Girls’ schools closed for ‘religious issues’: Mujahid

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Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the schools for female students are closed for religious issues and that there is a need for agreement of Islamic scholars on this matter.

Efforts are underway by the Islamic Emirate leadership to reopen girls’ schools, he said.

However, earlier many Islamic clerics across Afghanistan called for the reopening of girls’ schools.

Mujahid made the remarks to RTA TV/ Radio in response to the remarks of the former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has repeatedly voiced for the girls’ schools to be reopened.

“If (we) were acting on Pakistan’s instruction, the problems of the schools and other problems would have already been solved. This is a religious issue and it needs Islamic cleric’s agreement,” Mujahid said.

He said that opposing the decision of the Islamic clerics regarding the schools will have negative consequences.

“If the problem is with Hijab. The people of Afghanistan were observing the Hijab in the first place and they are still Muslim. If the problem is with education curriculum, the officials should mention it, so it can be solved with the help of the people and clerics,” said Ibrahim Irshad, a teacher.

Talking about reports of the killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in Kabul, Mujahid told RTA that it is yet to be confirmed whether al-Qaeda was present in the house or not.

“This is a mistake that the intelligence and other organizations were not aware of it, they should have been aware, but I have said that everything is new. We don’t have the capacity for information on a high level as a government has. Everything was left to us in a destroyed state,” he said.

This comes as two weeks ago a US drone strike hit a residence in Kabul in which, according to the US officials, Zawahiri was killed.

During his visit to the province of Khost, Noorullah Munir, the acting minister of education, stated that girls’ schools had been shut down due to cultural constraints. He expressed his hope that the Islamic Emirate’s leaders and the elders would agree to reopen girls’ schools.

“People are not sensitive to the education of their girls, but to their girls leaving the house, and the culture of Afghans is quite sensitive in this area. You know better that the Islamic Emirate is attempting to reach an agreement with the people and start this process,” he said.

Munir denies reports that the closure of the girls’ schools was caused by the change in the curriculum. He said that the Afghan curriculum has issues and that there is currently no plan to change it.

“We have never said that we would begin working on the curriculum right away. Bringing changes to the curriculum is the right of every nation, people, and every government,” he stated.

On Sunday, the Deputy Minister of Education said that the delay in reopening girls’ schools was caused by problems in the curriculum for girls.

“Three times work has been done on the available curriculum, still this issue has not been completed. God willing, we are responsible to our people over this issue, whether it is a man or a woman,” said Sayed Ahmad Shahidkhail, deputy of the Ministry of Education.

The Acting Minister of Education admits that more than 5,000 of the 20,000 schools in the country do not have buildings and need reconstruction and renovation.

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