“Education is both a right and a duty for all Muslims, women and men,” says
Imam leading petition to Afghanistan’s leaders.
CHICAGO — Over 200 Imams, Islamic scholars and leaders across the United States and Canada are calling on Afghanistan’s Taliban to end its ban on girls and women’s education in the country.
Months after banning education for girls in high school, in December, the group announced an indefinite ban on girls and women’s attendance at universities.
The move has elicited outrage across the world, with Muslims, both scholars and laypersons, condemning the ban and calling on the Taliban to rescind it.
“Education is both a right and a duty for all Muslims, women and men,” said Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, an Imam in Chicago and former Chair of the Parliament Of The World’s Religions, the largest interfaith organization in the world. “The Taliban cannot claim to be following the teachings of Islam while violating a core tenet and requirement of the faith.”
Mujahid has launched a petition calling on the Taliban to end the ban and allow all girls to return to school immediately. At this writing, it has been signed by over 236 Imams, Islamic scholars, and Muslim leaders in the United States and Canada.
“We hope that the Taliban will truly turn back to the teachings of Islam by recommitting to the education of girls and women. No nation can succeed without women’s success and contributions,” he said.
Full text of the petition to Taliban
236 Imams and Scholars Ask Taliban To Lift all Bans on Women’s Education
We, the undersigned Imams, leaders, and scholars call on the Taliban to rescind all bans on girls’ and women’s education in Afghanistan.
Earlier this year, Islamic scholars in Afghanistan called on the Taliban to end its ban on girls’ secondary education in the country, which they also described as a violation of Islam. This latest ban on university students affects more girls and women.
We remind the Taliban that:
- The Quran begins with Allah’s command to the Prophet of “Iqra” – Read. All Quranic and Prophetic traditions apply to men and women equally. It is a duty for all Muslims, and scholars agree that it includes both Muslim men and women.
- Hanafi Fiqh, which the Taliban follow, is based mostly on the scholarship of students of our mother Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her.
- The oldest continually running university in the world was established by a woman, Fatimah al-Fihri in 859. It is called Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco.
- From the Prophet’s time onward, women have been students and scholars.
The Taliban must remember that they will be held accountable by Allah for this violation of rights. This is Dhulm (oppression), and Allah punishes those who engage in it.
May Allah guide all of us, and make us upholders of the truth and justice for all, and firm against oppression.
“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do” (Quran 4:135).
Abdul Malik Mujahid
Sound Vision Foundation
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