LONDON: A professor at Kabul University ripped his diplomas apart on live television to protest against the ban on women attending university imposed by the Taliban.
The professor’s gesture, which was described by women on the internet as a “solidarity act,” was first aired on TOLOnews, a news TV channel based out of Kabul.
In the video, the man, identified as Ismail Mashal, says that his country is “no place for an education.”
“If my sister and my mother cannot study, then I do not accept this education,” Mashal continues, before tearing up his diplomas in front of the camera with his voice shaking.
The now-viral video was shared by Shabnam Nasimi, a former policy advisor to the UK government on Afghan resettlement, on her official Twitter account.
Astonishing scenes as a Kabul university professor destroys his diplomas on live TV in Afghanistan —
“From today I don’t need these diplomas anymore because this country is no place for an education. If my sister & my mother can’t study, then I DON’T accept this education.” pic.twitter.com/cTZrpmAuL6
— Shabnam Nasimi (@NasimiShabnam) December 27, 2022
“Astonishing scenes as a Kabul university professor destroys his diplomas on live TV in Afghanistan,” she said.
The clip quickly took the internet by storm, with many users praising Mashal’s bravery.
“This man just put his life and that of his family on the line through his actions. He uses his privilege to speak for the most underprivileged in his country,” one user said.
This man just put his life and that of his family on the line through his actions. He use his privilege to speak for the most underprivileged in his country May Allah protect him and his family- his courage and action is a lesson for all of us
— Mayor Protem - Pious Ali (@Piousali) December 28, 2022
“You can feel his emotion and despair. So brave but also very depressing,” said another.
You can feel his emotion and despair. So brave but also very depressing
— Architectural Ink - #FBPE (@ink_drawings) December 28, 2022
After its takeover in August 2021, the Taliban claimed that women would continue to be allowed to pursue higher education, but that strict rules and restrictions would be applied.
However, last week the government announced that women would no longer be allowed to attend colleges and universities, prompting international condemnation and despair among young people in the country.