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Another Afghan School Poisoned — 160 Girls Hospitalized 474

Posted by Soulskill
from the setting-a-bad-precedent dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Back in April, we discussed news of an anti-education attack on an Afghani school, which poisoned 150 Afghan schoolgirls. Now, a hospital in the same province has admitted 160 more girls who seem to have suffered a similar attack. 'Their classrooms might have been sprayed with a toxic material before the girls entered, police spokesman Khalilullah Aseer said. He blamed the Taliban. The incident, the second in a week's time, was reported at the Aahan Dara Girls School in Taluqan, the provincial capital. The girls, ages 10 to 20, complained of headaches, dizziness and vomiting before being taken to the hospital, said Hafizullah Safi, director of the provincial health department. More than half of them were discharged within a few hours of receiving treatment, Safi said. The health department collected blood samples and sent them to Kabul for testing.'"
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Another Afghan School Poisoned — 160 Girls Hospitalized

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    What does this have to do with /.?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jtnix (173853)

      What does this have to do with /.?

      absolutely nothing.

      Proof that the original /. is dead and gone and all we are left with is this crap-pile of AJAX and bad design.

      • by jdgeorge (18767) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:43PM (#40146087)

        Perhaps you've forgotten the old Slashdot slogan: "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters". This kind of stuff was on Slashdot since before I had a Slashdot user ID.

        The thing that's changed on Slashdot is that there are now professional Slashdot astroturfers working for big tech companies.

        • by virgnarus (1949790) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:00PM (#40146363)

          You know what, I wholeheartedly concur. But before I extrapolate on your wisdom, let me first turn your attention to how I managed to successfully evade a viral attack with the help of an incredible product, MyCleanPC...

        • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:15PM (#40146565) Homepage

          Exactly. I read Slashdot not because I don't care about the non-tech world, but because I don't care about the pointless drivel that fills most "news" sources. I don't care about the some bimbo's annulled wedding, or the color of a pop star's shoes, or the 12 most adorable breeds of puppies. I want to know news about my interests, and things that will have a lasting effect on the world I live in. I want news for nerds and stuff that matters. I read Slashdot.

        • by jtnix (173853)

          Perhaps you've forgotten the old Slashdot slogan: "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters". This kind of stuff was on Slashdot since before I had a Slashdot user ID.

          I too was reading here back in the 90's and can't say I can recall non-tech articles of Fear and Loathing with any frequency.

          The thing that's changed on Slashdot is that there are now professional Slashdot astroturfers working for big tech companies.

          This comment is of course a better answer to my comment above which has already been labeled as troll, which I suppose is deserved given it's brevity and offtopic closure. So, in light of that I will attempt to give a better answer why this article has no place on /. :

          This is not tech news, and does not 'matter' at all to the tech community, period. I can read this immediately on an

          • by ppanon (16583)
            Well, there was that whole series of "Hellmouth" articles by whathisname. News about bullying of nerds was pretty big on Slashdot at one time after a certain high school shooting. This is an article about girls being targeted in school because they're trying to get an education. Does it suddenly stop being news for nerds because it's about girls instead of socially inept boys? Does it suddenly stop being news for nerds because the perpetrators are adult religious conservatives instead of jocks and clique cu
    • by jythie (914043) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:49PM (#40146211)
      Geeks and nerds often care about education related issues, which 'we would rather kill our females then let them learn to read' falls under.
      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        Geeks and nerds often care about education related issues, which 'we would rather kill our females then let them learn to read' falls under.

        Yes, as a geek/nerd, I care about education issues, social issues, and civil rights issues. Most of the geeks/nerds that are in my social circles are also.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:10PM (#40146483) Journal
      Maybe some people who read Slashdot are interested in it? There are currently several stories on the front page that I have no interest in (especially the one with SlashCloud in the summary, a clear indication that at least one of the editors is dangerously rabid) and Slashdot comes with a very convenient feature to let me avoid them. There is a link next to the story that I am not interested in labelled 'Read the {some number} comments'. Using my pointing device of choice, I carefully move the cursor away from this link and don't click on it. Slashdot even provides a very convenient user interface optimisation here, by making not clicking on it the default! I suggest that you may wish to do the same thing.
    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      What does this have to do with /.?

      Clearly, it's because slashdot can't resist an opportunity for a nice flame war. See also: any thread regarding Homeland Security, or Climate Change, or President Obama. Simply mention one of these subjects, and regardless of the nerd/tech angle, you will have a 1,000 comment story by the end of the day. And so it goes, that the subjects that get huge responses (and huge traffic) get posted often. You need to ask, "why do /.ers read and reply to this with great fervor?"

    • by trevc (1471197)

      What does this have to do with /.?

      That's right - girls aren't important to you as they are not allowed in your mothers basement.

    • Slashdot was a hub for information during the 9/11 attacks because just about every news site out there was, forgive the pub, slashdotted.

      What did THAT have to do with tech? Nothing... it was simply relevant.

