US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “when the Taliban enacted restrictive bans on higher education for women, governments from across the Muslim world spoke up to condemn the Taliban’s decision,” and that they argued that the actions were inhumane and contrary to Islamic beliefs.
Blinken made the remarks at a reception to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr in Washington D.C.
“Scholars of Islamic law weighed in to condemn the Taliban’s actions, too, noting that the Quran gives the right to education to women and men alike,” he said.
This comes as religious clerics have said that access to education for school and university students is the basic right of students and called on the caretaker government to provide access to education for both male and female students.
“In addition to what the foreigners say about the education of females in Afghanistan, this is a national and Sharia responsibility of the interim government – to reopen the doors of the schools and universities without delay for the girls, who contribute half of the population,” said Fazal Hadi Wazeen, a member of the international union of Muslim scholars.
“Unfortunately, we are moving backwards from knowledge and this will affect Afghanistan and its people,” said Suraya Paikan, a women’s rights activist.
“The interim government promised that schools and universities will be suspended until next notice; the girls are waiting for the doors of the schools and universities to be reopened eventually,” said Raweena Poya, a student.
This comes as more than 600 days have passed since schools have been closed for girls, and more than 140 days since universities have been closed to young women.