The Taliban's brutal fight for ignorance
The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.It is passing strange how insistent the Taliban is on keeping people ignorant. The brutality of their enforcement of ignorance goes beyond passing strange. It is evidence of a deeply sick culture. It is another reason why the Taliban must be destroyed.
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.
Mr Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces.
Fatima Mushtaq, the director of education at Ghazni, has had repeated death threats, the notorious "night letters". Her gender, as well as her refusal to send girls home from school, has made her a particular source of hatred for Islamist zealots.
Ms Mushtaq is familiar with the ways of the Taliban. During their rule she and her sister ran secret schools for girls at their home. The Taliban beat them for teaching the girls algebra.