Concerns about a Radicalizing Influence on Girls in Northeastern Afghanistan
By: Zafar Shah Royee
Translated by: Neelab Hakim
Source: Daily 8 am, May 30, 2011
A gathering by representatives of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), the Afghan Women Advocacy Group and some women’s right activists took place in order to discuss a rape case of a thirteen-year old girl in Takhar province. Furthermore, issues of some currently active female madrasas in Takhar and Kuduz was also taken into consideration. “These madrasas are radicalizing our daughters who are enrolled in there,” some families in Kunduz complained.
Analyst Ms. Palwasha Hassan along with Dr. Soraya Sobhrang said in a joint press conference that it is neither known which individuals or groups lead these madrasas in Takhar and Kunduz nor based on which educational curricula they are teaching. Ms. Palwasha Hassan stated that particularly one institution called “Takharistan madrasa” in Kunduz is creating concerns among the families. The girls who go to these madrasas claim that their own families are not Muslims while the families complained about observing certain isolatist changes in their daughters’ behavior and that they are even afraid of their daughters committing suicide bombings or posing other security threats. She said that Kunduz residents asked the ministries of education and interior to closely observe such activities of the said madrasas because they are afraid that their daughters might turn into religious extremists. While adding that religious education as such is positive, Ms. Hassan pointed out: “But those who misuse and misinterpret religious issues through these madrasas should be directly monitored by the ministry of education”. With regard to the families’ complaints, Ms. Hassan added that if such issues were not controlled by responsible governmental authorities, these madrasas soon would change to Pakistani madrasas from where the Taliban movement emerged and that it would definitely cause major problems to Afghan citizens in the future.
Dr. Suraya Sobhrang, commissioner at the AIHRC said that the situation of women in northeastern Afghanistan was very critical and that the devastating security in these areas mostly affected women. Women have recently faced many threats in these areas. On top of that, many women who used to work in governmental and nongovernmental organizations had to quit their jobs because of receiving so many warnings and life threats. Dr. Sobhrang also mentioned that the case of rape of a 13-year old girl is under serious investigation. Meenaa Gul, 13, was gang raped by six armed men, of which one was wearing a police uniform on. She said: “Until now, those who raped the girl have not been arrested but we have established a committee to follow this case very seriously. We have submitted our suggestions to Takhar local officials such as: 1) to arrest those who are responsible for this case, not the innocents. 2) The case of this girl should be followed in a court of Kabul so we can easily access the information and follow up of this case. 3) The victim should be taken out of the place where she was raped (Alocha village) and she should be sent to a safe shelter.” Dr. Sobhrang said that rape cases in Takhar and Kunduz are really shocking. Since last March 21, 13 rape and 9 murder cases have been registered in these two provinces.
Human and women’s rights organizations claim that physical violence and the abuse of women and children in the country have increased due the fact that such cases are not seriously followed and investigated.
With regard to the claim of Human rights organizations, in Afghanistan’s courts the cases of men in comparison with those of women are seriously followed. Therefore, women hardly rely on justice done by Afghan courts.
For reading the article in Dari version please click the link: http://www.8am.af/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19578:1390-03-09-04-55-24&catid=3:2008-10-31-09-37-07&Itemid=554