Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, January 15th, 2021

Taliban’s Reaction to Fatwas Against Their Violence

The Taliban leadership has shown reaction to the fatwas (religious decrees) issued against the Taliban’s acts of war and violence. The group is concerned that fatwas against killing Afghan soldiers and civilians will trigger public reaction. But the Taliban fighters continue their violence and insurgency against the Afghan government amidst fear of public backlash.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar called those decrees “fake fatwas” and “personal views” saying that those who issue such fatwas are unaware of the current situation in Afghanistan. Baradar said that the “fake fatwa games” sought to sabotage the ongoing peace process. He also called it “media’s falsification” adding that there were conspirators behind spreading fatwas, which are said to be issued by Malaysian and Bangladeshi muftis and clerics.
However, Baradar’s statements are challenged on the tweeter since the Taliban are largely involved in killing Afghan soldiers and civilians. If the Taliban are concerned about the public reaction or fear of their ideology to be challenged, they have to reduce violence and stop spilling the blood of civilians.
It is self-explanatory that Afghanistan is an Islamic republic system and its constitution is approved by religious scholars and clerics. Meanwhile, Afghan clerics condemned the Taliban’s acts of violence and bloodshed on multiple occasions and called on them to declare a permanent ceasefire. To one’ unmitigated chagrin, the Taliban targeted clerics as a result of their fatwas challenging their fundamental ideology. That is to say, the Taliban will not debate their ideology but respond with gun and bombs, which shows their intolerance and radicalism. With the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban have no justification for their so-called “jihad”, which was started with the narrative “jihad against foreign occupation”.  The media simply reflect the truth and are a voice to the voiceless and exercise freedom of expressions. However, the Taliban fear freedom of press and expression.
If the Taliban leaders are able to debate their ideology in public, there is no reason for fear or anxiety, and they have to debate their ideology with Islamic clerics in the media rather than eliminating them physically and suppressing their voice. Moreover, the Taliban should stop killing journalists and respect freedom of press and expression.
Many believe that the Taliban fight for power. If the Taliban were concerned about “Afghanistan’s occupation”, they have to lay their arms down with the agreement, promising the US troop pullout, signed between the Taliban and the United States. How do the Taliban justify killing civilians, mainly women and children?
It is believed that the Taliban also fear that fatwas issued against their war in Afghanistan by Islamic clerics will challenge their recruitment and put their fighters into hesitation. If those fatwas are circulated, their fighters may feel a sense of doubt and dilemma. The Taliban capitalize on individuals’ ignorance and lack of knowledge and enlightenment will pose threat not only to their activities but also their school of thought.
This is the responsibility of Islamic clerics to issue fatwa against the Taliban’s anti-religious and anti-Islamic practices in Afghanistan. Islamic clerics and muftis, including those in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, have to issue fatwa against the Taliban’s acts of violence and killings and call on them to stop spreading Islamophobia and tarnishing Islam. 
According to Islamic clerics, the Taliban are not allowed to issue fatwa. But they do issue fatwa and call the war in Afghanistan “jihad”. The Taliban are a militant group not an Islamic center and has no authority in coloring their acts of violence with the brush of religion. Only Al-Azhar University in Egypt has the authority to issue credible and formal fatwa. With this in mind, clerics in Al-Azhar also aired their concerns about the ongoing war and violence in Afghanistan and challenged the Taliban’s ideology.
Most probably, the Taliban leaders are aware of the fact that their violence and bloodshed in Afghanistan has no religious basis, but they pursue power through capitalizing on individuals’ religious sentiments.
It is time the Taliban should open their eyes to the fact and accept the fatwas issued against their bloodshed in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. An ordinary person who walks on the street knows that the Taliban’s acts are irrational and against religious tenets. That is, killing human beings are strongly forbidden in Islam and killing a person is likened to killing all human beings in the Quran. Therefore, the Taliban must stop killing the people of Afghanistan and declare a permanent ceasefire and respect the fundamental rights of the people.