IMSD condemns the Taliban’s shutting of university gates to Muslim women

afghanistan girl students women

Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) unequivocally condemns the blatantly misogynist decree of Taliban that for all practical purposes has effectively banned women’s education in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban have taken over in 2021, girls haven’t been able to access schools. Although they promised to open girls’ school from March 23rd; the same day they revoked the order. This December on the 20th, there is another edict which debars women from universities. As always, no reasons were cited; neither did they indicate whether this is just a temporary measure. Going by what they have done with schools, the ban appears to be a permanent one.

The IMSD would like to remind the international community that the Taliban, during the negotiations in Doha, had promised not to rollback whatever little gains Afghan women had made in terms of education. Those who were spinning the narrative that the Taliban 2.0 was different from its earlier version now need to explain their continued support to this fanatic group. Those in the Indian Muslim community who were celebrating the Taliban takeover need to ask themselves whether this is the future they envision for half the Ummah. This is the time when the Muslim world should sit up and take notice as to what happens when we empower religious orthodoxies.

We would also like to point out that such anti-women diktats should not be seen as exceptions. The now increasingly marginalized idea that Muslim women should not be educated, has a long genealogy in the Muslim world. The (in)famous Deobandi, Ashraf Ali Thanwi, never wanted women to have even an iota of modern education. Deoband is the spiritual fountainhead of the Taliban; hence it shouldn’t surprise us that its ideological descendants are excluding women from all public spaces including schools and universities. IMSD believes that a fight against the depravities of the Taliban will be incomplete without questioning the very foundational ideas which inform such antediluvian practices.

IMSD stands in solidarity with all the struggling women and men in Afghanistan who are resisting such evil decrees of the regressive Ulama. We welcome the fact that the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have condemned the Taliban’s regressive step and appeal to the international community to urgently intervene and demand that this grossly violative decision be taken back immediately. We also appeal to all Indian Muslim organizations to outrightly condemn this misogynist action of the Taliban regime.

  1. J. Jawad, IMSD Co-convenor, Advocate, Chennai
  2. (Dr) Amar Jesani, Medico Friends Circle, Mumbai
  3. Amir Rizvi, IMSD, Designer, Mumbai
  4. Anand Patwardhan, IMSD, Documentary Filmmaker, Mumbai
  5. Anjum Rajabali, IMSD, Film writer, Mumbai
  6. Arshad Alam, IMSD, Commentator, Delhi
  7. Askari Zaidi, IMSD, Senior Journalist, Delhi
  8. Ashhar Khan, Jaunpur
  9. Bilal Khan, IMSD, Housing rights activist, Mumbai
  10. Dipak Malik
  11. Feroz Abbas Khan, IMSD, Director, Producer, Mumbai
  12. Feroze Mithiborwala, IMSD Co-convenoir, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Mumbai
  13. Gauhar Raza, Anhad, Delhi
  14. Ghulam Rasool Dehlv, Islamic scholari
  15. Hasan Ibrahim Pasha, IMSD, Writer, Allahabad
  16. (Dr) Indira Munshi, retired professor, Mumbai
  17. Javed Akhtar, IMSD, Poet, lyricist, Padma Bhushan, former MP, Mumbai
  18. Javed Anand, IMSD Convenor, Human Rights Defender, Mumbai
  19. Khadeeja Faroqui, Social Activist, Delhi
  20. Lara Jasani, Lawyer, Social Activist, Mumbai
  21. Mallika Sarabhai, Activist, Classical Dancer,Ahmedabad
  22. (Dr) Manisha Gupte, Social activist
  23. Mansoor Sardar, IMSD, Social Activist, Bhiwandi
  24. Mohammed Imran, Delhi, New York
  25. Muniza Khan, IMSD, CJP,Varanasi
  26. Naseeruddin Shah, Actor, Mumbai
  27. Nasim Khan, Varanasi
  28. Nasreen Fazelbhoy, IMSD, retired professor, Mumbai
  29. Neelima Sharma, Theatre, Delhi
  30. (Prof) Qamar Jahan, Lucknow
  31. Qaisar Pasha, IMSD, Homemaker, Allahabad
  32. Qutub Jahan, IMSD, Social Activist, Mumbai
  33. Rahman Abbas, Author, Novelist, Mira Road, Thane
  34. (Dr) Ram Puniyani, IMSD, Author, Commentator, Mumbai
  35. Rashida Tapadar, Civil service coach, freelance writer, Nagaland
  36. Rooprekha Verma, former Vice-chancellor, Lucknow
  37. Sabah Khan, IMSD, Parcham, Mumbai
  38. Saif Mahmood, IMSD, Supreme Court lawyer,Delhi
  39. Sandhya Gokhale, Feminist activist, FAOW, Mumbai
  40. Shabana Mashraki, Mumbai
  41. Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad, Delhi
  42. Shalini Dhawan, Designer, Mumbai
  43. Shama Bano, Social activist, Varanasi
  44. Shama Zaidi, IMSD, Film Maker, Mumbai
  45. Shamim Abbasi, Mau
  46. Shamsul Islam, Author, Delhi
  47. Sheeba Aslam Fehmi, Writer, Commentator, Delhi
  48. Sultan Shahin, Editor-in-chief, New Age Islam, Delhi
  49. Teesta Setalvad, IMSD, CJP Secretary, Mumbai
  50. Vasanthi Raman, retired professor, Delhi
  51. (Dr) Vibhti Patel, retired professor, Mumbai
  52. Zakia Soman, Co-convenor, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Delhi
  53. (Dr) Zeenat Shaukatali, IMSD, Islamic Scholar, Author

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