December 27, 2008
Despite the festive cheer, which I hope you’ve all enjoyed, it’s important to remember that goodwill isn’t something one should extend to all men.
The Taliban have ordered the closure of all girls’ schools in the war-ravaged Swat district and warned parents and teachers of dire consequences if the ban is flouted. In an announcement made in mosques and broadcast on radio, the militant group set a deadline of January 15 for its order to be obeyed or it would blow up school buildings and attack schoolgirls. It also told women not to set foot outside their homes without being fully covered. “Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society,” Shah Dauran, leader of a group that has established control over a large part of Swat district in the North West Frontier Province, declared this week. […] The militants have also prohibited immunisation for children against polio – claiming that the UN-sponsored vaccination drive is aimed at causing sexual impotence – causing a sharp rise in cases of the disease.
They’re freedom fighters, you see.