The Taliban have demonstrated their commitment to diminishing the role of women in Afghan society by preventing girls from taking university entrance exams and barring them from universities. This is likely to be only the beginning of their efforts to suppress women.
Many people both inside and outside the country are asking why the Taliban are engaging in such unreasonable and increasingly anti-human and immoral actions. There are various explanations for this, ranging from internal divisions among Taliban factions to the strict and extreme approach of their Amir ul-Mu’menin to the influence of Pakistan’s intelligence to competition with ISIS over extremism. While each of these explanations may point to some aspects of the complex reality, one answer may lie in the Taliban’s “worldview” and their view of the place of women in it. Generally, every worldview is composed of three basic pillars: man, the world, and beyond the world. In religious terms, the world beyond is referred to as “the unseen world” and in philosophical terms, it is called “metaphysics,” which includes God, angels, spirits, and abstract worlds. In the worldview of the Taliban and other religious extremists, human beings have no inherent value or status; rather, their value is determined by other factors such as religious belief, party orientation, and descent roots.
Since the dawn of the Renaissance, humanism has been a fundamental part of modern thinking. Humanism emphasizes the inherent value of all people, regardless of gender, religion, or race. This means that a person does not need any other factor beyond being human to have dignity, rights, and a worthy position. This concept has been the basis for the declaration of human rights, which recognizes that all people are born with these rights, rather than having them granted or taken away by another.
The philosophical view that humans possess inherent dignity is consistent with the spirit of many religions, particularly among Muslims. Much effort has been made to demonstrate that religion does not condone injustice and inequality among people, and that a person’s dignity is not dependent on anything else. Ultimately, humanity is the only thing that matters.
Extremist groups such as the Taliban have a dangerous view of human beings, believing those who do not share their beliefs or bloodline to be of lesser value. This view is not limited to non-Muslims, but also applies to Shiites and Sunnis, men and women, and even those within the same family. In order to combat this inhumane attitude, people must stand up and fight for humanity. Religion, ethnicity, culture, and other abstract matters are not at risk here – it is humanity itself that is in danger, and it is up to us to protect it. Unless we can ensure that all people are treated with dignity, respect, and equal rights, the discrimination against women in this society will never end.