Taliban Education Minister Mullah Noorullah Munir declared last week his country’s aim to replace all educational content which “contradicts” radical Islamic sharia law or Afghan traditions, noting that music would no longer be “compatible” with it.
Appearing on Al-Jazeera last Monday, Munir shared the Taliban’s aim to replace all content in Afghanistan’s education curricula that contradicts sharia law or Afghan traditions and customs.
“[I]f we find content that contradicts sharia law in any textbook, we will have to replace it,” he said.
“Subjects such as physics, geology, chemistry, and engineering will remain intact, but if there are things that contradict sharia law, the laws of our country, or our customs and traditions, we will have no choice but to take the necessary steps,” he added.
Regarding subjects such as music, Munir said they were no longer compatible.
“Some topics, like music, existed in the previous curriculum, but they are not compatible with our customs, religion, and traditions,” he said.
Female education, according to Munir, must also adhere to the strict interpretation of Islamic law.
“We will allow women to continue studying as long as it is done in keeping with sharia law. As an Islamic state we are committed to abiding by all the laws of the sharia,” he said.
He also noted that a democratic system of government was neither an aspiration nor an option.
“We cannot implement the laws of the West and America,” he said.
“We have our own laws, customs, and traditions,” he added.
On Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres criticized the Taliban’s stance toward Afghan women, urging the world to send funds to Afghanistan to avoid an economic collapse.
“I am particularly alarmed to see promises made to Afghan women and girls by the Taliban being broken,” he told reporters.
I am alarmed to see promises made to Afghan women and girls by the Taliban being broken.
I strongly appeal to the Taliban to keep their promises to women and girls and their obligations under international human rights law. pic.twitter.com/QBmGmVE3jj
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) October 11, 2021
Though women in Afghanistan may continue studying at universities, classrooms must be gender-segregated and enforce an Islamic dress code, according to the newly formed Taliban government.
The Taliban’s higher education minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, laid out the new policies regarding women at a news conference on September 12 in Kabul.
On Sunday, the Taliban — a terrorist organization — boasted of the Biden administration’s commitment to provide humanitarian aid to the newly declared Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Last month, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, a founding member of the Taliban, said the extremist group would resume executions and amputations as punishments for violating Islamic law, regardless of the international community’s views.
Also last month, the Taliban locked women staff out of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Kabul after renaming the ministry the “Ministries of Prayer and Guidance and the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.”
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein