New Delhi: The appointment of Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat as the new chancellor of Kabul University by the Taliban Monday has sparked furore on social media after some of his old tweets re-surfaced.
In one such tweet, posted in June last year, Ghairat had called for the killing of journalists.
“A spy journalist is more dangerous than a hundred Arbaki (Local Police/Paramilitary). I doubt the faith of those who restrain from killing journalists. Kill Spy Journalists. Contain Media,” he had said in the since deleted tweet.
A tweet by the new Taliban Chancellor of Kabul University:
“A spy journalist is more dangerous than a hundred Arbaki (Local Police/Paramilitary).
I doubt faith of who restrain from killing journalists.
Kill Spy Journalists.
Contain Media” pic.twitter.com/vaPZ3qRinD
— Sami Mahdi (@Samiullah_mahdi) September 22, 2021
A journalist is 100 times dangerous that a soldier. Those who are not killing journalists are probably apostates.
—The newly Taliban appointed chancellor of Kabul University
— Habib Khan (@HabibKhanT) September 22, 2021
Another Twitter user, Nilofer Shah, shared a screenshot of a Facebook post written by Arif Bahrami, who claims to be a college classmate of Ghairat.
According to Bahrami, Ghairat was disrespectful towards his female classmates and professors while pursuing a degree from the journalism department of Kabul University.
He further noted that the newly-appointed chancellor “barely secured passing marks” in “very easy subjects”.
Following his appointment, Ghairat also tweeted that he would “cleanse Kabul University of Western and infidel thoughts, vulgarity and moral corruption”. The tweet was later deleted.
He says he will cleanse Kabul University of Western and infidel thoughts, vulgarity and moral corruption. And will convert the varsity into a center of religious values (read madrassa). He’s claimed to have a Bachelor in Sharia 🤣 pic.twitter.com/OzeW9fsC14
— Saleem Javed (@mSaleemJaved) September 21, 2021
‘Underqualified for post’
Ghairat replaced Dr Osman Babory, who was appointed as chancellor in May 2020 and taught pharmacognosy (study of medicines produced from natural sources) and phytotherapy (study of the use of extracts of natural origin as medicines).
According to the Kabul University website, Babory completed his B.Sc. in Pharmacy and M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Science from Pyatigorsk Pharmaceutical Institute in Russia in 1985. He pursued his Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy at Philipps-University Marburg in Germany in 2019
Ghairat’s educational qualifications, meanwhile, are yet to be disclosed.
Several social media users claimed Ghairat has only completed a Bachelor’s degree and is underqualified for the post of university chancellor.
Taliban appointed Ashraf Ghairat as the new chancellor of Kabul University, replacing Prof. Usman Babory who's got two PhDs from Germany & Afghanistan, schooled in India & Russia, & has tens of published scholarly articles on Phytotherapy & Pharmacognosy. pic.twitter.com/cGGSTKVj5w
— Mustafa KAZEMI 47 (@CombatJourno) September 22, 2021
"Please don't do it !
A Phd was removed from the Kabul University chair, wherein now a bachelor's degree holder is appointed.
A Phd is congratulating a bachelor degree holder as a new chancellor of the Kabul University.
Taliban leadership must think about it." pic.twitter.com/8ikwGHozVd
— Dr. Ahsan RAJPUT (@DrAhsanRAJPUT) September 22, 2021
Responding to critics, Ghairat said he was fully qualified to hold the post.
“For all those who criticize my appointment as the chancellor of Kabul University, I request you to calm down and inquire about me and my academic background,” he tweeted Tuesday.
He also said that he had been a “researcher and knowledge seeker” for all his life.
For all those who criticize my appointment as the chancellor of Kabul University, I request you to calm down and inquire about me and my academic background.
By the grace of Allah I have spent all my life in academic centers and have been a researcher and knowledge seeker my…
— Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat محمد اشرف غیرت (@MAshrafGhairat) September 21, 2021