Following are excerpts from a TV report on a mosque and school in Pakistan, which was destroyed by the Taliban after its imam criticized the Taliban’s conduct. The report aired on Al-Aan TV on January 20, 2010.
They are doing this only because we are reporting it to give Islam a bad name….
Anchor: Taliban militants destroyed a mosque and a school in the Charbagh region, in the northeastern part of Swat Valley, after the imam of the mosque criticized the ways of the Taliban. Many students left the school out of fear for their lives, and those who stayed found themselves facing harsh conditions, due to what befell the school. Let’s watch the following report.
Reporter: This is what is left of the Dar Al-‘Ulum school and its mosque in Charbagh, after Taliban militants turned it to rubble, in which the students are now digging in search of hope to renew their studies.
Student: There were hundreds of students studying here. The Taliban fighters came and destroyed the school and the mosque. They killed the imam, Sheik Mas’oud Ahmad. They destroyed the furniture, the books, and everything. Most of the students have not yet returned to their studies, out of fear.
Reporter: The school bell is the only thing felt for this tent, which functions as a classroom. The tent does not protect the students from the notorious cold of the region, and they do not have enough books â€“ despite the small number of students.
Student: We got this tent from the government in order to set up our school in it. It can only hold one class. It lacks furniture, and we are afraid that when it rains, the books will be ruined.
The Taliban have lost the people’s support because they destroy mosques and intimidate and kill the people.
Reporter: The school principal wonders how they can possibly destroy a mosque and a school in the name of Islam.
School principal: Islam does not permit the killing of Muslims, or the destruction of mosques and schools for any reason. If the Taliban fight for the sake of Islam and the Muslims, who do they destroy a religious school?
Reporter: The students have to sit out in the open, and use pieces of the ruined furniture to conduct lessons. The principal complains about the lack of resources, and about the insufficient government support for his school, which lacks what it takes to survive.
After the Taliban destroyed the Dar Al-‘Ulum mosque and school, the teachers and students have been reduced to these humble settings.