Only 2 participants at clerics’ gathering called to reopen girls’ school

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Two days of meetings have now passed since the start of the gathering of Islamic clerics, and so far only two of the participants have called on the Islamic Emirate to reopen the schools for female students above grade six.

The gathering of the Islamic clerics was attended on the second day by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hebatullah Akhundzada.

“Within the structure of the Islamic Emirate, listen my sister and mother and brother, we and the Islamic Emirate are not against girls’ education and will not be against it,” said Mawlawi Abdul Qahir, an Islamic cleric from northern Balkh province.

“I offer that there should be efforts to form the mechanism which was pledged to the people about reopening schools for our sisters and mothers,” said Nasrullah Waizi, an Islamic cleric from Bamiyan.

This comes as no Islamic Emirate official has so far talked about the reopening of girls’ schools at the gathering.

“One day’s lull in education causes big effects for the students but we see that that this opportunity and time has been wasted for several months while Islam emphasizes the importance of time,” said Abdul Mubin Mahir, an Islamic cleric.

This comes as the UN deputy special envoy for Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov in an interview with TOLOnews said that the issue of girls’ schools would affect the scale of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.

“If schools (are) opened and we see that women are given this opportunity, we also will be in a better place to advocate the donors for more funds, saying, ‘look the schools are opening and there is an opportunity,’ and the reaction will be positive. We have seen for instance that when there was this announcement that the schools will still be delayed, some of the donors withdrew funding,” he said.

The media was also restricted from covering the event.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Emirate said the government feels obliged to listen to the advice of the Islamic clerics at the national gathering being held in Kabul.

Addressing a press conference in Kabul, Islamic Emirate Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said that the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hibatullah, “may” participate in the gathering of the Islamic clerics.

“We will hear their voices and as they are participating in this major gathering, they will surely have their opinions and resolutions listened to and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan feels an obligation towards their views,” he said.

The gathering was held because clerics called for it, so the agenda of the talks also belongs to the participants, said Zabiullah Mujahid, Islamic Emirate spokesperson, speaking to reporters.

He said more than 1,200 forces of the Islamic Emirate have been appointed to provide security for the gathering.

“It has yet to be clarified but it is possible that (he) may participate. We don’t have information about (his) participation,” Mujahid said when asked about the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate’s participation in the gathering.

“From across Afghanistan, from 34 provinces, from each district two clerics and one tribal elder and from each police district two tribal elders and one cleric have been invited to the gathering,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

The gathering of Islamic clerics will be held for three days and women are not invited to the gathering. —Tolonews

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