The activist recently featured her name on a Taliban death list shared on social media. She doesn’t know if the list is real, but she is shocking. “An educated woman who can bring hope and change is a potential target. They want to rob us of our ideal – Afghanistan where everyone is equal.”
While the Taliban often deny having anything to do with the attacks, the Afghan government and America blame the group for the latest wave of violence. Investigations and prosecutions often fail.
The Talibanization of education
Akbar says the Afghan government itself is increasingly trying to impose restrictions on women. “We are not only in conflict with the Taliban, but also with our government.” Last week, the Afghan Ministry of Education issued a ban on singing for girls from the age of 12.
According to Ahmed Sarmast, founder of the National Conservatory of Music in Kabul, this may be an attempt to “Taliban” the education system. Sarmast notes that the Taliban banned music and girls ’education while in power. He himself was injured in a Taliban attack in 2014. A suicide bomber blew himself up right behind him at a concert in Kabul.
“Banning songs clearly shows that some politicians within the Afghan government are trying to pave the way for the Taliban,” Sarmast said. “Since the peace talks, a lot has changed politically. Some would like to see the Taliban take control of the government and try to secure a place for themselves if an agreement is reached. Thus this ban can be viewed as a test to see if the Afghan community is willing to take a step backward.” .
But the Afghans are definitely not. Feminist activists – and basically anyone who opposes the hardline Islamist Taliban movement – have revolted en masse in an online protest campaign, initiated by Sarmast. Under the hashtag #IamMSong, women and girls have posted videos on social media singing their favorite songs.