Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The March Of Freedom in Afghanistan

If this U.K. Independent article is correct, things are not going well in Afghanistan:

The letter pinned overnight to the wall of the mosque in Kandahar was succinct. "Girls going to school need to be careful for their safety. If we put acid on their faces or they are murdered then the blame will be on their parents."

Today the local school stands empty, victim of what amounts to a Taliban war on knowledge. The liberal wind of change that swept the country in 2001 is being reversed. By the conservative estimate of the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, 100,000 students have been terrorised out of schools in the past year. The number is certainly far higher and many teachers have been murdered, some beheaded.

In the province of Zabul a teacher and female MP, Toor Peikai, said yesterday: "There are 47 schools in my province but only three are open." Only one teaches girls. It is 200 metres from a large US military base in the provincial capital.

Across the south, schools burn during the night. According to a bleak report released by Human Rights Watch today at least 200 have been destroyed in the past year and half. Their blackened shells, many of them new buildings constructed with foreign aid money, are visible from the ever more dangerous road south to Kandahar.

Heartbreaking. And such irony to fight against schools by posting a WRITTEN letter of warning. I don't know what else to say.