December 7, 2022
International

As hundreds of students return to school, Taliban soldiers trade their weapons for books

As hundreds of students return to school, Taliban soldiers trade their weapons for books

KABUL: Gul Agha Jalali used to stay up late planting bombs in the hopes of hitting a soldier for the Afghan government or, even better, a foreign serviceman.The 23-year-old Taliban member is currently enrolled in a computer science course and is learning English in Kabul, the country’s capital.

“We needed bombs, mortars, and firearms while infidels were occupying our country,” claims Jalali, a worker at the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.Numerous militants have returned to school since the Taliban seized control again in August of last year, either on their own initiative or under pressure from their leaders.

In Arabic, the word “Taliban” really means “students,” and this is how the movement got its name.The majority of Taliban combatants received their education in these madrassas, where the focus of study is primarily the Holy Quran and other Islamic subjects.

A large number of orthodox Afghan clerics, especially those associated with the Taliban, are sceptical of contemporary education, with the exception of fields that may be applied practically, like engineering or medicine.

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