Another consequence of a mindset that views women as possessions, and considers all of the earth to be rightfully entitled to Muslim believers, particularly those who wage jihad.
“Girls to marry militants, orders Taliban,” from the Times of India, January 2 (thanks to all who sent this in):
ISLAMABAD: On the heels of their crusade against girls going to schools, the Taliban have now issued new dictum in the areas under their sway asking parents of the grown up daughters to marry them to militants or “face dire consequences”.
What is their definition of “grown up?”
This new force-marriage campaign is being run in most of the areas in the Pakistan’s troubled NWFP through regular announcements made in mosques to congregations.
Such instances have come to light recently through some of the affected women daring to go to authorities for justice rather than meekly surrender to the militants” dictates.
Salma, who teaches in a primary school in Peshawar, told the Dawn newspaper that Taliban have told families to declare in mosques if they have unmarried girls so that their hand could be given in marriage, most probably to militants.
If they did not do so, the girls would be forcibly married off, the newspaper quoted the 30-year-old widow as saying.
She also said the Taliban in the Swat valley of NWFP have threatened women with dire punishment, if they are found outside their homes without identity cards and a male relative accompanying them.
Couples should also carry ‘Nikah Nama’ or marriage certificates with them when they venture out of home or they will be in trouble, she said.
“I have heard that Taliban have announced that if a girl above the age of seven is found outside her house, she would be slaughtered,” Salma said.
Once an avid listener of Pakistani Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah’s FM radio station, Salma doesn’t tune in to the channel any more.
“Usually there is only dreadful news on the radio, so I stopped listening to it,” said Salma, who has three sons.
Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Radio for the fiery sermons he broadcasts on his illegal FM station, leads a campaign by Taliban militants to enforce Shariat or Islamic law in Swat.
Fazlullah’s followers have blown up or torched over 100 girls’ schools in Swat and barred women from going to markets.
The Taliban’s recent decision to completely ban girls’ education from January 15 has upset Salma and her colleagues because most of them are the sole bread-winners of their families.
“My colleagues were crying when they heard this bad news. Some have aged and handicapped parents while others have lost their male members in the ongoing conflict,” she said.
“Our principal has said that all female teachers should write down the domestic problems forcing them to work so that they could be forwarded to Taliban, who would be requested to review their policy about women’s education,” Salma said.
No concept of education as a human right (irrespective of gender), or of innate human curiosity and the right to the pursuit of happiness, and least of all, of self-determination. All of these are fundamental to the Western understanding of “elevating” the status of women.
Women who go out for work, especially social work, are tagged as immoral and eliminated by militants controlling the area, he said.
Bakht Zeba, a 45-year-old woman councillor who was a staunch supporter of girls’ education, was murdered on November 25. She was first threatened by Taliban to stop her activities or face dire consequences. When she did not pay heed to the warnings, the Taliban shot her dead in her house.