Taliban affront to Islam

Gordon Brown: Taliban assaults on women and girls “affront to Islam”

Former British prime minister, Gordon Brown (2007-10), has called on Muslim leaders to condemn the Taliban’s repression of women and girls as “an affront to Islam.”

Talking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Mr Brown, the UN’s Special Envoy from Global Education, said: 

“I visited Afghanistan many times and I have been involved in a number of different organisations delivering girls education. We have got to understand, for 20 years, girls were getting educated in Afghanistan and women were starting to go to university in big numbers. And this has now come to an end; girls have been banned from secondary school and women have been banned from university, women teachers in universities have been thrown out, and women have been thrown out of public service jobs, and they are not allowed to go out on their own without being accompanied by a male, they can’t visit public parks.” 

Gordon Brown said that “the world has to really wake up to and the way, I think, we can deal with it is persuading the countries that are predominately Muslim that believe education is important, understand the importance of girls and women’s rights.” 

“I would like to see the Muslim countries and their leaderships that have said they are against this [Taliban bans]. The UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia are not doing more than just words,” he added. 

Despite global condemnations, the Taliban has refused to lift bans on women and girls’ rights to education and work.