Imran Khan: Defender of Islam or political opportunist?

On 17 September 2021, less than a month after seizing control of the country, the Taliban effectively banned girls from secondary schools in Afghanistan after they ordered schools to resume classes for boys only.

The move marked a realisation of fears that had been raised ever since the Taliban regained power, and was met with widespread and routine international condemnation from countries and human rights organisations alike. One of the more surprising critics however was Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who told the BBC that preventing women from accessing education would be ‘un-Islamic’.

The reason for such surprise is that while Prime Minister Khan has expressed somewhat mixed feelings regarding the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, he has encouraged the international community, and particularly the United States, to recognise their authority. In addition, his own government has entered into talks with the organisation, and Khan himself has pledged to ‘forgive’ members of the group if reconciliation is achieved.

Developments such as these already start to make Khan’s criticisms of the Taliban ring hollow, but they are made even more interesting when considered in conjunction with his own rhetoric regarding what is and isn’t un-Islamic in his own country.

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“Ser diferente es un delito”: La historia de una mujer musulmana en Cuba

En el Día Internacional de la Mujer, CSW comparte el primero de una serie de testimonios de mujeres en Cuba que han sido victimizadas debido a su religión o creencia. Hoy, hablamos con una mujer musulmana en ese país, cuyo nombre ha sido cambiado por razones de seguridad.

Soy graduada de universidad de nivel medio de artes plásticas desde 1990.

Todo estaba bien hasta que abracé el islam a la edad de 24 años, en Septiembre del 2004. En ese momento yo estaba trabajando haciendo dibujos en el aeropuerto.  Cuando me hice musulmana enseguida me expulsaron alegando motivos de seguridad.

Atacada en casa

Más tarde, en 2007, comenzaron a visitarnos los estudiantes pakistaníes que venían desde Santa Clara y otras provincias.[1] A veces pasaban días en casa, y durante todo ese tiempo nuestra casa era vigilada. A veces ponían personas vestidas de civil casi en la puerta, o llegaban grupos de la campaña anti vectores[2] o inspectores de la compañía eléctrica en días y horarios que sabemos no se usan para revisar ningún depósito de agua.

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“Being different is considered a crime”: The story of a Muslim woman in Cuba

On International Women’s Day, CSW shares the first of several testimonies from women in Cuba who have been targeted on account of their religion or belief. Today, we hear from a Muslim woman in the country, whose name has been redacted for security reasons.

I graduated from university in visual arts in 1990.

Everything was fine until I converted to Islam at the age of 24, in September 2004. At the time I was making a living by drawing pictures at the airport, but after I became a Muslim, I was immediately expelled because of supposed security concerns.

Targeted at home

Some time after [my conversion], in 2007, Pakistani students in Santa Clara and other provinces began to visit our home.[1] Sometimes they would spend days with us, during which time our house was [constantly] watched. At times people in plainclothes were stationed right outside our door, or electric company inspectors or workers for the anti-mosquito campaign[2] would visit at odd times of the day, times when we know they do not usually inspect for areas of standing water.

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