Afghan girls poisoned but determined to continue studies

Poisoning won’t stop them from getting an education, girls say

By Najibullah

2012-04-19

KABUL – The poisoning of more than 100 female students in Rostaq District, Takhar Province, April 17 shows that militants are still intent on blocking Afghan girls from getting an education, officials from the Afghan Ministry of Education said.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the action, provincial officials suspect the Taliban, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported April 18.

“The enemies of Afghanistan are trying to prevent girls' education in every way possible, using all kinds of pretexts,” said Amanullah Iman, a Ministry of Education spokesman.

“The enemies of Afghanistan conduct such practices anonymously because they have no Islamic religious excuses for preventing the students’ education,” Iman told Central Asia Online.

This is not the first time that Afghan girls have been mysteriously poisoned at schools. In April 2010 suspected food and water poisoning affected 80 girls, and in August 2010 toxic gas was released into a girls’ school. In both attacks students were sickened, but no fatalities were reported.

“This is not the first act of the enemies of Afghanistan, nor will it be the last one,” Iman said. “However, necessary measures have been adopted to prevent this practice in the future.”

“This is an inhumane and un-Islamic act that I strongly condemn, no matter what group practices it,” Nasimeh Niazi, an Afghan parliamentarian representing Helmand Province, told Central Asia Online.

“Militants should not target Afghan schoolgirls for political purposes,” Niazi said.

During the Taliban regime, 1996-2001, Afghan girls were not allowed to attend school or receive a formal education. But since the fall of the Taliban, girls have returned to school, and each year more and more seek an education.

Rebels will not succeed

Habibeh, a student from Taloqan, capital of Takhar Province, expressed her anger after learning of the Rostaq District poisonings.

Although she has “concerns regarding this issue,” Habibeh said they cannot prevent her or her classmates from going to school.

“This practice of insurgents is in enmity with Islam, since Islam ordered every man and woman to follow the path of education,” said Habibeh. “Therefore, Afghan girls will not surrender to the despicable practices of the insurgents.”

After a poisoning at a girls’ school in Kabul last year, the girls resumed their studies after they received treatment, Niloofar Navvabi, a student in Kabul, said.

“The rebels must know that these actions cannot prevent Afghan girls from going to school, because Afghan girls are now aware that illiteracy is the cause of all the calamities of the Afghan people.”

“This practice of the opposition will not prevent students from getting an education, because families in Takhar support the education of their children,” said Jan-Mohammad Nabizadeh, an official from Takhar Province’s Education Directorate.

The cause of the April poisoning is still unclear. Police, however, are investigating and have sent samples of the drinking water from the school’s water tank to Kabul for analysis.

Most of the poisoned girls were discharged soon after treatment and only 15 are still in the hospital, according to Takhar Province Health Department officials.

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Reader Comments

  • A, Salam o Alikum: Muslim religion is the last of the great religion,Thoe who follow islam are called the muslim, i Pray to God, Bless all beautiful universe, Ammen;

    May 13, 2012 @ 06:05:31AM Khan Mohamamd Ahmad khan Baloch;
  • why dont u say muslims are undefeatable u idiots , i am from pakistan and we are also one of the bravest nation and we love u , but we always use word muslims , not intellectually represent pakistan as a seprate force from pakistan , same should be fone by you guys

    May 12, 2012 @ 08:05:45PM shahrukh
  • As a real Muslim Taliban never do such an activity against to the Muslim girls education, bur ??? Please investigate who is Taliban? and This Taliban is supported by whom? this is very critical and some one playing very bad game Insha Allah Allah will give the light of the path to catch soon This Taliban is really anti Muslim group then you can realize easily who is doing & where is the back ground support is given from? After the proper investigation, should published the identified the real enemy

    May 6, 2012 @ 09:05:24AM Alabdeen
  • i want to know which why Afghanistan do not improve what is the reason of this and the money of caster car do not be hight by 5 Afghani what can we do

    May 6, 2012 @ 03:05:16AM zaki
  • Allah bless the entire Afghans every where

    May 4, 2012 @ 01:05:35PM Atta khan
  • All of afghanisatan people want to be work for their country

    May 2, 2012 @ 08:05:07AM amanullah
  • education is necessary element of every person.

