The UN Deputy Secretary General called on Muslim countries to encourage the Taliban to modernize
NEW YORK: The UN deputy secretary-general on Wednesday urged Muslim countries to join hands in pressuring the Taliban to modernize and move “from the 13th century to the 21st century”.
Amina Mohammad said these words after her two-week official visit to Afghanistan. She tried to persuade Taliban leaders to reverse their recent decisions to deny Afghan women and girls the opportunity to study at home after sixth grade and to ban women from working there. humanitarian organizations, other restrictions on the exercise of their rights.
Senior UN official Amina Mohammad told Arab News that the Taliban government, whose authority is not recognized by any country, seeks international recognition and wants to take the place of Afghanistan in the UN, which is still in the hands of the previous government. by former President Ashraf Ghani.
Taliban fighters took control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on August 15, 2021, following the withdrawal of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan after two decades of war.
The Under-Secretary-General believes that it is important to make the most of any leverage available to bring the Taliban back to the universal principles that underpin participation in the international community.
“No one is against a Muslim country or Sharia,” he explains. “But all of this cannot be turned into extremism, a position that harms women and girls. This is absolutely unacceptable and we must tolerate it.”
The UN deputy secretary-general says the Taliban leaders he met with are “flipping the script” and insisting on what they see as exploitation in protecting Afghan women. They also complain that their efforts are not recognized at the international level.
He claims that he and his delegation rejected the Taliban’s narrative, saying that “their concept of protection will be like oppression for us.”
He continues: “We reminded them that non-discrimination is a key element in humanitarian principles. […] and that they prohibit women from leaving the workplace.
“We told them once again that although they talk about the rights and decrees they gave to protect women, they give with one hand and take with the other, which is unacceptable.”
The Deputy Secretary-General claims to have exhausted all resources in his diplomatic “toolbox” to protect and restore women’s rights in Afghanistan.
“One of these means is that I, like them, am a Sunni Muslim.” “They follow the Hanafi madhhab, I follow the Maliki madhhab; and both are right.”
“However, when it comes to banning women’s education and taking away their rights, we do not agree and God will be the final judge. Most of what they do hurts others.”
Before arriving in Kabul, Amina Mohammad’s delegation visited other countries, including Muslim-majority Turkey, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, where the opposition said there was a generalized attack on women’s rights by the Taliban.
“Every time I go to one of these Muslim countries, they insist that Islam does not prohibit women from going to school or working,” she adds.
He also discussed with Taliban officials in Kandahar the progress made in recent years in terms of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. He immediately replied that they were “not on the same page” with the Kingdom on this matter.
“That’s why it’s so important for Muslim countries to come together and build it,” he insists. “It is difficult; In Islam, we don’t have a pope, we have the Koran and different schools of thought, but we have rights in Islam.”
“I reminded the Taliban that if we are talking about women in the professional world, the first wife of the Prophet […] She was a businesswoman who financed Islam. Khadija financed Islam. Aisha, the younger wife of Prophet Muhammad, brought her knowledge and advice.
“Iqra [«Lis»] It is the first word of the Quran and Islam is the religion of light. It’s a living religion, and I think a lot of our concern is how we’re going to allow the Taliban to move from the 13th century into the 21st century. And it’s a journey, so it’s not going to happen overnight.”
According to the Deputy Secretary General, the UN and the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) jointly organized an international conference on women in the Muslim world in March. She also says she is calling for more women to be included in OIC delegations.
“It is very important for Muslim countries to come together,” he adds. “We must fight in the region”
“Within Islam, we need to talk more with moderates about what this means, not just for Afghanistan, but for other Muslim countries where we have serious challenges, like Iran or Yemen. We must be clear that we are talking about women in the Muslim world.”
This text is a translation of an article published on Arabnews.com