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The Truth Behind Taliban's Fatwa Justifying Killings Of Innocent Civilians – Part 1



By Sohail Arshad, New Age Islam

15 Dec., 2012

Since the last few months, the mouthpiece of Taliban, Nawai Afghan Jihad, has been publishing a series of articles titled ‘Circumstances in which the killing of innocent people among the non-Muslims is justified’. In this article, some Talibani Islamic scholar Shiekh Yusuf Al Abeeri has tried to justify the killing of innocent women, children and the elderly people among the non-Muslims by the Taliban with references from the Quran, hadiths and books of jurists. It is unfortunate that wrong interpretations and explanations of the Qur’anic verses and  hadiths have been presented and on some occasions only assumptions have been made to justify the un-Islamic practices and activities of the Taliban and has thus tried to provide justification for all the activities and practices that have been declared wrong and impermissible by Islam.

The guerilla and terrorist organization named Taliban usurped power in Afghanistan in 1996 cashing in on the political instability after the evacuation of the Russian forces in Afghanistan. They roped in the support of the naïve and illiterate Afghan people by promising them to establish an Islamic government based on the teachings of the Quran, and continued to rule the country until 2001.

The US attacked Afghanistan to avenge the 9/11 terror attacks on the pretext of arresting Osama Bin Laden and toppled the Taliban government. Though the US and some other circles hold the belief that Osama bin Laden and his organization Al Qaeda were behind the attacks and that Taliban had provided shelter to them in Afghanistan, general Muslims and a coterie of intellectuals looked for a conspiracy theory and declared it a conspiracy of the Jews. But in this article published in the Taliban mouthpiece Nawai Afghan Jihad, the responsibility for the attacks has been repeatedly accepted, calling them “auspicious attacks of the 11th September” and “the auspicious day of the battle of 11th September”.

The Taliban came into existence in Afghanistan in around 1991 founded by Deobandi-Wahhabi leaders Maulana Samiul Haque and Maulana Fazlur Rahman. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, Taliban are known as a terrorist and extremist organization which has deprived not only the non-Muslims but also the Muslims of their religious, sectarian, social and educational rights in their area of control. The Taliban make headlines regularly with incidents of slitting the noses and ears of women, weaning away women’s right to education, confining them into black burqas from head to toe, taking away the religious rights of the Hindus and Sikhs and killing them.

In Swat region, the Taliban have destroyed girls’ schools, prohibiting girls from receiving education. An 11 year old girl named Malala from Swat opposed the Taliban fatwa against girls’ education, holding press conferences and running campaigns on the internet. The Taliban tried to punish her by attacking her and have declared her an apostate and issued a fatwa of death against her. They have declared Malala a US spy to justify their death sentence against her.

In Afghanistan too, the Taliban forcefully imposed sharia and wielded lashes so frequently that the people from regions controlled by them fled to the regions controlled by the United Front government, to Pakistan and Iran. One of the Taliban’s opponents Ahmad Shah Masood had stated in the European Parliament in 2001that the Al Qaeda and Taliban have presented a wrong interpretation of Islam. He had also told them that Taliban was planning a big terror attack on the US. Ahmad Shah Masood’s predictions proved true as 9/11 happened.

Taliban who criticizes the US for the killing of Muslim masses in the Muslim countries have themselves been known for their violent and barbaric activities in Afghanistan during their rule. They killed thousands of non-combatant Afghans and Pakistanis, mostly Muslims, from 1995 till 2012. The Amnesty International had written in its report in 1995:

“This is the first time in several months that Kabul civilians have become the targets of rocket attacks and shelling aimed at residential areas in the city”.

Similarly, the UN had written in its 55 page report:

“The Taliban, while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan, committed systematic massacres against civilians. UN officials stated that there had been "15 massacres" between 1996 and 2001”

Arab militants within the ranks of the Taliban would kill the civilians with long knifes meant for slitting and skinning animals. These un-Islamic and barbaric practices of the Taliban had been termed as “necessary and inevitable” by their ambassador Abdul Salam Zaeef. However, he did not elaborate which Qur’anic verse supported these “necessary and imperative” activities. During their ‘war’ from 1996 to 2006, they killed many civilians, burnt crops and stopped UN food supplies to the millions of hungry Afghans on the grounds of following the scorched earth policy of retreating armies. These atrocities of the Taliban forced people to flee Taliban-controlled region and settle in Iran, Pakistan and in the area controlled by the United Front government of Afghanistan.

In Pakistan too, the Taliban have seized the religious, social, cultural and educational rights of the people, presenting a violent and orthodox interpretation of Islam. Girls’ education, watching television, visiting mausoleums and shaving beards is a taboo there. They have made life hell for religious minorities like the Shias, Ahmadis, and Christians. In recent years, hundreds of Hindu families have been forced to migrate to India which is a blot on an Islamic country. During the last few years, numerous suicide bombings and attacks have been carried out by the Taliban on mosques, mausoleums, civilian areas, religious processions, hospitals etc in which thousands of innocent people including women, children and the elderly people have died. Were they all Americans or which hadiths justify their killing?

The strategy of suicide bombings adopted by the Taliban as a war tactic is permissible neither by the Quran nor by hadith. Suicide is haraam in Islam in all circumstances. (To be concluded)

Sohail Arshad is a regular columnist for New