In a chilling statement posted at local mosques and broadcast over the radio in Pakistan's Swat Valley, the Taliban says girls must not go to school after January 15 or they will be killed, the teachers will be killed and schools burned to the ground.
Today, school officials in Swat district of North West Frontier Province of Pakistan are preparing to close their doors to female students after a local Taleban official threatened to blow up school buildings who allow girls through the doors and attack young girls if they try to go to school.
Shah Durran, who is the deputy of radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, quotes his commander as saying: "You have until January 15 to stop sending your girls to schools. If you do not pay any heed to this warning, we will kill such girls. We also warn schools not to enrol any female students; otherwise, their buildings will be blown up."
Durran is also quoted as saying that "Female education is against Islamic teachings and spreads vulgarity in society."
In many areas, hardliners have established sharia, or Islamic law, and introduced public executions for those who break it.
Maulana Fazulullah has transformed the once popular tourist ski resort area in the Swat Valley into a battleground in an effort to introduce Islamic Sharia law into the region.
"We want to enforce the true Sharia in the area -- for this, we are fighting and laying down our lives."
And they are also apparently willing to snuff out the lives of innocent little girls who just want to get an education.
Another report in the Gulf Times says that the Taleban have already blown up over 100 girls schools in the Swat region over the last 14 months. About 50,000 girls have been forced out of school because of the bombings so far. And an unnamed principal at a private school in Mingora says "This is terrible. This is a question of the future of our children. The Taliban decision will throw more than 40,000 girls out of schools."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai also condemned the ban by calling it "un-Islamic" and said that it is the Taleban's way of oppressing the Swat regions Pashtun tribe.
"Based on Islamic responsibility and humanity for our Pashtun brothers and sisters, we condemn every step which causes this large tribe backwardness and misfortune. These kinds of elements, through releasing such statements, want to deprive Pashtun children of education so that they will always be needy."