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British imams dismiss concerns over girls’ education in Afghanistan



(Last Updated On: September 17, 2023)

A group of British Muslim scholars who recently visited Afghanistan has accused the mainstream media of completely distorting the reality of what is happening in the country.

Addressing about 250 people at Queen Mary University in London, the scholars spoke about the security and peace that now exists in Afghanistan after so many years of war, as well as the Islamic society that is now being created.

The scholars, who were appearing at the launch of the Prosper Afghanistan organization, also addressed the controversial issue of girls’ education following its suspension at secondary level and above last year.

The scholars who addressed the event were Shaykh Haitham Al Haddad, Shaykh Suliman Gani, Shaykh Hamid Mahmood, Shaykh Ammar al-Madani, Mufti Ismail Satia and Shaykh Abdulkerim Karahanli.

Sheikh Haitham Al Haddad said the level of professionalism of the government leaders he met was “really amazing… They really want to do something for their country and for the Ummah and may Allah help them to do that.”

Mufti Ismail Satia said: “We went to Afghanistan with a very open mind, we did not go siding with anybody. I found Afghan people to be very kind, generous, big-hearted and resilient. But the greater impact it had on me was that it brought back to me the stories of the Sahaba that we read. They reminded me of those who sacrificed for Islam and those who were willing to do anything for Islam. We don’t think people like this exist nowadays but speaking to people over there and the ulema, it made me realize that these people have the same zeal as the Sahaba.”

Sheikh Hamid Mahmood said: “Before leaving for Afghanistan I had never seen anything positive in the mainstream media, but after speaking to members of the Afghan government I realized that they were not just trying to free themselves from physical subjugation and colonialism, but also from financial, economic and intellectual enslavement.”

And Sheikh Ammar al-Madani said: “The image we have of Afghanistan is totally different to the realities on the ground. The happiness and contentment that the people are feeling is totally different to what is being portrayed through media channels. My request is that any information you seek is through proper channels.”

The delegation of prominent British imams and Muslim scholars visited Afghanistan in July and August and was led by the Human Aid and Advocacy charity in coordination with Prosper Afghanistan.

Human Aid & Advocacy said the Muslim leaders traveled to Afghanistan in order to better understand the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people and witness some of the current aid projects established by the charity in the country.

These included an orphanage, a widow’s skills training center, a vocational skills center, and an aid delivery program to Kapisa province.

Regarding the issue of girls’ education, Sheikh Haitham Al-Haddad told the audience that the issue was being used by the West to demonize Afghanistan. He said that in any society emerging from war there is a hierarchy of needs and security and the economy comes first.

“If we are genuinely concerned about Afghanistan the first question should be what is the security situation like? And 2022 was the first year in over 40 years when there was no war whatsoever in the entire area of Afghanistan which is something to be praised.. Secondly, in terms of economy Afghanistan is one of the top ten countries in terms of reducing inflation. And if people are concerned about women they should first ask if women are being harassed?”

Meanwhile, Sheikh Hamd Mahmood said that girls’ education had not been banned per se, but rather “liberal, secular education had been suspended.”

He said the IEA’s Acting Foreign Minister told him that the Islamic Emirate does not consider girls’ education to be haraam, and that all girls are still being educated at primary level. Moreover, he said that girls could continue schooling until university level if they chose to become medical professionals and teachers or if they studied in a Dar Ul Uloom.

Sheikh Hamd cited the minister as saying that western secular influences were being driven into the minds of the students who were speaking against the Sharia and many vices were creeping in, so the ulema were taken aback and took this matter directly to the IEA leader. He said for 20 years they were united on the battlefield and now when it is time to rebuild the country they cannot tolerate division and therefore temporary suspension of liberal, secular education took place.

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Afghan embassy in India suspends operations, diplomats from previous government leave



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

The Afghan embassy in India has suspended all operations after the ambassador and other senior diplomats left the country for Europe and the United States where they gained asylum, Reuters reported citing three embassy officials on Friday.

India does not recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and closed its own embassy in Kabul after the IEA took control in 2021, but New Delhi had allowed the ambassador and mission staff appointed by the Western-backed government of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to issue visas and handle trade matters.

At least five Afghan diplomats have left India, the embassy officials said. The Indian government will now take over the diplomatic compound in a caretaker capacity, one of the Afghan officials said.

Asked about the matter, an Indian foreign ministry official in New Delhi said they were looking into the developments, without giving any details.

IEA officials have yet to make comment on the matter.

India is one of a dozen countries with a small mission in Kabul to facilitate trade, humanitarian aid and medical support. Bilateral trade in 2019-2020 reached $1.5 billion, but fell drastically after the IEA took office.

Earlier this month hundreds of Afghan college students living in India despite the expiry of their student visas staged a demonstration in New Delhi to urge the Indian government to extend their stay.

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Two families reconcile in Nangarhar, end 17 years of enmity



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Nangarhar local authorities say a 17-year-old enmity between two families in Spinghar district of the province ended in a jirga held Friday and that the two sides reconciled with the mediation of the Islamic Emirate’s officials.

“Those who bring reconciliation among Muslims whether it’s on the ethnic or family level, have a place in our hearts,” said Nasrullah Haqyar, police chief of Spinghar district.

Meanwhile, the members of the involved families are also happy that their 17-year-old enmity has turned into reconciliation.

In the meantime, local tribal elders also said that if someone incites enmity again, they will be fined 200,000 afghanis.

“Jirga is something in which an issue can be resolved in very little time and with little consumption,” said Esmatullah Shinwari, a tribal elder in Nangarhar.

The Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs also pointed out that since IEA’s takeover, they have turned more than 40 big and small enmities into reconciliation with the cooperation of tribal elders in this province.

This comes that not only in Nangarhar but also in many provinces, the process of reconciling the involved families is going on quickly and many family conflicts have been resolved through Jirga.

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Serious management of water resources underway: Acting Minister Mansoor



(Last Updated On: September 29, 2023)

Acting Minister of Water and Energy of Afghanistan Abdul Latif Mansoor has said that the Islamic Emirate has started serious management of water resources.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Mansoor said that due to the recent droughts, people of the country are facing a shortage of clean drinking water and to solve the problem, the ministry has started serious management of water resources.

Mansoor also pointed to the concern of some neighboring countries regarding the recent actions of the Islamic Emirate to manage the waters of Afghanistan, including over the Qosh Tepa Canal, saying that the concerned countries must share their concerns with the Islamic Emirate through bilateral talks.

The acting minister said that this year, 3 billion afghanis in development budget were allocated to the ministry, and most of the budget will be spent on unfinished projects of water dams.

Meanwhile, the Acting Minister of Water and Energy said that there is a capacity to produce 30,000 megawatts of electricity in the country and that the ministry has taken measures to attract more investments in the energy production sector so that Afghanistan can become self-sufficient in electricity production in the long term.

Mansoor says that in order to attract more investments in the energy production sector in the country, they are ready to cooperate with the private sector and will provide them with all facilities.

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