In August 2021, American troops withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban took over control of the country. Despite their initial claims to the contrary, their rule has been a complete reversion to fundamentalism. Most recently, this manifested in a declaration prohibiting girls and women from access to education. Sadly, this was just another in a long line of perverse mandates to support their desire to remake the country in line with their extremist ideology.
They claim that their decision to ban education for girls and women is rooted in Islam. This is a complete fabrication of historical reality, a wholesale manipulation of religion, and is diametrically opposed to the faith. Their actions are driven by an extreme ideology, one they have found helpful to control those living under their rule.
Islam and access to education go hand in hand; the crackdown on women’s rights in Afghanistan is diametrically opposed to what The Quran and Prophet taught us. If this decision by the Taliban is not swiftly reversed, it will result in generational harm and further diminish the rights and status of girls and women in Afghanistan. The right to education is the most important tool for development and economic empowerment. The Taliban know this and that is why they issued such a declaration under the guise of religion. Working to ensure that the basic rights of Afghans are met and opportunities for progress are secured cannot be done alone.
MPAC has a longstanding history of convening civil society and faith-based organizations and, most importantly, in promoting the voices of Afghan Americans who know the country best. This kind of collaborative work has been, and will be, the hallmark of our efforts in 2023.