2009 January 04 Sunday
Taliban Ban Female Education In Swat Valley Pakistan

The Taliban have brought their educational policies with them from Afghanistan.

Taliban militants in a former tourist region of Pakistan have banned girls from school beginning this month, claiming female education is contrary to Islam.

"From January 15, girls will not be allowed to attend schools," Mullah Shah Doran, the Taliban second in command in the scenic Swat Valley, announced in a recent radio address. Mullah Doran said educating girls is "un-Islamic."

120,000 girls were in school but the violence (including destruction of schools) has already cut the number to 40,000. Barack Obama wants to take on the Taliban. But is he going to send US troops into Pakistan to do it? The Pakistani government would object to large scale US operations inside of Pakistan.

Can anyone point to a good analysis of US military prospects for stomping down the Taliban in Pakistan? The Taliban are making headway in tribal areas of Pakistan according to some reports.

Militants have launched six such attacks in Peshawar since the beginning of December, destroying some 300 Humvees and other military vehicles as well as supplies worth millions of dollars. While these raids have obvious consequences for international troops in Afghanistan, they also mark a new level of insecurity for Peshawar, a city of universities, kebab stands, and carpet dealers that has always had an edgy border-town vibe but that now seems increasingly vulnerable to a Taliban takeover. Mahmood Shah, a retired army brigadier who lives in Peshawar, estimated that, based on the scale of the attacks on NATO supplies, it would take the Taliban as little as 20 minutes to gain control of the city's key administrative offices and essentially conquer it.

This sounds like the kind of situation that will get worse before it gets better. Can the US entice the government of Pakistan to assert full control of the tribal areas? Can the government of Pakistan competently do this?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 January 04 07:36 PM  MidEast Afghanistan

Stephen said at January 4, 2009 10:40 PM:

Randall asked, "Can anyone point to a good analysis of US military prospects for stomping down the Taliban in Pakistan?"

Maybe a better question is, "Why do we care if some Pashtun tribes adopt some stone-age religious views, after all, isn't it Al-Qaeda that we're chasing?"

James Bowery said at January 5, 2009 11:56 AM:

I think its pretty obvious that technological progress is not critically dependent on female education but that replacement-rate reproduction is threatened by it.

When are people going to grow up and act like adults toward this technological artifact called "civilization"?

Randall Parker said at January 5, 2009 7:11 PM:


We care that Al Qaeda does not regain a place to train and organize. I'd like a realistic assessment of whether the tribal territories of Pakistan are currently suitable for that purpose or not. I'd also like a realistic assessment of whether the Taliban would take over Afghanistan if we left and whether they would then make Afghanistan suitable for Al Qaeda once they regained power.


Yes, I agree. We need to educate women in the poorest countries in order to stop human population growth.

Stephen said at January 5, 2009 7:51 PM:

I'd also like a realistic assessment of whether the Taliban would take over Afghanistan if we left and whether they would then make Afghanistan suitable for Al Qaeda once they regained power.

Here's my realistic assessment: It doesn't matter who takes over because when it comes to AQ the result is the same. No conceivable Afghani government will have the ability to stop AQ operating in the tribal areas. To expect otherwise ignores the fact that western forces have failed to eliminate AQ having had seven years and orders of magnitude more resource than any Afghani government could hope to deploy.

Randall Parker said at January 5, 2009 8:17 PM:

While total elimination would be nice it is sufficient to make it impractical for them to organize and gather in larger numbers.

gcochran said at January 6, 2009 12:12 AM:

This wouldn't be happening if Babe Ruth still ran the place.

Big Bill said at January 6, 2009 8:20 AM:

When women are proselytized by a post-modern individualistic and consumerist Western education, they adapt by (among other things) individually refusing to reproduce and thereby collectively extinguishing their nations. This is true even of Western nations as we have recently discovered.

Separating their females from males and limiting their education to motherly, family and cultural duties (as the ultra-Orthodox Jews also do) is essential if they are going to preserve their civilization.

We should respect them, leave them alone and let them make their own future as best they see fit. No one forces us to live in a Taliban (or ultra-Orthodox Jewish) culture and we should not force them to live (and go extinct) in a Western culture. By what right do we Americans do to the Pashtun and Taliban what the Maskilim did to Orthodox Jewry?

James Bowery said at January 6, 2009 8:46 AM:

Randall writes: Yes, I agree. We need to educate women in the poorest countries in order to stop human population growth.

Randall, and in the meantime we just turn the other cheek because its the Christian thing to do? This "civilization" thing has evolutionary consequences that are coming home to roost now in a very literal way and for which those who uphold "civilization" are responsible. Your "civilization" prevents me from going up to an immigrant and challenging him to single combat to the death while his genotype takes my genotype's carrying capacity, and the best you can do is say "We need to educate women in the poorest countries..."?

Grow up.

James Bowery said at January 6, 2009 2:34 PM:

'London lost more than a third of its residents in an exodus to the countryside during the last decade with 1.8 million immigrants pouring into the capital to replace them. '


Civilizations have distinctly different settlement patterns from other societies. The word civilization is sometimes defined as "a word that simply means 'living in cities'"

-- Tom Standage (2005), A History of the World in 6 Glasses, Walker & Company, 25.

Oh... and just in case you were wondering how to save civilization from collapse, I'm sure Mr. Diamond has the answers...

Randall Parker said at January 6, 2009 8:01 PM:

Big Bill,

Since we aren't allowed to close our borders those baby-makers in other countries have a big impact on us. Also, they place a bigger strain on the world ecosystem.

James Bowery,

Actually, even better than educating the Third Worlders: give them free TVs and beam soap operas at them.

vineet said at January 12, 2009 9:40 AM:

Dear writer

its a unfinished ajenda of mohd gajanavi to convert and radicalized the whole area which is now taliban targeting to complete. Its an on going process and if everyone gets confused between the so called pakis media proclamation, the dual talk of pakis politicians, the so called teachers of islam and close their eyes from what ever is happening in pakistan then the talibs will definately like to close the door of development, change and progress which comes from the teaching of mother.

So these cowards, the torch bearers universal brotherhood or some manupulative bas**rd who created a big plan to destroy the peace and humanity in the world will succeed.

lets not make them succeed and the girl of today is mother of tomorrow and will prove to be mother of peace.


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