    May 2, 2012 @ 03:05:59AM M AWAIS KIYANI
  • muslims are best around the world

    May 1, 2012 @ 04:05:36PM mirwais frotan
  • Afghan people are very brave. No one can defeat them in any field. Especially the female students will leave no stone in the way of their education. Afghan girls will fight nd get their rights. Wish for their success.

    April 30, 2012 @ 10:04:19AM saeed nizami
  • it dosen`t good idea to do in this way to stop girls from the education in our peace full relagious tell us that education is most both men and women so we have to allowed girls to get education if there will be a educated mother he will keep care of her children in better way. If there will a educated girls thay will take a part in Afghan progress. i m not aginst the taliban role of Law rather there should be karzai government or taliban government should take a part in afghan progress every one know that USA is not our kind. They have there own goals remember that if we will fight here in afghinstan the benift will gost to US Government. This is a time to think to know our enemy. Lets a part of Afghan Development this a time to rebuild.

    April 28, 2012 @ 02:04:30AM bakht
  • we are muslim,and our GOD first messge TO MUHMMOD PECEAS BE UPON HIM ' AQRA" Please get the eaducation( alim) and help the people who belong to this feild and also help to people who want the eaducation,

    April 27, 2012 @ 10:04:21AM mr
  • am very helpless in this situation because i can not do for these girls but any ony has done this its very bad .because at one side we are trying to build up our country for a beter future an on another side these kind of siuation put our strugle in dificult situation.so i am requesting to my nation to come forword to fight against these terirists to bring piace in my country.fore a beter future and a happy smile on every face for which all of world is waiting an keep eyes on us.i am sure our nation will try their same thing like brother Aleem Khan said i am agree with him Dr,Sayed M Nabi Sherzad

    April 27, 2012 @ 09:04:42AM Sayed M Nabi
  • salam

    April 27, 2012 @ 08:04:57AM zainab
  • the best country in afghastan and people

    April 27, 2012 @ 04:04:23AM muhammadwaseem
  • Hello to all my Afghan brothers and sisters. My name is Sayfullah Khozman, son of Tooren Amanullah Khozman, commander of the Afghanistan's Islamic Party. According to the Holy Quran teachings Education is a must for both men and women. I believe, however, that the Afghan girls should be educated in a way so that they take part in the progress of the country. I am younger than you. Therefore, with your permission, I want to explain some facts. The mother is responsible for the education of children. Who will be the best person to do this? If a woman is familiar with the teachings of God and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) she will raise great children, who would be beneficial and useful for our dear country. An educated woman can do this. Lastly, I have another request from those sisters. Please keep your Hijab [religious cover for women] when you leave your houses, as it will bring God's consent.

    April 26, 2012 @ 01:04:50AM سیف الله خوزمن
  • i m with you.

    April 25, 2012 @ 01:04:17PM farhan shakir
  • our country is in bad condtion even males are not ready to properly serve the nation and all human being, what about the female? We do not think they will do. our people are trying to fill their pockets and enjoying the life only.

    April 25, 2012 @ 12:04:03AM mohammadarab hamidi
  • we as Afghan Strongly Condemn these Kind of Acts in Afghanistan and WE as afghan Believe that No one can Beat us and Stop us our Girls from Schools and education ...We will Live Long Until One Afghan is Alive in Afghanistan ... LOVE MY AFGHANISTAN MY PEOPLE EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT Prosperity

    April 24, 2012 @ 04:04:37PM Strong Afghans EVER
  • I am very helpless in this situation because i can not do for these girls but any ony has done this its very bad .because at one side we are trying to build up our country for a beter future an on another side these kind of siuation put our strugle in dificult situation.so i am requesting to my nation to come forword to fight against these terirists to bring piace in my country.fore a beter future and a happy smile on every face for which all of world is waiting an keep eyes on us.i am sure our nation will try their best to help other people to bring peace in AFGHANISTAN

    April 21, 2012 @ 09:04:57AM MUHAMAD ALEEM KHAN
  • Alas, everybody is experimenting with Islam today. Righteousness among knowledgeable people is no more there.

    April 21, 2012 @ 03:04:05AM mahboob elahi