Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Taliban

Burkha ban in college

St. Aloysius’ College is in news for its rule that students should show their faces in class rooms. Students who come wearing burkha have to show their faces. The rule is in prospectus. Some have called it Burkha ban. Muslim clergy is said to be opposed to the rule.

St. Aloysius’ College has come to the rescue of Muslim female students who are under pressure from Muslim male students to wear burkha. Muslim female students don’t want to wear burkha. Parents of those female students don’t want their daughters to wear burkha.

In West Bengal, Muslim male students had made life difficult for a Muslim female lecturer. She defied them. The management had succumbed to pressure from that Taliban and had transferred the lecturer to some other place.

Colleges have a right to make rules. Students who want to study there must follow the rules. Some years back a college in Bantwal faced such a problem. A Muslim student came to college wearing burkha. Some Hindu students protested and said they too would come wearing religious dress. The Muslim student was asked to stop wearing burkha. A female Muslim lecturer tried to make that Muslim student understand and give up burkha in college but the student did not agree. She stopped attending college. The college management faced hostile questioning by TV channels. Then came Nicolas Sarkozy’s statement “Burkha is not welcome in France.” That flummoxed TV journalists.

Islam does not say a woman should cover her face. Islam says a woman should be modestly dressed. Recently Emir of Qatar visited India. His wife did not cover her face. There is no violation of freedom of religion when Muslim female students are told not to cover their faces in college. Muslim clerics who want Muslim female students to cover their faces should start colleges for them. Muslims have Yenepoya Medical College in Mangalore. They can have other colleges. It is not for Muslims to dictate the rules in Christian colleges.

Till some years back St. Aloysius’ college was a boys’ college.

Sections of population are getting talibanised. Some years back there were no such problems from Muslim female students.

Covering a face by wearing burkha is different from a Sikh wearing turban or a nun wearing her habit. In both cases there is no covering of face. Many Hindu women cover their faces in different ways. The college rule prohibits covering faces and applies to all female students irrespective of religion. There was a report that St. Edward’s School in Simla has banned turbans.

If students come wearing burkha lecturers cannot be sure of the identity of the students. Instead of one student somebody else may be present.

Burkha is a security issue. Terrorists can come wearing burkha. That happened in Kabul. Three men wore burkha and came in a car and got inside the compound of Indian guest house and shot people. In Australia bank robbers used burkha. In three cases babies were stolen by women wearing burkha.

Pakistan versus USA

The death of 24 Pakistani soldiers on 26/11/2011 in NATO air attacks has further deteriorated Pakistan-USA relationship. Pakistan has stopped NATO supplies to Afghanistan through its territory and has asked USA to vacate the Shamsi air base given to it in 15 days. Its army chief has vowed effective response. Pakistan has complained to UN and has decided to skip Bonn Conference on 5/12/2011 on the future of Afghanistan. China and Russia have come in support of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s double game in Afghan War has been clear for years. In recent months Americans have openly mentioned ISI’s role in Afghanistan. ISI has scuttled peace efforts. Afghan Taliban gets support from ISI. Afghan Taliban attacked American Embassy in Kabul and assassinated Burhanuddin Rabbani. Osama Bin Laden was in Abbottabad for six years. Pakistan claimed it was fighting Taliban without mentioning it was fighting Pak Taliban hostile to it and supported Afghan Taliban hostile to Afghanistan.

NATO forces are predominantly American forces. NATO wants to quit Afghanistan by 2014. It is better if they quit Afghanistan before that and leave it to Afghans to solve their problems. Afghans take money from whoever gives them. When Hamid Karzai was asked about getting money from Iran he said they take money from Americans also. Najibullah was betrayed by his people when he could not give them money. He took shelter in UN compound. When Taliban attacked UN compound and hanged Najibullah UN did nothing. USA and other NATO forces were quiet. Economy is the problem in USA and Europe. Let NATO countries spend their money to solve their people’s problems.

India should remain neutral in this hostility between USA and Pakistan. India has nothing to gain by taking any side. Pakistan has abetted terrorism against India. When India was the victim USA was not on India’s side.

If the army takes over Pakistan there should be sanctions against Pakistan. If China and Russia veto such a proposal in UN, other countries can impose sanctions on their own.

Afghan War

Americans are unable to win Afghan War. They can not win Afghan War. It is because American money is financing America’s enemies.

America gives money to Pakistan to fight Taliban. Pakistan finances Afghan Taliban who fight Americans. Sometimes Pakistanis directly attack Americans. During one such attack on a helicopter Americans fired back. Three Pakistani soldiers died. Pakistan closed its borders to NATO convoys. NATO tankers went up in smoke. Whether they were blown up by Afghan Taliban, Pakistani army or ISI is immaterial. All are on the same side.

America gives money to certain leaders for safe passage of its convoys. Those leaders give money to Afghan Taliban. Afghan Taliban collects money from employees who are paid by Americans. It is American money that is used against America.

America wants to end war and talk to “moderate” Taliban. Someone claims to be a Taliban leader. He meets some people and walks away with money before Americans discover he is an impostor.

Nothing is achieved by Afghan War. Afghans don’t want Americans or their NATO allies. They take money from whoever gives. America or Iran, it does not make a difference.

Al Qaeda and its associates have shifted to Yemen and other countries. Pakistan fights Pakistani Taliban.

There is no freedom of religion in Afghanistan. If any Muslim gives up Islam he can be put to death. In one case one person who became Christian was sentenced to death. He was allowed to leave Afghanistan on the ground that he was mentally unsound.

The earlier America gets ends Afghan the better it is for them. Afghan Taliban will not get American money and many people will desert it.

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