Muslim Intellectuals reject Taliban Ban on Female Education
|Wednesday, February 18,2009 07:23|
Taking strong exceptions of the reports that are appearing in the media about the Taliban Ban on Female Educations, the Muslim theologists and intellectuals in India vehemently denounce their purported actions. “It is a blatant lie to suggest the Female Education is against Islam. It is in fact their action banning the Female Education which is against all norms and principles of Islam”, said Arshad Mukhtar, one of the members of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPB). He also heads Jamia Mohammadia Education Society that runs a chain of Educational Institutions, for boys and girls both, in India. “The first Ayah that was revealed to the Holy Prophet was ‘Iqra’. The word in itself is an order for every Muslim irrespective of their genders to acquire education. Apart from Aisha, the wife of the Prophet who was one of the most learned people remained on earth after the demise of the Prophet, the Islamic History is full of the inspiring accounts of the dignified Muslim ladies”, he said. On February 8, Arshad Mukhtar had laid the foundation stone of a new building for the girl students who are acquiring education at Kullia Aisha in Malegaon. The construction of the new building would double the number of girls currently studying at this plush Madrasa.
Agreeing with Arshad Mukhtar who says there is no discrimination in Islam on the basis of gender when it comes to acquire education, Firoz Azmi, President of Jamaat-e-Islami, Malegaon said, “Not only education, Muslim females, if they adhere to certain guidelines described in Islam for them, can do whatever they want.” Like Jamia Mohammdai Education Society, Jamaat-e-Islami also runs several institutions in India for the girl-students.
Interestingly Arshad Mukhtar’s Jamia Mohammadia Education Society and Firoz Azmi’s Jamaat-e-Islami are not the exceptions in running the educational institutions for girls. Almost every Islamic country in the world has state of the art educational institutions for females. In fact special Female Universities in Saudi Arabia, considered as one of the most conservative Islamic countries, surprised the office bearers of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd (MKCL), which is assisting to spread IT education in the Islamic Kingdom since last couple of years. “The kind of setup we saw in the University for the education of the girls was beyond our expectations in the country like Saudi Arabia”, says one on the condition of anonymity. University officials after going through its successful track record at King Saud University in Riyadh gave MKCL the contract for IT education at King Saud Female University also.
Under these circumstances the reported actions of the Taliban are surprising for even the most conservative Muslims. Renowned scholar, author and Mumbai based columnist Shamim Tarique has the reason for the reported Taliban Ban. Stating that the areas in Afghanistan and part of Pakistan to which so called Talibans belong are known for their tribal traditions, Shamim Tarique says, “Most of the times in order to enforce their tribal traditions and to justify their unwarranted deeds they use the religion as a tool. Otherwise the Islamic history has ample number of examples when Muslim ladies demonstrated their thrust for acquiring education and they were given equal opportunity to do so.”
“Hence”, Shamim Tarique adds, “We should see the Taliban banning the female education in line with their tribal traditions, not on the basis of the Islamic principles.”