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‘University ban for women because subjects taught violates principles of Islam’: Taliban minister

New Delhi: Following global backlash over banning female students from attending universities, The minister of higher education in the Afghanistan’s Taliban government defended his decision saying that because he believes some subjects being taught in universities violated the principles of Islam.

Nida Mohammad Nadim, the Taliban higher education minister, said the ban issued earlier this week was necessary to prevent the mixing of genders in universities and because he believes some subjects being taught violated the principles of Islam. He said the ban was in place until further notice, as reported by AP.

Nadim said universities would be closed to women for the time being, but that the ban could be reviewed at a later time.

The decision received widespread international condemnation, including from Muslim-majority countries such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday that the ban was “neither Islamic nor humane.”

The Saudi foreign ministry expressed “astonishment and regret” at Afghan women being denied a university education. In a statement late Wednesday, the ministry said the decision was “astonishing in all Islamic countries.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also criticized Taliban’s decision and warned that “the world is watching”.

In a tweet, the UK PM wrote, “As a father to daughters, I cannot imagine a world in which they’re denied an education. The women of Afghanistan have so much to offer. Denying them access to university is a grave step backwards. The world is watching. We will judge the Taliban by their actions.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the decision and said ‘it will have a devastating impact on the country’s future’.

“I am deeply shocked by reports that the Taliban have suspended women and girls’ access to universities.The denial of education violates equal rights and will have a devastating impact on the country’s future,” Guterres tweeted.

(With inputs from AP)