An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Islamists bomb Girl Schools in Pakistan.

Again.. this time the Islamic radicals are not only content with saying girl education is unIslamic…. they are actually moving on to BOMB the schools as well in Pakistan!! That should help their man-hood a bit.. wouldn’t it?

In what appears to be an escalating spree over the last year, extremists have bombed at least four girls’ schools and circulated violent threats warning girls to stay at home. While no girls or school staff have been killed, girls in some areas have stopped attending classes – marking a direct blow to Pakistan’s national enterprise of "enlightened moderation," which posits female education as a central pillar.

Pakistan finds itself at a precarious tipping point: Tremendous gains have been made in female education in recent years, but a considerable gender gap remains. Extremists’ efforts to undermine education for women, who are historically one of Pakistan’s most potent forces of moderation, could further empower Pakistan’s growing ranks of Islamist militants.

"Because girls are the ones suffering from these oppressive ideas, if they are educated they will be a better ally in the promotion of liberal ideas and secularism," says Farzana Bari, who heads the gender studies department at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad.

The continuing wave of attacks could tilt Pakistan’s sensitive political balance, observers say, and hurt crucial economic development efforts. As female education improves, infant mortality rates tend to decrease, family health improves, national incomes rise, and female citizens become more politically active and aware of their rights, say development experts.

"You’ll be keeping half the population of Pakistan idle [if the bombings continue]," says Syed Fayyaz Ahmad, the joint education adviser of the Ministry of Education in Islamabad. "[Girls] would not add to the economic development of NWFP. If your female children are not educated, your next generation of boys and girls are affected."

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