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Esther Hyneman

This morning at 9:00am in Kabul, 46 girls and their teachers were poisoned in their classroom at the

Tuteya Girls' Primary School in the Karte Naw neighbourhood of Kabul. The girls have been hospitalized, and it appears that a chemical gas was sprayed in their class some time before their arrival. While the incident is still being investigated, this is a trademark tactic of the Taliban's, who remain fundamentally opposed to the education of girls and women. One might say they are simply opposed to girls and women, period. This evidently doesn't bother a lot of people in the West, as in James Fergusson's recent nod to Taliban misogyny.

But it really bothers me. Because for all the cultural relativism trumpeted in the west, Afghan girls still show up to school when their classmates end up poisoned in the hospital, their teachers end up dead, their principals beheaded, and their schools burned down. They want to go to school that badly. A 17-year-old student at the Mirwais Mena Girls School in Kandahar, Shamsia, suffered severe eye injuries in 2008 when Taliban threw acid on her and her classmates on their way to morning classes. Days after the attack,...More >>


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