Ummah Delegation concludes visit by meeting Afghan Minister of Higher Education
The delegation of Ummah scholars concluded its visit to Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon, 19 Safar 1445, corresponding to September 5, 2023, with a meeting with H.E. Mullah Nada Muhammad Nadeem, Minister of Higher Education of the current authority in Afghanistan, at the Ministry’s headquarters in the capital, Kabul.
The meeting opened with a recitation of the Holy Quran. H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General of the Academy and head of the delegation, delivered a speech in which he expressed the delegation’s sincere thanks and appreciation to the Afghan authorities for their hospitality and warm welcome during the five days spent in Kabul. His Excellency also expressed the delegation’s delight over the Afghan authority’s achievements over the past two years in extending its influence and authority over all the country’s governorates. His Excellency stressed that the delegation considers the meeting with the Minister responsible for intellectual security and the preservation of the values and security of their homeland as one of the most important meetings for the delegation, “because the main purpose of the delegation’s visit is to fulfill the duty of giving advice in the name of God, His Book, His Messenger, the Imams of the Muslims and the general public on this important issue of girls’ education”.
“Your Excellency, the scholars of the Ummah appeal to the Commander of the Faithful and his government, through the Ministries of Education and Higher Education, to enable the girls and boys of Afghanistan to receive education, both religious and worldly, at all levels. They make a special and urgent appeal to him to be so kind as to give the much-desired order to reopen the doors of universities and colleges to girls who have been deprived of continuing their studies, for every day that passes for an Afghan girl deprived of religious or worldly education is considered a sad day for any Muslim who has an ounce of faith in his heart, and every day that passes for an Afghan girl deprived of returning to study in universities and colleges, that day is considered a sad day. Therefore, the scholars of the Ummah hold His Excellency the Minister responsible for conveying this call to them, and they also hold him responsible for continuing to provide faithful guidance to the Commander of the Faithful in his capacity as a virtuous mentor in the field of education, In Shaa Allah.”
His Excellency concluded his speech by declaring that he had felt deep sadness yesterday after reading the high school results in Afghanistan, which did not include the name of any girl! His Excellency said: “This means that this year, no girls will be entering university. It will be a sad academic year, I hope that you, brothers of the Ummah’s delegation, will do everything possible to resolve this problem as soon as possible so that our girls can obtain secondary certificates that will enable them to continue their studies at universities and colleges in all the specializations that dear Afghan society needs. My brother, Your Excellency the Minister, the delegation of scholars believes that the reasons given for suspending girls’ studies at universities can all be resolved easily and without the need for a long wait, by adopting a system of separation between higher education institutions for girls and higher education institutions for boys, as is the case in a number of Muslim countries and Islamic institutions, such as Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and by implementing this system, the problem of committing girls to wearing the hijab within colleges will disappear, as what a woman must cover in front of another woman is what lies between the navel and the knees, according to all schools of Islamic law. As for the issue of curricula, the Islamic Emirate can benefit from the curricula available in a number of Islamic countries according to its needs and affinity with its reality and circumstances, in addition to a revision that does not require much time, particularly with regard to purely scientific specializations.”
For his part, His Excellency the Minister expressed his sincere thanks to the delegation of scholars for visiting the emirate to check on their brothers, and stressed that the emirate in general, and his ministry in particular, welcome all the valuable advice and fruitful suggestions offered by the delegation, as he is convinced that they are sincere fraternal advice issued by scholars who wish good and prosperity for Afghanistan. His Excellency then addressed the issue of the suspension of girls’ studies in universities, attributing this situation to logistical difficulties and the quality of the infrastructure, which is not compatible with the Emirate’s vision, stressing that the Emirate fully believes in the right of girls to study in universities and colleges in specializations. This is a task that corresponds to their reality and the needs of Afghan society. His Excellency then confirmed that a committee was working on revising the curricula, and that once they are completed and logistical requirements met, girls would resume their studies at universities and colleges.
H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, head of the Ummah delegation, called on the scholars to put their questions to His Excellency the Minister on all subjects and issues related to the purpose of the delegation. Among the questions asked by the scholars was their query on the number of female students affected by this decision, and their fate after almost an academic year. The delegation began to wonder to what extent it was necessary to suspend the girls’ studies because a small number of them were not wearing the hijab. It is possible to suspend these girls without having to suspend everyone’s studies. They also question to what extent there is a real difference between the curricula currently taught to boys in universities and colleges and the curricula the current commission is working on. On its review, and more specifically, why did it not also suspend the study of boys until the completion of the curriculum review and not suspend the study of girls as long as the current curricula are corrupt in the eyes of the Emirate? Following these questions and the answers provided by His Excellency the Minister, the head of the delegation, H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha once again asked His Excellency the Minister to pass on the appeal of the scholars to the Commander of the Faithful to put an end to the suffering of the girls who have been and are still being harmed by the suspension of their studies, all the more so as there are solutions to all the problems and difficulties, starting with the problem of co-education, the problem of the hijab, and the problem of study programs, by adopting the system of separation to solve the problems of co-education and non-observance of the hijab, and as for the problem of curricula, it doesn’t concern girls without boys, and there’s no difference between medical or nursing courses for boys and medical and nursing courses for girls, they’re all the same, and the same goes for mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology courses and the like, which means that the question of curricula isn’t really a real problem for anyone who has taught at university.
In the end, the scholars left Kabul and returned home safely.