afghan women from accessing university education, saying the decision contradicts Sharia (Islamic law), reported Tolo News.

The Grand Imam said that he “deeply” regrets the decision issued by the authorities in Afghanistan, preventing Afghan women’s access to university education.

He said that the Taliban disallowing women’s right to education contradicts with the Islamic Sharia’s and called for men and women to seek education “from cradle to grave,” reported Tolo News.

Tayeb said he warns “Muslims and non-Muslims against believing or accepting the allegation that it banning women’s education is approved in Islam.”

“Indeed, Islam firmly denounces such banning since it contradicts the legal rights Islam equally guarantees for women and men,” he said.

The suspension of higher education for female students has triggered global reactions and criticisms.

Many world countries and international organizations have expressed concerns over the decision and have condemned it, reported Tolo News.

He called on authorities in Afghanistan to reconsider their decision for “the truth is more deserving of being followed.”

The Taliban-led Ministry of Economy ordered all national and international non-government organizations to suspend the jobs of female employees until further announcement, Afghan news agency Tolo News reported.

Following a mass campaign against the closure of female universities, many lecturers announced their resignations.

“I am deeply concerned. I wanted to resign as a protest and I hope these protests and actions by us will convey our voices to officials,” said Raihana Halim, a lecturer from Kabul University who studies her PhD in Turkey.

“I have offered my resignation to the Ministry of Higher Education as a protest and in support of our sisters. There are some other lecturers who are trying to continue their process of resignation,” said Ihsanullah Rahmani, a lecturer from Kabul Polytechnic University who is in Turkey for his master’s degree.

Many Afghan refugees overseas held protests in reaction to the ban on universities for women, reported Tolo News.

A group of students from different universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in response to the decision held a protest on Friday and demanded the reopening of universities for women in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, the UN mission in Afghanistan expressed the outrage of millions of Afghans and the international community over the decision by the Islamic regime and called on the de facto authorities to revoke the decision immediately.

In a statement, the UN mission said “the UN and its humanitarian partners also urged the de facto authorities to reopen girls’ schools beyond the sixth grade and end all measures preventing women and girls from participating fully in daily public life,” the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.

“Banning women from attending university is a continuation of the systematic policies of targeted discrimination put in place by the Taliban against women,” the UNAMA statement read.

At a press conference on Thursday, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the continuation of the decision will have implications, reported Tolo News.

“We are engaged with other countries on this right now. There are going to be costs if this is not reversed, if this is not changed,” Blinken said.

Since 15 August 2021, the de facto authorities have barred girls from attending secondary school, restricted women and girls’ freedom of movement, excluded women from most areas of the workforce and banned women from using parks, gyms and public bath houses.

(Except for the headline, the story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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