160 Afghan Girls Poisoned By Taliban For Going to School

CNN is reporting that 160 Afghan girls fell victim to apparent poisoning at their school.

Their classrooms might have been sprayed with a toxic material before the girls entered, police spokesman Khalilullah Aseer said. He blamed the Taliban.

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And the footage above is actually from when the same thing happened the previous week.

“The Afghan people know that the terrorists and the Taliban are doing these things to threaten girls and stop them going to school,” Aseer said last week. “That’s something we and the people believe. Now we are implementing democracy in Afghanistan and we want girls to be educated, but the government’s enemies don’t want this.”

Attacking girl’s schools and students has become a common tactic for the Taliban.  It’s not enough for them to be treated as property. They must also punish them for wanting to learn. They deny involvement in these attacks, but their own history — in which many girls were not even allowed to go to school during Taliban rule from 1996-2001 — suggests that educated women go against the Taliban’s interests.

About Ericka M. Johnson

As a lover of science and reason, Ericka M. Johnson has an affinity for evolutionary biology and is the president of Seattle Atheists. She revels in any opportunity for a thoughtful debate on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (especially over a pint.) Follow her on twitter @ErickaMJohnson

  • Fargofan1

    Absolutely disgusting. Old men who feel threatened by educated schoolgirls are pathetic.

    • The Other Weirdo

       How do you know they’re old men?

  • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

    I think the worst thing is that they deny doing this (assuming, of course, that they did). If they truly feel that these girls are sinful and need to be punished, and that they are the instruments of Allah in punishing the girls, they should be comfortable with admitting what they’ve done. They should be proud of their actions. At least, in that case they’d be acting ethically within their own ethical standards (as much as most of us would find those standards unacceptable).

    But you only deny doing something when you know inside that it’s wrong- and that means they’re hypocrites and cowards.

    • The Other Weirdo

       And that’s news, how? They’ve always been. Suicide bombings aren’t exactly the mark of a courageous society full of vim and vigour.

  • TheAnalogKid

    So, what do we do? I think the war is past fixing and winning, without a major commitment. Wanna try reasoning with them?

    • Renshia

       Nuke um, Let god sort them out.

      • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

        That’s just disgusting.

    • Renshia

       Well we continuing to educate them. It is impossible to fix the damage religion has taken 800 years to do, in only a short decade.  It will take a hundred years and a barrage of education to even hope to make a dent.

      • TheAnalogKid

        When the west pulls out the Taliban will take over again. There won’t be much education then.

    • Sindigo

      *disturbing story alert, don’t read down if you’re easily upset*

      It’s a difficult one. I almost think we have a moral duty to finish the job whatever the cost. I’m not usually a hawkish person but I work with the military here in the UK. I spoke with an RAF captain at a seminar a couple of years back. He’d been on the ground in Afghanistan with the RAF regiment (the ground wing of the RAF) commanding a medical division. I asked him if he thought a) the war was winnable and b) if it was worth it. He replied a) “Yes, with a commitment which is politically impossible” and b) “When you’ve had to command one of your guys to provide first aid to a newborn who’s had its arms and legs cut off because it’s the product of a rape, that becomes a stupid question.”

      • TheAnalogKid

        Horrible. It’s a horrible, patriarchal culture. But at this point I’m hard pressed to see what a military victory would do to stop that kind of thing.

        • Sindigo

          I know, me too. It’s tempting to think that a military solution would be a magic bullet but  history is against you. The guy who told me this story is obviously used to this kind of thinking and more than little emotionally involved. I find myself switching between snarling anger and tears of helplessness on a daily basis. 

    • jdm8

      It’s not an easy question.  Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of empires for a reason.
      At some point, it becomes a question of how many thousand people have to die to help drag the Afghan civilization out of the stone age, parts of it kicking and screaming very furiously against such a notion.

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

    Educating women is the quickest and easiest way for true equality among the sexes – so naturally the all-boys’ club of the Taliban wants nothing more than to hold women down and force them to live at the lowest rungs of society.

    And then blame the women for putting themselves in that position.

  • Ken

    There is no answer to this that anyone wants to hear, since every option involves a lot of bloodshed.  There are differences between people and religions that seem to require both sides bash at each other until one side eradicates the other or simply exhaust their abilities to wage war, because God is on both their sides and seems amused by the carnage.  Then some third party moves in to take advantage.  The changes we in the West want to see must come from within societies like Afghanistan and Pakistan and Iran, and they will involve standing by and watching atrocities like this poisoning.  Intervention probably delays the process, as it provides a distraction and unity to expel the “foreign” invaders.   I have always maintained that the Soviet bloc fell less from anything to do with the Cold War than from the pervasive images from Hollywood showing the capitalist countries with cars, refrigerators and color TVs.  Until the lure of creature comforts beckons louder than the strident asceticism of provincial dogma, shit like this will just get worse as paranoia and panic will escalate repression.  Unless, of course, one wants to bomb and occupy these countries, which worked so well in Vietnam.

    Too bad there is no new frontier for people to explore to escape the lunacy of the land of their birth.  It worked pretty well for those who came to America for a while.  Maybe the moon?

    • Tom

      Unfortunately, large parts of America demonstrate that you can have your material creature comforts but keep tribalism, bigotry, xenophobia and all the insanity that comes from believing bronze-age myths perfectly well.

      Do not mistake mere technology or wealth for civilisation.

      • Ken

        I don’t confuse those issues.  I simply observe that people become dissatisfied when their neighbors have nice things, and that social change is currently technologically driven.  You really don’t see many people extolling the spiritual virtues of farming anymore.  They want giant screen TVs, not historically backbreaking honest labor.  Even churches recognize this while denying it, with shorter services, audio video equipment and services at 11 rather than 7 AM.  Totalitarian regimes will not change until their people want to, and those people will accept a LOT of shit and death in the meantime, as in North Korea.  Ideology is becoming less of an issue every day.

  • Lamocla

    Against education , how retard. Glad we don’t have group like this in America!… wait… I forgot about the republicans…. never mind.

  • Bashwucker

    That’s is the ugliness of islam and mohammed piss upon him. I am just wondering why some people still join this barbaric religion call asslam.


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