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Taleban threaten to blow up girls' schools if they refuse to close


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From The TimesDecember 26, 2008

<H1 class=heading>Taleban threaten to blow up girls’ schools if they refuse to close</H1><H2 class="sub-heading padding-top-5 padding-bottom-15"></H2>Zahid Hussain in Islamabad div#related-article-links p a, div#related-article-links p a:visited {color:#06c;}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. 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 Taleban movement in Afghanistan.


<H3 class=section-heading>Related Links</H3>

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 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. Hazir Gul, a teacher, said that the inability of the authorities to provide protection against attacks had emboldened the Islamists. “Militants can burn the remaining schools whenever they want,” he said. In some areas state school buildings have been turned into madrassas, or religious seminaries.


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.





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Guest Aloysius

Cal, a lot of your recent posts have been full of html tags.


It's annoying to have to sift through all the <H3 class=section-heading> tags when div#related-article-links p a:visited {color:#06c; trying to read </H3> the <H1 class=heading> article.


Maybe you should remove the tags before posting them.

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Al - you're right... I just noticed today that the "add link" selection doesn't work right on my computer, because I have a solid spyware protection system in place -

and the code to do it right is blocked unless I TELL it to allow it.


Hence, the tags. I wondered about it... thought at first it was this new site.... Sorry about that.


and, it is NOT MUSLIMS. It is Muslim EXTREME FUNDAMENTALIST Criminals who have a warped idea about taking over the world.


Think the bad guys in any James Bond movie, x 10,000...







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