The last time the Taliban came into power over 20 years ago, women were banned from attending school. As the recent Taliban takeover has left many women questioning their future this time around, they have expressed hope to see a different result. On Sunday, steps were taken in the right direction as the Taliban’s acting higher education minister granted female students rights to continue their higher education. Taliban Higher Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani stated, “any female students who continues their studies with Islamic hijab, the Islamic Emirate has no problem with them.” Haqqani added women could continue to study at universities, but the classrooms would be female only including teachers. Hijabs would also be required to be worn. “Thanks to God, we have a high number of women teachers,” Haqqani expressed. “We will not face any problems in this. All efforts will be made to find and provide women teachers for female students.” Not only would men and women have separate classes, but they also must be taught at separate places or have separate times for attending class.
An up-and-coming member of the rabbinate of the Stamford Hill-based Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations has described reporting suspected child abusers to the secular authorities as a “severe sin”, according to The Times. Dayan Paltiel Schwarcz, in a rabbinic paper in Hebrew written in spring, argued that there were almost no circumstances when an Jewish abuser could be reported to the police, the newspaper said. The story has appeared on the eve of tomorrow’s publication of a report into religious organisations by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Dayan Schwarcz was a “junior dayan” who was “exceptionally clever,” a source in the Charedi community told the JC. But his paper appeared to be at odds with evidence given to the IICSA on behalf of the Union by Rabbi Yehudah Baumgarten. Asked by the IICSA about mesirah — the prohibition against informing on a fellow-Jew to the secular authorities — Rabbi Baumgarten said that “mesirah does not apply where the person being reported is causing harm to others… The rabbinate is absolutely clear.”
Google has temporarily locked down an unspecified number of Afghan government email accounts, according to a person familiar with the matter, as fears grow over the digital paper trail left by former officials and their international partners. In the weeks since the Taliban’s swift takeover of Afghanistan from a US-backed government, reports have highlighted how biometric and Afghan payroll databases might be exploited by the new rulers to hunt their enemies. In a statement on Friday, Alphabet Inc’s Google stopped short of confirming that Afghan government accounts were being locked down, saying that the company was monitoring the situation in Afghanistan and “taking temporary actions to secure relevant accounts”. One employee of the former government has told Reuters news agency the Taliban is seeking to acquire former officials’ emails. Late last month the employee said the Taliban had asked him to preserve the data held on the servers of the ministry he used to work for. The employee said he did not comply and has since gone into hiding. Reuters is not identifying the man or his former ministry out of concern for his safety.
The Islamic State-inspired extremist who attacked shoppers in a New Zealand supermarket had been fighting deportation for immigration fraud, leaving the nation’s leader expressing frustration at the process. The new details about the attack Friday in Auckland emerged as the condition of some of those injured in his attack improved. Three critically injured patients remain in intensive care but are in stable condition, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said Sunday. Police added that the condition of one of the critically injured patients had improved. Bloomfield said a fourth person still hospitalized is in stable condition, while the three others have been released and are recovering at home. The attacker, Ahamed Samsudeen, 32, arrived in New Zealand 10 years ago on a student visa. A Tamil Muslim, he applied for refugee status on the basis of being persecuted in Sri Lanka, where a civil war ended in 2009 with the defeat of a Tamil rebel group. Immigration New Zealand declined his application, but he won his appeal, gaining permanent residency in 2014.
Twenty years, thousands of dead American troops, $2 trillion spent and the war in Afghanistan has ended exactly as it began — with the Taliban running the country and harboring the group that planned the 9/11 attacks. The fact that this comes just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the horrific Sept. 11, 2001, attacks undermines the sacrifices made in the war on terror that much more. Thanks, Joe Biden. Al-Qaida has reportedly joined the Taliban’s efforts to defeat the Afghan resistance in the Panjshir Valley this week, as President Biden’s administration continues to insist on treating the terror group now in charge of the country (because that’s exactly what the Taliban is) as though it is a legitimate diplomatic partner. The Saudi Arabian outlet Al-Arabiya reported this week that al-Qaida joined the Taliban in the latter’s offensive against forces in Panjshir, where figures from the now-deposed Afghan government are holing up with resistance leader Ahmad Massoud’s forces. “Militiamen and remnants of the previous Afghan government gathered in the Panjshir valley after the fall of Kabul on August 15,” the outlet reported.
The Taliban violently broke up a women’s rights protest in Kabul. On Saturday, the group used tear gas, rifle butts and metal clubs to break up an all women protest, which marked the second demonstration in two days. Attendees reported being beaten by Taliban fighters using sharp metal devices. They added shots were fired into the air to restrain the protest. The women demanded rights to go to school, work and to participate in government. Demonstrators however described the backlash to be bloody. “Together with a group of our colleagues, we wanted to go near a former government office for a protest, but before we got there the Taliban hit women with electric tasers, and they used tear gas against women,” Soraya, a former government employee and attendee of the protest said. “There was no one to ask why.” The Taliban has claimed they would not prevent women from participating in government activities. However, many Afghans remain skeptical those promises will be kept. Farhat Popalzai, 24, told the Associated Press she demonstrated for the women who may be too afraid to protest. “I am the voice of the women who are unable to speak,” said Popalzai.