The remarks of the deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai regarding the reopening of girls’ schools above grade six, sparked strong reactions among Afghans, particularly on social media.
Speaking at a gathering in Kabul, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said there are no Islam-based reasons for banning education for girls and there is no excuse for girls' schools to remain closed.
His remarks triggered reactions from Afghan social media users.
“The remarks of Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai are the remarks of the nation, and attention to them is very necessary,” Ziaur Rhaman Asghar, a social media user.
“May all leaders of the Islamic Emirate join the call of Mr. Stanekzai and reopen the gates of schools for the girls,” said Ahmad Tamim Qaderi, a social media user.
Meanwhile, some political analysts believe that Stanekzai’s call for the reopening of girls’ school is in the interest of the country.
“You saw that the remarks of Stanekzai was welcomed by the people. We hope the issues that benefits the nation will be given priority. This issue involves the national interest of the people and this benefits the whole nation,” said Najibullah Jami, a political analyst.
“The prophet Mohammad (PBUH) orders that education is obligatory for men and women Muslims, without specifying which part is obligatory. When the prophet (PBUH) says that education is obligatory, I don’t think there will be any space for various or opposing views in this regard that would make someone say that education is not Mubah (permissible),” said Abdul Samad Qazizada, an Islamic cleric.
This comes as the deputy special envoy of the UN to Afghanistan, Markus Potzel, citing a discussion with “numerous members of the de facto authority at all levels,” said the Islamic Emirate's decision to keep girls' schools closed has been “made and is maintained by Emir (Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.
Speaking at the same meeting, Fawzia Kofi, former member of parliament, said that the Islamic Emirate has issued “more than 31 sanctions, edicts and orders to eliminate women in Afghanistan, banning them from all their basic human rights, such as access to education, employment and liberty. As a result, generation of Afghan women have become prisoners within the walls of their homes."