After the shocking news in late February 2020 that the United States had signed a peace treaty with the Taliban, the US army began to make plans for departure from Afghanistan, now scheduled to be completed by September 11, 2021. Some officials believe that the Taliban will agree to let girls go to school and women to work. In contrast, some government activists believe that the Taliban regime and Sharia law will never change. In fact, the fear that the Taliban regime is coming back is currently a controversial issue among Afghan families. Not only women, but male activists and peace advocates are also very worried about the return of the Taliban nightmare. Many believe the Taliban will never support having women work side-by-side with men or allow girls to get an education. Even though the Taliban are not in power yet, they have been threatening girls’ education daily with cruel practices such as bombing girls’ schools, acid attacks, and other terrorism.

If the Taliban take over, it is hard to imagine that girls’ schools will stay open. Even if they are allowed to remain open, schools and universities and international programs will not be the same. They will not allow students to be independent leaders and help Afghanistan progress towards a new era. The Taliban do not want development, peace, freedom and democracy. They want to take advantage of technology to amplify terror. Their minds are only fed by terrorism and they gain joy from making terrorist attacks.

I believe the Taliban will dominate the school systems. Higher education will not be the same. The Taliban will not accept the idea of a co-educational system in universities, where Afghan girls and boys currently complete their undergraduate or graduate programs in mixed gender classes. They will reject the international exchange programs, scholarships and short-term conferences for girl and boy students, female and male teachers. Girls will not have the opportunity to receive an education abroad or have international careers. If the Taliban agree to let the girls’ schools stay open, they will change the books, their contents and other educational materials.

Before 2001, the Taliban never allowed any type of technology, social media, TV, or newspapers. If a family had a radio or TV, they would be penalized, put in prison or even killed. I believe the Taliban will not allow women and girls to receive an education in technology programs. They will eliminate any Western subjects from schools. Their mission will be to focus on Islamic studies, and they will change the schoolbooks to comply with Sharia law, requiring girls to learn only about Islam from the extremist Taliban perspective. Those children will be deprived of learning, knowledge, leadership, philosophy, development, technology, and economic freedom. The Taliban do not want the minds and lives of Afghan people to develop.

Indeed, my heart is very honest and tells me that a changed Taliban would be a miracle, a miracle that will never happen. How likely is it that the Taliban will keep schools open for girls when they killed over 50 schoolgirls in a powerful explosion a few weeks ago in Kabul?

For the past three decades, they have wanted to eradicate peace and cultivate fear in Afghanistan. I believe that they have the misconception that fear among our people and other countries makes them powerful. They assume that being powerful is equal to being independent of other countries. They believe a powerful and independent country should control people’s well-being, human rights and knowledge. They believe this power should only come from men and the Taliban version of Islam. The Taliban believe women should remain indoors. I personally believe that they want to change Afghanistan from a Central Asian Country to a Central Fear Country. True Islamic ideals would never approve of that.

Unfortunately, I think the period of wearing the Blue Burqa will return once the Taliban take over. Before 2001, women and girls had to wear the Blue Burqa and cover their face through the net of the hijab. The Blue Burqa is foundational to Taliban practice, but it has no place in the Holy Quran. Today numerous women in many districts and insecure regions dominated by Taliban wear the Blue Burqa to protect themselves.

Finally, if the Taliban take over all the Afghanistan provinces, life will not be the same for the people, especially those who are advocates for peace and freedom, democracy, and women’s rights. There are many people who actively work in non-profit organizations, international business, TV stations, journalism, the army (including women), and film. The people will lose their jobs and even be threatened by death.

Currently, female soldiers and journalists are being targeted in terrorist attacks, I do not believe they will be safe later. Women and men are already under Taliban threat in many operation zones. Suicide bombs go off daily and kill Afghan soldiers on the way home or on an operation. The life of people who promote education, peace, democracy, development and well-being will be negatively affected by empowering the Taliban again.

I conclude that if the Taliban take over again, we are giving them the opportunity to take revenge for all the development currently happening to better the environment, the economy, health and the minds and lives of people, especially women. Girls will have little hope of getting a good education among the darkness of the Taliban mission. It is very hard to keep up hope or to dream of girls going to school.

After the Taliban regime collapsed in 2001, education slowly took the place of fear and oppression of girls and women in public places such as grocery shops or markets. It is my hope girls will not tolerate the conditions that the Taliban practiced before 2001. A number of women and girls have already experienced freedom and empowerment by participating in awareness programs, school programs and a more progressive work environment. All these opportunities conflict with the Taliban’s wishes but have changed the culture forever. Receiving an education is everyone ‘s right. I am one girl, one out of a million in Afghanistan, always determined to defend my rights to receive an education, working hard for the development of Afghanistan and standing for my rights. I am an Afghan girl who will never give up the drive to achieve my goals.

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