Afghan professor: ‘If they kill me, I won’t stay silent’

Afghan professor: 'If they kill me, I won't stay silent'
Prof Ismail Mashal

“I contact fathers to take the particular hands of their daughters and walk these to school, even if the entrance are shut. inch

Professor Ismail Mashal, who operates a private university within Kabul, says he’s had enough of the restrictions women encounter in Afghanistan.

Slender and well dressed, he is a combination of defiance and raw emotion.

“Even if they’re not allowed in – they should do this daily. It’s the least they can do to prove these are men, ” tells me, holding back holes.

“This is not me personally being emotional — this is pain. Men must stand up and defend the rights of Afghan women and girls. ”

In December the Taliban govt announced female college students at universities would certainly no longer be allowed back – until further notice. They said these were doing this to enable them to create an Islamic studying environment aligned along with Sharia law procedures, including changes to the curriculum.

Shortly after the ban has been announced, Prof Mashal went viral on social media after ripping up his educational records live on tv, saying there was no point in gaining an education in today’s Afghanistan.

He admits that he won’t stay silent on the problem.

“The only strength I have is the pen, even if they will kill me, even though they tear me to pieces, I will not stay silent now, ” Prof Mashal says.

“I know what I am doing can be risky. Every morning, We say goodbye to my mom and wife and tell them I may not return. But I am ready and ready to sacrifice my life for 20 million Afghan women and girls and for the future of my two children. ”

Prof Mashal’s university got 450 female learners studying there plus they took courses in journalism, engineering, economics and computer technology. The Taliban’s training minister says these types of degrees should not be taught to women as they are against Islam and Afghan culture.

Prof Ismail Mashal

Prof Mashal says he could have got kept his organization open for male students only — but instead decided to shut it completely.

“Education is either offered to all, or no one. The day We closed the doors of my institution, I was in a lot of pain.

“These individuals are playing with the future of our own girls. My students call me and inquire me when I think they’ll be able to return.

“I have no solutions for them. I have simply no answers for my 12 year old daughter who won’t be capable to go to high school next year. She continues to request me what crime she has committed? inch

Since appearing on TV, he has received many threats. Regardless of this, Prof Mashal appears on local press almost daily.

He is hoping his advocacy will lead to the nationwide campaign. But in this deeply traditional society, how probably is it that some other men will join him?

Also within the Taliban authorities, there are those who oppose the ban on girls’ education — but most have not eliminated public

According to the decrees, Afghan women across the country have got continued to come out on to the streets to demand their rights.

While the protests have been predominantly brought by Afghan females, male students plus professors over the past couple weeks have also begun jeopardizing their lives simply by speaking out : either by declining to sit their own final exams or by resigning using their positions.

Prof Mashal says because the Taliban took over the nation, he can’t realize their focus on limiting women.

“Leave these poor women alone. It’s enough. There are much larger issues that need to be addressed. There is no law and order in this nation, it’s like in a jungle. ”

The former reporter, 45, says he keeps in regular contact with his female students who are heartbroken by these choices and he worries regarding their mental health.

One of his students, Shabnam, who had been studying economics : a degree the Taliban say is unacceptable for women – says she’ll never forget the afternoon armed Taliban troops arrived at their school to tell them it would be the last day they can attend classes.

“We were so afraid and still left our classrooms along with heavy hearts not so sure when or when we’d ever come back. I haven’t had the opportunity to sleep properly since. I have three sisters and many woman cousins and they’re all of the in the same situation. We feel we are trapped inside a parrot cage or prison. Afghanistan is no country for females. ”

Another student, Shabana, who had been in her very first semester of journalism – another level disapproved of from the Taliban – states she is struggling to cope with the transformation the past year and a half has brought to the lives of girls and girls.

“My heart is certainly shattered. I was looking to be a newsreader, an excellent reporter some day but it feels like that wish is over. For as long as I actually remain in this nation, I don’t think we will be going back to our colleges.

“We transformed the way we dressed. Classrooms were segregated. We did just as we were told. But it was still inadequate. We feared they might do this to all of us and they did.

“Everything feels incredibly bleak for me plus my sister at this point. We are stuck at home, night turns to day and it most of feels dark plus bleak. ”

Despite Shabana’s anguish, she praised Prof Mashal for taking a position. “It is a very lonely time for the ladies and girls of our country. There not necessarily many men who have voiced out. We be worried about his safety but we are also so grateful for their support. ”