Here at the local school, and in the aftermath of some very serious incidents pertaining to the issue, one of the teachers decided to take up a discussion in class, where the students are refugee children (teenagers), about how our different cultures differ when it comes to questions about gender and equality. The discussion turned out to be very interesting as student from different African and Arabic cultures told stories and gave anecdotes about how boys and girls/men and women interact in their respective countries of origin. The students from Eritrea told their stories as did the students from Somalia and Syria, and it came as no surprise to anyone that the societies are pretty segregated and that boys and girls adhere to totally different rules, based on gender.
Then a student from Afghanistan told the class
about a time when he was a part of a mixed group of children, boys and girls, who had taken up a spontaneous soccer game one afternoon, and how the girls wore knee lenght shorts since it was difficult to play soccer in long skirts. All of a sudden a group of Taliban showed up and executed the girls immediately
one by one on the spot and in front of the other children by hanging, using the soccer goals for the executions, and left the girls hanging for days in the goals to show everyone what would happen to them if they wore shorts while playing soccer.
I was just made aware of this story by one of the students in the class and I am so horrified that my stomach is turned upside down and I feel sick. How horrendous! It must be one of the worst stories I have ever heard, and as a teacher how do you move forward in that discussion after such information has been shared in class by a child who was there?
Who are these monsters who murder children in the name of religion? What are they so afraid of that children in knee lenght shorts constitute a threat?
I truly believe they are the devil.
The darkest force on earth!
How do we combat such evil?