The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Taliban’s misinterpretation of Islam main cause of violence

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Religion has always been important in Afghans’ life. Most of ordinary Afghans observe Islamic obligations and all Afghans consider themselves faithful to Islam. In Afghans’ common belief, religion is the source of ethics and promoter of piousness, equality and honor.
But in Afghanistan’s recent history, inflexible and hard-liner version of religion has played complex and conflicting role in Afghan politics, as the harsh Islamic fundamentalism emerged as a dominant player in Afghanistan’s conflict. Since then, the country has been battlefield of extremism and terrorism and the extremist groups have changed Afghanistan into stage of terror war.
In an interview with Kabul-based local TV channel the other day, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Raissouni, president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, said that the ongoing war in Afghanistan has no Sharia (Islamic) justification. He added that the killing of Muslims is a “great sin” and that carrying out suicide attacks against Muslims is prohibited, from the Islamic perspective.
“I told some of my Taliban brothers that there is no justification and Sharia-based (Islamic) reason for the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Even the killing of a single person in the current war is against the Islamic law,” he was quoted by Tolonews. He called on the Afghan warring factions and the Taliban to continue negotiations and make peace.
“The killing of Muslims is a major sin; I can say categorically that the killing of a person will send someone to the bottom of hell. Killing is a crime, the current murdering and killing is a crime,” he said. When asked about the Taliban’s suicide attacks, he said:
According to him, launching military operations against Muslims, including Afghans, has no legal justification—whether it is a suicide attack or martyrdom-seeking attack or face-to-face war, these are among the prohibited acts. Also, when someone kills himself, it’s also a crime.
The harsh interpretation of religion by extremist groups such as Taliban and Al-Qaida has been a main source of violence, disputes, and wars. Extremism and lack of religious tolerance has affected all aspects of social life including governance and constitutional order, human rights, and social behavior.
As Afghanistan is dragging towards peace and stability to leave the war and violence behind, it needs to overcome extremism, build civil society, support human and women’s rights and promote religious tolerance. In fact, these are the main elements of nation-building which Afghanistan has just begun the long journey towards.
Failing in these ideals will mean failure in establishing a free and prosperous society, in which multi-voices can be heard and pluralism is respected. In the course of nation-building, Afghanistan needs to overcome challenges.
What is critically important in still-conservative Afghan society is that any such comprehensive efforts towards promoting religious tolerance and freedom and building a civil society should be implemented in a way that do not meet social backlash. Efforts towards promotion of freedom, human rights and religious tolerance do not necessarily need to violently confront the accepted standards of the conservative society, but it is something to be avoided. Meanwhile the Islamic scholars should do more to persuade Taliban and other terrorists to stop misinterpretation of the holy Islam religion for their own vicious goals.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.