20 Jan 2020
cross Shah Dushamshira Street (The street of downtown Kabul now called
“Farkhonda“) will never be able to not remember “Farkhonda” once. Farkhonda was
a young girl killed in the most outrageous manner by a number of angry and
religious people on March 19, 2015.
A group of
unwise men, provoked by the Mullah of Shah Do Shamshira’s, (the shrine of Liath
ibn Qais bin Abbas, an Arab religious figure in Afghanistan), rebelled against
Farkhonda on the charge of burning the Koran and killed her under a fist and
throwing the stones. They then drove the car on her dead body and finally
burned her body near the Kabul River.
grievous murder incident, Farkhonda was found to have no guilt and even she was
a religiously educated girl, she became a symbol of the victims of ruthlessly
violent religious extremism. In the area where she was killed, a memorial
minaret is built and is commemorated on March 5 each year. But the
assassination of Farkhonda once again heightened the chaos of the rise of
extremism in the social layers. Many also warned of intensifying religious
extremism in Afghanistan in those days.
more than a few media articles and a few reports came out. Now, more than five
years after her death, fears have been raised about the unnecessary growth of
extremism in Afghanistan. This time too, a Salafist-Quietist mullah’s reaction
in western Afghanistan on the type of Hijab of women has led to the rise of
extremism in social and media circles in Afghanistan.
ago, an Afghan religious clerk warns to punish women who disregard Islamic
Hijab. Mullah Mujib Rahman Ansari, a Salafist mullah in Herat city, what he
considered as ” Increasing of prostitution” in Herat, He responded by saying that
if he saw in his area north of the city of Herat a boy and a girl circling
outside the framework of blood-relations and customs, he would be imposed Hudud
(religion punishments of Islamic law (shariah) on them. He named the walking of
girls and boys “adultery” and called on his supporters to execute “Islamic law”
on anyone who saw them in the city.
Islamic extremists and religious clerks in Afghanistan installed dozens of
billboards and signboards around the cities, targeting Afghan women, urging
them to wear Islamic Hijab.
Mawlawi Hanif, the parliament member, also said in a statement that 100 percent
of those leaving their homes on Friday were in violation of public morality. Of
course, he later apologized for what he said and described the result as a
border of rage. The same remarks and statements reflect his attitude toward
those who view Friday as a hike and to be a walk. Subsequently, supporters of
Mullah Mujib Rahman Ansari mounted billboards in Herat city that read, “Women
without hijab have husbands without zeal”.
that ensued showed that concern for the rise of extremism in society was slowly
becoming a nightmare.
moderate Islam become radical Islam?
post-Islamic history, the people of Afghanistan have been associated with a
kind of traditional balanced Islam that derives from the influence of custom
and social traditions on society.
structure of society in Afghanistan is the result of the integration of
religion and social traditions. The Afghan nation is made up of various tribes
and groups, and the status of the “tribe” and its affiliations is still strong
in the social structure. Tribal customs and traditions have also largely
overshadowed people’s religious beliefs. On the other hand, the majority of
people in Afghanistan follow Hanafi Islam, and everyone knows that Imam Abu
Hanifa was one of the most balanced and moderate jurisprudentialists.
reason, until the 1980s, views such as Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia and the
Salafism of India and Pakistan had little effect on the religious culture of
the people in Afghanistan. When King Mohammad Zahir Shah made the veil optional
and a number of women discovered the veil, religious scholars did not stand up
to it, and for years the veil was accepted as an optional tradition in
the May 7 coup of leftist officers in Afghanistan and the coming of the former
Soviet-backed regime, religious “jihad” as a rally ignited the flames of war in
Afghanistan. In addition to US support for the Mujahidin’s battles against the
government and the former Soviet forces, the Arabs and Pakistanis have not only
provided much Mujahideen aid to the jihadists in Afghanistan but have also been
in the barricades themselves. With the presence of Arabs, attitudes of
Wahhabism and Salafism in Afghanistan have also become widespread.
number of Afghans in Pakistan’s religious madrasas where Salafism was taught
increased their influence in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia also brought a number of
Afghan mullahs to Saudi Arabia to speak out against the influence of the
Islamic Republic of Iran in Afghanistan, where it provided them with the
opportunity to teach Salafism. Returning to the country, these mullahs became
fierce Salafist propagandists in Afghanistan, and their influence and attitudes
have now reached such a level that the Hanafi religion in Afghanistan is
concern is that the government is not taking any action. Governments have been
unable to respond to the rapid growth of extremism over the past eighteen years
because of continued clashes with the Taliban and military opposition, fearing
the opening of a new front in the cities. The fear continues, even though it is
well-known that Salafist followers in Afghanistan make it possible for the
Taliban to recruit.”, Written by Nasima Bari, an afghan human rights activist
in southern Afghanistan, who recently published the book ‘the monster’s shadow’
in Pashto language which explains how the religious and social extremism threat
afghan society and women rights.
movements, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Jamiat-e Eslah, while opposing
Taliban methods, are generally the same, and these movements, consciously or
unconsciously, pave the way for Taliban recruitment in Afghanistan. These
movements, far more dangerous than the Taliban, have targeted academic and
several university professors have been detained by security agencies on
charges of promoting extremism and even fighting the government, but the
process of bolstering Salafism in Afghanistan has not stopped. While responses
and reactions on social media to some extent compel them to give up their
bitter views occasionally, the reality is that extremism is taking wider and
faster steps to fully dominate the geography of Afghanistan and these steps can
put Afghanistan’s complex social structure in dangerous turmoil.
Saleem Payenda is a research fellow of
International Relations at the University of Mysore, India. He writes on
Afghanistan’s foreign policy, state-building, socio-political and economic and
human rights issues.
Headline: Increasing the spread of religious extremism and the rise of Salafism
Source: The Khaama Press