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Taliban bans women from universities until they learn not to ‘go against Islam’

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The Taliban has banned females from universities and higher education learning in Afghanistan. Minister Nida Mohammad Nadim opuses female education entirely and has pledged to eliminate secular schooling.

Nadim, former provincial governor, police chief and military commander, was appointed minister in October by the supreme Taliban leader. Nadim blamed women: “We told girls to have proper hijab but they didn’t and they wore dresses like they are going to a wedding ceremony” he said.

“Girls were studying agriculture and engineering, but this didn’t match Afghan culture. Girls should learn, but not in areas that go against Islam and Afghan honor” he continued, alleging that schools could possibly reopen for women when the issues are “resolved.”

The Associated Press notes that “the Taliban made similar promises about high school access for girls, saying classes would resume for them once ‘technical issues’ around uniforms and transport were sorted out, but girls remain shut out of classrooms.”

The Associated Press reports:

Despite initially promising a more moderate rule respecting rights for women and minorities, the Taliban have widely implemented their interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia, since they seized power in August 2021.

They have banned girls from middle school and high school, barred women from most fields of employment and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing in public. Women are also banned from parks and gyms. At the same time Afghan society, while largely traditional, has increasingly embraced the education of girls and women over the past two decades.

Global pressure has been placed on the Taliban to reconsider its decision, as well as backlash domestically, such as from the country’s popular cricket players.

One local media outlet reported that males at Nangarhar Medical University walked out in solidarity and refused to sit for exams until women are reinstated.

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Israel

Senior Saudi official says Iran ‘engineered’ war in Gaza and ‘should have been stopped a long time ago’

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Although it has been widely believed, a senior Saudi Arabian official has accused Tehran of having “engineered a war in Gaza” for the purpose to interfere with Jerusalem’s attempts to normalize relations with Riyadh. The unnamed official then described the regime as “a country that sponsors terrorism, and it should have been stopped a long time ago.”

In an interview with Israel’s Kan public broadcaster, the anonymous individual said that “any suspicious object” entering his country’s airspace is intercepted by the Kingdom’s defense forces. The comment may suggest that there was some level of participation by the Saudis in neutralizing the missiles and attack drones that the Islamic Republic fired at Israel on Saturday, notes Foreign Desk News. 

Reports have confirmed that the American, British, French, and Jordanian militaries assisted the IDF in the air defenses during the bombardment.

Foreign Desk News states of the improving relations between Israel and its neighbors:

In 2020, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Morocco signed normalization agreements with the Jewish state under the direction of the Trump administration, in what was called the Abraham Accords. The following January, Sudan would also join the reconciliation.

Any diplomatic understandings between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be seen as a big boost to regional security, considering the Kingdom is often viewed as the most powerful Arab-majority country in the world.

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