      Seriously, I think the anti-science and anti-fact agenda touches us a little bit more than anyone else. The "nerds" are going to be first against the wall when reasoning is made illegal.

      If this burns Karma, so be it: there are parallel movements to the Tailban in the U.S. It's worth keeping an eye on

  • Religious extreme (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spiked_Three (626260) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:37PM (#40146001)
    This is what happens when too many people believe too literally in 1000 year old witch craft.

    And this is exactly where the US could be heading if the current 50% of the population gets any stronger. Rick Santorum was as scary to the US as Hitler was to Germany. If we let nutcases like that become president, which a large number of people supported, this will be common in the US as well.
    • by jythie (914043)
      I think the frightening thing is, there are many people alive today that were around for when events like this WERE part of US history, and there are a non-trivial number of people who believe that things were better when women were property, minorities knew thier place, catholics and mormons were not christian, and the establishment clause outlived its usefulness and thus was ignored.

      Though no good is going to come Goodwinning this early... ok, not 'this early', ever.
    • Christian Nation? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:55PM (#40146299)

      And this is exactly where the US could be heading if the current 50% of the population gets any stronger. Rick Santorum was as scary to the US as Hitler was to Germany. If we let nutcases like that become president, which a large number of people supported, this will be common in the US as well.

      Most Americans do not really believe in religion, and only identify with Christianity because they think they should, and the certainly are not Muslims.

      The truth is that while many people are vaguely âoespiritualâ, most people no longer attend church regularly if at all, and only a small percentage of so-called âoeChristiansâ in this country can tell you anything at all about the Bible, old or new.

      There are people who bleat about this being a âoeChristian Nationâ, but statistically, factually, it isnâ(TM)t so. I donâ(TM)t think it can even be proven that we are a âoecertainly not a Muslim nationâ, either.

      We are mostly agnostic.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Psyborgue (699890)
      I'm Gay and i'd vote for Santorum. Why not? Obama is not going to let me marry. He says he supports gay marriage as a personal opinion but he quickly notes it should be left up to the states -- which is really no different than any of the republican candidates when it comes down to what will get done. When it comes down to it most presidents, regardless of party, will do pretty much the same things when they get elected. Plus. I'm sick of Obama sucking the cocks of our enemies and weakening our positi
      • He says he supports gay marriage as a personal opinion but he quickly notes it should be left up to the states -- which is really no different than any of the republican candidates when it comes down to what will get done.

        No, it is different, and the fact that your position is "as long as I get what I want I dont give two craps about what the Bill of Rights says about state sovereignty" is part of the reason the federal government is such a monster today.

        Try to remember that there is a REASON we have separate states, rather than one gigantic collective.

  • by slackware 3.6 (2524328) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:38PM (#40146005)
    Not anti-education.
    And that is why there are a bunch of hairy dudes cuddling each other in caves in the mountains instead of being at home cudling with their wives.
  • even if they want a society in which women are subservient, they still need women. Even at the most basic level, you cannot have sons without a mother. It is a pity, though, that some people feel so threatened by others of different gender (or race, education, etc) that they must resort to violence.
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:53PM (#40146247) Homepage

      Uh I don't think you get the import. This wasn't an attack against random women, it was an attack against women seeking an education. They are aware that they need women. They would rather those women stay at home and spit out then take care of sons rather than seek to better themselves.

      The message is: Women who seek to become educated will be targeted with violence. Remain at home, weak, ignorant, and dependent. Then there will be slightly less^W^W no violence.

    • by rubycodez (864176)

      muslim population is growing. cultures that abuse women have increasing population rate. you'll notice cultures that have more freedom for women have shrinking population. Given a choice and education and opportunity and prosperity, most women have less than 2.1 children

  • Note to US: let someone else try and police the mess this time.

  • Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:45PM (#40146117)

    Make the schools coeducated. The Taliban will be pissed but hopefully they wouldn't attack boys.

    • Unfortunately that would not be culturally acceptable to most of those presently sending their girls to school.
      • by Hentes (2461350)

        Not every Afghan is an extremist. When the alternative is having their girls poisoned, I think many would view it as a lower risk.

      • Re:Solution (Score:4, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:08PM (#40146459)

        Their culture is inhumane and should be replaced without qualm or concern. Problem solved.
        Aside from that, the protocol is simple, build two identical schools on each side of town, each morning flip coin and heads the boys go to the north school, tails the girls go to the north school. Ditto the delivery of water trucks (like last incident) etc.

    • by bhlowe (1803290)
      Hmm, except that would make the whole school eligible for the death penalty:
      From this week's news... :" Four women and two men have been sentenced to death in northern Pakistan for singing and dancing at a wedding, police said yesterday. Clerics issued a decree after a mobile phone video emerged of the six enjoying themselves in a remote village in the mountainous district of Kohistan, 176 kilometres (109 miles) north of the capital Islamabad." Source. [kuwaittimes.net]
    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      Make the schools coeducated.

