Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Taliban minister unveils position to opponents

Sunday 19/March/2023 - 08:39 AM
The Reference
Mohamed Youssri

The Taliban movement has not hidden its violent and exclusionary tendencies since returning to power in August 2021.

This comes despite announcements by its leadership about shifts in the movement's approach towards certain issues.

However, the movement's actions on the ground contradict these presumed shifts in many files, starting from politics, through the economy, freedoms, and then the violent rhetoric against its opponents.

Killing liberties

On March 12, video recordings appeared of the minister of higher education in the Afghan interim government of the Taliban, Nada Mohammad Nadim, in which he said: "everyone who criticizes the Taliban should be killed".

He added that those who destabilize the system with speech, pen or actions should be killed.

"Everyone who criticizes the Taliban in writing, speech and media should be killed," the minister said.

These threats came during the minister's talk about girls' education and the Taliban's insistence to deny them the right to education.

The Taliban came under fire locally and internationally because of its hostility to the education of girls.

Protests were organized in a number of European cities during the current march to demand women's rights to education and work.

The statements of the Taliban minister coincided with the closure of the women's library in Kabul.

Officials said the library was closed against the background of Taliban-imposed restrictions on the education and the work of women.

A group of women established this library at their own expense, after the Taliban came to power, to promote reading and raise awareness among women in the Pul-e Surkh area of Kabul.

Previous threats

These were not the first threats to be made by a senior Taliban official.

They were preceded by other more stringent statements with the women's file last December.

The same minister said in comment on the decision to ban university education for women that his movement would not back down, even if it was attacked by an atomic bomb.

"We are ready for sanctions to be imposed on us by the international community," the minister said.

Exclusionary approach

Asian affairs specialist, Mohamed al-Sayed, said the Taliban's exclusionary approach and its violent orientation against its opponents is not new.

"We have expected all this," al-Sayed told The Reference. "There are constants that the Taliban does not abandon."

He added that these constants include the movement's approach to women.

Al-Sayed pointed out that this appeared clearly from the first day of the Taliban's seizure of power last August.