Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Talibanic Theology and Generating Mind of Killing

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Talibanic Theology and Generating Mind of Killing

The massacre of Afghan National Army (ANA) in the 209 Shahin Corps of Mazar-e-Sharif was part of Talibanic political theology. The most significant aspect of this massacre – which stems only from mind of killing and Talibanic theology – is the death of unarmed soldiers by terrorists, while offering prayer. No stone-hearted individual is believed to create such a tragedy unless cherishes theological mind of killing, theology will justify this act. This massacre unmasked the Talibanic theology again.

Theological mind is in the center and highest point of one’s beliefs. There is nothing superior to deity for a religious individual. In other words, the top and highest point for a believer, in any religions, is where their deity exists. All acts and practices will be done based on dos and don’ts attributed to deity. In theological and theocratic systems, deity is with the characteristics of playing the role of positivity or negativity. That is to say, a pious person will act or hold out against an action with reference to deity’s positive or negative role. A theocratic and pious man will never act without attributing to an obligatory source. The obligation which originates from deity and its rule over the universe is the strongest.

The mentality of political theology maintains the message that the secular life of mankind in modern world, like theological doctrines, is in the realm of as strong certainty and obligation as faithful men breathe in the dominion of deity. Carl Schmitt was the first person who combines both theology and politics and interprets the obligation and certainty of political issue. He believes that all significant concepts of modern state are the secularized concept of deity – not because of their historical development that their status was changed from theology to the theory of government and by which, for example, the absolute Almighty God has changed into absolute legislator – due to its systematic structure that knowing these concepts is essential for Sociological Study.

However, there must be no relations between politics and theology according to classical philosophic thought – theology regulates the relations between deity and mankind, whereas politics regulates men’s relations with one another. But, for the first time, Schmitt attributes the political and legal rules, prevailing in men’s life, to theology and seeks their fundamental bases in theological beliefs. He believes that the core of politics’ metaphysic, which provides the theoretical basis of modern government, is strongly supported by theology. Despite the theory of enlightenment that a society is founded on “social contract”, Schmitt believes that theology is in the center of social life; theological propositions form social structure; and draw a line between friend and foe.

It should be noted, however, that Schmitt did not intend to prescribe a religious state and combine religion and politics so that religion dominates each and every thing. He, through assimilating theological and political systems, seeks to point out that how men’s mindsets still prefer obedience. According to Schmitt, when state – whether or not is based on public votes and democratic system – decides, kind of miracle takes place. As miracle in religion is nothing except for event against rules and natural law. The state’s decision in exceptional and urgent cases where law is silent, means that the state is omnipotent and a unique decision-maker. This exclusivity and exceptionalism demonstrates the state’s domination and power and likens the state to deity. Hence, the order arising from national sovereignty and modern government can be the symbol of the order prevailing in religions via theology.

One of the statement regarding the relativity between political theology and violence is made by Slavoj Zizek which is written in his book entitled ‘Violence; Five Peeks’. The deity’s violence seems to be taken from Hagel’s “Lord and Servant” but the contents are close to the idea of Walter Benjamin. According to Benjamin, the deity’s violence is the strongest and harshest one since the destructive power of deity dominates all powers, including the power of law. Inspired by Benjamin, Zizek compares the violence of deity with legendary violence as he says that deity is opposite to legend, and its violence will be in conflict with legendary violence. If legendary violence is law maker, the divine power will be law destroyer. If the first creates borders the second will destroy them in unlimited way. If legendry violence finds out both fault and atonement, the divine violence will only erases the sin. If the first threatens, the second will blow. If the first is bloody, the second will be deadly without shedding blood. Zizek believes that those who are slayed by deity’s violence, they will be sinful rather than victim since they do not worth sacrifice and the acceptance of deity. Based on this assumption, the distance between subjective and objective violence is too long to have human relationship.

Now it is likely that the political theology has come to spotlight in a true manner. The fundamental groups, which have emerged around the globe under the aegis of religion, view theology from political outlook and vice versa and kill people under the name of God. The dialectics of theology and politics, which emerged in a paradoxical process, is kind of system’s subjectivity that has been institutionalized in the mindsets of fundamental groups – this does not necessarily belong to Islamic fundamental group but such groups are found in any religions. The fact is that the geography of violence and terror under the name of Islam is far wide than anywhere else. The political theology is the most significant means for justification lies in the Taliban’s violent logic. The political theology acts as device producing mindset of killing and violence in the heart of Taliban’s beliefs. The incident of Shahin Corps and massacres of those who were worshipping will not be justified but by the Taliban’s device of theological killing. The most important feature of political theology is the illustration of symbolic order that has been changed into subjective order by its believers. The Taliban’s theology brings out nothing other than destructive and deadly system. The massacre of Afghan National Army is one of the signs actualizing the symbolic order illustrated in the Taliban’s theology.  

Mohammad Hedayat is the Editor in Chief of the Daily Afghanistan Ma. He can be reached at thedailyafghanistan@yahoo.com

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