      This would alienate many of those who are willing to accept girls going to school in the first place. It would be somewhat analogous to trying to solve the problem people had with blacks receiving an education at all in the Reconstruction era by forcing integration 80 years early. In trying to stymie your foes, you've only succeeded in multiplying them.

      Basically, the situation is more complicated than complete backward asshats willing to poison girls just to punish them for trying to become educated, and

  • Islam strikes again! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @02:46PM (#40146145) Homepage Journal

    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri The Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?" The women said, "Yes." He said, "This is because of the deficiency of a woman's mind."

    Sahih Bukhari 3:48:826

    And this is hardly the instance of this in Islam.

    • A note for naysayers (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Quila (201335) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:12PM (#40146523)

      Sahih Bukhari 3:48:826

      The "Sahih" in this means that the source and the chain of narration of the Hadith is considered to be trustworthy. Of all Sahih Hadith, al-Bukhari is considered the most trustworthy. This means that to the average Muslim, there can be no doubt that Mohammed said this, and therefore that it must be true.

      There is a very small minority of Muslims who reject all Hadith, believing only the Quran is authoritative and that it actually bans following texts such as Hadith. Mainstream Islam considers them to be apostates. Too bad, you remove Hadith, you remove much of the backwards, nasty stuff about the religion.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:18PM (#40146607) Homepage

      If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do.

      Exodus 21:7

      And this is hardly the only instance of this sort of sexism in Judaism and Christianity. What's your point?

      • 'The Point' is that any sect of Christianity that takes the Old Testament literally is as misguided as the Taliban.
        We're saying Sharia Law is looney - we're not making exceptions for people think Leviticus was or is a template for our society either.
      • by pitchpipe (708843)

        What's your point?

        That myths should not be taken literally.

      • They don't follow it. I don't hear about any Christians stoning people to death or poisoning entire schools.

      • by irenaeous (898337) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @06:48PM (#40149591) Journal

        In fairness to the ancient Hebrews, you should read the whole passage:

        2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

        5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges.[a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

        7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[b] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

        A female servant is a concubine and is to be treated as one of his wives. She does not go free after seven years as it is with men because she is regarded as married. To be redeemed means to be sold back to the father. She has certain rights that if not honored means that she is to go free. Feel free to judge them by our modern standard of ethics that our modern ways afford us, but judge them fairly at least.

        Frankly, Hebrew laws regarding "servants" or "slaves" seems human when compared with American slavery in the old south where people where essentially regarded as being a type of cattle and where treated as such.

    • by Terrasque (796014)

      Oh, please.. As if the Bible is that much better?

      Remember who gobbled the apple?

      There are so many bible verses that I'll just link to some web pages:
      First page [religioustolerance.org]

      Second page [cybercollege.com]

      Third page [nobeliefs.com]

      Yes, the new testament was generally better than the old testament, but there's lots of fun wackiness in both.

      Deuteronomy - Chapter 13 [blueletterbible.org] is also a fun read :)

  • The conclusion jumped to is that this is a Taliban attack. However, this is actually quite a common - though unexplained - phenomenon: Mass Hysteria [wikipedia.org].
    • Re:Mass Hysteria (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:14PM (#40146547) Journal
      It's not a terribly implausible conclusion, given the prior history of school attacks, and the fact that getting your hands on reasonably noxious(though generally not lethal except in quantity) toxins is pretty damn easy in agricultural areas, especially ones that haven't exactly had OSHA breathing down their necks...
    • Re:Mass Hysteria (Score:4, Informative)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:17PM (#40146587) Homepage

      Ummm, except this is hardly the first time school girls have been targeted with poison, or acid, or fire, or gunshots.

      It's not like we need to come up with alternate explanations because poison is implausible here -- this is straight out of the Taliban playbook.

      Are you asserting this or things like this haven't happened? I'm not sure why you're suggesting we need an alternative explanation which implies this didn't really happen.

    • by tgibbs (83782)

      Agreed, these are fairly typical symptoms of mass hysteria (although I don't much care for the term). I wouldn't be surprised if the blood tests show nothing. And given that a number of the girls have already been released, if it was actual poisoning, the perpetrators don't seem to have used enough to have done serious harm, which doesn't really sound like the Taliban. I wonder if the previous event was genuine? In that case, some of the girls were reported to be in critical condition, but I haven't heard w

  • It used to be a rather progressive nation in terms of women's rights. I recall a figure that about 60% of doctors there were women at one time. Now, we can directly and indirectly blame the mess that country has become on 30 years of foreign intervention.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @03:40PM (#40146971) Journal

      MAYBE if you actually read a book you might learn WHY Muslims have such high need of FEMALE doctors. That is because female patients have to be seen by a female doctor or not at all. The statistic sounds so nice but underneath it is a regime of segregated care where QUALITY of care was of no importance whatsoever.

      And 60% of doctors also tells you nothing of the total number of doctors available OR that women (childbirth) need doctors a LOT more then men.

      Careful with your statistics young one, they can be tricky things and easily be used to fool you.

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