|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Discuss | Email | Print | Get latest news on your desktop
Taliban ban on female education 'un-Islamic', say Indian clerics
Vicky Nanjappa | February 18, 2009 20:00 IST
While the Taliban [Images] wants a ban on female education in Pakistan, Muslim clerics and intellectuals in India vehemently denounce the plan.
"It is a blatant lie to suggest that female education is against Islam. The Taliban action banning female education is against all norms and principles of Islam," said Arshad Mukhtar, member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
He also heads the Jamia Mohammadia Education Society that runs a chain of educational institutions, for boys and girls.
"The first aayat that was revealed to the Holy Prophet was Iqra. The word in itself is an order for every Muslim, irrespective of their genders to acquire education. Apart from Aisha, the wife of the Prophet who was one of the most learned people on earth after the demise of the Prophet, Islamic history is full of the inspiring accounts of dignified and educated Muslim ladies," Mukhtar said.
On February 8, Arshad Mukhtar had laid the foundation stone of a new building for girl students at Kullia Aisha in Malegaon. The construction of the new building would double the number of girls currently studying at this plush madrasa.
Agreeing with Mukhtar, Firoz Azmi, president of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Malegaon said, "Not only education, Muslim females, if they adhere to certain guidelines described in Islam for them, can do whatever they want."
Like Jamia Mohammdai Education Society, Jamaat-e-Islami also runs several institutions in India for the girl-students.
Interestingly Mukhtar's Jamia Mohammadia Education Society and Azmi's Jamaat-e-Islami are not the exceptions in running the educational institutions for girls.
Almost every Islamic country in the world has state-of-the art educational institutions for females. In fact special female universities in Saudi Arabia, considered as one of the most conservative Islamic countries, surprised the office bearers of the Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd, which is assisting the spread of IT education in that country since last couple of years.
"The kind of setup we saw in the university for the education of the girls was beyond our expectations in the country like Saudi Arabia", says one on the condition of anonymity.
University officials after going through its successful track record at the King Saud University in Riyadh gave MKCL the contract for IT education at the King Saud Female University also.
Renowned scholar, author and Mumbai-based columnist Shamim Tarique says that the areas in Afghanistan and part of Pakistan to which the Talibans belong are known for their tribal traditions. He says, "Most of the times in order to enforce their tribal traditions and to justify their unwarranted deeds they use the religion as a tool. Otherwise Islamic history has ample number of examples when Muslim women have demonstrated their thrust for acquiring education and they were given equal opportunity to do so."
"Hence", Tarique adds, "We should see the Taliban banning the female education in line with their tribal traditions, not on the basis of the Islamic principles."
Email | Print | Get latest news on your desktop