New Taliban-Appointed Chancellor Bars Women From Kabul University Unless an Islamic Environment Is Created

Afghanistan Asia Higher Education News by Erudera News Sep 29, 2021


The Taliban-appointed new chancellor of the Kabul University, Mohammad Ashraf Ghaira, announced on Monday that women will not be allowed to work or attend classes at the university if a “real Islamic environment is not provided for all.”

Ghairat earlier said that due to the shortage of women lecturers, the university is working on a plan for men lecturers to be able to teach women students “from behind a curtain in the classroom.”

“That way an Islamic environment would be created for the female students to get education,” he wrote on Twitter.

His appointment as chancellor of Kabul University received criticism, putting at doubt that he has the credentials for the position. However, he responded to this criticism by saying that he sees himself as fully qualified to hold the chair.  

“For all those who criticize my appointment as the chancellor of Kabul University, I request you to calm down and inquire about me and my academic background,” he added.

Afghanistan’s public universities are still closed, while some women students have continued classes at private universities. Meanwhile, the American University in Afghanistan, where the United States invested more than $100 million, is now completely led by the Taliban.

The new semester in Afghanistan has begun with curtains dividing women students from men in classrooms. Student women said that although they had been separated from male students even before the Taliban took control, they were not divided by curtains.

In the meantime, lecturers have told The Times that more than half of professors in Afghanistan have left their jobs, while there isn’t any lecturer in some departments at the Kabul University, delivering lessons in French and Spanish language.  

Hundreds of Afghan students and professors have managed to leave the country, while many have urged international organizations to help them in this regard. Earlier, Scholars at Risk (SAR), in conjunction with over 150 higher education institutions, networks, associations, and more than 3,500 students and professionals, have sent a letter to the US government, calling on them to immediately intervene in helping Afghan students, scholars, and civil society.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 and 2001, enforcing the strict Islamic law on the country, known as Sharia. In 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan responding to September 11, terrorist attacks. After 20 years, the Islamist political movement returned to power, seizing control of the entire country.

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